The Walking Dead Recap: Where There's Smoke...

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There were nearly as many smoke/fire/burning metaphors in this week’s (almost) all Daryl and Carol episode of The Walking Dead as there are matches in a matchbook. But, as the dynamic duo searched for Beth, were either of them, as the title suggests, “Consumed” by the flames? Read on and find out!

IN HOT PURSUIT | At the top of the hour, we flashed back to the day that Rick banished Carol, and saw her follow a trail of smoke (just the first of ’em) to the prison following the Governor’s disastrous siege. In present day, as Carol and Daryl shadowed what we knew (but they didn’t know) to be a Grady Memorial vehicle, he filled her in on how resilient Beth became. Since they were running low on gas and Rick would worry about why they vanished, Carol wanted to cut to the chase of the chase and run the suspects off the road. Daryl argued that, with the element of surprise on their side, it would be smarter to keep following them and see who they were first. (Who they were, of course, were a couple of Dawn’s guards.)

Taking refuge for the night in a shelter for abused children, Daryl and Carol had the first of a few thoughtful, thought-provoking conversations. In this one, she reminded him that he said they could start over and asked if he had. “I’m trying,” he replied. She was still so shattered, though, by everything that she had been through that she sadly suggested, “I don’t think we get to save people anymore.” Then, why was she there with Daryl on a mission to rescue Beth? “I’m trying,” she said. Before they finally passed out, they discovered a roomful of walkers — horribly, the abused children who had been being protected at the facility. Carol moved to put them down, but Daryl, bless his heart, stopped her, insisting, “You don’t have to.”

FIRED UP | The following day, Carol woke to find Daryl outside burning the bodies of the young walkers that he’d saved her from having to dispatch. (Cue the flashback to Lizzie and Mika’s burial, smoke in the distance, in 3, 2… ) “Thank you,” she said quietly. That unpleasant task out of the way, the twosome resumed their pursuit of Beth, hoofing it into the streets of Atlanta and ultimately onto an enclosed skybridge full of walkers trapped in tents and sleeping bags. Since they were unaware that they were being followed, there was even a (fleeting) moment of levity as they squeezed through a chained doorway: “Good thing we skipped breakfast,” Daryl cracked.

While scanning the horizon for clues from the vantage point of a fancypants high-rise office, Carol noted that Daryl still hadn’t made her tell him what happened with Lizzie and Mika. “I know what happened,” he responded. “They ain’t here.” But, as we know (but he couldn’t), it wasn’t walkers that did the girls in. “It was worse than that,” said Carol. And it seemed like that was enough said, for the moment, anyway. Trying again to reassure his gal pal, Daryl explained, “The reason I said we get to start over is ’cause we gotta, the way it was.” And since she answered “Yeah,” presumably he got through to her, at least a little bit.

BURN NOTICE | Spotting a Grady van (that they still didn’t know was a Grady van) perched precariously a quarter of the way off a nearby bridge, Daryl and Carol were headed out through the skybridge to investigate when — surprise! — Noah got the drop on them and demanded Daryl’s crossbow. But, still being the sweet fellow that we met a coupla weeks ago, he did offer up a “Sorry about this” before slashing open a tent full of walkers so that he could make his escape.

As Noah fled, Carol took aim at his leg, but Daryl — perhaps thinking the we-don’t-get-to-save-anyone Carol was going to kill the boy — intervened. Giving chase, she made it clear to Daryl that no, she wasn’t going to murder Noah. (Well, unless he died of a leg wound… ) Along the way, she also discovered that Daryl had taken from the shelter the textbook about treating survivors of child abuse. (Nice that he might be looking to work on himself a bit.)

HOT SPOT | Following a flashback to Carol burning the bodies of Karen and what’s-his-name, we joined our heroine and Daryl at that precariously perched van. It yielded good intel — at last they figured out that the cross vehicles came from Grady Memorial — but no weapon as cool as a crossbow. (In fact, no weapons at all.) Worse, the endeavor got them so cornered by walkers that they had no choice but to let the zombies push the van — with them buckled in it! — over the edge of the bridge! “We made good time down,” Carol joked once they were safe.

Then, during a heart-to-heart back at the highrise, Carol suggested that she and Daryl had both changed. “It’s like you were a kid” before, she said. “Now you’re a man.” And her? Admitting that she and Sophia once stayed (briefly) at the shelter, she remembered how, when she was being beaten by Ed, she would hope for something to happen, but she never did anything to make it happen. In the prison, that old version of her was burned away and replaced by the woman she always thought she should be… and then that version of her was burned away, too. “Everything now,” she concluded, “just consumes you.” Except for one thing, Daryl noted: “We ain’t ashes.”

WARMING TREND | Hearing a noise, Daryl and Carol discovered a walker with one of Daryl’s arrows through its neck. Gunfire next led them to discover Noah, who Daryl managed to get pinned beneath a book case. The young man pleaded for an assist — there was a walker on the other side of the door — but Daryl scoffed. “I already helped you once,” he said. “Ain’t happenin’ again.” Carol was like, “C’mon, we gotta.” But Daryl just walked away… only to relent a second later, shoot the walker in the head with his reclaimed crossbow and free Noah.

Finally — following one last flashback, to Carol wiping off walker guts after sending Terminus up in smoke — Noah warned her and Daryl that they had to go, because his gunshots were sure to have attracted the attention of the people from the hospital. Wait, said Daryl (more or less). Do you know Beth, then? Quickly, Noah explained that not only did he know her, she helped him escape. Unfortunately, as the three of them were about to make a run for it, Carol was hit by a Grady station wagon. (Seriously, what are the odds?!? At least now we know she wasn’t faking her injuries when she was wheeled into Grady in “Slabtown.”) Daryl naturally wanted to race out and save Carol from the guards, but Noah pointed out that it was better to let her go to the hospital, where they could fix her up, and then they could break in and bust out her and Beth as well. And, from the look on Daryl’s face as the episode ended, that was clearly exactly what he intended for them to do. (Loved Noah’s expression, too, like, “Who is this badass?”)

OK, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Were you satisfied with the mix of character development and action, or would you have preferred more of one or the other? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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52 Comments
  1. Jessaly says:

    Best episode of the season since the premiere! This was the perfect mix of action and gorgeous character development.

    • Jennifer says:

      Totally agree!

    • Lilly says:

      Totally agree. I just hate when the group is split up because my usual panicky state of 60 minutes not being enough is multiplied by missing characters between weeks! Now, we have to face the reality of only two more episodes till the mid-season finale. Argh!

      • Jessaly says:

        I know! I can’t believe there are only 2 episodes left before the next break. I really wish it was a full 22 episode season.

        I wish these “bottle” episodes were spaced out a little better – having them split up all the time does wear thin, but if we get episodes like this more often, then I can get more on board with it.

  2. JP says:

    Phenomenal episode. This show proves what can be done with character development.. 4 years ago people were complaining in this forum that Carol was a pointless character… Now each week she just owns the screen. Melissa Mcbride is just like watching an acting
    Class.. Give this woman an Emmy.. And Darly is great as well. You can tell this is a man who will kill whomever or whatever to protect the ones he cares about.. The ashes line was GOLD

  3. jwb says:

    Great episode. Wish it was longer. All that speculation about the body Daryl was burning. It turned out to be nothing.

  4. So, a flashback episode full of flashbacks? heh.

  5. alistaircrane says:

    Anyone else catch the Daryl “bottom bunk” Easter egg? I hope they don’t go there with him, though—-Daryl belongs with Carol!

    • David says:

      I kind of thought they were hinting at a Daryl-Noah thing, too.

    • Guest says:

      He’d still belong with Carol either way, she accepts him just as he is and nor because of his value as tracker, hunter and/or male provider like Beth does. Daryl could be boy or man, gay or straight, wounded or wholesome and Carol would like him the same.

    • Chrostina Jones says:

      THEY ARE NOT MAKING DARYL GAY….ARE THEY? NOT THAT I WOULD HAVE A PROBLEM WITH IT BUT CONSIDERING THE LLUSTY LOOKS HE’S BEEN PASSING AROUND SEVERAL LADIES, IT WOULD SEEM OUT OF LEFT FIELD BUT…INTERESTING FOR THE CHARACTER.

      • alistaircrane says:

        It was recently revealed that the producers told Norman to play Daryl as “prison gay”. So there’s speculation that Daryl is gay, but it’s never been confirmed on screen. This episode hinted that Daryl is a bottom and that he has told Carol.

      • BP says:

        turn off your caps lock and use puncuation.

    • Moment says:

      Daryl and Carol are more good friends than lovers though.

      • wrstlgirl says:

        Absolutely 100% agree. They do love each other but not in that way. I mean, if they were wanna be lovers don’t you think they would have cuddled up with each other on one of those beds??

        • Lilly says:

          I hate to keep repeating myself, but “I agree.” They are best friends, but their age difference and pre-apocalypse life experiences don’t mesh for me.

  6. Bwhit says:

    This episode was excellent. You almost forget how much Carol has actually lost (her daughter) and what it has taken for her to keep going. The dialogue between Daryl and Carol plus the unspoken things they did (the books) were perfect. The hospital better watch out!

  7. ero says:

    I can’t believe he’s still okay after the leg wound (Noah)

  8. relaxxx says:

    I didn’t think this needed to be a hour long. There was so many flashbacks n its just not realistic to me to be sympathetic to Carol after she killed two innocent sick people.Rick gave her a car filled up with supplies n sent her on her merry way. Michonne got partially hog tied n dragged off by Ricks initial request to Merle to deliver Michonne to the governer a man that would surely rape n kill her. There r no tears for Michonne. Michonne got slapped around by The Claimers n Carl almost raped where is the bottle episode for them? Why is Rick n Daryl so concerned for Carol? Because Gimple wants a Emmy? At what cost? By stepping on the necks of other characters n putting their storylines on the back burner. That’s not good story telling. I just think that there r other characters on this show that have voices that need to also be heard n no MMB should not get a emmy when Andrew Lincoln is far more deserving. Nice to see Noah again and I don’t know about Daryl right now. It seems like Daryl n Rick have taken up permanent residence in Carols arse n it makes zero sense to me.

    • Seriously says:

      Do you retain information from one episide to the next? Daryl, Rick and all the other characters you are concerned about would be dead and hanging in the Terminus meat locker if it wasn’t for Carol. Perhaps Rick is also grateful Carol kept his daughter alive. Gimple knows he’s not going to get an Emmy nod so just get over it.

      • relaxxx says:

        Seriously: yes Carol caused the blast that distracted the Termites but the herd was on there way to Terminus from all the shooting from Rick n co. The Termites started to disband at the gates when they saw the herd. Rick took his make shift shank n stabbed n killed the Termites freed Gleen Daryl n Bob n got the rest of the group to safety. Tyreese saved Judith at the prison n we can only assume what happened when tyreese left the girls to try to save the people at the train tracks. Even Carol told Rick it was Tyreese when he tried to thank her for saving Judith. Did u forget that? I can retain information quite well thank u!

        • Seriously says:

          Nope – Glenn (and more than likely Daryl) didn’t get their heads bashed in because the Termites were distracted by gunshots and the explosion. Rick was going to get loose, but not before members of his group died as the bash and slash wouldn’t take long. Carol’s larger distraction saved them – not the herd. Actually Mika and Lizzie saved Judith at the prison – Tyrese was going to go the other way. It would have been fun to watch Tyrese try and handle the Lizzie situation on his own. Remember that he wasn’t strong enough to do what needed to be done with Lizzie and Carol had to do it. Tyrese is weak – he couldn’t even kill the guy who had his hands around Judith’s neck. My guess is he won’t be around for much longer.

          Also there is a strong sense of loyalty and family among this group, so it seems odd one would question why people are worried about Carol. It’s because no matter what she’s one of them.

          • relaxxx says:

            Again I already said that Carol caused the distraction but the herd was coming any ways. Rick killed those two Termites n got the rest of the group out of the train car n out of Terminus. It was Rick who wounded Gareth. People give Carol all the credit but she left Terminus without the group. Rick made sure his people got out n people want to give Carol all the credit. Rick did a lot also n got zero credit. Judith was suppose to be on the bus along with Glenn Maggie n Beth if they were on the bus maybe the outcome would of been different since the bus had mostly Wooderians on it. Lizzie n co showed Ty were Judith was but do u honestly think those girls could of made it out of the prison by themselves dragging a heavy car seat?

      • Lena says:

        Guess what? Rick wouldn’t even be alive to be there for his kids if Michonne hadn’t saved him, but she didn’t receive any thanks.

        • Chrostina Jones says:

          SO TRUE! THEY NEED TO START GIVING MICHONNE MORE LINES SINCE SHE IS HANDS DOWN BESIDES CAROL, ONE OF THE MORE INTERESTING COMPLEX BETTER ACTING CHARACTERS OF THE SHOW. I FEEL LIKE THEY FOCUS ALOT ON GLENN, MAGGIE, CAROL, AND DARYL AND RICK. SASHA HAS BARELY BEEN GIVEN A BACKSTORY AND AFTER THE CHURCH, SHE SHOULD

        • Moment says:

          And Rick himself has saved his group too. He’s the leader, he does his job fairly well when it matters. Granted he went off the rails after losing Lori but he dealt with the Hunters from Terminus the right way.

    • Guest says:

      It’s easier for Rick because Carol was the abused wife sitting in the back of his car while he was riding with Lori. He was a police officer, he must have sensed what was going on with Ed, but didn’t do anything because Carol didn’t say the word. Then he lost Sophia – Daryl tried to find her, but it was Rick that lost her – and couldn’t look at her face for over a season. By the time Rick lost Lori, Carol was about the only thing that could move him, she still is, and he sent her away because he would rather be damned than to give her up to Tyreese. Carol stood by Rick at the farm, at the prison, up against the Governor, during an outbreak, at Terminus, even took care of his daughter while Rick wasn’t even there. He would do anything to have her back because Rick is no better than Carol precisely becasuse she worths so much more to him than Michonne does, same as their safety meant so much more for Carol than just the lives of Karen & David.

      • relaxxx says:

        Rick didn’t lose Sophia he found a hiding spot for her n told her to stay there while he drew the walkers away. Sophia left the same way that she left from under the car. Carol didn’t run after. Rick went after her. Even though Carol didn’t even search for her own daughter she gave Rick major attitude while she did nothing. She didn’t even go to Sophia’s funeral but she went to Eds, her abuser! In season 2 she kept wanting to leave the group but didn’t leave cuz she couldn’t convince Daryl to leave with her n she was to chicken shut to go alone. She tried to Jedi mind game Daryl that he was now Ricks henchman n that her n Daryl’s friendship was conditional even though he almost died twice trying to save her daughter. Carol is very manipulative her n Rick always had this uneasy between them n she’s always tried to undermined him. Last time I check families aren’t to kill each other. Sasha n Glenn were sick also would u say how much of a family they were if Carol killed them? No cuz David n Carol r redshirts n that’s a double standard. Again I say it makes zero sense of there need to just snap its all good Carol !

        • Guest says:

          Tren again, Rick was the police officer and Carol just an abused wife back then. By Terminus, Rick was the damaged goods and Carol the one that rescued him anyway. Rick had already put her above Tyreese when he sent her away. How could he not put her above Abraham, even if she didn’t save his daughter? She went back for Judith when Rick couldn’t. Rick just can’t help but to put her above strangers as well, which os why she was willing ti leave: she doesn’t feel worth it. If only because she doesn’t know the things Rick has done since she left.

    • Lena says:

      SG is playing up his favorites. MMB gets tons of screen time while other female characters just stand in the background. Also, Rick hasn’t given Michonne anything. He didn’t even have the decency to thank her for saving him when the Governor situation went down. This season is about Carol and other characters just suffer with no lines and no scenes.

      • wrstlgirl says:

        The way they are really building up Carol scares me a bit. It may be a prelude to a horrible death and tremendous loss for the group. I really hope not but I won’t be surprised if it happens.

        • Lilly says:

          Agreed. I’m not Carol’s biggest fan, but I have to admit she is growing on me (though I still can’t forgive her comfort with killing because keeping “her” people safe justifies anything). I did find this episode interesting in that she had to save Noah because Darryl wouldn’t. (Did he push her to do that, BTW?!)
          Anyway, I’m with you. If I were McBride, I might be worried….

          • wrstlgirl says:

            If the show stays true to form someone will likely die during the rescue of Beth which I’m guessing is the mid-season finale’. Some think it will be Beth but that doesn’t make sense at all. Having Rick and Co. come to her rescue only to have her not make it would be stupid. And since Glenn, Maggie and the rest of the crew aren’t there the circle of options is pretty small. I doubt they will kill off Rick, Michonne or Carl. I’m hoping that Morgan swoops in and saves the day LOL. Or maybe Glenn and Co. will show up, who knows. I can’t believe there’s only two left.

          • Lilly says:

            Yea, TWD has keeping its fans hungry for more down to a fine art! Seems like the season JUST started! And I agree with you that losing Beth in a mission to save her seems nuts. If they lose anyone, I’m thinking Carol or maybe Tyrese may die (interesting storyline with Sasha losing two loved ones so close together). And where the heck IS Morgan?! Of course, we forget, a sum total of only about 3-4 days has gone by since Terminus blew up!

  9. wrstlgirl says:

    Not gonna lie, I was kinda bored. Usually these episodes are over before I know it but this one kinda dragged on for me. I still enjoyed it though. And as much as I love both Daryl and Carol I still don’t see anything romantic, just really tight friends.

  10. Lovely says:

    Carol running in front of the van she saw coming was odd to say the least. It didn’t make much sense that she would do that.

    At least now I know who the heck Daryl was referring to when he came out of the woods and introduced someone to Michonne

  11. azu says:

    I’m sorry. I know I’ll be in the minority here. But I’m not a fan of carol. The way the writers have built her up is not very realistic. What? She’s now Rambo???wow. Even Daryl is not that interesting that mo as well.

    • Guest says:

      Sometimes it feels like I’m the only one who remembers Carol stole a grenade from Rick’s pants back when she washed his clothes in season 1, she has always been resourceful. It’s just that, up until Rick sent her away, she never had the chance to be resourceful on her own.

    • Radha says:

      You can not be a fan of Carol, but it took a good couple of years for her to toughen up, so I think it’s quite realistic. And just because she wasn’t fighting before doesn’t mean she wasn’t resourceful.

    • Jack says:

      A show about zombies is unrealistic?!?!

  12. Zenobia Jackson says:

    You know it didn’t hit me at first but that is Everybody Hates Chris all grown up!

  13. madskilz48 says:

    Great episode. Maybe the crew is finally getting some depth. The overall saving and dying is taking a toll on Carol. How much longer can these guys go with this.

  14. Jack says:

    Worst. Episode. Ever.

    Not really, it was great, but every week, someone has to claim it was the worst, so I just wanted to get it out of the way…

    • Moment says:

      You would think some people would realize by now that the drama is an important part of the show, it’s not all pew pew kill zombies every week.

  15. betty says:

    I guess I just have a thought: The first episode of the show started out in Atlanta. Now we are what 3 years into the trek and we are back in Atlanta? Even though the others are still in the woods somewhere, could they possibly still be this close to Atlanta? One short car ride for Daryl and Carol and they are back in Atlanta? Haven’t they been walking for years???

    • LMR says:

      I thought that too a couple of weeks ago – but then I remembered they all walked to Terminus – which IS Atlanta. Makes more sense now.

    • Moment says:

      They haven’t been walking for years. The group have been in and around the Atlanta area since the show began. Woodbury/Prison were in the same area.

  16. Leonard Rowe says:

    I would so love to see Daryl and Noah together , face it Daryl has shown zero interest in females throughout the show despite having the opportunity . He bear hugs Daryl seconds after trying to kill him and Daryl doesn’t do a thing about it , it would be great if they pursued that storyline

  17. Molly says:

    I know this is old but Relaxxx you’re all kinds of wrong here. It doesn’t matter if a herd was coming or not because by the time they got there Rick and co would’ve been dead from the Terminites plain and simple. The loud boom /created by Carol/ is what distracted that group and saved our main groups asses.