Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Walking Dead S4E12 "Still" 3/2/14

This episode is pretty talky, but it's also pretty much filler - the plot doesn't move forward since all we do is hang out with Daryl and Beth on their quest to get Beth her first drink - so I'm not going to stress about getting too much of the dialogue right.  On the plus side, this has got to be the most concentrated screen time Norman Reedus has had since the series began.

Daryl and Beth scamper through the woods, trying to avoid a herd of zombies.  This really isn't that scary anymore, since all our main characters are turning into survivalist killers and know how to put down zombies.  But there are a lot of walkers in this herd so Daryl and Beth take shelter in the trunk of a big derelict car, tying it closed.  They sit there, through the night, clutching their weapons and hoping the walkers don't get the trunk open.  All we see is their faces, and the light moving as the zombies move past; we hear the growls and grunts and snarls of what sounds like hundreds of zombies.  It's a little tense and pretty well done.  In the morning, once the herd has moved on, they climb out of the trunk into the sunshine.  [And here I call bullshit #1: they would have been so cramped after staying in the trunk the whole night that they couldn't have moved around that well.]  They scavenge some stuff from the wreckage - metal hubcaps, a side mirror, pieces of glass - and move on.  Neither of them has said a word this whole time.  Daryl seems okay with this, Beth less so.

They set up camp, stringing the hubcaps along the perimeter as a warning system, using the glass and mirror to start a fire.  Daryl misses a squirrel (because his crossbow quarrels are starting to deteriorate) but catches, skins and cooks them a big ol' snake.  They eat, not talking to each other.  Finally, Beth has had enough and announces that she needs a drink.  Daryl tosses her a water bottle and she's like, no, a real drink, 'cuz I've never had one.  Daryl isn't interested and so she sets off on her own.  She runs into some forest zombies, of course, but manages to avoid them.  Daryl finds her and takes her back to camp and she pitches a fit: I want a drink!  He gives up and they head off on their quest to get her drunk.

They find a country club - where the zombies wear cardigans and pearls - and the clubhouse is pretty gruesome.  People were camped out in there ... until they gave up and hung themselves, and now three zombies dangle from the ceiling, squirming lankly and growling.  Daryl and Beth make their way through the clubhouse, searching.  Daryl finds a big bag of money and, even though paper currency is useless anymore, is unable to leave it behind.  Beth finds a bottle of wine in the kitchen but ends up smashing it over an attacking zombie's head.  When they get to the pro shop, Beth delightedly changes her shirt.  She only stays clean for a few minutes, however, because when they get cornered by walkers in the locker room, Daryl goes to town on them with a set of golf clubs, dispatching the last of them with a mighty swing that splatters poor Beth with gore.  She glares at him.

Finally, they get to the bar.  She says [paraphrased] that all she wanted to do today was lay down and cry, but that isn't possible so she latched onto getting her first drink.  Daryl shrugs.  She searches the bar and finds an intact bottle of peach schnapps.  Beth: Is it good? Daryl: Nah.  She fusses around, cleaning cups, steeling herself while Daryl throws darts.  And then she can't do it, clutching the bottle and sobbing.  Daryl watches her, looks away, looks at her again.  Then he stomps up, snatches the bottle out of her hand and smashes it to the floor.  He growls, "Ain't gonna have your first drink be no peach schnapps.  C'mon."  Beth dries her eyes and follows him out of the clubhouse.

They walk through the woods a ways until they come upon a ramshackle redneck hovel.  Daryl says that he and Michonne found this place a while ago.  He heads straight to a back shed where, lo and behold, there's a still and numerous mason jars of moonshine.  They take the booze into the house which is appalling - and probably looked almost as bad before the zombie apocalypse.  Daryl pours her a slug: "There's a real first drink right there."  Beth takes a sip and flinches a little: "That's the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted."  Then she drinks again.  [And here I call bullshit #2: there is NO WAY she could be drinking moonshine like that.  No effing way.]

Beth convinces Daryl that they should make the best of it and they commence to drinking. After a bit, Beth teaches him how to play "I Never" (which her friends would play while she watched.  Beth: I never shot a crossbow.  Daryl drinks.  Daryl: I never been out of Georgia.  Beth drinks.  Beth: I've been drunk and done something I regretted.  Daryl takes a big drink.  Daryl:  I never been on vacation.  Beth drinks.  Beth: I've never been in jail.  Daryl, wounded: Is that what you think of me?  Drink up.  Before long, though, Daryl turns into a belligerent drunk (actually, it's kind of abrupt, like a scene was edited out).  He starts shouting about how he never ate frozen yogurt, never got nothing from Santa Claus, never cut his wrists looking for attention.  Beth gets nervous because drunk Daryl is a little scary.  A lone zombie starts banging around outside and Daryl gets an idea: You never shot a crossbow? He grabs Beth and drags her outside.  With a quick couple of shots, he pins the zombie to a tree and then forces Beth to shoot at the trapped walker.  She breaks loose and stabs the zombie in the head with her knife.

She shouts at him, [paraphrasing] you need to feel something for the people we lost, you need to admit how you feel, and you need to let people get close to you.  Daryl finally reaches his breaking point, shouting back that they've lost everyone.  "Governor rolled right up to our gates. [Voice breaking] Maybe if I hadn't stopped looking ... that's on me.  And your dad - maybe I could have done something."  He turns away from her but she grabs him from behind in a hug.  He hangs his head and you can hear his quiet sobs.

That night, Beth is still sipping at the moonshine [bullshit, I say!] although Daryl decides to abstain.  He notes that she's a happy drunk but he's a dick.  They talk and talk and talk, and Daryl is more relaxed and open than he's been, telling her that he was nothing before the zombies came, just a redneck asshole, following Merle around, getting in trouble.  Beth tells him earnestly that he's changed, he's a better man now and he was made to survive this hell on earth.  "I'm going to die but you'll be the last man standing."  Daryl doesn't look that happy at the prospect and notes that perhaps she is not a happy drunk.  At the end, instead of barricading themselves in the hovel, Beth suggests that they burn the house down and leave it, and Daryl's past, behind them.  They slosh the remaining moonshine all over the place and light it up.  They watch the blaze for a bit, each of them giving the inferno the finger, and then march off into the darkness.  [Bullshit #3: Starting a fire in a heavily wooded area with no way to contain it?  Bad idea.  Walking off into the zombie-infested forest in the dark of night, having just burned down a safe haven?  Very bad idea - but a nice visual.]

Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead

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