From Robert Kirkman

Outcast – Season 2, Episode 3: “Not My Job to Judge”

Megan must face the consequences of her actions. Meanwhile, a disappearance in Rome leads Kyle & Anderson to a new, dangerous consequence of the rise in possessions.

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Outcast – Season 1, Episode 4: “A Wrath Unseen”

Cinemax’s Outcast
Season 1, Episode 4: “A Wrath Unseen”
Directed by Julius Ramsay
Written by Robert Kirkman

* For a review of the previous episode, “All Alone Now” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “The Road Before Us” – click here
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Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister) presides over a very small funeral for poor Norville, after Kyle (Patrick Fugit) found him bloody and murdered at the end of last episode. And then Sidney (Brent Spiner) shows up, claiming himself as a “friend” and claiming Norville must have been distraught over the loss of his wife. Sidney says he’s in town to take care of Norville’s affairs, all that stuff. What a god damn liar. Although I can’t wait to see more of his character. He’s sinister, as we know it was him to have done the need. Or at least it’s highly likely, anyway. So I want to know his full deal. I suspect he’s a demon, but won’t jump to say anything. I’ve never read the source material, I wouldn’t know where this is headed. I can only judge by what we’re given. And I dig the slow burn nature of the plots coming together.
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Anderson is an interesting character, too. He has a bunch of keepsakes at home. Little trinkets he keeps from the exorcism work he performs. When he touches them the memories come flooding back, of the demonic possession he’s seen, the victims of said demons. Tragic life to live. In other parts of town, Mark and Megan Holter (David Denman/Wrenn Schmidt) are happy. At least they seem to be, even if she’s got other things happening in her life that he doesn’t know about – Donnie Hamel (Scott Porter) kicking around town and all. He actually shows up while they’re out at dinner. He brings up awkward conversation  and while Mark does his best to be polite, his wife is rocked by his presence. There’s a very aggressive element to his presence. More plot and character development/history to come out. I’m sure there’s something deep lying behind their relationship.
Then we get more of Chief Giles (Reg E. Cathey), this time at home with his wife and friends, Mr and Mrs. Ogden (Peter Burris & Debra Christofferson). When they’re alone, Giles passes the gold watch over to his buddy. With that, this plot thickens.


At a bar, Kyle runs into Donnie. The whole family clearly has a connection to him. That comes up quick and violent after Kyle attacks him right off before they’re both tossed out of the bar. They fight some more outside. Mostly, Kyle gets his ass beat down. “Always playing the guardian angel,” Donnie smirks above him: “Havent you figured out they dont exist?” Next morning Kyle calls his sister. He’s not willing to “ignore” whatever it is that’s happening(/has happened) between them. For the time being he promises not to do anything too drastic. Something big is behind all this and I’m intrigued as hell.
Later on Kyle goes to see Anderson, who’s busy cleaning up the cemetery, picking up trash. The Rev lays it on his younger friend, saying that to get into this whole thing and help people, to fight those demons while using that gift of his there’s a need for people to trust him. They don’t right now. Lots of talk, then his dust up with Donnie. No matter what’s going on there is a good bond between these two. Because really, they’re the only two who know for sure that there’s something dark going on, that the devil is more real than many are willing to believe. And it’s no big religious thing, at least not to Kyle. It’s merely a stand between good and evil. Well the exorcist duo head over to another house, the door has a German “Willkommen” on the door. Inside Anderson sees a few ceramic boys on the window ledge and starts to have flashes of what he’d thought of earlier while touching the trinkets he keeps as souvenirs. Meanwhile, Kyle goes in to see Mildred (Grace Zabriskie). She knows all about Kyle. She alludes to him beating his wife, and in general having a problem with violence. Mildred has trouble sitting down, but when Kyle goes to help her it all but sears her skin. The whole thing is incredibly unsettling, which sends Kyle out fast. We discover more about Mildred, how she’d supposedly been exorcised. And Anderson says she’s been in church for the past couple years, singing, praising Jesus. Could he maybe be a bit too naive? Perhaps the fresh eyes of Kyle Barnes are really needed to figure out exactly how devious the devil can get in his work.
Out on his own, Giles is suited with rifle in tow for a trek in the woods. He’s back at that dirty old trailer trying to find out more about what’s going on out there.


Poor Megan is twisted up over the appearance of Donnie in her life again. Her husband’s worried, and their life is being affected. She can’t even think of anything related to Donnie without getting upset. Then we get a flashback from Megan, she peeks through a bathroom door before running to her room, towel on, and then who I can only assume is a young Donnie corners her, crushing the tail of her white stallion toy on the floor. In the present, Megan takes out a gun and holds it with a look of intent in her eyes.
On the street Mark picks up his brother-in-law Kyle, who reluctantly gets in the cruiser. They go for a beer. Mark wants to talk about Donnie. Right away you can see the look on Kyle’s face change, his entire body language and demeanour becomes more tense. “Is that him?” asks Mark. He obviously knows about whatever happened, just not who did it. We find out Donnie was a foster kid that their family took in and he abused Megan. Yowzah. Lots of explosive stuff about to happen. Disgusting that Mark had to figure it all out this way. Furthermore, Kyle tells Mark about how when he found out what Donnie was doing, he started sleeping on the floor of Megan’s room. So more and more he’s painted as less of a bad guy, and even Mark comes to see him a bit differently, even after all the stuff with Kyle, his wife, his child – something we still have yet to fully discover ourselves.
At the hotel, Megan confronts Donnie. She wants him to leave and he tries saying that he’s changed, that he was a “fucked up kid” and nothing like that anymore. Not sure how this will all play out. I’d like him to get shot, Megan definitely has her gun. Though I doubt she’ll do that.

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Anderson is back to visit with Mildred. After the incident with Kyle he wanted to be sure she was all right. Truthfully, he’s doubting his own work. He believes Kyle may be right, underneath it all. He questions Mildred about her grandchildren, the fact she doesn’t want to be around them these days. This is a truly eerie scene. I love it. “What if we like who we become?” Mildred ponders out loud to the Reverend. It becomes clearer by the second there is still something demonic, something evil lurking inside that woman, and it’s obviously gotten better at concealing itself beneath her skin. The Rev finally admits to Kyle he didn’t get the job done on Mildred. Off they go on their merry way, exorcism kit in hand and ready to fend off evil once more. Only Mildred’s daughter won’t allow them in, she knows what Anderson did to try and get the devil out of the old woman before – the demon tells lies, of course.
In the woods, Giles sees his old pal Ogden throw a load of gas over the trailer then proceed to burn it down. Ah, more developments.
Out on the highway Mark pulls Donnie over. He orders the man out of his car, and you can feel the tension fatten up, so thick you could cut it with a knife. And in this day and age you can be sure the dash cam catches Mark beating the hell out of Donnie, throwing him to the roadside, laying into him. At home later that night, Mark gets a call from the Chief to run all that evidence he collected previously down at the trailer. But now Mark has to deal with his own morality, he has to live with himself. No doubt Donnie deserves all he gets, though this whole thing has definitely damaged Mark’s moral core.
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The worry in Kyle for the mistakes Anderson has made mounts. He worries now for his own wife Allison (Kate Lyn Sheil), even if she’s got a restraining order on him. What if the Rev has failed to exorcise many demons, not just Mildred? Might mean a ton of dark souls are out there waiting to be saved, or trying hard not to be.
In the trees somewhere, Megan sets up a bunch of glass. She smashes it with a hammer taking out her rage in the privacy of the forest. The pain inside her has to come out, and luckily she isn’t doing anything nuts. I thought she’d have killed Donnie, or maybe she was heading down to do some target practice in preparation. However, I think what we’re seeing is that she is a good person, she’s been degraded and abused terribly yet she chooses to take out her aggression without hurting anyone, putting her in juxtaposition with her husband. Here, the person that was abused isn’t the one wanting the revenge, or at least she isn’t taking it herself. The man always has to step up and make it about his own feelings and his own rage. At the same time there’s a division between people willing to step over the line when necessary and those who will never step over it on principle. Mark is a good man, but this episode sets up a big duality between those who choose to take care of evil firsthand and those who would simply rather try to get past it, however they can.
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A great episode. Love this series so much already. Some think it’s too slow, I find the pace extraordinary. It sets things up well and gives us a chance to speculate, before the plots and the characters develop. Lots of surprises, lots of creepiness. Can’t wait for the next episode!

Outcast – Season 1, Episode 1: “A Darkness Surrounds Him”

Cinemax’s Outcast
Season 1, Episode 1: “A Darkness Surrounds Him”
Directed by Adam Wingard (A Horrible Way to Die, You’re Next, The Guest)
Written by Robert Kirkman

* For a review of the next episode, “(I Remember) When She Loved Me” – click here
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Cinemax has blessed us. Let us indulge in the Adam Wingard-directed pilot of Robert Kirkman’s Outcast, shall we?
Even the credits sequence here is awesome, a nice ambient and unsettling bit of music over eerie imagery. This first episode begins with a boy that’s definitely not quite right. When he smashes a bug to death with his head (/face?) this only confirms suspicions. Downstairs his family is arguing. When he pops down to see them, covered in blood, they’re too busy arguing to notice at first. The way the boy moves is so creepy, you can tell his head is messed up. Finally, his mother notices he’s not eating chips like he was at first. Now it’s his finger.
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Chief Giles (Reg E. Cathey) is playing some cards with some colleagues from the local fire department and the local holy man Reverend Anderson (Philip Glenister), too. They get interrupted by an urgent phone call from a Mrs. Betsy Austin (Lacy Camp). She owns the little boy, Joshua, whose body’s definitely being possessed by something.
At a rundown-looking house, Kyle Barnes (Patrick Fugit) is sleeping. He dreams of another time before the nasty dilapidation of his current situation. He sees a woman, himself with her. But a knock comes at his door, he snaps back. In a room nearby there looks to be some things belonged to a woman. Instead of answering the door Kyle wanders around his home ignoring it. Finally, he opens the door and it’s Megan Holter (Wrenn Schmidt). Clearly a friend, but he is at a distance. She thinks he’s “punishing” himself. He doesn’t want any of her shit, or her charitable friendship. The house is his childhood home, he doesn’t feel like leaving.
Yet it isn’t all roses in his memories. Living with his mother there did not always feel like family time. By the looks of it his mother was possessed, similar to young Joshua. She’d lock him in the closet and that’s where he’d stay, for who knows how long. A traumatized young man. Why does Kyle want to stick around, though? How is it healthy? Or might there be unfinished business, a reason to stay close?

 


We discover Kyle shouldn’t be calling somebody. The woman in his dream. For her part, Megan does her best to encourage him positively. While they’re out shopping Kyle runs into some people who knew him. They also suggest he head back to church for a good rip roarin’ sermon. They further tell him about Joshua, who’s “fallen prey to dark forces“, which starts intriguing Kyle.
At the Austin house, Father Anderson is calling out the dirty demon. It starts kicking the shit out of everybody. Brutally. One awesome exorcism scene that both calls on films we know, plus adds its own creepy stuff.
Furthermore, it seems as if Kyle was once under the influence of Anderson. Yet now we know Anderson ain’t full of shit. Megan wants to have him over for dinner, though he isn’t so keen. He’s her adopted brother. And apparently people have… ideas about him, particularly nowadays. She’s married to Mark (David Denman) and he definitely does not want Kyle around. This is obviously a point of contention between the married couple. Surely we’ll see that develop the more this season goes on, as Kyle’s being around will impact a lot going forward. His little niece reveals a possible clue: she says he hurt his little girl, now Kyle isn’t her daddy. This upsets him, then he leaves. If this is really the case, that’s a devastating, heavy thing, and certainly paints Kyle as a character in a wholly new light within this first episode.

 

 


Kyle calls the woman he isn’t supposed to. She knows it’s him without his saying a word, and it unnerves her. He borrows his neighbour’s car, a man named Norville (Willie C. Carpenter). He heads over to the Austin household, asking for Reverend Anderson. Then inside he goes. Evidently to help. Anderson believes Kyle stopped whatever was happening to his own mother, so apparently he’s got a gift. Possibly.
Within the room, Kyle comes face to face with evil: “I know you,” says the thing inside Joshua. The way Kyle approaches it is from a rational, adult perspective. He sees it as nothing more than a kid pretending to get out of school. But the demon in the boy talks more about things he shouldn’t know, about the pictures in the pantry on the door, all those things. It’s terrifying. He evens scratches like Mrs. Barnes. “So long have we tried to find you Outcast,” the demon explains. Then it jumps Kyle, sucking something out him as Kyle flashes back to when his mother seemed to have done the same. What a god damn unsettling moment.
Afterwards, Kyle only has one bit of advice: run. He doesn’t have any faith or belief in a higher power. Pretty much the very opposite. However, it was what happened in the Barnes house that turned Reverend Anderson into an exorcising machine. So they’re at two different places, which is an interesting juxtaposition between the characters. Look forward to more of their relationship.

 


The tortured childhood of Kyle is awful. We get more flashbacks, as he goes to visit his catatonic mother in the hospital. He remembers being locked in that closet, similar to how she’s now locked inside herself, imprisoned in her own body. Some justice, I suppose, for all that terror. Later, he and Norville chat together, eating some stew. We discover Norville knew something terrible was happening when Kyle was a boy. The crew of characters that we’re being introduced to is excellent. I’ve never read the comics, though I certainly will not. And I’m already intrigued to see where a lot of these plots and threads end up weaving.
Kyle goes back over to the Austin place with Anderson. He starts to figure out further similarities between Joshua and his mother. First it’s the light that burns their skin. Then they begin to torture the demon, trying to hurt it. But the thing is strong and it fights hard. Sucking more of the essence out of Kyle, at least until he gets the upper hand and starts beating Joshua a bit. Love that this show has a grown man beating a little kid, evne if there’s a demon inside him. He goes a bit too far, but then the demon bites him, and Kyle’s blood burns him badly. Ah, interesting. The Outcast has power. Because this sends projectile, black vomit spewing out of the kid before dissipating into smoke-like fog. Luckily, back to the real world comes the boy, a little worse for wear but alive.
Of course Kyle ends up in cuffs after the whole ordeal. Although, he’s let go and Mrs. Austin doesn’t want charges pressed. Thankfully. That’d open up tons more cans of worms in Kyle’s life. As if he needs anything tougher to push through.

 


At the end of the episode, Kyle goes back to his house alone.
Then we flash back to a time before. Something had been possessing his wife, hurting his child. Love that we’re only getting bits and pieces, so as to draw it out. Keeps me wanting more. “Come and get me,” Kyle speaks into the dark sky at whatever darkness is surrounding him, right before the credits roll. Gnarly. Dig that line so hard.
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Stay with me. When the series officially airs, as Cinemax has only given us a taste just yet, I’ll be continuing on following this series. Adam Wingard is a favourite director of mine, so I wish he were sticking around (at least he isn’t that I know of other than directing the first episode). Nevertheless, I have faith in Robert Kirkman, as well as Cinemax after The Knick and Banshee.
This one’s going to be a wild ride.

The Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 13: “Beside the Dying Fire”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 2, Episode 13: “Beside the Dying Fire”
Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson
Written by Robert Kirkman & Glen Mazzara

* For a review of the previous episode, “Better Angels” – click here
* For a review of the Season 3 premiere, “Seed” – click here
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Here is the Season 2 finale. What will the consequences of Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) actions in “Better Angels” bring? How will Carl (Chandler Riggs) move on emotionally from this point? Will Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) find a way to hate Rick for what he’s done, or will she stand true to her belief that Shane (Jon Bernthal) was dangerous? Not a whole lot matters with all those zombies moving towards Rick, Carl, and in turn the camp.
This episode begins with a helicopter flying overhead of Atlanta. Walkers look up and start to move towards the noise. They make their way out of the city, into the fields, the wide open spaces of America’s South. Soon, they come up against a fence. After pushing against it a horde of them manage to break it down. They continue on ahead. Into the woods, through the night. Always walking.
It’s then they hear a shot. The one that killed Shane. And now we’re back watching them move towards the farm, as Rick and Carl head back.
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At the house, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Glenn (Steven Yeun) tell the group what they found, in terms of Randall. Daryl tells them about how Shane was walking with him. Lori’s too concerned about Rick, though.
Carl is asking how Shane died, if he was bit. Then Rick is about to tell him, but walkers interrupt their talk. They’re moving in further to the ranch. On the porch, Daryl and Andrea (Laurie Holden) also begin to see them close in. This is the beginning of a wildly chaotic season finale. Hershel (Scott Wilson) starts to get things prepared, as Daryl and the others try to figure out their next move. Meanwhile, Rick and Carl hide in the barn; ironic how now the barn is hiding the living, instead of when it housed the dead. Finally the guns are brought out again, big time. All of them load up.
Glenn and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) take a vehicle, as do T-Dog (Irone Singleton) and the others, then circle around the farm shooting any and all zombies they can. It’s a shootout for a while with Daryl, Glenn, even Jimmy (James Allen McCune) firing off round after round after round. When Carl and Rick light the barn on fire to save themselves, it’s clear the farm will never be the same again. Poor Jimmy ends up getting torn apart, eaten alive, as father and son are rescued from the barn. That’s going to hit poor Beth (Emily Kinney) hard; sad after all she’s seen so far.


The ranch is being abandoned, even with Hershel making a last stand firing a shotgun at the walkers bearing down on his house. Patricia (Jane McNeill) is also ripped to pieces by zombies on her way to try and escape. Maggie and Glenn are forced to leave the farm, not knowing for sure what’s happening to the others. Back with Hershel, he finds himself saved by Rick before a walker bites him. Lori is off in one direction. Rick and Hershel and Carl have to go in another, Daryl finds Carol (Melissa McBride) on his bike heading in another direction. Everyone is separated. Almost epic tragedy to watch Hershel see his ranch in the rear window of the truck, speeding away, fire engulfing almost everything now and the living dead stumbling after them. Insane sequence. Craziest yet: Andrea is left behind. Somehow in the shuffle she never made it to a vehicle, and off everyone went leaving her in the dust with all the zombies.
Awhile later, Carl, Rick and Hershel pull up to where they were on the highway at the end of Season 1 and the beginning of this season. Where they waited for Sophia. The plan is to stay together now. Hershel isn’t as optimistic as Rick, though, even he is pretty tense at the moment. Out on the road, T-Dog, Beth and Lori drive in a truck together, but soon they also head back to the highway. So do Daryl and Carol, too. The group is reunited once more, thankfully. All the remaining survivors are able to survive together a little longer. Handshakes, hugs, kisses. It’s a happy, brief reprieve in a cold and lonely world of death. The one sore spot: Andrea is lost, somewhere behind them. Their plan now is to head out east, somewhere. Anywhere else. They can only hope Andrea is either moving on herself, or passed to a better, less painful place; yeah, right.


Rick: “Youre a man of God. Have some faith.”
Hershel: “I cant profess to understand Gods plan, Christ promised the resurrection of the dead. I just thought he had something a little different in mind.”


Andrea’s alive, at least. She sprints through the forest all on her own, guns and ammo in tow. She will definitely become a better shot, a better all around hunter and fighter and survivor. A bit of time alone in the zombie apocalypse certainly can prove to either be death, or an incredibly brutal regime of survival. Here’s to hoping Andrea can use it as the latter and come out on top.
With gas running low Rick and the crew stop on the road a while. Nobody can seem to agree on a perfect plan. Although, Rick tries his best to lead things keep coming up against him. Then he’s forced to tell the group “Were all infected“. This is what Dr. Jenner told him at the CDC before they left. He kept it a secret all this time; everyone carries the virus, it comes on after death. A devastating blow to hear at this point, causing everyone to question Rick’s leadership. Also, Rick tells Lori he killed Shane, which rocks her world a little, too.
In the forest, Andrea is saved by a hooded figure wielding a samurai sword and holding two armless-jawless walkers on chain link leashes. Amazing. Another exciting character arrives. We’ll see her more next season, a ton.


Rick: “I am doing something! Im keeping this group together. Alive! Ive been doing that all along, no matter what; I didnt ask for this! I killed my best friend for you people, for Christ sake! You saw what he was like. How he pushed me, how he compromised us, how he threatened us. He staged the whole Randall thing, led me out to put a bullet in my back. He gave me no choice! He was my friend, but he came after me. My hands are clean. Maybe you people are better off without me. Go ahead. I say theres a place for us, but maybemaybe its just another pipe dream. Maybemaybe Im fooling myself again. Why dontwhy don’t you go out and find yourself. Send me a postcard! Go on, theres the door. You can do better. Lets see how far you get. No takers? Fine.”


With Rick ready to lead everyone, he states firmly: “This is not a democracy anymore
The season finishes, as we see a craning shot of a prison not far from where the group stays the night. Surely, they’ll make their way to it next season. Lots of excitement in store!
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Stay tuned for a review of the Season 3 premiere, titled “Seed”.

The Walking Dead – Season 2, Episode 1: “What Lies Ahead”

AMC’s The Walking Dead
Season 2, Episode 1: “What Lies Ahead”
Directed by Ernest R. Dickerson & Gwyneth Horder-Payton
Written by Frank Darabont & Robert Kirkman

* For a review of the previous Season 1 finale, “TS-19” – click here
* For a review of the next episode, “Bloodletting” – click here
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After Season 1’s finish and the destruction of the CDC, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his crew of survivors are on the road. Up on a rooftop, Rick talks into the radio again. Trying to reach Morgan Jones (Lennie James), whose fate is – as of this point – unknown. He tells Morgan, if he’s listening, that the CDC is gone. We almost get what Dr. Jenner (Noah Emmerich) told Rick at the end of the first season. But still, he conceals the information and even we as the audience know nothing. Sly and solid writing.
Everyone else tries their best to keep going – Shane (Jon Bernthal), Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and Carl (Chandler Riggs), Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) and Andrea (Laurie Holden), T-Dog (Irone Singleton), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Glenn (Steven Yeun), Carol (Melissa McBride). They pile in and out of the big R.V., their other vehicle, they head out into a great and diseased unknown, somewhere away from the city. Because now, the big cities have fallen. They’re infested like rat nests with zombies, far as the eye can see.
Where will Season 2 take the survivors? It’ll be exciting to ride alongside.
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Rick: “I guess Im losing hope that you can hear mebut theres always that chance, isnt there? That slim chance. Its all about slim chances now.”
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Speaking of ride, we get good shots of Daryl cruising down the road on his motorcycle. Even if there’s a bit of Nazi insignia. Though, I’m pretty sure it’s not actually his bike. This whole sequence at the start is a transition. We’re seeing them all start to settle down for a bit after the whole CDC debacle. Andrea and Shane bond slightly over gun maintenance. Rick and Lori and Carl remember a trip to the Grand Canyon.
Everything’s peachy until the group come across a massive blockage of cars across the highway. Weaving in and out between sections, there doesn’t seem to be much of a way through. The entire place reeks of death and decay. Something I have to mention: production design. Overall, there is an amazing amount of work put into this show. From the zombie makeup to the stunts, all of it is fun. But the production design, the massive job it must take to make this show look appropriately wasteland-ish is impressive. Even just seeing the interstate with all the cars and everything spread out, the scope of the production is wild.
After the R.V. steams out, everybody takes to the road and tries to gather as much as they can, from gas to random items, to hopefully car parts. Except Lori isn’t too keen, calling the highway itself “a graveyard“. Although, I can already feel an air of uneasiness, an ominous tone. Rick and Dale look through binoculars sharing an odd glance, Andrea finds a stray baby bottle on the roadside and looks at it, almost scared. Carl (Chandler Riggs) and Carol’s daughter Sophia (Madison Lintz) stay off to the side, but Lori tells her son to stay within sight. It feels like being on the edge of a cliff and waiting to drop off the side.
First, some walkers wander close to the area where everyone is scavenging. Not just some: a ton. A horde of them, extending back along the highway. Everybody does their best to hide, going underneath the cars, as Dale lays flat on top of the R.V. with Andrea inside on the floor. The massive pack of living dead shambles on ahead with the survivors attempting to stay quiet, and out of the reach or bite of the walkers. T-Dog gets himself a nasty, deep cut, which puts him in jeopardy while Andrea gets stuck in the motorhome bathroom with a zombie just outside, clawing to find her. I won’t spoil everything; an intense and at times pretty creepy, scary sequence.


When Sophia runs into the woods with zombies after her, Rick heads in. He ends up asking her to hide while he takes care of the walkers. Only when he goes back for the girl she isn’t there. For all he does, Rick is a good man. Now this one time, trying to help someone, it sort of backfires on him. Will that affect his standing in the group? Will people doubt him? They’re all searching now, hoping to find Sophia before the worst imaginable thing happens.
Rick clearly takes the guilt on himself. Perhaps he should in a sense, but he only tried to help, to do the best he could. And still there’s doubt in his own mind. He and Daryl go so far as to sift through the guts of zombies to try and determine if Sophia was eaten. He willingly dives into them, as if trying to make himself sure that he will do what it takes. In any and all cases. Back on the road, Rick has to tell Carol they still can’t find Sophia. The night is coming and the search has to stop, though, it does nothing to make her mother feel better.
Next morning Rick heads out again to search. Andrea and Dale are at odds; he won’t give her back the gun, afraid she has a death wish and wants to commit suicide. She only resents Dale for making her essentially save him at the CDC, after he stayed put with her. Sad to see, as Dale only felt a connection to her and didn’t want Andrea giving up on life. For now, Dale is left behind with T-Dog who awkwardly tries to pretend he didn’t hear everything.
Out in the woods, Shane is still playing would-be-dad with Carl. Except he’s acting like a child himself, wounded from his semi-relationship with Lori. This causes strain on them all. Everybody stumbles onto a tent in the woods, hoping maybe Sophia found her way into it during the night. No such luck. And so on they press.
At one point they find a church. Inside are only zombies, sitting in the congregation. Up they rise, not for a sermon, but for human flesh. Easily taken down, though, it is a super creepy scene. Along with a nice couple zombie kills and excellently executed makeup effects, as always. This series really gives us a lot of good stuff in that sense, with the makeup wizards at KNB – Howard Berger and Greg Nicotero – showing us their skills. They consistently do expert and fascinating work, from television to the big screen.
What happens afterwards is Andrea hears a conversation between Shane and Lori. An intimate one about their relationship, as Shane discusses leaving the group, striking out on his own. What will that bring about? More importantly, Carol has to bear the loss of her daughter. It’s likely the girl won’t survive on her own, yet still there is hope. Watching Carol have to deal with Sophia lost in the wilderness is touching, breaks the heart. And Andrea, she wants to leave with Shane. She wants to get away: “I see two people who dont belong,” Andrea tells him.


With some heading one way, Rick wants to stay put for now. For Sophia.
Rick has a heart to heart with a statue of Jesus in the church. He’s looking for a sign, an “indication Im doing the right thing“. I’m personally not a follower of any faith, but I love this scene. To know Rick has a deep faith of any sort, something to keep him going is interesting. It isn’t just his family, his wife and child. He has a deeper purpose in life, or so that’s what he feels. The contrast between him and Shane has never been more evident: “Get whatchu needed?” Shane asks Rick after the latter comes out of the church. I don’t believe in God, but those who follow, especially silently and faithfully, I admire and say: do as you will. Here, we see Shane is a lawless man and lacking in morals, even though before the fall of the world he worked as police officer. The divide between him and Rick is huge.
As the rest of the group moves on, Lori makes a passionate speech about Rick, hoping to take away some of the bad feelings, if any, about her husband over Sophia being lost. Although, I’m pretty sure most of those people realize how essential Rick is already. Even in Season 2. They’ll damn sure learn it better as time progresses.
The end of this episode is a shocking, brutal shot in the dark – almost literally. Carl is hit with an errant bullet that was headed for a deer. In the middle of the woods, cut off from society as it is to begin with in the zombie apocalypse, Rick and Shane panic as Carl begins to bleed out.


Excited to watch and review the second Season 2 episode, “Bloodletting”. Things are intense right off the bat with this season and it gets better with each passing episode. Stay with me, fellow fans!