harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

Walking Dead Reviewed: Bloodletting


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The Walking Dead
Season 2, Episode 02

Writer: Glen Mazzara
DIR: Ernest R. Dickerson

Blurb (IMDB): After Carl is accidentally shot, the group are brought to a family living on a nearby farm. Shane makes a dangerous trip to the local high school in search of medical supplies.

Scene 01: We start on a shot of a chain link fence as we race by it. As focus is lost on the links in the fence, we spy on a woman talking to somebody else, both with coffee. There are a few other women talking and doing the same thing.

Finally we come to Lori who is speaking with a friend. The friend asks if Lori is going to tell her and Lori admits that she and Rick had a fight that morning. It becomes clear that we are in the past. In fact, we’re in the past with Lori’s pov on the argument that Rick described to Shane just prior to his shooting.

The moms are gathered outside of a school, no doubt where Lori is waiting for Carl to be released for the day. Somewhere her husband is about to be shot, or is being rushed to the hospital. Lori’s view on her marriage is that she recognizes that Rick has been so earnest in trying to work things out but he won’t just yell at her which is what she really wants. She’s irrationally made even more angry at him because she wants a one-time big blow out argument to get everything on the table and Rick won’t engage her that way. She’s frustrated and she doesn’t exactly know why she’s acting like a bitch and an asshole toward him for not getting more angry at her. She does tell her friend she thinks she still loves him, but she can’t quite remember how that’s supposed to work.

They’re interrupted by patrol cars pulling up to the school.

Commentary: I really liked the creative start to this episode and the way that Glen replaced the usual dating caption to reveal we’re in the past but uses the visual image of the fence chain rushing past and blending into the women standing in front of the school with no zombies in evidence. I found it an interesting way to introduce that this is a flashback.

Scene 02:  Lori spots Shane and assumes her husband is dropping in for some reason, though there is that weird thing of having two cop cars rolling up. She excuses herself from her friend to casually stroll over to the cops. She stops as soon as she sees that Shane is alone… and the look on his face tells her.

She asks if he’s alive. Shane confirms he’s going into surgery. Her next question is how. Shane tells her about the radio call and the fact they were told there were two shooters when there were actually three. He takes the blame for failing to keep Rick from being hit, but Lori doesn’t hold him responsible. She walks to Shane’s side and they both watch Carl coming out of his school.


She wonders how to tell him. She grabs Shane’s wrist briefly for some moral courage and then jogs over to meet Carl.

Scene 03: We don’t hear it, but we watch from Shane’s viewpoint. He drops to one knee in sympathy with Lori as she kneels down in front of Carl and takes his hands to breaks the news.


Commentary: I loved this sequence. The acting was wonderful and the score over the scene which blends into the opening credits/theme was very nicely placed. I didn’t think that we really needed to see this flashback, but I believe it’s to remind us of the Lori/Rick tension prior to the apocalypse because Lori and Rick’s marriage hasn’t had a chance to really recover or for them to deal with the problems that have lain between them, they’ve only been pushed to the back burner for the moment because of the greater need to survive.

Scene 04: When we come back from credits, Rick is racing through the field with his shot son in his arms, flopping around so we don’t know if he’s still alive [although I don’t think anyone believes Carl would actually die yet - we haven’t seen any of our major players lost yet, so we don’t have the “anyone can die” that will be a part of the show’s structure later].

The man who shot him accidentally (he’s Otis) is struggling to keep up but urges Rick on and tells him to ask for Herschel.


Commentary: This sequence is harrowing. Chandler Riggs does a great job of physical acting. I cannot imagine how he kept his muscles so loose with Andrew struggling to hold him at some points and having to constantly jostle him around. And Andrew is great, but that may be because Glen was sadistic and really did make him run that entire field carrying Chandler’s weight. The whole race across the field feels very real, with Rick huffing and puffing and straining to keep going and not drop Carl and with little Carl’s limbs flopping this way and that. It’s a terrific scene in a beautiful location.

Scene 05: On the porch, a young woman spies Rick racing toward her house and shouts out for her father. There is a small group assembled on the porch when Rick finally stumbles up near collapse.

Scene 06: Herschel’s first question is whether the boy was bit, but Rick gasps out what happened.

They all rush into the house with Herschel barking out orders to get things prepared, while leading Rick to a bedroom where he strips a bed for Carl to be placed in. They get Carl started on an IV and Rick is ordered out of the room so they can work, while Maggie holds the IV and a woman named Patricia, married to Otis, puts pressure on Carl’s wound.

Scene 07: Rick wanders away in shock as he sees Otis and Shane racing to catch up.

Commentary: This is an exceptionally strange shot. Shane and Otis are clearly still in the field through the window, but they’re … magnified…? They seem far too close to the window’s viewpoint to still be where they must be when Rick is spotting them. And I can’t see why that was necessary, we certainly didn’t need this odd close up on Shane and Otis to know that it is them racing after Rick’s arrival at the house. I can only think that it’s supposed to represent Rick’s shock and disorientation… a sharpened sense caused by the adrenaline in his system, but it doesn’t actually work well here: All it does do is look awkward, especially since Rick’s clearly tapped out and isn’t on the adrenaline rush at this point, anymore. I don’t like it.

Scene 08: Rick stumbles out onto the porch where Otis worriedly asks after his boy. Rick takes off his hat and absently wipes at his face, not realizing his hands are soaked in his son’s blood. Shane walks up and takes a handkerchief to his face, telling him he has blood on him.


After Rick has wiped at his hands, Shane takes the rag from him when Rick looks confused as to what to do with it.

Rick, Shane and Otis all go back in the house to see if Carl is still hanging on.

Commentary: This scene is so damned wonderful between Shane and Rick, showing what their friendship is really like when the Lori triangle isn’t involved between them. It’s sweet and it’s emotional and it’s a great reflection on their bond as partners.

Future Spoiler Alert:[Opinion on how Shane's character is handled discussed.][One of the things I’m most regretting about the stories coming up is the way that Shane and Rick’s relationship just disintegrates so brutally. I think that there was a serious misstep taken with Shane’s character when they pushed him so far into villain territory, instead of keeping him riding a line between villain and anti-hero to present a mirror image to Rick’s too optimistic viewpoint of the way the world is now throughout this season. They really lost some great potential character moments by choosing to put Shane in the position of wanting Rick dead over Lori instead of taking a subtler position with Shane wanting to push Rick aside, while at the same time continuing to respect and maybe even love him as a brother in arms.]

Scene 09: In the bedroom, Carl is still alive and we find out that Rick shares his son’s blood type. Herschel warns that they’re going to need it.

Otis tells the others how this happened, with his bullet going clean through the buck to strike the boy. Herschel offers that the bullet was slowed by passing through the deer, which was good, but then it shattered into six pieces inside Carl’s body which is really, really bad.

Otis is clearly very guilty about the accident, but Rick is more concerned with his wife being out there and not knowing what has happened to her son.

Scene 10: Out in the forest, everyone else that was checking out the church is now heading back in the direction of the RV while looking fruitlessly for signs of Sophia. Lori is bothered by the single gunshot that echoed through the forest. Daryl offers they may have needed to take out a walker, but Lori rightly tells her that Rick or Shane would’ve used a quieter method. Daryl offers there isn’t anything they can do about it either way, as they can’t be running off after echoes. He urges them to continue with the plan. Andrea tries to assure Lori that they’ll rendezvous at the RV.

Andrea takes a moment to offer Carol sympathy for what she’s going through, as she can understand her fears. Carol offers that it’s the not knowing that is killing her. She says without thinking that she just keeps hoping and praying that her child won’t end up like Amy. To Andrea’s sudden shock, Carol looks appalled at herself and apologizes.

“Oh… Oh, god! That’s the worst thing I’ve ever said!”

Andrea gathers herself back up and tells Carol they’re all hoping and praying with her but Daryl tells them that all of this emotional turmoil isn’t helping anything and that they’re going to find Sophia alive, unhurt and perfectly fine and is irritated that he’s the only one who seems confident in that.

Commentary: I really loved this scene, too. That moment with Andrea and Carol is heart breaking, especially the look on both of their faces when Carol voices her thoughts without realizing what she’s saying. Norman Reedus is also terrific when he’s insisting in no uncertain terms that Sophia is fine and they’re all standing around whining for no reason.

Scene 11: Back at the road, Dale is continuing to work on stripping parts from cars that may come in handy later. T-Dog is wandering around in a slight daze. Dale gets concerned and discovers that Theodore’s arm wound is showing signs of infection from whatever was introduced to his bloodstream on the car part he cut his arm open on.

Theodore can’t help but find this funny-in-a-not-humorous way that after surviving the dead returning to eat the living, a cut on his arm will be the thing that kills him. Dale doesn’t find it so amusing. He insists they make another pass through the wreckage to find antibiotics, as it seems unlikely that nobody would have a medical kit in their gear with some available.

Scene 12: Dale and T-Dog separate to research and Theodore finds some cigarettes in a glove box. But as he’s searching he looks over into the back seat. There sits a baby’s seat… it’s covered in blood a bits of gore. He freaks out, nearly jumping back to get away from the car and slams the door shut.

Commentary: This was another nice scene, as at first it looked like it was going to end with one of those ninja undead attacking suddenly, but instead it’s far, far more disturbing in its imagery.

Scene 13: Back in the Greene living room, Rick and Shane are sitting and listening to the grandfather clock ticking away. Rick starts questioning both his allowing Carl to come with them instead of sending him off with his mother, and not listening to Shane about “cutting bait” and leaving Sophia to her fate. Shane tells him to stop thinking that way. He insists to Rick that he pulled through being shot and so will his son, but Rick can’t let go of how simple and obvious it is to search for a little girl lost and wondering how things went so wrong.


Maggie comes in from the bedroom and asks for Rick to join them.

Scene 14: Maggie tells Rick that the boy needs his blood, while Carl is crying and gasping in agony while Herschel continues digging for a bullet fragment. Shane follows Rick and Maggie in and is commanded to help Patricia hold Carl down. Carl screams and Rick flips out, but Herschel calmly replies that they have to get the fragments out or his boy will die. Patricia reminds Rick that he was called in to provide a transfusion, but it takes Shane shouting at him to snap him into cooperating with her. In the meantime, Carl goes limp and silent and they fear the worst, but Herschel tells them that he’s only, mercifully, passed out.

The vet finally gets the fragment extracted, but we find out it’s just the first one.

Commentary: Oh my god… this scene is so very well acted, especially by Chandler Riggs and they did a fantastic job on the special effects and makeup for Carl. This scene is so brutal, and after already being tense because of the grue covered baby seat, this tension was almost too much. The scene actually gives me a stomach ache.

Scene 15: Some time later, Carl is lying unconscious with a blood soaked bandage over his abdomen. A pump is being used on Rick to siphon blood from his arm. Rick wants to go after Lori so she can be there but Herschel tells him he can’t leave because they need more blood going forward from him. Rick unsteadily gets to his feet to sit in the living room and rest awhile.

Scene 16: Also in the living room waiting is Otis and Maggie. Rick insists that Lori needs to be there. Shane tells him he understands and he’ll handle it but that he’d never allow Rick to leave that house even if Carl didn’t need his blood supply; He tells him that if the worst happened while he wasn’t there beside his son, he’d never forgive himself.

When Rick is settled down, Shane reminisces about Rick’s recent stay in the hospital and how they didn’t think he’d leave it. He tells him about Lori’s strength. He tells Rick that he needs to wrap up his emotions tight and find that same strength now for Carl and while he does that Shane will find Lori and get her there somehow.


Herschel breaks into their intense scene holding one another as Rick tries to get a grip on himself to tell them that Carl is holding his own for the moment. But we find out that he only removed the one fragment as the others are much deeper and they don’t have the proper supplies to keep Carl immobile and unconscious. He’s worried that one movement by the boy while he’s in there could result in a severed artery. But they also don’t have a lot of time left before they need to do something as his distended belly is pointing to internal bleeding that needs to be found and sewed.

Otis interrupts to get a list of what Herschel needs to pull this surgery off. Otis reminds them that the local hospital burned about a month ago, but remembers the high school. Herschel confirms that he had the same thought… the local high school had been the site of a FEMA shelter and should have medical supplies.

Shane volunteers to make a supply run, even with the danger that the station had been overrun already. Otis also volunteers to go to Patricia’s objection as he’s taking responsibility for the accidental shooting. Rick says he should thank him, but Otis tells him they can talk after his boy has recovered.

Maggie then offers to find and retrieve Lori and get her to the house.

Commentary: This scene is problematic for me, and it unfortunately comes down to Jon’s acting. There are parts of this scene where he really doesn’t act well… specifically his monologue about stopping Rick’s leaving and about Lori’s inner strength that comes across as cheesy. But then the scene picks up nicely with him and Rick cupping each other around the head and touching foreheads that is such a nice sentiment and reminds us of these two’s relationship and how it should be that it redeems the whole scene for me. I also like that Rick says he should thank Otis, not that he actually is or can at the moment and how Otis just blows this off until they can save Carl. It’s a nice moment, because Andrew continues glaring at Pruitt over this whole thing.

Scene 17: In the woods, the search party decides they’ve done all they can do for the afternoon and have to get back to the daylight before the light fades. Carol insists they’ll pick it up tomorrow and the rest confirm that of course they will.

Commentary: We’ll have a lot to say about Sophia’s disappearance because of the amount of screen time that is devoted to it, but right now I just cannot buy how thoroughly missing she is. She had one job… follow the damned sunlight back toward the road or stay hidden tucked in the overhanging roots of that tree where nobody could see her until Rick returned. That’s it.

It annoys me that she managed to disappear at all, but I’m finding it impossible to believe that she’d disappear this thoroughly that there’d be no sign of a struggle or signs of which direction she disappeared in whether she ran or was carried away by somebody that Daryl wouldn’t find.

She’s like frickin’ Houdini.

Scene 18: Back at the Greene’s, Otis and Shane load up to make the run into town and see if they can get into the FEMA center. Rick gives Otis is police revolver and Otis shares a look with Herschel before accepting it.

He gets into the truck beside Shane with the rifle that shot Carl and Shane gives him a side eye. He explains it’s the only one he’s got. Shane comments on how odd the day turned out and Otis agrees.

Commentary: That look between Herschel and Otis is terrific because we can’t know what it was about. I’d assumed that Otis was just emotional that Rick was trusting him by turning over his gun to help him, but… well… it’s just a nice moment between Herschel and Otis that will be explained later if you manage to remember this glance between them.

I also like the dark humor implicit in the observation between Otis and Shane about how strange the day turned out being.

Scene 19: Back at the RV, Theodore is slumped against it smoking when Dale returns with what he scavenged, which doesn’t include antibiotics. T-Dog confuses Dale when he wonders why they’re there when everyone else is off in the woods trying to find Sophia. He tells Dale it’s because they’re the ones who are seen as being the weak links and expendable. Dale is all 'where the hell is this coming from', and Theodore brings up being the only black man surrounded by a bunch of red necks and wonders how long it’ll take to be lynched. Dale is flabbergasted and Theodore goes on to mention how none of their group seem all that stable, especially Andrea wanting to blow herself up. Dale defends her as just having a tough time right now because of Amy, but T-Dog yells that they’re all having a rough time. He reacts with pain and then tells Dale they should just abandon the others, take the RV and go. Dale looks at him like he’s crazy. Theodore wonders why they’re sitting there like live bait. Dale sees how he’s looking and checks his forehead to discover that Theodore is now burning up with a fever.

He wonders where the others are….

Scene 20: The others are still wandering in the general direction of the road, looking a bit exhausted. Andrea manages to wander a slight bit away from the rest of them. She joined by a walker over her shoulder, who she takes for one of the gang and complains about the hiking.

She screams when she realizes what her companion is and falls as it lurches at her. The others hear her screaming for help.


As she’s screaming and kicking at the walker, she turns her head to see horse’s hooves galloping toward her and a baseball bat hanging down. This is Maggie who hits the walker in the head on her way past.

As everyone is taken aback by the arrival of this stranger on a horse, she calls for Lori. She quickly relays about Carl and convinces Lori to get on the horse over Daryl’s objection as they don’t know who she is. Maggie describes how they can get to the farm and then races off back the way she came with Lori aboard.

The walker sits back up with his raspy groaning and Daryl tells him to shut up as he puts a bolt through his head.

Commentary: Ugh, this scene. I really hate how clumsily they get Andrea off by herself so she can be attacked, although it is darkly amusing how the zombie is able to step up beside and behind her without her noticing. But then she screams and is attacked and the rest of the gang are suddenly unable to figure out where she is… really? She didn’t wander a quarter mile away y’know… you should all still be within sight of one another pretty much.

It’s just silly so that Maggie could have her admittedly cool entrance on the horseback. I also don’t like that after Andrea just got done saving herself in the RV with a screwdriver to the walker’s eye, she suddenly reduced again to screeching helplessly on the ground. It’s annoying.

Scene 21: Maggie and Lori race out of the woods and through fields toward the Greene farm.

Scene 22: Back at the RV, Dale is just finding out about Carl being shot by the returned gang. Dale wonders how Daryl could let Lori go off with some stranger, but he tells him to get out of his ass and mentions that the stranger knew Rick, Lori and Carl’s names when she rode up. Dale mentions he heard the screaming in the woods and Glenn tells him about Andrea’s close call as she marches angrily back toward the RV.

Dale calls after her to see that she’s alright, but she only has an “are you kidding” glare for him, clearly re-pissed off at having to face being killed sloppily every day because he wouldn’t let her stay where she wanted and accept her own way out of this struggle back at the self-destructing CDC [ignoring the simple fact that she could’ve stayed and let him stay too if that was how he wanted to play it].

Scene 23: On the Greene farm, Rick is stumbling onto the porch. Herschel follows him out. They chitchat about the farm and how its walker-free. Herschel assures him they didn’t get through untouched, including losing his wife and stepson to the epidemic. But Herschel is grateful to God for sparing his daughters. He tells Rick that they’re just trying to stay safe until a cure is forthcoming.

Rick breaks the news about the CDC and the unlikelihood of a cure coming. Herschel reminds him that mankind has been fighting off plagues throughout history and each time everybody suffering through it has thought it was the end, but we bounce back. Rick isn’t able to believe that about this whatever-it-is.

The sound of hoof beats interrupt as Maggie races across the field with Lori. She and Rick grab onto each other and cry.

Commentary: I like what they did here with bringing God into matters. You’d expect that Herschel would be the “end is nigh, repent” one because that is the role that preachers always play in these things but instead, it’s Rick who focuses on the doom scenario. It was nice for the writers to have Herschel be the one to remind Rick of mankind’s tenacious nature and his ability to be beaten down, only to rise again when he understands what is happening and why.

I also really like the theme being used over the scenes of Lori telling Carl about Rick’s shooting and now here with Lori and Rick holding one another over Carl’s shooting. It’s an aching, melancholy theme that is used correctly to underline the visuals without being obtrusive.

Scene 24: In the Greene bedroom, Lori has a long moment of near-breathlessness seeing how small and pale Carl is looking. She lies down next to him and just keeps repeating comforting platitudes. Rick walks over and places his hands on her hip, she reaches back and grabs one of them, squeezing for comfort.

He kneels down behind her and rests his head against her butt, while clinging to her hand.

Commentary: Beautiful, very human moment… I really appreciate these characters being human, rather than action-horror clichés, so I loved going to commercial on this image.

Scene 25: Sometime later, Rick has just gotten done with another transfusion nearly wiping him out. Lori shares that she had to talk Carl out of doing the same thing for him when he was in the hospital. They’re able to share a small smile with one another.

Scene 26: She helps Rick to the dining room, where Herschel has another glass of orange juice waiting. Lori talks to the doctor about what comes next when Shane and Otis return. She’s bitter about “the idiot that shot our son” but Herschel reminds her it was an accident. She promises to consider that after her son is safe again.

She wants to assure herself that Herschel can perform this sort of surgery, although they have no other options in any event. She’s not reassured to find out that Herschel is a veterinarian. Lori accuses him of being in over his head, but Herschel kindly asks her if that’s not true of all of them.

Scene 27: Meanwhile, we join Shane and Otis near sundown at the high school. They crouch-walk behind a police cruiser and then see the hoard of wanderers waiting between them and the emergency medical trailer.


Scene 28: Back at the highway, Carol is fretting over Sophia being out in the woods all night. She’s refusing to head for the Greene farm in case her daughter finds her way back. Andrea tells the others that if Sophia found her way back only to find them gone, it would be awful for her.

Daryl offers to stay with the RV overnight and rig a large sign. He’ll leave it for Sophia to find along with a box of supplies letting her know they’re coming back to check for her. With the RV being called into play, Dale chooses to remain as well. Andrea raises her hand to say she’s in.

Glenn tries to volunteer as well, but Dale won’t hear of it. He tells Glenn he has to take Carol’s Cherokee and Theodore to the farm for medical aid due to T-Dog’s arm being seriously infected.

Daryl gets a look on his face and marches over to his brother’s motorcycle. He pulls out a bag of pharmaceuticals, including the desperately needed antibiotics explaining his brother tended to get the clap once in a while.

Scene 29: Back at the lot, Shane gets into the Sheriff’s department cruiser to pop the trunk, which is done with a bit too much noise for comfort. But it gives them access to the road flares inside and doesn’t call the hoard down on them, so it’s a big win.

As soon as night has fallen, they being tossing flares into the distance to draw the walkers’ collective focus to the opposite direction of the needed trailer.

Scene 30: Back at Herschel’s, Carl is hanging on but with the internal bleeding they can’t keep him stabilized for much longer. Rick tells them he’s ready for another transfusion and then he’ll head off after Otis and Shane to find out what went wrong. Lori insists he’s not going anywhere and Herschel seconds it by telling him he’s already given enough blood to ensure he doesn’t make it so much as across the yard, forget about a five mile trip to town and back.

Rick insists that he can’t sit there waiting, but Lori forcefully tells him that’s exactly what he’s going to do. She shouts at him that he can pray, or beg or whatever he needs to get through this but he’s not stepping away from his son when he needs him. She tells him that she “can’t do this one by myself… I can’t… I can’t…”.

Scene 31: Inside the trailer, Shane and Otis are scrounging supplies. When they open the trailer to leave, the rattling of the anesthetic tanks draws unwanted attention. The two have to run for cover.

With the truck blocked, they’re routed around the corner of the high school and forced to retreat inside. The school is locked, but Shane blasts his way through the glass doors.

Otis and he are able to get the link security gate closed, but they’re trapped now. With nothing between them and being ripped apart by a few inadequate guns and a weak looking pin holding the security doors shut….

The Good: I liked the visual representation of traveling into a flashback that opened the episode. I also appreciated how the sequence with Lori and her friend reminds us of the tensions sitting between Rick and Lori that there just hasn't been time to deal with, but haven't disappeared and that's not even including the Shane-Lori affair.

I loved the opening sequence, especially the scoring and Lori kneeling on the pavement in front of Carl to tell him what has happened. The way the score blends into and becomes the opening title theme was very nicely done.

Rick racing across the field with Chandler Rigg's limp body in his arms is pitch-perfect visuals and Chandler's physical acting in the sequence is amazing.

That scene when Shane takes a rag and wipes Rick's face of Carl's blood is so human and wonderful. I wish we'd gotten a lot more scenes of these two's deep and abiding connection as friends and partners. They really work in quiet moments like this.

I really loved that moment when Carol voices her fear that Sophia will end up like Amy before remembering who she's talking to and her immediate horror, and I like the way that Andrea dealt with that moment.

I laughed along with T-Dog in a grim, not-humorous way when he talked about dying of a blood infection after having survived the walking dead eating people. More dark-lined humor would be a good thing to add throughout the scripts going forward.

Chandler Riggs again in the bed and screaming as Herschel digs for a bullet fragment was another great acting moment for him.

In general, there are several beautiful shots so I want to give a huge kudo to the cinematography on this episode, with many "natural lighting" shots included.

I also want to give a general kudo to the sound designers for this episode. The music was used exceptionally well on this one.

The Bad: The Andrea attack scene really bothers me... it's not the scene itself, which was fine and gave Maggie her cool entrance, but the way that the scene was carried out to get Andrea separated was extremely clumsily arranged. You can see the nuts & bolts holding the scene together until Maggie can make her horseback entrance and it's obvious the others are standing around just off-stage so that Maggie can be the one to knock the walker away. But it also bothers me because Andrea is turned into a screeching wreck to be saved after she'd just gotten done taking out a walker with a screwdriver through its eyes... I feel like it's a backward step for once cool entrance moment for another character.

For the same set-up problem, I didn't enjoy Daryl's grabbing the antibiotics and quipping about Merle's penchant for catching VD as much as I was meant to. I get the scene, they were revisiting T-Dog's and Daryl's relationship in this quick moment to assure us that Daryl isn't holding a grudge against Theodore over what happened to his brother [using sharing the medication that Merle had stashed away as a short hand because he could've easily kept quiet about it] but I find it impossible to buy that Dale would've checked all of the abandoned vehicles on that road without also going through Carol's Jeep and Merle's motorcycle and even the RV just one more time with T-Dog's medical situation being this urgent. That's really clumsy scripting.

Other Thoughts: Hmm... I didn't like the shot of Rick seeing Otis and Shane running across the yard in his footsteps... there was something very strange about the shot, like it was greenscreened into the window and magnified out of proper proportion to Rick's POV. It was just a really, really weird visual and yanked me out of the moment. But it's not in "The Bad" because it was interesting, and could've been deliberate to represent Rick's hightened anxiety and disorientation.

The scene where Shane tells Rick that he can't leave his son's side to rush off after Lori was nice as scripted and I loved the moment when Shane and Rick are holding onto one another, but Jon's acting is really wobbly in this scene, which drags it down... especially the point where he's telling Rick the lengths he'd go to in order to stop him from leaving at the wrong time which I'm sure was meant to not be taken literally, but the line recitation still pulled emotional power away from the scene.

I also liked the scene where T-Dog, raging with fever, points out that he and Dale were probably left behind because everybody sees them as weak and expendable and then comments on how he's the only black guy surrounded by good ol' boys and rednecks. The acting again is a bit wobbly, keeping the monologue out of the good, but I like that T-Dog is wondering about his place in the group and I like that the writers are acknowledging that their cast is a bit too white at the moment.

I'm having an issue with getting a bead on the Greene's and their neighbors. I'm afraid this is going to turn into another Jacqui/Morales/Jim where we have these characters we don't get to know any. I like Herschel's giving credit to mankind to overcome, despite his being a religious character: it's rare when somebody can have faith on television and not be a fire-and-brimstone sort -- especially a southern preacher character. But on the other hand, he also seems very stern and humorless at this point which could be setting him up for villainy, which would be too cliche. It's too early to tell who will be making a character and who will end up being wallpaper, though.

The Score: This was a terrific episode with plenty of scenes spread throughout the cast. There was some really terrific looking scenes, some wonderful human character moments and some harrowing visuals. This was a highlight of this series thus far and I loved nearly all of it, with only a few annoyingly awkward scene setups and some dodgy acting in a few scenes to get in the script's way.

4.50 out of 5 stars

Tags: walking dead season 2 review

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