* The entire season comes down to whether a guest star is moved by one of Rick’s speeches. Fundamentally it’s just a big miscalculation to make the climactic episode’s emotional lynchpin a conversation with a character we really don’t know and don’t care about. That’s a Matrix-sequel-level flub, a really basic error in storytelling. And even though much of the rest of what went on in the CDC was pleasantly handled — I particularly liked the pseudoscience’s presentation as a planetarium light show, an enjoyably weird way to approach that if you had to approach it at all — it’s impossible to get around wrapping up the first season with a conflict that didn’t tie into any of the conflicts or relationships established in any other episode. It’s like if the season had ended after Rick and company’s confrontation with the nursing home locos.
* And thus the Walking Dead two-step continues. For every believable, well-played moment, like Rick getting in the shower with Lori at the first available opportunity, there’s something dopey or hackneyed, like cutting immediately to Shane alone in the shower drinking straight from the bottle. The show had five episodes to shake itself out of the “for every torso zombie, there is an equal and opposite Wang Chung music cue” strikes-and-gutters pattern it established in the pilot and failed. So that’s The Walking Dead: The TV Show, it’s safe to say.
* Wow, last week’s “next week on The Walking Dead” sneak preview was one of the falsest false-advertising previews I’ve ever seen. They made it look like the doctor poisoned Andrea! Sheesh.