Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 6: Consumed

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.


The Plot:

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 location. 

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 hospital. 

Daryl and Noah steal a truck and presumably head back to the church for reinforcements.

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.

There 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.

Morley 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 whereabouts.

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.

1 comment:

  1. It is the ultimate zombie series by the AMC network. After the mid seasaon finale of TWD series, now its upcoming episode is ready to return on Feb 8. It would be very interesting to see what will happen in the 9th episode. So guys, don't miss : watch the walking dead season 5 episode 9 online on this Sunday!!


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