Daryl and Carol Are Not Okay

Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) aren’t okay.Photo: Edi Ade/AMCThree weeks in the past, I titled the headline of my recap about The Walking Dead episode that explored Daryl’s romantic previous and his and Carol’s offended struggle within the current “The Daryl and Carol Power Hour Returns, Minus the Power.” Well, “The Daryl & Carol Power Hour” has returned for its third outing, solely this time it’s lacking the “and,” too.“Diverged,” as might be simply guessed by its title, is about Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) going their separate methods after the struggle in “Find Me” the place Daryl, not unreasonably, received mad at Carol for at all times operating as an alternative of going through her guilt over the implications of her actions (e.g., Connie’s presumed dying and the Whisperers’ destruction of Alexandria). The episode begins with them actually diverging by taking completely different paths at a fork within the street, Carol heading again dwelling, whereas Daryl’s going to hold within the woods awhile. The solely factor achieved in “Diverged” is that it ends with Daryl and Carol again collectively on a (figurative, this time) path again to friendship. As such, it feels just like the least consequential of those additional, pandemic-affected bonus episodes of season 10. Honestly, I can sum up Daryl’s storyline right here: His motorbike breaks, he hurts his leg a bit attempting to get a alternative half, there are a number of zombies, then he heads again to Alexandria himself. If there’s that means right here, it’s that Daryl is healthier off with Carol, which is form of belied by the truth that he spent like seven years away from Alexandria and was simply wonderful. Carol’s “path” is longer and has a bit extra happening, though it may be summed up as Carol having a serious guilt journey over what she’s achieved, which now appears to have additionally value her a greatest buddy. She feels damaged on a number of ranges and in an try and ignore these emotions, she begins attempting to repair something she will when she returns to Alexandria—together with a shawl and some rubbish she picks up off the bottom. (Maybe a watch? Folks, I can’t categorical how darkish these screeners are.) When Jerry (Cooper Andrews) tells her the Alexandrians sort of have the rebuilding underneath management, she desperately asks him if there’s something she will do to contribute, and he says make some lunch.G/O Media might get a commissionPictured, left to proper: One troubled girl, one good boy.Image: Edi Ade/AMCCarol is extremely pleased to have one thing significant to do, and there’s the bonus that this implies she additionally has to repair the photo voltaic panel generator to get the vitality to get a sluggish cooker working. Unfortunately, there’s a rat free in her residence, which units off Dog in a frenzy, who causes some dwelling harm and knocks over her meals provides whereas chasing it, to no avail. Carol spends a number of happy hours constructing a rattrap, then heads again into the wilderness, finds some dandelions greens and issues for the soup, and kills a bunch of zombies. When an unnaturally peppy, gore-covered Carol returns to Alexandria, Jerry is clearly involved.Here’s the place issues get bizarre and a bit foolish. Carol has caught the rat in a field, however has no technique of holding the rat caught upon lifting the field, so it drops to the bottom and scurries away and Carol lets out a yip (extra on that beneath). What follows is a goofy rat chase which might actually not be misplaced in a Tom & Jerry cartoon. In the top, the rat escapes into the wall, one other downside Carol has failed to repair, and she heads to mattress with an adorably snuggly Dog. “Don’t fear, he at all times comes again,” she tells Dog. “I don’t although, do I?”In the midnight, Carol and Dog hear the rat scurrying round within the partitions, and Carol grabs her knife and stabs by means of the drywall the place she thinks the rat is lurking. Then she does it once more. And once more. And once more. And finally, she’s outright destroying her total wall in a frenzy. It ought to go with out saying that the rat is neither killed, caught, nor even noticed. The subsequent morning, Jerry involves test on her and spies the wall. It’s not simply in regards to the gore or lack of soup, however Jerry discovered the true downside: she left Alexandria with Daryl and she got here again alone and upset. She fesses up, and asks, “What when you’re damaged and your greatest buddy simply realized it later than everybody else?” Jerry offers her an enormous ol’ hug, and they watch silently because the rat casually strolls out of her place and down the road. Shortly thereafter, Daryl rolls into city, Carol spots him and they’ve a impartial dialog that clearly signifies they’re already on the mend, even when Daryl nonetheless wants extra time. On the opposite hand, Daryl enters his home which is lower than 10 yards away from Carol’s place, so he most likely doesn’t want that rather more time. Carol even smiles a bit as he goes inside. Image: Edi Ade/AMCHonestly, this episode didn’t must exist. It was extraordinarily sluggish, even in comparison with the opposite season 10/pandemic episodes, and it rapidly wraps up one thing—Daryl and Carol’s struggle—that we already knew would have been wrapped ultimately, and that is the very subsequent episode they’ve appeared in collectively for the reason that spat. I’m actually curious to see if there will probably be some other repercussions past this, though I’d be shocked in the event that they have been. It feels just like the struggle was created simply as a option to fill this episode.The greatest difficulty is that “Diverged” is impossibly heavy-handed with its metaphors. Sure, the show has by no means precisely been deft with these items, however solely sometimes has it been worse. Carol’s desperation to make things better was simply the exterior show of her feeling damaged internally, and as a result of she’s apprehensive she and Daryl have damaged up as BFFs endlessly. But that didn’t have actually any emotional stakes as a result of their relationship has been offered as so sturdy for thus lengthy that it’s virtually not possible to imagine one medium-sized struggle would finish all of it.It’s an pointless episode and a clunky one, but it surely’s inoffensive, particularly because it’s one in every of season 10’s bonus episodes—the final of which is able to air subsequent Sunday and give us Negan’s much-touted origin story. The Walking Dead’s observe document with episodes primarily involving Negan has been uneven at greatest, however to date I feel the show has benefitted from having this small batch of quiet, easy episodes. Maybe Negan will, too.Image: Edi Ade/AMCAssorted Musings:I simply need you to think about the day from Jerry’s viewpoint: Carol asks what she will do to assist; Jerry asks for some soup; he sees Carol depart; he sees Carol return coated in blood; he goes to mattress with the soup having by no means been seen or talked about once more.I’d like to get a hug from Jerry. It seems pleasant.I beloved Carol’s faux snort at Jerry’s gentle quip, in addition to the best way her smile immediately falls off her face when nobody’s trying. Melissa McBride is a delight.So let’s speak about Carol’s yip upon seeing the rat. It feels uncharacteristic for a lady who has been in large hazard from residing and no longer alive folks alike and gone by means of some extremely grim stuff to be fearful of a mere rat, however I feel it’s wonderful. Even if I managed to dwell greater than three days within the zombie apocalypse and turned some nice survivalist, I wager I’d nonetheless run like hell from a bee.For extra, ensure you’re following us on our Instagram @io9dotcom.
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