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Walking Dead Episode 2.2

Review by Brad Jones

 

SPOILER ALERT: This review assumes you’ve watched the seven preceding and latest episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead.

 

“Bloodletting”

Directed by Ernest Dickerson

Written by Glen Mazzara

 

I will admit, there are times when Sarah Wayne Callies’ Lori Grimes irritates me to no end. Regardless of the mistakes that Lori’s made, it’s rare that I’ve felt a real emotional pull to Callies’ performances throughout the show. The opening sequence of “Bloodletting” changed this opinion for me, and finally had me invested in both the character and the actress’ portrayal. It was the first time I felt her marriage and motherhood were anchored in a reality I could understand, and it came at a good time, too: this flashback sequence of Lori finding out about Rick’s shooting does a great job at mirroring some of the emotions the Grimes’ family will revisit over the wounded body of son, Carl.

Andrew Lincoln’s Rick is still a wonderfully constructed, fully rounded hero, and watching his torture and helplessness in standing over Carl was the glue to this episode. Who I really want to talk about though, is Norman Reedus’ Daryl, and how he thankfully and finally has stepped in to his hero position among our traveling caravan of characters. I’ve been missing the bad-ass archetype – the Sawyer, if you will – in this show; the type of person who is just as right as the moralistic heroes we always root for anyway, but because of a grating personality or poor choices, we don’t always listen to. I loved Reedus’ “nut-up or shut-up” moment while he led Glenn and the women-folk back to the highway, and I hope that Daryl will be an important personality in the survival of the group.

Daryl “Sawyer-ing it up” wasn’t the only emotional throwback to Season 2 of Lost…Rick giving Carl pints and pints of his blood while we wait for Shane to get back with some anesthesia was very reminiscent to me of Jack giving Boone more than he could give before Boone’s untimely demise. I do hope (for Rick’s sake) that Carl’s fate isn’t the same as Boone’s, but while we’re on the topic of child drama, I had hoped that the mystery of Sofia’s location/status would have been solved by now. At this point, it seems a fairly neglected plot-line and I wished it had been simultaneously solved as the struggle for Carl’s life complicated.

Overall, however, this episode was a very good second step into Season 2, and I can only hope we keep getting excellent performance/character-driven work out of Kirkman and his small screen crew.

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