The Walking Dead: Wildfire   Rewatch 
December 6, 2014 10:56 AM - Season 1, Episode 5 - Subscribe

The Group deals with the aftermath of last episode's tragic incident, and decides to take a road trip.
posted by escape from the potato planet (9 comments total)
Jim was an interesting character: basically a good guy, but not cut out for this world.

Dale has a pat little yarn for every situation. He's like the post-apocalyptic Garrison Keillor.

Carol says "I'll do it – he's my husband", and takes the pickaxe from Daryl. That might be the first line either of them has spoken to the other. Man, both of those characters have changed – especially Carol. I think we're meant to sense relief and vengefulness underneath her sorrow, but McBride hadn't yet found her groove with Carol. She definitely grew into the role as the series progressed.

Daryl refers to Glenn as "the Chinaman", which is (a) gross, and (b) weirdly old-fashioned. I guess they needed a slur which would paint Daryl as an ignorant racist hick, but which was toothless enough to be acceptable for broadcast.

The CDC, with the viewer-friendly interfaces, and the talking master computer, and the automated self-destruct – ugh. I can accept that the walking dead have taken over the earth, but I cannot abide this cheesy CSI nonsense.

Overall, though, I thought this was a decent episode.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:34 PM on December 6, 2014

The Jim storyline was nicely done, short as it was. Intriguing that he had a dream that led him to weird out last episode.

Rick and Shane - well that escalated quickly. My memory of their conflict was that it took a while for Shane to crack. And at first in this episode it looked like he and Rick were still communicating in a healthy way about their conflict.

The whole CDC thing... it seems like they set something up, and then didn't go with it. Jenner loses his only fresh samples of infected brain tissue. The group has Jim who's about to die. There's this whole elaborate CDC setup, with potential for a longer storyline that just ends next episode.

The scene with all the dead bodies and the flies made me think, where were the flies in the latest episode with all the burned bodies? Maybe I missed it.

Cool music at the credits.
posted by natteringnabob at 12:03 PM on December 7, 2014

Lol at "post apocolyptic Garrison Kiellor".
posted by natteringnabob at 12:03 PM on December 7, 2014

Yeah, I remembered Season 1 Shane the same way you did – kind of a douche, but not a straight-up villain, at least not until well into Season 2. Weird.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 1:58 PM on December 7, 2014

Daryl refers to Glenn as "the Chinaman", which is (a) gross, and (b) weirdly old-fashioned.

In season 4, when he meets up with Merle again, Merle refers to Glen as 'the Chinaman'. Daryl corrects him - 'He's Korean'.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:20 PM on December 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

The CDC, with the viewer-friendly interfaces, and the talking master computer, and the automated self-destruct ...

Turns out that Georgia Politifact did an article on the explosion thing..
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:24 PM on December 7, 2014

Daryl corrects him - 'He's Korean'.

Yeah, I like that moment. It's a clever and understated way to nod back to the crude redneck Daryl was in the beginning, in order to point out that he's not that guy anymore. It's kinda the moment when he finally tips over from Morally Ambiguous Daryl to Unequivocal Protagonist Daryl.

I may have remarked, in another thread, that the apocalypse has actually been good for Daryl, on some levels. It got him out from under his abusive older brother's thumb. It put him on equal footing with the people around him, because everyone shits in holes and and eats bushmeat in the apocalypse (and, in fact, his squirrel-stabbin' skills make him an asset, rather than an outcast). It gave him a chance to belong to something – and even to be a leader, probably for the first time. I think that's why he's so ready to help and protect the others: they accepted him when he believed that no one could accept him. The group has been a better family to him than his own family ever was. So they're important to him.

In real life, we all have to work jobs we don't like in order to pay the bills; we find ourselves mired in a particular place in a socioeconomic hierarchy that we didn't choose and don't have much control over; we spend a lot of energy serving unthinking, unfeeling systems instead of, or even at the expense of, our real desires. Post-apocalyptic fiction is appealing, in large part, because it offers a fantasy where all of those strictures fall away: you are no longer a cog in the machine of civilization, because the machine has collapsed into a heap of rubble. We, as the audience, don't have to experience the day-to-day misery of post-apocalyptic life, so we're free to appreciate the, well, freedom that it would offer.

Which is why part of the fun of zombocalypse is thinking about how you would approach survival. The genre basically says: "Here's a situation. There's no one to tell you that any choice is wrong or disallowed. It's just you, your wits, and the resources at hand. What do you do?"

And, if you think about it, it's kind of a return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle, with cans of baked beans standing in for nuts and berries. Maybe it just appeals to that part of our brains which evolved to live in small bands?
posted by escape from the potato planet at 9:39 PM on December 7, 2014 [5 favorites]

Daryl corrects him - 'He's Korean'.

The whole situation reminded me of this.
posted by juiceCake at 12:40 PM on December 8, 2014

I loved Andrea's watch over her sister in this episode. The way she was simultaneously guarding her like a sister and guarding her like a PO. Watching over her, and just waiting. I also enjoyed Jacqui giving up Jim quicker than Ezel gave up Smokey.

I had gone back to look at the clothing in these first few episodes after watching that Daryl/Carol centric episode this season. I figured their clothing in the current season would be muted compared to back then. But the people on this show always seemed to have muted, dark clothing. Lots of dull greens and grays and blues. Notably, Morales and his family have some of the brightest clothing around. And they're smart enough to leave "the group".

Cool music at the credits.

I never noticed that! A slowed down version of the intro music. Neat.
posted by cashman at 7:51 AM on December 12, 2014

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