“WE AIN’T ASHES.”
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Carol and Daryl are arguably the most capable forces the apocalypse has to offer. From living off the land to killing zombies with deadly precision, there is little to nothing these two haven’t been able to do or get out of. But what creates that type of survivor?
Daryl opened up to Beth (over several jars of moonshine) about the abuse he endured at the hands of Merle and Merle’s friend. While we already know Carol was in a very abusive marriage, we get to wind the clock back a little further to a battered women’s shelter that housed her before and during the outbreak of walkers. It told us what we already know about her, that she was abused, but it also reminded us of how emotionally drained Carol has become. The scene with the zombie mom and child was a hard one to watch, and seeing Carol turn into her robot self to take them out showcased how numb she is to her surroundings. Letting Daryl step into stop her from having to kill them and then taking them out himself the next morning before she even woke up speaks volumes of the respect Daryl has for her. I know we live in a culture that obsesses over who’s coupling up, but the friendship between Daryl and Carol isn’t built that way. This is why it is so important; the attraction is different.
While there were some cool moments with Noah making an appearance fresh after getting rescued by the girl Carol and Daryl are trying to rescue (*Keanu Reeves voice* Woaah), some of the coolest scenes were done in five to ten second flashbacks that looked at Carol’s defining moments. From watching the infected bodies burn at the prison, to Rick sending her into exile, to burying the girls at the grove, to cleaning the zombie blood camouflage off after the assault on Terminus, Carol’s history is carved in blood. It’s easy to see how that much specific trauma would burn away the person you used to be and replace it with something much darker.
The ending moments connected “Consumed” to “Slabtown,” explaining how Carol wound up on the gurney being rushed into the hospital Beth was staying in. Daryl’s reaction to go in guns (arrows?) blazing to rescue Carol felt sincere, but Noah being the voice of reason that stopped him seemed a little tough to acknowledge. Daryl has no reason to trust Noah whatsoever, and now that strangers are taking Carol it would seem to reinforce that he would kill everyone first and try to get Carol help later. While it served to move the plot and cliffhanger forward, it didn’t sit right with me. Overall, though, it was a very well sequenced episode.
“Consumed” is a slow burning, albeit meaningful, episode that dances around Carol’s most trying moments. The character development was well executed in that it showcased how Carol became the robot killer she is now. Adding Daryl into the hunt for Beth’s captors helped provide a way for Carol to open up to the only other person with as dark and painful of a history. With the midseason finale rapidly approaching, it’s apparent that war is on the horizon, seeing as the episode ended with Daryl’s game face as he raced back toward the church. Must be time to get the band back together!
Do you agree with Carol’s decisions? Will “The Walking Dead” ever stop splitting up the cast and spend the entire season putting them back together? Buckle your seat belts and drop your comments in the section below.
85/100 – ‘Great’
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
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