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EPISODE 12: Still
THE HOOK: In the wake of war with Woodbury, Rick and his group have turned the prison into a working community, but danger continues to stir on the outside as well as from within.
The following contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode
THE LOWDOWN: This week on The Walking Dead: The quest for booze…and the awkward drinking games that come with it. Poor Daryl. The opening scene has Beth and Daryl coming out of the forest to find an abandoned car on the road. For some reason they decided it’s a good idea to hide in the trunk from the herd of walkers on their asses. Ordinarily I’d have no problem with this, but after the S1 episode “Guts” where they figure out walkers are attracted to our smell, you’d think that they’d still be able to smell them. Of course, if you want to get seriously technical, the same logic could be used against Michonne’s chained walker blending technique. It’s a small observation, but the irony is with shows like this, because there is no precedent when it comes to walkers (thank Christ), we have no real way of knowing what tips them off or what they respond to outside of the presumably obvious, hence why these rules seem to always change.
Now before I start with Beth, I will commend her fire starting skills. I mean, it pales in comparison to Daryl’s rattlesnake dinner, but it’s still worthy of praise. Her sudden jonzing for a drink however, is not. For me, Beth is one of the least interesting characters, but she’s innocent as hell, and with the recent death of Hershel it feels like it would be a sin to have something happen to her. That said, I commend Daryl for not putting an arrow through her face. The second they got to the golfing range, all I could think about was how epic it would be to see Bill Murray dressed as a zombie taking in a round of golf. No, it would’ve never happened, but damn if it wouldn’t have been a hilarious cameo. When I saw Daryl loading up that bag full of cash, I thought to myself, “why bother?” but I suppose it’s one of those ‘just in case’ forces of habit. I can’t see the world of The Walking Dead ever getting back to normal though, nor do I see any group of people doing trades for cash. I suppose it would make great kindling on a cold night.
These two characters couldn’t be more opposite, and it shows once the dialogue starts rolling. Daryl shoots her down every chance he gets—the Peach Schnapps bit was priceless, but at that point I was really hoping he was going to go give her a damn hug already. The moonshine hut is where shit gets real. Beth has her drink and introduces Daryl to the “I’ve never” drinking game, and oh man, does that ever get messy. At first I was thinking she was going to blurt out some kind of “I don’t want to die without ever having a drink”, followed by an “I don’t want to die a virgin” speech. That would have been awkward, but no more so then Daryl flipping out throwing the world in her face (I cringed when he mentioned the slit wrists). It was an interesting scenario because I had no idea what was going to happen for a change, which kept me on my toes.
THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 4's twelfth episode is another character study that starts off rough around the edges but becomes something heartfelt and beautiful night’s end. I knew Daryl hadn’t given up, but it was hard to read him. He blames himself for everything, and it’s eating him up inside. Norman Reedus gives one of the most powerful performances I’ve seen yet on this show. An Oscar worthy performance on Oscar night, what are the odds? Beth proves to be surprisingly deep for a country bumpkin. Her telling Daryl he’ll be the last man standing, and to stay who he is now, rather than who he was before was moving. And then they burn that mother to the ground. It was poetic, a rite of passage for Daryl and a moment of clarity for them both. I started the episode not caring for Beth, but ended up glad she’s still around. Another solid episode.
ZOMBIE KILL OF THE WEEK: Daryl literally drives a man’s face off with a golf club...all over Beth’s new shirt. FOUR!
BLOOD AND GORE: Lots of zombie beatings, faces flying, crossbow bolting, and an “I’m rich bitch” joke just waiting for Dave Chappelle to call.
WTF CHARACTER MOMENT: Beth. You know you’re losing it when you break down in the middle of the zombie apocalypse because suddenly you need to go on a (first time) bender and play “I never.” Dammit Beth, I thought you were smarter than that!
COOLEST SCENE: When Daryl loses it in the moonshine hut and starts going nuts, only to end up breaking down into tears because he blames himself for everything that’s happened. That was some heavy shit.
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