March 14, 2014 The Walking Dead – Alone (Episode 13 review)
After last week’s episode, which featured Daryl and Beth coping with surviving and their recent losses, it was nice to get both a follow-up to their story and a better look at another. Still finally brought some heart back into the recently emotionless Daryl and Beth, as each had been burying their emotions, from Beth’s “I don’t cry anymore,” and Daryl’s recently adopted muteness after the prison fell. In his possibly drunken state, Daryl finally revealed how the war had impacted him, and that, to some degree, he blamed himself for what happened since he had stopped looking for the governor. Although slow-paced, the episode did make for some powerful and much needed character development.
This past week’s Alone started true to its title, portraying a lonely Bob Stookey wandering with a completely expressionless face. Bob spent most of his time hiding from walkers and drinking anything he could to take his mind off of what had happened to his former groups. There is some murmur amongst fans that Bob may not have been entirely honest about his past, that he might be hiding something much darker. Though there is no way to rule that out, it doesn’t seem too evident at the moment. He seems like a genuinely kind character who cares for the people around him, and will cling to them as much as he can to avoid ending up alone again.
The biggest downfall of the next scene, which showed Bob, Maggie, and Sasha all back-to-back in extremely dense fog fighting off walkers, was that it didn’t last longer. For a show typically praised for its horror, it almost feels as if the writers squandered great opportunity by not letting that chilling scene run on longer. Regardless, it was great while it lasted and it almost looked like two characters were going to get taken out as Bob, fortunately, was bitten on his bandage and Maggie was tackled before Sasha shot the walker.
The dynamic between Maggie, Bob, and Sasha has been interesting to watch develop. Sasha seems to want to create another prison-like scenario for herself and her friends. She doesn’t want to look for people anymore, and she doesn’t want to be thrown back into the wandering survivor role that she was forced to play up until she met Rick’s group and the governor. Maggie, on the other hand much like her husband, Glenn, refuses to give up looking for the people she has potentially lost. Her only motivation now isn’t to just live, she wants to be with the people she cares about and live or die with them; very reminiscent of the motif that has been beat with a sledgehammer this season, that being alive means nothing and living is everything. Bob’s motivations seem to just be to have faith and not be alone. Unfortunately, the writers did create some confusion with his actions. He was so set on tracking down Maggie so she wouldn’t be alone, but he was willing to leave someone else that he cared about alone in order to find her. It’s possible that he wanted to convince Maggie to come back to get Sasha, but it wasn’t evident, and it was an odd choice on his part. Before moving on from these three, it must be mentioned how fantastic the street-sign as a weapon scene was, showing the characters can be very creative sometimes with weapon choices and it makes for some great walker kills.
Now, moving back to Beth and Daryl and their scene, which really created the climax of the episode. After a training session goes awry and Beth gets her foot caught in a trap, the two make their way to an empty but recently inhabited funeral home. Inside, they find goods to sustain themselves on for a while, and some walkers that were dressed up in preparation for a proper burial. The two talked more about how they see the world now. It is revealed that Daryl’s faith in humans has been rekindled as a result of his time spent with Beth, even after the destruction of his home and death of his friends.
The moment between them was broken by the whimpers of a dog at the door. However, upon opening, a flood of walkers swarmed in and Daryl drew them off of Beth while she escaped. Daryl’s escape sequence from the basement that he found himself trapped in, was exciting and impressive, though perhaps it’s to be expected of him by now after all he’s done. Daryl exited the house, only to find Beth’s dropped bag and a black car, which could possibly a hearse, speeding away, presumed to have an abducted Beth inside. Daryl chases down the car in futility, before finally collapsing at a crossroads of exhaustion. It is then we see the men who interrupted Rick’s slumber, as they confront Daryl, perhaps with less-than-savory intentions initially, but then supposedly welcoming arms. We’ve already been given a lot of evidence to suggest that these men are as dangerous as the governor, and Joe’s “why hurt yourself when you can hurt other people” solidified the suspicions about that group.
So many questions have been raised recently, and we can only hope the writers answer them and answer them powerfully with these last remaining episodes. What is Terminus? Will the group truly find Sanctuary there or is it another trap? Was the funeral home a trap, too, to lure survivors and then kill, harm, or steal from them? Who abducted Beth and what will happen to her? What will Daryl do now that he’s lost the last person he cared about that, to his knowledge, was still alive? Is he lost enough to join up with a morally bankrupt gang, or does he still have the strength to do what he feels is right? Will Maggie and Glenn find each other alive?
Pacing will absolutely be an issue in these last episodes. The slower tempo of the recent episodes has been nice, as it facilitated more character development, but the payoff needs to be big for it to be worth it. The set up for the finale cannot be drawn out too long or no amount of impact will suffice. The next episode looks to focus on Tyreese and Carol, and is possibly the episode said by Andrew Lincoln to be the darkest the series has ventured to yet. Only time will tell. CrypticRock gives this week’s episode 3.5 out 5.Review written by Ryan McEvoy