I'm disappointed. Clearly, Jenner whispered that everyone has the virus, which explains the blood test, Rick going out of his way to plug fat man in the head after he'd done the job well enough with a chest-shot, and then Shane's casual observation about the bites.
I've read the comics, too, but this series has pleasantly deviated from the comics so much that I'd hoped the everyone-has-the-virus would have been dropped. I don't like that bit of zombie lore because, again, it doesn't really make sense if Zombie bites cause infection. What, the bite accelerates infection? Come on.
I wish the secret had been more profound.
I admit that this post is a bit out of character for me, but I do, in fact, watch some television, and I do, in fact, love all things to do with zombies, and for all its flaws that have emerged in the meandering first half of the second season, for my money, The Walking Dead is still the best zombie stuff out there.
For those who don't watch the show, it is your typical end-of-the-world zombie apocalypse scenario, taken out of Pennsylvania (where Romero's films are set) and plunked down in Atlanta. Rick, the show's primary protagonist, wakes up in a hospital to find the entire world has gone to hell. Once reunited with his family and a small band of people trying to stay one step ahead of the zombie hoard, the search begins for a safe haven.
In the last two episodes of season 1, that safe haven was believed to be the CDC in Atlanta, where the gang meets Dr. Jenner, the last remaining scientist occupying the CDC compound. Offering the gang food and hot showers and shelter for only a day or so, the CDC's self-destruct mechanism comes online, and everyone must get out or be burned to a crisp. Jenner decides to opt-out, believing that death is preferable to the world as it has become, but before Rick and the gang escape, he pulls Rick close and whispers in his ear.
Now that season two has reached its mid-season hiatus until its Feburary return without the secret being revealed, I thought I'd share some of the popular theories I've seen circulating, debunk those, and at the end of this piece present my own theory.
1. Jenner told Rick his wife Lorrie is pregnant. This one has been proven false in show already since she revealed it to Rick, and he was not suprised. This one was the most widely accepted theory before that revelation, putting many back at square one.
2. Jenner told Rick that everone is infected with the zombie virus. This one could be possible. It could be possible because, as per my understanding, that people come back as zombies after natural death in the comics version. Further, it would explain why Jenner did the blood tests on the gang when they first entered the CDC. He was looking for a person who was "clean" of the virus. When he remarks that he didn't find anything, he is saying that he didn't find anyone who didn't have the virus.
I don't think that's it, and here's why: We have not been shown, at least to this point, someone suffering natural death come back as a zombie. In fact, the show has gone out of its way to show that a zombie bite is required to aquire the virus. If it happens at natural death, why would it lay dormant until natural death while the bite turns people to zombies in a matter of hours? Why wouldn't it just turn everyone to zombies as soon as they acquired the virus? It just raises more questions than it answers.
3. The gang is immune to the virus. This one is related to the previous theory, but it was completely disproved with the infection of Sophia at the end of the mid-season climax.
MY THEORY: The government created and unleashed the virus. This theory fits for several reasons. First of all, it explains how the virus decimated humanity so quickly and effectively. It also explains how such a virus came to exist in the first place, and a scientist at the CDC would absolutely have that information. He would know that the virus came from the CDC, and he would know how it came to infect the general population. Jenner, knowing the nature of the virus, would then have good reason for his hopelessness and desire to commit suicide. In other words, Jenner knew that the situation was absolutely hopeless.
If you have a theory, I'd love to hear it.