Tag Archive for Carol and Daryl

The Walking Dead Recap: “Alone” (Season 4, Episode 13)

After last week’s triumphant final sequence, this week sticks us back in the mud. Nope, none of our folks can catch a break. It’s how they deal with it that keeps us watching (most of the time – I actually watched the finale of True Detective as it aired on Sunday instead. I have thoughts, if you’re interested). In this episode of The Walking Dead, the emphasis is on the original existential crisis: we are all, each and every one of us, alone. This person’s struggle, that one’s loss, is distinct. But by sticking together, perhaps we can lessen our burdens.

Bob The Walking Dead

Nobody here but us chickens: Bob on his own. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

The episode begins with a (slightly confusing) flashback. We met Bob Stookey at the beginning of season 4, but he was already in the mix at the prison; they’d encountered him between seasons 3 and 4, when the prison community was at its safest point. We never got to see why Daryl was so suspicious of Bob, or why Bob risked his and everyone else’s life (and killed Zach in the process) for a bottle of booze. In this glance back a few months, Bob looks every bit the walker himself. He slouches along empty roads, his icy eyes straight ahead, a machete perched on his shoulder. He hides in railroad ditches, gazing dispassionately at the walkers’ futile attempts to eat his face. When Daryl and Glenn find him and ask him Rick’s three questions (How many walkers you killed? How many people you killed? Why?), he’s positively thrilled; in the back of Glenn’s pickup he starts to adopt the faithful, sanguine smile he wears now.

After the credits, we switch back to the present, in which Bob is no longer alone: he, Sasha, and Maggie stand back to back in a foggy woods, surrounded by a herd of walkers. The three of them work together to protect each other, and Bob gets bitten, but says cheerfully, “he got me right on the bandage!” The three of them are happier and more alive than we’ve seen them in a long time. After a walker tackles her to the ground, Maggie discovers her compass is busted. Bob, optimistic as ever, says they don’t need it, because they can watch the sun. He’s so cheery; it’s a little weird.  Read more

The Walking Dead Recap: “Inmates” (Season 4, Episode 10)

I’ve been alternating The Walking Dead with True Detective and House of Cards (both of which, let’s be frank, are much better). Paired with the rapidly melting eighteen inches of snow that blanketed the east coast last week, this television trio makes for a very…intense February. Of all the shows I’ve recapped, I take the fewest notes on The Walking Dead; I can best guess what’s happening next and I have a sturdy handle on what the writers are doing. No idea if this is because I’ve been paying attention for three years now, or if the teleplays are particularly transparent, or what.

Either way, this week’s “Inmates” tries for an overarching theme about hope, about the prison of the mind. Now that they’re out of the physical prison, the scattered remains of Rick’s crew have to tackle their freedom and reevaluate their respective states of mind. The episode begins with a voiceover from Beth (a character I find immensely boring): she’s reading a journal addressed to her dead mother (R.I.P). You’ve just got to have hope! she’s telling us. Daryl, her sole companion in the escape, isn’t having it. That gent has no time or space for hope. We’re watching these characters revert to their original states – and it’s not very exciting. The key to keeping your audience interested is to move your folks in new directions, not to sweep them back to the beginning again. Beth and Daryl encounter the scene of a massacre, walkers consuming the flesh of some former prison inhabitants. A baby shoe lies abandoned in the center of a pile of viscera. As almost anybody would, Beth totally loses her shit – and Daryl stares impassively. We’ve all got our coping mechanisms.

 Beth and Daryl: hardasses extraordinaire. Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

“We can live here for the rest of our lives.” Photo credit Gene Page/AMC.

After ten minutes and the reassurance that Daryl made it out (let’s face it, he’s the show’s biggest damn hero at this point), the writers bounce us over to Tyreese, Lizzie, and Mika. Tyreese has Judith, who’s very much alive, as Reddit guessed and I said last week. Let’s just pause this for a moment to give the show (and actor Brighton Sharbino, who also is on this week’s episode of True Detective) some mad props for depicting a child sociopath. When the four of them pause to camp, Lizzie spies two baby bunnies inside a log and stabs them to death with her knife. Her face displays avid curiosity, willful determination, and nothing else.  Read more

The Walking Dead Recap: “30 Days Without an Accident” (Season 4, Episode 1)

Truth be told, I was frustrated enough with season 3 of AMC’s behemoth success The Walking Dead that I kind of forgot-on-purpose that it resurrected on Sunday. After all, Scandal, Revenge, and American Horror Story also started again recently…and frankly, I’ve found those to be more entertaining on the whole. Let’s not talk about my other television habits.

The season 4 opener is directed by horror makeup legend Greg Nicotero, and it starts the season off on the right foot. It re-establishes the old, points out the new, and throws into motion an important chain of events that (if we’re lucky and the writers do theirs jobs) may keep up the momentum. Rick’s community, which now includes the survivors of Woodbury, has a small farm outside the prison. They lead a relatively staid and unexciting life; everyone has chores and duties, whether they be clearing out the sow’s trough or poking the walkers with sharp things through the chain-link. The farm is, for lack of a better term, the new normal.


Carol and Daryl are my favorite. (Photo courtesy Gene Page/AMC)

As I wrote in my recap of the season three finale, “Rick, stumbling through his own personal hell, hasn’t bothered to notice that his kid isn’t a kid anymore.” The season 3 finale arranged Carl and Rick to be completely at odds over the importance of mercy and the significance of “having a childhood.” Season 4 is puttering right along on that arc. Carl has undergone the beginnings of puberty since last season: his voice has lowered, his hair lengthened, his face hardened into a teenager’s pout. He named the prison sow Violet, and Rick chastises him that he shouldn’t name the animals – they aren’t long for this world. Rick says, “Do your chores, read comics, maybe read a book, go to story time!” Rick says softly. “Dad, that’s for kids,” Carl protests. “Yeah,” Rick agrees. He’s all but begging Carl to be a kid. Read more