Saturday, August 10, 2013

Season Two - Episode Two: Bloodletting

Dale and T-Dog discussing how ironic it is to die of a blood infection
The theme of the randomness of the universe is explored in "Bloodletting," and how in a second one's whole world can change course; and suddenly the direction of the day is so drastically altered, a person feels like they can't function.  There are many little phrases that are said that illuminate this theme.  My personal favorite is when T-Dog is talking to Dale about a wound he sustained the day before when the herd came through and he says, "World gone to hell and I die of an infection."  Showing us that it is also silly for Carl to die in a hunting accident in a world were that situation is the least of anyone's real worries.  What makes this situation humorous, in spite of everyone's hardship, is when Daryl reconnects with T-Dog and Dale, he hands over a bag of painkillers and antibiotics and tells T-Dog, that he can thank Merle for getting "the clap" from time to time; because the randomness of Merle having unprotected sex would eventually save T-Dog's life.
Rick running with Carl to Hershel's farm

Meanwhile, Rick, Shane, Otis- the man who accidentally shot Carl, and Carl are all running to Hershel's house to see if Carl can be saved.  When Rick has a moment alone, he keeps repeating to himself, "Girl goes missing, you look for her..." over and over again.  He is trying to understand how this situation could have gone so wrong in an instant and now both children are in danger.  In the back of my head when I watched this episode, I couldn't help but think of the saying, "no good deed goes unpunished."

When Otis and Shane depart to go pick up more medical supplies, they have an awkward moment with the shotgun that wounded Carl and Otis remarks, "It's turning into a strange day." and Shane replies, "Isn't it though?"  driving home the point about how random the world can be sometimes.

Otis and Shane on Medical Mission
After Maggie brings Lori back to the farm and she reconnects with Rick, she forbids him to accompany Shane and Otis on their mission.  She adamantly reminds him that his place is here, with his family and sometimes passively sitting, waiting, and donating blood is the best way to save a person's life.  It is contrary to Rick's hero complex.  He thinks he must be physically working toward something (going out on a mission and moving manically around to obtain medical supplies) when really we are reminded that someone like Rick can be a hero in other ways.  Like providing company to his wife in this hard time, and staying with Carl for encouragement.

Perhaps the sign from God that Rick was looking for the day before was that the deer slowed down the bullet when it hit Carl.  But also the obvious point is that it brought the group to this very nice farm where they will be fed and sheltered for a little while.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Season Two - Episode One: What Lies Ahead

Lori and Carol hide under a car to avoid a herd of Walkers
Shortly after the group leaves the CDC they run into many cars stopped and blocking the road.  While they are deciding what to do, the group begins to rummage through the cars for food and supplies and it doesn't take long for a herd of Walkers to descend upon the group.  Everyone hides and survives, but Sophia, the young girl, is forced to run off and is chased by two Walkers.  Rick leaps at the opportunity to help and when he catches up with Sophia, he hides her by instructing her to stay where she is while
he takes care of the danger.

Before not too long, she is pronounced missing, even though all the danger has been cleared.  The group arranges search parties for her and tensions are high between many members of the group.  Andrea is upset with Dale, because from her perspective, her choice to commit suicide was taken from her.  Shane and Dale are at odds because Shane knows Dale thinks he is untrustworthy.  Carol is angry with Rick because she thinks it is his fault her child is missing; and of course Shane and Lori are undergoing much unrest.

Rick looks for a place to hide Sophia
Sophia's disappearance creates three distinct purposes.  The first is that Daryl is able to take charge and step up because tracking is something he excels in.  It gives his life purpose in a world where people ha
ve all lost their identities, because their jobs do not translate into this world.  Daryl's happens to.  Rednecks hunting down animals (or little girls as the case may be, hahaha) is an important skill to have so the group rallies behind Daryl and his optimism and enthusiasm to find her is infectious to the
audience even if it is lost to the characters.

The second purpose Sophia's disappearance creates is the constant reminder that Dale is the superego, or for lack of Freudian garbage jargon, he's the group's ever nagging conscious.  He admits to Tdog (who had to stay behind because he sustained a wound during the herd scene) that he had already fixed the radiator but was lying to the group about it to stave off the possible conversation about "the needs of the many vs. the needs of the few."  Dale is not about to allow a Utilitarian argument get in the way of saving Sophia's life, so he continues to give an excuse for why they are unable to leave.
Rick distracts Walker away from Sophia

And finally, Sophia's disappearance leads the group to church to question God.  The group must confront God in his own way.  Rick admits he's not much of a church goer as he faces the alter and even questions God's existence from time to time, but he begs God for a sign.  Some sign of hope, or direction, about Sophia but also about the broader situation.

And through the randomness of existence, Carl, Rick and Shane see a beautiful deer in the woods, and as Carl reaches out to touch it, the deer is shot through the torso, and the bullet passes straight through Carl as well.  Leaving us all with the question of was the sign from God the beautiful deer or was the sign from God Carl's shooting?  Are the two connected or disconnected events?  And how bizarre and twisted is it to die in this world by a random accident instead of by a Walker?

Watch the full episode here: