This week should have been called the Carol story because we largely focused on what Carol has been doing. The opening, while interesting that we finally got to see what Carol had done after she was banished but before she joined up with Tyreese it felt too late. At this point it’s been a year since we saw these her go and almost a year since her return. The sadness over her actions and her unwillingness to just give up was nice, but we had already assumed that thanks to her return.
The story picked up where Daryl and Carol split up from the group. Tailing the car that took Beth previously led them into Atlanta again. Their pursuit was promptly detoured in which we got to see some more bonding between the two of them. Their scenes are well written, but to the credit of Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride, they deliver those silent moments in a way that lets you understand how deep their bond really runs. They understand each other and don’t have to ask with each other.
Despite them having an understanding, they don’t ultimately know each other. This was explored in the second half of the episode starting with the painting. It wasn’t until Carol was going to shoot Noah for stealing their weapons and Daryl stop her did the rift begin to grow. It was a big rift. As we’ve seen from this newer tougher Carol she is all about surviving by any means necessary and she’s going to make sure the people she cares about are there with her. Daryl feels the same, but he’s the more gentle of the two, which is ironic since Daryl will rise to the occasion when he has to fight.