Review: The Walking Dead – Season 2 Episode 2 “Bloodletting”

Written by Chris Beaulieu October 26, 2011

“Bloodletting” can be aptly described as The Walking Dead’s bonding episode. The season’s second episode takes a break in pace to develop and reinforce the relationships between Shane and Rick, Rick and Lori, Dale and T-Dog, and the entire group out in search of Sophia. In many ways, this episode gives hope to the possibility that the entire group will in fact stay together by reminding us of the personal connections they all share. The flashback of Shane delivering bad news at the beginning of the episode gives greater context to the idea of people growing closer in times of crisis that permeates throughout the episode.

The episode resumes to reveal that Carl was shot–accidentally–by a man named Odis while hunting deer. In searching for help, Odis leads Rick and Shane to a new group of characters living in a relatively walker-free farm. We see that they are yet another group of people who have pulled together to survive. At the farm Rick’s role changes from fighting walkers to giving blood to keep his son alive. Having to watch his son scream in agony while being drained of his blood is perhaps the greatest ordeal he’s faced in the series. It seems that Rick doesn’t quite know how to deal with the situation, as he constantly wants to escape to find Lori. I feel that this is not so much Rick being a bad father, but rather that his role as a father has been one of physical protection up until now, and he can’t handle the emotional stress of his son’s suffering alone.

Back at the RV, Dale and T-Dog discuss their utility to the group, and after some fevered panic talking by T-Dog, we learn that his arm is infected. The outcome of T-Dog’s arm didn’t turn out quite the way I hoped for in last week’s review, but it gave the opportunity for T-Dog to reveal some of his actual personality.

Daryl maintains his role as the crossbow wielding badass in the episode, and not much else. Andrea, who increasingly becomes the character to watch, comes very close to being killed by a walker. Her encounter with the walker was exactly the thing that she wanted to avoid, and puts her closer to ending her life in a way that she can control.

As more conflicts revolving around item procurement arise, I get the feeling that The Walking Dead takes its pacing cues from videogames. Rick is told that his son will survive, but only if someone goes out to find the respirator in a school infested with walkers. Shane and Odis volunteer and find themselves on a stealth mission to get inside the school without alerting their presence to the walkers.

“Bloodletting” is certainly more relaxed than last week’s season opener, but that is certainly not a bad thing. Shane and Odis getting trapped in the school with certainly result in some sort of dramatic escape in the coming episode, which should satisfy those who watch the series purely for the zombie killing goodness. Things are looking bleak for Sophia, as even her mother is starting to accept her fate and, of course, the clock is still ticking on Carl. Overall, the episode takes the time to keep the audience aware of the human relationships in The Walking Dead while effectively setting up further action to come.

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About Chris Beaulieu

When Chris isn't studying film, reading English literature, fencing, or watching re-runs of Frasier on TV, it's because he's writing awesome reviews for We Eat Films.

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