Monday, March 3, 2014

The Walking Dead, Season Four, Episode 12: Still

It's night time and Daryl and Beth find an abandoned car. Beth tries to get the car to start while Daryl keeps watch.  When zombies approach, Darryl and Beth both climb into the trunk and watch as the zombie shadows move past them.  Beth brandishes a knife and Darryl of course has his trusty crossbow.  In the morning, all is silent but Darryl is still vigilant. Beth pops the hood of the  trunk and  they both crawl out. Beth and Darryl search the car and surrounding area for things that could be potentially useful and then Darryl walks away, with Beth following a few feet behind.  Not a word has been exchanged between them.  Beth has clearly come a long way since taking to her bed.

Darryl uses his crossbow to attempt to kill a squirrel and gets a broken arrow for his trouble. Beth uses the side window from the car to start a fire.  A rattlesnake slithers its way along the ground, and Darryl makes short work of it.  He skins it as Beth stands back watching.  Later, we see Darryl and Beth feasting on the snake (note: according Norman Reedus it is actually an eel). Beth tells Darryl that she needs a drink and when he tosses her the water, she makes it clear that she wants alcohol.  Beth admits that she has been a lifetime teetotaler because of Herschel but since he isn't around anymore, she suggests they go find some booze.  Darryl continues to eat, as flies move around. When he doesn't answer, Beth grabs a knife and walks away, telling Darryl to enjoy his snake jerky.  Beth makes her way through the woods but is forced to stop when a group of zombies become visible.  Beth throws a rock away from her to distract the zombies and they all change direction.  What she doesn't know is that Darryl was covering her.  When he walks away, Beth follows him until they are back at camp. Darryl tells Beth that she has had her fun and she asks what the hell is wrong with him.  Beth accuses Darryl of wanting to spend the rest of his life staring into the fire.  Beth asserts that she can take of herself and is going to get a damn drink before storming off.

Beth comes to a golf course and quips to Darryl that golfers like to booze it up.  They head to the clubhouse and Beth says that there might be people inside.  Beth tries the doors but finds them locked,as the zombies continue to make their way across the course.  They head to another door and find it open.  There are walkers hanging from the ceiling by nooses and bodies litter the floor.  Darryl and Beth make their way cautiously through the club house, with Beth picking up a commemorative spoon and other items.   Darryl scoops up a bag of money and jewels.  When Beth asks why he is keeping that stuff, Darryl does not answer.  They make their way into what had to have been the kitchen area and find it ransacked.   Beth manages to find a bottle but is the forced to break it over the head of the walker who attacks her.  Beth uses the broken bottle to bash it's head in and then finally resorts to a knife. When she sees Darryl, Beth snarks, "thanks for the help," but Darryl reminds Beth of her pledge to take care of herself.  They come across a cadaver nailed to the wall with the words, "Rich Bitch" stabled to its chest, as Beth finds new clothing and changes.  Beth asks for help lowering the cadaver and Darryl simply drapes a cloth over it saying that it doesn't matter because she is dead.

Walkers appear and Darryl starts fighting them off, while Beth cowers in a corner.  In a fit of rage, he beats one repeatedly with a golf club, smattering Beth's new clothing with blood.  Beth takes off the sweater in disgust and walks away. Darryl follows and Beth admits that what they are doing is stupid and tells him to beat up on walkers if that makes him feel better because she needs to do this.  Beth grabs a bottle from behind the bar and it's Peach Schnapps.  When she asks if it's good Darryl says no. Beth points out that it's the only thing left.  Darryl starts to play darts but aims at the pictures on the wall instead of the board. Beth struggles to get the bottle open and finally sits there crying in frustration.  Darryl walks over smashes the bottle on the ground and says, "we ain't going to have your first drink be no damned peach schnapps."  He opens the door and tells Beth to follow.

Back in the woods, Beth is trying to guess what Darryl was doing before the turn.  Darryl says that it doesn't matter  Darryl brings Beth to a place he found with Michonne and says that it's better than a liquor store. Darryl opens up the still and hands Beth mason jars of moonshine. Darryl opens the jar and pours a drink for Beth calling it a real drink.  Beth hesitates saying that Hershel warned bad moonshine could make you go blind.  Beth takes a sip, calls it disgusting but keeps drinking.  Beth offers a drink to Darryl and he says that someone has to keep watch.  Darryl says that he knew what this place was because his father had a place just like this.  When a zombie appears outside, Darryl says that they will get it if it makes too much noise. Beth hands Darryl moonshine again and this time he has a seat and accepts.

Later, Beth comes up with a drinking game to play and Darryl says that he has never needed a game to get drunk before. Beth starts by saying that she has never shot a crossbow and orders Darryl to drink.  Darryl admits that he has never been outside of Georgia and Beth drinks.  Beth says that she has never been drunk and done something that she has regretted and Darryl drinks.  It's Darryl's turn and he says that he has never been on vacation and that camping was something to learn hunting skills and Beth drinks.  Beth says that she has never been in jail as a prisoner and Darryl asks if this is what she thinks of him.  Beth argues that she didn't mean anything serious because even Herschel has been in a drunk tank.  Beth asks if Darryl was a prison guard and he says no and orders her to drink up. Darryl gets up saying he has to piss to avoid taking his turn.  He then says that he has never eaten frozen yogurt, never had a pet pony, never got anything from Santa Claus, never relied on anyone for protection and never sang in front of a big group like everything was fun and sure as hell never cut his wrist looking for attention.The zombie gets louder and Darryl grabs his crossbow and drags Beth outside saying that he is going to show her how to shoot the crossbow.  Beth begs for him to stop, as Darryl wraps his arms around Beth.  Beth grabs an arrow and stabs the walker in the head.  Beth says that she wants Darryl to stop acting like the people they lost mean nothing to them.  Beth adds that he looks at her and sees just another girl and is bewildered that she survived. Beth accuses Darryl of being afraid but he denies it.  Beth tells Darryl that she remembers when Sophia came out of the barn and Darryl's reaction. Darryl throws the loss of her family and her boyfriends in her face.  Darryl screams that everyone they know is dead. It seems that Darryl thinks what happened was his fault because he stopped looking for The Governor and wonders if he could have done something. Beth throws her arms around Darryl as he cries.

Later that night Beth says that she understands why her father stopped drinking but wishes she could feel like this all the time. Darryl tells Beth that she is lucky that she is a happy drunk because he is a dick when he is drunk. Darryl starts talking about a tweeker he and Merle hung out with and a fight that broke out. When the tweeker pulled a gun on Darryl, Merle pulled his gun and Darryl thought he was dead over an argument about a cartoon, about a talking dead.  Darryl says that before the turn he was drifting around with Merle following Merle's lead.  Darryl admits that he was nobody, nothing, "just some redneck asshole with a bigger asshole for a brother."  Beth asks Darryl if he misses Merle and adds that she misses Maggie and her big brother Sean. Beth adds that she thought they would live happily ever after at the prison and that when Hershel finally died, it would be quiet and surrounded by people he loved. Beth drinks more moonshine and Darryl comforts her saying that this is how it was supposed to be.  Beth says that she wishes that she could change and that Darryl was made for how things are.  Darryl replies that he is just used to this because he grew up ugly. Beth says that she will be gone someday and that Darryl will be the last man standing.  Beth then tells Darryl that he is going to miss her and she warns that he has to stay who he is and not who he was. Darryl suggests they head inside but Beth suggests they burn the cabin down instead.   Darryl gets up and heads inside saying they are going to need more booze.  In the cabin, Beth and Darryl splash the moonshine around. Outside, they light a match box on fire and toss into the cabin watching as the cabin burns. Beth and Darryl both give the cabin the finger as the fire grows.  Finally, they walk away together not pausing to look back.

According to the Talking Dead, this is the first Walking Dead episode to feature only two characters.  We learned a lot about Darryl - primarily what he was doing before the apocalypse. The prison group really became his family and gave him an identity because before the turn he was rudderless.  He doesn't know how to deal with his emotions and much like an earlier episode with Michonne he reverted.  The only difference here is that Beth is the one who pulled him out of the funk.

There was a lot of talk last night on Twitter about Beth and Darryl becoming a couple.  Slashers can have all the fun they want with that but I don't want to see that happen.  Beth is simply a teenage girl and Darryl is a mean in his thirties.  I don't want to see that but I do like the recognition that no one can make it on their own and that both Darryl and Beth need someone.

I really liked the scene where Darryl blew up at Beth.  It's true that she survived the apocalypse but even in a case where the dead walk the earth, Beth has been sheltered.  It was a luxury to lie in one's bed and expect other to take care of you.  Before the turn, Beth had the childhood that Darryl couldn't even begin to dream of.  The differences between them is light years and yet, hey managed to come to an accord out of necessity. When Beth wanted a drink, Darryl understood that he was dealing with a young person who despite it all wanted to do what young people do.

Beth made a point of saying that she had to find a way to survive somehow.  Let's be honest, Beth did not contribute much because she simply wasn't capable of it.  At best, Beth could sing a song to make people feel better and take care of Judith.  She found ways to contribute that worked for her and that deserved to be recognized even if I will always and forever think of her as the girl who took to her bed.