|Season 1, Episode 6|
|Air Date|| December 5, 2010|
AMC (United States)
December 10, 2010
Fox (United Kingdom)
|Written By|| Adam Fierro|
|Directed By||Guy Ferland|
|U.S. Viewers||5.97 million|
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"What Lies Ahead"
| Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes|
Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh
Sarah Wayne Callies as Lori Grimes
Laurie Holden as Andrea
Jeffrey DeMunn as Dale Horvath
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
| Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon|
Noah Emmerich as Edwin Jenner
At the onset of the Wildfire Global Outbreak, Shane visits Rick in the King County hospital, wearing his officer's uniform. Army personnel are evacuating hospital staff and executing the infected. Shane begs a nurse for help, but she runs past him screaming.
He draws his gun and heads to the door, where he watches fearfully as the military execute terrified people in the hallways. He tries to lift his comatose partner, but hesitates because of all the tubes and wires attached to machines, keeping him alive. Shane asks him desperately to tell him what to do, but Rick is unresponsive.
He ducks behind Rick's bed just as two army personnel arrive to sweep the room. When they leave, he begs his best friend to wake up, but the power goes out and Rick's monitors die. Fearing the worst, Shane puts his ear to Rick's chest. After hearing no heartbeat, Shane reluctantly leaves Rick in the room; however, he barricades the door with a hospital gurney before he flees the chaos.
In the present, Rick and the other survivors file into the CDC lobby in Atlanta. Dr. Edwin Jenner meets them at the door with an automatic. "Why are you here, and what do you want?" Jenner asks them. "A chance," Rick says simply.
"That's asking an awful lot these days," Jenner replies, but he agrees to allow them in - provided they all submit to a blood test. "Grab your things," he tells them. "Once this door closes, it stays closed."
Rick agrees, and they follow Jenner to the building's basement control center. Daryl asks if doctors always go around packing heat like that, and the doc deadpans, "There were plenty left lying around. I familiarized myself. But you look harmless enough." Carol notes that she's claustrophobic underground, and Jenner advises her not to think about it.
He leads the group into the control room. "Vi, bring up the lights in the big room," he says, and the lights go up. "Welcome to Zone 5," he tells Rick and his group.
As Jenner takes a blood sample from Andrea, she asks him what the point is. "If we were infected, we'd all be running a fever," she scoffs, but Jenner asks her to humor him. When she stands, she wobbles. "She hasn't eaten in days. None of us have," Jacqui explains to Jenner as she leans in to help Andrea. Jenner seems struck with a sudden idea.
Later, the group feasts in the CDC cafeteria, jovially drinking wine and liquor from the fully stocked fridge, jubilant about finding a safe place and a good meal. Glenn is drunk, much to Daryl's satisfaction, and Carl tries his first sip of red wine. He hates it, to Lori's delight. Rick toasts Jenner for his hospitality, and the doctor quietly raises his glass.
But Shane isn't interested in celebrating. "When are you gonna tell us what the hell happened here?" Shane asks. Jenner explains that most of the doctors fled. The rest, he says, "couldn't face walking out the door. They...opted out." Jenner says that he stayed because he hoped to do some good.
Jenner shows the group around the building, directing the children toward the rec room and imploring everyone not to waste electricity.
But the survivors are thrilled to luxuriate in hot showers — all except for Shane, who angrily swallows a bottle of liquor while he bathes; and Andrea, who sits numbly under the stream.
Afterward, Dale overhears Andrea throwing up. "Everything's gone," she cries. Dale argues that they have an opportunity to make a fresh start. "Didn't you see the look on Jenner's face?" Andrea hits back. "There's nothing left."
Rick stumbles drunkenly into the control room, where Jenner is working on the group's blood samples. "How's the blood?" Rick asks, falling to the floor as he tries to prop himself up against a desk. "No surprises," Jenner shrugs. Rick makes a point of thanking Jenner again. He admits to Jenner that he never let on to the others what he really thought, but he knew they were running out of options before they got to the CDC. "We'd have died out there," Rick explains, his face awash with relief at their new surroundings. "It'll all be OK," Jenner replies softly.
Cradling another glass of wine, a buzzed Lori finds Carl, Carol, and Sophia reading books in the rec room. Carol takes the children to bed for an assured good night's sleep, while Lori, in her socks and pajamas, stays behind to browse the library. Shane looms in the doorway, whiskey in hand, watching her. He stumbles, drunk, and she whips around, startled. "I'm going to tell you a few things, and you're gonna listen," he says, closing the door. Lori tries to push past him. "How can you treat me like this?" he asks, insisting that he didn't lie to her about Rick. He really thought Rick was dead, that he hadn't heard a heartbeat when he listened for one at the hospital, he swears to her, "and I had y'all to think about".
He tells her he loves her, that he knew she never would have fled the chaos if she believed that Rick was alive, asserting that her and Carl's lives. Drunk and desperate, he tries to kiss her. He grabs for her, forcing himself on her until Lori scratches his face and throat. Horrified by his own behavior, Shane flees, and Lori sobs.
Later, Rick stumbles into bed with Lori and sees that she's been crying, but he assumes wrong as to why. "We don't have to be afraid anymore," he assures her.
The next morning, Rick shuffles into the cafeteria, as hung over as nearly everyone else in the group. T-Dog proudly dishes out powdered eggs for everyone, and Glenn groans in agony with his head down. Lori hands Rick some aspirin, which she says came from Dr. Jenner.
Shane enters the room and heads straight for the coffee, and Rick asks if Shane feels as bad as he does. "Worse," Shane answers, and T-Dog points out the scratches on his neck. Shane shrugs it off, claiming he must have scratched his neck in his sleep. "Never seen you do that before," Rick says. "Not like me at all," Shane agrees. He eyes Lori, who keeps her head down.
When Jenner arrives in the kitchen, Dale starts asking questions. Andrea concurs, saying, "We didn't come here for the eggs." Jenner leads the group to the control center, where he asks Vi to display the brain scans from "Test Subject 19." The ultra-secret, though worthless, video shows someone who was infected and allowed the process to be recorded by the CDC, Jenner explains.
Synapses are alight throughout the brain. "Experience, memories. Somewhere in all that organic wiring is you. The thing that makes you unique and human," Jenner explains. The display shows the virus attacking the brain - the "first event." The brain goes dark; the body dies. "Everything you were or ever will be - gone," Jenner says.
"Is that what happened to Jim?" Sophia wonders innocently, and Carol nods. Andrea looks beaten, and Lori explains to Jenner that her sister died two days before. Jenner approaches Andrea. "I lost somebody, too. I know how devastating it is," he says.
Jenner fast-forwards to the "second event" — TS-19's resurrection. "It restarts the brain?" Lori asks. "Just the brain-stem," Jenner corrects. "The human part - the you part - that doesn't come back."
A bullet flies through TS-19's head in the video playback, and Andrea remembers Amy, whom she, too, had to shoot in the head. He admits he doesn't know what the disease is or how to treat it, and that he's lost contact with other research facilities. "I've been in the dark for almost a month," he admits.
"There's nothing left anywhere. That's what you're really saying, right?" Andrea accuses him.
Dale interrupts the stunned silence to ask Jenner about a clock on the far wall, which is counting down from an hour. At that point, Jenner says, "the basement generators, they run out of fuel." At zero, Vi explains, plant-wide decontamination will occur.
Rick, Shane, T-Dog, and Glenn head to inspect the generators. While they're in the basement, the building's emergency lighting switches on, bathing the foursome in darkness. Upstairs, Lori and Carl are in their room when the building's air cuts off.
In his office, Jenner stares at a photograph of a woman, asking her to understand that he did the best he could in the time that he had, and he says he hopes she'd be proud of him. With the lights now shutting themselves off inside the panicked survivors' rooms, they confront Jenner in the hallway, who explains that the building is shutting itself down. Rick, Shane, Glenn, and T-Dog return from the basement, and Jenner says the system is designed to keep the computers running until the last possible second.
"It was the French," Jenner says. They stuck it out the longest before they too ran out of power, he says, but the building would decontaminate in thirty minutes, and it was too late to stop it without any fuel, he assures them. Rick yells at the group to grab their things and run as the emergency alarms start blaring, but Jenner locks them inside the control center.
There's no point in struggling, Jenner explains. Everything topside is automatically locked down. "When that door closes, it wouldn't open again - you heard me say that," he points out as Rick tries to demand he open the door.
"It's better this way," Jenner says. When Rick presses him about what happens when the clock gets to zero, Jenner reminds the survivors where they are. To prevent strains of disease from getting out if the building's security was ever compromised, HITs would deploy, setting the air on fire. It would decimate the building and everything inside.
Death would be instant, and painless, Jenner points out as he tries to convince Rick to accept his fate. "There's no hope. Last night you said you knew it was just a matter of time before everybody you loved was dead," Jenner argues. He calls the Outbreak humanity's "extinction event." Rick's family and friends look on fearfully.
Daryl and Shane attempt to break through the door - built to withstand a rocket launcher - with axes and guns. Rick, T-Dog, and Dale throw Daryl, wielding an axe, off Jenner, then Rick talks down Shane as he points an automatic in Jenner's defeated, unaffected face. "If you kill him, we'll never get out of here," Rick reasons with his partner.
But Rick demands to know why Jenner stayed if he didn't think there was any hope. "I made a promise," Jenner says, to his wife — Test Subject 19, the woman in the photograph — to keep going as long as he could. She was one of the finest scientists in the world, he says, and if anyone could have done something about this, it was her. "Me?" he admits, "I'm just Edwin Jenner."
Rick and Lori tell Jenner they just want their chance to keep going as long as they can. Swayed, Jenner agrees to open the door, but maintains they still won't be able to get past the lockdown upstairs. The group rushes, panicked, to the open door.
"I'm grateful," Rick says, but Jenner counters, "The day will come when you won't be." He shakes Rick's hand and pulls him close, whispering something into Rick's ear. "We've got four minutes left - come on!" Glenn shouts, holding on to Carl.
The group heads for the exit, but Jacqui stops. "I'm not ending up like Jim and Amy," she tells T-Dog and the others, tearfully telling them to leave while they can. "I'm staying too," Andrea says, sliding dejectedly to the floor.
"Andrea, no!" Dale responds, horrified. He runs to her. "This isn't what Amy would want for you!"
He pleads with Andrea to come with them, but she won't budge. "Amy's dead, and you need to leave," Andrea says. She can't look at Dale, who's on the verge of tears. They met on the road before the Outbreak, and have been together ever since. The others yell at Dale to hurry, but he pushes them on without him.
In the CDC lobby, the group finds the doors locked and they pound helplessly on the windows. Shane shoots a rifle at the glass, to no avail. "I think I have something that might help," Carol says, fumbling in her purse while Shane cracks, "I don't think a nail file's gonna do it." Carol ignores him. "Your first morning at camp," she tells Rick. "When I washed your uniform? I found this in your pocket." She pulls the hand grenade that Rick found in the tank (in "Guts") from her bag.
Nervously, Rick detonates the grenade, blasting out one of the windows with mere minutes to spare.
In the basement, a resigned Dale sits in front of Andrea. "If you're staying, I stay too," he tells her. She's furious, but he continues tearfully as Jenner and Jacqui look on in silence. "You don't get to do that. Come into somebody's life, make them care, and then just check out."
The survivors run to the cars, shooting at walkers as they go. They pile into their cars and are getting ready to drive away when, from inside the RV, Lori sees Dale and Andrea emerge from the building.
Just ten seconds left, Jenner and Jacqui hold hands, smiling hopefully, resigned, as they watch the survivors evacuate on the security monitor.
The CDC erupts in a fiery explosion, and Dale and Andrea take cover behind a military blockade. Andrea looks numb, but follows easily as Glenn desperately beckons them to the RV.
Shaken, Rick starts the engine, and the caravan drives away from the smoldering rubble, thick black smoke rising up behind them.
- Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier
- Jeryl Prescott Sales as Jacqui
- IronE Singleton as T-Dog
- Madison Lintz as Sophia Peletier
- Mike Senior as Soldier (Deleted Scenes)
- Claire Bronson as Candace Jenner (Deleted Scenes)
- Lisa Marie Thomas as Nurse
- Joyce Liles as Nurse
- Barry Hopkins as Hospital Patient
- M.V. Oliphant as Infected Nurse
- Ken Melde as Infected Doctor
- Andrew S. McMillan as CDC Walker
- Chance Bartels as Walker
- Lauren Henneberg as Walker
- Tony Gowell as Walker
- Dave R. Watkins as Dead Soldier
- Shannon Brinson, Alexyz Danine Kemp, Alphonse A. Lambert Jr., Derrick McLeod, Timothy Mueller, Stephen M. Phillips, Kristen Sanchez, Sonya Thompson, Christoph Vogt, Scott M. Yaffee, Joe Hernandez, Marty Brotzge, Jack Byrd, Mike Kasiske as Walkers
- Numerous patients and hospital staff (Flashback)
- Several U.S. military soldiers (Flashback)
- Candace Jenner (Video Clip)
- Edwin Jenner
"TS-19" was originally broadcast on December 5, 2010 in the United States on AMC. Upon initial airing, the episode amassed 5.97 million viewers and a 4.1 household rating, indicating that 4.1% of households that watched television viewed the episode. Following two encore presentations, total viewership accumulated to 8.1 million. At the time of its airing, "TS-19" was the highest-rated cable television program of all time demographically; it attained a 3.4 rating in the 18–49 demographic, denoting 4 million viewers, while simultaneous acquiring 3.5 million viewers in the 25–54 demographic according to Nielsen Media Research. The accolade was then succeeded by three episodes of The Walking Dead: the episode's ratings were beaten by second season premiere "What Lies Ahead", followed by "Nebraska", and lastly the second season finale "Beside the Dying Fire", of which the last aforementioned currently holds the record. "TS-19" became the most-viewed cable telecast of the day, obtaining significantly higher ratings than installments of Hannah Montana and Shake It Up on Disney Channel. Ratings and total viewership moderately increased from the previous installment, "Wildfire", which received 5.56 million viewers and a 2.8 rating in the 18–49 demographic. In the United Kingdom, "TS-19" garnered 492,000 viewers, subsequently becoming the most-viewed television program of the week on FX.
"TS-19" garnered favorable reviews from most television critics. In his 8.5 out of 10 rating review, Eric Goldman of IGN wrote that the episode was an exceptional showing for the series, adding that it told "a compelling, intense story within its hour" albeit averting from the comics. As Michelle Kung of The Wall Street Journal wrote, "The first season of The Walking Dead doesn’t exactly end on an optimistic note, but our heroes are left driving into the unknown after escaping certain death at the CDC." Kurt Christenson of New York Daily News analyzed that "almost and everyone's still kind of in the dark", and Kelly stated that "TS-19" came to an "abrupt, explosive end". Salon journalist Simon Abrams concluded that the frenetic pace of The Walking Dead was relatable, while Paste television commentator Josh Jackson was keen of the character development in the episode as well as the varying political themes covered; "After six episodes, the characters are worth caring about. Despite occasional stilted monologues, quick tempers and unfortunate stereotypes, the few living souls in The Walking Dead are a bigger draw than the undead. The show has spent more time on topics like marriage, parenthood, unfaithfulness, loss, domestic violence, gender roles, small-scale politics, loyalty, kindness than it has with kill shots. By filling the world with zombies, Frank Darabont is able to explore the human condition under extreme circumstances." Entertainment Weekly writer Dan Snierson was entertained by "TS-19", and asserted that the conclusion "resonated over images of Rick & Co. U-turning into the great unknown, we got the sense that as long as they were alive, at least there was a chance of a tomorrow." Writing for the same publication, Jeff Jensen was intrigued at how producers approached the themes of the comics, and later noted that it was proof that they were using the comics as a route for thematic inspiration in lieu of a literal interpretation. For Los Angeles Times' Gina McIntyre, "Tonight's finale [...] did yield much insight, though, into the nature of the plague itself, in relative terms anyway."
- "Most of these complaints stem from the length of the season and the fact that we're already at the end of the road. With a few more episodes, we could have had a fully satisfying finish; as it stands, we were treated to an excellent episode, but not one that felt like a thorough wrap-up."
- —Josh Wigler
Some commentators were less enthusiastic about the episode than the general consensus. Although Josh Wigler of MTV declared "TS-19" a "compelling hour", he professed that it was lacking for a season finale. "While there was a massive fireball and a decent amount of zombie action," explained Wigler, "not to mention some concrete information regarding the outbreak, there are still several plot threads that haven't come close to resolution." Vanity Fair's Mike Ryan argued that in contrast to a "great season", the episode was a mediocre conclusion to The Walking Dead's first season, writing that "this might have been the silliest hour of television that I've ever watched". Leonard Pierce of The A.V. Club issued "TS-19" a B– grade: despite proclaiming that "there was some good stuff" in the program, Pierce opined that it fell below his expectations. He denounced many scenes in the episode—notably the explosion sequence—as he felt it was a waste of cinematography. "The fact that almost all the scenes played out in dark, closed quarters wasted The Walking Dead's gorgeous cinematography; the pacing was again off beat, with far too much padded scenes of people looking at one another in shock; and, though I'm usually not bothered by plot contrivances, there's no way anyone in a vehicle that close to such a huge explosion would have lived through it." Writing for Cinema Blend, Nick Venable said that it was an interesting episode, although it could have been executed in a better manner.
The character progression of several characters and the performances of various actors were lauded by critics. Wigler noted that Bernthal, Holden, and DeMunn delivered "brilliant character work", a view that was echoed by Pierce in regards to Emmerich's performance; "He has a nervous intensity that grounded every scene he was in, which this show needs." Similarly, Alan Sepinwall of HitFix described Emmerich's acting as "haunting", and ultimately cited the performances of Lincoln, Holden, and DeMunn as episode highlights. Ryan affirmed that character development remained one of the series' strongest points.
- Last appearance of Jacqui.
- Last appearance of Edwin Jenner.
- Last "appearance" of Vi.
- First (and last) appearance of Candace Jenner.
- First appearance of living military members.
- Ugo.com makes 17 comparisons between the Comic Series and the episode.
- The building shown as the CDC is actually the Cobb Energy Center, which is a performing arts center in Atlanta.
- The civilians being executed at the hospital can be seen wearing earplugs to protect them from the loud gunshots (See image).
- The bulk of the whisper (as Edwin Jenner leans into Rick Grimes,) is audible on the S1 Blu-ray, if you significantly increase the center channel (see Talk:Edwin Jenner) to isolate the dialogue. The first two sentences are, "It's in your blood. We're all carriers." The secret was revealed in the Season 2 finale, "Beside the Dying Fire", where it was explained that Rick didn't believe Jenner until he witnessed it for himself.
- The name of the episode, "TS-19," refers to the fact that Dr. Edwin Jenner's wife, Candace Jenner, was Test Subject 19. Jenner called his wife the person who could have cured the virus; instead, her flesh samples went up in flames. The end of TS-19 signaled the end of Edwin Jenner.
- Two of the walkers seen at the end of this episode were actually Gale Anne Hurd's daughter and one of her daughter's friends.
- The song that plays over the end credits is, "Tomorrow is a Long Time," by Bob Dylan.
- This is the only episode from Season 1 where no new characters were introduced.
- As Dale tells Andrea to get out of the CDC before it explodes, he states that "you don't get to do that to me," in terms of killing herself after becoming so close. This is identical to a scene in Issue 65 of the comics but is reversed, where Andrea tells Dale, "You don't get to just decide that."
- Edwin Jenner's password was 6-9-6-9.
- During the playback of TS-19, just after the TS-19 dies, the playback counter at the bottom of the screen suddenly jumps from "32:18:12" to "12:18:13", jumping back 20 hours, but when scanning to the second event, the numbers go from 32 up to 34 hours to resume playback.
- When the survivors come upon the CDC entrance, there is a heavy machine gun nest right outside, with a heavy machine gun pointed skyward. This machine gun is a DShK, a Soviet .51 caliber machine gun. This is not and has never been in service with the American military.
- Jenner inaccurately gives the resurrection time as "2hrs:01min:07sec" but the timings using the clock at the bottom of the screen from the moment of death (32:18:12) until the first signs of EEG trace signals (34:20:23) is actually "2:02:11".
- ↑ Fitzpatrick, Kevin. The Walking Dead Comics-to-TV Comparison:"TS-19", Ugo (December 6, 2010).
- ↑ The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season (3-Disc Special Edition)
|Episodes of The Walking Dead|
|Season 1||"Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"|
|Season 2||"What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"|
|Season 3||"Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"|
|Season 4||"30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"|
|Season 5||To Be Announced|