It has taken me all day to try and decide what I wanted to write about last night’s episode of The Walking Dead. And, honestly, I’m still not entirely sure what I would like to say. This episode made me sad, angry, scared, and angry again. Bah! Why did the show’s cast and creators have to be so good at getting me emotionally invested?!
First thing’s first. Here is a spoiler filled recap of episode 4.
All up to speed? Good. On to the opinionated portion of the blog.
Let’s start with our friends on the field trip to the veterinary college. Sexy as it was to see Daryl acting like a Rocky Mountain Big Horn Ram, he should have at least punched Bob in the face for even hinting that he would draw his weapon if the booze was disposed of.
Seriously? This guy has survived this long in the ZA and is willing to shoot someone…for cheap whiskey? Shane would’ve handled it. And I have a feeling, if Bob doesn’t get his act together soon, Daryl–feeling responsible for having brought Bob into the fold, and suppressing emotions from his substance abusing family history–will knock the alcoholism right out of him.
Next, I loved that this was a limited cast episode. Not to the degree that ‘CLEAR’ was in Season 3, but limited nonetheless. Sometimes it is refreshing when a series produces a ‘Doctor light’ episode. Fans of Doctor Who will know what I mean. The constant references to Rick and Carol being in a ‘chess match’ throughout the show were so accurate.
I disagree with what’s going around the internet. Carol is not “crazy” and she is not “losing it” in any way. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. For the first time, Carol is being honest. She’s being honest with herself and others and accepting of the world around her. No matter what that world or reality is, rather than hiding from it or going through the motions, she’s finally taking an active role in her life. To say that she is “cold” or indifferent about the losses she has experienced is ignorant. Time has passed. And time heals. Disagree? Do yourself a favor and learn the Serenity Prayer. Shane knew how to make the tough decisions. So did Lori (or she wouldn’t have been a siren in Rick’s ear during Season 2).
Which brings me to Rick. Oh, Rick, Rick, Rick. What the hell happened to you? Just last season you were willing to sacrifice Michonne in order to protect the rest of the group. You would’ve murdered Randall in Season 2, until Carl got involved. Even then, you tied him up and prepared to leave him in a parking lot. You allowed Jim to go off and die on his own terms in order to protect the group. Carol may have made an executive decision without consulting the rest of the group, but she did it with the best of intentions. The last time Rick made an executive decision without consulting the rest of the group, he drove up with a bus full of Woodbury residents. You know, dozens of extra mouths to feed and water, more crying children, more germs brewing. And thanks to Season 4, we all know what the consequences of that decision have been. Carl knew it was a crap idea. And Shane would have handled it.
I’m not blaming Rick for the events that have transpired. He couldn’t have known. But the same should apply to Carol. Rick is still so hung up on the death of Lori out of sheer guilt. His behavior in the last months of her life was so childish. He wasn’t able to protect her. And he has compromised who he is as a man in order to try and come to terms with his guilt. Even his own son has learned to heal, adapt, and grow. Rick is treading water.
Maybe he banished Carol because he was acting as judge, jury, and executioner. Or, maybe he sent her away to protect her from Tyreese. I have no idea if Daryl would fall on the side of Carol or Rick in this situation. But I can say this….remember last season when Daryl left with Merle? Carol’s initial reaction was devastation. But after a day, she was defending Daryl’s actions and choices to Beth. If Daryl doesn’t have at least a similar reaction to Carol’s disappearance, I will be very upset. I know they aren’t a couple and the show isn’t exactly pandering to all of the “shipping” that goes on with fans. But, I’m pulling hard for some RickChonne action. And all of the playful banter and flirting between Michonne and Daryl lately, in light of Carol’s absence, is pissing me off.
I hope that Daryl goes looking for her, to at least make sure she’s okay or even to confront her and hear the truth first hand. Maybe that’s how the new cast of characters will be discovered. Or maybe it will lead to the return of the Governor. I’ve been saying since day one that Season 4 does not bode well for Carol or Daryl. I just didn’t think it would happen like this. Carol will be back. And Rick can suck it. And then he can choke on the guilt the way Shane didn’t about Otis.
Get it together people. It’s the ZA. I’m not condoning total lawlessness and chaos, however, if you can’t toughen up and adapt and accept changes, you are not long for the world. Daryl has hardened up. Michonne has hardened up. Carl has hardened up. Glenn has hardened up. Beth has hardened up. Hell, even that walker-feeding psycho Lizzie is tough (“I’m not afraid to kill”). So, what’s the big deal if Carol does? Rick needs to take a page from Tallahassee: “It’s time to nut up or shut up.”
Until next week…..which may or may not be posted depending upon my hospital situation.