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.
What about Bob? Bob Stookey (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) has been one of the strangest characters on The Walking Dead, mostly 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 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.
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: