CAUTION: Do not read on if you are not fully caught to this TV series! This article will contain spoilers galore, so be wary.
Continuing the theme of identity, one that has been very prevalent through the first seven episodes of season five, last Sunday night's episode of The Walking Dead, rightly titled "Consumed," granted us further insight into Carol and Daryl's respective pasts, and how much they both have had to adapt in order to survive. They both have had to do things they normally would not have done had the world not gone all walker-infested. But, it seems like both Carol and Daryl have finally come to terms with who they are now, and how they want to go about surviving that world. More importantly, they have come to terms with each other, which makes them a fantastic duo.
Also, this episode continued the overall pace of the previous couple of episodes - "Slabtown" and "Self Help," respectively. "Consumed" was not action-packed, but it made up for it, in my opinion, by proving to us just how good a team Carol and Daryl is. They may not always agree with each other, but they do need each other. That much is clear. Furthermore, expect next Sunday's episode ("Crossed") to display some very action-packed sequences.
Before we get to what might be in store for "Crossed," let's go over what we learned from "Consumed":
- Carol has truly changed. She is no longer passive, as she was when her abusive husband, Ed, was around. Now, she is proactive, willing to do whatever it takes to help protect those she cares for. This is one reason why she was willing to leave Rick's group in "Strangers." She did not want to sit around and merely watch her friends die without taking action to ensure their safety.
- Daryl has also changed quite a bit, and is showing signs of trying to move on from his past, which might have included child abuse. In one scene, a book falls out of Daryl's bag when Carol picks it up. The book is actually real, and titled "Treating Survivors of Childhood Abuse: Psychotherapy for the Interrupted Life." According to Amazon, the book's main purpose is to allow unfortunate victims of childhood abuse to "manage symptoms related to past physical or sexual abuse; build emotion regulation and interpersonal skills; and process traumatic memories and their associated feelings of fear, shame, and loss." Very deep stuff, indeed! We know Daryl's mother died in a fire when he and his brother Merle were young, and that they were then left with their father, who was never there for them. It has been at least implied several times that their father was abusive. As a result, and much like Carol, Daryl has learned to be self-reliant, strong and independent, qualities that make him a great ally to have.
- Noah is clearly trying to do anything he can to go back to Grady Memorial Hospital to rescue his new friend, Beth. In "Slabtown," she managed to help him escape, but at a price - she was forced to stay behind, in the clutches of police officer Dawn Lerner. Now, Noah is resorting to thieving acts like taking Daryl's patented weapon, the crossbow, at gunpoint, and then unleashing previously trapped walkers on Daryl and Carol. On the contrary, his intentions are actually quite noble, and I think Daryl understood that a bit, even though he did not know right away that Noah knows Beth. In fact, Daryl even stops Carol from shooting Noah; she later tries to convince Daryl that she was not trying to kill him, but merely stop him by shooting his leg. Daryl probably remembered that Carol had killed Karen and David back in season four, and so his trust for her was not at a high level, so to speak.
- Carol and Daryl do learn later that Noah does indeed know Beth, and that he is trying to save her, which kind of justifies his earlier actions against them. Before that revelation, though, Daryl and Noah had a brief, violent encounter, one that almost resulted in Noah's death. To be more specific, Noah was stuck under a huge book case, with a walker trying to get to him. Daryl was willing to just leave him there, but Carol urged him to save Noah, despite what he had done. My guess is that Carol was not doing that for just herself; rather, she wants Daryl to maintain his humanity. She does not want him to lose his mind, or otherwise develop really evil tendencies. In the end, Daryl does help save Noah, which should prove to be a good decision, if Noah can truly help get Beth out of Grady Memorial. In that particular scene, Daryl became Carol, and Carol became Daryl.
- The mystery person in the woods with Daryl at the end of "Strangers" is indeed Noah, like many of us viewers predicted. He and Daryl will now most likely head back to St. Sarah's to inform Rick and co. on what has transpired, including Carol's abduction. With a more potent group, they will all be better able to fight officer Lerner and her group. Speaking of Carol's abduction:
- Finally, we now know exactly how Carol ended up at Grady Memorial at the end of "Slabtown." She was hit by a car, which was driven by a couple of officers from that hospital. The hit appeared to be intentional, which means Lerner is still trying to recruit people, by any means necessary. Or, her intent might actually be to keep potential enemies at bay. Regardless, Lerner forced Beth to join the hospital group against her will, and now she is doing the same with Carol. This revelation puts to rest the theory that Carol was playing possum, allowing herself to be captured by the hospital's officers.
And now, it is on to episode seven, "Crossed." Here is its very brief synopsis:
Some members hold down the church while the others are on a rescue mission.
There is not much to divulge from this, sadly. However, it sounds like St. Sarah's is going to be under attack next Sunday, which means that rescuing Beth may be pushed down in the list of top priorities. That, or the church group will be divided even further - one mini-group will stay behind to hold the church, while the other will head to Grady Memorial Hospital. My guess is that Rick will stay at the church, while Daryl and Noah lead the rescue mission.
Here are two clips from "Crossed":
Who's the "they" Rick is referring to at the end of this video? Is it Lerner's group back at the hospital, or a new threat approaching the church? Whatever the case, it certainly looks like the pace will increase quite a bit, with guns blazing and blood pouring. Also, it looks like just about everyone will get some screen time - Rick's group, Abraham's group, Beth, Carol and Lerner's group at GMH, and most likely Daryl and Noah as well.
Father Gabriel's been very lucky that his church has stayed steady all this time. But, like Carl said to him, "no one place is safe forever." The farm ended up being claimed by a large, insurmountable herd of walkers, and the same became of the prison. So, could this signify the end of their stay at St. Sarah's? And if that is the case, will Gabriel be willing to travel with Rick and co.? He may not want to, but then again, Rick will not give him much of a choice. Father Gabriel appears to be weak and helpless, but something about him tells me that there is more to him than meets the eye.
"Crossed" will debut this Sunday, November 23rd. Don't freaking miss it!!!