Monday, October 24, 2011

The Walking Dead, Season Two, Episode Two: Bloodletting

The episode begins with Lori talking about her marital problems with Rick. Right after that she admits that she loves him Shane -- who is not dead -- pulls up and tells her that Rick has been shot. Even then you can see Shane looking at them with a weird sort of desire.

The seen flashes back to Rick running with Carl after he has been shot. We learn that Otis shot a buck and it went straight through to Carl. Lori stops to look behind her when she hears the gunshot.  It worries her that Rick and Shane have not caught up. Darryl keeps them moving by telling them to stop worrying about Sophia and that she will be just fine, and that Shane and Lori are probably on the way. What I don't like about this is that they have set Darryl up to lead in the absence of Rick and Shane.  Why couldn't Andrea take the lead considering that she is such a strong character in the comics. Oh I get, Darryl a character made up for the show is a nature guy and therefore the natural leader. 

Back at the highway, T-Dog and Dale are still waiting for the crew to return.  When T-Dog shows him his arm, Dale discovers that it is infected and he needs antibiotics. Dale decides that they have scavenge the area again to and find some antibiotics. After a search, all T-Dog is able to find is a pack of cigarettes and some ibuprofen. Finally, with a look or resignation, T-Dog tells Dale that they were left behind because they are viewed as the weakest, and that he feels that his situation is precarious because he is a Black man. He tells Dale that there are two good ole boy sheriffs and a redneck that would cut off his own hand because he dropped a key. He believes that he is going to be the first to be lynched.  Dale tells hm that the sheriffs have saved their ass.  T-Dog responds by suggesting that  he and Dale  leave, because they are sitting there "like live bait," but when Dale checks his forehead, it's clear that he has a fever.

I don't like that they reduced what T-Dog had to say to feverish ramblings.  Just because Shane and Rick are defacto leaders, does not mean that they don't have racism in their past.  Let's not forget that they are southern cops and there is a long history of institutionalized racism on the police forces across the U.S.  I also think that he has a point about Darryl and his brother.  They are openly rednecks and even though Darryl has gotten the good ole' boy treatment in the last few episodes, that does not remove the racial implications of what he believes. I further found his comment necessary because in the genre itself, people of color have historically been constructed as disposable.  They are either the first one killed, or easily sacrificed if it means saving the protagonist.

Rick wants Lorri to know about Carl being shot, but Shane tells him that he can't leave because Carl is going to need more blood.  Things get worse when Herchel informs Rick, that Carl is going to need a surgery that requires him to be unconscious, but the closest hospital has been burned down. Ottis agrees to go with Shane (who is not dead) to the high school where a FEMA outpost was situated.  Ottis feels that he needs to go because he shot Carl and because as a volunteer EMT, he is in the best position to know what Carl needs for sure. Before Ottis leaves, Rick hands him a gun.

On the way back, Andrea gets seperated from the group and she is attacked by a walker. When she falls to the ground and it looks like the end is near,  Jacqui, Hershal's daughter comes riding in on a horse and knocks out the walker. Jacqui tells  Lori that Carl has been shot and that she needs to come with her. Darryl tries to object saying that they don't know her but Lori hops on the horse and takes off.  When the walker sit up again, Darryl says shut up and shoots it in the head with an arrow. I have to say that this was a moment of comedy in the episode. Back at the camp, when Dale asks Andrea if she's alright, she just shakes her head and goes into the RV.  Clearly Andrea is still upset that Dale took away her choice to die at the CDC.

Hershel tells Rick that he lost his wife and step son in the epidemic.  In the exchange Rick tells him about the CDC, but Merle counters with the fact that people panicked when it came to AIDS, and that mankind has been fighting plagues from the start.  Merle firmly that this is nature correcting itself; restoring some sort balance.

When Otis and Shane arrive at the high school, it is absolutely crawling with walkers. They throw flares into the middle of the parking lot to distract them, and then make a mad dash for the supply area. As Carl's conditions worsens, Rick wants to go after Ottis and Shane, but Lori tells him that if Shane said he would do something, then he'll get it done. She tells him that this time he is not leaving, because Carl needs him.  When Shane and Otis open the door, The walkers are no longer distracted and they start to chase them immediately. The walkers chase them and they quickly are trapped in a building with only a small iron gate separating them from the walkers.

I felt like the ending of this episode was a tease because no matter how much danger they put Shane in, it has already been announced that the will be a character for the entire season, Ottis however is another matter. He might just be dead man walking.  What were your thoughts on last night's episode?