Alright, so here it is. We finally got our Daryl centric episode. It does feel as if they saved it for last in order to keep all of the Daryl fans on their feet. Just like the two episodes that proceeded it, this was a character driven episode and light on action. As Daryl and Beth navigate through the wilderness of Georgia,they encounter numerous Walker obstacles and try to learn to get along with one another.
When Daryl and Beth jumped into the trunk of that car, it almost seemed natural. They were in a tight spot and, as always, Daryl quickly assessed the situation and found the best solution. The Elmore Leonard fan in me was hoping for an Out Of Sight moment in that trunk, but Daryl seems especially non verbal lately. Good ol’ Daryl; just skinning a snake, eating it like a meaty corn on the cob in front of the campfire like a little caveman! After the takedown of the prison, Daryl seems to have retreated back into his original version. He has a bad attitude and the stink face to match. There is no talking from him; only grunting and long looks of disapproval. Beth behaves the way young women behave, which is to say, she is easily lead by her emotions. For whatever reason, Beth has decided that she needs a drink. A proper drink. I can’t say that I blame her, but it also seems entirely stupid and immature to traverse this new zombie wonderland in the pursuit of a smart cocktail. Conveniently, they stumble upon a golf course because golfers like to booze it up in their polos and pastel pants.
Beth gets lucky straight away and finds a bottle of wine only to break it over a walker’s head. Silly girl. As she fumbles her way out of the situation, she gives Daryl grief for not helping her even though she just informed him that she doesn’t need any help. This whole business with the women proclaiming that they don’t require assistance from men and then automatically expecting it when the shit hits the fan is becoming boring and infuriatingly stereotypical. Especially when Beth just stands there and watches Daryl take on walker after walker. She just stands there!!!!! In her new outfit. Way to get blood on her new outfit Daryl. Thanks for nothing!! Thank goodness she finally found a bottle of alcohol; too bad it was Peach Schnapps.
This episode was clearly Daryl’s backstory vehicle. Up until now we had only a tiny glimpse into his past when he hallucinated Merle and made an ear necklace. Seeing as how everyone, the viewers and all of the characters on the show, want to know more about Daryl, this episode was a long time coming. When he finds the purse with the money, he pounces on it and starts collecting it as though his life depends upon it. Clearly, there is no need for money anymore, so, this just seemed like some of his reflexive behavior surfacing. We have deduced that Merle was not necessarily the awesome big brother that he should have been, so, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities to assume Daryl may have a delinquent past. However, when this assumption is brought to life during Beth’s drinking game, it is not appreciated. This whole time, everyone has treated Daryl as a former felon or poor white trash or an uneducated backwoods, moonshine drinking buffoon or all of the above. Even when they were praising him and counting on him to bail them out, they still asked him if he used to be a motorcycle repairman or a detective; anything that is perceived as extremely manly and not necessarily requiring sensitivity. Even though he’s the only one who didn’t give up on Sophia, Carol and Michonne seem to be the only ones who could truly see him for the man that he is. He is imperfect, but he is trying his hardest to be better everyday. Not everyone on this show can say the same thing for themselves. Ultimately, I really enjoyed Daryl’s breakdown. He deserved it and it was heartbreaking to realize that he had been carrying the weight of the world on his well developed shoulders. Daryl feels responsible for The Governor because he stopped looking for him. This means he feels responsible for the destruction of the prison and for the death of Hershel. Daryl, the neo-nazi that nobody cared for, he is the one who pulls through and rarely lets his emotions guide him.
All that being said, this episode was a wee bit slow and mildly irritating. This was the Rick and Carl episode with Daryl and Beth taking over the roles. Beth is young and I understand that she wants to throw a tantrum, but this was just unnecessary. I could have sworn they were setting her up to be the new Hershel, so, what is with all of the attitude? Girl, please, Daryl is not the kind of man that you act out with;he isn’t going to react. The fact that this episode didn’t get as much hatred as Rick and Carl’s episode speaks to Daryl’s popularity because let’s be honest; this episode was just as slow. I, personally, enjoy the character driven episodes because this is a drama, after all. I just find it endlessly fascinating that as long as Daryl is in an episode, people are happy.
So, where do we go from here? If the groups don’t start finding one another or make it to Terminus or Washington, I might lose patience. Precisely how long can a show go on about people walking around? I need an endpoint:a goal. I need to be reminded why I always vote for the Ricktatorship, why I secretly love the tiny serial killer, why I care so much about these characters and why I look forward to seeing them every Sunday. Let’s hope Beth’s words are as prophetic as they sounded; I would like to see Daryl Dixon be the last man standing.