DAN: Needless to say, this didn’t sit well with our survivors -- especially after Jenner sealed them inside the Zone 5 hub. Daryl charged at Jenner with an axe, only to be restrained. We should add that to our Walking Dead Drinking Game: Every time Daryl has to be physically stopped from attacking someone, bottoms up!
JEFF: I don't think we'd be left standing. We might wonder why Jenner let The Group into CDC in the first place if he knew it the facility was on its last day of power. See: The mercy killing logic. He thought he was sparing them from a zombie fate -- a fate certainty bolstered by Rick's own confession of pessimism. (Lori did not look pleased by that revelation.) The crisis culminated with Rick brainstorming and delivering a big speech. The basic gist: self-determination. Jenner had no right to decide their lives for them. The underlying message: Give us the chance to choose life or death on our own terms; give us the means to give our lives meaning. Lori: “Let us keep trying for as long as we can.” Jenner released the doors, leaving everyone with a choice: Wait for death, or find some way to bust out. Jenner, not wanting to go down as a brain-blackened cannibal automaton, chose fire, to die wholly human…and Jacqui and Andrea, defeated by the prospect of never-ending survival struggle likely to end in certain zombification, opted to stay with him.
DAN: As did Dale -- or so he would have Andrea (seem to) believe. While the survivors desperately tried different ways to break the reinforced glass windows (Chair? Nope. Shotgun? Nuh-uh. Grenade? Bingo!), Dale sat down near Andrea and vowed, “If you’re staying, I stay too. [Jenner’s] right. We know what’s waiting for us out there. I don’t want to face it alone.” A flustered Andrea told him to scram, not wanting to be responsible for his death too, but he entrenched. “Too bad,” he said, verging on tears. “You don’t get to do that -- to come into somebody’s life, make them care, and then just check out!” (Unresolved grief from the loss of his wife to cancer?) In any case, his willingness to sacrifice himself/bluff big paid off. Andrea changed her mind, leaving only Jacqui and Jenner to carry out the suicide pact. They clasped arms and watched via security cameras that The Group somehow escaped -- a wild, mutant strain of viral hope, breaking free from the Impregnable Fortress of "Nasty Stuff." They rejoiced, and then the CDC -- a place I thought we'd be spending a little more time in -- went up in a fiery mushroom cloud that revealed some budget limitations.
JEFF: But we quibble. The Survivors lived to fight (or die) another day...and now, we wait possibly a year for further adventures. One cliffhanger to ponder: What did Jenner whisper in Rick’s ear? Topping the list of possibilities: "Lori's pregnant." The daddy? Most likely, Shane.
NEXT: More Rick-whisper possibilities -- and Dan and Jeff end on a note of thanks.