Previously, on In the Flesh: “Episode 1”
“Episode 2” begins with a cold open that has Jem taking a test in school. She’s not doing well, and then her pen begins to bleed. If that’s not enough, every other student turns into a zombie and comes at her; she pulls her gun and pulls the trigger, but it’s empty. Then she wakes up; it was another nightmare.
After the opening titles, the Walkers are having a very French meal; they’re preparing Kieran for his life in France, complete with berets. He leaves today. This is awkward but the sentiment of the gesture his family is making has a certain je ne sais quoi.
The town has begun putting bars and concrete on graves; this is a precaution for a potential “second rising”. Read your Bible… as is said in the show.
Amy is with Simon, and she says she’s going to try to stop her BDFF (Best Dead Friend Forever) from leaving town. Of course she’s talking about Kieran, and Simon knows that; he does want to know that, if Kieran is her BDFF, what does that make him? She assures him he’s special, and he tells her to tell Kieran they’re changing things around here, so Kieran doesn’t have to leave.
Maxine Martin has inserted herself firmly into the parish council. She speaks with Phillip and tells him to make sure all PDS sufferers are coming to the day’s kickoff ceremony.
Kieran makes his way to the train station, and Amy is there waiting for him. She tries to playfully get him to change his mind, but when that doesn’t work, she goes mean-truth. She asks him how many layers of cover-up he’s wearing and if he thinks he’ll be able to remove one of those layers in France; how far away will he have to go to remove all of the layers? Kieran is visibly perturbed by her frank attitude, but it doesn’t dissuade him. He tries to buy his ticket, but the guy at the window catches a glimpse of Amy without her cover-up on and thinks to ask Kieran if he is partially deceased. When Kieran answers in the affirmative, the guy says he can’t sell Kieran a ticket.
Kieran and Amy have sat down to wait on a bench, when Phillip comes up and tells Kieran all PDS sufferers must attend the ceremony. When Kieran says he’s leaving, so he can’t attend, Phillip tells him he can’t leave today. So that’s that.
Jem is really at school now, and the Henry kid who has a crush on her calls her out in class and tells everyone she was in the Human Volunteer Force during the rising. Then the teacher is all, “Well, Jem, tell us all about it.” She acts fine with it, but you know she’s like, “I don’t want to do this.”
At the ceremony Kieran had to attend, they’re shown a cheesy video announcing that all PDS sufferers will have to “give back to their community” in a program called the “PDS Give Back Scheme”. Nobody is cool with it, especially Kieran. He tells Maxine he can’t do it because he has a plane to catch. She asks to see his passport and sees that it doesn’t mention that he is a PDS sufferer. When he tells her that wasn’t a question on the application, she feeds him a line of bureaucratic bullshit about having to obtain a certificate from the PDS Give Back Scheme before being able to get a passport, so he’s not going anywhere.
Back at school, Jem is still standing in front of class regaling them with tales of her “war stories”. When class is dismissed, the teacher tells them to remember to bring in something for show-and-tell: “Bring in an item from The Rising.” This ingratiates Jem with some of the cool shitty kids in the class, who later ask Jem to sit with them at lunch; up ‘til now, Jem has been sitting alone. At lunch, they’re being general bad influences on Jem, when Henry comes over to ask her if she wants to be his show-and-tell partner. This kid had to wait until now, when Jem is surrounded by these mean girls, to finally approach Jem. Well, of course, they manage to pry themselves between Jem and Henry, so now Henry doesn’t like Jem anymore. When Henry returns to his table, with his fellow PDS sufferer classmates, they tell him to forget about the living. Henry’s one friend has some Blue Oblivion and says he plans to “scare this place”, so I’m guessing that kid is going to die.
Maxine Martin makes her way back to the B&B where she’s staying and finds the woman who runs it in her room; the woman sees her wall of PDS Polaroids, but she’s not going to say anything because we know she is a Victus supporter.
At Phillip’s home, his mother asks about Maxine Martin and the PDS Give Back Scheme, and Phillip says he kind of likes her and thinks she makes a lot of sense. Come on, Phillip! Dammit! They move past this pretty quickly, though, as dear old mum reveals to Phillip that she has created a dating profile for him on some shitty website. As you can imagine, he is unhappy about this. If you can’t imagine that, then I will tell you right now, never—NEVER—sign your son up for a dating website without his knowledge. Also avoid setting him up on blind dates that he didn’t ask for.
After storming out, Phillip heads back to the secret door we saw him go through in the previous episode. He repeats the password “The Goddess Ishtar” and goes inside. This time, though, we go inside, too. It’s a whorehouse. See? His mother didn’t need to worry about him finding someone; he finds someone pretty regularly—and he is a regular because he has a “usual”. What’s the usual? The prostitute dresses like Amy. Oh, snap.
Speaking of Amy, we go back to her and Simon; she says she’s worried about Kieran, and then she asks Simon what the plan is, basically. He says the Prophet just said to go to the place where the dead first rose and seek them out… whatever that means. Then Amy has some sort of seizure, and Simon reacts like this is the first time he has seen her have an episode like this, although we saw Amy’s hand shaking in the previous episode. She excuses herself to the bathroom, where we see her hand is shaking again.
At the Walkers’, Jem is in her room with one of her new friends, when Kieran comes in to give her his cover-up, which she uses sometimes. She denies she uses it, in front of her friend, and that’s when Kieran realizes that she is ashamed of him. This sucks, and I mean that within the story. I was enjoying the improved relationship between Kieran and Jem, and now these friends are getting in-between that. What sucks even more is that, when Kieran—visibly saddened by his sister’s change of tone—leaves the room, her friend actually reminds Jem that she’s lucky to have her brother back forever, and Jem is all, “Yeah, I know.” Ah, the pliable psyche of a teenager; she just wants to be accepted and will behave however she needs to to make that happen.
Now, we head to the friend’s home, where we see her mother is lying in bed and being unresponsive. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but it’s clear there’s something going on that makes this friend of Jem sensitive to PDS sufferers.
Simon goes out to where Kieran and some other PDS sufferers are “giving back” by building a fence. This forced community service is bullshit, and Simon says that to Kieran; he goes as far as to compare this to ancient Egyptians forcing Israelites to build their own slave quarters. That’s a fantastic comparison. While he’s there, he invites Kieran to a party and informs Kieran of what everyone already knows: the “certificates” the scheme promises after six months of community service are nonexistent. I mean, he doesn’t offer any proof, but that’s clearly the case.
Meanwhile, Amy is seeing a doctor about her shakes, and he prescribes her some actual medicine, instead of the fake stuff she’s been taking. When she leaves, she runs into Phillip, who quickly announces that he is there for a regular check-up and nothing to do with STDs. Amy doesn’t care, but she does let him know that the urine he’s holding is leaking on him.
Back at the school, Henry and his friends are in the bathroom fucking with Blue Oblivion, and they clearly don’t know what it really does; it’s just like when high school kids mess with any other drug. One of Henry’s friends takes it, and I love that Henry and the other friend actually get frightened by the friend who took it; this shows just how much a medicated PDS sufferer and an unmedicated PDS sufferer differ. Anyway, the dude makes it out to the hallway, scaring everyone. At this point, I still think he’s going to die.
In Jem’s classroom, show-and-tell has begun, and the friend who was in Jem’s room earlier is about to reveal to everyone that her dad is/was a PDS sufferer. Before she can do that, they all realize the “rabid” is in the hallway. When everyone panics, Jem’s friend inexplicably volunteers Jem to go out into the hallway and kill the rabid. But Jem pisses herself and runs away from the rabid, crying… I guess the kid isn’t going to die, after all. It turns out the friend’s dad was a zombie in the supermarket where Jem killed so many, and the friend did what she did to expose Jem as a coward.
While this is going on, Maxine is meeting with Gary about the fence building, and the two of them come up with a roundabout way to bring the patrol back, without actually saying they’re bringing the patrol back: what he’ll be doing is supervising PDS sufferers who are building the fence, only the PDS sufferers won’t actually be there when he does this, and he’ll be armed. The patrol is reinstated, but it’s not on record as such, so the parish council doesn’t know.
During this meeting, Maxine receives a call about the rabid attack at the high school; she and Gary go over there. Maxine interrogates Henry and his friends about the Blue Oblivion and where they got it; the friend who took it tells her he got it from the Undead Prophet website. Speaking of the website, back at the Walkers’, Kieran is viewing a leaked document proving the certificates are never going to be handed out. His dad comes in and asks if Kieran wants to watch some movies, but Kieran says he’s going out; he’s going to the party Simon invited him to.
Jem is out at a bus stop getting drunk, when Gary pulls up and tells her to get in. They go park in the woods and have a conversation that ends with Jem kissing Gary on the cheek (not creepy at all), and then Gary pulls out his gun (not a euphemism).
Kieran arrives at the party, and it’s a rave. Instead of popping Molly (as the kids say these days), they’re popping brains—sheep brains—and these sheep brains make everyone act just a little fucking weird. Kieran smartly turns down an offer to eat some of the brains and asks to see Simon. What Kieran wants is for the cult to help him get to France. Simon tells Kieran about how he thought leaving would make him happy once, too, but it didn’t work. I don’t know about Kieran, but I know I’m certainly starting to warm to this Simon guy. That means he’ll probably end up fucking everything up later, but right now, I like him.
Meanwhile, in the woods, a drunken Jem has taken Gary’s gun and run off into the night. At the same time, Henry has left the rave and gone walking home through the woods. What could possibly go wrong? Nothing, as long as what you consider right is that Jem is about to shoot Henry dead. Yep, the mixture of firearms and some liquid courage has led Jem to this moment where she’s going to prove she’s not a coward, dammit! How? By hiding behind a tree and shooting a harmless kid in the back of the head. Dammit, Jem; he never got to give you the bracelet he made you!