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'In the Flesh' react: The First Risen is revealed

Season 2 | Episode 4 |  Aired May 31, 2014

In The Flesh just took things to a whole other level. Not only does this show shock us and pull on our heartstrings with each episode, but it’s a reflection and a dissection of a multitude of important issues that plague our society today. It resonates with the audience on a level that no other show we have ever watched has. It might just be the most important show on TV right now.

OK, we’re done gushing. In this episode, Amy pretends to get wasted, fake-Amy gets rounded up, and the identity of the First Risen is finally revealed. Let’s get down to the dirty deets.

Philip redeems himself: Two words: character development. Philip’s story line in this episode was everything. He’s caught on tape visiting the rotter brothel. He tries to convince the lady who caught him on tape to keep his secret, but Maxine accidentally sees the footage anyway. In true conniving Maxine fashion, she tells Philip that she’ll keep his secret if he agrees to tell Henry’s mother he has personally seen footage of Henry at an extremist camp. Maxine is trying to halt Henry’s mother from sending the town into a tizzy, and knows that she’ll trust Philip.








Like we always say, Maxine is the worst. While Philip is off contemplating what he’s going to do, Maxine has rallied the town in front of the brothel. Gary and Jem round up the PDS brothel workers, including fake-Amy, and line them up beside their customers on the front lawn. The townsfolk are yelling and hurling insults at them, telling them how disgusting they are, while Maxine stands there smiling. What is this, the Salem witch trials? These people are acting like barbarians.








Then, who shows up but Philip? He grabs the megaphone and gives everyone a piece of his mind. In a nutshell, he says, “How can we point fingers? None of us is pure. None of us is perfect and free of sin. Maybe we just look at PDS sufferers as evil because it makes us feel like we’re better.” Everyone boos him, and Philip just calmly walks to where the brothel workers and customers are lined up, and stands with them. BOOM!










The speech might not have won any of the townies over, but Amy was watching, and her eyes got a little googly. Philip’s love for Amy mixed with Maxine’s manipulative power play must have given him the push he needed to stand up for himself and PDS sufferers. Bravo, Philip. We don’t hate you anymore.

Amy finds out: Amy is running around the corner when she sees Kieren and Simon making out in the street. Crap! It was so depressing because she wasn’t even mad — she was crushed. She crumpled up on the wall, looking completely heartbroken.









Before this gets out of hand, Kieren and Simon need to ‘fess up. The more this festers, the worse the situation is going to get. We understand how love can blur the lines of friendship and what’s right and wrong, but Kieren doesn’t have too many friends at this point, and Amy freaking rocks, so he needs to keep that friendship. Hear us, Kieren?








Amy does what any self-respecting undead girl would do in this situation: pretend to get wasted. She runs into her stalker (soul mate?), Philip, at a bus stop. Amy takes advantage of his affection for her, and ends up in his bed doing the nasty (again).










She was obviously impressed by his brothel speech earlier in the night. We can’t blame a girl. It was quite impressive.

Family night from hell: Simon is a trooper and tries to make Kieren happy by putting on makeup and contacts for a dinner date with the Walkers. Things are going great until Jem shows up with Gary. Words cannot express our deep hatred for Gary at this moment. Things get very tense when Gary tells a story about how he and Jem brutally killed rotters after The Rising. He spares no gory detail and laughs it off like it’s nothing. Wow, what a hero. If he was trying to get a rise out of Kieren, it worked. Kieren fires back with his own recollection of murdering people. Things get extremely uncomfortable for everyone at the table and Gary is fuming. What’s wrong, Gare-bear? You can dish it out but you can’t take it?


















Kieren finally tells his rising story — something he’s been avoiding talking about all along. He describes waking up in his coffin, reaching his fingers through the dirt, hearing a bell tower chime at midnight and emerging from his grave alone. None of the other graves were open yet. You can literally see Simon’s brain doing backflips and his eyes get wide. Did we just find out who the First Risen is? Yes, yes we did, boys and girls.










What’s sad is, Kieren doesn’t even realize what he’s saying and the significance of it. Kieren storms off to his room. We’ve never seen Kieren this emotional about anything so far in the series. Something tells me he just joined Team Simon and won’t be putting up with the mistreatment of PDS sufferers any longer. The most powerful scene of the night? Kieren wiping Simon’s makeup off. Speechless.










Simon’s ulterior motive: Later that night, Simon is in a phone booth out in the middle of nowhere chatting to a mysterious unknown person on the other line.










Simon tells them that he found the First Risen, and he’s beautiful. True, Simon: Kieren is beautiful. But something about the way Simon talks about Kieren, like Matthew McConaughey finding treasure in Fool’s Gold, really creeps us out. He’s not an object, he’s a person! Well … partially undead person, but still! Does this mean Kieren is some sort of undead savior? Can he really bring about a second rising? Ugh! If Simon does something to put Kieren’s life in danger, we will personally pop one of those blue pills and Hulk out on his ass.











Go away, Maxine!: Maxine cannot, under any circumstance, find out about Kieren. The last scene of the episode is her standing over her son’s grave and telling him it won’t be long now. She’s looking for the First Risen to bring about the second rising as well, and for completely selfish reasons. Of course, we could be totally wrong. Perhaps she wants to stop the second rising by offing the First Risen. All we know is that Kieren is about to be in high demand, and we hope he doesn’t get too stuck in Simon’s web to think clearly.








While we impatiently wait for the next episode, we have a few things we need to discuss:

1.  Throughout the episode, Amy exhibits some strange behavior. She’s out of it, forgetful, and eating food out of the kitchen without thinking. Why do they even have food in the house? What’s happening to her? Could she be reverting back to her human ways? They aren’t showing scenes of her odd behavior for no reason after all, right?

2. Simon showed interest in Kieren before finding out he is the First Risen, but does he have genuine feelings for him? Could Simon potentially betray the Undead Prophet for Kieren?

3. What does Maxine plan to do with the First Risen when she finds him? What was the purpose of letting the Rev. die if he was also researching groups who were looking for the First Risen?

Sound off in the comments below! Until next time … #FangsOut



New episodes of In the Flesh, rated TV-14, air Saturdays at 11/10 C on BBC America.


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