This episode of The Walking Dead titled, ‘Consumed’, starred our tag team, Daryl and Carol. On the night Daryl sees Carol leaving, the two spot a car with the white cross painted over it. They go on a mission to follow the car in the hopes of rescuing Beth. A similar sedan was one that kidnapped Beth last Season.
This episode opens up in a flashback right after Rick exiled Carol from the prison. It shows you what she went through as she was facing her own torment for killing Karen and David. After some crying in a car and an annoying walker that won’t “go away,” Carol sets camp inside a law firm, within a small town, near the prison. Carol quickly learns to use her survival skills to collect empty bottles and hangs clothing hangers outside, for grabbing water. The next morning, while she is manning the window she sees gray smoke coming from the location of the prison. She drives her car in that direction and finds the prison ablaze.
Back in present day, Carol and Daryl are pursuing the mysterious white crossed vehicle in the dark. Daryl explains to Carol that when he was with Beth, she got strong and is now gone. This mission inevitably leads them into Atlanta, GA, on highway 85. At this point in the apocalypse, Atlanta is a wasteland. Shrouded in total darkness, the city has become a zone for the dead. Daryl stops the car about twenty yards from the vehicle when a police officer steps out. They keep their lights off and hide in the darkness, while waiting to see what the cop is doing. It comes clear that wherever these people are going, it is further within the city. However, Daryl is unable to restart the car and continue their pursuit due to them running out of gas. There only option is to continue out on foot. Carol mentions a place they can lay low for the night nearby. Daryl and Carol take out a few walkers when they get out. The two break into the exterior of the building just before a crowd of walkers can overtake them. There are so many walkers inside Atlanta that the noise of crickets are replaced by the groans and moans of the undead.
Inside the building, is a shelter clinic. Daryl asks Carol if this is a place she once worked. Carol replies, “it’s something,” being non too discreet. After snatching the keys off a dead walker, they’re able to get inside a hallway that encompasses several different rooms. Carol tells Daryl it’s a housing development she stayed with Sophia. In one of the rooms, an advice book for coping with child abuse rests on a desk as well as a bunk bed. Carol decides to take the top bunk while Daryl sits on the bottom. Carol tells Daryl he can sleep because she will take watch. Daryl tries to explain there is no need for that, because they’re securely locked inside. Daryl tries to get Carol to talk. She gives a negative reply, saying she can’t save anyone. Carol is trying to change her thought process by helping Daryl save Beth. Soon enough there is a moment when the two are lying on the lower bunk bed together, when I thought they were going to hook up. But to my surprise, they didn’t. Instead they heard a banging sound within the compound. Shining their flash lights through a pitched black hallway, they find a zombified mother and daughter clawing at a platted glass behind a door. Carol announces she will take care of them when Daryl steps in and reassures her she does not have to.
The next morning, Carol wakes up to see a bonfire and some smoke. When she goes outside onto a courtyard, she sees Daryl burning the mother and daughter walkers. Daryl took upon himself to take out the trash. This played out very poetically. Daryl brings the mother walker wrapped from head to toe in a white thick cloth and softly places the body in the fire. Carol thanks Daryl as they watch the flames hit the sky.
The next scene shows a brief flashback when Carol and Tyreese were burying Lizzie and Mika in the grove. Carol looks up and sees that the fire started by Daryl and Beth has ceased. When smoke turns from gray to white, that’s when you know it stopped burning, according to Mika.
Back at the shelter, Daryl and Carol gear up to head in the direction of where the crossed painted car went. Walking steadily down the filled city streets of walkers, they hug the walls. Daryl stops them at a corner to a large group of walkers in a clearing. Daryl notices a tall building they can look out across the city for any clues. Daryl then sees how they can get inside, via a bridge to the left. He sets fire to a notepad he picked up and throws it towards the walkers as a distraction. They walk around the corner quickly, but quietly, while shooting an arrow through a walker’s head in the process. Daryl and Carol head upstairs to the bridge, filled with camped out walkers. Walkers moaning in their sleeping bags, while others shove to get out of their tents. Daryl and Carol take out the cozy walkers and squeeze themselves through a pad locked door. A dark figure in the shadows creeps about. How did these people die? Were they killed in their sleep by someone or does it have anything to do with the bombing of Atlanta? We won’t ever know.
When they find a room with a good view of the city, they peer across the dead landscape. Carol looks out at the ruined city and reflects. Carol confines in Daryl that what happened to Lizzie and Mika was worse than death. “How did we get here?” Carol says. “It just happened,” Daryl replies. Using the scope from Carol’s rifle, Daryl spots a van with the same white cross painted on the back. The van is subsequently leaning over a bridge. However, it is a lead at best. Within the office room, Daryl spots a painting and makes fun of it by saying a dog smeared his ass all over it. Carol disagrees and says its still art. The two head out.
When they return to the walker camping bridge, they get robbed by Noah. Noah who was helped by Beth to escape Grady Memorial Hospital, is now holding a gun up to her friends. After Noah points Carol’s rifle at them, he demands Daryl to give up his crossbow. It ain’t smart to be stealing Daryl’s crossbow. You’re going to regret it Noah. Before Noah takes off, he tells them, “You two look like you can handle yourselves.” He cuts open the tents as a distraction as Carol aims her revolver at Noah’s legs. Daryl stops Carol from shooting him. They kill the walkers and chase after Noah only to be stopped by a locked door. Carol immediately says she was only going for his legs and was not planning on killing him, only slowing him down. “He’s only a kid,” Daryl replies. Carol doesn’t want anyone else to die and if she’s going to hell she at least wants to hold out as long as she can. Daryl is breaking in the lock with his knife when items out of his bag fall out. One of the things being the child abuse survival guide that was on the desk at the shelter. Daryl had issues he had to overcome just as much as Carol. Daryl manages to open the door.
A third flashback ensues during the moment when Carol burned Karen and David at the prison. Carol is starring at the dead burning bodies in remorse.
Back in Atlanta, Daryl and Carol walk onto the bridge of where the van is located. They are surrounded by a city that belongs to the dead, with only two knives and three bullets from a revolver. They need to be careful. They come to the van that has its front nose in midair, angled downwards. Daryl opens the back door to search for any clues. When Carol joins, they get swarmed by a herd of walkers from either side of them on the bridge. They take out a few with their knives when they soon realize their only choice is to get inside the van. Daryl notices on a gurney that the vehicle is from, Grady Memorial Hospital. A second later, they both agree that in order to get out of this scenario they need to sit up front, buckle in, nose dive the van below the bridge and pray they don’t die. This was the most intense part of the episode. I was getting butterflies in my stomach like from a roller coaster, before they fell off the bridge. The two lean forward, using their weights to push the van off the bridge. They hold their hands as the van goes tumbling forward, smacking onto the ground below. With a few minor cuts and bruises, they’re okay. Walkers from atop rain down on the vehicle; one even smashes into the windshield. Daryl and Carol get out, stumble about and press on.
A fourth flashback happens in the moments after Carol leaves Terminus. She comes into the woods wearing her walker camouflage outfit. She takes off the bloody poncho and cleans off her stained face. She heads deeper into the woods behind the sounds of gunshots and a giant blazing fire. I’m guessing fire plays a big role in the theme of this episode.
Present day, Daryl is weary of Carol’s bruise. She’s bleeding from the seat belt and the impact of the crash. Nothing too serious as Carol explains, adding she’s had worse. The hospital is only three blocks away. They head to higher ground to get a better view. Inside the hallways of another building, Daryl picks up a machete off a incapacitated walker. They find a lookout point and some potato chips. The two share another moment of reflection. Carol is depressed by what she’s become in this horrid world. Carol explains the title of the episode when she says that the new world consumes them. Daryl sheds a positive light on her issue and says, “we’re not ashes.” In my opinion, they’ve both changed for the better. After Ed and Sophia’s death and living at the prison, Carol grew into the person she always wanted to be. Daryl changed as well. Carol tells Daryl he evolved from a boy into a man. Merle was holding him back all these years and the abuse he acquired from his father dampened his potential. And Carol would go to the shelter with Sophia for a few days just to get beat up again by Ed after she got home. In a way, the apocalypse made her human. Before this, she was nothing but a scared girl, afraid of her own shadow.
Daryl spots the hospital, a mere three blocks away. Immediately after, they hear a noise. They follow the sound to a walker trapped against a wall with an arrow through its neck. Daryl slices the walkers head with the machete as he takes the arrow out. It is clear that the arrow is from his crossbow and that Noah is close by. They hear gunshots when Carol finds Noah fending off a walker. Carol slips and hurts herself again with a walker when Daryl quickly comes to her aid. Daryl then runs after Noah who is barricading himself with a wooden bookshelf. Daryl then tackles Noah to the ground causing the book shelf to fall onto Noah, as a walker desperately tries squeezing through the door. Daryl grabs his crossbow as Noah pleads for help as he’s pinned under the bookshelf. Daryl does not buy it, grabs a cigarette and walks away. Carol tries getting Daryl to save the kid. Daryl suggests they leave him. As Noah apologizes, the walker gets through the door and comes close to his face. Before the walker could bite Noah and before Carol could stab it, Daryl shoots an arrow through the walker’s head. This causes Daryl to help Carol lift up the bookshelf. Noah gets up and limps around, talking about how the people at the hospital most likely heard the gunshots and will find him. Once Noah mentions the hospital, Daryl and Carol stop to tell him there looking for a young blonde girl. Noah immediately states that Beth is at the hospital and helped him escape. Daryl and Carol decide to trust Noah as he guides them closer.
On their way to the hospital, Carol gets struck by a car. Before Daryl has a chance of running over to Carol, Noah stops him. The police officers from inside the crossed painted car get out and carry Carol onto a gurney. Noah relaxes Daryl and says the people at the hospital will take care of her. They have medicine, machines, nurses and a doctor, he explains. But Noah is too afraid of revealing himself. The police officers who hit Carol, drive off and head towards the hospital. Daryl asks Noah what it will take to rescue Carol and Beth. “A lot”, Noah replies adding, they have people and weapons. “So do we,” Daryl boldly admits. Not so long later, Daryl and Noah get a truck working. Daryl drives the truck as Noah rides shotgun. They head out on the road away from the city, towards the church where Rick and the others are camped. Noah has a look on his face that reads, “what did I get myself into?”
That was really an awesome episode. I liked that they filmed in Atlanta again too. Last time we saw Atlanta, was all the way back in Season 1. Atlanta certainly has changed a lot. It has become a crumb of its former self. This episode demonstrated how close Daryl and Carol have become. They have an onscreen chemistry that tells a story without the use of any dialogue. At this point, they’re able to communicate everything to one another using body language. And they’re the same people, because they’ve been through hell and came out strong. The story behind the Daryl and Carol adventures was an exciting tale told poetically and spiritually. I can’t wait til Daryl regroups with the others to unleash Rick’s fury. Dawn and her police squad better be ready at the hospital, because Rick has become merciless.
The theme as I stated earlier in this post has something to do with fire. Daryl and Carol mention the essence of fire as well as being surrounded by it. Fire is what cleanses the victims. Carol’s view on the flames changes throughout her flashbacks. First the fire comes as a warning, next it’s used to bury it, the third flashback is about facing the problem head on (guilt), while the fourth would be moving on. This episode was a moody and artistic piece that demonstrated how much our earliest survivors have changed throughout the series. Will they save Carol and Beth? We won’t find out til next Sunday. Stay calm.