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Recap / The Walking Dead S 01 E 06 TS 19

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Season 1, Episode 06

TS-19

The group finds shelter at the CDC and learn more about the plague that started the walker outbreak.

In flashback, Shane is running into a hospital at the onset of the outbreak. He sees Army personnel executing patients and staff, and they are then bit by walkers that come in through the front doors. Shane runs to Rick's room and tries to lift him from the bed, but the power goes out and he can't detect his heartbeat. Believing Rick is dead, Shane leaves, though not before placing a gurney against the door as a makeshift barrier...

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In the present, the survivors rush inside the CDC. Jenner appears and holds them at gunpoint, then tells them that the door won't open again once it's closed. The survivors agree, and Jenner closes the door. He has them all take a blood test to ensure they weren't bit and the group is finally able to relax.

Jenner serves dinner to Rick and the others. He explains to them that he is the only scientist left at the facility, as everyone else either left to find their families or committed suicide at the onset of the outbreak.

Afterwards, the group settles in. Andrea cries to herself over Amy's death, and Dale tries to comfort her afterwards. Meanwhile, a drunken Shane tries to confront Lori over her decision to end their affair. An argument ensues and Shane tries to rape Lori before she scratches him and says to leave her alone.

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The next morning, Jenner cooks breakfast for the group and Shane pushes for some answers. Jenner takes the group to one of the laboratories and shows a time-lapse MRI video of a person nicknamed "Test Subject 19", who was infected and volunteered to be observed. The video shows the progression of the disease as it attacks the brain, causes the patient to die and then restarts the brain stem. The video ends with Jenner shooting the reanimated patient in the head. Jenner tells them that no cure has been found so far.

Dale notices a digital clock counting down on a nearby wall, and asks Jenner what happens when it reaches zero. The scientist leaves abruptly, causing the group to become suspicious.

When they investigate, they discover that the station is powering down and the diesel tanks are running out of fuel. They confront Jenner in the control room and demand to know what's happening. He tells them that the power will run out when the clock gets to zero, and will activate a self-destruct mechanism to prevent the lethal diseases inside the CDC from escaping.

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Jenner locks the group in the control room and insists that they will all be better off with a painless death. Rick and Lori attempt to reason with the scientist, asking him he held out for so long only to give up now. Jenner says that Test Subject 19 was his wife, who asked him to keep working on a cure, and that he can no longer do so because his samples have been destroyed.

Tensions escalate as the clock runs down, but Jenner is finally won over by Rick's pleading to let them try and escape. He opens the control room doors and whispers something in Rick's ear, to the latter's shock. He then tells the group that the external doors won't open because of the self-destruct procedure. Rick thanks him and the group moves to leave, but Jacqui and Andrea choose to stay behind.

The group runs towards the front doors, while a disheartened Dale refuses to leave Andrea, even though she asks him to escape. At the front doors, Carol reveals to Rick that she saved the grenade he pocketed from the tank in Atlanta, and he uses it to blow one of the reinforced windows open. The group runs towards their vehicles, dispatching walkers along the way.

As the group get into their cars, they see Dale and Andrea make their way out through the window and begin running. Inside, Jacqui and Jenner smile after seeing the duo's escape on the cameras, and hold hands as the timer reaches zero.

The building goes up in a massive explosion, and the convoy drives away...

Tropes:

  • An Axe to Grind: Daryl tries to break down the control room doors with an axe, and then uses it to attack Jenner when that proves futile. Later, when the group is making a break for the vehicles, he decapitates a walker by swinging two axes at once.
  • Armies Are Evil:
    • The military seen in the hospital first yells to check all the living for signs of infection before deciding that Kill ’Em All is faster.
    • Armies Are Useless: The same squad seen executing innocents gets quickly overrun by walkers, making it a Karmic Death.
  • Attempted Rape: Shane to Lori.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: A drunk Daryl to Glenn: "I wanna see how red your face can get!"
  • Boom, Headshot!: Jenner administers one to Test Subject 19 on the MRI video.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Glenn.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Averted. Jenner mentions that the French were the closest to finding a cure before communication was lost.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The grenade that Rick took from one of the tanks in Atlanta during the very first episode is finally put to use.
  • Crusading Widower: The death of Jenner's wife is what drove him to continue with his research despite being the only one left.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Andrea gets a bout of this after Amy's death, having a breakdown in the shower and planning to kill herself until Dale sways her out of it.
  • Driven to Suicide: Jenner tells the survivors that several CDC personnel chose this fate while the outbreak was in its early stages. By the end of the episode, the same is true of Jacqui and Jenner himself. Andrea tries to do the same, but Dale talks her out of it at the last second.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Shane drinks from a bottle of liquor in the shower.
  • Dual Wielding: Daryl uses a pair of axes to dispatch walkers as the group escapes the building at the end.
  • Exact Words: Rick really should have taken Jenner at face value when he said that once the doors closed, they would not open again...
  • Filler Arc: This event never happened in the comics.
  • Filler Villain: Anti-Villain Edwin Jenner is a Canon Foreigner.
  • Flashback: Shane has one at the beginning of the episode, recalling how he attempted to save Rick from the hospital prior to the events of the series.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • After Rick tells Jenner that's he grateful for being allowed to leave, Jenner says "The day will come when you won't be."
    • A drunk Daryl to Glenn: "I would love to see your face turn red".
  • Funny Background Event: In a sort of Dude, Not Funny! way, Daryl continuing to try to break down the door with an axe as Jenner explains to the rest about his wife a.k.a. Test Subject 19.
  • Go Out with a Smile: Jacqui and Jenner share a tearful smile and hold hands as they wait for their time to run out.
  • Guile Hero: Dale essentially guilt-trips Andrea out of killing herself by refusing to leave without her.
  • Hangover Sensitivity: Several of the survivors are shown to be feeling the effects the morning after their festivities, but Glenn is by far the worst and responds by swearing off alcohol for life.
  • He's Dead, Jim: Subverted. Shane assumes that Rick is dead after briefly listening for a heartbeat and being unable to detect one. Obviously, he was wrong.
  • Hope Spot: It seems that things are looking up for the survivors when Jenner welcomes them into the CDC and greets them with food and hospitality, but then they find out that he's the last man standing and things get steadily worse from there.
  • How Dare You Die on Me!: Dale guilts Andrea into escaping the facility with him by invoking the possibility of this trope occurring. He decides he'd rather live or die with her than be forced to endure the apocalypse without her.
    Dale: He's right. We know what's waiting for us out there. I don't want to face it alone.
    Andrea: Dale, get the hell out. I don't want you here!
    Dale: Too bad. Because you don't get to do that: to-to come into somebody's life, make them care, and then just check out. I'm staying. The matter is settled.
  • I Choose to Stay: Jacqui, Jenner and Andrea before Dale talks her out of it.
  • Interrupted Suicide: Andrea.
  • Killed Off for Real: Jacqui and Jenner.
  • The Lost Lenore: Jenner's wife, Test Subject 19.
  • Mercy Kill: Jenner kills Test Subject 19 - later revealed to be his wife - following her reanimation as a walker.
  • Mauve Shirt: Jacqui might have survived until the end of the season, but she still qualifies due to her lack of development and limited screentime.
  • Mundane Luxury: The group reacts excitedly at the prospect of showers, non-campfire-cooked food, and booze.
  • Near-Rape Experience: A drunken Shane attempts to force himself on Lori, but snaps out of it when she draws blood in her attempts to fight him off.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Shane and Daryl threaten Jenner with violence to try and force him to open the doors, while Rick and Lori attempt to reason and plead with him instead.
  • Sanity Slippage: Jenner, thanks to a combination of his wife's death, the loss of his tissue samples and the weeks spent in solitude attempting to find a cure.
  • Season Finale: The first.
  • Self-Destruct Mechanism: The CDC facility is designed to self-destruct in the event of a total power failure to prevent the lethal diseases contained within from escaping.
  • Shower of Angst: Andrea and Shane for different reasons.
  • Shower of Love: Rick and Lori.
  • Sole Surviving Scientist: Jenner.
  • Thinking Out Loud: Jenner does this even when he's turned his Apocalyptic Log camera off. Justified, since people who live alone for long periods of time tend to do this as a coping mechanism.
  • Trash the Set: The CDC building is completely destroyed.
  • Trivial Title: Jenner's late wife was TS-19. Since she's long dead, it can no longer really count as Secondary Character Title.
  • Unusual Euphemism: Jenner refers to the scientists who committed suicide as "opting out". This term is adopted by the survivor party and used in several subsequent episodes to refer to suicide.
  • The Virus: Confirmed to be the source of the infection by the time-lapse video Jenner plays for the group.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: All the wine has something of an adverse effect on Andrea.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Jacqui and Jenner.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jenner genuinely believes that giving the survivors a quick, pain-free death by way of the CDC's self-destruct mechanism is a far kinder alternative to what awaits them on the outside.

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