Not a lot happens in this week's episode. It's long on mood and short on plot and dialog, as it fills in the missing piece of the puzzle started when the characters split up at the church in Four Walls And A Roof.
It was nice though to see some of the
characters exploring an urban setting. Let's face it, they've been killing walkers in the
woods for a long, long, long time, so it was nice to see them kill
walkers in the big city for a change. I'm guessing we don't get to see
ruined cities very often because they're expensive to simulate. Walking
around in the woods is cheap, if not free.
That said, it's a big
disappointing to me that this episode takes us right back where we
started. In the exact same spot, in fact, that Rick explored way back in the very first episode. Hard to believe that after
five seasons the characters have only managed to travel twenty miles or
so from Atlanta.
The promos for next week say there're only
two more episodes this year. Groooaaaan. Does that mean they're taking
another months-long break mid-season? I hate when they split seasons in
half like that.
This week we follow badass
super couple Daryl and Carol as they travel to Atlanta in search of Beth. They
wander the post apocalyptic urban landscape for most of the episode, looking for clues as to her
They're robbed of their weapons by Noah, the young orderly who
escaped from Grady Memorial Hospital, where Beth is still being held
against her will. They catch up with Noah later on and get their weapons
back. When they threaten him, he tells them where they can find Beth.
Carol runs toward the hospital but is hit by one of the ambulances. The
Grady cops get out, put her on a stretcher and speed off toward the
Daryl and Noah steal a truck and presumably head back to the church for
Thoughts:• I'm not sure, but I think I might have picked up a possible fire/burning metaphor in this
episode. Carol has several flashbacks in which she sees smoke in the
distance (from the prison and later Terminus). We see her burning the infected bodies of Karen and the other
guy in the prison. She tells Daryl that both her old and new selves have
been "burned away." Daryl tells her that they're not ashes. Subtle!
• In a flashback we see Carol shortly after Rick banished her from the group. After driving around aimlessly for a while, she spends the night in a law firm.
A law firm? Personally I might have gone for a grocery or convenience store, or maybe even a private residence.
On the other hand, perhaps she has the right idea after all. Maybe she figured no one in their right mind would think to hide in a law firm and therefore it would be clear of walkers.
• Daryl and Carol make their way into downtown Atlanta in search of Beth.
The shot of the post-apocalyptic city is virtually identical to the one
in the first episode, in which Rick rode a horse down the deserted
highway. The abandoned cars and trains are even in the same places!
• Books also play a big part in this episode. Daryl and Carol hole up for the night in a woman's shelter. It's the very same shelter in which Carol and
Sophia stayed before the Fall.
On a desk in their room we see a
book titled Treating Survivors Of Childhood Abuse. This is significant
for both characters, as Carol was a battered wife, and Daryl's admitted
that as a child his father regularly beat him.
Later we get a
very fleeting glimpse of a copy of The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer stuffed inside
Carol's duffel bag. Sharp-eyed viewers will remember that Hershel gave
this book to Mika and Lizzie back in the prison.
Another possible significance: In the book, Tom Sawyer is presumed dead by the townsfolk and appears at his own funeral.
• Inside the shelter, Daryl and Carol lay side by side on the bottom half
of a bunk bed. Nothing happens though, as they simply lie there and talk.
is a sizable group of fans out there that desperately want to see these
two characters hook up. I bet their collective heads were exploding
during this scene.
• It's pretty obvious that Carol used to live in
Atlanta, or at least one of its suburbs. So why doesn't she sound like
it? Where's the Southern drawl, like the one Rick has? Apparently she was born elsewhere and moved to the Big Peach later.
• Daryl takes a pack of Morley cigarettes from Noah and smokes one.
is a fake brand of smokes used in many, many movies and TV series. The
Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-FIles smoked Morleys as well. Maybe The
Walking Dead takes place in the same universe! They need to get to DC
after all! I bet Mulder could figure out what caused the zombie plague!
• As Daryl and Carol make their way through the streets of Atlanta, they
pass an abandoned tank. This is almost certainly meant to be the same
tank that Rick hid inside, way back in the very first episode.
• Welcome to Coincidence Theater! A few episodes ago Beth met Noah at Grady Memorial Hospital. Noah managed to escape, while Beth was
recaptured. Daryl and Carol make their way to Atlanta, somehow hoping to find
Beth in the middle of the vast city. They just so happen to run into Noah, who robs them
of their weapons. Later they run into Noah again, and get their weapons
back. Next thing you know Carol's hit by one of the cars from the
hospital and taken there for treatment.
I get that they've got to keep the story moving along, but I think the Coince-O-Meter just exploded!
• Daryl and Carol spot a van with a cross painted on its back window, hanging halfway off an
elevated highway. They investigate it, hoping to find clues to Beth's
This entire sequence is a goldmine of stupid actions and unlikely occurrences.
First of all, Daryl climbs inside the van, which is perched precariously on the overpass. A few seconds later Carol decides it would make sense for her to enter as well, as they both tromp around inside. Fortunately it doesn't tip over the edge.
They're then surrounded by
walkers. Weaponless and trapped, they come to the conclusion that their only hope is to
strap themselves in as the van is pushed off the overpass. We see it plummet nose
down, then a second later we cut to it somehow landing hard on all four tires. How that particular bit of physics-defying acrobatics was achieved is left to our imaginations.
This is all just slightly less ridiculous than some of Indiana Jones' escapes.
About thirty seconds after the van crashes, walkers start
raining down on the roof from above. It seems like that should have
happened instantly. They were pushing the van over the edge, right? So they
should have followed it down immediately. Surely they don't have
the brain power to hesitate before a yawning abyss?
• A nice touch:
Daryl uses his arrows very sparingly, and retrieves them whenever
possible. After Noah steals his crossbow, Daryl finds a walker pinned to a wall by one of his arrows. Obviously Noah's been through the area, and being an inexperienced zombie hunter, he's carelessly wasting his arrows.
• After Carol is hit by the Gradies,
they stuff her in their ambulance and speed away to the hospital. This
neatly explains why she appeared at the end of the Slabtown episode a
couple of weeks ago. I thought maybe she was faking her injury to gain
access to the hospital like a post-apocalyptic Trojan horse, but apparently not.
And it's pretty much a
certainty now that Noah is Daryl's mystery companion from the end of
Four Walls And A Roof. Did not see that coming. I assumed it was Morgan,
who we last saw following Rick's group in No Sanctuary.• Lastly, this
has nothing to do with the plot or anything, but for the third week in a
row The Walking Dead has trounced Sunday Night Football in the ratings.
As a NON sports fan, this makes me very happy.