The thematics this week focus on being alone vs. being in a group. Of course, it's better being in a group. It's hard to say if that's revelatory. It seems more like a plot contrivance.
And it is the second week in a row we see Daryl - and Daryl is almost content after the drunken escapades of last week. He tries to teach Beth how to use the crossbow - sober. But as she approaches an easy kill, she steps in a bear trap or something along those lines. It hurts her ankle badly.
He and Beth find shelter at a funeral home - ironic, of course. At some point, whoever was living there tried to embalm some of the zombies, provide them some respect. Beth appreciates that, aware they were people once.
They find food that looks like someone's stash. They decide not to take it all, which Beth sees as a kindly act. They eat pig's feet, diet soda and peanut butter. She plays the piano and sings (the actress Emily Kinney is a professional singer in real life) while Daryl rests comfortably in a coffin.
Beth even decides to write a thank-you note to whoever may or may not come back. A dog earlier in the day approaches the door, then runs away.
At one point, Daryl muses that this might be a decent sanctuary for awhile.
She teases him about thinking there were good people out there.
It's a sweet time in Daryl/Beth land, almost painfully gooey.
But hardcore zombie fans don't have to wait long for mayhem to break up the sentimentality.
Daryl hears the dog again outside so he grabs some food and opens the door. Oops. He let his guard down in a haze of momentary happiness. A zombie horde tries to get in. He tells Beth to run out the back way while he fends them off himself. He struggles, gets a few and escapes. But as he kills off one walker, he realizes that perhaps said walker had bitten Beth, based on some murky evidence on the ground. (I was viewing this on a low-res on-line screener AMC provided so I'm not sure what it was.)
Beth is still nursing her bad foot so her mobility is in question.
Then he sees a car pulling away. He runs after it, yelling Beth's name plaintively. Presumably, Beth is the driver. (UPDATE: I just thought of a more logical idea: Beth was kidnapped! The person who had been staying at the funeral home came back in their vehicle and grabbed a weakened Beth and drove off. But Daryl just assumed he was abandoned.)
Why did she leave Daryl behind? Did she get bit and didn't want him to see? That's possible. She knew her ability to survive was not going to be easy, even with Daryl as her guardian in a sense. If we see her again, she may be a zombie. Or we'll never see her again.
Daryl is now alone. Alone! He runs for awhile, then finally sits down in the middle of the road, defeated. A little while later, the dudes who had ransacked Rick's temporary sanctuary surround him. The leader introduces himself as Joe. He has a sheriff's badge on, as if that means anything. They point guns and other weapons at Daryl, who directs his crossbow at the Joe. Joe is bemused. He is impressed with the bow and quality thereof. He could tell Daryl is a fighter and survivor. He notes that Daryl would be dead in a second if he kills Joe. Why bother when he can kill others?
Daryl drops his bow down and introduces himself.
He's part of a group again.
Sure, they probably aren't good people. But he's not alone.
At the start of the show, we see Bob Stookey before he meets up with the prison crew all by lonesome. It's a sad existence. When Glenn and Daryl find him, he is deeply relieved. He's had two groups disappear on him before. This is the third implosion for him but at least he has Sasha and Maggie.
Their zombie scene in the fog is a cool visual. They get out of it, helping each other. But this is a dangerous life, being out in the open and exposed. Maggie doesn't care. She is still looking for Glenn. Sasha has been and continues to be skeptical about Maggie's mission. She would rather find a city and high ground and camp out for awhile. Bob appreciates Maggie's determination and wants to stick with her. But Maggie overhears Sasha's complaints. She leaves on her own overnight without telling them.
Maggie kills a walker at one of the "sanctuary' signs and uses its guts to create signage for Glenn to follow on the tracks. (It's convenient and fortunate that everyone is being drawn to the train tracks.)
Bob is upset Maggie left. He and Sasha try to catch up to Maggie on said tracks. At one point, Bob kisses Sasha, hoping she'll stick with the Glenn mission. But romance isn't in the air for now. She's determined to stick to her own plan at a town and just survive. She said, find a building with an upper floor and maybe even grow food on a roof.
Bob goes off to find Maggie. Sasha, now alone, is regretting her decision on a second-floor building when she sees Maggie hiding from walkers. But she accidentally pushes against a weak window, which falls to the ground and wakes several walkers up. They fend them off (Maggie with a street signa and Sasha with some sort of long stake). Maggie, asked why she was in the town and not on the tracks, says she was waiting for Bob and Sasha. She needs them. And Sasha has a change of heart as well. They need each other.
They catch up to Bob and keep moving forward. There are hugs and smiles all around. Awwww!
The last scene is Glenn reading the sign to Terminus. A reunion is forthcoming. Hopefully, we'll see what the heck Terminus is -- and soon!
Zombie death count: It was a busy episode for walker kills. The trio of Bob, Sasha and Maggie nabbed about a half dozen through the fog. Later, Daryl is forced to fend off several, killing at least five at the funeral home. And Maggie and Sasha have to take down another 10 or so in the town.
Ratings: Ratings slipped a bit last week against the Oscars but not by much: a still hefty 12.7 million viewers. "Talking Dead" followed with another 5 million.
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