FX, 23 October
While wounded Carl is tended to by a handy vet, the search continues for the missing Sophia…
Given all the rumours of budget cuts and a troubled production process, as well as requests from the funders for less zombies, the opening of this episode as a flashback to pre-zombie days was a bad omen… If we see more of this—Lost-like flashbacks to the ‘normal’ world—we’ll know the money-men have won.
Much of this episode appears to be treading water, with a script that is far too often right on the nose. There’s no subtlety in the dialogue, as Rick and Lori struggle to cope with the fact that their son, Carl, is at death’s door and his only hope is an ancient vet.
It’s only when T-Dog gets feverish and spouts some concern for his own prospects as the only black guy among a bunch of crackers that things improve, but this is short-lived and we’re soon back to trudging through the woods (more echoes of Lost) with a bunch of grumpy people. That sequence is only enlivened when the group are joined by a lone zombie, almost unnoticed.
Just when you think budget concerns mean that’ll be the sole zombie this episode, Shane and Otis (guest star Pruitt Taylor Vince) run across a horde of them in their hunt for medical equipment, leading to a cracking cliffhanger.
Verdict: A strange, subdued episode lacking that vital spark.
Episode 2 ‘Bloodletting’: 6/10
Brian J. Robb