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Review of The Walking Dead Fifth's Episode: "Wildfire" (Spoilers)

Peteparker November 29, 2010 User blog:Peteparker

Okay, I took a different approach to this review than I have previously, actually taking notes while I watched the episode. I also made sure to get it out on Sunday night, instead of waiting until Monday night to watch it like last week. Hopefully my review won't be too much different from the last ones for those who have been reading them all...

I loved this episode! 14 minutes into it, and we get to see the dead change over! I was whole-heartedly hoping this specific thing would be shown since the beginning of the series. It's better than the comic resolution for the situation! Her sounds were perfect too. This is like a Walking Dead movie, it's so well done.

Now then, that was an awesome radio broadcast to Morgan and Duane, all the sweat, all the genuine feeling in the delivery. Makes me wonder if the actor was desperate to get out of the heat and it came across in his performance. Whatever it was, it was great. I recently read he's the same dude from 'Love Actually', which my wife pegged right away, but I didn't believe her. Goes to show how sharp my celeb-spotting instincts are.

The profuse heat and sweating sweat is a very different feeling than the comic, where they were starting to freeze when they finally left the camp. I suppose that's what you get when you're filming 6 episodes in the dead of summer in the middle of a heat wave outside of Atlanta. Hopefully they'll make it to some freezing conditions with frozen zombies in the snow at some point.

Glenn's little freak-out about burning their friends was some wonderful characterization. I'm sure the critics will like it, as they already like his character, and it's the first "we're human beings, dammit!" speech we've gotten so far (as far as I remember).

Yay! Jim was bitten! I was very afraid of the direction they were going with him with his premonition in Episode 4. I hate to say 'Yay' fully, because I liked his character in the show, despite the psychic ability. As he was dying in the Winnebago, I was really worried about how awkward that could turn out if he didn't make it in there, and the RV turned out to be as important to the TV characters as the comic characters. I was a bit confused when they stopped, said they needed supplies to fix the RV before going on, and then left Jim and moved on. Wasn't the hose broken? How did they just start up and keep going? In any case, Jim's end was great. I would've liked to see him turn also, but once an episode is plenty for me. :)

Double yay! "Walkers!" Daryl finally called them better than Geeks. (Though that was used by Glenn earlier). Hopefully they continue to make the transition.

Shane wearing a ball-cap is great too. He looks so much more like the character in the comics. But thinking about the possibility that it might've been unrealistic that he was wearing it in the heat made me realize how they suddenly got very dirty from the end of the 4th into the beginning of the 5th. I thought they were washing clothes? Maybe running the 26? miles from Atlanta to the quarry really messed most of their clothes up.

Speaking of the 26 miles, I guess the camp is not as close as it looks. Not to geek-out too much, but I thought the maximum visible distance seen with the human eye is somewhere around 8 miles, with 100% visibility and a flat landscape. They kind-of can't be 26 miles away if they can see downtown Atlanta from camp... right? Anyone a professional lookout?

Dale's speech to Andrea made me excited for the rest of the series, specifically to see where they end up. :)

Geez, I don't think I could pick-axe my wife in the head, even if she beat me. Carol sure seemed... able. Maybe there was more to that relationship that sucked rather than the little we saw.

How many campers died? It felt like more were buried than were attacked in Episode 4. I suppose it's possible several people died off-camera.

I disagree with Lori, fewer people wouldn't really make the group weaker, to a certain extent. With as many people as they had before, and food beginning to get scarce, fewer people would make them more able to survive over time, sadly.

Hanging tin cans! So there was more than just one dude keeping watch at night. Too bad they didn't use more.

I counted 13 campers listening to Shane's speech, for those of you keeping track. That includes Morales' two kids, who I had thought might be the television series' version of Billy and Ben, but obviously not. Looks like we probably won't be getting a young psychopath thrown in the mix down the road.

There seemed to be a lot of cars in the caravan, but I found that more realistic than a dozen people sharing a Winnebago, as in the comic.

As they were driving around, I was just a hare disappointed that they were mostly using back-roads. I really want to see more overgrown neighborhoods and areas where the upkeep and maintenance has obviously not been kept up since the end of the world. Maybe with the new season they'll get a bigger budget, and we'll be able to see some crazy blown-out Wal-Marts. The CDC building was pretty sweet looking, outside and in. Is it the real CDC? I was expecting more of the dead outside to be up and walking around as the group made noise. Even the mostly-rotted, fly-ridden bodies, I hoped would start to move just a little.

Final yay! They definitively said something like 184 days since outbreak and 64 days since starting to find a cure. Now we can keep track of how long things have been going on. That's about 6 months of zombie outbreak, and 2 months since that guy had locked himself inside (maybe). So Rick was in a coma for 6 months? That's much longer than I expected. Plenty of time to heal, I guess. but I would have expected his whole body to have been much more atrophied... Anyway, thanks TWD, for giving us the beginnings of a time-line!

The lab getting destroyed was awesome for sure, but why was the video recording so glitchy? Because it's on a generator? Because the world is over? I haven't seen that many glitches in a computer-made video since the 1990's...

All in all that was the best episode yet, a wonderful mix of things that happened in the comic, great effects, and brand-new storyline. Seems like the TV series is going to be MUCH different from here on out... woot!

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