Spoilers for The Walking Dead –
Would you like to know how our group of survivors met Bob, the character probably most famous for letting his thirst for booze send a mission to shit? The brief flashback that opens this episode is a step, or at least another reminder that he’s supposedly the last survivor of his previous groups. It also gives actor Norman Reedus a chance with the famous three questions, and the dramatic “why” ending.
A training exorcise for Beth turns extra dangerous when she steps in a small metal trap, but her mildly hobbled foot is a great excuse for Daryl to offer a piggyback ride. Could these two possibly be any cuter together? They already had a sort of zombie indie love movie, and the writers really appear to be celebrating pushing the ‘shippers as far as they can! There’s even a “Daryl carries Beth over the threshold” scene for crying out loud, right before they almost adopt a dog together. They have a hand holding scene in a graveyard, and explore a well kept and seemingly active funeral home, where Beth finds the beauty in preserving what the dead once where. It is a curious thought that I’d like to explore more someday, how in a zombie apocalypse even death is better looking than what comes after. Daryl sleeping in a coffin is appropriately ironic as well. Daryl refuses to completely raid the place’s supplies, noting their cleanliness and assuming they belong to somebody alive. It continues to feed Beth’s faith in humanity. As she plays him a melody, I wonder if maybe these two should’ve just had another episode to themselves, as the Maggie/Bob/Sasha scenes are too brief at first to hold my attention, even if they do serve well enough to move that plot along. Maggie assumes Glenn would look for at the Terminus/Sanctuary location that every group seems to be eventually heading towards, and Sasha wants every excuse to just ditch Maggie, not believing in her mission. Bob won’t let her go off alone, determined to catch up to her even when she tries, and Sasha keeps following Bob. The best part about them temporarily splitting up is seeing Bob and Sasha follow the messages Maggie leaves in zombie blood, because that’s a great combination of gross and determined.
Ironically Bob and Sasha are the ones who kiss, but still eventually agree to split up. These twisted up groups get even more twisted when Sasha stumbles upon Maggie, who was waiting for them to catch up, and ready to admit she couldn’t do it all alone. Meanwhile Beth and Daryl’s constantly making googly eyes at each other has dropped the tension enough for a random zombie attack, but maybe it’s not so random after all. Zombies don’t usually knock and welcome you to the neighborhood in organized groups like that, and Beth would’ve stopped sooner if she was the one behind the wheel of that fleeing car. You don’t even need to read potential spoilers to logic out that it was a trap and Beth was taken, with Daryl later alone, outnumbered by a group of armed men and facing the same fate. Glenn following a terminus sign is our last scene, and that’s the episode.
The scene where Beth tries to giggle and tease the answer out of Daryl, the answer that she’s giving him hope, was their closest moment yet, so of course it was interrupted. They’ve brought more tension to the show than any other group in this second half of season four. Whether it’s opening an episode on the run, in a masterfully terrifying scene hiding in a trunk, or forming an unlikely relationship, this match continues to bring out the best in this show, as far as what I expect out of a zombie apocalypse.