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David T. Cole

In The Flesh

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(It's a BBC show, so there's no actual episode titles.)

 

Season Two started Sunday in the UK, and starts Saturday in the US.

 

I really liked the premiere, but I'm not sure on the plotline with the BNP-style anti-undead politician. The Amy stuff was great though.

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I was so happy to see this show return.  I really thought it was making a clever point in the beginning when they had Ken as an undead sympathizer get killed by undead terrorists.  It showed how in those situations innocents get hurt.  They eliminated someone who was on their side.   I don't see how actions like that help the undead.

 

I do wonder if the undead terrorists are self motivated or if the anti-undead politician and others might have arranged for the undead to cause chaos in order to promote their anti-undead agenda.  The terrorism isn't really helping people who are afraid of zombies be less afraid.

 

I'm on Amy's side about the make up.  She shouldn't have to hide what she is.  I'm still weary of the cult though.

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I'm glad this show started back up. Although I wish I had re-watched the first season. I was struggling to remember who some of these people were. I didn't recognize the guy who got killed on the train until they mentioned who he was later on. 

 

I was sad to see Kieren allow himself to be manipulated so easily.

 

I'm guessing both the MP and Amy are there to try to find out what started the Uprising and how to stop/start, respectively, a second uprising.

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I'm glad this show started back up. Although I wish I had re-watched the first season. I was struggling to remember who some of these people were. I didn't recognize the guy who got killed on the train until they mentioned who he was later on. 

 

Yeah, I had to check Wikipedia to remember some of what had happened, including who Ricky Tomlinson's character was.

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Maxine imposes stringent measures and a travel ban on Roarton, which leaves Kieren's dreams of escaping in tatters. However, he discovers that he has a surprising connection with Simon at a party later that night. Jem's reputation at her new school soars when she is revealed to be an ex-HVF hero, but she is later humiliated when a prank goes wrong and turns to Gary for support.

 

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It seems like everyone has zeroed in on Kieran being the First to Rise on little actual evidence. I hope it ends up not being him just because it would be funny.

 

And I really don't care about the sister and her PTSD. Her story just seems like a distraction. I'd rather get more of Amy and her "beau", the MP, and even the HVF guy whose name I can never remember.

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Well, I figure the MP is part of the major plot this season so I'm willing to follow along with her for right now.

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I'm really interested in Amy's PTSD issues because it has to be confusing for her.  She killed because it was necessary to save lives and then there's a cure which means each person she killed could have been saved.  Plus, she still has confidence issues because she was unable to kill her brother while she was able to kill other people's family members when necessary.  Plus, being part of the HVF put her in the position of being adult but now she's expected to go back to just being a teen.  She wants to be able to just be a teen having fun but her experiences have made her older.  There's guilt, self esteem, and confusion issues that I think is an important story to tell.

 

I love the Amy/Kieran friendship and so I don't like the idea of a triangle yet there has been chemistry between Kieran and Amy's disciple boyfriend.  I just want Kieran and Amy to both have a happy ending.

 

The give back program really disturbed me because of the potential for it to become slavery.  Also, they are punishing people for actions they took while unmedicated.  They did not choose to do harm and so having them make a penance for it seems totally unfair.  I am not opposed to the idea that voluntary community service where PDS and regular people can work together could have a healing effect.  I noticed the video said something about gaining citizenship.  So they've taken away the PDS citizenship.  That seems extremely worrisome.  It's just going to make tensions worse.

 

I do think PDS who choose to take that drug that makes them regress do deserve severe punishment.

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Simon and Kieren come to blows when they spend time together on the Give Back Scheme at the doctor's surgery, despite Simon's reassurances that he is not leading Amy on. PDS sufferer Freddie Preston struggles with the notion of `till death do us part' when he returns from the grave to find his childhood sweetheart living in their marital home with her new boyfriend, and determines to win back the woman he loves.

 

In other news, the show won the BAFTA for best mini-series for S1: http://www.deadline.com/2014/05/bafta-tv-awards-winners-2014/

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It was a little Cinderella-ish. Right at the stroke of midnight everything turns back into a pumpkin. I laughed a little. But seriously, if they need to take their shot every 24 hours, and in 24 hours and 5 seconds they turn into what is essentially a rabid, murderous animal, there needs to be much greater controls on PDS sufferers. 

 

You know, in the first season everyone was saying it was really about being gay. And I saw that too especially since Kieran is gay. But now it seems more like commentary on mental illness. With the "attack" on the school the previous episode and then the hospital had a definite One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest feel. It would be timely; I'm not sure about the UK, but here in the States we definitely need to have a serious discussion about how we handle people with major mental illness.

 

Interesting to see that Amy is still having hand tremors. And I loved watching her and the guy at the center.He's so adorkable and she has such an excess of personality they really make a good odd couple.

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I think the sister's storyline wouldn't bother me too much if it was done in the first season. It just seems to me like we should be beyond that point now. 

 

I'm not sure they've taken away the PDS people's citizenship so much as you're not legally a citizen if you are dead. Are these people are legally dead. Here in the US it would be a major Supreme Court case on their exact legal status. I'm not sure how it would work in the UK (the EU Court of Justice or whatever they call themselves, I guess).

 

Unless someone is being forced to do community service as punishment for a crime, then it is definitely involuntary servitude, which is the official term for slavery. And I'm pretty sure these guys have a rock solid insanity plea. So, yeah, I agree they are slaves.

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Kieren is conflicted about seeing Simon behind Amy's back and frustrated by his cult leader persona around the adoring Undead of Roarton. However, Simon proves how much he cares by stepping into Kieren's world and having Sunday lunch at the Walkers'. Unfortunately, Amy witnesses the loved-up pair en route to Kieren's house and is crushed by their betrayal. After a positive start, the Sunday lunch descends into chaos. A tipsy and trouble-making Jem and Gary descend on the meal, provoking Kieren into a confession which sends shockwaves around the family - and astounds Simon. Philip can't reconcile himself with Maxine's questionable politics and the two go head to head. Seeing Philip as a thorn in her side, Maxine orchestrates his downfall and is delighted when his Undead perversion is publicly revealed. Philip's political aspirations come tumbling down around him, but a silver lining is provided by an unexpected romantic encounter.

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If the first season was really about being gay then I really do miss a lot (it didn't even cross my mind).  Kieran being gay seemed a lot less important to me then the issues of family and society.  I'm inclined to agree that it's more about mental illness.  And now there's that weird religious cult angle... the development of which is somewhat understandable given what these people have been through and their unequal position in society.

 

Unless that watch of his had been beeping in the drawer for several hours without being noticed, it's clearly a huge problem that they go rabid within seconds of missing their dose.  I wouldn't think they'd be let out of the treatment center at all if that was the case.

 

I'm not sure what to make of Simon and Kieren.  I kind of like them in their scenes together, on the one hand, but I don't trust Simon on the other.  His crazy little prayer in front of the mirror and cult-leader status are concerning.

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I want Kieran to get a second chance at love, but I just don't trust Simon at all.

 

The mental illness metaphor makes so much sense especially with the issue of medication.

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The whole thing where he went rabid so quickly confused me.  Why do you need blue if all you have to do is intentionally miss a shot?  That seemed too easy and felt inconsistent with what we knew to this point.

 

I think that this show is really well done, and I just love it conceptually.  I'm a big fan of the zombie shows, but I like how this takes a totally fresh look on it. 

 

But, i'm really confused now because that seemed too quick and easy to become all zombie.  Does that medicine leave the system so quickly?  I guess that get's lumped in with the general issue of how they have energy without food.

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As I recall, the show was originally pitched as being about mental illness (like schizophrenia or extreme manic depression) much in the same way that Being Human was pitched as being about an addict, and anger management issues guy, and an agoraphobic (or whatever it was that Annie was a metaphor for).  Keiran's zombie journey translates very nicely to the idea of a person who has been hospitalized for a violent outburst related to mental illness being released back into their community. 

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The whole thing where he went rabid so quickly confused me.  Why do you need blue if all you have to do is intentionally miss a shot?  That seemed too easy and felt inconsistent with what we knew to this point.

I agree.  They should have established that he'd been missing several shots over a few days.

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Moving over from TWOP

 

I suppose that Kieran is supposed to be the very first zombie?

 

What that means is anyone's guess ?  Zombie Muad'dib ?

 

I'm still curious who's grave Maxine Martin was talking to in the graveyard ?  A spouse/child that didn't rise with the others ?  Someone killed by a rotter during the Uprising ?  Because something is fueling her hate towards the PDS victims.

 

Turning the PDS into indentured servants and forcing them to work for free is all kinds of wrong -- because you know that they will NEVER allow them out of the program by continually extending the deadlines.

 

Having said that, the PDS brothel is even creepier.

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I'm assuming it is a child. She had a toy in her suitcase. 

 

It seems like the story is going to be picking up now. And just an FYI - when you identify the first riser and are reporting that back, you probably want to use the guy's name. 

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Kieren finds the strength to shed his contact lenses and cover-up mousse in public for the first time. However, he's wrongly accused of freeing the rabids at the GP surgery and hauled in front of the increasingly tyrannical parish council. The council place Kieren under house arrest, threatening to send him back to the Norfolk treatment centre if he doesn't confess. Disappointed by his parents' reaction, Kieren seeks out Simon and is floored to discover he has disappeared.

 

Meanwhile, we follow Simon to the city. We flashback to his horrific experiences in and outside the treatment centre, learning how he was radicalized and became the Undead Prophet's final and most beloved disciple. When the Undead Prophet tells Simon he must sacrifice Kieren to instigate the Second Rising, his faith is rocked for the first time. However, he returns to Roarton grimly resolved to carry out his mission.

 

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So, we are suppose to think that Victor Halperin is the Prophet, right ? Looks like it between the "superior species" remark and the way he was filmed.

Is his name an homage ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Hugo_Halperin

 

Philip at the crazy golf thing was über cute. I totally forgot about the disturbing brothel (I assumed, for my sake, he just talked and cuddled the zombie prostitute) the second Amy kissed him and he smiled in cheer joy.

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Philip's story was interesting but I felt a little disconnected because I couldn't quite buy it.

 

The nondiscovery of the escape was also baffling.

 

I'm not seeing how the UVF story is fitting in. What's-her-name's PTSD and the older lover story don't gel together for me and it doesn't seem like she belongs to the family either.  

 

MP at the graveyard was a long overdue hint as to what this series is about. Not just plot wise, but thematically, I mean. 

Edited by sjohnson

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Which one is Victor Halperin? I'm really bad with names on this show. Is he the second doctor who was working on Simon? Not the one who was being kind to Simon but the other one. That's who I think the profit is. He made a few comments and gave some looks that seemed strange. I bet he wants a second rising so he can die and then come back and live forever. 

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Amy is coming all the way back? She's the real first one? MP wants a second rising for her brother to come back? Kieran's family is rejecting him now?

 

I can't tell if the plot is exploding in a grand finale, like fireworks, or if it's just falling apart. What is this show about?

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It has always bothered me how Kieran's family insisted he sit at the dinner table with them and pretend to eat.  They are fine with him when he tries to fit in the mold they want for him but can't handle him being fully himself.  So, I'm not totally surprised that they aren't totally on his side.  I do think they should be more conflicted about it.  They are so certain that Kieran's lying and aren't giving him a chance at all. 

 

I think Kieran as first risen is a red herring.  @sjohnson I like your theory that Amy may be the real first risen.

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I noticed that Simon was eating with his father. I kept thinking he was going to violently yak it up but he didn't. Perhaps the early treatments let the PDSers take food, although why that ability would be removed I don't know. I'm still wondering how they process lamb brains.

I really like the Amy/Philip storyline. When she told him she was dying (again), I was afraid that he would kill himself so he could come back and be with her.

I love this show. Great acting and such fun ponderables.

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The series climax takes place against the backdrop of Roarton's annual winter fete and traditional boundary march. Danger is descending on Kieren - Simon believes he's the key to a Second Rising, while an unhinged Gary thinks he is planning a Blue Oblivion attack on Roarton.

 

Gary gets to Kieren first, determined to publicly out him as a ULA terrorist. He manhandles Kieren to the new graveyard where he knows the boundary march will be heading and then forces him to take Blue Oblivion. Kieren is made to face his darkest fear- becoming rabid again. When he endangers Steve, Jem finds herself pointing a gun at her brother's head. It looks as though Simon's job is going to be done for him.

 

Meanwhile, Maxine's deepest secret is revealed when she has a public meltdown at the fete. The villagers finally see her for what she really is, but not before tragedy touches Roarton.

 

 

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I also think that Amy is the 'first risen', since they didn't show the photo that the B&B lady was pointing to--it isn't Kieran or they would have shown it.  I'm wondering if the 'second rising' actually means that the risen will revert back to human, not that others will rise.  If Amy is the first risen and she is becoming 'human' again, this might be what it means.  

 

I was watching Simon as he was having dinner with his dad.  I don't know about the fish, but I did see him put a chip in his mouth and then take it out uneaten.  Then, he pretended to chew and then wiped his mouth.  I think that the people who are eating with their PDS family members see what they want to see (they want to pretend that everything is okay). Although I agree that making Kieran sit with the family and act like everything's normal is not the right thing to do.  

 

The final episode of the season will be aired on BBCA this coming Saturday.  I'm sure there will be many unanswered questions at the end.  Does anyone know when the next season will begin? (I'm assuming there will be one.)

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Kieran isn't the first risen. I re-watched Season One and there is actually a scene of him rising out of his coffin. I had totally forgot about it but there is already others shuffling around in the graveyard. Although I can totally see zombie Kieran thinking digging is too hard and taking a break.

Edited by theFel
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That really changed things up -- if the PDS sufferers can revert back to being human as Amy was beginning to do before she was brutally murdered by Maxine, that means there may be hope for some of them (her eyes were beginning to return to normal, her heart was beating, she bled red blood when Maxine stabbed her, she felt the cold, she was eating).  I think Amy was special case as she was very recently deceased when she rose from the grave (dead less than a year according to the dates on her coffin).

 

Who is that couple that was searching Amy and was digging up her coffin at the end ?

 

Maxine really did lose it -- condemning all the PDS sufferers to death to trigger the second rising all in the hope that her little brother (who died when he was 7 in 1994) would come back.

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I like the idea that long term PDS treatments might actually be a permanent cure but that they didn't realize it yet (or maybe it was all those sheeps brains she ate, lol).  You figure the scientists didn't exactly have time to test that thoroughly; they just needed people to stop noshing on brains. 

 

I am just gutted about Amy, though. 

Edited by millahnna

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I am just gutted about Amy, though.

 

Agreed. She was a breath of fresh air in a show that has such dark overtones.

 

Hopefully, she will be back (come on second rising).

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so much going on in the last episode.  I hate that Kiernan's family seems to be turning on him.  Hope nothing happens to Amy.

really hope there will be another season!

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Surely it's her little brother. She told the innkeeper that her little brother is very dear to her.

She does want a second rising, like the extremist zombies do. She believes that the second rising will bring her loved one back.

I think the show is about mental illness, homophobia, PTSD and soldiers and any number of things all at once, not just one, I am disappointed with dad's progress because from season one I assumed his love for kieran was deep and unquestioned. I cried like a baby when kieran pushed him to talk about what it was like to find his son dead.

Oh yes. It was also about suicide and tits effect on families.

Not surprised season one won the bafta. One of the most powerful things I'd ever seen.

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I love the idea that they can become human again. It was suggested by the one doctor who didn't want them sent home too soon... That there may be a fix.

I wouldn't be surprised if one of the doctors, the one who said they were superior, is the prophet. But I can't figure out why he should want the first risen dead.

I felt so sorry for simon when his dad kicked him out.

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the couple digging her up came from Norfolk... So were connected to the original doctors, who had said it was too soon for pds suffered to be released. They said there was still time so maybe amy isn't permanently dead. So cool that they might turn human again! RENs hand was shaking just like Amy's did so I think he's becoming human too.

Still don't understand why Maxine wanted the vicar dead though.

Nor why the prophet wants to kill to he first risen.

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I didn't see the first season, but I did really get into this season by the end.

 

Simon's slouchy brooding does nothing for me.

 

Amy wasn't using real neurotriptolyne (or whatever), right? She was using some concoction they were brewing themselves, maybe from sheep's brains? I recall a brain steeping in a jar in the fridge.

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Well it was good to see Kieran's family back to themselves. The confession about Lonsdale gave a satisfying heft to the final episode I thought. 

 

But I also think Amy's coming back so that muffled the impact of the resolution of the First Risen/Second Rising story line. Also, our masked supervillain now seems to be a dunce rather than a menace.

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I think the second rising may be a red herring.  I don't think the prophet was trying to cause a second rising but instead eliminate the first risen because of a fear that the first risen might be key to a reversion to being living.  The prophet wants zombies to stay zombies.   How did the prophet know about the reversion?  I'm more convinced now that the prophet is a scientist.

 

I was devastated over Amy and then poor Phillip finally getting the girl only to lose her.  His mother his awesome.  It's great that she was so supportive of Kieran her assumption that his family would fight for him really put things in perspective for Kieran's  mother.

 

Gary came off like a monster.  Drugging Kieran so he would go rapid and then calling Jem to make sure she kills her own brother was a sick thing to do and tremendously selfish.  He wanted Kieran dead and knew that would hurt Jem so he arranged it so she or someone else would be Kieran's killer leaving him to look blameless in her eyes.  I'm disgusted that something more horrible than Jem dumping him didn't happen.

 

One thing I wondered about is why they haven't poured cement over every grave or set up some sort of security system around all commentaries just in case there's another rising.

 

I love Kieran's evolution and how determined he is to be himself even in the face of horrible pressure from his family.  I feel like the family went too far in their treatment of Kieran and am shocked he'd still live with them.  I feel like they broke a trust by not taking Kieran's word over those who were so obviously biased, keeping him a hostage in his home, and being willing to send him back to Norfolk against his will.  They came around in the end but what they did is something they have to make up for in my eyes.

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I love this series, but the finale felt kind of like a retread of the series 1 finale... A PDS sufferer close to Kieran is horribly/ unjustly murdered, and Kieran himself is in danger, but his family rallies around him. The variations were different, but the basic story was the same.

Edited by dargosmydaddy
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I thought there was some optimistic bits at the end, which is nice considering how dark the show is.  Kieren was looking at himself in the bathroom and his hands were shaking, which is the first symptom Amy had before she started turning human.  So maybe Kieren's turning human.  Though Amy was also on homemade medicine instead of the official stuff, so that might play a role also.  Also, Simon decided to stay in Roarton and Kieren's family has accepted Simon, so it looks like Kieren is getting his man, at least until Season 3 starts and everything goes to hell again.

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So sad about Amy and hope she rises again!  Glad Kiernan's family changed their ways and support him now.  I cannot stand Jem.  Please let there be a Season 3!

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