THE WALKING DEAD Recap: “Alone”

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For those of you who have been waiting for more friendly animals to appear on AMC’s The Walking Dead, I give you tonight’s episode, “Alone”.  While the presence of the furry, four-legged friend had little to do with the entire episode, its apparently solitary existence did speak to the episode’s theme established in its title.  We got to check in on a few of the survivors in their various new partnerships; some grew stronger together and were torn apart, while others went their separate ways only to find out that it’s better (and safer) to stick together.  Hit the jump for my recap and review.

the-walking-dead-season-4-episode-13-alone-lawrence-gilliard-jrWhat about Bob?  Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) has been one of the strangest characters on The Walking Deadmostly because we know very little about him aside from his medical training and battle with alcoholism.  Tonight’s cold open introduced viewers to Bob before meeting up with Rick’s gang during the occupation of the prison.  We learned (or, possibly, were merely reminded) that Bob’s former two groups of survivors all ended up dead, with only him surviving.  Not suspect at all, right?  Tonight’s theme of being alone was established by Bob’s story, and then carried along strongly for the rest of the hour.

“Alone” served to expose Bob’s backstory every bit as much as it acted to flesh out Sasha’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) personality more.  Throughout the course of the episode, we learn that Sasha isn’t worried so much about meeting death at the hands of Walkers in the forest as she is about finding out for certain that her brother Tyreese has died.  (Spoiler: Nope. He’s alive until next week at least.)  This Terminus, which has begun reaching mythic proportions among the scattered survivors, is her fear manifest, so if she avoids the place, she can avoid the finality of learning of Tyreese’s fate.  Bob, however, is surprisingly optimistic about pushing on towards Terminus.  Not only does he attempt to push Sasha along on their quest in order to find Maggie and help her find Glenn on their way to the gathering place, but he pulls out a rarely scene bit of romance on this show.  His kiss, momentarily, goes unrequited, but as the trio reunite along the tracks, it looks like there’s hope for these two yet.

Maggie, on the other hand, has gone off in search of her one true love, Glenn.  She’s shown herself to be quite capable of surviving on her own, but her lack of hesitation in digging into a Walker’s guts to spell out a message in its blood was a bit disconcerting.  (Also, not leaving a message for Sasha and Bob that she changed her mind and was waiting for them?  Rude.)  Maggie had no issue with being alone, but her solitary trek has a higher aim of reuniting with Glenn.  While the decisions made on all their parts were a bit silly, since it resulted in each of the trio being on their own, it served the story well and didn’t drag on for too long.

the-walking-dead-alone-emily-kinney-norman-reedusThe other partnership on this week’s episode was that of Beth and Daryl.  I wasn’t too pleased with their chemistry last week – an episode that was clearly meant to establish some viewer love for the pair – but this week flowed along a little better.  Perhaps the trick is to share the screentime with other survivors.  At any rate, there was a lot of positivity between the two in this episode as they found shelter and supplies at a church/funeral home, and talked about possibly making it a permanent place to stay.  (Though I did find the romantic relationship teasing a bit creepy. Thoughts? And woe betide me if I didn’t mention that cute one-eyed dog that showed up to say hello to Beth and Daryl!)  Unfortunately, whatever’s going on with Beth and Daryl has slowed Daryl’s reflexes and dulled his edge, as a horde of Walkers storm the place and, in one of the scariest scenes this season, nearly take Daryl out completely.

Of course he escapes unscathed.  Beth, however, is not so lucky, as someone has apparently abducted her.  Try as he might, Daryl on foot is no match for some pedo in a Cadillac.  When Daryl reaches a literal and metaphorical crossroads, he runs afoul of the rough gang of thugs who popped up in a previous episode and took over the house temporarily populated by Rick and Carl.  Daryl, sadly, had little choice but to join up with them for the time being.

So a trio of survivors experienced some growing pains and time apart only to find out that they were better together, while a pair of opposites forged a bond of optimism only to have it torn asunder by some pretty awful circumstances.  Does Beth’s kidnapping and Daryl’s recruitment offer proof that the only people left alive in this world are awful?  Or does the fact that three disparate personalities can cooperate for a greater good suggest that there are still good people left among the living?  That’s what this episode was ultimately all about.  Oh, that and decapitating Walkers with street signs.

Rating: A-

the-walking-dead-alone-lawrence-gilliard-jr-lauren-cohan-sonequa-martin-greenCasualties: Bob’s bandage bite. Beth gets herself kidnapped.

Walker Kills: 16

Best Kill: Maggie’s street sign decapitation.

Best Effect: Train-Walker gut paint.

Odds & Entrails:

Daryl to Bob (prequel): “How many Walkers have you killed?” Bob: “Haven’t kept count. Maybe a dozen.” Daryl: “How many people have you killed?” Bob: “One.” Daryl: “Why?” Bob: “She asked me to.” – Oh, Rick’s Rules of Order. A remnant of a happier time.

After Bob is bit: “It’s okay! He got me right on the bandage!” – Was I the only one waiting for him to turn? How do we feel about Bob after tonight’s episode?

Beth: “Something came through here, all zig-zaggy. It’s a Walker!” Daryl: “Or a drunk.” – Thankfully the plot dropped Beth’s need for a drink in this episode.

Daryl: “This is a serious piggy back.”

Sasha: “We get warnings … and the next time it’s on us.”

Daryl: “Peanut butter and jelly. Diet soda and pig’s feet. That’s a White Trash brunch right there.”

Sasha to Bob: “You’re so happy to be alive, then tell me why we’re walking into the heart of darkness?”

Thoughts on who nabbed Beth? Is it the gang? Someone who was living at the Church? Perhaps someone who was using the Church to lure survivors? Or something else entirely?

Bandit: “A bowman’s a bowman through and through.”

Bandit: “Name’s Joe.” Daryl: “Daryl.”

With only three episodes left, do we think we’ll see the season finale end at Terminus?  We know Glenn is headed there as well, so perhaps Abraham Ford and his crew will join him.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and check out a look ahead at next week’s episode:




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  • Nick

    Is “tonight cold open” a phrase that has to be tacked to every review for every show this year? This “it” phrase is just coming across as lazy writing. Any how, if they’re trying to see if this show can survive without rick and Carl, it can’t. There is no drama, there’s no forward movement, or anything underlying. I hate how these people are all intertwined as if they’re within yard of each other.

    • LEM

      They have to at least be a few miles away from each other except for Glen who is probably 20 or so by now unless he finds a car or other transport.

    • Dave Trumbore

      It’s rather unavoidable if the show is actually using a cold open and we’re talking about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cold_open

      • Nick

        Doesn’t it become a bit redundant to state when it’s a show about the apocalypse? Or most dramas for that matter… Every opening scene in the show is cold. Just seems like the phrase is just the new hip lingo and it looks lazy when every show reviewed on this site says the same phrase. Don’t get me wrong though, I’m a fan of your reviews, just happened to read that phrase one too many times and I landed on your review to open my mouth instead of the 60 others who are guilty of the same.

      • Geo

        “Cold” has nothing to do with the mood or atmosphere of the show, the term “cold open” is a technical term that means the show jumps in before an opening sequence.

    • Andrew

      Can’t survive without Rick and Carl? Those two tempt me to change the channel. The last two episodes have been much more interesting and enjoyable without them.

  • Daniel O’Reilly

    Much better episode than last week, though it was pretty obvious something was going to happen to Beth or Daryl. Kind of hoping Beth’s kidnapper was the zombie undertaker, as that was the most intriguing aspect of the episode. More than likely, of course, it will go unexplored.

    If the Mayor of Charming hadn’t been eating a can of beans out on the porch a couple episodes back, I could have sworn his group were going to be cannibals. They still could be, of course, when the food runs out.

    I was expecting Bob to turn, also. But the show feels extremely uninterested in the zombies this season, in spite of that great sequence in the morgue.

    • LEM

      The walkers seem to be less of a threat unless they’re in groups since anyone who is alive at this point has to be able to handle themselves against a few. I am hoping that the person who took Beth is not Joe and his group and maybe Daryl can use them to get her back until he realizes just how bad they can be especially with a woman around.

  • Alex Hajna

    The dog did have meaning, Dave. Those guys that Rick was hiding from had a dog (I couldn’t remember if it was the same dog, but I guess it was), so that was like our warning — our “uh-oh”, of you will — that those guys were nearby.

    • Dave Trumbore

      Must have missed that, thanks!

  • LEM

    They really missed a chance showing whether bob hurt or helped these groups that die around him. I would have rather seen them open on some characters we’ve never seen and then we see how much of a catastrophic fuck up Bob can be when he ends up getting people killed and then we get to where Daryl and Glen pick him up.

  • Gary Childress

    maggie is the shit see how she killed the walkers with the sign and sexy all i can say.DARYL IS FALLING IN LOVE WITH BETH HOPE HE CAN KEEP HER ALIVE

    • LEM

      Blood splattered all over her face yet still looked hot and she almost got me to sit through the grating annoyance that is Chris Hardwick but even her beauty couldn’t keep me tuned in to that.

  • Faptain America

    That kill with the street sign was great, cuz I saw it coming only a second before she did it. Very satisfying.
    Other’n that though, nothing is happening in this half of the season. They walk, they slice zombies, they walk some more. Oh hello Abe Ford. Oh hello Joe and bikers. That’s it??

  • Batt Damon

    Meh, I’d say it was a C+, B- at best. Not exactly great television. This show just meanders on.

  • Marvel

    Two disappointing weeks in a row. Except for the zombie attack on Daryl, I found myself almost wishing to be back on Hershel’s farm. It is difficult to go one week without Michonne, Carl, and Rick. Two weeks is inexcusable. Come on writers!

  • Charlie Brown

    Any chance Beth drove off by her self?

  • Sarah Stanfield

    It may seem creepy that Daryl and Beth could have a romantic attraction, but if you think of the realities of their world, it probably wouldn’t be that uncommon. Human life expectancy has shrunk dramatically so, to be blunt, mating would probably take place between teenage women and men (teenage or older). If they want to propagate the species, they better get on it quick. Think about medieval times, when girls as young as 12 were married off. I would think it’s a similar situation here.

    • LEM

      I agree with your argument as to why it would happen but it feels like AMC is just using the fan girl craziness for Norman Reedus and decided to have him get together with the young blonde girl instead of the grey haired older woman.

    • Sarah Stanfield

      Okay, Disqus notified me of LEM’s reply via email, but I can’t find it here, so I’ll just say that I agree with the reply. God forbid a mature woman on TV (and honestly, Carol’s in her 40s, which is not exactly old) express her sexuality in any way. That said, I don’t really look forward to any romantic pairings for the time being on this show, as the characters don’t exactly have consistent access to bathing facilities. That’s not going to be pretty.

  • Arch Stanton

    The guy in the car was the yellow king…true story

  • eternalozzie

    an “A-” ??? Really? The last 3 episodes have been very boring … I don’t get what people see in this show … Like Game Of Thrones nothing happens in the show until the finale. At least with The Walking Dead you get 2 finales each season because the split the season viewing in half.

    • RecoveR

      Perhaps because Both The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones are “Dramas” not, a “zombie horror” and “war epic”. Yes, they obviously have those elements, but The walking dead has always been about the characters, not the zombie kills. This episode; i would give a solid B, it was entertaining, although i did miss Rick and Michonne this episode. I’m just glad i have this show to watch, i think having to wait weekly for this show does suck, i bet all of these “argh its boring” comments wouldn’t be said if you watched the season in one go.

  • poppincherry

    They are purposely wasting my fucking time playing with the bit characters. I say they have probably hit a wall in the creativity arena.
    grade C and nothing higher.

    • Andrew

      So you’d rather just see more of the same few characters over and over? Hell, there aren’t many living humans left in the setting of this show, so I wouldn’t consider anybody a “bit” character.

      The real star of the show is the post-apocalyptic world in which it takes place, not any particular character. Following and exploring any characters that are still alive out there is far more interesting than week after week of whatever Rick is up to.

  • poppincherry

    They are purposely wasting my fucking time playing with the bit characters. I say they have probably hit a wall in the creativity arena.
    grade C and nothing higher.

  • Andrew

    These past two episodes have been pretty great. I was almost ready to jump ship, and then last week brought me back. I think this show is at it’s best when people are on the move, the farm and the prison got stagnant after awhile. Daryl and Beth are two of the more interesting, least annoying characters on the show. It was nice to spend some time with them. And the absence of Rick and Carl has been a nice break. Rick’s character is almost played out. And Carl is THE MOST ANNOYING character on the show, always bad dialogue and even worse acting with that kid.

    • LEM

      Looks like it’ll be Carl free next week too.

  • Andrew

    These past two episodes have been pretty great. I was almost ready to jump ship, and then last week brought me back. I think this show is at it’s best when people are on the move, the farm and the prison got stagnant after awhile. Daryl and Beth are two of the more interesting, least annoying characters on the show. It was nice to spend some time with them. And the absence of Rick and Carl has been a nice break. Rick’s character is almost played out. And Carl is THE MOST ANNOYING character on the show, always bad dialogue and even worse acting with that kid.

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  • Hueyhueyhuey

    lol rating A-, what a shill.

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