The Walking Dead S02E02: Is There An Animal Doctor In The Farmhouse?!
This week’s episode opens with a flashback to Lori talking about her marriage with a colleague on the playground, which is just infuriating. NO FLASHBACKS! If we’re going to be stuck in an endless nightmare of ambulatory rotting flesh, then let us be stuck in an endless nightmare of ambulatory rotting flesh. Jumping around back and forth through time just feels like a cheat. I know that this particular scene was just supposed to remind us that Grimes got shot and that it was hard for Lori and Carl, because now Carl has been shot and it’s going to be hard for Lori and Grimes, and so the writers are doing what is called “show don’t tell,” except all of the characters will do plenty of telling throughout the episode so what is even the big deal about showing. If I had a shotgun for every time someone said to Grimes, “Remember when you got shot and were in the hospital,” I would have, like, four shotguns. That’s so many shotguns! You don’t need that many. Give one to Andrea. Anyway, Shane pulls up to the playground and tells Lori that Grimes has been shot (so really I guess this scene is show AND tell) and then she goes and tells Carl, who makes Carl Faces all over the place, and I’m not entirely sure what we’re supposed to be feeling in this scene because on the one hand it’s all about to get way worse when the world turns to shit and also we know that Grimes survives but we also know that Shane tries to rape Lori in the CDC, I mean, there’s a whole future of terrible decisions about to be made, but even more importantly: nothing new happens. Like, we spent all last season dealing with Grimes being shot and Lori and Shane fucking in the woods and Carl making faces. It took 100 hours and we did it. So who is this flashback for? (It’s also not pegged to anything. Like, we don’t see anyone remembering this. It is basically God’s Flashback. And it’s boring.) I never thought I would say this, but can we please just get back to the endless Zombie Wasteland please?
Grimes is running through the field with Carl flopping in his arms like one of those dancing inflatable floppy armed things that you see on the roofs of car washes or whatever, but if it has been filled with potatoes for some reason. That is what Carl looks like.
You know when people get injured and someone always says not to move them because they could have some kind of spinal injury that will only get worse if they’re moved improperly? I feel like there’s got to be some kind of middle-ground between “don’t move him” and “run with him as hard as you can through some lumpy wheat field with his body all flopping around like a pile of fish.” Yikes. I hope that Grimes is just grinding bullet fragments into Carl’s major organs and also spine and also face. (No offense to Carl. I’m sure he’s a decent kid. I’m just saying, we spent all of last week walking through some old woods, it’s time to pick up the narrative pace.) Meanwhile, Shane is bringing up the rear with the fat dude who shot Carl, who is so fat that he can’t even run very well! I have a feeling this is the only time we will ever see him running, and that the only reason they are making such a point of him having trouble keeping up is just to be very realistic about what it is like for people with slower metabolism when they are unexpectedly forced into exercising. “Wait, I need to stretch first!” Grimes pulls ahead and runs towards a beautiful farm house that is seriously just such a nice farm house. A woman with binoculars sees him coming and shouts for her dad and a whole gang of people come pouring out onto the porch (which is just beautiful, you’ve got to see this farmhouse, I’m telling you) and now they are helping Grimes inside and the old man is asking for his “full kit” because he is a doctor (although something tells me he’s not a real doctor because he doesn’t say “STAT!”) and they lay Carl out on a bed and proceed to save his life. Maybe. They tell Grimes to give them some space, so he goes back out onto the porch and wipes blood all over his face. Shane cleans him up with an old rag. (PRO-TIP: When the world is consumed by the Rage Virus, always carry extra rags around in case you need to wipe blood off your friend’s face because his son got shot trying to pet a fucking deer.)
The doctor explains that the bullet was slowed down by the deer, which saved Carl’s life, but that the bullet didn’t go through clean, and is broken up into six pieces inside Carl’s body. Wait, is that actually better than the bullet going through clean? I don’t know a lot about shooting little boys with bullets, but it seems like there are a few scenarios in which a bullet just passing clear through someone’s body might actually be better than having bullet shards all over the place? Shoot. I knew I should have paid more attention in my prerequisite Shooting Children class in college. Grimes starts freaking out because Lori doesn’t know. We see Lori still in the woods (good grief) and she’s nervous because they all heard a single gunshot. This leads to all of them having some Therapeutic Jam Sesh. Ugh. ENOUGH WITH THE WOODS AND THE EMOTIONS. Daryl is like “enough with the woods and the emotions.”
Back at the traffic jam, Dale is stripping all of the cars for spare parts and T-Dog is dying from “blood poisoning.” Uh oh. T-Dog talks about how everyone has left them behind because they’re the weakest members of the group, which, considering the fact that one of you is 70 and the other one is dying from blood poisoning, you might not be totally off the mark, but then he says that they should just leave everyone behind, which WOULD be kind of hilarious. If the show just abandoned Grimes and Carl and Lori and everyone and was just about a 70 year old man driving a dead corpse full of blood poisoning around Zombie Town in a clunky RV. Good show. 10 more seasons. Watch it in syndication on TBS Very Funny. Dale is like, “We need to find you some antibiotics. It’s so weird that there weren’t any in any of these cars,” and T-Dog is like, “good point,” I guess because of all the blood poisoning because actually, NO, NOT GOOD point. Like it would be totally nice if there were antibiotics in the cars, but it’s not WEIRD that there aren’t any. It’s a bunch of people fleeing for their lives in sheer panic. What are you even TALKING ABOUT, Dale? (And by Dale I mean THE WRITERS OF THE WALKING DEAD.)
Carl screams a lot and then passes out. Go to bed, Carl. Or heaven. Grimes wants to go find Lori and tell her about how their son was shot. Shane says that if Grimes tries to leave Carl unattended, he will break both his legs. DO IT! Again, that is a show I would definitely love to see. Grimes says that it should be him in there, which is kind of trite, but also makes no sense. Like, how? You mean you should have been the one trying to PET A DEER? They need to go to FEMA High School and get some supplies, and Grimes wants to do this to. Fucking sit the fuck down, Grimes. I feel like this show is very confused about what a hero is? Grimes can be a hero without volunteering to do every single goddamned thing. It’s exhausting. Take a breather, Grimes. One of the ladies from the house leaves to find Lori. Shane and the dude who shot Carl leave to get medical supplies. Grimes gives him his gun.
Wait, why? The dude puts Grimes’s gun in the back of his truck and then pulls out his shotgun. So clearly he’s got enough guns? There is literally not a single reason for Grimes to give him his gun other than that it’s going to turn out that his gun saves the guy’s life OR it turns out that he needs a gun and doesn’t have one because he gave it away for no reason. It’s called minor plot point, and it’s terrible.
A zombie attacks Andrea in the woods. Hahaha. She literally thinks she’s talking to the zombie at one point and then she is like WHOOPS! Get her, zombie! Eat her! She starts screaming and the gang is a million miles away. Andrea wake up! How far away did you stray? Just lost in your endless complaints about how you wish you had a gun and also your sister died that one time. Everyone’s sister is dead, you idiot. She falls down on the ground and is trying to kick the zombie in the face, which is a pretty solid technique, I’m sure, and then a horse comes riding up with a baseball bat and it’s a lady from the farm. She hits the zombie in the head and tells Lori to come with her and tells the rest of the boys where to find the farm. Daryl is not happy about it. “You can’t just go with her, we don’t know this lady.” Haha. I’m sure some strange woman in her 20s just rode a horse out of the forest to kidnap Lori and break up the group. Safety first! That is what Daryl says! They all head back to the road. Dale asks Andrea if she’s OK and she gives him the dirtiest look. Why? He’s just asking a nice question you stupid asshole. They find out T-Dog has blood poisoning and that there aren’t even any rolling pharmacies in the traffic jam if you can even believe it, except there is one rolling pharmacy and it is called Daryl’s motorcycle. He pulls out a ziplock bag of drugs (including some of Heisenberg’s famous blue meth) and gives T-Dog the antibiotics.
Haha. Right. You know how it is when you love to take methamphetamine and also ecstasy but you are worried that you might also get strep throat? It’s almost too normal for someone to have some antibiotics in their bag of drugs. Now I see what Dale was so frustrated about.
Back at the farmhouse, the doctor tells Grimes that this whole Zombie thing is just nature correcting itself. He is actually quite cheerful and optimistic about it in a way that is both surprising and doesn’t seem to match up with the part where he JUST said that his wife and stepson are zombies now. He’s like “Don’t even sweat it, Grimes!” Grimes is doubtful. Then Lori and the lady drive up on their horse. She is very upset, which is fair.
Grimes gives more blood. Lori asks the doctor how many times he’s done this surgery and this is when we learn that he’s just a veterinarian and Lori is so mad and Grimes falls off his chair. I am also mad and I am also falling out of my chair. Here is why: WHO CARES? Like, OK, if it comes time to perform the surgery and the doctor is like “Hand me my horse scissors, we’re going to fill him up with rabbit teeth!” then OK, it is a problem. But something tells me that whether or not Carl lives or dies is going to be entirely dependent on whether or not Shane and that fat guy can get back in time with the medical supplies. Or, some other complication that has nothing to do with whether the doctor is a human doctor or an animal doctor. On top of that, it’s the middle of nowhere in the midst of a Zombie Apocalypse, so ANYONE with a meaningful understanding of anatomy and biology is already a pretty lucky turn of events. Having him be a veterinarian is such a boring thing to have him be. “Oh my God, can you believe he’s just a veterinarian performing surgery on a human boy?”! Uh, you mean as compared to whether or not I can believe that the world is crawling with monsters and the CDC has a self destruct button? Yeah, I can believe it.
Time is running out for Shane to come back with the medical supplies and AGAIN, Grimes wants to go and find him. Ugh, GRIMES! Doesn’t the doctor have any bear tranquilizers or anything that we can pump into Grimes’s neck and make him lie down. Lori says that he’s not allowed to leave because she needs him there with her and Carl, which is already 10 times more explanation than anyone should have to give in this situation. The conversation should be more like this:
Grimes: I’m going to find Shane.
Everyone: Shut up, Grimes.
Meanwhile, Shane and the fat guy are hanging out in the FEMA High School parking lot, just smoking Parliament Lights and talking about Skrillex or whatever when UH OH, Zombie party.
Haha, that is so many zombies. They need to get to the medical trailer on the other side of the zombies. Don’t you hate that? It seems like they never put the medical trailer on this side of the zombies, they always put it on the other side of the zombies. Shane creates a diversion with some road flares and they run inside the trailer. OK. That was easy enough. Their shoving stuff into backpacks and the fat guy finds a new inhaler or something. (Way to go, nerd!) They open the door to make their escape and YOOOPS all the zombies are ON THE CASE. This would be a great time for some Benny Hill music.
Shane and the fat guy run this way and that way and finally shoot out some windows and lock themselves behind a cage, but apparently there are only two feet of space between the wall and the cage? Seems like a weird place to put windows and a cage, just a tiny dead end cement alcove. But fair enough. You hide from the zombies with the dead end cement alcove you have, hindsight is zombies/zombies, etc. “Call the architect, see if he’s still alive and what he was thinking.”
There is a close up of the tiny bolt keeping the cage locked jiggling in its placement and we are supposed to think that this might be the end of Shane and the fat guy but the truth is this thin metal cage will totally collapse under the crushing weight of all the zombies anyways, so who cares about the stupid bolt lock, and in the preview for next week we see Shane and the fat guy running around the gymnasium, so it’s fine. Oh well.