This is a twin post of the same recap on LegendZero.
This week’s The Walking Dead graced us with the adventures of Carol & Daryl – a pair that have been in sore need of their own episode for a long time. Proceed with caution – SPOILERS ahead.
When the episode starts, it’s with a flashback. We get to see what Carol went through immediately after Rick exiled her in the previous season. When she drives away from him, she seems fine – she’ll survive. But, as we see a bit later on, she’s completely torn by what’s happened, sitting dejectedly in the car and crying into the steering wheel. A walker appears soon after, banging on her window, and we get yet another example of how worn out she is as she tells the walker to go away, not even bothering to kill it before she drives off. Eventually, she stops somewhere for shelter, and sets up for the night. She seems to be doing alright, surviving, until she sees smoke in the distance. When she sets off to find out what the cause is, she comes to the prison in the aftermath of the Governor’s attack.
Back in the present, Daryl is recounting what happened to him and Beth after the prison. They’re driving in the dark, after the car with the white cross. As they discuss how to handle the situation, Carol suggests running them off the road and torturing the information out, while Daryl prefers to simply observe for a bit – a highlighting of how different their approaches have become. As they continue to follow and observe, they eventually reach Atlanta, where they realize that the man driving the car seems to be a cop. They’re nearly noticed when a walker tries to get into the car, but the cop drives away. Unable to follow because the car has stalled, Carol and Daryl decide instead to find shelter for the night. They escape from the approaching walkers by heading to a place that Carol knows from before. As they go inside and look around, Daryl realizes the building is a temporary shelter for abuse victims, and you can hear in his voice the dismay at knowing that Carol and Sophia once stayed there, though not for long.
Safe for the time being, they talk about starting over, about having changed from who they were before. Daryl tells her he’s trying to start over, while Carol tells him that she doesn’t think they can save anyone anymore, but that she’s also trying despite the thought. As they continue to talk, she tells him that she doesn’t know what would have happened if Daryl hadn’t showed up at the car when he did. A sound somewhere in the building eventually gets their attention and as they walk through, they come across a walker, apparently female. They’re about to leave it when they notice a child walker trapped in the room with her. This clearly affects Carol, who moves to eliminate them, but Daryl stops her, knowing that it would tear her apart if she had to. That night, while Carol sleeps, Daryl takes care of the two walkers and cremates them, earning a thanks from his companion.
When they continue their search for the car, they eventually come to a parking garage attached to a larger building. They think they’re alone, but they’re being followed. Someone notices them enter the building and goes in with them. Daryl and Carol come across some walkers in a hall trapped inside tents and sleeping bags before they make it all the way inside. Once inside, they continue the previous night’s conversation, talking about what happened after the prison, with the girls. Daryl explains that the reason he wants to start over is because there is no other choice. As they talk, Daryl sees something in the distance teetering on a bridge – it’s a van with the white crosses on it. As it’s their only lead, they decide to go investigate, but not before a moment of levity in which they examine a painting. It’s a fun, light moment in which the two of them get a break and can talk about something inconsequential, giving hints that their old relationship is returning. The levity is cut short, however, when they’re ambushed by Noah on their way back out of the building. Noah takes their weapons, and when Carol is about to shoot him down, Daryl stops her. While she wasn’t going to kill him, she did want to get their weapons back, but Daryl says they’ll find other weapons, that Noah is just a kid. It’s clear here that Carol’s priorities are her own people – she doesn’t want to see any more people die, she still suffers over those deaths.
They eventually make it to the van, examining it but not finding much. Figuring out that the van is from a hospital, they decide that’s their best bet and go to leave. They get ambushed by walkers, though, and are forced into the teetering van to save themselves from being eaten. Trapped in the van, their only choice is to push the van over the side of the bridge and hope for the best. They survive the fall, though Carol’s shoulder is busted. In another glimpse at her background, she says that she’s had worse. Once they find a safe spot from which to observe the hospital, they resume their conversation yet again – Daryl asking how they’re different and Carol explaining that he’s a man now, rather than the kid he was before. As for herself, Carol explains that, although she and Sophia did go to that shelter, they eventually returned to ED. While she wanted something to happen, she didn’t do anything about her situation – something she didn’t repeat at the prison, where she felt she was really who she was meant to be.
Distracted by a noise, they investigate and come across Noah again. In the process, Carol is almost bit because of her shoulder, so Daryl shows little mercy when a bookshelf falls onto Noah. It’s only because Carol pleads with him that they save Noah in the end, who is clearly sorry and grateful for the help.
In a flashback, we see Carol immediately after saving them from Terminus, cleaning herself off and preparing to leave before they notice her.
Noah immediately tries to escape, scared that the people from the hospital will have heard the gunshots and come after him. Daryl asks about Beth, and Noah explains that she saved him, but was still strapped there. As one of the cars approach, they attempt to escape. Carol is the only one that makes it outside, but gets hit by the car. Noah stops Daryl from going to her, explaining that the hospital will help Carol, but that they can’t go with her because they’d be outnumbered. Daryl says they’ve got people too, and the last shot is of him and Noah driving out of the city, headed back to the church where Rick and the others are still waiting.
Conclusion: It looks like we finally know who Daryl has in the woods with him! We also got a lot of character development between Carol and Daryl, making this one of my favorite episodes. It’s always nice to see the writers taking time to examine every character, which is hard to do with a cast as large as this one. I’me extremely excited for the next two episodes, where I’m hoping we’ll get to see more of Rick being as badass as when he took down the Termites and Mauraders. Or maybe, now that the creepy cop is dead, they’ll work something out with Dawn? Either way, the next two episodes promise some intense plot-thickening.
What do you think? Do you think they’ll compromise or will Rick and co wreck shit again?
As always, think happy thoughts!
Image Credit: Image found via Google Image Search on www.vixenvarsity.com