In the Flesh Episode Two: Family Denial and a Friend in Grief

GameStop, Inc.

by Victoria Irwin

Senior Correspondent

 

In The FleshFamily denial is a heavy theme in this week’s episode of In the Flesh and hangs heavy like a shroud over the entire story line. Bill “the Shepard” Macy, leader of the Human Volunteer Front and killer of Partially Deceased sufferers is informed that his beloved son, Rick (David Walmsley), has returned from war. The unfortunate thing, which Bill seemingly will not admit to himself or the town, is that his son also suffers from PDS. Though his face is obviously stapled back together and he walks with the limp of a man who is barely intact, Rick is treated like a war hero returned. Due to Bill’s position in the town, and his almost mentally disturbed refusal to believe that his son is in fact dead, the town quietly discusses Rick’s actual physical nature but without ever letting onto Bill’s denial or treating Rick with the same disdain they do for other PDS sufferers.

Rick (DAVID WALMSLEY),

Kieran Walker has now had some time to adjust to his Partially Deceased State and home. After escaping his parents house through a ruse involving a sweatshirt and keeping his head down, Kieran comes across another PDS sufferer delighting in her own tombstone. Amy Dyer (Evelyn Bevan) is a cheerful young woman with a disturbed sense of self entitlement. She encourages Kieran to spend the day with her in an amusement park. Their time is cut short when a guest of the amusement park recognizes Kieran and he is chased away. Thought hinted from the first episode that Kieran succumbed to death at his own hand, we are confirmed in this from this week’s episode. After discovering that Rick has returned, Kieran is overcome with anger that his family has tried to hide the fact from him. We also discover that although hinted at from the previous episode, grief over losing Rick is the reason that Kieran slit his own wrists.

A painfully disturbing scene occurs when Kieran is administered his medication by his father. Despite his father’s clumsiness, Kieran is given his PDS solution and goes into a vivid flashback of digging out of his own grave. Initially, we see only the green satin lining of what turns out to be a coffin. After coming to, Kieran asks his father why he chose to bury him, all the while whimpering as one who has suffered great tragedy. Kieran, it turns out, had specifically requested that he be cremated. In essence, his parents feel the nature to care for their PDS suffering son, because they are in fact responsible for his body being around at all.

Denial and uncovering the truth are seen from two different aspects in this episode. While the leader of the HVF is hell bent on believing his son is just as he saw before a tour in Afghanistan, the PDS sufferers band together to face the nature of their condition and the freedom that it provides. Rick’s willingness to hunt his own kind questions whether he is straddling the line or attempting to save face under the watchful eye of his father. Amy, however, spends a good portion of the episode au naturel; sans the contacts and cover up makeup that allow her to pass unnoticed by the living.

Two sides have been formed for the town of Roarton; those who support those “living” with PDS and those who would rather they all be dead. As we head into the third and final episode of the season, it is evident that more than one character is caught somewhere in between.

Amy Dyer (EMILY BEVAN)

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