Deux Amours is the premier episode of the new TWD spin off. Normal Reedus takes his beloved character, Daryl Dixon, on a European adventure. How does he get to France? Apparently Daryl was on a French cargo ship. What was the cargo? This is The Walking Dead – so of course the cargo was Zombie test subjects. After the cargo ship meets a catastrophic end, Daryl ends up on a lifeboat, drifting across the Gulf of Cadiz before washing up on shore.
After scavenging for a bit Daryl comes across his first French Walkers. They aren’t quite the same as the walkers in the states.
Apparently the French Zombies exude some kind of caustic or acid. You can see the way Daryl screams and his flesh smokes when walker grabs him.
As usual, the walkers aren’t the most dangerous things around. People are the thing you really need to watch out for in The Walking Dead universe. After saving Maribelle from being raped she lets her companion bash Daryl over the head. Thankfully for Daryl he is rescued and taken to a nunnery. Double lucky for Daryl, they know how to treat his acid walker wounds! We also learn that these “Burners” are just one of the walker variants out there.
Deux Amours Scoring
Deux Amours has the production values you would expect from a spin off like this. The acting, dialogue and special effects are all top tier. Scoring this premiere episode was really hard. I wanted to like it. I wanted to love it – so I need to be careful that my enthusiasm didn’t impact my objectivity.
What cost it points? The Laurent storyline seems dangerously close to being a rip off of The Last of Us. His mother died in birth, he’s special. I really hope they put a different twist on that in the coming episodes. The other reason it lost points was how fast we transitioned from Zombies being the main enemy to the militant human faction.
When You’re Lost in the Darkness opens with two epidemiologists discussing microorganisms and how they could cause a global pandemic. One of the epidemiologist explains how some fungi take control of their hosts and force them to do the fungi’s will. What is that will? To spread, to take over. This segment was a great way to explain what is about to start.
Sarah Miller, played by Nico Parker, wakes up in her pink bedroom adorned with posters, school awards, and pictures of her friends and family. She immediately runs to make sure her father, Joel Miller, played by Pedro Pascal is awake.
It is Joel’s birthday. He seems gruff, but clearly his daughter loves him. The two have immediate onscreen chemistry. As Joel’s brother comes in we find out that there are money problems. Joel is going to work a double on his birthday.
Sarah runs upstairs to take a watch and money from her father’s nightstand. After hearing about their money issues, it seems like a crappy thing to do.
As the Miller’s are leaving, we are introduced to their next door neighbors. The neighbors ask Sarah to come over later, laying on a guilt trip. Sarah reluctantly agreess to go over after school.
After school Sarah heads to a watch repair shop. We find out that she isn’t a thief after all. She took the money and the watch to fix it as a birthday present for her father. The shopkeeper fixes the watch just in time before his wife demands he shuts the store. Sarah leaves the store is shutdown for the day.
It has started. Once Sarah gets back to her neighbors, it isn’t long before we see Nana turn.
The scene is a masterpiece. It was subtle, and I found myself tensing up as I watched how the dog reacted to Nana Zombie. Just like Terminators, Dogs know when your not really human!
Sarah may not fully understand what is going on yet, but she is on edge. After she falls asleep on Joel’s lap his brother Tommy calls him. Tommy took a swing at an attacker in a bar fight and begs Joel to come bail him out. This of course leaves Sarah home alone.
The sounds of helicopters and flashing lights wakes Sarah up. The news is playing an emergency broadcast warning. Mercy, the neighbors dog is at her door. Sarah tries to take Mercy home, but Mercy wants nothing to do with it.
This leads us to our first Zombie Attack. It has a slow build, which left me more tense than if it was a jump scare.
Joel and Tommy show up just in time to save Sarah. The trio jump into Tommy’s truck and try to find a way out of town. As they drive away we see another concerned neighbor come out, thinking she just saw Tommy drive over people. The concerned neighbor rushes to help. The infected attack her as the trio escape.
The trio head to the highway to find the military isn’t allowing anyone to leave. Planes fall out of the sky as the three attempt to flee through town. Another driver rams their car, flipping it over. The accident separates the group. Tommy tells them he will meet them at the river. Joel picks up his injured daughter and runs.
The infected are everywhere. Joel makes it to the river only to be stopped by the military. The soldier has orders to shoot anyone leaving the town.
The scene is sad. It hurt to watch.
Twenty Years Later
A child is walking along an overgrown path. He comes through the brush to reveal a world no longer dominated by mankind.
The child is captured, tested, and quickly euthanized after testing positive. The rules of this world are cruel but clear. The infected are not people. The infected must be killed.
The world has changed. The survivors use paper chits as money. Joel is desperate to make enough money to buy a car battery. He has to get out west to find him brother who has gone silent. Joel will do anything to get the money he needs. This includes selling drugs and acting as an enforcer.
Ellie is played by Bella Ramsey of Game of Thrones fame. The partisan group “The Fireflies” has Ellie in chains. They are watching her, making sure she is still human.
Joel & Ellie Meet
The Fireflies try to buy the same battery that Joel is after. Blood is shed and the leader of the local Fireflies is wounded. Her own plans to take Ellie west are shot. She offers Joel a vehicle and supplies if he will take Ellie. Joel reluctantly agrees.
Joel, Tess, and Ellie escape the compound only to be caught be the corrupt guard Joel was selling drugs to earlier. The guard follows protocol and tests each of them. Ellie’s status as infected is confirmed.
Is Ellie the savior? Is whatever allows her to test positive but resist the infections control what the world needs to survive?
The new Resident Evil television series kicks off with “Welcome to New Raccoon City”.
The story uses the familiar dual storyline method, showing us today, and yesterday in spurts. Meanwhile the pattern of showing the past and present becomes a norm moving forward. The flashbacks show Jade and Billie Wesker have moving to New Raccoon City. Their father, Albert Wesker, played by the wonderful Lance Reddick has pull. Clearly he is a valued member of the Umbrella team. Obviously this makes me wonder who is more loyal to. His girls, or his employer.
In the current timeline Jade is thirty years old and researching the Zombies at great person risk. Evidently Jade will sacrifice time with her child to save the world.
This leads to the best action scene (for me) in “Welcome to New Raccoon City”.
Jade is working on her research when she accidentally cuts herself. The blood drives the infected mad. They swarm, searching for the source of the blood. The scene is awesome. I’m hoping it sets the tone for the rest of the season.
Jade barely escapes. In the process she runs into a group of scavengers. The scavengers give us new insight into Jade. She is a fugitive, and Umbrella is willing to pay to find her. Which is of course when we jump back to the other timeline. Just when it was getting good we flash back to the past. Jade and Billie want to know what their father is doing. To find out they break into Alberts lab. Even with the infected everywhere and the remaining population living in walled cities, teenage girls will get upset by animal testing. There is of course a rule that if you have dangerous pathogens in a lab, the security is crappy enough that a few teen girls can get in with nothing but a badge and some audio of their father who works there.
What the girls don’t know can absolutely hurt them. Albert takes blood samples from the girls. They think he is monitoring their health. Surprisingly, what Albert really does is inject their blood into himself. Is he infected? I guess I’ll have to keep watching to find out.
This of course brings us to the episode cliffhanger. Jade has limited choices. Jade has two choices. Be captured or dive into a swarm of the undead. With little real choice, she dives into the infected zone.
Thus ends the episode. How will Jade survive? What happened to Billie after being bitten by the dog?
Scoring Resident Evil Welcome to New Raccoon City
Firstly, this was a a great start to the season. Because of this, Welcome to New Raccoon City earned itself an 80/100, making it worth your time. The writing and dialogue is good and the special effects are top notch so far. The story itself is fairly boilerplate for the moment, but I’m hoping there are some twists and turns in the coming episodes.
The Cold just dropped! It is finally here, I’ve been waiting since Netflix announced Season 2!!! Black Summer has returned.
Scene 1 Luke And Sophie
The Cold opens with a brutal reminder of just how deadly the Black Summer world is. A lone survivor is siphoning gas, a Zombie in the distance as he takes what he can get, using a KFC bucket to collect some fuel. He makes it back into his car and starts to drive off when life goes sideways. It is an awesome, in your face reminder of how harsh this world is.
Scene 2 Four Months Later
The view shifts to a snowy landscape, and we see an aircraft drop supplies to someone waiting below.
Who is dropping the supplies? We don’t know yet. Who is going to pick them up? Don’t know that yet either – but we do quickly get introduced to a man fleeing across the snow, a Zombie in slow pursuit behind him. It is a cruel world, and when our fleeing man thinks he’s been saved, well, he finds out that he isn’t.
Scene 3 Ambush
Time jumps backwards to the next scene…
We then get introduced to a new band of survivors, or two bands of survivors who are duking it out. Things are chaotic. As men and woman die they quickly turn into the Undead and get back on their feet, attacking anyone nearby.
When the more heavily armed group flees in vehicles we find those left behind are a ragged group of cold, starving people who just want a chance at survival.
Scene 4 Prisoners
Time jumps backwards to the next scene…
The well armed group is interrogating a man. He just happens to be the Zombie from Scene 2. We then see the beginning of the battle, mostly from the viewpoint of a young Asian woman. I think that is Sun? It’s so hard to tell because they don’t say a lot of names and everyone has aged/weathered since Season 1. We then loop back to the airdrop. The well armed group didn’t flee, they appear to look up and try to chase it? Which leads them to the sniper house.
Scene 5 The Dead
Are we back in current time? I don’t know, but we see a man stuck in a tree. When he gets a chance he picks up some firewood and flees to the house entry, begging to be let in. He did get the firewood after all.
Rose greets him with a shotgun, and she struggles with whether she should let him in or not. He promises that “what’s done is done” before she relends, agreeing to let him stay to help build a fire and remove the bodies.
As Rose enters the room we get introduced to our sniper:
Even better, we find out that Rose found her daughter. Rose then gives the Freddie a very important speech. Look at Anna (Rose’s daughter) and you die. We don’t know exactly what happened before, but it’s clear Rose had some interactions with Freddie and his group. Rose was the one doing the sniping, or at least its implied. We also hear the plane again, making me uncertain as to whether this is all occurring before Scene 2?
Scene 6 Ditched
A man wakes up on the floor of the woods. He’s hurt and struggling, a bullet wound in his side as he climbs up a ravine to the street. We see a mountain in the distance as he starts to stumble towards it. Is that Spears? I think that is Spears!
Scene 7 Lemons
We jump back to Scene 1, with the driver who betrayed our original car owner waking up after his collision with a cop car. He’s hurt and when he sees a door close nearby he begs for whoever is inside to let him in. He’s persistent, at least until he hears a shotgun rack. and he flees, scavenging the local cop cars until he meets his final fate.
The Cold Scoring
Overall I’m giving The Cold a 95/100. The brutality of the whole episode was just awesome. I took five points off for the reverse chronology of the scenes giving me a headache. Even so, this is definitely Worth Your Time.
Grumpy Old Liv is the season premiere and jumps right back in where Season 1 left off. Liv’s mom is pissed that she refused to give blood when her brother life depended on it. But how do you explain to your family that you’re a Zombie who craves brains?
Ravi and Liv then end up at a crime scene where an older gentleman has been crushed.
Our victim’s brains then get turned into meatballs, sharing its memories and attitude with Liv.
While Liv struggles with her Zombiehood, Blaine is a human, working as a mortician.
When Clive comes to collect Liv her Grumpy Old Man brains are in control. She’s not in a great mood but Clive doesn’t care. He’s focused on what happened to Suzuki and how Major may or may not have been involved. Clive knows something isn’t right, he just doesn’t know what it is.
While questioning a tip line witness we get to see exactly who Liv’s Grumpy Old Man brains are impacting her. I for won love it!
The witness gives them a bit of info, which also leads to Liv having a vision. Afterwards, Liv and Blaine have a heart to heart. Blaine accuses Liv of liking the thrill of being a “crime solving zombie”. He then realizes that Liv doesn’t have anymore of the cure that she used on him. Liv begs Blaine for more of the tainted Utopium, but he doesn’t really care. At least not until she tells him that the cure may not be permanent. Liv needs more Utopium to make more.
With few job options, Major is forced to act as a personal trainer. He doesn’t have any interest in chatting with Liv. At least until she tells him that Clive is on his trail. Clive is suspicious that Major had something to do with all the deaths at Meat Cute in Blaine’s World.
Meanwhile, the source of the Zombie plague is still interested in their next energy drink, Super Max.
Major then has a Zombie moment when he goes to meet his next personal training client – who just happens to be a Zombie.
Clive and Liv then close out there case, figuring out who killed their old man, which turns out horribly sad. A local man killed the old man after he thought the old man had killed his dog. I have to say I totally get it. If you hurt my dogs or cats I’d worry about the consequences later as well.
Grumpy Old Liv ends with Major being pitched by Vaughn Du Clark, the CEO of Max Rager. They both know there are Zombies out there, and Major needs to do something about it.
Worst of all, Major also gets to hear Ravi on the phone, confirming that what Major is experiencing, is real.
This is all overlaid by Major in his new customers house, killing him.
We then get a bomb dropped on us as we realize that Liv’s new roommate is Vaughn Du Clark’s right hand.
Grumpy Old Liv Scoring
Grumpy Old Liv scores an 80/100. It sets the stage for some exciting follow ups, and had some awesome double-entendres splashed about, making this episode Worth Your Time.
Save the Last One opens with Shane giving himself a buzz cut as the bathroom steams up. At the end of the last episode, Bloodletting, he was trapped in the school with Otis. So we know he made it back, hopefully with the tools and meds to save Carl. After the opening credits we cut to Shane and Otis fleeing through the school. A horde hot on their heals as Rick is telling Lori a story about Shane stealing their principle’s car in a voice over.
As Rick tells Lori about how Shane destroyed their principal’s car, Shane and Otis are on the run. We know he made it back, but I guess we are about to find out how.
Meanwhile Daryl and Andrea go out into the woods to look for Sophia. Carol’s balling her eyes out in the RV, struck down with grief. While out on the hunt Andrea and Daryl share a few touching moments. We get to see Daryl’s human side as well as some backstory. Daryl’s had a tougher than average childhood.
We then flash back to Shane and Otis in the school. They are trapped on top of the bleachers, a horde reaching up for them.
They have a plan, but it requires they split up. Otis is too big to fit through the upper windows. Shane covers Otis long enough for the big man to make it into the gym. Shane then makes it to the upper windows of the gym where he is able to drop/fall to the ground outside. Unfortunately for Shane, he hurt his leg in the fall and is now a bit gimpy.
T-Dog Gets Some Stitches
Back at Hershel’s farm Glenn and the wounded T-Dog have found their way to the front stoop. Maggie sees he’s wounded and goes to get her dad to look at the injury. Inside Hershel tells Rick and Lori time is running out. If Shane and Otis don’t get back they may have to operate without a respirator. Carl’s belly is filling up with blood. After T-Dog gets some stitches, Maggie and Glen have a heart to heart on the porch. Such a small moment, but so important to both of them.
Back on the hunt for medical supplies, Shane is in trouble. He’s running out of shotgun shells and he’s got a lot of walkers at his back. Lucky for him, Otis also made it out of the locker room and is there to give Shane a hand. It’s not long before Shane and Otis realize they are in trouble.
Its a slow moving hunt, but Shane is wounded and Otis is a big boy. The horde is slowly catching up.
We then cut back to “current time” and Shane has showed up in the pickup with the supplies. But Otis didn’t make it. Hershel tells them not to tell Otis’s wife, he needs her to help with the surgery. Rick hugs Shane, and Shane tells them that Otis was covering him. Shane breaks up a bit as he tells Rick that Otis was pulled down.
Inside Maggie is crying. Losing Otis reminds her of all the others they have lost. Glen does his best to listen and give Maggie comfort.
Outside Hershel has come out to tell Rick and Lori the surgery has been successful and Carl has stabilized. Now Hershel has to tell Otis’s wife he didn’t make it.
Back inside Maggie gives Shane some clothes, clothes that used to belong to Otis. Shane takes a long look in the mirror before beginning to shave his head. His eyes are full of darkness as he remembers exactly how Otis died.
Shane and Otis were struggling to stay in front of the horde. With Shane’s wounded leg, he is barely able to stay ahead of the horde. It is time for Shane to show just how brutal life in there world is. Shane uses his last round to shoot Otis in the leg before beating him until he lets go of the medical bag.
Otis is left on the ground to be devoured as Shane escapes.
The episode closes with Shane staring into a foggy mirror, his eyes hard and haunted.
Save the Last One Scoring
Save the Last One is intense, but it is more of a psychological intensity than a Zombie intensity, which resulted in this episode scoring an 83/100, making it Worth Your Time.
No Mercy kicks off Season 3 of Z Nation with the introduction of a new character. “The Man” has come to town. He works for some very serious people, and he’ll do whatever it takes to find his target, Dr. Teller.
The Man is pretty certain he knows Dr. Teller is in the survivor’s compound. Worse, he is willing to take a kid hostage to get what he wants. The kid manages to escape The Man and meets up with Team Murphy in the process.
This leads an an awesome opening montage with lots of Zombies receiving Mercy. My two favorites were 10K’s double kill:
Followed up by Doc’s hammers of mercy:
After Team Murphy kicks some Zombie *ss the kid asks them for help. They balk, leading the kid to grab 10K’s gun. This leads to another new character being introduced, Red. She’s the The Crow Kid’s adopted older sister and has an awesome war club.
The team is still hesitant to help, but they are low on supplies and that drives their decision. They have to get involved to get supplies, even if they don’t really want to. Red leads them to her survivor’s compound and we see 10K crushing on Red. She tells him she’s wearing red to scare away men, and not the undead. It doesn’t bother 10K at all.
Later that day The Man shows up again, and he wants Dr. Teller. This leads to the classic “I am Spartacus” response as all the survivors claim to be Dr. Teller
After The Man leaves once more, 10K and Red head out to scout around, and bump into Doc and Addy. Doc gives 10K some advice to “be careful”.
As 10K is trying to get close to Red, Warren, Doc, and Addy are planning their defenses.
We then see what Dr. Teller might have been working on. Murphy is hearing the Zombie whispers again, which leads him into the research building where he finds strange zombies coated in blue who beg him for mercy.
Dr. Teller catches Murphy which leads to a bit of the truth coming out. Dr. Teller has been keeping his wife and other infected inside the building. He’s unable to give them mercy. He’s also unable to let them free for fear the fungus they were working on could escape into the world.
Out on the plains, 10K is teaching Crow Kid how to use a sling shot. This earns 10K points with Red, who is very maternal towards the kid.
Team Murphy thinks they have a plan, but Warren is the first to go down, tricked into attacking a Zombie wearing The Man’s coat. This leads to her capture.
When The Man and his team arrive at the research center, Team Murphy is there to meet them, but The Man isn’t just rolling in guns, he’s got a truck load of badness to unleash if Dr. Teller isn’t handed over.
There is a brief moment of negotiation as The Man tries to put Warren on the phone to prove she’s alive but Kid Crow has found her and helped her escape before she can be used as a bargaining chip.
With nothing left to bargain with, The Man unleashes his Zombie Horde. This kicks off a very cool siege battle.
The team takes care of the first wave, but The Man has armored Zombies, and his “Kraken” horde doesn’t go down quite so easily, event after taking a direct hit from an improvised mortar.
The research facility survivors fall back into the building with the fungus infected staffers. The fungi Zombies can talk to Murphy, and with his ability to communicate with them, the fungi Zombies form the last line of defense.
It almost works. Dr. Teller is forced to give his gravely wounded fungi wife mercy just before The Man blows a hole in the wall and takes Dr. Teller by force. He is after all The Man.
With the Dr. taken, Team Murphy flees the building. None of the townspeople survived.
We then see a helicopter flying away with The Man’s already captured targets. The Man is puts on his glasses and starts his car, preparing for his next hunt. We can’t see whos name and picture were in the envelope, but I’m sure its not going to turn out to be good for Team Murphy.
We then see the heartbreaking ending of Crow Kid’s story as 10K comes back, covered in blood, forced to tell Red that her adopted little brother didn’t make it. Red goes into a rage and attacks a massive horde before 10K can stop her. It appears she threw her life away in a moment of blind rage.
We then cut to Zona and the people relaxing by the pool. They have the scientists, but we don’t know why…yet.
The episode ends with the crows surrounding Crow Kid, attending him one last time.
No Mercy Score
No Mercy was full of action and excitement, and had some excellently done zombie hordes, complete with a siege fight, which is why No Mercy scored a 90/100, setting a high bar for the rest of the season.
iZombie is a fun, lighted series that tells the story of Olivia Moore. She’s a medical resident turned Zombie, who uses her hunger to solve mysteries and fight crime. Pilot is the premiere, and it will absolutely hook you!
Enjoy the first few minutes where Liv (Oliva) is still human and has some skin color. It’s not going to last. As Liv leaves the hospital, she meets up with Major, her boyfriend. He encourages her to go to a party she was invited to. As he is convincing here, he curses her with the comment, “What’s the worst that could happen?”.
Well, the Zombie outbreak could happen buddy.
Waking Up In A Body Bag
When Liv wakes up she’s in a body bag, and she’s got a deep wound on her forearm.
We then jump forward five months, and Liv is trying to adjust to being a Zombie. That means a lot of bronzer, and dealing with her mother’s concern.
Liv’s mom is petrified that Liv is destroying her life. Liv has broken up with Major, quit her medical residency to work at the morgue, and has generally withdrawn. It is a completely different Liv.
The next scene opens with Liv showing up to work, and we are introduced to Ravi. He is the medical examiner who runs the morgue that Liv works at. Ravi is one of my favorite characters, and is a constant source of enjoyment. This is also about when we find out Liv’s reason for quitting her residency. She went to work at the morgue so she could get easy access to brains!!!
As Liv digs in Ravi comes back, catching her mid bite of brains, hot sauce, and noodles. Strangely, Ravi’s not scared, he’s intrigued. He was the medical examiner (ME) on duty the night of the boat accident, and he’s had suspicions ever since.
Ravi confirmed his suspicions after re opening an autopsy that Liv had closed on. He noted missing brain material, and then started to follow up on her until he finally caught her. Anyone else would have been horrified, but Ravi was just curious as to what, and how it happened.
As Ravi is examining Liv we introduced to another critical character, Detective Clive Babineaux. Clive is there to see what the ME has on his victim. As Clive is talking to Ravi, Liv chimes in with details that she shouldn’t know. The brains she just ate are giving her flashes of the victims life.
Clive’s face when Ravi explains Liv’s unexplainable knowledge as psychic powers is just epic. Clive thinks they are screwing with him, but Ravi immediately realizes that Liv is seeing what happened to her meals.
While Liv is struggling with her love life, not wanting to infect Major, while still loving him, Ravi is encouraging her to tell Detective Babineaux what she saw.
Clive is struggling. He’s been in homicide for two months with no wins. His boss is breathing down his neck for results. When Liv tries to tell Clive what happened he isn’t too receptive, and makes her go with him to interview the newsman who she saw in her vision.
The interaction makes Clive a believer. He doesn’t know what he believes, but he knows something’s going on. He takes Liv with him to interview the other girl that the victim knew. This leads them to the victims apartment, where Liv sees the murder.
As Liv is helping Clive, Ravi has been using samples from Liv to test potential cures. This gives Liv a taste of hope, something she hasn’t had since she turned.
The best line of the episode goes to Clive when Liv tells him she can’t go with him on his next interview:
Clive: “Thought I had a psychic sidekick. I was working on the bit…Cagney and Pasty.”
Sadly, the hope that Ravi inspired in Liv leads her to visit Major. It doesn’t go well. He’s playing a Zombie video game with a new girl.
As Liv is dealing with the realization that Major might be moving on her Roommate, Peyton calls Liv out on her depression and basically tells her to step up.
The speech leads Liv to re-engage, and results in her being in the station at the perfect time to inadvertently learn who killed their victim. The reason none of the girls had records is because the man running the girls is a cop. Not only a cop, but the cop who works one desk away from Clive.
When Clive goes to confront the dirty cop Liv ends up in the line of fire. In the process of stopping the dirty cop from escaping, we find out that you really don’t want to piss Liv off.
Liv is just barely able to contain herself, and almost get’s caught tearing into the dirty cop’s brain when Clive shows up. She was shot, rode on the top of a car, and is no worse for wear.
Clive is happy that he has his first win as a homicide detective, and Liv has a new found purpose. With a new purpose in life, she goes to the community Halloween party and finally has some peace.
Pilot ends with Liv finally getting some sleep before she wakes up with a start, seeing the man who is going to become her nemesis.
The season premier, Pilot scored a 90/100. It is a fun, fast paced Zombie Murder Mystery crime drama. This isn’t a show for hard core traditionalists when it comes to Zombies, but this is a great show that you can enjoy with a non zombiephile.
TS-19 starts with an intense flashback to Shane at Rick’s bedside. Outside the hospital is being overrun by the undead. Shane struggles, first trying to pick Rick up before going to find a gurney. As Shane is trying to find transport we see soldiers gunning down hospital staff. The soldier lives long enough for walkers to catch them off guard and pull a few of them down. There is chaos. The soldiers are shooting anything not wearing a uniform. In a panic Shane pushes the gurney against Rick’s door and flees.
As the flashback ends we jump back to current time. Team Rick is entering he CDC and we are introduced to Dr. Jenner, the sole survivor left at the facility. After a quick blood test to rule out active infections Jacqui mentions they haven’t eaten in days. This leads to Dr. Jenner bringing them to the cantina.
The food and drink flows and everyone is happy. At least until Shane wrecks the mood by pushing Dr. Jenner for some answers. Dr. Jenner tells the survivors that there were waves of defections as things got worse. Then a wave of suicides once it was clear the city was overrun.
When dinner breaks the team is treated to a rare treat in the apocalypse, hot showers!
While Rick is in his cups Shane confronts Lori with his need and jealousy. Lori scratches him up when things turn physical.
The next morning everyone is suffering from their celebrations from the previous day when Dale asks a few critical questions. This leads Dr. Jenner to show us the MRI of TS-19, Test Subject 19.
Then comes the stunning revelation that TS-19 was actually Dr. Jenner’s wife. Dale then points to the clock, and everyone gets a kick in the gut.
The facility is running out of power. When it does, it’s going to perform a deadly decontamination cycle which is essentially a fire bomb. Dr. Jenner is resigned to die. There is nothing left in the world for him. He tells the survivors they should hug their loved ones and shut their eyes, it will be quick.
The message rings true for Jacqui and Andrea. They are ready to go and sit with Dr. Jenner as the others work their way back to the main lobby. Dale sits with Andrea, telling her that if she’s going to stay, he is too.
The rest of the survivors escape thanks to the grenade that Carol saved from Ricks clothing. The grenade he took from the tank in Guts. The group is about to pull away when we see Dale and Andrea. She was willing to die, but not if it meant killing Dale.
TS-19 ends with the team pulling away in their caravan.
Season 1 of The Walking Dead ends at the same amazing pace as the rest of the season, which earned it a 99/100. The whole season is Worth Your Time, and is going to be tough for any other series to compete with. If you haven’t watched The Walking Dead recently, it is well worth visiting again.
Days Gone Bye kicked off not just The Walking Dead series, but spins off to become two more shows as well as an after episode talk show. Its hard to believe The Walking Dead is over a decade old at this point. I remember waiting to watch it with my older boys, all of us sitting on the couch, and we’d excitedly discuss what was going on during commercials.
Days Gone Bye reminded me why we love this series so much. It is just a masterclass in how to set mood and build characters.
Days Gone Bye starts in the now. Rick has stopped at a gas station surrounded by what was a refugee camp, hoping to find some gas. What he finds instead is the iconic “little girl zombie“.
Rick is Wounded (Flashback)
We then cut to the series theme song before we take a step back in time. Rick Grimes and Shane are eating lunch as Shane is complaining about his girlfriend who leaves every light on in his house. Rick is telling Shane about his own problems with his wife Lori when the call comes in. There is a high speed pursuit, and one officer has already been shot and wounded. Rick and Shane put out the spike strip and wait.
After the bad guys hit the spike strip and wreck the bad guys come out with guns in hand. Rick gets tagged in the vest by assailant one. Assailant two goes down in a hail of bullets. Rick and Shane are celebrating the bullet hitting Rick’s vest when a 3rd Assailant climbs out and shoots Rick in the left shoulder.
We then see some haze as Shane drops by to talk to Rick who is barely conscious in the hospital.
Rick Wakes Up (Current Timeline)
When Rick wakes up he’s a little delirious. He thinks Shane is still in his room, but the flowers in the vase are dried up and dead. Rick tries to get out of bed and ends up on the floor, calling for a nurse who never comes. When he finally makes it to out of his room he finds a hospital bed pushed up against his door and a dim hallway with no nurses or patients in sight.
Rick finds his way to a nurses station and finds some matches, but its not long before he sees what type of world he’s woken into. Down the hallway there is what’s left of a woman lying on the floor.
Rick just woke up from some form of barely conscious state. he has no idea what’s going on, and its not getting better. He wanders down the hall the other way to find a doorway chained shut with a warning spray painted across the doors. I’m actually surprised this type of error made it into the show. What the hell does “Don’t Dead Open Inside” mean anyway?
Do fingers count as Rick’s first Zombie? He sees fingers coming through the door, but he doesn’t really know what’s going on yet so I’m going to say no, he still hasn’t seen his first Zombie.
Exiting The Hospital
Rick freaks out and flees through the fire escape, which is very dark and creepy before finding himself on the hospital loading dock. Bodies are lined up, and most of them have blood marks near their heads, showing they turned and were put down before being lined up outside. We get a good idea of just how bad things were as the camera pulls back, showing the volume of dead that were piling up.
Rick wanders away from the loading dock and finds what looks to be a military deployment on the nearby hill. Whatever happened at the hospital must have been quick. The helicopters appear to have weapons mounted but there are no nearby bodies, which makes me think the crews were taken down away from the helos.
Rick wanders away from the hospital until he finds a bicycle, as well as his first Zombie.
Lucky for Rick the first zombie he encountered was half the woman she was before turning. Rick jumps on the bike and races to his home to find it empty. Lori and Carl aren’t there and Rick has a moment of doubt. Is he in his hospital bed hallucinating?
Rick goes out to the front of his house, his vision blurred as he sees a man walking towards him in the distance just before he gets clocked. As Rick is lying there half out of it he sees Morgan put a revolver against the walkers head and pull the trigger.
Morgan points his gun at Rick and demands to know what caused his wound as Rick passes out. When he wakes up Morgan has changed his bandage and tied him to the bed.
Once Morgan is convinced Rick wasn’t bitten, he cuts him loose. Rick, Morgan and Morgan’s son Duane end up in the living room and Rick is confused. He watched Morgan kill a man, and this is the first time we hear the term “walker”. Morgan tells Rick he didn’t kill a man, he killed a walker.
Morgan tries to explain the rules of the new world to Rick once he realizes Rick has no clue what’s going on, but Rick doesn’t look like he’s 100% convinced yet.
After a car alarm brings the survivors to the window we see Morgan’s turned walker wandering around in front of the house, which set’s Duane off. Rick is at the door, looking out the peep hole when Morgan’s wife comes to the door, attracted to something about the house.
The next day Rick gets to kill his first walker. Morgan has given him a face shield and a baseball bat, but Rick’s still weak from being shot, and just barely gets the job done. Afterwards Rick takes Morgan to his house and explains that he thinks Lori and Carl are alive because clothes and pictures are missing.
Duane volunteers that they probably went to Atlanta. Before everything collapsed, people were told to head for Atlanta. There was supposed to be security there as well as the CDC. Rick has found a new destination, but first, he needs some gear.
This brings Rick to the station, where there is still enough propane in the tanks to allow the three survivors to enjoy a hot shower, a rarity in the post apocalypse days. After collecting weapons Rick gives Morgan a rifle and ammo before heading out.
As Rick goes back to find his first walker and put her out of her misery Morgan goes to his window to practice with his new rifle. Rick kills the female walker as Morgan kills a few of the walkers in front of his house, but isn’t able to pull the trigger when he finds his turned wife in his scope sights.
Rick is on his way to Atlanta, hailing anyone who can hear him on his CB radio. A group of survivors, including Lori and Shane can hear him, but Rick never get’s their transmission. Lori didn’t hear Rick’s voice, but she wants to warn whoever sent the transmission. The group of survivors know that Atlanta isn’t safe.
On his way into the city Rick is running out of fuel, but he finds a farm and a horse, which leads to another iconic shot from the series as Rick rides his steed into the city.
The city looks deserted at first, but its not long before Rick encounters his first walkers. The horse is skittish and does not like the undead. Rick is making his way down the street when he hears a helicopter and sees its reflection in a skyscraper, which leads him to go charging around the corner to try and get a glimpse of the whirly bird. Instead he finds himself face to face with a massive herd of walkers.
Things go downhill from here for Rick. Rick tries to flee but finds himself surrounded. His horse spooks and throws him as the zombies swarm. Rick uses the momentary distraction of his horse being eaten to climb under a tank. It doesn’t take long for the walkers to find him. Risk escapes into the tank through a hatch just in time.
Rick quickly kills a crew member turned walker before the tank is swarmed. Rick is surrounded on all sides, and in big trouble when someone reaches out on the radio.
Glenn – “Hey, you. Dumbass. Yeah, you in the tank.”
They were probably the sweetest words Rick’s ever heard.
Days Gone By Scoring
Days Gone Bye scored a 100/100 and is Worth Your Time. The atmosphere and mood set by this work of art was just perfect. This is what every other zombie show strives to be.