The plot of the episode saw Carol and Daryl chase the car into Atlanta but lose them when their own car runs out of gas. Sneaking through the city, they aim to follow the car downtown, the direction it was heading in when they lost it. They end up in the upper stories of a fancy law firm to get a better view of the city, but they have to run an obstacle course of zombies trapped in sleeping bags and tents to get there. After getting another clue to the whereabouts of Beth, Carol and Daryl are in the process of sneaking out of the building when Noah gets the drop on them.
Noah, as you’ll recall, is the orderly that Beth helped escape from the hospital and despite all appearances, he’s obviously got enough survivalist chops to make it this far. Noah gets Carol’s gun and Daryl’s trademark crossbow, and leaves them to a bunch of hungry zombies from the sporting goods section. Of course, when you’re a couple of the only living humans in a dead city you can only get so far before you run into each other again. Indeed, Carol and Daryl find Noah in trouble and take their weapons right back. From there, it was all downhill as to how the pieces fit. Another zombie attack results in Carol getting hit by one of the Grady cars, and Noah goes back to the church with Daryl for reinforcements. I guess war is coming to Grady Memorial.
This episode covers a lot of ground, both physically and emotionally, and while I’m not entirely sure how the timeline works out between the various factions, it will be nice to get the whole group back together again. This separation does have its benefits, but in watching Daryl and Carol in conversation, it struck me just how sidelined Daryl at least has been this season. Carol had her one woman war in the season premiere, but I bet that up until “Consumed” Daryl didn’t have more than 10 lines this year.
Norman Reedus got to dine out this week, though. Whether it’s his opinion on modern art (“Bet this cost some rich prick a lot of money”), the benefit of a post-apocalyptic food shortage (“Good thing we skipped breakfast”) or jauntily lighting up a rare cigarette to taunt the kid that stole their weapons, Reedus was in prime shape on this episode.
So far as Carol is concerned, it seemed like the show was coming full circle by having her and Daryl hide out in the same victims’ shelter that she and Sophia once stayed in, a reminder of just how far that Carol’s come in these last five years and one that I take as a bad sign for her future. First of all, it wasn’t Carol’s night for cars, and secondly, what’s the point of probing the psyche of a character we already know fairly well if it isn’t to put it at the forefront of our mind; Carol’s days may be numbered, and that may be a shame considering her arc.
Also in mind with two episodes left till the mid-season finale is that the table is obviously being set for a fight between Team Rick and the messed up gang from Grady Memorial. Although much of the season has firmly played against expectations, I might be disappointed if this comes down to another us versus them situation that was played out earlier in Terminus. Not to be naive, but can’t we all just get along? However, there is still that mass of zombies coming down the road, and what’s the point of showing thousands of zombies as far as the eye can see if it’s not going to teach us a valuable lesson in teamwork? On the other hand, this is The Walking Dead and not Mr. Rogers.