We’ve come to the end of our journey. After the fifth episode cliffhanger, it should be no surprise that the season finale of The Walking Dead would shock both fans of the original comic, and newcomers alike. If you’d like to catch up on our previous comic-to-TV comparisons before diving into the new episode, here’s the first breaking down the first four episodes, and here’s the second analyzing the fifth episode.
Much like the previous two comparison analyzes, this breakdown of the season finale is heavy on spoilers. Read at your own discretion!
Episode 1.06 - “TS-19”
Shane to the Rescue
== TEASER ==
Shane Confronts LoriOK, maybe Shane took the wrong approach to getting his true feelings out there on the table. Confession of your love followed up by attempted rape is never the best route to take. But leave it to Shane to let his temper get the best of him when Lori rejects his confession.
TS-19 and the End of the WorldThe largest deviation the television series has taken from the original comic is the inclusion of Atlanta’s Center for Disease Control (CDC). Furthermore, this CDC sequence offers up a bare theory to the root cause of the zombie apocalypse. Nothing of this sort has happened in the comic, even to this day. And honestly, the comic series is better off for it. But for a television series, giving the audience a sense that the mystery will eventually be solved is a way to string them along into watching more. Now hopefully viewers of the television series will soon learn to stop caring about the why, and start caring only about the characters surviving. That’s what makes The Walking Dead unique in the first place.
It’s also interesting that the AMC series specifically says the rest of the world has fallen to the zombie plague. In the comics our cast of characters never know what’s around each corner, or if tomorrow they will stumble upon a true utopia to ride out the zombie apocalypse in. Within six episode of the AMC series they already know the rest of the world is in chaos.
CDC Goes BoomThe final moments of the season finale for AMC’s The Walking Dead were explosive, literally. The CDC is wiped out in a mass cleansing process and our group of survivors just barely make it out alive. This ending is in severe contrast to the climax of the first story-arc of the comic series, where a significant cast member is killed off (more on that in a second) and the tone is much darker and depressing.
Shane Lives?!Here’s the biggest surprise of the season. Shane has survived the opening storyline. Without going into specific spoilers for those who have yet to read the comic series, let’s just say Shane doesn’t make it out alive. Obviously that has changed in the AMC retelling of events. It’s a strange move, for sure. On one hand, the constant interplay and leadership bickering between Rick and Shane makes for good drama, so why end that early? But on the other hand, this turn of events really slows down the pacing of the over-arching Walking Dead narrative. Seriously, major plot developments and character-arcs hinge on the fate of Shane. Maybe this is AMC’s way of telling us the TV series will be completely different than the original comic. If that’s the case, message received.
But you can bet that the CDC scientist, Edwin Jenner, whispered into Rick’s ear that he saw Shane’s “confession” to Lori on the security cameras. That knowledge is going to eat away at Rick throughout the second season.
ConclusionNow it’s time to play the waiting game till next Halloween for the premiere of The Walking Dead Season 2. I think I speak for everyone when I say the wait is going to be excruciating. But for the next year we can think up crazy hypotheses as to where the series will go from here. And for those who still have a Walking Dead itch to scratch, check out our two articles highlighting the many ways you can experience The Walking Dead comics, and what other comic series you can read if you’ve enjoyed The Walking Dead.
Sound off in the comments below with your wild theories as to where they’re taking the show next!