It’s the Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Beth (Emily Kinney) show on The Walking Dead this week as the pair work through some issues. So can these two carry a whole episode on their own?
Sigh. I want to say that this episode was a transformative one where Beth emerges from the background and becomes a fully-fleshed, interesting character, and that we learn more about Daryl than we ever have before, but alas, none of this happened and instead ‘Still’ clocked in as my least favourite episode of the series to date.
And that primarily has to do with Beth. She is THE WORST. The entire episode focuses on her quest for her first drink. Really Beth? I was encouraged in the episode’s first moments as we got to see Daryl go into survival mode, skinning a rattlesnake with his bare hands and setting up quite the camp. After all the time we’ve spend in an apocalypse setting, it’s good to see Daryl embrace his inner Bear Grylls because quite frankly, it’s about time some one did. But when Beth stomps off hell-bent on doing her best ‘girls gone wild’ impression I wanted to kill her myself. I get that she’s probably not the brightest crayon in the box, but after all this time, she must know that the world isn’t the same and therefore, her childish desires don’t make any kind of sense. I couldn’t buy into her holding on to these touch points as they just aren’t relevant in the post-apocalypse world.
It’s also incredibly selfish of her because she knows that Daryl will follow her. I get venturing into the woods to try and find a more permanent homestead, but to get a drink? Beth, you are THE WORST. Why must the majority of the women characters on this show be so clueless?
The episode’s one saving grace is the information we get about Daryl and Reedus’ performance in the episode’s third act. We learn that he wasn’t doing anything pre-apocalypse aside from following his brother around aimlessly. There’s poignancy in that considering that he will indeed end up being the ‘last man standing’ as Beth predicts. It’s also nice to finally see Daryl break down his walls and deal with the sorrow of losing his prison family. But what we had to sit through to get to this point? Almost not worth it. Need I remind you that in order to get these revelations, we need to endure a game of “never have I ever’. Daryl Dixon playing slumber party games. It seems as though The Walking Dead has reached a new low.
In a way, I admire The Walking Dead‘s ambition to further develop characters that’ve been around for a while, but at this point in the series, episodes like this feel out of place and momentum stalling. There’s simply isn’t enough substance to warrant the slow-setups that we need to sit through to get to them. Let’s hurry up and get to Terminus so we can get to the juicy stuff.
- It seemed as though the show was giving us a lot of knowing nods but failed to capitalize on their potential. Beth calls out the fact that everyone is puzzled why she’s still around, which illustrates the kind of self-actualization I never thought her possible of, but then chalks it up to ‘some higher purpose’. *Groan* No Beth, you’re around because you know whose coattails to ride on. If she acknowledged this and found a way to be more useful in the process, then we’d be getting somewhere.
- I don’t understand why Daryl is hoarding the stacks of cash and jewels from the country club. I get that it’s probably a reflex, but he should know better at this point.
- Daryl going to town on the (formerly elitist) country club walkers is a bit too obvious for my liking.
- It looks like we’re getting a Daryl and Beth will they or won’t they situation. I do think we need to see another romantic pairing going forward, but for some reason I can’t get on board with these two.
What did you think viewers? Did you feel enriched after spending a whole hour with Daryl and Beth? Now that Beth has had her ‘very special’ episode, so you think she’s going to get killed off soon? Will these two hook up? Will we every get to Terminus this season? Sound off in the comments below.
A gentle reminder that we adhere to a SPOILER FREE zone here, so please keep any plot points from the graphic novels to yourself.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm EST on AMC.