Monday, October 24, 2011

The Walking Dead: Bloodletting Review

Hopefully you caught my review of the Walking Dead Season 2 premiere last week, if not, then this whole review will be a massive spoiler for you. Here is a short recap for those who are inclined to read anyways, or can't remember the premiere all that well. Last week they opened the season by having the whole group of survivors trying to remain unscathed as their RV broke down in the middle of a freeway packed with empty vehicles...and zombies/walkers. It was a long episode, one that had some great acting from all of the major characters, but it was a episode that entirely left out Glenn. The other major complaint about the episode was the story, it made Shane and Andrea look like ungrateful assholes, something that they rectified a little bit in the second episode, Bloodletting.  It was a good episode, but not great and this second episode stepped it up a bit. Although, it left us with a crazy cliffhanger involving Carl getting shot by a hunter. The Walking Dead airs on AMC every Sunday at 9 pm PST and 6 pm EST.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

Full Episode Spoilers Ahead
This episode introduces Hershel's farm, a place from the comic books that fans seemed excited about. I know why fans are excited about it, but so far the farm seems very unlike the farm from the comic book. Just like most of the similarities to the comic book, the farm seems to be an exact place from the comic book, but it has vastly different characters and storyline associated with it. We first see the farm as the hunter, Otis, who shot Carl leads them to it, claiming that there will be help there. Shane, Rick and Otis run for the farm as fast they can, with a limb and pale Carl dangling in Rick's arms. As soon as Rick get's to the house we get to meet Hershel, played by Scott Wilson, and his two daughters. His daughter Maggie, played by Lauren Cohan, shows herself to be a particularly strong character when she volunteers to go retrieve Lori, Rick's wife, so she can be with Carl. Hershel claims to be a doctor and immediately get's to work on trying to save Carl. This episode doesn't have a lot of action, but it sure has a lot of great acting and a lot of heart.

Right off the bat we see some amazing displays of emotion from Rick and Shane, both of whom share a parental attachment to Carl. Everything about Shane in this episode makes up for all of his complaining and plotting from What Lies Ahead. He is there at Rick's side telling him what he needs to hear and bringing him face to face with reality. The best moment between the two is right after Rick get's out of the "operating room". Andrew Lincoln, Rick, shows truly excellent acting with his display of misery, despair and panic in this moment. His sadness is so strong and evident that you can easily empathize with his situation, it also makes it easier to sympathize with Shane who has to keep his friend strong. Once Rick leaves the room he looks ready to lose it, but Shane brings out the best of himself and tells Rick that he must be strong, resolute and stay at the house for his son. Shane volunteers to go get needed medical supplies, showing his devotion to his friend and his hidden responsibility to Carl.  At the end of this scene we see Shane and Otis, who is played by Pruitt Taylor Vince, heading off to the high school in order to get some supplies for Hershel so that he may perform surgery on Carl to get out the bullet fragments.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

There is also a minor scene with Dale and T-Dog, where we learn that T-Dog's cut is seriously infected. A little later on we get a scene where T-Dog is acting rebellious, telling Dale about how they should leave everyone behind and how everyone doesn't respect them. Dale doesn't buy any of it and questions T-Dog enough to realize that he is out of his mind, but why? because he has a serious fever from his infection. This scene was very ironic sense it reflected the attitudes of Shane and Andrea from the first episode, except in this case it was because T-Dog was losing it because of a fever. It makes Andrea and Shane's complaints and plans from the first episode even more ridiculous.

The two scenes of action come from Andrea, Shane and Otis. Andrea is traveling through the woods with Daryl, Lori, Glenn and Carol. They are still searching for Carol's daughter, but are on their way back to the RV because the night is coming. Andrea, making her look careless again, wonders right by a tree with a zombie behind it. The moment is terrifying, yet predictable , but her savior was unpredictable. Maggie, who was coming to get Lori, comes out of the woods on her horse, with a baseball bat in hand and smacks the zombie to the ground. Then she promptly retrieve's Lori and heads back to the farm, while the rest of the group continue to the RV to spread the news about the farm. By everything that I've heard, Andrea is supposed, based on the comic, to be a strong character like Maggie is, but so far she is barely tolerable in the show.

At the very end of the episode we see the predicament that Shane and Otis have gotten themselves into, what kind of predicament? Oh just a hundred walkers chasing them, when they have their heavy packs of medical supplies on their back. Before that last scene we also have some excellent moments between Lori, played by Sarah Wayne Callies, and Rick, not only showing her strength, but showing how well they both respond to each other. The acting between the two regarding Carl is fantastic, but we should not forget how great Carl's acting is as well, especially for a young kid. Chandler Rigg's does a great job making himself display the kind of pain and anguish that someone would show when they are having a bullet fragment taken out of them without anesthesia or pain killers.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode Photos

This was a great episode, but mainly because of the acting and ending. We leave this episode having an excellent idea of what we are going to see next week and it is going to be crazy. Otis and Shane locked behind a gate with walkers breaking through the thin gate holding them at bay. It may be a bit of a cliffhanger, but it forces the next episode to be a lot more action based. Let's hope the next episode delivers on all fronts. Thanks for reading and be back with more tomorrow.

Violent Score: 9 (out of 10) 

-Written by Sean Cargle


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