Tonight’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead gave viewers the long-awaited road trip with Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride), but was it everything it was cracked up to be? Arguably, these two are the strongest members of the group when it comes down to sheer survivability, so even hordes of Walkers in a dense urban setting wouldn’t stand a chance, right? And surely we’d see lots of break-neck action peppered in between moments of post-apocalyptic romance, yes? Eh, perhaps this hour was not exactly what viewers had been waiting for, as it was little more than a placeholder between episodes. Honestly, it’s best moments came as a cautionary tale for reckless drivers.
Hit the jump for The Walking Dead recap.
Tonight, on the Amazing Adventures of Daryl and Carol…I was honestly hoping to see a bit more from these two. We know Daryl’s story at this point, and thanks to Carol’s Rambo-like actions at Terminus, we know she’s equally as capable at surviving in this world. So why do we need to rehash their badass qualities? A better question, why do we see this in a herky-jerky flashback sequence rather than through contemporary actions? Your guess is as good as mine. Let’s break down Carol’s flashback sequence first.
We pick up with where Carol left the group at Rick’s request. Now surviving on her own, Carol fights off her despair of being alone and constantly being harassed by the Walkers. She makes a temporary encampment in a nearby office. One morning, she spies black smoke coming from the prison and arrives to find it blown up and nearly burned down to the ground.
We then cut to Carol and Tyreese burying Lizzie and Mika after their deaths, a flashback that happens on the heels of Daryl burning a child’s body in the current timeline. The flashback itself then has a flashback that sees Carol standing over the burned bodies of David and Karen at the prison. Another cut shows us Carol just after the infiltration of Terminus. We see her shedding the clothes covered in Walker gore as she heads away from the chaos through the woods. The question here is: Why? Why are we seeing all of these previously revealed scenes (or at least previously surmised scenes) of Carol? Is she about to be offed on the show? I certainly hope not considering how much time they’ve spent building her character up to this point (though I’m also aware of her path in the comics). Perhaps someone else would take up Carol’s mantle if she happens to make an untimely departure…
Oh hey, remember Beth? Yeah, that’s who Carol and Daryl are taking a road trip to find in the current timeline. They track a car with a white cross like the one that took Beth, but another car is following them unseen. We get our first real exterior look at Atlanta’s bombed out urban setting as Carol and Daryl spy on the pair of men in the car. When the car turns to enter the city, they try to follow, but their own car is dead and the Walkers are gathering. They leave a trail of dead Walkers behind them as they fight their way to a safehouse in the city. Now that it’s dark, the Walkers come out of the woodwork; lots of them.
Carol seems to know this place, and it’s revealed that it’s temporary housing, a shelter for those who need it, for victims of abuse like Carol. While talking about the apparent fact that they can’t save people anymore, a small group of Walkers tries to make its way into their room. Carol goes to kill them all, but Daryl stops her, saying she doesn’t have to. The next morning, Daryl lays the body of a child to rest by burning it.
In the daylight, Carol and Daryl traverse the city and come across a pack of Walkers between them and their destination. Daryl does a neat trick that involves lighting a pad of paper on fire and using it to lure the Walkers away (they must have all been office workers in a previous life). Someone watches from the parking garage as they enter a breezeway between buildings In the walkway, more Walkers are stuck in their sleeping bags or trapped in tents; Daryl and Carol kill most of them but leave others alone. The unknown man still follows them.
The breezeway leads them to a posh office which looks out on the ruined city. They ponder how they got to this point while Carol asks Daryl why he hasn’t asked her what happened to her on the road with Tyreese. (Daryl should have just watched the flashback sequence.) They talk of starting over, and going back to the way it was. Then they spy a van with the white cross stuck on an overpass. After filling up their canteens with bottled water and making their way back out, they run afoul of Noah (Tyler James Williams) from Slabtown who holds them up and steals their weapons. He flees, but not before freeing the tent Walkers to attack our heroes. They quickly deal with the undead, and Carol is about to put the thief down, but Daryl stops her. Carol can’t stand to see any more people die, which is why she left. She’s not ready to die so easily. A book falls out of their bag that reads, “Dealing with Victims of Childhood Abuse”
Needing weapons and a new lead, they investigate the white cross van. There’s a stretcher inside from Grady Memorial, but other than that there’s not much else. They quickly get penned in by a pack of Walkers, and decide to force crash the car off the bridge… The van lands on all four wheels, violently, and they should be dead, but they’re not, of course. Walkers follow suit and drop onto the van’s roof from the bridge overhead. Okay, so they’re not in great shape; Carol appears to have a broken collarbone, but she’s tough. Their plan now is to observe the hospital and see what they can learn.
Carol shares a story from her past about spending time in the shelter with her daughter in order to avoid getting beaten up by her husband. She also retells of the freedom she felt when her husband died, and the sorrow that followed when her daughter died soon after. They soon find a Walker impaled against a wall with a crossbow bolt, with two more closing in from the hallway. Carol’s still pretty injured so Daryl takes over, especially when he finds the thief and knocks him to the ground, pinning him under a fallen bookcase. They reclaim their supplies, including a new pack of smokes, and let a nearby Walker nearly feast on him before Carol’s pleas get Daryl to put the Walker down before Noah can be bitten. They free him and he warns them about the people from the hospital, also revealing that Beth is with them, and that she saved his life. Carol goes to exit the building and the officers from the hospital run her over before loading her up and taking her to Grady.
Now we know how Carol got injured, and who came back to the church with Daryl. We also know that Rick & Co. is planning a raid on Grady Memorial, so at least we have that to look forward to. What I don’t know is what this episode achieved exactly. Let’s hope they get back on track next week.
Odds & Entrails:
- Daryl: “Some days I don’t know what the hell to think.”
- Daryl: “I bet this cost some rich prick a lot of money. I bet a dog sat in paint and wiped his ass all over it.” Carol: “Really? I kinda like it.”
- Everything was going along just fine this season until that ludicrous van crash…
- Daryl: “What’s it going to take?” Noah: “A lot. They got guns, people.” Daryl: “So do we.”