THE WALKING DEAD 1.5: Wildfire

THE WALKING DEAD decided to put a bit of a spin on a couple of classic zombie-movie tropes — or clichés, if you’re feeling less than charitable: One member of the survivors is secretly bitten, and another refuses to release the corpse of a beloved family member to be disposed of properly. Sure, we’ve seen this stuff before, but not the way TWD handles it. Besides, the series is just trying to be faithful: Jim’s fate was dictated by the comic books…

Jim (Andrew Rothenberg) was bitten by a walker during the attack that killed Amy (Emma Bell). He tried to keep it a secret, but Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott) noticed fresh blood on his shirt and immediately ratted him out. That made sense; too often in these situations, a friend is recruited to keep the secret. “I’m okay,” Jim kept insisting, although everyone (including Jim) knew he was pretty effin’ far from okay. As he grew weaker, he had visions of himself turning into a zombie, which was creepy, but also kind of cool to get a glimpse of the transformation through the mind’s eye of a victim. Even knowing Jim’s inevitable fate, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) wouldn’t let Daryl (Norman Reedus) kill the infected Jim: “We don’t kill the living,” he warned, even as he pointed his weapon at Daryl’s skull.
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