Episode Title: Them
Original Airdate: 2-15-15
After two consecutive deaths, it was time for the group to have some quiet reflection. As they wend their way to Washington, D.C. (as decided the best bet since that’s where big, fat liar Eugene was headed), the group must deal with starvation, dehydration, and exhaustion, both physical and mental. Most of the grief focus is put on the deceased’s siblings, Sasha and Maggie, as well as Daryl. Sasha becomes a loose cannon wanting to shoot at anything to take out her anger over Tyreese’s death, while Maggie and Daryl seem to simply give up any hope of carrying on. After a massive rainstorm drives the group to take shelter in an abandoned barn, a horde of Walkers raids in the middle of the night, with Daryl, Sasha and Maggie being the first to hold the fort to keep them out. The next morning, Sasha and Maggie meet a stranger named Aaron, who has clearly been following them, because he politely asks to speak to their leader, calling Rick by name.
It was time to take things down a notch and process what had recently occurred. I fully understand and support Sasha and Maggie’s mourning in this episode, as Tyreese and Beth were the last blood relatives these two had, respectively. What I’ve never come around to is the Daryl and Beth relationship. Since the show never really reveals how much time has truly passed, it’s unknown how long they were on they road together after the prison’s collapse. Though there was some hint of a romantic interest on Beth’s part in S4’s “Alone,” I never felt there was really anything between the two of them. Most of Daryl’s grief could be guilt over Beth being taken by Dawn’s group on his watch, which eventually led to her death, but even still, it all feels very forced for his character. Even when he thought Carol had died after arriving at the prison in S3, he didn’t seem to have this weight on his shoulders, and those two had clearly developed some sort of romantic relationship, though nothing was ever shown. So Daryl’s extreme grief just doesn’t sit well with me.
Other than my inability to wrap my head around Daryl’s emotional breakdown, the episode was fine, being more filler than anything. There was a lot of walking, resting and worrying over the future. Honestly, the thing that caught my attention the most was the bound Walker in the trunk of the abandoned car. What was her story? How horrible if she had been a kidnap victim in the middle of the zombie apocalypse. It’s little moments like this that really make me think on the world they’ve created. Otherwise, I felt this was a more “bridge the gap” episode until next week when we learn more about this newcomer Aaron and what misadventure the group will undoubtedly embark on next.