The Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 15, “Us”


(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

The Walking Dead’s Season 4, Episode 15, “Us,” begins in a fairly straightforward manner…no music, no montage…just the drone of Eugene, walking along the tracks beside Tara, completely geeking her out while trying to impress her with his scientific acumen, epic mullet, and general philosophy about…everything.

“I’m well aware it sounds bananas…but lookin’ at the fossil record, knowing what I know about this infection, you cannot say for certain it isn’t what killed off the dinosaurs.  Do I believe that’s what happened?  No…but it’s enjoyable as hell to think about an undead ankylosaur goin’ after a diplodocus!”

Wow, sweet opener, Eugene…if you’re trying to impress a 10-year-old kid who’s obsessed with dinosaurs and who happens to be navigating a a zombie apocalypse. You can practically hear Tara’s eyes rolling back into her head.

Eugene is oblivious to this, chuckling to himself at the thought of undead dinosaurs battling it out. “That there’s a video game worthy of a preorder.”  (Actually, he is right about that one). Eugene looks on as Tara stoops to pick up a flattened coin on the rails. “Aw, hell yeah, score…a few more of those, a little aluminum foil and some bleach, you got yourself some volts, sister.”

At Tara’s questioning look, Eugene explains, “Homemade battery.”

As it seems to mean so much to him, Tara holds out the coin, offering it to Eugene. “Here.” “For real?” he asks.  “For reals,” Tara answers dryly.  “Much obliged,” says Eugene, as they continue down the tracks.

Emboldened by the coin exchange, Eugene tries again to impress Tara…”Speaking of video games, what kind of gamer were you? RPG, smut, sim racing?”  It is clear by this point that Eugene did not have a single iota of lady-game in the world before, and he is striking out big-time in this world, as well…it also doesn’t help that he’s trying to hit on a lesbian.

Eugene, Eugene, Eugene…while I remain unconvinced that he has any real insights on what actually caused the zombie apocalypse, I do hope he can find a way to work that angle to get some play in the new world order…he definitely has some good taste in women, Tara and the lovely Rosita!

And, he has “The Eugene,” a mullet so epic, there should be a sculpture made of it for future PZA (post zombie-apocalypse) generations to visit and make offerings to (especially, I suppose, if Eugene actually does possess the key to a walker cure as well).

That night, Tara is sitting against a tree, staring out into the darkness with a haunted look. Abraham comes to sit beside her, his assault rifle across his lap, stifles a yawn. Tara tells him to go to sleep, she’s got this…he tells her no offense, but he’s not leaving Eugene’s life in her hands.

It is clear that Abraham is 100% on Team Eugene, and he also makes it clear that Team Eugene is in with Glenn and Tara only until they find a working vehicle, then they continue on their mission to get to Washington.

Tara lowers her head into her crossed arms, and Abraham urges her to get some sleep, telling her he hasn’t seen her sleep yet.  As Tara does not reply to this, Abraham continues, “I thought it was because you were in love with him (Glenn).” Abraham chuckles to himself, muses aloud, “Girl in love with the guy she’s trying to help get to his girl…if that were the case, closing your eyes would be just too damn tragic.”

“If that were the case,” replies Tara.

Abraham knows that’s not what’s going on here.  He looks at Tara.  “I saw the way you were looking down Rosita’s shirt when she was serving you dinner…hell, the things are damn near hypnotic.” (And may I give a “Hollah!” to that?)  Abraham chuckles, continues, “Look, Eugene spends half the day staring at her ass…I’m not mad, it just means my theory’s shot.”

“I’m awfully sorry about that,” replies Tara.  Sarcasm seems to be her go-to mechanism these days.

Abraham, however, is not attached…to his initial theory, anyway. “Well, I’m right and I’m wrong…” Abraham  is, however, still trying to get Tara to talk about what is obviously weighing on her. “It’s something you did, or something you didn’t do,” he says, looking away into the darkness.  He is giving her time, and space, to talk to him.

Tara closes her eyes for a brief moment, says softly, “Something I did.” Abraham looks at her, waits.  Tara looks back to him. “You were in the army,” she says, with a raise of her eyebrows, a little smile, and a nod. Then she looks away. “I get the whole gung-ho, mission is your life bullshit.”

Abraham says, “Yeah? You do…”  “Yeah,” Tara whispers. She turns to face him. Her game face is back on. “So we both got our reasons…we both got our missions.”

Abraham nods, says nothing.


Tara turns again to Abraham, asks, “What do you do when the mission’s over?” Abraham looks into the night, and nods in silent understanding.

The next morning, Eugene once again walks beside Tara, working out the logistics for them to share the battery her found coin will become, one day, if they collect all the materials needed. Eugene seems to know that the weak charge that homemade battery would generate would be the closest thing to any spark between them, and he’s working that angle for all it’s worth.

While trying to ignore Eugene, Tara looks ahead and spies something down the tracks…and there it is, scrawled in walker’s blood, Maggie’s sexy blood note to Glenn:


As soon as he sees the sign, Glenn starts hauling ass down the tracks…




Meanwhile, in a makeshift camp in the woods, the Downstairs Thug Boys are catching their last moments of a joyless sleep on the cold forest ground as a lone walker approaches.  The walker catches the barbed wire barricade in the face, sending the cans strung along it rattling, jolting the DTB’s awake.



One DTB says, “I got it” and dispatches the walker bayonet-upside-the-chin style:

Mornin', motherfucker.

Mornin’, motherfucker. After he rekills Mornin’ Walker, the DTB thrusts his bayonet into the ground, unzips, and unleashes his morning piss onto the dead walker.

Tony (the Hispanic dude who saw Rick under the bed just before losing consciousness in a chokehold) looks around, says it looks like that “Robin Hood cat” skipped out and went off on his own. Tony adds that he didn’t think Robin Hood had the “sac” to go off on his own like that.

Len, (who may have done the choking), seems like a pretty pent up dude.  He’s got some issues.  But, he does have the observation skills to notice that Robin Hood’s stuff is still there, probably just stepped out to “drop a morning deuce.” Joe, the leader, is looking pretty relieved at this.  It’s been pretty clear to me so far that he is way-gay for Daryl…welcome to the club, dude.

Somewhere where the morning shines a little brighter, Rick (yay! we have missed you, Deputy Grimes!) trudges along the rails talking, it seems, to himself…“We have about a day’s worth of water left… luckily it’s cooled off some, but…”  He looks back to see Carl and Michonne way behind him, each walking slowly, balancing on a rail, trying not to fall over.

“What are you doing?” he mock chides, to which Carl answers, “Winning a bet,” to which Michonne replies, “In your dreams!”  Rick has no choice but to laugh, and it did my heart good to see it…sigh…Rick is pleasedall is right in the world again.  Thank you, Rick. Just…thank you.  For. Everything.

What are those two up to now?

What are those two up to now?

Try to look stern...

Try to look stern…

...nah, can't do it!

…nah, can’t do it!

You crazy kids! :)

You crazy kids! 🙂

Michonne lets Carl win. #bettermotherthanlori

Michonne lets Carl win.
#bettermotherthanlori  (awww….just kidding…kind of)

Carl shares the prize, the last stale-ass Big Kat bar...sweet boy loves him some Michonne

Carl shares the prize, the last stale-ass Big Cat bar…“C’mon, we always share…” Michonne smiles, says, “Fork it over..”  So sweet!

Meanwhile, back in the dark douchebag forest, poor Daryl is not faring as well.  He needs some time and space to think, and a stealthy early-morning hunt will maybe help to clear his mind.

He has got to be freaking out inside about poor Beth, abducted in a creepy black funeral car, injured, alone…but, he must bide his time, and it is safer in numbers, right now, and nobody wants to piss Joe off…that guy seems a little fixated on poor Daryl.

Joe, and the rest of the Downstairs Thug Boys, are gonna be a little hard to shake. Daryl has a lot to figure out, and not a lot of time to do it.  He spots a rabbit and aims his crossbow:

um. yes.

um. yes…yes, indeed

Daryl fires, just as another, bigger arrow shoots from behind him, just grazing the hair at his temple and spearing through the rabbit, along with Daryl’s arrow.  (Daryl’s Arrow…great name for a band…someone should snatch it up…I do not play a musical instrument but love coming up with band names, so, welcome to it, and enjoy, and I’ll keep throwing them out there as I think of them.)

Daryl whirls around, and there is Len, lurking behind, poaching Daryl’s rabbit, and basically just there to harsh Daryl’s morning mellow.

“What the hell you doin?” demands Daryl, as he goes forward to the rabbit.  Len shrugs, “Just catchin’ me some breakfast.”  Len, who clearly is not gifted in the personality, nor the charisma, department, goes on to inform Daryl that his arrow went through before Daryl’s did, and that  “Cottontail belongs to me.”

Crouching down to pull the arrows out of the rabbit, Daryl tells Len that he’s been out there since before the sun came up. This is all he says, Daryl being a man of few words, and incredible hotness. Daryl clearly had first sights on the rabbit, and it clearly belongs to him.

Len, however, counters that the “rules of the hunt don’t mean jack” in this day and age, and that-there rabbit is “claimed,” so Daryl better fork it over.

Now, it is also clear that Len is picking a fight with Daryl, probably for things that went way far back in Len’s life and that Daryl has had nothing to do with, before now…but now Len is on Daryl’s ever-growing list of problems, and probably, at this point, near the top of Daryl’s ever-growing shitlist.  As Len drones on about the law of “claimed,” Daryl stands back up, looks Len in the eye, and tosses Len’s shitty arrow to the side.

Len’s gaze follows the arrow, his neck jutting forward, his feet planted, trying to intimidate Daryl by insisting that he hand the rabbit over now, or else… Daryl strides towards him as Len tries to hold his ground, unsuccessfully.. Daryl’s voice is soft, and sexy, and growly, as he stands before Len, looks him straight in the face, says, “Ain’t yours.”

Len, clearly challenged, goes for the sucker-punch, suggesting that it’s “some bitch” that has Daryl all messed up…and was it one of the “littl’uns? Cuz they don’t last too long out here…”

Daryl reaches for the knife in his belt:


But just before Daryl can do us all a favor and end Len, Joe comes rushing up and breaks up the fight…he is so gay for Daryl, I mean, really…the dude can’t hide it, not even a little.

“Easy, fellas, easy…let’s put down our weapons and see if we can’t figure out what’s really the problem here…” Joe is of course eye-fucking Daryl the whole time he says this, and Len laughs from behind Joe in a thin, shitty way. Daryl’s eyes burn past Joe, into Len’s shitty face, looking majorly fine as he vibes Len hard. Joe finally tears his gaze from Daryl, turns to Len, asks him if he “claimed” the rabbit.

“Hell, yeah!” says Len.  “Well, there you go,” says Joe, turning back to Daryl. “That critter belongs to Len.”  Len juts his chin forward even more, demands, “So let’s have it!”  Yes, children, Len sucks.

Joe’s voice is pacifying as he turns to Daryl, “Looks like you’ll be wanting an explanation.” He steps towards Daryl, who leans back slightly and steps back away from Joe. Joe, who pretends not to notice this clear, universal signal of distaste, continues his explanation in placating, almost pleading, tones:

“See, goin’ it alone, that’s not an option nowadays. Still, it is survival of the fittest…that’s a paradox right there.” Joe leans in towards Daryl to make his point, which Daryl suffers…he already slipped with the step-back, before. Joe explains that he laid out some “rules of the road before things get too Darwin every couple of hours, to keep our merry band together and things stress-free.”

Joe is pretty much pitching this like it’s the best idea anybody ever had. While Daryl knows better, he also knows better than to show it..he’s turned away, looking down, trying not to be a dick about it, but kind of repulsed past the point of being able to hide it.  (Me too, Daryl, me too!)

“All you gotta do is “claim,” Joe continues, bringing it home. “That’s how you mark your territory, your prey, your bed at night…that one word, “claimed.” Daryl shifts back, growls softly, “I ain’t claimin’ nothin’.”  Len steps forward, reminds Joe that the rule is to teach Daryl if he doesn’t obey.

Joe, however, cannot bring himself to punish Daryl, and lays it on thick about how “it wouldn’t be fair to punish someone for a rule they never knew existed.” This flagrant display of favor towards Daryl causes Len to turn away and laugh bitterly while shaking his head, raking his hand through his hair, and pacing around with the unfairness of it all.

Len, dude, give it up.  Maybe you were Joe’s favorite at one time, but you are totally out of your league with this one. It’s Daryl Dixon, for fuck’s sake. Later for you, Len.

Daryl, deliciously defiant, dismisses all this, growling “There ain’t no rules no more.” (He’s so soft and growly this episode…really sexy.)  Joe would beg to differ, about there being no rules, that is…Joe would probably beg Daryl for a lot of things, truth be told, but he is trying to make a specific point…there are still rules, and Daryl knows it, and that’s why Joe didn’t kill Daryl for the crossbow.

Then, Joe grabs the tail end of Daryl’s rabbit, which Daryl still holds.  Daryl protests, and Joe cautions him, “Easy, there, partner.” His eyes on Daryl, Joe holds the rabbit carcass up to the tree and slices it in half with one stroke of his machete.

IMG_4643 IMG_4651

Joe tosses the front half to Len, who glares at Daryl…Len is seething lime-green jelly at all the blantant favoritism that is being shown to Daryl, who clearly has the mojo and magnetism that Len has been lacking his whole life.  Len stalks off, and Joe looks at Daryl. “Claimed, it’s all you gotta say,” he says, with a shrug of his fingers.  Joe looks down at Daryl’s rabbit half.  “Ass end is still an end,” Joe says, and walks off.


Daryl’s thinking, These guys are dicks!

Back at the rails, Glenn is hauling ass to Maggie…he’s charging ahead of the group and not looking back.  They have reached some sort of observation or loading tower, and Abraham calls for a rest, saying they are tired, and “tired is slow, and slow is dead.”

Glenn protests that it’s barely noon, to which Abraham replies, “I don’t give a monkey’s left nut!” (Ha! It’s pretty much guaranteed that any episode Abraham is in is going to bring us WD fans some pretty memorable lines to quote.)

Abraham continues, saying that nobody has slept more than a couple of hours, and while he gets it, “You have to find her,” he and Rosita have a mission too, and that’s to get Eugene to Washington, “and save the whole damn world!”  He says it looks safe here, that they are going up in the tower for a rest stop.

Just then, Tower Walker makes its presence known:

As Tower Walker steps in for his cameo, we get a rear view of

As Tower Walker steps in for his cameo, we get a rear view of “The Eugene” and how the back drape of it flows down in greasy, brown mulltastic waves…it’s truly a mullet of epic proportions!

In its undead zeal to chomp the living, the Tower Walker pitches right over the railing, becoming Look Out, Below! Walker...and hits the dirt in a gorish heap of rot and bone.

In its undead zeal to chomp the living, the Tower Walker pitches right over the railing, becoming Look Out, Below! Walker…and hits the dirt in a gorish heap of rot and bone.

Unfortunately, Tara’s knee gets hurt in the mayhem of the walker’s fall (ahem, Abraham shoving her aside, and to the ground, rudely, in his quest to protect Eugene from all the forces that want to kill his white, pasty ass). Limping gamely on her injured knee, Tara insists to Glenn that she can still walk.

Glenn is being super self-obsessed right now, and tries to bid farewell to Abraham and Co., ready to continue on, whatever it takes…”You don’t need us and we don’t need you,” says Glenn before he turns away, ready to move on.

Rosita calls him out, “Wow, you’re an ass….She (and she points to Tara) will do whatever you say because she thinks she owes you…man up! Stay for a few hours!”

Besides looking totally hot calling Glenn out, may I just give Rosita mad props on accessorizing in the zombie apocalypse…girlfriend’s got on gold hoops, cute military-style hat, leather fingerless gloves, and a cute-ass Michael Jackson-style military jacket, with long sweater sleeves over the hands, complete with DIY thumbhole cut out…Rosita is officially my girl-crush and my new fashion icon.


Glenn proposes that if they continue on, and go until sundown, then he will give Eugene his riot gear, “right here, right now.” Abraham accepts, despite Rosita’s protests that Tara is in no shape to move on…”You’re not her mama,” replies Abraham, cutting his eyes to Glenn, then Tara.  “If she says she can walk, she can walk.” Abraham turns to Glenn and tells him he’s got himself a deal.

Back aways at Douchebag Junction, Joe is really pressing Daryl for some kind of commitment:  “So what’s the plan, Daryl?” They are walking down the railway line, Joe’s smoking a cigarette. He seems pretty tense, putting it all out there.

Daryl plays dumb, “How so?” Joe’s been around the block a few times, and he’s played this game before. He spreads his cigarette hand out in a wide arc of impatience, asks, “Well, you with us now, but you ain’t soon?”  He’s bordering on strident. Desperation, Joe…so not sexy.

Daryl knows how to play it.  He tosses his hair, acts coy, buys time.  I admire his technique. Well played, well timed, keeps Joe, and Joe’s Daryl-boner, guessing.

“So, what’s the plan?” Joe presses, trying for casual but so not fooling anybody. Daryl hedges, not about to give anything up to this man or his band of degenerates. “Just uh, lookin’ for the right place, is all,” he offers. It’s so cute to me that Daryl’s good at holding his cards close to his chest, but he is not good at lying.

“Aw, we ain’t good enough for ya, huh?” Joe presses.  Dude, so gay for Daryl.  “Some of you ain’t exactly friendly,” replies Daryl, being the master of understatement that he is.

Joe takes a drag from his cigarette, “You ain’t so friendly, yourself.”  He continues, “You know you need a group out here…”

“Maybe I don’t,” counters Daryl. Man, he’s so hot when he plays hard ball! Joe notices this too, of course, replies, “Naw, you do, you should be with us!”  Joe’s laying it all on the line, not knowing how badly that this scratch-and-dent sausage party of a group is no comparison to the fine, soulful group Daryl was with before… and Daryl likes girls, dammit, and is in love with Beth...and where the fuck is she?

Look, Joe, your motley crew is rebound, at best...Daryl's in another league, dude...sorry!

Look, Joe, your motley crew is rebound, at best…Daryl’s in another league, dude…sorry!

Joe lays out the basic rules for the band of DTB’s…you just gotta follow the rules: you claim, when you steal, you keel, and you don’t lie, because that is a slippery slope.

While that all sounds good on paper, the chemistry is so not there, but what can poor Daryl do, but go with things, as they are, for now…Daryl asks what happens if the rules get broken, and Joe answers that the offender gets “a beatin’, the severity of which depends on the offense and the general attitude of the day.” It’s a brutal code, not on any level of the caliber of community and humanity that Daryl lived with at the prison.

Joe spots a warehouse, whistles through his fingers, signalling the night’s abode.  Daryl turns to Joe, tells him he “Ain’t no us.” Joe asks him, point blank, “You leaving now?” Daryl answers by not answering…um, no, it’s about to get dark and shit, just sayin’.

“Then it sure seems like there’s an us!” Joe then proceeds to get the last line on Daryl, asks him if he likes cats.  Joe, it turns out, loves cats, has since he was three years old. He tells Daryl that there “ain’t nothing sadder than an outside cat who thinks it’s an inside cat,” before turning and heading into the warehouse.  

Aw, snap, Daryl Dixon, you have just been served The Last Word.

Meanwhile, Glenn, who has divested himself of riot gear and given it to Eugene, is once again steadily charging ahead of the group on the rails.  They have reached the entrance of a dark tunnel that the railway runs through.  At the entrance is scrawled another blood note from Maggie, Sasha, and Bob. It is still wet. “We’re gaining on them,” announces Glenn.  Abraham answers that they sure as Shanghola can’t go over the tunnel.



Abraham says, “Hear that? That sounds like a long dark tunnel full of reanimated corpses.” Glenn says, “If Maggie went through, I’m going through.”

Abraham says, with some regret, that this is where they part ways. He tells Glenn, “You’re on your own.” Tara steps up, with a limp, says, “No, you’re not.” Glenn looks at her like it’s the first time he’s really seen her, nods to her.

Abraham kneels down, takes a couple of cans of food out and offers it up to Glenn, who declines at first, saying that they will need them…”So will you, ” replies Abraham, and it is Tara who has the good sense to step forward, with pain, and take the offering from Abraham. Abraham then offers up a gun or flare of some kind, which is majorly cool of him…Glenn, truly humbled at this point, takes the offering with silent gratitude.

“Sorry I hit you in the face,” apologizes Glenn.  Abraham answers, “I’m not…I like to fight!”  Rosita comes up to Glenn with a hug and some well-wishes (“Good luck, try not to be an ass.”) and hugs Tara.  Eugene, standing awkwardly in his riot gear, pronounces them as “good people…Tara, you are seriously hot,” causing Glenn to look down, smiling, and Tara to reply that she likes girls, to which Eugene says, “I’m well aware of that!”

Yeah, right, Eugene, like how Pee-Wee Herman “meant to do that!” when he ate it on his bike in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.

I must say that I am loving Abraham and Co., especially as Abraham offers a Plan B scenario: if Glenn and Tara get into trouble, come back, and Abraham and Co. will double-back to the first road they cross, to meet  up if needed. Yes, thank you, love the plan, Abraham.  Majorly cool of you, know now how you bagged a girlfriend like Rosita.

As they enter the blackness of the tunnel, with only the light of Glenn’s flashlight to guide them, Glenn tries to tell Tara that he knows what she is going through, dealing with the loss of loved ones, the shock…he kind of falters, being a guy and all, but is really trying…I am glad he is being cool, not so selfish.

As they continue on in the blackness, Tara tells Glenn that when “Brian” told them he wanted to take over the prison, she knew it was bad.  When she found her girlfriend, she was dead, her niece, dead, then Tara watched her sister, Lilly, become surrounded by walkers, pounced on…she saw it happen.  Ugh, awful…just maybe a week ago, Tara and her family were alive and in relative safety in their little apartment…and now, they are gone, the collateral damage to a needless massacre, and she is…here, in a dark-ass tunnelfullawalkers. (Drink one if you got one! Am drinking coffee right now, but kind of wishing it were a mimosa.)

Tara recounts the horror of all this, but says that it wasn’t as bad as seeing what “Brian” did to Maggie’s father. Glenn is silent, and somber, as she unburdens herself to him, to the background hiss and slaver of the Tunnel Walkers, further down the line, in the darkness.

Meanwhile, in another dark hole, the DTB’s have cleared the warehouse garage. The cars have been drained of any gas, but Joe asserts that they are getting “closer,” he can feel it.

Then, the DTB’s start “claiming” all the cars around as their own. Each time Daryl approaches a car, some douchebag DTB is there, looking at Daryl and calling, “claimed.” They are all majorly stunted, and Daryl gives up, setting his pack, and himself, on the concrete floor in the center of the garage. Dicks!

Meanwhile, back at the tunnelfullawalkers, Tara and Glenn have come upon a wall of rubble which has come down onto a group of RubbleWalkers, who paw and gape (and drool slime…gruesomely awesome, Nicotero!) helplessly at Glenn and Tara, pinned and stuck in the rubble.

Amazing slime drool it, love it!

Amazing slime drool moment…love it, love it!

As Glenn shines the flashlight to the ceiling, seeing the spot that caved in from above, Tara feels the blood is still wet…”this must have just happened today.”

Glenn clears a path up the rock wall by spearing walkers through the heads as he climbs up…if not rekilled, how long would a walker last, stuck in the rubble, unable to feed or free itself?

(For all these burning questions, consult Walking Dead Wiki:

Usually, I would look this up for all of us, but a combination of the kids’ spring break, plus computer-crashing difficulties, has put me way behind deadline, so I will forge ahead…we will def discuss that topic, walker lifespan, etc., another time!)

From the top of the rubble heap, Glenn shines the flashlight, sees with relief none of the Tunnel Walkers is Maggie…despite being outnumbered, and out of ammo, Glenn wants to push through…

Tara's like,

Tara’s like, “Boy be crazy loco in love…but am I crazy enough to go along with this?”

Meanwhile, Abraham and Co. are checking abandoned cars on the road, seeing if any are driveable.  Abraham spies a promising minivan, only to discover it is currently occupied…by Soccer Mom Walker:


Soccer Mom Walker on Board!


Me so hungry!


One minute I’m driving my son to soccer practice, then, chomp, I’m a freakin walker…


Abraham does her a solid rekill…

Abraham gets in the minivan, and it starts.  While Rosita and Eugene bicker over the map, and the rights to shotgun/navigator, Abraham sees a sad note written with a finger onto the dusty windshield:


“Let Momma Be”


Abraham puts the wipers on that one…

It’s a super comedic moment as Eugene  pleads his case for navigator, despite having messed the job up again and again in the past…

After a humble “Please?” doesn’t do it, Eugene tells Rosita that he cannot abide the thought of a world where she would be chosen as navigator over “a son of the south, who has sucessfully negotiated the travails and vagaries of journeys both real and virtual.” 

Ha! Even Rosita can’t keep a straight face, or refuse, that one.


“Ok,” Rosita relents, slapping Eugene’s chest up with the map. “We’re going north, got it?”

It’s a good thing that Eugene seems to have his own ideas about where they are headed, because back at the dread tunnelfullawalkers, Glenn and Tara are getting in deep shit.  As the tunnel walkers begin to figure out how to get over the rubble wall to chomp that fresh meat they saw on top, Glenn and Tara try creeping around the occupied horde…until Tara stumbles and gets her foot caught in the rocks.

Luckily, Eugene has done the calculations, and lands the minivan right at the other end of the tunnel, just as Glenn and Tara would be coming out.  Rosita calls Eugene a liar, but Eugene refutes this, saying he never said he was taking them north.

“After I save the world,” pronounces Eugene, “I still need to live with myself..I’m not leaving them behind.”

As he steps out to go rescue Glenn and Tara, Eugene sends the seat back into a sleeping Abraham, who jolts awake with some choice expletives.  When he sees what’s happening, he turns to Rosita, and they go back and forth in a couple’s spat, until Eugene tells them, um, guys…look!


Meanwhile, at the Douchebag Garage Hotel


Daryl’s thinking…and Len’s making a big show of looking for his rabbit half…


…so he accuses our man, Daryl Dixon, of taking it.


Daryl sez no way, you’re the only one who still cares about that shit…


Len sez empty your bag, and tries to grab it from Daryl…bad move, Len…remember I said “Later for you, Len?”  Well, it’s later…


…because Joe, ever guided by his ever-present Daryl-boner, steps in, and although he finds the rabbit half in Daryl’s bag, he doesn’t quite believe that Len’s “cowardly cop” ways didn’t creep in and plant the rabbit in Daryl’s bag…


Daryl looking hot, taking it all in…good thing his experience with hanging around douchebags is keeping him on his toes…


Joe: Did you plant the rabbit?  Len: No…


Joe starts the beat down, urges the “gents” to finish the job…seems he saw Len plant the rabbit, let Len dig his own grave…


“He lied…you told the truth. You know the rules…he didn’t.”


As the “gents” kick Len to death, Joe tosses Daryl the other rabbit half…“Hey, seems like you got the front end after all!”


Daryl knows he’s gotta get the fuck away from these guys…sooner than later.

Back at the tunnelfullawalkers, Glenn is trying in vain to free Tara from the rocks…the walkers are coming around the corner, see them…Tara urges Glenn to go, to leave her, but he refuses to leave her.  I love Glenn in this moment, when he yells, “No!” and makes his stand against the oncoming walkers…he shoots his last three bullets, and is ready to take them on, one by one, when a light shines in his face and a voice yells to “Get down!”


Who is that??


The calvary has come to save the day!


Abraham and Co. has some new members…


Take that, Tunnel Walkers!


Could it be…?


Emerging from the light, in all her magnificence…







Glenn and Maggie! So awesome!

Later, Glenn is staring at Maggie, unbelieving…“You’re so beautiful,” he says. Ummm, yeah!  The introductions are made, Glenn telling Maggie he met Tara on the road, and she helped him, that he couldn’t have done it without her.  Maggie smiles gorgeously at Tara and hugs her, surprising and disarming Tara.  Of course, Glenn can’t get all into it now, about Tara and her true story, but I am left wondering if he will ever tell the full truth to Maggie…I guess we’ll see, won’t we?

Meanwhile, Sasha and Bob are tripping on the Eugene Saving the World story…Abraham is pitching the idea that the eight of them all join forces to get Eugene to Washington.  Tara tells them she’s in, that she is going to go help Abraham and Co., but Eugene overrides this, telling them that he feels they should continue to Terminus and see what supplies they have, and continue on their mission from there.

Rosita agrees, adding that they may be able to recruit others for the mission.  Sasha offers to come help Team Eugene get to Washington, but only after she checks in and sees Terminus. She must see if Tyrese is there.  Bob chimes in, says he is in on both counts, as well…he and Sasha look at each other.

Later, Maggie finds the polaroid that Glenn took of her sleeping and goes to burn it, telling Glenn that he’ll never have just a picture of her to look at, again:



So dark and sexy these days, Maggie!

The next morning, the DTB’s are filing out of the Douchebag Garage Hotel.  Daryl is horrified to see Len’s body, dead and bloodied, with one of Len’s long shitty arrows sticking out of his head:

Later, Len.

Later, Len.

Daryl tries to salvage a sheet to cover the body with, but it is so bloody and full of holes, he just throws it to the ground and continues walking.  Beth would want to cover it, but who can blame poor Daryl for not having the energy to bother, right now. Some time down the line, he takes a sip from Joe’s flask, remarking how he hadn’t gotten lit at dawn since before everything fell apart…


Joe’s response to this is that he feels everything has fallen together, as this kind of world supports the code that a group of men like them live by...survival.

The men stop at a Sanctuary sign, and Daryl is surprised, having seen this for the first time.  You can see the wheels in his head turning.  He asks Joe about it, Joe replying that Sanctuary is a lie, that there is no sanctuary for all…even if there was, it’s not a place that would embrace the likes of them with open arms.

Joe tells Daryl that he and the DTB tribe have been tracking whomever was hiding in the house they found, strangled their buddy, Lou, and left him to turn and attack them. Daryl asks if anyone saw this person, and Joe tells him that only Tony saw him. They are following this person to Sanctuary and will get their revenge, which, judging from the way they punished Len, would be brutal and savage, indeed.

I don’t know if, in this next scene, if Daryl calls “claimed” suddenly to divert the DTBs’ attention, but he does, as he scoops up a radish growing by the rails and puts the radish in his bag. As the men walk off, we see the Big Cat wrapper that Carl left on the tracks a day earlier…gulp!

The ending scene shows Glenn and the crew approaching the gates to…




Cautiously, they open the chained, but not locked, gates and enter… walk past garden boxes with vegetables, sunflowers growing…

IMG_4917 IMG_4923


They see a woman, cooking…she turns, smiles, introduces herself as Mary…bids them come in, they will get them some food...”Welcome to Terminus!”

All I can say, people, is the only thing I know for sure…shit’s gonna go down in the finale…staying strong, keeping needed coping mechanisms on hand…until then, be happy, be well, send love to our WD peeps, and enjoy the playlist!


Unnatural Helpers, “Shakes”

Fleet Foxes, “Mykonos”

Samiam, “El Dorado”

The Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 14, “The Grove”

“The Grove”

(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)

Well, people, we have much to discuss, don’t we, with The Walking Dead’s Season 4, Episode 14, “The Grove.”  For those WD fans who have been touched with a bit of the ennui regarding the last couple of weeks’ storylines. we got a bracing slap-up with this latest installment, written by Scott M. Gimple and artfully directed by Michael Satrazemis.

The opening scene of “The Grove” is a spare, haunting one.  It opens with a close shot of a copper tea kettle on the stove, a gas flame burning under it…at first, it made me think it was a flashback of days past, at the beginning of the turn, perhaps…

The shot pans left to the open window, where a clean white curtain dances in a gentle breeze.  We hear the sounds of girl’s laughter outside, and we see through the window’s pane what appears to be Lizzy running playfully around a tree. We lose the figure for brief moments, as she disappears behind the tree or the window frame, then reappears…and then we see, through the window, that there is another figure, but this figure does not run and dance like a young girl…this figure lurches and grabs at the young girl, who evades her easily, laughing.


“C’mon, Griselda!” we hear Lizzy’s voice beckon, when the walker stops at one point, having lost dim sight or sound of the girl…at the sound of Lizzy’s voice, the walker woman lurches again towards her, getting closer and closer, as Lizzy laughs, dances around the walker…the tea kettle on the stove starts to whistle, piercing through the dreamy, surreal quality of the old timey song that plays somewhere in the house, and the grotesque dance that is happening outside the window, in a sunny grove surrounded by pecan trees.

Cue the Bear McCreary opening title sequence...

Cue the Bear McCreary opening title sequence…

In the next scene, it is night on the  train tracks, near an overpass. Carol sits, holding Baby Judith while Lizzy sits beside her. Mika and Tyrese are curled up on the tracks, sleeping. Carol smiles at Lizzy and tells her it’s ok, Lizzy can go sleep. Lizzy replies that if something happens, she can take Judith.  “I can help,” says Lizzy, looking straight at Carol.

Carol smiles wryly. “You really think you can help me?”

“I know I can, m’aam,” Lizzy replies.

Lizzy then tells Carol how she saved Tyrese by shooting two people, a man and a woman, who were coming for Tyrese in the final prison battle. In remembering this, Lizzy looks down, regretful, “I didn’t mean to shoot her (Alicia) in the head.”

Aside from the opening shot, this statement by Lizzy is the first suggestion in “The Grove” as to how deeply Lizzy’s sympathetic feelings for the walkers really go, as shooting Alicia in the head would prevent her from reanimating into a walker…and for Lizzy, this is a bad thing.


By this point in the watching, it was like, seven minutes into the total episode, and I had already experienced two or three “Holy crap!” moments…is this what it feels like to be Gimple-slapped? I think so!

Lizzy asks Carol if she had a kid…Carol tells her about Sophia, how Sophia “didn’t have a mean bone in her body.”

“Is that why she isn’t here now?” asks Lizzy, astutely.  Carol regards her, nods, “Yes.” Lizzy asks Carol if she misses her daughter.  “Every day, “ Carol replies.  Lizzy asks if Carol would miss her.  “I won’t need to,” Carol answers, then tries to send Lizzy to bed again.  Lizzy is quick, however, and she sneaks in a goodnight hug before Carol can protest or raise her defenses again:


In his sleep, on the tracks, Tyrese whimpers, in the grip of a bad dream…

The next morning, Carol is tending to Tyrese’s wound.  Lizzy has found some type of pine sap, which Carol collects with the blade of her knife and applies to Tyrese’s wound to fight infection and bring down fever.  Tyrese asks Carol how far she thinks they are from the Terminus station, the site of the supposed Sanctuary…three days out, four? Carol is not sure…Tyrese then comments on how tough Lizzy is.

“Yeah,” says Carol, “when it comes to people.” When Tyrese asks her what she means by that, Carol tells him that Lizzy is confused about the walkers, that she doesn’t see them for the threat they are…she just sees them as being different.

Tyrese looks over at Mika, who is holding Baby Judith, and asks Carol if she, Mika, is the same way. “No,” replies Carol. “She’s worse…she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.” It is what she said about Sophia, before, and why Sophia didn’t survive.

Later, as they walk along the tracks, the girls and Carol pass the time talking about the adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. Mika asks if the story had a happy ending. At first, Mika likens herself to Huck Finn, but Lizzy interjects that she feels Mika is more like Tom Sawyer.

“Yeah,” Mika agrees easily, “You are way more like Huck aren’t even grossed out by dead rabbits!”  Lizzy shoots a look at Mika, makes the “zip it” sign with her mouth. Mika’s spilling Lizzy’s crazy deets, but the adults don’t notice.

A little ways down the tracks, Carol and Tyrese smell a fire, smoke…it smells like a big one.  (Could it be the house fire that Daryl and Beth set?  On Talking Dead, Chris Hardwick and the guests speculated on this possibility…I really do think the fire and smoke plume in this episode is from the cabin that Daryl and Beth torched.  It seems like the kind of detail that Kirkman, Gimple, and Co. would add to an episode already rich with layers of meaning, nuance, and surrealism.)

Back at the tracks, Carol volunteers herself and Mika to go on a water run, suggesting that Tyrese stay back with Judith and Lizzy.  Tyrese takes Carol’s advice and hangs back at the tracks, playing “I Spy” with Lizzy…there’s not much to see, besides trees and weeds, until it’s Tyrese’s turn, and he spies…a walker, some ways down the tracks, but lurching towards them.


Tyrese hands Judith to Lizzy and grips his hammer, striding down the tracks towards the walker, ready to take care of it…the walker falls through a weak part of the track and is stuck…Tyrese approaches it, ready to finish it off, when Lizzy rushes up to him, carrying Judith, and stops him. “Sometimes we need to kill them, but not always, “ says Lizzy.  Judith begins to cry, and Tyrese looks down at the stuck walker, and relents to Lizzy’s wishes:


Don’t kill him, Tyrese…he’s my little friend! Look how cute he is!

On the outing, Mika points out that Lizzy would be able to carry more water, and Carol admits to her that she wanted to take the opportunity to talk to Mika.  When Mika asks her why, Carol tells Mika that she’s little and she’s sweet, “And those are two things that can get you killed.”  Carol goes on to say that while Mika can’t change her small size, she can start to “toughen up” and adapt to the ways of the new world order.

Mika disagrees, saying that she doesn’t need to toughen up, that she can run, and she’s good at running.  Carol stops, grips Mika’s arm. “No,” Carol says, “My daughter ran, and it wasn’t enough…that’s why I taught the kids at the prison to do more than that.”

(Now, I knew on many levels that this was why Carol was being so weird about teaching the prison kids the art of the knife kill, back in the day, but in this episode, we WD fans got many lingering questions answered, and after the watching, I felt a lot clearer about Carol and why she was being so weird and crazy then.

And, btw, in WD time, “back in the day”, when Carol was teaching knifery to the prison kids, that was maybe only like a week ago, right?   Maybe not even a week? Ten days, tops?

Honestly, this whole crazy fourth season has taken place in about a week’s time, if I am calculating correctly, excluding the detour episode into the Gov’s story…please send me a line if I am wrong about this, but am I?

Let’s see…the explodey flu hit, then Patrick died and became Patrick Walker, led a walker riot at the prison…peeps died, peeps became infected with flu, Daryl and the crew made the Vet School Meds Run, while Rick sleuthed Carol’s double-homicide, led her away on the pretext of a goods run, and banished her from the prison with a lovely parting gift, a fully stocked car with a full tank of gas…Rick came back solo (with a lovely parting gift of his own, Carol’s watch), broke the 411 to Maggie, then Hershel, before the prison broke out into another round of walker mayhem.

Then, Rick and Carl shared a father-son walker mow-down moment while Hershel, Maggie, and the at home peeps held down the prison and goodness prevailed, for a moment, anyway…Daryl and the gang returned from their road trip, delivered the meds, and started getting them into sick peeps’ bloodstreams stat while Hershel and Michonne got themselves into an unwanted and much-hated hostage situation with the Gov.

Rick had the dreaded Daryl Conversation, and was about to have the even more dreaded Tyrese Conversation, when they were rudely interrupted by the Gov’s tank blasting a hole into the prison walls…war broke out, the prison got ruined, and everyone who didn’t get killed, scattered…now everyone’s having their own story, with most trying to get to Terminus...and this all happened in about 5 – 7 days’ time, if I am figuring correctly.

Am I right or wrong about this?  Chime in, people…inquiring minds want to know!

If I am right, that is pretty much The Shittiest Week Ever, maybe taking second place to the first week of the zombie apocalypse, where everyone’s lives they had before, and many of their loved ones, were lost forever.)

Anyway, Carol is giving Mika her life-or-death “toughen up” speech, while Mika is holding her own and making a strong case for her belief system, which is falling somewhere in the realm of pacifism and vegetarianism, which I totally respect…but do not fully practice, myself.

IMG_4074 IMG_4073

Mika explains her position. “I can kill walkers…I mean, I’ve tried. I’m not like my sister…I’m not messed up.  I know what they are. But I can’t kill people…I could never do that.”  Mika goes on to tell Carol about how the bad people at the prison were right in front of her and Lizzy, and how she, Mika, held up her gun…but couldn’t pull the trigger.

“Killing people is wrong,” asserts Mika. She brings up Karen and David, how somebody killed them…and they were nice. Carol’s mouth, at this, (the first of several in-your-face, Carol, moments in this episode) sets in a tight line as she asks, “What about people who try to kill you?”

“I don’t even wish I could (kill them),” Mika replies.  Carol bends down to get on Mika’s eye level. “People came in and killed our friends,” she says to Mika, emphasizing every word, looking Mika right in the eye.

Mika’s look back is unwavering, her reply immediate, ” And I feel sorry for them.”

Carol’s brow furrows at this.  “Why?” she whispers, genuinely puzzled.

“Because they probably weren’t like that before,” replies Mika. She turns and continues down the wooded path.

As she follows Mika, Carol keeps on. “Sooner or later, you’ll have to do it…you’ll have to do it, or you’ll die….you have to change, everyone does now. Things don’t just work out.”

And at this very moment, the two turn a slight right and walk right into the opening of a stately old pecan grove, with a quiet country home nestled in the center.  It looks peaceful and immediately inviting.  “Look!” exclaims Mika.  She turns to Carol, beaming. “My mom used to say, everything turns out like it’s supposed to.”

I really love Mika in this Star Wars, she would have been a padawan, a young Jedi in Yoda's training...Lizzy, on the other hand, would have def gone to the Dark Side and been one of the Emperor's disciples

I really love Mika in this episode…in Star Wars, she would have been a padawan, a young Jedi in Yoda’s training…Lizzy, on the other hand, would have def gone to the Dark Side and been one of the Emperor’s disciples

As they all approach the home, walking through the peaceful pecan grove, Carol pulls back a spare, but sturdy, barbed wire half-fence that surrounds the house and yard. “Maybe we can catch our breath here,” suggests Carol.  Lizzy asks if they are still going to Terminus, and Carol replies that maybe they can stay a day or two before moving on.  It seems like an ideal plan, as there is a well full of water, fences, deer that can be hunted, and pecans…as Tyrese says, “You can eat your fill, and then some!”

Mika seems very stoked on this. “I love pecans!” she exclaims, which is a good thing, as nuts are a key protein source for vegetarians.

Lizzy, of course, being a disciple of the Dark Side, spots the large black plume of smoke coming up from the distance, over the tree line…it is a foreshadowing of trouble to come, a course of events unwittingly set into motion, most likely by two wild young people on the run, and falling in love...ouch, Carol, I feel that arrow to the heart for you, girl, but that little killing episode was a total dealbreaker…sorry…sux 4 u. 

Carol suggests they leave the hole in the fence for the deer to come through and, “play it really safe here.”  It’s a good plan, and I am giving Carol mad props for mentally multitasking like a motherfucker right about now.  She’s got the goods.  The New Carol would have kicked Ed’s ass good, and busted a cap in his mean mug, before he ever got a chance to lay another hand on her.  That thought gives me a lot of satisfaction.

Carol and Tyrese approach the door to begin the process of “clearing” the house…they order the girls to stay outside, where they are sitting, Lizzy holding the baby and Mika holding the gun. Carol has deliberately put Mika in charge of this, to force her to shoot to protect if necessary, and desensitize her from all that pacifistic nonsense.

As they rap on the door and go inside, Lizzy begins to look more and more distressed, which Mika notices.  She tries to reassure Lizzy that Carol and Tyrese will be fine, but Lizzy isn’t worried about Carol and Tyrese…she’s worried about the walkers that will surely get killed if found inside.


Mika and Lizzy get into it, Mika starting to lose her patience and yell at Lizzy that the walkers are not people, when Ol’ Farmer Walker comes lurching out of the house and pitches over the porch railing, landing him right in front of the girls and the baby. He begins to claw his way towards them, and Lizzy falls while trying to back away, clutching Judith and screaming in terror while poor Judith wails helplessly.


I’m sure at one time, he was a very nice man, living a quiet living on his pecan grove, in his lovely home…

...but nowadays, Ol' Farmer Walker be scary!

…but nowadays, Ol’ Farmer Walker be scary!

Mika fires upon Ol’ Farmer Walker, but it is Carol and Tyrese that finish him off.  This sets Lizzy into a real fit of despair, which Carol cannot understand and is growing impatient with, as she keeps asking Lizzy what is wrong.

Lizzy responds that she doesn’t want to say, and turns away.   Mika fixes Carol a look, like, “What are you, new?” before going after Lizzy.

With the practiced air of someone who has done it many times before,  Mika first apologizes to Lizzy for yelling at her, then puts her arm around Lizzy’s shoulders, quietly urging Lizzy to look at the flowers, focus on the flowers, and count, and breathe.

A troubled Tyrese and Carol look on, as Lizzy and Mika breathe and count together, and Lizzy begins to calm, while the Bear McCreary music twists and turns in the background like the unraveling of Lizzy’s young mind…

Just look at the flowers, Lizzy...focus on the flowers...

Just look at the flowers, like you’re supposed to…

Later, in the evening, Carol and Lizzy are sitting at the kitchen table, shelling pecans. Carol asks Lizzy if she is still upset, and Lizzy tells her that sometimes she doesn’t understand (why the walkers must be killed), “but I am trying to, m’aam, I really am.” Mika runs up to them, beaming and clutching a sweet rag doll with long red yarn ponytails.  “Look what I found!”  Mika exclaims, showing them the doll.  “I’m going to name her Griselda Gunderson!

And with that pronouncement, Mika flounces onto the living room rug to play with her new doll. There is a cozy fire burning in the fireplace, and Tyrese cannot seem to comprehend this long-forgotten feeling of home, and hearth, and comfort.  He remarks on this as he looks around, dazed at the coziness and warmth and feeling of family in the room.


Whoa…I forgot what this is like…

Mika, ever the sage, tells Tyrese to chillax, stay awhile…


And then Mika plants the seed in Tyrese’s head by suggesting, “We should live here!”IMG_4107So, Tyrese abides.

The peaceful family feeling is short-lived, because the next scene is daylight, through the kitchen window, with the whistling copper kettle and the macabre game of Walker Tag between Lizzy and her new bestie, Griselda Walker, which Carol spies, disbelieving, through the window.  She rushes out, ordering Lizzy away from her grisly version of a newfound doll, Griselda Walker:

No, no, Carol, Griselda's cool...really! We're new besties!

No, no, Carol, Griselda’s cool…really! We’re new besties!


“Get away from that walker this instant,  young lady!”    “Noooo, Carol, noooo, don’t hurt my BFF Griselda!  Griselda’s cool, it’s cool, she’s cool!”

Carol, of course, must lay down the tough love, and the blade, into Griselda Walker’s skull, inciting a full-on-fucking-freakout by you-know-who…

“Noooooo! You killed Griselda!”

“She was my BEST FRIEND, and YOU KILLED HER! What if I killed you, huh? What if I KILLED YOU?

“Griselda!” <sob!>

Carol is processing the wack attack...this is way more than teenage hormones at play...this is full-on crayzee!

As Carol, and Tyrese (who looks on from the window) process Lizzy’s full-on wack-attack, it’s pretty apparent that Lizzy is Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs…and Carol suddenly has a splitting headache.

Later, Carol and Mika go out together, Mika carrying a shotgun. They see the black plume of smoke over the treetops, and Mika says black smoke means the fire is still burning…she learned that in science class.  “I miss science class,” she sighs, excepting when they made the students cut up planeria worms.  What an adorable little nerd she is!


Carol tries to work the “toughen up” angle again with Mika, saying that these days, she’ll have to do a lot worse than cut up planeria worms.  “I don’t gotta,” Mika replies. (Pretty much one of my favorite lines, ever.)  Carol tells her that while Lizzy is bigger and stronger, Mika is smarter about things, that she understands about the walkers while Lizzy doesn’t. “Look out for her,” pleads Carol.  Carol then spies a young deer in the glenn.

“Go on,” she urges Mika, trying to get her to bring down the deer. “Just like I showed you.”  Mika raises the rifle and aims…



…and then lowers the gun…


“Nah, can’t do it.”


She then gives Carol this sweet look and says, “We have peaches!”

Later, Tyrese is pumping well water into a bucket, with Carol. He’s been thinking, tells Carol that maybe they don’t need to go to Terminus, that maybe they can make a life here, at this house. Tyrese is thinking maybe they should stay there.

“I know Lizzy and Mika…I know Judith…I know you, I trust you,” Tyrese says to Carol, who looks down for a moment at these words. Tyrese continues, “I don’t know if I can get that anywhere else.”

Tyrese continues to look at Carol with a sweet, open look.  “We can stay here…we can live here.”

Meanwhile, back at the house, Mika is calling for Lizzy. She sees Lizzy slip off in the back, towards the stables.  She follows Lizzy to the railroad tracks, walks up just after Lizzy pulls a mouse from a box and, holding it by the tail, hand-feeds it to the stuck railroad walker.



Yum, yum! On Talking Dead, they said the WD effects crew made an edible prop mouse for the walker actor to actually eat, grape jelly in a gelatin casing.



On the tracks, poor little Mika really tries to reason with her crazy sister, telling her straight up that the walkers are bad, that they want to kill her, that it’s time to stop pretending things aren’t as bad as they really are. Lizzy continues to tell her sister that nobody understands, that the walkers are talking to her, and she thinks they want her to be like them.

“Maybe I should become like them,” Lizzy muses as she holds her hand out to the stuck walker, who tries to chomp at her fingers. I can make you all understand.”

Then, the rustle of nearby bushes heralds the coming of…The Char Walkers.

The latest gift to WD fans from Nicotero & Co., The Char Walkers look like black, smoking demon aliens from some heavy metal planet in the farthest reaches of the universe...

The latest gift to WD fans from Nicotero & Co., the Char Walkers look like black, smoking demon aliens from some heavy metal planet in the farthest reaches of the universe…


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The Char Walkers come lurching down the tracks after the girls, who make it to the barbed-wire fence, screaming for Carol and Tyrese…Lizzy gets through, while poor Mika gets stuck in the wire.  To her credit, Lizzy pulls Mika to safety after a close call with a particularly grabby walker.


The girls scramble to get their guns and help Tyrese and Carol shoot The Char Walkers in a great walker kill scene that had Jon Sanders, a WD effects specialist, grinning from ear to ear as he recounted the fun they creating the effects of the walker’s brains and bodies getting blown away in a pyrotechnic display of flaming bits of brain and brawn:



That night, as Tyrese dozes in the cozy armchair in front of the fireplace, Carol and Lizzy once again sit at the kitchen table together while Mika plays with her rag doll, Griselda Gunderson.

Lizzy is staring morosely, and breathing kind of funny, and Carol asks her gently if she is still upset. Lizzy chooses her words carefully, saying that she knows she needed to help with the walkers earlier. It seems Lizzy is upset about killing the walkers, but she also seems like she may be getting it, finally.  It seems that way, anyhow…

Carol asks her if she understands now what they really are. Once again, Lizzy chooses her words carefully, saying that she knows now what she must do. Carol, of course, interprets this as Lizzy finally getting it, that the walkers are a threat and need to be dealt with as such, but Lizzy’s true meaning is much more sinister than that.  Mika pipes up, saying she doesn’t want to kill, she doesn’t want to be mean…Lizzy turns to her sister and looks at her significantly, and says that you only need to be mean sometimes…nobody of course guesses the true import and meaning of her words.

In his armchair, Tyrese tosses and mumbles, in the grip of another bad dream.

The next morning, Carol and Tyrese are walking together. Carol turns to Tyrese, tells him that she’s on board with staying at the farm, of setting up a life there.  Tyrese seems glad to hear this. He says that maybe someday they can continue on, to Terminus, but right now…right now, he is not sure he can be around other people, around strangers.

As he says this, Tyrese leans heavily on a tree…and begins to talk about Karen. He dreams about her every night, and even though the dreams change (in some they are just talking, and in some he actually sees someone kill her, some stranger.) Tyrese wakes, each time, with the feeling like he’s just lost her all over again.

IMG_4448 IMG_4449

Poor Carol’s face, as he talks! Melissa McBride delivers another amazing performance, as Carol’s face shows her conflict, and regret, and sorrow, at Tyrese’s words.  At one point, she even turns to Tyrese, about to confess…but, thankfully, she cannot bring herself to do it.

My WD buddy said later, of this scene, that it was good that Carol waited to confess to Tyrese…we both agreed that the outcome would have been way different if she had told him then, in the grove.

Instead, sweet Tyrese tells Carol  she shouldn’t be ashamed about who she is, and gives her a hug…damn, you know she’s feeling like shit right about now.

And then, it becomes…awful. Carol and Tyrese come back to the house to find Lizzy in the front yard, her hands covered in blood, holding a knife. Mika lay dead behind her, while Judith is having some tummy time on a blanket beside Mika’s body.




As Carol approaches, and reaches for the knife, Lizzy tells them to wait, she’ll change, that she, Lizzy, didn’t hurt Mika’s head or her brain. “Just wait, you’ll see, she’ll change,” Lizzy insists. This is what she has decided must be done to have them see, finally, what she sees about the walkers.  When Carol reaches again, Lizzy pulls out her gun, to hold them off and give Mika a chance to “change.”

When Carol suggests to Lizzy that Tyrese take her and Judith inside, as being out there wouldn’t be safe for Judith, Lizzy tells them that she was about to…take care of Judith, so she could change, too.

“She can’t even walk yet,” points out Carol, who is somehow able to keep calm and talk quietly, and reasonably, to Lizzy without being too confrontational in this moment.  Lizzy nods, understands, has an, “Ok, I’ll wait until she’s older” air about her.

Lizzy agrees to go inside with Tyrese and Judith only after Carol convinces her that she will stay outside to tie Mika up, you know, so she won’t go anywhere. “I’ll use her shoelaces,” suggests Carol, putting on a brave, bright smile and blinking back her tears.

A shaken Tyrese leads the girls inside, and Carol breaks down, crying over little Mika’s body.  She pulls her knife out, tears running down her face.


Poor Carol!

Later, Carol sits at the kitchen table, staring ahead, while Tyrese tells her that he fed Lizzy and cleared her room of any knives or weapons.  He found a box of mice in her room, and learned that she was the one feeding rats to the walkers at the prison, and that she was also the one that opened up the rabbit’s body and nailed it to the board. She told him was “having fun” with it.

Tyrese, who is looking majorly shell-shocked and creeped out at this point, wonders aloud if it was her that killed Karen and David…but how could she drag the bodies out?

Carol stares down at the table. “She would have let them turn,” she says. “It wasn’t her.”  It’s like Carol really doesn’t even give a shit about that crap right now…she’s got other, more pressing things to worry about in the moment.

Carol tells Tyrese that Lizzy was like this before, that it was already there…she blames herself for not seeing it sooner. She offers to take Lizzy, herself, to keep her away from others. Carol says she won’t be able to sleep with Lizzy and Judith under the same roof. Lizzy is clearly a threat to Judith.

Tyrese tells Carol they’d never make it…he offers to take Judith, but Carol tells him the same thing, they’d never make it…they look at each other.  Carol says, slowly and deliberately, “She can’t be around other people.” She looks at Tyrese, who looks back at her, pained.  Carol wipes away tears.

There is nothing more to say.

Later, as Tyrese looks on, out the window, Carol and Lizzy walk together in the grove, away from the house. Lizzy looks happy and at ease, taking big, high steps over the wildflowers and looking up at Carol fondly.  Carol is keeping it together, saying that they should pick wildflowers for Mika, for when she comes back.  Lizzy agrees that Mika would love that.  Carol soon after begins to break down, and Lizzy becomes upset, distressed at the thought of Carol being mad at  her.  Crying quietly, Carol tells Lizzy to “look at the flowers,” that she, Carol loves her.

And as Lizzy looks at the yellow flowers at her feet, crying, Carol, crying, lifts the gun and pulls the trigger.

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As Carol walks back to the house, she sees a deer in the glenn. She looks at it for a moment, before continuing on to the house. The next shot is of Carol digging, with Tyrese carrying Lizzy’s shrouded body and placing it gently on the ground, beside the newly dug grave.

Later, sitting at the table with Tyrese, Carol has had enough. She confesses to Tyrese, “I killed Karen and David…it wasn’t Lizzy, it wasn’t a stranger…it was me.”  She continues to tell a shellshocked Tyrese that he can do what he needs to, but she was only trying to stop the spread of the disease to the others at the prison.  It takes Tyrese a moment to recover himself…

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But, after he is assured that Karen didn’t know what was happening, or feel pain, or fear, he tells Carol he forgives her…he will never forget, but he does forgive, as he knows what she did is something she feels, and is a part of her, as it is a part of him.  “I forgive you,” he says, and Carol quietly thanks him.

Tyrese says they can’t stay, not now.  The parting shots of Episode 14 show the empty house, the kettle, the armchair, the ragdoll lying at the edge of the cold, ashened fireplace…Tyrese and Carol, with Judith on Tyrese’s back, walk through the grove, away from the home and life that seemed so promising, and down the tracks towards Terminus, as the voice over is of Carol and Lizzy’s conversation, back at the prison:

Lizzy: “I am not afraid to kill…I am just afraid.”

Carol: “You can’t be.”

 Lizzy: “How?”

Carol: “You fight it…you don’t give up, and then one day, you change…we all change.”

It’s been a crazy episode, and a crazy week, all around…so, for this week’s playlist, it seems fitting to feature songwriters who say it, and play it, in a way that nobody else can…enjoy!


Modest Mouse, “Dramamine”

Jose Gonzales, “Down the Line”

The White Stripes, “The Hardest Button to Button”

Iron and Wine,  “Upward and Over the Mountain”

Season 4, Episode 13, “Alone”


(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead,  and HBO’s True Detective, unless otherwise specified.)

 Alright, alright, alright! 

I need to address the first part of this post to the True Detective finale haters out there…not a confrontation, mind you, just a conversation, without spoilers, to maybe address some of the pent-up angsters who are spewing online hate-rant about the TD finale,“Form and Void.”  My intention with this brief detour into the world of TD is to merely open up a dialogue, explore an alternative perspective, and possibly redirect some of that hater energy to more positive and productive channels.  If none of that works, that’s cool too…just get meta with me for a minute, won’t you?

I am not saying it’s my job to make the hater peeps like the official ending of the True Detective finale episode, “Form and Void.”  Everybody has his, or her, opinion about things, and I am not trying to challenge that.  I am merely offering a few ideas about the finale episode and the concept of “resolution” within the realm of its ending, and how this concept of “resolution” may relate to the original, eight-episode True Detective series.

So, if you want to play along, keep reading.  However, if you tuned in soley to read about this week’s episode of The Walking Dead,, and you have not seen True Detective yet, or the TD finale, and you don’t want to join our brief TD discussion, merely soften your gaze and scroll down to the awesome picture I got of Matthew McConaughey, as Rustin Cohle, smoking the shit out of a cigarette…after that picture, my WDO darlings, we will begin our discussion of “Alone,”  the thirteenth episode of the fourth season of The Walking Dead, I promise…and thanks for being patient!


Now, for the rest of you…if you have watched the True Detective finale and are left wanting, or unsatisfied, my first question would be, “Why?”  I am not asking to be a dick, but I would be truly curious to hear, or read, what the individual responses might be, to find out what each person was wanting the True Detective finale episode to provide, or resolve, within the story line and for the viewer.

I keep using the word “resolution” because I have heard, and read, the word used repeatedly in the TD finale hater rant…one young scenester that my WD buddy works with told her, I kept screaming at the screen while I was watching it…there was no resolution!  

First off, I know many TD fans were disappointed to learn that Matthew McConaughey would only be appearing in the original eight-part series, and not returning for a second season as Rustin Cohle.  Some of my friends who were privy to my many Facebook and Instagram posts of Rust Cohle pics over the past couple of weeks were sure that I would be among those who were disappointed…but, I am happy to say that I am not.

Matthew McConaughey just won an Oscar, people…it is pretty amazing that he, and Woody Harrelson, deigned to be in an HBO series at all.  McConaughey, who originally was asked to play the role of Martin Hart, loved the TD script and the character of Rust Cohle so much that he agreed to be in the original eight-part series, but only if he could play Rustin Cohle.

Sorry, kids, but it is not realistic to think that he and Woody Harrelson would keep it going as Rust and Marty six or more seasons later. The original True Detective eight-part series is a finite event, a standalone complex. We must take it as it is.  This begs the question:  Does a series need to go for six or seven seasons just to tell a story?

(Forgive my impertinence, Kirkman and Co., for the above comment…may you, and WD, and all our favorite WD characters, live long and prosper for many seasons to come!)

Maybe I am old-school enough to love the old-fashioned mini-series genre, and I am happy to hang with eight episodes of McConaughey and Harrelson.

I am definitely old-school enough to love the concise, exacting art form of the short story.  If a short story is well executed, there is no room for extraneous verbage, characters, or storyline…every line, every scene counts.

In our age of social media, where the sharing of our latest selfies, random thoughts, or clever links to all our Facebook friends counts as a creative act, is it any wonder that the concept of keeping a story spare, taut, and undiluted seems a little strange…lame…anticlimactic, to those who are attuned mostly to the whimsy of pop culture and social media?

Ok, so what I may call classic, you may call lame and stodgy…alright, alright, alright!  

(I do promise to stop doing that, but it’s so fun!)

As I was saying, it’s cool with me if we don’t agree on this. As someone who has always been obsessed with pop culture, I can understand what may be making the young, edgy, and discontented among us so restless with the TD finale ending. You wanted something…else, right? Something more CSI, perhaps, dramatic, with more gunfire and explosions? More scars?  A character holding up a sign that reads, “I am the Yellow King?”  I get it, I really do.  I really get off on that kind of thing as well.

But, isn’t it nice to be offered something…different?  More thoughtful, quiet, nuanced, more…intelligent?  An ending to an incredible story that makes us look inward, reflect, and meditate on the message and the meaning?

I really feel like the ending that Nic Pizzolatto went with offers this opportunity, and for me, it’s a welcome change from the usual “in-your-face” that our culture seems to gravitate towards in droves.

In offering a few ideas about “resolution,”  I invite those who were left unsatisfied by True Detective‘s finale to take a little time, and when you are ready, watch it again.

This time, you will be unburdened from the expectations that you had before. At this point, you have already yelled at the screen and posted your thoughts on the matter, so just breathe, reboot, and watch it again, with new eyes.

And while you watch, I invite you to entertain the following questions, or concepts:

What does the concept of “resolution” mean to you, the viewer; to the characters in this story; or to the entire series as a whole?

Also consider these different levels of “resolution” within the finale episode:

1) Resolution of the criminal case at hand…what elements, to you, were resolved? What elements were not? 

2) Spiritual resolution, or resolution of the inner conflict within a character’s psyche…what transformations, or resolutions, did each of the main characters come to, or experience, by the episode’s end?

3) Resolution of conflict between the main characters, Rust and Marty, and the resolution of conflicts that Rust and Marty had with other key characters, elements, and institutions presented in the story line. Where were these conflicts, and relationships, left by the story’s end?

And, after rewatching and considering the many levels of resolution that are possible within this story, does your opinion of the finale episode change or alter in any way?

The Merriam-Webster definition of resolution is as follows:

resolution (noun) : (1) the act of finding an answer or a solution to a conflict, problem, etc. (2) the answer or solution to something  (3) the act of resolving something

In my opinion, True Detective’s finale episode, “Form and Void,” does effectively resolve the crucial, key conflicts that were presented in the story, and with the main characters, on some level or another.  That is the way it goes in life, and this makes the TD finale, to me, have the ring of truth to it.

Another element that felt true to me was that feeling of anticlimax, and melancholy, that the viewer may have been left with at the finale’s end.  In real life, detectives who spend years working on a case do report feeling a mixture of elation and let-down once a case is solved…all that time with a clear purpose, working on solving a crime, and then, once the crime is solved, and the case is closed, what comes next?

That lost feeling, coupled with the fact that even solving a crime will never bring a murdered, innocent victim back to life, or undo any evil or harm that had been done to others, makes the resolution of a case, or a story like True Detective, a mixed bag of emotions.

Just because something is resolved doesn’t mean the end result brings happiness, or satisfaction, to all the elements of a problem, conflict, or situation.

If you remain unconvinced, I completely understand.  If you are all fired up, still, may I suggest you channel your considerable energies and talents into writing an alternate ending, or starting your own series of True Detective or film noir fan fiction?  And please send it to me when you do…I would love to read it.

Writing is a lonely endeavor, at times, and it’s nice to know that there are others out there, slogging away at it, writing, rewriting, editing ad nauseum, guzzling beverages, and vainly trying to keep a grip on our sanity as we try to find a resolution to our own storylines.

So, to Nic Pizzolatto, and the TD cast and crew, I raise my glass to you…cheers on a job well done.  Whatever the future holds for True Detective, I personally feel the first, original season, beginning to end, was an artistic tour de force.  Thanks for the wild ride, the inspiration, and for the characters of Rustin Cohle and Martin Hart.

Rust and Marty forever! ❤


One of my all-time faves…



The opening scene of “Alone “ hearkens back to the first half of The Walking Dead’s Season 4, showing a powerful series of shots featuring Bob, in days of his wandering the woods alone, the sole living survivor of two other groups he had been with before the prison.

Set to the haunting “Blackbird Song” by Lee DeWyze, the montage shows Bob, with an empty, dazed look in his eyes, wandering listlessly through the woods, going through the rote mechanics of survival…in one shot, he hides behind a tree, staring ahead, as a group of walkers pass yards away:


In another shot, we see Bob, barely able to stand, rapping on the entrance of a small shelter, checking for walkers.  He secures the entrance and proceeds to drink himself into a stupor. After getting his drink on, he watches, uncaring, as a walker tries to paw its way through the makeshift fencing he erected:

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As the montage continues, we see Bob has found the back trailer end of a large tractor trailer, abandoned on the wooded road. He hoists himself onto it, lying on his back and staring at the sky as a large group of walkers pass beneath him.  Once it’s clear, Bob sits up, dismounts, and begins his shuffling walk down the road, only to be startled by the now unfamiliar sound of vehicles approaching.  It is Daryl, riding his motorcycle, and Glenn, driving behind him in a pickup truck. Bob stands, watches them pull up, get out, and approach him warily.

“Hi…hello,” Bob calls to them, his hand motioning slightly towards them.  His voice is strong, and somewhat defiant as he says this, as they do not acknowledge his greeting, nor reply in kind.

Daryl keeps his eye on Bob, asks if it’s just him out here.  Bob replies that it is.  “How long’s it been like that for?” asks Daryl. Bob replies that he doesn’t know, that he had been with one group, then another one after that. “They didn’t make it, neither one of them?” asks Daryl.  Bob shakes his head, no.

Daryl asks his name. “Bob…Stookey,” he replies. Bob looks to Glenn, then Daryl, taking in their clean, well-groomed, well-fed appearance.  “You people have a camp?” he asks.

Glenn and Daryl exchange looks. Then, Daryl fixes his eyes on Bob, and asks the first of the three questions the prison council has come up with to size up any strangers they meet outside the prison walls, to determine if the person is somebody they would want to bring into their group: “How many walkers have you killed?”

Bob takes a moment, does the math in his head.  “I don’t know, ” he replies, “I haven’t kept count…a couple dozen?”

“How many people have you killed?” continues Daryl, keeping his gaze fixed on Bob. “Only one,”  Bob answers, looking down a moment, as if reliving a painful memory. Glenn looks to Daryl, who steps one pace closer to Bob, asks the final question, “Why?”

Bob looks up then, answers simply, “She asked me to.” Now it is his turn to look at Daryl and Glenn.  His demeanor is one of a man who has nothing to hide, and nothing to lose. Daryl takes a step back, asks Bob, “You wanna come with us?”

Bob looks around at the woods he had been traversing for who knows how long, answers, “Yes.”

“You got any questions for us?” asks Daryl.  Bob shakes his head, “No…it doesn’t matter who you are.”  “Really?” asks Glenn. It is the first time he has spoken. “Yeah,” replies Bob, sheathing his machete into his belt loop. “It doesn’t matter.”

The final shot of the scene is of Bob, riding in the back of Glenn’s pickup truck. There may be the barest glimpse of a smile around his mouth. Bob seems hopeful for the first time in a long, long time.

The next scene is in the present, with Bob, Sasha, and Maggie back to back to back in a thick mist.  From just beyond the mist, we can hear the hissing and slavering of the walkers getting louder, closer.  

Sasha, Maggie, and Bob are poised, ready, and from the mist approaches the first walker…the trio are ready to strike, and the following scene is another epic walker kill scene, with Bob, Sasha and Maggie springing to action and killing The Mist Walkers one by one with fierce, on-target head kills using a sharpened wooden stake, knife, and general bludgeoning techniques. 

It is some gnarly hand-to-hand combat, from three who are seasoned warriors by now, and who can bring it:

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It’s a close call, though, as Bob almost gets bitten and Maggie gets a walker on top of her that is hard to keep back.  Sasha, ever handy, bludgeons Bob’s walker and rekills Maggie’s walker with one well-aimed shot to the head:


After killing Maggie’s walker, Sasha turns to Bob, worried, until Bob, giddy with relief, informs them that the walker only got his bandage and not his shoulder…Sasha is unable to contain her joy and gives Bob a big hug, which is super cute:IMG_3867 IMG_3832


Maggie looks on and laughs, but you can tell she’s thinking, “Where the hell is Glenn, dammit?”

After the celebration is over, however, the trio have some things to decide on…Maggie wants to get on the move to find Glenn, while Sasha advises they wait until the fog clears.  Maggie has some bad news…the compass is broken.  Bob reassures them things will be fine. “Sun rises in the east and sets in the west, we’ll keep an eye on it in between…we’ll be fine.”

Meanwhile, Daryl is positioned behind Beth, giving crossbow and tracking lessons…they are looking pretty adorable together, if truth be told.  Beth is trying to get Daryl to give her some clues as to what she’s looking for, but he is being a good teacher, and putting the questions to her…what does she see?

Beth can see some zig-zaggy tracks…she’s feeling pretty pleased with herself, jokes to Daryl that she’s getting pretty good that this, that soon she won’t need him anymore…


While watching this, I actually typed, C’mon, let’s see these two get sexy.  I mean, the suspense, right?

We’ve seen them kill walkers together, get drunk together, wage drunken battle together, and then get real with each other, burn a house down together, while flipping it off in unison…is it just me, or by this point, were you all like me and chanting, under your breath (because, you know, the kids are sleeping), “Do it, do it, do it!”

Beth and Daryl spot a walker feasting on some poor animal that got caught in a steel trap, and Beth, crossbow poised and ready, steps quietly towards the walker, ready to shoot…and steps on the sharp metal spike securing the trap.  The spike sinks into her foot (owwww!), and Beth collapses to the ground.

The walker whirls and lurches towards her, and Daryl once again comes to the rescue, employing his invaluable “crossbow upside the walker’s head” maneuver, rekilling the walker and  then crouching down to gently check Beth’s foot (“Can you move it?”) She can…but it’s definitely a bad one.


While the Beth injury scenario definitely annoyed me, I do realize that her injury set some key plot-changing elements in motion, like Beth asking Daryl for a sitting break when they arrive at a graveyard…her foot is hurting, and she needs a rest.  Daryl, who is getting better and better at recognizing good-boyfriend-opportunities as they arise, scoops up Beth in a piggyback and playfully jokes with her that she’s a lot heavier than she looks:


Now, that is pretty adorable…

Daryl and Beth find a gravestone from long ago that reads:


Daryl picks a clump of wildflowers and puts it on the gravestone…he then stands besides Beth and their hands find each other in a hand-hold so sweet, I actually cheered out loud:

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Personally, I am so loving seeing this sweet side of Daryl…he’s got that sexy tough & tender combo that’s a real panty dropper.

Back on the tracks, Bob, Maggie and Sasha spy the Sanctuary sign…Bob shares his memory of hearing the message about Sanctuary on the car radio during the antibiotic run.  Sasha is doubtful about the Sanctuary and its promising slogan, “All who arrive survive,”  thinking it’s too good to be true.

I am definitely giving Michonne and Sasha props for intuition regarding this Sanctuary…you can’t feed a savvy sister some white man’s slogan and expect her to believe that shit without question.

Bob, however, is on board with checking it out, and Maggie is convinced that Glenn would head there if he saw the sign, thinking Maggie would go there to find him.

In the end, Bob proposes a vote…they cannot split up, and perhaps others from the prison will be at the Sanctuary.  Sasha doesn’t like it, but she agrees to go along…and so they begin the long trek to the Sanctuary.


Meanwhile, Daryl and Beth investigate the large white funeral home adjacent to the cemetery. It seems clear of walkers, and is clean, they notice, like somebody has been tending to it, living there.  They find a room with an embalmed body, dressed in a suit and arranged, hands folded over each other, in an open casket.  Daryl reaches out to the corpse’s face, runs his fingers through a thick layer of makeup, looks at Beth questioningly.  In this day and age, why would somebody go to the trouble?

They continue on, find a sterile processing room, with bodies on metal tables, in varying stages of being prepared and dressed, as if for a funeral.  One corpse’s face shows the telltale sign of decomposition that comes from becoming a walker…is some Mysterious Mortician preparing and dressing walkers for some crazy wake or funeral scenario? And if so, what the fuck is up with that?

Daryl comments, “Looks like somebody ran out of dolls to dress up,” and Beth comes quickly to the Mysterious Mortician’s defense, saying that she thinks it’s beautiful, that somebody cared enough to remember that the bodies were once living somebodies.

“Don’t you think it’s beautiful?” Beth asks Daryl, and Daryl has this look on his face, like,  Well, I don’t know about that…I actually think it’s pretty fucked up…But, I think that would be the wrong answer to say that, to her, right at this moment…so I will say nothing…

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Daryl looks away and gets quickly back to the business of cleaning and wrapping Beth’s injured foot.  Daryl is no dummy, and he sure as hell is catching on with this boyfriend thing really fast… Good for you, buddy!  I never had any doubt…he has always been so sweet, ever since Sophia.  (Man, I can’t wait to talk about all that shit! Season 2, we are coming, I promise!)

Meanwhile, back to Bob and Sasha…it seems to be part of their courtship dynamic to hash it all out, and call each other out.  It’s like some sort of edgy, in-your-face foreplay, and I, for one, am kind of liking it.  It fits them…they’ve both seen some shit, and they know that nobody has time to fuck around anymore.

Bob asks Sasha why she wants to stop, instead of continuing on to Sanctuary.  Sasha replies, “To not die…” She feels the close call that morning was “a warning…we get warnings, and the next time,” and she looks pointedly at Bob’s shoulder, then at him, “Next time, it’s on us.”

Sasha lays it out, as she sees it. “Odds are, Glenn is dead, Odds are, we will be too,” Sasha feels they should follow the tracks to the next town, find a building, hole up.  They only have six bullets left, Bob is bleeding…Sasha asks Bob to think about it, to help her convince Maggie when Maggie returns.

Back at the funeral home (ha! How many times does someone get to say that?), Daryl and Beth keep finding signs that someone has been keeping up the house.  Daryl finds a cupboard stocked with peanut butter and jelly, diet soda, and pigs’ feet. The cans of food, like the rest of the house, are clean and look recently stocked.  Daryl remarks on this, while helping himself to jelly straight from the jar (to Beth’s feigned disgust), saying that they will take just a little, and leave the rest.

Beth laughs at this, telling Daryl she knew he believed, deep down, that there are some good people left in this world.

Ok, you two…that’s very cute and all…now why don’t you find a couch and get down to the business of making out, so we can all watch?

Now, if I may say so, at this point, did I not call this, Beth being all cute in the squatter house, as she and Daryl get more and more into each other? Just saying, that’s some oracle shit, right there…or maybe it was really obvious.  Anyhow, feeling pretty McConaughey in the moment.

Oh, have I not mentioned that I have begun using “McConaughey” in many different contexts?  For example, it can be used as a not-so-proper noun, (“I want to do many naughty, delicious things to your McConaughey.”); an adjective (“That is so McConaughey of you.”); a mild expletive, (“Just what the McConaughey is going on here?”); a verb: (“I’m going to go take a couple hours for myself to go McConaughey.”) To McConaughey, of course, could mean you are going to take your shirt off and bang on some bongoes, or it could mean that you are going to go create a 450-page timeline and synopsis of the latest iconic character you are playing in your upcoming movie…the world is your oyster when you McConaughey!

Back at the funeral home (yes! fun every time), things are getting pretty teenage-weird. There are candles lit, which is nice, but Beth is singing some dumb song at the piano, and Daryl is getting in the coffin, saying it’s the most comfortable bed he’s been in in a long time.

Now, I do understand that Beth is a teenager and Daryl’s probably never been on a real date, but my eyes were kind of rolling in the back of my head, at this point…it’s like, Um, excuse me, Kirkman? Gimple?  When is the heavy petting going to start?

My WD buddy texted,  I am bored of Beth…where the fuck is Carol?

Ha ha! I could not stop laughing…just somebody start making out already, please!

Back at the camp, it seems that Maggie has ditched and set off on her own to go find Glenn. Bob and Sasha quickly roll up camp and set off after her. At the Sanctuary sign, Maggie encounters a snarling, hissing she-walker, who Maggie rekills…then in a moment of goretastic ingenuity, Maggie slices open the walker’s belly to scrawl a note for Glenn in walker blood. Maggie’s gotten so dark, and sexy…so not boring like Beth is being right now.

My WD buddy texted me, I want Rick, Carol, Tyrese drama…lol

I texted back, Lizzy! Lizzy!

Bob and Sasha set out to go find Maggie, Bob’s smiling because he’s not alone anymore.  I really like Bob more and more, especially after this episode…I was a real dick about him at first, mistaking his spookiness and general social awkwardness as some sort of guilt or shadiness, but Bob’s alright.  Sorry I was a dick, Bob.

Bob and Sasha find Maggie’s sexy walker blood note for Glenn:


Back at the honemoon funeral home, Daryl is carrying Beth to the table for a pickle snack (no, a real pickle snack, like on a plate…shit’s moving Dawson Creek slow around here). They hear a scratch at the door, and Daryl’s looking like a cute protective boyfriend as he leaps up, motioning for Beth to stay put. (Put another boyfriend point up on the scoreboard for our man, Daryl Dixon!)  He opens the door to reveal the cutest, scruffiest one-eyed dog, who whimpers and runs off.  Fuck, I forgot there were dogs in the world!

On Talking Dead, Lauren Cohan and Sonequa Martin-Green said the dog used in that scene lost his eye protecting his owner from a carjacking…give up a paw for that sweet, scruffy hero!

As a sassy night walker snarls in the moonlight, Bob and Sasha are sitting on a roof, getting real, again. Bob comes out and asks Sasha why she thinks Tyrese is dead, because they both know Tyrese would go to Terminus.  Bob tells Sasha that he thinks she is too afraid to find out, one way or another, if Tyrese makes it to Terminus, if he’s alive or dead.  Bob tells Sasha that he thinks that’s funny, because up until now, Sasha had been “the toughest person” Bob had met, “which is funny, because you’re also the sweetest…” At Sasha’s “are you for real?” look, Bob laughs, says, “Just sayin’!”

At this point in the watching, I was thinking, Well, maybe somebody is going to make out in this episode!  What else is there to do on that roof?  Sassy Night Walker certainly isn’t going to let anybody get any sleep. But, alas, Bob takes Sasha’s advice to get some sleep, lies back on his makeshift pallet, leaving Sasha sitting awake, with only the song of Sassy Night Walker to keep her company. Damn!

Back at the pickle-picnic, Beth is writing the Mysterious Mortician a thank you note, for when they leave. Daryl shyly suggests that maybe they don’t have to leave…that maybe the person won’t come back, or if they do, maybe they’ll be cool. Beth laughs, asks Daryl what changed his mind about people, what made him believe there can be good people?  In response, Daryl fixes Beth with the sweetest love look, like, ever…

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Another scratching sound at the door interrupts their moment, and Daryl reaches his fingers into a jar for a pickled pig’s foot to lure the dog in, saying he’ll “give that mutt one more chance…” Oh, those crazy kids…first they fall in love, then they shack up, adopt a dog…but this time, it’s not the dog.  It’s a crush of walkers, pushing their way into the house as Daryl vainly tries to hold them back, screaming for Beth to grab her bag and get out the window, that he will follow.

What does follow is one of the most harrowing walker escape scenes in WD history, in my opinion.  On Talking Dead, they discussed the making of the scene where Daryl uses the exam tables to block the crush of walkers and buy himself a moment to escape up the stairs…the scene was shot in a small room in a storage facility to create the narrowness of Daryl’s amazing escape.  It was hard to get a good shot of it, only got this one:


Despite poor Daryl’s superhuman escape, he just misses Beth…he sees her bag lying in the road, then sees the Mysterious Mortician’s black funeral procession-leading car speed off with poor, gimpy Beth undoubtedly inside, captive:IMG_3970

Poor Daryl! He was just starting to open up, damn…now this…

My WD buddy texted, I want Rick! Me too, dude…Rick Grimes just makes everything better.

Back on the tracks, Bob is telling Sasha that he realizes now that he doesn’t need to be afraid, that he is not going to be alone anymore like he was, not going to hold back on taking risks and really trying to live.  He is going to go on, find Maggie, go to find Sanctuary.  Then, Bob answers my prayers for a lip-lock in this damn episode and pastes one on Sasha…thank you, Bob!



After the kiss, Bob bids Sasha goodbye and heads on down the tracks.  Sasha looks after him for a moment, then turns to go to the building she had spotted and wanted to make a home base with Bob.  She goes inside and upstairs, finding a nice airy loft with lots of light and pretty exposed brick….but she is hating it, you can tell.  Fighting back tears, she goes to a window, looks down, and sees…Maggie! (Who is lying down among dead walkers, next to an ice cream truck, for some reason…)

When Sasha accidentally pushes the pane of window glass and sends it crashing below, it awakens other walkers, who start coming for Maggie.  Sasha runs out to help, and the brand-new besties slice and dice some walkers together, bad-bitch style:

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Maggie asks Sasha to be PSOAM’s together…Post-apocalyptic Sisters On a Missonof course Sasha says yeswho can refuse that smile?

Poor Daryl, collapsed and exhausted in the road, is not faring as well. It seems he has been discovered by the Downstairs Thug Boys, with their loud douchey leader, Joe. When Joe reaches for Daryl’s crossbow, Daryl takes him out with one upswing and sends Douchebag Joe to the ground.

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Luckily for Daryl, Joe laughs, shows Daryl props for being a “bow man.”  He orders his henchmen down, and invites Daryl to join them, rather than fight them, as Daryl’s resistance would be tantamount to “suicide.”

In the most fucked up slogan ever, Joe asks Daryl, “Why hurt yourself when you can hurt other people?”  Daryl must play along as Joe’s new pet, it seems, until he can find a way to get to Beth.

Back on the tracks, Sasha and Maggie have caught up to Bob. They embrace, begin the journey to Sanctuary, together.


The very last shot of the episode shows Glenn, who has found one of the maps to Terminus…he touches it with his finger, and you can see the wheels inside his head turning.  Looks like there’s going to be a prison gang reunion at Terminus, if all can arrive alive…we’ll see, won’t we?

Until next week, and enjoy the playlist:


Rush, “Headlong Flight”

Beck, “Blue Moon”

The xx, “Islands”  (for Bob and Sasha, Daryl and Beth, and Glenn and Maggie)

Redbird, “Moonshiner” (for Daryl…and Rust <3)

alt-J, “Dissolve Me”

Lee DeWyze, “Blackbird Song”

The Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 12, “Still”

In my world, The Walking Dead’s Season 4, Episode 12, “Still” felt kind of like a limp little paper umbrella topping off the shitty cocktail of a weekend full of feverish, pukey kids, sleepless nights, headaches, and crying jags (both the kids’ and mine).

At one point, it felt like my life was awash in tears, vomit, Children’s Advil, and finally, at the end of the vomit-soaked weekend from hell, my ultimate reward finally came: Coronas with lime, and The Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 12, Sunday night, 9pm.

While setting up my laptop and Corona situation in front of the television at around 8 pm, I idly purveyed the red carpet fashions of Oscar night and wondered what was in store for us with “Still.”  It wasn’t until about 45-minutes into watching the episode that I realized that the entire episode would be dedicated to exploring Beth’s teen angst and Daryl’s arrested development.

By the end of it, I was re-upping two Coronas at a time…lime, salt, glug-glug-glug…but the Coronas weren’t making it better fast enough.

My ever-discerning WD buddy texted me about thirty minutes into it:  Kinda bored with this episode.  That was my inital hit as well.  My mind has changed about it, and my appreciation has deepened for it, with subsequent viewings.  That night, though, I was bored and restless with it.

While I remain fully supportive of Daryl and Beth deepening their friendship and maybe falling in love, I guess I kind of felt about it the way I feel about teen love in general: it’s great and all, but I don’t want to necessarily watch it for more than about 10 minutes, 15 minutes tops…usually.  

When teen love is portrayed right in a movie, or on television, it’s awesome.  Vampire Diaries, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Freaks and Geeks, The United States of Tara come to mind as examples of television doing teen love right, capturing the newness, beauty and awkwardness of it while being thoroughly entertaining and relatable at any age.

I’m not trying to be a dick here. I know it’s zombie freaking apocalypse, and there isn’t that much room for witty teen banter when peeps are running for their lives…it’s actually an amazing feat that the writers of The Walking Dead have managed to interject as much love, humor, and human moments as they have, four seasons into this story.  It’s super bleak subject matter to be dealing with, and the writers manage time and time again to wow us with the depth and complexity of the characters and the human relationships they form with fellow survivors.

Maybe the WD writing team is just giving us a break before they start really kicking our asses.  I’m sure that’s it.  Knowing Kirkman and Co. (and I really don’t, although I pretend I do…delusional much?), maybe it’s the calm before the storm, the exploration into Daryl and Beth, both as individuals and as partners, romantic or otherwise, which remains to be seen.  I do like that Kirkman and Co. have kept the Daryl/Beth potential hookup card held close to their chests, for now…will they or won’t they?  

And…do we want them to?

I think, after watching “Still,” the majority of WD fans would support Daryl and Beth as a couple (unless said fans are in the creepy “I am Mrs. Norman Reedus” demographic and can’t stand the thought of Daryl with anyone other than them….those bitches do not like to share).

I don’t know what it was about this episode that left me flat. Maybe we fans are just plain spoiled with such consistent, high caliber writing. I write a freaking blog, for christ’s sake. Who died and made me some kind of expert?

There were many aspects of “Still” that make a strong case for it as an episode.  It was truly righteous of Beth and Daryl to survive both the Car Trunk Walker Rave and the Pine Vista Country Club Walkers, find the Shitty Shack and get drunk together on moonshine, work out some personal issues and deepen both their connection and their resolve to carry on. Just because I am not convinced that the episode was the most enthralling television ever doesn’t mean I am not loving those crazy kids…it’s Daryl and Beth, for chrissakes!

And as a WD fan and sometimes sideline reporter, I am also stoked that Norman Reedus and Emily Kinney got to flex their fine young talent in an episode devoted just to their characters…it’s the first time ever that The Walking Dead television series focused an entire episode upon two main characters.  Bully for Daryl and Beth in all those regards.

All props aside, I was left feeling like the episode was a bit…long-winded.  My WD buddy agreed with me. When we discussed it the next morning, she told me she felt like the whole thing between Daryl and Beth could have been consolidated into about 20 minutes, and that the rest of the time could have explored what was happening with other characters.  Agreed.

Now, it’s time for me to make a true confession:  Aside from my being bitch-slapped by the stomach flu over the weekend, my ennui with “Still” may also have been due to the fact that my attention has also been swayed, just a little, by the arrival of a new cult classic on the scene: True Detective, and its leading man, Rustin Cohle, played by Matthew McConaughy, and his partner, Martin Hart, played by Woody Harrelson.

In the course of six episodes, I’ve only taken, like, a thousand pictures of Rust Cohle…and that’s just of him smoking

Rustin Cohle...

Rustin Cohle…


I am obsessed with the dynamic between Cohle and his partner, Marty Hart…and pretty much obsessed with all things Rustin Cohle


When a character is this beautiful, and brilliant, and is willing to sacrifice his own soul and sanity to save the innocents from dark forces, how am I not supposed to love that shit, I ask you?


I have posted so many pictures of Cohle on my personal Facebook and Instagram pages that I am sure that people think I have gone a little insane…and maybe I have…it’s my Rust Period. Just go with it.  I have.

So, there it is, people…I’m cheating on WD with TD…maybe it’s not cheating, but whatever it is that I am doing right now, there are some dark-ass storylines rattling around in my subconscious these days.  For the past two weeks, I have basically been white-knuckling it, perched upon the precarious precipice of dim Carcosa…it’s like I am Method-watching these brilliant and disturbing shows, and getting a little demented in the process.

I do the mom/wife thing, go to work, but I am vague, distracted. Many details are forgotten. My friends and co-workers keep asking me if I am ok.  I don’t know if I am.  I mutter some barely intelligible reply in response, and, if I have the focus, I change the subject . If not, I simply turn away, lost in my thoughts.  My dreams have been weird as shit.  At the children’s bedtime, I hug them for dear life.  I am tweaked, people. These days, I am a junkie for the dark and crazy. So is it any wonder that Daryl and Beth’s after-school zombie special didn’t really do it for me this week around?

But, in the spirit of positivity, and because I am a loyal fan of the WD, here is my The Top 5 List of “Still”:

1) The Car Trunk Walker Rave

It is a dark and spooky night, and a storm is brewing…the camera pans to an abandoned car. The driver’s side door has been ripped off, the driver’s body spilled out from the car onto the road.  She has been dead a long time.  We hear a rustling from the brush, then we see Daryl, then Beth, emerge from the woods… she runs to the car and tries to start it, to no avail….of course.

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At the sound of walkers approaching, Daryl proves his constancy and resourcefulness yet again by quickly opening the trunk of the car and motioning for Beth to climb inside…he follows suit, fashions a quick knot to secure the trunk without closing it all the way, and props the wide arc of the crossbow sideways to prevent the trunk from closing completely. He then aims the crossbow at the small opening, ready to fire if needed. They watch and wait…


The noise of the walkers approaching, and passing, outside the car becomes deafening…it sounds like there are hundreds, thousands outside. Time passes, the storm erupts, adding to the savage caucophany of the walkers.  The camera pans on Beth’s face, pale and frightened, and on Daryl’s, as he keeps his crossbow ready, still and watchful as the walkers outside seethe and snarl and hiss.

It is a truly terrifying scene, one of my favorites thus far in WD…The Car Trunk Walker Rave!

My WD buddy texted me, That trunk scene could have been way hotter!  Ha! Agreed, but it would have been kind of hard to get things going with all those damn walkers partying outside, even while sharing the tight quarters with Daryl Dixon.

Hey, undead assholes, keep it down…we’re trying to get busy in here!


The next morning, sunlight shines through the tiny opening.  It is silent outside, finally…the walkers are gone. Beth and Daryl emerge from the trunk, alive for another day. After stripping the car for anything they can find (bottled water, side mirror, hubcaps, rope), Daryl looks at Beth a moment, turns and walks away while she stands there beside the car…she’s thinking…we can see the look on her face as she begins to form the idea in her head…

“Fuck this shit.”

2) Beth Needs a Damn Drink

And who can blame her, really?  I mean, while it’s pretty fascinating to watch them set up camp (Daryl hunts and skins a rattler while Beth uses the car mirror to start a small fire and drapes the hubcaps low across the trees as a walker-alert mechanism), the rote survival grind has got to be pretty dreary at this point.

 Run until you collapse. Hide. Watch. Wait. Hunt and forage for food, water. Set up camp.  Eat charred snake and huddle around the small fire. Watch. Wait. Sleep, for like 10 minutes. Hear walkers, run until you collapse. Repeat.

Beth has had enough of this shit.  “I want a drink, she announces, as she watches Daryl eat rattler by the fire.  He doesn’t say anything, doesn’t even look up from his meal, just tosses the water bottle at her and continues eating.

Beth looks down at the water bottle, then back at Daryl.  “No, I mean a real drink…as in alcohol.”   As this pronouncement fails to elicit a response from Daryl, Beth continues, “I’ve never had one…because of my dad and all…but he’s not exactly around anymore, so…I thought we could go find some.”  Still nothing from Daryl…he just keeps going to town on his grilled snake, is silent.

Beth watches him for a moment more.  Her mind is made up. She is a teenager on a mission.  “Ok,” she says, standing up. “Enjoy your snake jerky.” She walks past Daryl, yanks her knife from the log, and stalks off. Daryl doesn’t look up from his meal.

“Jerk,” she mutters, alone in the woods.  A small group of walkers appears in a clearing, and Beth hides behind a tree, lobs a pebble to distract them.  When the last walker finally turns away to investigate the noise, Beth whirls around to find Daryl, who has silently had her back the whole time:


As Daryl leads the way through the woods, Beth directs Daryl, “I’m pretty sure we need to go that way to find the booze.”  When she steps into the hubcap-alert mechanism, she realizes Daryl brought her back to their little camp.

“What the hell?” Beth yells. “You brought me back! I’m not staying at this suck-ass camp!” And then Beth unleashes the first flip-off of the episode:

You tell him, Beth!

You tell him, Beth!

Beth whirls on Daryl, when he tries to pull her back,What the hell is wrong with you? Do you feel anything?  Yeah, you think everything is screwed…I guess that’s a feeling! So you wanna spend the rest of our lives staring into a fire and eating mudsnake? Screw that! We might as well do something!  I can take care of myself, and I’m going to get a damn drink.  And with that, Beth marches off, and after a moment, Daryl follows her.

Ha! Teenagers!

3) The Pine Vista Country Club Walkers

It is indicative of Beth’s youthful innocence that she thinks there is a drop of alcohol left in The Pine Vista Country Club by the time she and Daryl arrive on the scene…what she doesn’t realize is that even on a good day, those rich juicers are probably going to drain the bar dry, let alone their being holed up inside the hallowed walls during the first stages of a zombie apocalypse.

Good luck finding anything to drink in there, Beth.

What Daryl and Beth discover inside the Pine Vista Country Club resembles more of a class-war graveyard than a “bon voyage, life!” party.  The floor is strewn with dead bodies lying atop sleeping bags, while walkers dressed in sports coats, dresses and pearls hang, hissing and snarling, from the rafters.

Messages are scrawled on the walls beside piles of bodies, suggesting a grim humor being wielded as viciously as the weapons used to kill the priveleged former patrons of the country club.  Welcome to the dugout, reads one message, and Beth is horrified to discover a woman’s corpse, strung up on a mannequin’s stand, with the sign “Rich bitch” around her neck:


Beth tries to remove the body from the stand, but is unable to do so, so Daryl throws a sheet over it to placate her…dark, and hilarious, especially the scene when Daryl drives a walker’s head with a golf club and sends its brains spattering all over Beth’s new white cardigan:

My new sweater!

My new sweater!

After finding nothing but cashmere and sport-coat swaddled walkers and one shitty bottle of peach schnapps at the Pine Vista, Daryl finally steps up and acts like a real boyfriend. He grabs the bottle of schnapps and smashes it to the floor, tells Beth that her first drink “Ain’t going to be no damn peach schnapps!”

And so, with that, Beth and Daryl bid “hasta la vista, Pine Vista” to the dilapidated country club and head out to go get them some moonshine at…

4) The Shitty Shack of Moonshine and Bad Memories

Daryl takes Beth to a place that he and Michonne discovered, a small cabin that has a moonshine still inside and is stocked with jars full of clear moonshine.  “That’s a real drink right there,” says Daryl.

At first, Beth isn’t so sure. “My dad said you can go blind from bad moonshine.”  When Daryl replies there’s nothing out there worth seeing anyway, Beth relents.  She balks at the first drink, but the second goes down easier. At first, Daryl refuses a taste, saying that someone needs to keep watch. Beth challenges him, “What are you, my chaperone?”

After giving Beth a run-through of the Shitty Shack, which boasts all the comforts of Daryl’s dad’s place (complete with pink plastic bra planter, an old dumpster-picked chair, buckets placed strategically to spit chaw in, and an old weekly for entertainment), Daryl relents and takes the jar that Beth offers him. He goes to the old dumpster chair and has a seat.

“Home sweet home,” toasts Daryl, and takes a drink of moonshine.

Soon, Beth is teaching Daryl the rules of “I Never.” She seems surprised that Daryl’s never played it before.  “I ain’t never needed a game to get lit before,” replies Daryl.

“Wait, are we starting?” asks Beth.

Beth starts easy…she’s never shot a crossbow before. She tells Daryl to drink.  Now it’s his turn. Daryl pauses, then begins by saying he’s never been out of Georgia…Beth seems surprised by this, but says, “Good one,” and she drinks. Beth says she’s never been drunk and done anything she’s regretted. Daryl drinks, of course.  “I’ve done lots of things.”

Daryl says he’s never been on vacation, and when Beth says she’s never been to jail (as a prisoner, that is), Daryl doesn’t drink.  He narrows his eyes, asks, “Is that what you think of me?”

Beth protests lightly, replies that even her dad got locked up in the drunk tank, back in the day…she invites Daryl to resume the game, but he tells her he needs to go take a piss.  He goes to the other end of the room, smashes his glass, unzips, and begins pissing into a corner.

When Beth tells Daryl to be quiet, Daryl snarls, “I can’t hear you! I’m pissing!” It has become apparent that Daryl has Gone to the Dark Side.  He continues his tirade, listing to poor Beth all the things he’s never done: he’s never eaten frozen yogurt, he’s never gotten a pet pony, he’s never gotten a present from Santa! ( 😦   Poor guy…he really did have a shitty childhood!)

Daryl continues his rant, flinging his ire directly at Beth (“I’ve never sung out in front of people before, out in public, like everything was fun, like everything was a big game…I sure as hell never cut my wrists, looking for attention!”)

Daryl’s rant gets the attention of the Shitty Shack Lurker Walker, who starts getting agitated outside and tries to paw its way into the cabin. Daryl continues castigating Beth. “You’ve never fired a crossbow before? I’m gonna teach you right now!” He pulls Beth by the arm, pulls her outside, still yelling, and gets behind her, sets the bow and starts shooting arrows into the poor lurker walker, impaling it onto a tree.  Beth begs him to stop, rushes forward and stabs the walker in the head, rekilling it.

“Whadja do that for?” demands Daryl. “I was having fun!”

“No, you were being a jackass!” Beth yells back.  She continues to call him out on acting like he doesn’t care about losing the people they loved and cared about…she even calls him out on Sophia, saying that she saw his face when “that little girl came out of the barn, after my mom (as walkers)…you were like me, then,” but now, Beth tells Daryl, he acts like he doesn’t care about anything, or anyone.  “You look at me like a dead girl…It’s bullshit!”

Daryl first tries to tell her she doesn’t know him, but he breaks…he blames himself for the fact that he quit looking for the Governor, and the Governor came back, mowed down their fences, and destroyed the life they had worked so hard to create at the prison.  He mentions Hershel, that maybe he could have saved him..and Beth rushes to him as he breaks down and hugs him from behind:


Dude, how can I be such a dick and hate on this episode? This moment is really beautiful…I think I just kept wanting them to do it. Sorry, guys

Later, that night, Beth and Daryl are sitting on the porch.  They are relaxed now, joking about Beth being a happy drunk, while “some people get mean.”  Beth looks pointedly at Daryl, who agrees easily, “I’m a dick when I drink.”

Daryl reveals to Beth that before the turn, he was nothing…he was just drifting around with his brother Merle, doing what Merle said they were gonna do that day.  Daryl looks at Beth as he admits he was, “Nobody, nuthin’, just a redneck asshole with an even bigger asshole for a brother.”

Beth asks Daryl if he misses his brother, and she talks about how she misses Maggie, her big brother Shaun, and her father…Beth admits that she hoped for a quiet peaceful life for her father, with a grandbaby from Maggie and Glenn, and picnics, and life to a ripe old age, surrounded by people he loved.

“Shows how stupid I am,” she laughs, reaching for her jar to drink. Daryl is sweet as he listens, says,  “That’s how it’s supposed to be.”

Beth tells Daryl she wishes she had changed, and when Daryl tells her she has, she disagrees.  “Not like you….you were made for the way things are now.”

Daryl counters that he was brought up in ugliness, that it is merely familiar to him, like the shitty cabin they found that reminded him of his dad’s place. Beth tells him that he is not of that, not anymore, and Daryl replies, “You’ll have to keep reminding me, I guess.”

Beth then tells Daryl that one day, she’ll be gone.  When he protests, she tells him it’s true. “You,” she tells Daryl, “will be the last man standing.”  Poor Daryl’s face when she says this…it’s like she just voiced his worst nightmare.

Beth looks at Daryl and tells him that he’s going to miss her when she’s gone. “You’re gonna miss me so bad, Daryl Dixon,” she tells him with a little laugh in her voice, but it hitches with sadness, too.

Beth tells Daryl that he needs to stay who he is now, and leave who he was behind, and places like the cabin need to be put down, “or they will kill you.”

And then Beth has another great idea…

5) Let’s Burn the Motherfucker Down

And so, they splash the rest of the moonshine around the inside of the cabin, light a stack of bills from the country club on fire, and flip a double bird salute to the burning cabin.  Later, motherfucker.


Daryl has a smile as he walks away…whatever happens hereafter, he will most surely be freed from the past…and who knows what the future will bring?

Until next week, gang.  Wish me luck with my dark and crazy, and enjoy the playlist…

(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, and HBO’s True Detective, unless otherwise specified.)


No Doubt  “Just a Girl” (for Beth)

Bittersweet  “Dirty Laundry”

Queensryche, “Silent Lucidity” (for Daryl)

Me First and The Gimme Gimmes  “I’ll Be There”