THE WALKING DEAD “Bloodletting” Review

THE WALKING DEAD “Bloodletting” Season 2 Episode 2 – You can’t hope to outlast the undead; you can only hope to outrun them and gain a distance significant enough that they eventually lose sight, smell, and sound of you, thereby completely forgetting why they were pursuing you in the first place.

That may seem obvious, of course, but it’s a little like that old bear-in-the-woods adage. (No, not that one.) (The other one.) (The one about how you don’t have to run faster than the bear—you only have to run faster than the slowest person next to you.) Because I’m not psychic, nor do I have a crystal ball to peer into next week’s episode of The Walking Dead, but the new fat guy? Otis? “The idiot who shot our son.” He’s big. He’s slow. He’s zombie chow. It’s not really going out on a limb to call that for next ep.

Other than that—wow. This series’ next twist or turn is anyone’s guess. And that’s part of the beauty of it.

Didn’t expect the flashback at the beginning. Nice. But I can already see what they were teasing so early last season—the early connection between Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Shane (John Bernthal) which, while not completely obvious, was communicated early on in the first scene in season one, when Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Shane had that quiet little talk in the car. Bernthal’s nuanced expressions told me Shane’s affair with Lori started long before the zombies came a-munching. I can’t wait for that to boil to the surface.

But in the meantime they have to worry about more than just zombies. I wonder how Shane and Rick’s friendship will be strengthened by their obvious need for one another—only to fray apart when the truth about Lori comes bubbling up.

(I also wondered how many takes the director made Lincoln go through, running the unmoving body of that kid across that field. Because I was exhausted just watching him do it once. And you know it’s never one take.)

That kid they have playing Carl, Chandler Riggs, is fantastic; it felt like agony, watching him writhe and scream on that bed.

Casting keeps getting it right. Scott Wilson as the veterinarian-turned-emergency-surgeon, Herschel Greene, was spot-on. Hell, every new addition I see is pretty damned good (and I like new additions, because it usually means more people will find their way toward gruesome deaths). I almost didn’t recognize the always-superb Lauren Cohan (she of Supernatural fame), what with her short hair and her Southern American accent and her Lone Rangeresque horse-riding abilities.

This show does large-scale zombies as well as it does subtle zombies; I almost jumped as high as Andrea (Laurie Holden) when that one gangly zombie suddenly shuffled up next to her. The camera work was done so casually it provided the best scream of the night, by far.

Speaking of Andrea, why do I have a feeling she’s going to eventually eat a bullet of her own choosing?

They finally got back to T-Dog (IronE Singleton) and his nasty arm wound. It’s funny that Daryl (Norman Reedus) is the who keeps stepping up to save T-Dog’s life. And not just his life—the entire group owes that redneck a debt of gratitude. It’ll be interesting to see what Daryl does when his big (one-handed) brother comes back. That’ll be a loyalty test. Because you know that good ol’ boy is coming back.

This season feels like it’s going to be Shane’s story, and Bernthal has never been better. Rick is falling apart, so Shane needs to step it up—and he sure as hell is.

I just don’t think much of poor fat Otis’s chances.

If you don’t think much of poor fat Otis’s chances (or poor fat anyone’s chances, to be fair), follow me on Twitter! That’s @Axechucker, you buncha hillbillies!