It hasn't been any great secret that I've been slightly disappointed with this final lag of The Walking Dead
's fifth season. After all of the action that the first half brought us, I have been exceedingly bored with this sluggish, meandering plot (last week's episode notwithstanding. I didn't recap last week, but I simply cannot hate an entire 40 minutes packed with nothing but Daryl).
And while I thought this week's episode, "Alone," was going to follow the same grain, I was wrong. And for probably the first time in my life, I was happy to be wrong.
We start out with a flashback of Bob wandering down a road. We see him survive for a few days before he's picked up by Glenn and Daryl. We find that he was with two other groups and was the only person to escape each time. Why doesn't anyone find this suspicious? He passed Daryl's question and answer test and hitches a ride and we flash back to present day.
Not much is going on with that threesome (Bob, Sasha and Maggie), but they do kill some walkers and find the same sign advertising sanctuary that the other group members have stumbled upon. Maggie rallies for a trip to Terminus (sanctuary) whereas Sasha is not so sure. She wants to post up in a town and get some high ground and rest. You know Maggie's not on board with that; she'll stop at nothing to find Glenn. Though perhaps her tunnel vision is due more to the fact that if she stops, she'll fall apart and finally grieve over Hershel's violent death. Who really knows?
Courtesy of AMC
We head back to Daryl and Beth in the woods, where he is trying to bestow some of his infinite wisdom onto her about tracking and overall survival. She goes to get a walker and ends up getting her foot caught in an animal trap on the ground. Obviously Daryl saves her, but it also means that she has to get a couple of piggyback rides from Mr. Dixon. Honestly, the sexual tension is palpable. They find themselves in a funeral home and set up camp.
They discover that somebody else has been stashing supplies there when they stumble upon a store of food with no dust. They take some and leave the rest, an idea of Daryl's that convinces Beth that not only is he still good, but that he believes there are still good people alive; despite his declaration moments earlier that good people don't survive in this world. In an awkward and sweet moment later, he tells her (with just a patented Daryl look) that SHE is the reason he still believes there are good people.
Oh, but then they hear a dog and open the door and a gaggle of walkers is waiting to stampede. I mean, amateur move Daryl, really; we expect more from you. (By the way, I know we're jumping around here, but it seems easier to keep things lumped by group rather than episodic timeline). In this moment, more than any other in the series (which is really saying something), I realize that Daryl is without question the biggest badass on TV.
Courtesy of AMC
He orders Beth to leave, something she is reluctant to do, and ends up taking down an enormous group of walkers on his own. I truly thought he was a goner, and my stomach dropped into my butt. But like the original badass that he is, he figures out a way to get himself out of an impossible situation and out of the house, just in time to see Beth being driven away in a mystery vehicle.
Maggie, Bob and Sasha get separated, but find their way back to each other and continue on their way to Terminus. I thought this part was kind of boring and pointless, so we're going to graze over it. They're united and shooting for a common goal, and that's what matters.
Courtesy of AMC
Daryl is on the hunt for Beth and out of sheer exhaustion literally just sits down in the middle of the street and falls asleep sitting up. Obviously this a bad idea, something we find to be true as a group of armed men converge around him. He's Daryl, and of course he's prepared. He is ready to shoot this dude straight in the face, but drops his weapon and no blood is shed.
I am feeling torn about some things about this season. I LIKE that they're adding new characters, but HATE that everything seems to be so choppy. That entire group with Glenn, including, you know, the guy that apparently has all the answers to solve zombie apocalypse, hasn't been seen nor heard from in two episodes. Sometimes I wonder whether it is a physical impossibility for series to have any sort of continuity anymore.
See you next week, Deadheads!
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