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The Walking Dead Review: The Kids Are Not All Right

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If you thought dealing with flesh-eating zombies was a headache, try taking care of a child while dealing with flesh-eating zombies. For some reason, kids find the easiest ways to get lost, shot or just plain in danger. And don't ask Rick to be the babysitter, either.

"Bloodletting" felt like the missing end of the season premiere, practically picking up right where it left off and sending Rick and the wounded Carl towards Hershel's farm.

I love the new setting and the peaceful appearance, as it illustrates a nice contrast with the claustrophobia of the city. Just looking at the painting-like locale makes it hard to believe that zombies have taken over the world. Fans of the graphic novel should be pleased with the introduction of this significant location, especially with the new character at the center: Hershel.

Shane Helps Rick

He already fits right in with the original characters and Scott Wilson brings out a sense of versatility to the role. He's straightforward and honest, perhaps a little stern, but certainly caring. He even exerts a sense of leadership without acting overbearing or aggressive.

Hershel may be helpful now, but how long will that last? Who gets to play leader once the two groups finally come together and Carl is (hopefully) fixed?

Even as Rick and Hershel seem to be on the same page of helping Carl, the seeds of disagreement were planted when the two discussed their thoughts on the "epidemic." Hershel's religious views make him hopeful and optimistic for a cure, while Rick seems less certain that things will change for the better. Will Hershel turn into a fanatic? He seems like he could be the perfect grandfather, but some things may prove too good to be true.

I'm pleased the show continues to follow the guideline that is the graphic novel, but I am also open minded about the changes and alternative routes the TV series decides to take. For one, I'm still enjoying Daryl and his smart alec comments. Sure, he seems a bit like Sawyer from Lost (even the group traipsing around the woods reminded me of Lost), but he brings an edgy character that both Rick and Shane couldn't fill. You can't have everyone quiet and sullen. There need to be scenes like shooting the zombie in the head and telling it to "shut up."

Plus, Daryl isn't just a one-dimensional racist redneck. He's rational in questioning Maggie when she shows up. He remains positive in finding Sophia. He even holds a large stash of drugs which he gives up to T-Dog. It's good to have someone who remains as sane as can be in the situation.

Unfortunately, T-Dog seems to be anything but sane. Has he gone off the deep end because of his fever or is that just his personality? I'm finding his character hard to like or even connect with, and it doesn't help that his name is T-Dog. I just want to laugh every time the characters have to say his name with a serious face. I guess not every change from the source material works out for the best.

One thing I definitely noticed was the contrast in Lori's reactions to Rick and Carl getting shot. When she first heard the news in a flashback that connected this season with the first, she just seemed blank faced. No crying out. No tears of loss. Only Carl showed the obvious emotion to a loved one getting hurt. Had Lori really lost the love back then?

When it came to learning of Carl's injury, she was wracked with pain and emotion as she clung to Rick. I believed her when she went to her son's side. Lori truly cared.

I know that there's still a sense of strain on Rick and Lori's relationship, but has this zombie apocalypse brought them back together? Is it simply circumstance? Even though I wanted Rick to rush to help Shane, I was glad he finally chose to stay with his son and Lori. Quit leaving them, Rick, even if they can be a handful!

Speaking of Shane and Rick, did anyone get the feeling that there was a little too much bromance bonding going on? I know Rick needed someone with stability to help calm him, but holding each other's faces close had me thinking they might just start making out. I think their relationship needs to move a little slower.

At least Shane was willing to make the sacrifice to get the supplies for Carl. He's definitely trying to make up for all of his indecent acts last season. It was a great moment when Otis explained where they needed to go and he was like, "really?" as he saw the swarm of zombies. Nothing is ever easy in life. Additionally, it was a great way to cliffhang the episode with a mere pin holding back the snarling, starving zombies. They are just so scary good.

But since when could the zombies run? Was that simply camera work making them appear faster as they chased Shane and Otis? I thought they walked, or stumbled, even dragged along quickly. But they seemed to be booking it. The reason I liked that they walked instead of 28 Days Later-sprinted was that it made them not as hard to handle one on one. The true danger of a ton of them together was because they could surround you, not because they were fast. Are they still actually the walking dead?

The episode continued its gradual pace, although at times felt a bit slower than I would have liked. That said, the progress and situations didn't feel rushed and I'm pleased that we are just starting the journey that is Hershel's farm. And, of course, it's hard not to have a guilty pleasure for the zombie goodness that makes this series fun and filled with entertainment.

Are there any dark secrets hidden behind this seemingly serene setting? Will Shane and Otis survive? Will Carl? Can I handle waiting a week for the next episode? Sound off below with your thoughts on the second episode.

Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (75 Votes)

Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.

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Your post is awomese! Are grateful for posting this up online and making things easy for the avarage visitor!

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Oh and does ANYBODY else think Rick looks a bit like the politician flying bro guy from Heroes? Could be my imagination, only coz they are both so handsome :p

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Hahaha your bromance paragraph was too good! I loved the ending such a killer! Can't wait till Monday (as I only get to see it online)
Bring on the gore! :D Plus these men are hot, daryl

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@Kris
Honestly I have no idea. I just got the feeling Rick knew something while talking to Hershel. I might be thinking too hard.

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What are the zombies a metaphor of? Only the strongest and/or luckiest survive in our self-absorbed society? We're losing our ability to survive. None-to-sublet illusions on southern immigration? The novels strengthen the thing, especially the past few episodes I wander if the producers will grasp that hot potato head on.

Shaunieb

Thought this was a great ep and season 2 has started strong.
I loved the Rick and Shane scenes....the intensity was amazing and both actors need to be praised.
I also like the character introduced from Hershel's farm and thought they all did a good job....especially Hershel himself who really brough the character to life. Also loved the Breaking Bad reference with the Blue Meth!!!

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Love this show. I read the comics and can't help but think when are things going to start happening from the book? Or have they giving up on that all together and running with it. Not that I mind cause it is a great show, and makes me even more curious as to how and where they will take this. I really can't wait til next Sunday! My Sunday nights are the best night now.

Kris-hekmi

What was the hint that you saw Tiffany? Also, good review. The T-Dog comment made me laugh. Too bad the bromance got slammed. It was fine. Intense moments, calls for intense emotions. Doesn't mean two guys are homosexuals for each other. But overall, enjoyed the review.

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Loved it

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Overall, I thought it was a very good episode, with a lot of focus on the anguish parents feel when their child is in a life threatening situation. It cuts you to the bone and I thought Sarah Wayne Callies Andrew Lincoln did an admirable job conveying emotional pain that is felt in such situations. No doubt that being as parents in real life was helpful in being able to depict what it is like to have to go to such a dark place. Cudos to both. One thing I continue to struggle with in watching this show is SWC's and Jon Bernthal's characters - Lori and Shane. I would like to move on from despising both of them but haven't been able to yet. And perhaps surprisingly, last night's epi really didn't make it any easier. I think the flashback provided considerable insight into explaining why Lori apparently fell into a serious intimate realationship with Shane relatively quickly after being told by Shane that her husband was "dead." Just before Rick was shot, she expressed doubts about whether she even still loved him. And she was apprently trying her best to get Rick to leave her by getting angry at him for not being combative enough and actually berating at him for not yelling at her more. Ladies, I can tell you that such behavior drives men insane! It is the perfect example of a "no win" situation. So the flashback shows Lori practically saying "Oh great, the jerk went and got himself shot! How am I going to tell his son about this?" No wonder she accepted Shane's lie that her husband was dead so easily and then proceeded to go into deep mourning for about a week or two before opening up her bed to Shane. Actually, I'm surprised she waited that long and was probably getting frustrated that Shane wasn't making his move. In a pre-S2 interview, SWC said there would be flashbacks that would put to rest the ridiculous notion that her character and Shane were having an affair before the walkers came. Well, maybe she's right, but so far the FBs also are showing she was very unhappy in her marriage, through virtually no fault of Rick's. So it's likely an affair was something that she probably had thought about and given her emotional connection to Shane, she probably didn't need a lot of convincing that her husband was dead and she was fine with Shane taking his place. So sorry SWC, I still would like to see Lori as the main course at a walker dinner party. And Shane could be served on a platter as well. Shane told Lori he was certain Rick was dead because to let her hope he could still be alive would have made it harder for him to become her lover and Carl's new dad. Then he contemplates murdering Rick in the woods when he shows up alive to get Lori and Carl back. Oh, and there was the small matter of him sexually assaulting Lori at the CDC (being drunk is not an excuse) and then blowing it off as if it were nothing but "a mistake" when Lori brough it up in last week's epi. With friends like Shane, Rick doesn't need any enemies. The whole bromance scene last night and Shane offering to go after the medical supplies was simply guilt and trying to get on Lori's good side again. The sooner the walkers kill him and Lori off the better. Then maybe they can have Rick find a wife/girl friend and a BFF who deserves all the love, trust and loyalty he has to offer. However, I'm afraid that what actually will happen is that he will find out about Shane and his wife and his heart will be ripped out, and not by walkers.