Blogging Dead: Still (s4ep12)

Posted: March 3, 2014 in Television, The Walking Dead

In the cover of darkness, Daryl and Beth uncover a busted up car, which they have to use for safety as a herd of walkers has followed them through the woods. After several moments of real fear, the herd passes through but the two of them remain in the trunk of the car until morning. Scavenging for scraps and parts, they grab what they can and start walking down the road.

78fc574e767b41ffc179b3702e3a3e62Being resourceful with their scraps, Beth creates a fire sets some noise traps in the event walkers wander into the area. Meanwhile, Daryl continues to scavenge for food. Beth finally breaks the silence, asking for alcohol. She brushes off the fact that her father is no longer around but does not seem to convince him initially. Wandering out on her own, she hears a group of walkers head in her direction. She gets lucky when the her pebble trick confuses the walkers in another direction. Daryl takes her back toward camp but Beth lashes back out and tells him that she will go find a drink regardless of whether he will join her.

Beth’s quest for her first drink leads them to a country club. With walkers creeping up from the course, they head inside to find hanging walkers all over the first room. Daryl grabs a bag full of money just as the walkers outside reach the doors. Beth and Daryl duck into the next room and continue to search the building. Beth wanders ahead and finds a bottle of wine, but has to use it and her knife to fight off a walker. The find the gift shop, where Daryl continues to pillage for valuables and Beth gets sentimental about a woman’s body hanging with a sign that reads “Rich Bitch.” The grandfather clock that Daryl tipped over suddenly goes off, alerting walkers to their positions. Daryl kills the bulk of them without a problem but goes berserk on the last one with a golf club. Beth confirms her quest to find a drink as they walk into the club’s bar. She finds a bottle of peach schnapps and gets ready to take a drink while Daryl plays darts with the club’s member photos. Suddenly, Beth breaks down and cannot take a drink. Daryl smashes the bottle against the ground and tells her to follow him out of the club.

the-walking-dead-still-beth-greeneBack in the woods, Beth and Daryl start to banter about the past. Daryl guides Beth into a place that he had found with Michonne and reveals some jars of moonshine. Pouring her a glass, Beth takes a moment to stare at it. She finally takes a drink and chooses to have another. Both of them start to lighten up and talk about Daryl’s father. She finally convinces him to take a drink too as they settle in for a while. Beth convinces Daryl to start playing a drinking game to learn truths about each other. She challenges him by saying she has never been to jail, which causes him to get upset. He goes off and starts to shout out all of the things he never got to do. This attracts a walker and causes him to drag her outside to try and shoot a walker with the crossbow. Beth shouts back about how Daryl is closed off and how he fails to let anyone in. Daryl attacks back about how they are all alone, everyone is dead, and how he feels guilty about how the attack on the prison went down. He finally admits that he believes he missed an opportunity to save Hershel.

Later that evening, they are relaxing on the porch when Daryl reveals that he was wasted and high at a guy’s house when Merle had ticked off the friend causing a fight. Daryl had started to beat up the other guy when guns were pulled out and drawn on each other. He admits that he was drifting around Georgia with Merle, taking directions from his brother with no purpose. Beth starts to talk about all of the people she feels she has lost from her family and what she thought their life was going to be like with Maggie and Glenn. Beth tries to confirm Daryl of how strong he is and how she wishes she could be like him. She tries to convince him to stay strong, even when she is gone. She suggests that they burn the house down, so they begin to soak the inside in moonshine. Beth lights a stack of money that Daryl pulls out of his bag and they toss it into the house. They flip off the house as it burns to the ground and they turn and leave.

Reaction: This was a “Daryl and Beth against the world” episode. Daryl’s character has been lacking a bit in the recent episodes, mostly due to his reaction to the attack on the prison. While Beth may be younger and more naive, he has appeared to be paralyzed emotionally by the death of Hershel and loss of the security of the prison. Up until that point, he had started to loosen up a bit more and was moving on from the death of his brother. This episode gave him a chance to finally get a release and reveal more about who he was.

Walking-Dead-Daryl-Beth-665x385Daryl’s backstory is finally revealed. While the predictions were much more devious or significant, he finally admitted that he did nothing before the fall of the world. He was just a follower behind Merle, never feeling like he ever had to make a decision about anything. Beth had thought that there was more to his past and was also surprised to learn that he was nothing. In some ways, this means that Daryl was more prepared for this new world than viewers may have thought. He finally seemed to have a sense of purpose. At the same time, he is now finally learning who he is. He never made decisions or had a true sense of self outside of his relationship with his brother. When the prison went down, the work he had done to open up seemed to be set back. Beth was finally successful at getting him to break down his own barriers and begin work on the new Daryl.

For Beth, this episode was about connecting with her fate and proving to herself that she was now an adult woman. The quest to go after alcohol was somewhat to simply have a mission and also to defy the childish grip that Hershel had on her when he was still around. She was not trying to disrespect Hershel but she was seeking validation for her ability to survive in a harsh world. When she got into her shouting match with Daryl, she screamed at him about how she may not be any of these other strong women who have survived but she was still there too.

The episode ended in a great way, with Beth giving Daryl the release he needed. All of the arguments led to both of them feeling like they could move forward with their lives and fight for survival. Burning the house was that abandonment of their pasts. Now, they are set up to hopefully find someone else from their group and develop their next plan to find a safe new home.

In Memoriam: n/a, the main cast is safe for one more week

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