Monday, November 17, 2014

The Walking Dead: Season 5 Episode 6 - Consumed

Welcome back all to our coverage of The Walking Dead!  This has easily been my favorite season of the show so far, and it showed no signs of deterioration last night...well...besides rotting reanimated corpses being roadblocks for 2 of our favorite heroes!  Following suit with the last couple episodes, and the 2nd half of last season we only followed one storyline throughout the hour and it was stronger for it.  As we figured, the episode caught us up on what Daryl and Carol have been up to, but it did even more than that with some choice glimpses at Carol's "burning" past.  Let's dive in and discuss.

Discussion Points
  • Carol's character is easily the most drastically evolved character since the beginning of the show, and this episode made no secret of it.  She and Daryl had a discussion during their journey about how she's had 2 lives that have burned away.   The one with her abusive husband Ed and her daughter Sophia and the one at the prison where she became the person she always thought she wanted to be.  Of course, that all burned away the day she killed 2 of their residents that had that deadly virus.  Now she doesn't know what she is, but she's not thrilled with it.   She also observed Daryl's changes from boy to man over the course of their time together.  
  • I will admit to noticing some theme of fire going on throughout the episode, but I in now way analyzed it as much as Yvette Nicole Brown did on Talking Dead last night!  Though, I can confess to pages and pages of notes I used to take for LOST the same way she does for this show!  The funny thing is, I never read them when I eventually wrote the recaps.  Anyway, I found it interesting that all of Carol's flashbacks had themes of fire.  We saw her fall apart the day that Rick made her leave the group and then find shelter, lighting a candle to keep warm/have light and all the way to Carol observing the smoke from Terminus (a fire she caused).  We saw her burning the infected at the prison, we saw her observing the prison fire, we saw her and Tyreese burying Lizzy and her sister (Don't recall fire there actually).  In the present day, Daryl was lighting fires to burn the walker mother and daughter he killed at the temporary housing facility, to cause a diversion for walkers, and eventually to light a cigarette.   I'm not going to pretend to get all the symbolism and maybe it's not supposed to be all that deep.  The episode is called Consumed, and Carol talks about her lives that burned away.   And Daryl simply responded with, "We ain't ashes".  They have to keep living as long as they can keep living. 
  • One of the things I like with this focus on individual stories is that we get to see some of the "sausage being made" so to speak.  Living in the zombie apocalypse is all about survival, but in previous seasons we were so busy moving plot forward that we didn't get to see some of the minutua of every day living in the apocalypse.  Examples are Abraham and crew setting up that library or whatever last week to defend against nightly walker attacks and Carol setting up base in her newfound shelter.  Even the fact that they're so used to walkers now that they're not too worried about them when they slam into their car on a dark downtown Atlanta street.  Carol and Daryl were more concerned it was one of the living people they were tracking.  It was also nice to spend more time in the torn down Atlanta, come to think of it.  The simple splitting up of characters lets us see different sides of the zombie apocalypse and makes for a very lived-in feel to the show.  They're doing a great job with that this year and it adds to the intensity/emotional impact of the show for me.  
  • Carol basically came clean on what happened to Lizzy to Daryl.  She didn't have to explain in detail what happened, but just admitting it was worse than he imagines said it all.  But they kept sticking to the theme of getting a chance to start over.
  • So, getting past the emotional journey of the episode, the plot was simple.  FIND BETH.  Loved the stealth car chase in the dark with no headlights down the interstate and straight into the city.  They got to high ground to scope out if they could find where this crew is "holed up".  They ended up scouting a van halfway off a bridge with the cross on the back.  Of course, I forgot to mention the bridge full of walkers who were camped out in sleeping bags in tents.  I'm sure there was a hint of comedy intended at this setup wondering what on earth happened here to cause that scenario.  Granted, I'm sure they thought it was a safe place to be, but the sight was pretty funny only to be topped by another funny walker moment later on.   Anyway, they killed the sleeping bag ones but left the ones trapped in tents alone.  If that wasn't a dead giveaway that something was going to happen later, then maybe the slow focus on Carol and Daryl getting through that chained door was enough evidence.  They may have even shown us Noah's reflection in a window on their 1st time through the door.  
  • Anyway, this whole Noah thing went down pretty much as I expected, except I thought the timing of events would be different.  I didn't realize how much time passed between Noah's escape from the hospital and Carol's arrival at the hospital, so I didn't think Carol would be there when Noah and Daryl met.  But the meeting went down as it should with any strangers in this world.  They don't know each other, and Noah needs to survive.  He got the upper hand and stole their weapons.  Carol still had a pistol and tried to kill Noah.  Daryl stopped her telling her she's just a kid.  This went along with Carol and Daryl's current difference of opinion on saving people.  
  • Carol and Daryl moved on with just their knives and pistol to the van.  There was no way we were leaving this scene without that van falling over, right?  The surprise was in how it transpired.  Daryl got the clue they needed when he noticed the stretcher with the initials of the hospital on it.  But, it was just in time for a hoard of walkers to be on their tail.  Long story short, they ended up trapped in the van with the only way out being down.  They "Thelma and Louised" it and leaned forward to cause the van to fall, flip and land right side up.  Now, I'm not sure if this was meant to be hilarious, but when the walkers fell over with them and kept hitting the roof of the van, I was cracking up.  The first one was shocking and scared the hell out of me, but after that just picturing a bunch of mindless zombies following the van off a cliff to their demise was hysterical.  
  • Carol and Daryl moved on to a building across the way from the hospital to scope things out.  Guess who they ran into?  Good ol' Noah!  They ran into some walker trouble and Noah ended up being in a bad situation under a bookcase.  This ended up being a situation where Daryl decided not to save him and Carol was put in a position where she didn't want to leave him.  In the end, Daryl used his recently recovered crossbow to save Noah but only after he possibly convinced Carol that people still are worth saving.  It was a good thing they came around on this one because obviously Noah had intel they needed!  Noah revealed that he was in the hospital (possibly he was scoping out a way to save Beth?) and that they would've heard those gunshots and come after them.  Daryl/Carol put 2 and 2 together and they eventually realized that they were all friends with Beth and that Beth helped him escape.  
  • One of the hospital cars rolled up on the building.  The trio were working on their exit and somehow out of the blue Carol got slammed into by a car!  Noah held Daryl back explaining how she'll be taken care of and they'll have time to reorganize.  Basically Noah indicated their going to need a lot of help and Daryl knew just where to find it.  We need to go all Rick and Michonne on this piece!!  And of course, this final couple sentences is where we assumed this was going.  Daryl and Noah will go for help and "Team Bearded Rick" will be unleashed on the hospital.   
So is it safe to assume we're caught up to Daryl showing up at the church with a surprise visitor yet?  They didn't show it, but the truck is enroute.  I would assume this whole "Save Beth" story arc will be wrapped up in the next 2 episodes and introducing a new challenge for the team.  There's also the question of when and where Abraham, Glenn, Maggie, Eugene and Rosita will meet back up with the crew.    And of course, where is Morgan headed!?  Lots of stuff to go down, and I'm all on board for the ride.  I look forward to our continued discussion in the comments below.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!   


MJ said...

It's the Carol and Daryl show ! LOL. Kinda a dull episode in a way. Feeling a little jipped that they didn't even bring us to the point where we left off 2 weeks ago and it's Daryl and Noah coming out of the woods to meet up with the rest of the group.
Have not watched Talking Dead so have not seen scenes for next week. Read EW - I didn't really put it all together that they kept showing smoke - yeah i saw all the smoke but somehow was not realizing how many times they showed it. When they were burying the girls you could see the smoke from when Daryl and Beth burnt down that shack of a house. And again I disagree that it's a stronger episode for only focusing on a small group or a singular person. I like that Gimple is doing more character driven stories - but I have to admit the pacing has been a little slow for my taste. He's taking too long to tell the stories I think. I enjoy that we are getting to hear what is going on in their minds but it doesn't need to be dragged out over an entire episode. Beth getting her own ep this year at least we meat a whole new group of people. Seemed out of character to me that Daryl was just letting Noah go after he robbed them. Made no sense then that later he's going to leave him to die. No surprise when the van went over the edge - but the walkers following was funny. Glad I'm not the only one who laughed at that.

Mike V. said...

Funny - seems like we're on different pages again this season (last time that happened was season 2!) I've been loving this season. It feels the most LOST-ian of any of the seasons in the past. I always thought it had potential to get to that level due to the show's setting/content. But the way they are focusing on certain characters this season it's bringing a fresh take to the show. I'm liking it. I didn't find this episode dull in the least. How could it when it focuses on 2 of our favorite characters!? (don't answer that, I know it could! lol)

I think they basically brought us to that point unless they hit a bump in the road along the way. Next episode could easily start with Darryl coming out of the woods with Noah. then again, why would they need to be walking through the woods if they have a truck? lol

Talking Dead explored Darryl leaving him to die...Yvette Nicole Brown suggested that he was testing Carol. He wanted HER to want to save Noah. It seemed like Daryl had never left and the crossbow was already aimed at the walker for when Carol finally made her plea.

I think the pacing has been great. Though it does remind me of season 2 of LOST where they kept showing the same scene over and over again from different character could tell they were already starting to milk things because they didn't know how long they were gonna be on the air. lol Fortunately for TWD, they have plenty of source material to adapt.

I will admit that my wife told me she was bored until the end of the episode you're not alone. But, I've been really enjoying what Gimple is doing and I hope he does more of it. I don't think it's the same as season 2 where they were stuck on a farm or anything like that. We're in different locales and things are very fast paced. Remember when we thought ALL of season 5 would be about Terminus? That was done in 3 episodes (really 1 with leftovers). I'm guessing this hospital story will be over by the end of 8 and then they'll be on to the next challenge with probably some new recruits (I can't imagine everyone in the hospital was just introduced for that story arc).

Leslie said...

I really enjoyed this episode! The slower pace doesn't bother me because I know we have intense craziness to come, like always!

I realized we were seeing a lot of smoke in the flashbacks, but didn't put it all together either. It was funny hearing Yvette put it all together on TD as an excited fan with her notebook. Then, hearing that Norman texted her during the break. lol I agree with Yvette when she said Carol and Daryl have their own shorthand and don't have to put a lot into words. They just know. In thinking back, it was Daryl looking for Sophia and not giving up that started their bond and both of them really beginning their personal transformations.

Interesting scene in the woman's shelter and them seeing the walkers that Daryl burned the next morning so Carol didn't have to deal with that. And, picking up that book on childhood abuse.

I was like you, Mike, the first walker falling on the van startled me, then it was funny! And, I was surprised that a zipped up tent could hold those walkers!

Mike V. said...

@Leslie - Good point on Daryl's search for Sophia starting their transformations/bonds.

As for pace, yeah there's bad slow pace and there's good slow pace. I don't think this compares at all to the Farm episodes (Which I enjoyed also but in hindsight I can certainly see they are probably the weakest episodes of the show)....things are still moving, but we are taking time to explore character as well which only will pay off in dividends in future episodes when our heroes come into some major conflicts. Even getting to know the Hospital crew prior to Rick and crew coming in there and causing commotion (or however it's going to go down)...I think it's important to see that these people are living their lives and have dealt with stuff too. Yeah, it's unfortunate that BETH was the glue that tied the episode back to the main cast....but those new characters were really good so I found the episode to be really good as well.

But, since this show has taken on so many flavors and still continues to rake in'll be impossible to please everyone with every episode! lol

MJ said...

Speaking of Lost - you didn't mention Talking Dead bringing up Lost ? LOL That was hysterical.

I wasn't bored. But it's overkill some of the time to spend SO much time telling us what a character is thinking or feeling.

I want to know how Carol is thinking - I've been wondering since they all gathered at the church - but I'd rather get it is pieces over several episodes I guess. Or a simple conversation where she tells us. I like visiting several groups in an ep rather then be only one or two I think is the issue.

I agree about their unspoken communications but we have seen that the group as a whole now has that.

Nothing is as bad as some of those Farm episodes. LOL

I actually liked our second "Beth" episode cause yes we met all the new people.

Mike V. said...

I'm half asleep when I watch those's tough to retain all the info early in the morning! lol but yeah they definitely brought it up and I laughed at the time! lol

"overkill some of the time to spend SO much time telling us what a character is thinking or feeling" -> now you know how I feel with those extended episodes of SOA! LMAO!

See that's just a preference...I've been liking the narrowed approach to specific characters. I think even Game of Thrones has shined (shone?) when they were able to do it with Blackwater and the Watchers on the Wall episodes (the battles)...even this last season was able to just skip character stories each episode as long as they visited them in the next episode...granted...they still covered multiple storylines in one episode. Even LOST did that. So this is something unique to Walking Dead, but I've been enjoying it. It certainly has taken the focus away from Rick....but it also means when Rick is in an's going to be important and not just him whining about his farm or whatever. lol There are trade-offs!

MJ said...

Overkill - I swear I actually thought of you and SOA when I was typing that.

True - don't want farmer Rick whining about his crops either.

I naturally have patience issues in life - so it rolls over into my favorite shows. There is so much I'm dying to see that I want them to tell me what that character is feeling but then move on and give me more ! LOL I don't want to wait.

hey - your visit to the house of them mouse must be pretty close. I go in 4 weeks and yours was even sooner than mine.

MJ said...

the mouse.

Mike V. said...

Patience issues - Yeah, I hear that. Especially with SOA knowing this Gemma/JAX showdown won't really happen until the finale it's been an exercise in patience and appreciating the "fun" along the way!

I guess my opinion is that if you rush those feelings, they don't always feel earned. I guess it depends how good your writing and acting is too. :)

DISNEY - 3 weeks from yesterday! We're very excited! Are you going to Mickey's Very Special Christmas party? We did 4 years ago (pre-kids) and loved it. Loved it so much we had to share with our kids ASAP. lol