Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Walking Dead: Season 2 Episode 2 (Bloodletting)

Spoiler Warning!

In episode 2 of the second season of The Walking Dead, Rick races his unconscious son Carl back to the farm where the man who accidentally shot him lives. Luckily (in a relative sense), there is a doctor living on the farm, and there is a chance that Carl may survive. But not without extra medical supplies that need to be recovered from a nearby zombie-infested high school.

One of the real strengths of this series is, as I've said before, how much it focuses on the real human drama at the heart of the zombie apocalypse. We've seen, time and again, the horror of a zombie onslaught - and this series certainly dishes them out - but what other titles don't do as much of is show just how much of an indirect effect the zombie apocalypse has on people. It shows the tension that exists among the survivors even when the zombies aren't just around the corner.

The doctor on the farm has his own, tempered philosophy on the zombie apocalypse, that I thought was rather intriguing. He compares it to the AIDS epidemic, and while this is a problem on a whole different order of magnitude, one can imagine the drastic effect that the black plague had on civilization in the middle ages. Many died, and prospects must have been very bleak to those living through it, but society pulled through, and we came out the back end stronger for it. This perspective, above all, seems to suggest hope for mankind. Yet there is still not much hope for any one man having to endure the struggles in the meantime.

In this episode we can really see Rick's strength of resolve breaking down. He's been so strong so far, always knowing the right thing to do (if not without self-doubt), and always having the strength to do it. But now, with the life of his son on the line, he seems to be losing it. Shane really steps in here and for once, his dominance works well for the good of the group in his support of Rick, and his go-to attitude when it comes to recovering much-needed medical supplies from a dangerous area. Rick, on the other hand, doesn't seem to know how to sit and wait in a crisis - even when it's the one thing he can do to help the most. You'd almost begin to think that his instinctive jump to action is as much a way of running from his problems than dealing with them. He can help others in their times of crisis, but he can't seem to take care of himself when he's the one who stands to lose so much.

I can't wait to see what happens next!

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