The first season finale begins well, and develops in directions not charted by the source material. The final bang, alas, proves something of a whimper.

Title: “TS-19”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Guy Ferland

Written by Adam Fierro and Frank Darabant.

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Noah Emmerich as Dr. Jennar
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Jon Bernthal as Shane
IronE Singleton as T-Dog
Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
Adam Minarovich as Ed
Jeryl Prescott as Jacqui
Steven Yuen as Glenn
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale
Norman Reedus as Darryl Dixon
Melissa Suzanne Mcbride as Carol
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

At the CDC, the survivors learn a little about the origin and nature of zombies, and the state of the world.

High Point

The episode gave the series a change of pace and a significant change from the source. It wasn’t consistently successful, but aspects worked, and it means we cannot predict where the next season will go.

In a series which emphasizes survival and suspense, this (fore)bodes well.

Low Points

The final bang proved a bit of a whimper—and the accompanying effects didn’t help.

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 While the new direction doesn’t add anything terribly original for a zombie story, it does represent a deviation from the source material. Next season can go pretty much anywhere.

Effects: 4/6 CGI goes kaboom!

Story: 4/6 This may be the weakest episodes of the series, with uneven pacing and a disappointing conclusion. It did provide an intriguing glimpse at what has been happening elsewhere, and some explanation for aspects of the pilot.

Acting: 5/6.

Emotional Response: 4/6 The Walking Dead gives us the best new show of the year, and I look forward to its second season. This week may be the first time, however, my attention lagged significantly.

Production: 5/6

Overall: 5/6.

In total, “TS-19” receives 30/42