‘The Walking Dead’ 2.02 Recap: “It’s a Waste of Time All This Hoping and Praying.”

Carl has been shot, Sophia is nowhere to be found, and a fat guy almost becomes zombie food. Just another day with ‘The Walking Dead’.

Brief Synopsis: Rick runs to get help for his son Carl, who’s just been accidentally shot by a hunter (played by Pruitt Taylor Vince, who was the crazy dude in ‘Identity‘). In order to save Carl’s life, the doctor they find needs some medical supplies to perform the surgery and get out all the bullet fragments. Shane volunteers to go to a nearby school to procure supplies from a makeshift FEMA station that’s now overrun with zombies. Sophia remains missing, and T-Dog remains angst-ridden (and is now developing a blood infection).

Episode Thoughts: Despite the contrarian nature of last week’s post, I was entertained by the ‘Walking Dead’ season premiere. I had a few problems with the way the plot went down (seriously, no one gets that close to a deer without spooking it), but the show still retained its overall creepy mood, which is what drives the story anyway. Yes, the zombies add to the creepy vibe, but they aren’t necessary. That’s evidenced by this episode, ‘Bloodletting’, which has only minimal zombie action.

I liked the opening flashback scene where Lori had to tell Carl about his dad being shot, and how that was contrasted with Lori and Rick dealing with their son getting shot now. In many ways, Carl took the shooting of his father better and more maturely than his parents are acting given his current situation. It’s understandable, though. In a world filled with flesh-eating monsters, having your son die from an accidental gunshot seems… well, unfair.

T-Dog and Dale face their own crises. T-Dog wants to just leave the rest of the group, take the RV, and get away. He’s sulking because, in his mind, the group thinks that the two of them are weak. For a guy who almost offed himself by stupidly cutting his arm on twisted metal, in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, that assessment is probably pretty true. However, T-Dog develops an infection fast. Without proper meds, he’ll simply die. Another unfair death. In his own words, T-Dog laments his situation: “I’m the one black guy. You realize how precarious that makes my situation?” That is, until Daryl comes to his rescue yet again by offering one of the funniest lines of the series. Digging into a package of his brother’s collection of pills, Daryl pulls out some antibiotics and exclaims, “Merle got the clap on occasion.” That joke goes a long way for me. Also, this brings up an important question: Are we ever going to see Merle again? Part of me thinks that we will. Maybe he’ll come back in zombie form, but I don’t think that the writers left his story open-ended for no reason.

Finally, we get to Shane and his quest to find surgical supplies. I wonder what it must feel like to arrive at a place with hundreds of zombies milling about. So creepy. The guys do what they can to get into the mobile medical unit and grab what they need, but they seem to leave the trailer a bit more loudly than they should. All I could think about when Shane and Otis were running away from that horde of zombies was a line from ‘Zombieland‘: “The first rule of Zombieland: Cardio. When the zombie outbreak first hit, the first to go, for obvious reasons, were the fatties.” I’m surprised that Otis has made it this far without becoming a zombie all-you-can-rip-apart buffet.

People who detest the child-in-peril storytelling will still dislike where this season seems to be going. Sophia still hasn’t been located, and Carl is inches away from dying from a gunshot wound. In my gut, I think that both of them will ultimately survive, but you never know. Like the scene with T-Dog staring at a blood-spattered car seat, this show always leaves you wondering and guessing that the worst could just possibly happen.


  1. Lahrs

    When the episode ended, my first thought was how much better this was compared to the season premier. There wasn’t a lot of zombie action, but the interactions between the characters seemed more genuine and convincing in this episode compared to the last. Your comment about Carl handling his father getting shot better than his parents are handling him getting shot just goes to show how important a kid can be to a show like The Walking Dead. Different perspectives, an adults compared to a kids, can add a lot to the story. So far, Carl shows how a kids storyline can be beneficial, while Sophia’s shows how it can bog a story down.

    The show still has a lot in common with the comic, such as the Greene family farm, Carl getting shot and quite a bit more, but the deviations have been a lot of fun. They do not need to search for medical supplies in the comic, but to think Hershel has all the medical supplies on hand is a bit unrealistic, so having to go raid FEMA makes sense. I am also enjoying the conflict that Shane is going through. There are flashes of him coming through for his best friend and Carl, his feeling of betrayal from Lori, his belief that he should be in charge and trying to make the right decisions to hold the group together. There is a lot on his shoulders, and I am just waiting for him to snap.

    Merle will be back, that I am sure of. The fact that he cut off his hand leads me to a certain story line in the comic which would work very well together. I won’t mention it for spoilers sake, but I do believe he will be back.

    Lastly, I will second your comment on Daryl’s line being the funniest so far. Daryl, like Merle and T-Dog, is a character not in the comic, but I believe has been an excellent addition.

  2. i like how the zombies move depending on the plot.one point there slow , next they are moving pretty good. and i love how rick cant go because carl is shot. didnt they leave rick in the hospital bed?.

    • Aaron Peck

      They do seem to have taken on a ’28 Days Later’ faster type zombie in this season whenever they’re chasing down food. However, when they’re bored they simply shuffle about aimlessly. What I want to know is how some zombies shuffle around in the same place forever, while others walk around in the woods, and some others form huge groups to walk the highways. There must be different levels of intelligence, even in the zombie culture. Right?

      • the one zombie was out in the woods , never tripped over a branch yet the living stumbles all over the place. i think the stand alone zombies didn’t like the group they were in and just left. radical zombies.

    • Kirkman explained on Talking Dead that the fresher/newer zombies would be able to move faster since their less decayed and the older zombies would only be able to just shuffle along.

    • Aaron Peck

      Could you even tell if a zombie was fermented? Certainly wouldn’t be able to tell by smell.

      On a complete unrelated note, if this was an HBO show they would’ve already introduced a group of zombie fetishists who lock zombies away in their basement…

      • Jane Morgan

        If zombies fermented like really good sourdough, they could lure humans in with their first-stage aroma.

        If you kept your basement cold enough, you could probably keep a fetish zombie in the fermentation sweet spot for quite some time.

        If the zombies learned, instinctually, how to control fermentation, they could keep pickled people parts in jars or vats for snacks.

        Maybe Brad Pitt will tackle zombie fermentation in ‘World War Z.’

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