TV Talk: THE WALKING DEAD 2.2 “Bloodletting”–Meredith’s Turn

Every time I think Lori can’t get any worse, she does.

You can read Devin’s post about “Bloodletting” here.

Man, it’s not even fun to hate Lori anymore, is it? This show has made it far too easy. She was simply ghastly this week. While Devin was offended by the uncertainty of her love for Rick in the flashback (yay, clean actors!), I was most appalled at something else she said to her friend in that scene. “He was just being so damn reasonable and it pushed my buttons all the more.” She laughs off her behavior as crazy, and that’s a very specific, infuriating habit of the carelessly unreasonable. They admit that their conduct is irrational and unfair, but they elect to continue behaving that way, laughing it off as crazy but secretly thinking it’s rather cute. It’s a bullshit excuse for those who don’t want to put in the effort we all have to expend to keep our emotions in check and deal with conflict in a judicious manner.

It’s one perfect, stinking symptom of a character who has become unyieldingly despicable. What possible reason could the writers have to write Lori, the object of this allegedly compelling love triangle, as utterly without merit? To what end is this systematic devolution of a character who wasn’t even that likable in the pilot? I never liked Lori in the comics, but I could hardly say that she had no redeeming qualities. Lori’s arc this episode consisted solely of yelling at Daryl, yelling at Carol, yelling at Herschel, yelling about Otis and yelling at Rick. Sure, her son’s in mortal danger, but there are superior ways to handle that situation, such as Shane’s quiet support or even Rick’s frantic grieving.

I found an argument in the comments of Devin’s post quite interesting regarding the frequency with which viewers call Lori a bitch. (Does ANYONE like Lori? Please, please speak up in the comments if you do. I will protect you from trolls. Give us your honest opinion, because I’m very curious to hear it.) The question is whether that is a misogynistic dismissal of a complicated character, or a wholly appropriate assessment of a poorly written character. I don’t think the dismissal lies in the viewers’ response to Lori. The dismissiveness belongs to the writers, who have created a flatly irredeemable character. Lori is a bitch. She’s negative, dishonest and accusatory. She constantly makes a bad situation worse with her selfishness and miserable attitude. She wants Rick and Shane without actually seeming to like either of them very much. She survived the zombie apocalypse with her son, her husband AND her lover intact and yet she spends more time complaining than anyone else on the show. Maybe because she still has so much when others have so little, she feels entitled. Maybe she feels that the universe is clearly on her side so she can behave however the hell she wants. Maybe she needs to lose something vital in order to come to a revelation about her shitty attitude.

Well, I think she’s about to. Devin said it: formerly rapey Shane is now a total dreamboat, with his tender face-mopping and noble stoicism and wry understatements. You know what that means, friends? It’s time for some self-sacrifice! I don’t think Shane is long for this world, and I think this world is going to get a lot lamer for it. It’s possible that a little heartbreak could make Lori less lame, although I somehow feel certain that Lori could turn any life lesson into an opportunity to be insufferable.

Lots of other stuff happened this week–imagine! Stuff happened! We met the crew from Herschel’s farm, we’re now down two kids, T-Dog emoted, Merle got the clap on occasion and Andrea perfected her “bish, plz” face for Dale’s benefit. It was a good, brisk episode, and I was rather surprised when the credits rolled instead of dully watching for them as I usually do. The show’s picking up, but they’d better serve up some new character dynamics with the addition of new actors, because I am growing weary of pretty much everyone here. Henri, how about you? Do you think Shane’s number’s up? Do the writers have a plan for Lori? How’d you like the ep?