Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Walking Dead Recap, Episode 5.6: Consumed

Episode 6: Consumed

This was an awesome episode! I loved it!

We start off with a flashback of Carol last season when Rick banished her. She drives around, cries, yells at zombies, finds a place to hole up, spends lots of quality time with herself, and eventually comes back to the prison in time to see the tail-end of its fall.

Meanwhile, in present-day, she and Daryl are following the car identical to the one that abducted Beth. Daryl tells Carol about what happened with Beth. (I was thinking he'd have to. Because she wasn't in the train car at Terminus when he told the others, she doesn't even know that he and Beth were alone on the road together, or that she was taken or anything. I really loved that he was praising Beth here, saying how tough she was. My reaction: awww!)

When the car they're in runs out of gas, Carol says she knows a place they can go. They end up in what she says is temporary housing. She went there once when her husband beat her up. She says she didn't stay long, instead going back to him, which we could have guessed based on the fact that she was still with him at the beginning of the series. They talk somewhat, and Carol says she doesn't believe they can save people anymore. I got the feeling she meant something other than physically, though she may have included that. You have to wonder if she's really talking about others around her, or herself.

Daryl asks her about when she tried to leave at the church before he stopped her, but she doesn't have an answer for him. (Yes they were lying side by side on a bunk bed and yes all the Caryl-shippers freaked out about it, but there really wasn't any tension of any kind at all. They're really comfortable together because they trust each other so much. Just sayin'.)

They then hear a noise--of course they do. It's the Walking Dead--and go to investigate. It's just a walker banging on a closed door. It's not really a threat to them, but sadness comes upon seeing a child walker as well. Carol immediately goes to open the door and kill them, but Daryl stops her. He tells her she doesn't have to. She tries again and he stops her again, so she goes back to the room. This was one of my favorite parts of the episode. I think it's the epitome of the problem Carol is having. It's like she's taken toughness--which is not exactly the same as strength--to an extreme. She was weak at the beginning, allowing her abusive husband to beat her and control her, and once she started to be strong, it's like she resented herself so much for that that she went fanatically in the other direction. When the hard thing needs to be done (i.e. killing walkers) she does it. No question. That's not a bad thing in and of itself, but when taken to an extreme (i.e. killing Karen and David last season rather than waiting for the virus to burn itself out) it becomes a very dark path. In a way, she's developed a kind of non-arrogant god complex. But despite all the terrible things she has to do, people still die, which disillusions her further ("I don't think we get to save people anymore.") 

"You don't have to." Source
I think Daryl's point was that it doesn't always have to be her that does the hard thing. She can lean on others to help keep her human. He demonstrats that point by killing the walkers for her and burning the bodies. He just wants her to know that she can lean on him and doesn't have to do everything by herself. That's entirely too lonely a path to assume. I thought this whole part was really sweet. (And I knew the little bundled up body he burned wouldn't be Beth. It was too small. Calm the heck down, people!)

Eventually they make their way into a skyscraper in the city to see what they can see. (I love how, when trying to distract the walkers and sneak past them, Daryl lights a legal pad on fire and the thing goes up like a Molotov cocktail, staying alight even after it's thrown across the street against the wind. No way there wasn't accelerant on that thing!) Anyway, on the way up, they find this whole weird zombie camp-out thing. People were sleeping in tents and sleeping bags indoors, and they're all dead. One of them has blood on it, which makes me think maybe they were murdered, rather than just dying, but we aren't given an explanation. 

They find a room with a view, so to speak, and start chit-chatting again. Carol says Daryl hasn't asked what happened with the girls (Lizzie and Meeka) but he says he knows because they aren't with her anymore. She says it was worse than that, but they don't really get a chance to elaborate. He sees a van in the distance, hanging off a bridge, that has the same crosses on the back that the car that took Beth had. They decide to hike over and investigate.

Spotting the hospital van. Source
Before going, they have an art appreciation moment. (Bet you never thought you'd see that on TWD!) There's an abstract painting on the wall, kind of a paint-smeared-across-the-canvass thing, and Daryl laughs at it and says it probably cost some rich person a load of money. Then he says it looks like a dog sat in paint and wiped his backside a cross the canvas. (LMAO). When Carol says she kind of likes it, he does his "Stop" thing, as though she couldn't possibly. I was falling off my couch laughing at this.

On their way back out, they have to crawl through a narrow space because two doors are chained together. Carol does this totally B-movie thing where she lays her gun out in front of her before going through, and doesn't matter to look first to see if the coast is clear, so you totally know something is going to happen. Sure enough, they come through and (drum-roll please!) it's...Noah! I was actually super-glad to see him because he can tell Daryl where Beth is. But does he? These three are insta-enemies because Noah is totally robbing Daryl and Carol of their weapons. He even takes Daryl's crossbow. (Not cool, Noah. Not cool.)

The interesting thing is that when Noah runs off, Carol pulls out a hand gun and tries to shoot him, but Daryl stops her, slapping the gun down. He got mad at Noah for holding them up, but says he's just a kid and they shouldn't kill him. They'll find more weapons. Noah locks a door behind him so they can't follow and they have to find another way out. Meanwhile, Carol is basically chewing Daryl out for stopping her from shooting Noah. She lays out argument after argument (they're in the middle of the city, they need their weapons, he was robbing them, etc.) and insists she was aiming for Noah's leg (everyone who believes THAT stand on their heads). It's an interesting juxtaposition of her brutality and Daryl's mercy, especially given that the roles were more-or-less the opposite in season 1. Carol says she can't stand to see people die and not do anything about it (a good quality in my opinion) and that's why she was trying to leave the church (you lost me there, Carol). Daryl yells at her that she's not there, but here with him, and she needs to try. Then a book he took from the temporary housing on helping survivors of childhood abuse falls out of his bag. It's unclear exactly why he took it (for himself, perhaps?) but again we see the contrast. Daryl is in a place where he's trying to learn and better himself and those around him, where Carol is still predominantly looking backward, and being self-destructive.

"You're right here. Trying." (Source)
Then comes the action sequence. They get out to the van, trying to figure out where it came from and end up surrounded by walkers. The van is hanging over the bridge and they end up belting in and pushing it off, because it's the only way they can see to escape. The fall looked goofy because the van tilted forward as though it would flip and then somehow miraculously landed on all four tires. If you watch the behind-the-scenes for this stunt, you'll understand why. They just had to work with what they had. Anyway, Carol sustains minor injuries. She also figures out that the GMH they see in the van probably means Grady Memorial Hospital, and they head toward it. 

On the way, Daryl says something about finding a place to observe the hospital, and Carol says they won't be able to get the info they need by simply watching. I thought, there's the answer. When she gets taken into the hospital, she's playing dead (or hurt) so she can get info from inside. Yeah, not so much. But more on that later.

They find a good place to observe and talk again. (Lots of talking--er, character development in this episode.) Daryl asks her how he's changed. She answers that he used to be like a kid, but now he's a man. Now, lots of people say these two have a mother-son relationship. Personally I've never seen it like that. I always saw them more as BFFs. Equals, but not romantic partners. But I gotta say, this does make a strong argument for that relationship. While Carol has always relied on Daryl, she also took care of him a lot, both in seasons 2 and 3, especially after Sophia and Merle died. Particularly in this season, we've seen her pull away from him. (As I said when she first tried to leave the church in episode 2, obviously his presence wasn't enough to hold her there, and she's been reluctant to open up to him, where in the past she probably would have.) Maybe she's pulling away because she sees him as a child who no longer needs her.

Then Carol talks about how she never did a damn thing to take control of her life when she was with Ed (her abusive husband). Again, we're seeing the bitterness at her own weakness in the past. She says the weak Carol got burned away. She got to be who she should have always been at the prison, but that Carol got burned away, too. Hence my theory that she simply took "being strong" and "doing the hard thing" to an extreme. To which Daryl simply replies, "We ain't ashes." It's a very profound thing to say. They're still alive. Again, he looks forward, while she looks back.

More mysterious noises take them back into the building where they find a walker pinned to the wall with one of Daryl's crossbow bolts. (Noah's still around--yea!) Daryl finds Noah and knocks him down, trapping him under a heavy shelf. They get their weapons back, and Daryl wants to leave Noah to rot, while Noah begs for mercy.

The funny thing is, both of them think the other was following them, but neither one actually was. They just both happened to be headed for the hospital. (This means Noah isn't a douche bag. He obviously took their weapons because he was planning to go back for Beth. Phew! Good. I really wanted to like him.)

Carol asks Daryl to help Noah. (Chances are she can't free him herself because she got hurt in the whole van-swan-diving-off-the-overpass thing.) Daryl says no. Carol asks two or three times and then goes to help him herself, as a walker gets near enough to bite, and Daryl finally relents. This part was interesting because of the role-reversal. Daryl kept Carol from killing Noah, but then wanted to leave him to die. Carol tried to shoot him, then begged Daryl to help save him. The argument has been made that maybe Daryl meant to help him all along, but wanted Carol to beg for his life. He wanted Carol to care enough to help him herself, and when she moved to do it, he was suddenly on board. On Carol's part, perhaps she wanted to help Noah for Daryl's sake. She said earlier that she didn't want him to die, and maybe that extends to emotions as well. She was disturbed to see him walk away from a young person who needed help. But maybe that's exactly why he did it. I don't know what they were going for here, but it was really interesting.

So they finally free Noah and he starts babbling about getting away because "they" might have heard the gunshot and if they find him, he's toast. Daryl asks who he means and Noah replies the people from the hospital. Daryl immediately asks if he saw a blond girl there. Noah comes up with Beth's name and asks if they know her. Their faces say it all. (Finally! Progress on finding Beth!)

(Source for above gifs.) 

Noah leads them away, saying that the basement of the building next door will be a safe place to hide out for a while. He falls on the way out (because of the bad leg he got while trying to escape with Beth) and Daryl stops to help him up. Meanwhile, Carol heads outside and across the street...and gets him by a car. Yeah, total gasp moment. Totally unexpected. I've heard people joking about how she got hit by the one car driving around he city, but it's really less random than that. Carol saw that same car out the window before Noah led them next door, and it was moving really slowly. Chances are he was right: the hospital people heard the shot and were going slow, looking for wherever it came from. When they hit Carol, they were going really fast. You notice how everyone who's brought into the hospital is hurt? I'm sure they do it on purpose so that they can claim they used medical resources on them and Dawn can do her whole "you-owe-us" thing. So, they saw Carol, hit her, then saved her, and will no doubt try to guilt her into staying in the hospital. Not that we didn't know this already, but the whole thing is pretty twisted.

When Daryl sees Carol get hit, he tries to run to her (this is why we love Daryl) but Noah stops him. (Yeah, as if.) He says Carol needs medical care the hospital can provide, but they can get both women back. Daryl asks what it will take, and Noah says, "A lot. They have lots of people and guns." To which Daryl replies, "So do we." And the audience grins and rubs their hands together because obviously he's going to go back and get the entire group to come help rescue Beth and Carol. (Yea!) Rick and co. took down Terminus in record time. I don't think Dawn and her "officers" are even gonna know what hit them.

We see Daryl commandeer a truck and they drive out of the city. Noah has this look on my face like, What the heck did I just get myself into?! I had to laugh. Poor kid.

Overall, I totally LOVED this episode. Daryl and Carol are two of my favorite characters and there was tons of development with them. 

I'm also totally psyched for the next episode because it looks like it will be the first one this season that has all the characters in it--Rick and co., Maggie and Glen and co., and Beth in the hospital with Carol. Can't wait!

So, what did everyone else think of this episode? Theories? Predictions? Elations? Disappointments? :D

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