In The Flesh, Episode 2, Review

Is it a zombie show? Is it a soap-opera? Is it a deep statement about society? BBC America's In The Flesh is ALL of these things and more, it would seem! Here's our review of episode 2...

Man, when you’ve risen from the dead, your problems just seem to spiral out of control. Talk about the most emo zombie series ever! It’s like watching that part of Harry Potter where Harry, Ron and Hermione just kept wandering around miserably in the woods because they were wizard outlaws…except imagine Harry, Ron and Hermione are zombies. God, wouldn’t that have just lifted those books to a complete other level?Episode 2 of the intriguing BBC America zombie series In The Flesh is all about reunions of old friends, sons, hunting partners, and what exactly defines an outsider in a small town. Yep, more sociological parallels, guys. But hey, when they’re made with zombies it seems less pedantic and more, well, cool, even if the gore is still on the light side.When last we left him, young partially deceased Kieren Walker was stunned after watching the neighborhood watch (the HVP) execute of one his neighbors, another newly re-integrated zombie into society. Led by the righteous Bill Macy, the HVP basically brutally pulled a grandma out into the street in her nightie and shot her in the head. AND she was the wife of one of the nicest guys in town, Ken Burton. Something tells me he ain’t gonna be so nice anymore.Karma’s a bitch though, Bill, because as soon as he returns from blowing the brains out of that lovely old lady, he’s greeted by a member of the Military Police sitting at his kitchen table. His son, who was in the military and lost in Afghanistan, has been found. Not dead though. At least, not quite dead. More…partially deceased.Oh the IRONY that really one could pretty much see coming from like, three plot points back. I mean obviously, so much time was spent talking about this dead soldier boy it was inevitable he was going to be brought back all zombie-fied.The second episode more or less picks up with Kieren running into his old “hunting” partner. That is, the zombie he usually paired up with to devour live humans. Her name is Amy Dyer (Emily Bevan) and she loooooves being dead. There’s the whole immortality thing, plus Amy’s the type of gal that just likes to sorta stick it to people. Reunited with Kieren, she’s happy to pick up the friendship where it left off, sans the whole eating brains thing. She even has dinner at the Walkers, which is so spectacularly awkward and hilarious and touching…let’s just say there’s confessions involving knickers (that’d be Brit for underwear folks) that lead to emotional revelations. Who would have thought that the discussion of undergarments would lead to such emotional breakthroughs?Meanwhile, Bill Macy basically forces the entire town to accept the return of his son, Rick (David Walmsley), because, y’know, he’s a war hero and all. The fact that Rick is a zombie, and that Bill is still a rabid member of the HVP (man, it’s really easy to accidentally flip flop those two letters to mean something waaaay different. TRAUMATIZED EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes…yes, it is.) is pretty much glossed over by the Macy family. In fact, it’s glossed over by the entire town, mostly because everyone still considers Bill Macy the shiz…and he’s kinda trigger happy. And he doesn’t mind executing people (or partially deceased) he disagrees with, or who disagree with him. The only person who sees fit to protest this hypocrisy is good ol’ Vicar Oddie, but no one really listens to him because he’s a religious nutjob.Denial, denial, denial glad to see it is as rampant a problem in recovering dystopian British homes as it is in present day America. Not that Rick isn’t cooperating. He is. He refuses to believe he’s partially deceased as well, which more or less results in him booting up a lot of family meals he eats. Yeah, zombies can’t eat…Rick’s reunion with Kieren is beyond tense, full of unsaid things, recriminations, regrets, hey we’re both sorta dead now, but I’m a war hero and people like me while you’re still a loser weakling who has to run and hide when people see you. There also seems to be some pretty heavy history between these two as well. Like, relationship history. As in, the love that dares not speak its name, even between two zombies. Honestly, you’d think after, you know, DYING, the two boys would get over silly things like societal pressure, but there you go (although it would bring a whole new level to the word “necrophilia”). The episode ends with Kieren joining in on a village hunt for rabid “rotters” in the woods, and cuts off without much resolution.Ok. Clearly In The Flesh is not going to be your traditional zombie fare. There’s very little gore, lots of significant pauses, and so many metaphors slinging around that I feel I need an umbrella to shield me from all the figurative language raining down, However, I will argue that there is much to be said for a series that takes a genre and turns it on its head. It’s brave. It opens new doors. It can result in some fairly heavy moments, as well as some excellent black humor.Plus, even the zombie lore has to evolve sometime, right? I mean, really, the whole zombie zeitgeist (yes, I like the word zeitgeist, and c’mon it just begs for the alliteration) is really just one grad student thesis away from being an offered elective for film/literature/arts/communications majors.Anyways, the point is, watch the show. I for one can’t wait to see how it wraps itself up, and whether it will end on a cliffhanger because yes, the series has been renewed.Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. 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4 out of 5