Now let’s get to it – here’s what we thought of this week’s ep, “Alone” (and remember to come back and hit “refresh” as we post more spoilery thoughts about the episode throughout the day):
Jim Testa says:
We have reached the point of diminishing returns as far as The Walking Dead giving us these protracted glimpses into small groups of survivors. Walking Dead fans know that seasons are finite and that we’ll soon (three more episodes after this one) be left hanging for six months wondering what’s going to happen to all these characters we’ve invested in. After an hour with Beth and Daryl last week, spending so much more time with them this week not only got boring, it just felt wrong. Especially since it would be so out of character for always-optimistic Beth to just give up on Daryl and drive off like that. Now, after watching Daryl melt his icy exterior and reveal the human being inside, he’s been thrown in with a gang of bikers who will certainly bring out the brute in him again, if only to stay alive. It feels like a cheat.
I don’t think we needed quite that much time with Bob, Sasha, and Maggie either, especially since the episode basically just went in a circle and didn’t advance the story an inch. I would have much preferred seeing how Carol and Tyreese are faring with the girls and Judith, and at least some indication that they’re also on the way to Terminus.
At least we have all of our major players headed in the same direction now, with a reunion on the horizon. I’d really rather not sit through another week of Walking Dead without Rick, Carl, and Glenn.
Mike Moody says:
I’m still on board with the tactic the show is taking in this back half of the season. Like Joel said last week, it’s a good idea for these eps to focus on a few members of the group, building character and hopefully setting up a deeper season to come.
While I agree that the oddly circular Bob-Sasha-Maggie plot was frustrating and made little sense — Why would Bob leave Sasha behind? Why can’t Maggie make up her mind? Why is Maggie taking a nap next to a bunch of walkers?– I still enjoyed spending time with the trio … well, I enjoyed spending time with Bob, at least. I like his optimistic outlook, and it feels like his deep desire to keep the trio together, and to never go it alone ever again, is all that’s keeping them from falling apart. What’s that Jack Shephard used to say? Live together, die alone?
Beth and Daryl have turned into a lovely pair, haven’t they? I couldn’t help but smile while watching Daryl give Beth a piggyback ride and seeing them bond over the “white trash brunch.” I’m more than a little disappointed that the show decided to separate them just when they were starting to become my favorite pair of survivors. I hear what you’re saying, Jim — we spent a lot of time with these two last week. Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing more of the Daryl and Beth show. I feel we’ve seen them grow a lot together over the past two weeks.
I’m not ready to buy that Beth would drive off and leave Daryl to fight a herd of walkers alone. I’m pretty sure someone kidnapped her. Maybe it was the mortician whose peanut butter and jelly they were eating? Maybe it was Jeff Kober and his band of dipshit home invaders? At least I *hope* Beth wouldn’t leave Daryl in the dust like that. Wasn’t this episode all about the fear of being alone?
As for Daryl, I can’t say I’m excited to see him join up with the invaders. He was finally opening up and beginning to come around to the idea that good still exists in the world. And now they’ve gone and hitched him to this generic group of redneck baddies who aren’t all that fun to be around. I’m no shipper, but I’d much rather see him continue developing his relationship with Beth. These two have a spark.
At the very least, you gotta give it up for the horror-action setpieces in this episode. The fog fight was chilling and eerie, and Daryl’s tussle with the walkers in the funeral home was fun and exciting. It’s hard to believe this show can still find new and interesting ways to set up a good ol’ fashioned zombie fight.
Joel Keller says:
Before I go into this episode, can I just mention that I’m starting to get a little crush on Emily Kinney? Maybe it’s viewer Stockholm syndrome or something, but you have to admit she was full-on adorable in this episode, from thinking she can take on a walker by herself, to piggybacking onto Daryl to writing a thank you note to whoever owned the stash to the song she sang while Daryl was getting some coffin rest. Where have they been hiding her all this time? I know that Kinney is a singer as well as an actress, and the producers have tried to slip in songs for her to sing here and there, but they should try to do so more often.
She had endeared herself so much, I was actually concerned she had gotten eaten when Daryl escaped the funeral home and he saw her backpack. I’m with Mike, though; I don’t think she drove away in that Caddy and abandoned Daryl; too much has gone on between them for her to do that. Someone grabbed her; we’re just not sure who. I’m hoping it’s not those biker gang dickholes that Rick escaped from and who eventually came across Daryl.
If there’s anyone who will fit in with that group, it’s Daryl. But I don’t think he’s going to abandon his newfound self-awareness and knowledge that he’s more than just a white-trash thug. He’ll act assholish in order to go along, but I’m pretty sure he’ll go back to being the sweet guy we know he is once he finds some of his friends again. He wouldn’t change for the Governor; why would have change for these d-bags?
I liked the Maggie-Sasha-Bob story if only because it gave Sonequa Martin-Green a chance to flesh out her character a little more. Until now, we just knew her as Tyreese’s sister, who was a bit of a bad-ass. But we also now know that, while she is tough, her drive is fueled by anger and sadness, as well. The moment she goes into that building, alone, and tries to hold herself together showed us that she was scared to find out what might happen if she followed Bob down the tracks. Even though it was an odd coincidence that she found Maggie there — she was lying in a group of dead walkers in order to throw the live ones off her scent, Jim — it was good to hear them both express what they’re really feeling.
As for Bob… well… I’d love Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.’s performance more if I had actually recognized the Bob he was playing. What happened to the alcoholic fuck up from last season? Did that guy disappear? There really wasn’t much reference to that version of Bob, even in the opening montage where we see him alone before he joined the prison group. And I’m not sure why he thought planting a kiss of Sasha would make her change her mind about following him to Terminus; she may be scared, but she sure as hell isn’t vulnerable.
As much as I like these vignettes, I’m starting to get antsy to see the gang reunite. Next week, we’ll be seeing Ty, Carol and the girls. Then there are two more left. That doesn’t seem like a lot of time to get everyone to Terminus, does it?