Plot: This week opens with Daryl and Carol in hot pursuit of the mysterious car with the white cross on the back, which they suspect will lead them to Beth. Said pursuit leads them back into Atlanta, but before they can do anything touristy (like visit the spot where Daryl’s brother was be-handed and left for dead), their car runs out of gas and they’re forced to travel through the walker-infested city on foot. After a few brief pauses for Carol backstory, they find a clue that leads them pretty much right to the hospital where Beth is being held. Also along the way, they have multiple run-ins with “Everybody Hates Chris” who manages to successfully steal their stuff but who then can’t seem to stop accidentally following them, which leads to them stealing all their stuff back. “Chris” lets it slip that he knows Beth and she is, in fact, in the hospital. Before they can storm the gates and heroically rescue her, Carol is hit by a car and taken to that hospital and Daryl and “Chris” head back to the church to gather an army.
Bad: Carol deleted scene dump. This episode features several flashbacks to things that have happened to Carol since Rick booted her from the group for burning a couple of sick people alive. Usually I’m on board with flashbacks, but the bits and pieces we get here really don’t matter or accomplish anything. For example: After her banishment, we see Carol being upset, then surviving in a nearby town, then seeing the smoke from the burning prison and going back. I could have guessed that. I did guess it. In another clip, we see Carol burying the bodies of the two little blonde girls who died while in her care. Again, that’s cool, but it’s not adding anything. It feels like this episode clocked in a little short and so to pad the run time, the producers put in all of these extra scenes featuring Carol which had been cut out of other episodes for being unnecessary. Presto! Instant “back story.”
Good(?): There’s an English major take on the reason why these clips were included that I guess needs to be addressed. You could, if you really think about it, make the case that these clips showed her dealing with the consequences of her actions: crying alone in the car after the group cuts her loose, burying the two girls, umm ... having to wipe walker guts off her face with and then subsequently throw away a formerly good poncho. Ok, well, maybe that last one really was just a deleted scene. Unless we find out in the next Carol episode that she had that poncho since she was a little gray-haired girl.
Bad: Worst pursuit ever. Now look, I understand some leaps in logic are occasionally necessary in order to keep the plot moving along and that this isn’t a documentary and so on and so forth, but seriously, people? The guy driving the car with the white cross didn’t notice there was exactly one other car moving on the roads in the state of Georgia and that said car happened to be like 20 feet behind him? C’mon, guys. C’mon. Maybe it would have been better to have the car break down and then Daryl could use his expert tracking skills to follow the driver back to town? You’d think that would be a long walk, but remember, “Walking Dead” has pretty much already established that all of these locations are all on the same street.
Good: Did love the shot of the burned out, rumbly mess that is Atlanta. Very reminiscent of season one when Rick rode into town proudly on horseback.
Bad: This shelter seems significant to Carol, but I have no idea why. Oh well.
Good: Who could this mysterious stranger lurking in the shadows be????
Good: Walker camp-out on the skywalk. So while Carol and Daryl are making their way from building to building, they come across a group of people who’d decided to camp out in a skywalk … then things took a turn and everyone died somehow. Now the skywalk is full of walkers trapped in tents, in sleeping bags and it is awesome. The tent walkers were an especially nice touch.
Bad: Oh it’s “Chris.” Yay.
Good: Carol hasn’t learned why she can’t kill people yet, Daryl has a giant hillbilly heart of gold. “Chris” is gradually getting away with almost all of their supplies and Carol is all, “Well, guess I gotta shoot this punk kind in the back, yawn, another day in my life,” and Daryl is all “Na brah, live and let live!” and stops her. I don’t love this pairing like I love Baryl (Beth+Daryl), but I guess Dar-ol is pretty good.
Good: Carol explains it all. So the shelter was a place where she went to escape her abusive husband, Christ remember when that was a thing? With her daughter! Remember when that was a thing? Also, she was leaving the group because she didn’t want to see people die. This is good characterization. Her tossing the poncho … less good. Unless that poncho comes back into play later. I reserve the right to change my mind.
Good: Carol and Daryl go to investigate a van hanging off an overpass marked with the same white cross. It’s tense, you know they’re probably going to be fine but I don’t know and then it falls! AHHHHH!
Bad: Boy that fall, somehow landing on all four tires, so anticlimactic.
Bad: “Chris” is the worst ever. He can’t help accidentally following the two people he just ripped off and his big secret hiding spot is like a block from the place he just escaped from. Dude needs to expand his horizons a little bit. Get out and stretch his wings.
Good: Switching gears. Carol almost gets killed saving “Chris” then Daryl tackles him into a bookcase, which then falls on “Chris.” Daryl’s ready to leave Chris to a nearby walker, but Carol is a learning computer (“T-3” was on AMC a lot lately, so I’m just going to carry on with these “Terminator” franchise references) and now understands the value of human life so she goes to kill the walker when out of nowhere…
Good: Maybe the most badass moment in “Walking Dead” history. Daryl, bathed in shadows with a cig just hanging out of the corner of his mouth, casually offs the walker, saving “Chris” and behold a new partnership is born. By the way, at some point “Chris” mentioned he knows an adorable blonde girl named Beth, so there’s that.Good: The trio is one their way to save the day when SPLAT! Carol gets run over by a car with a white cross on it. She’s taken to the hospital, Daryl and “Chris” head back to the church to gather their army and get ready because another “Walking Dead” battle sequence seems to be coming. Let’s thin the herd a little this time though, huh? We really don’t need ALL of these characters.