There’s this scene in the movie Back to the Beach (stay with me, this relates) where Annette (Annette Funicello), at the time estranged from husband Frankie (Frankie Avalon), learns that Frankie is planning to throw a bonfire/crazy goodtime party on the beach, and she (and her daughter Sandi (Lori Loughlin)) aren’t invited. Rather than being upset, Annette is elated. Her ensuing conversation with Sandi goes something like this (and it’s not verbatim, I can’t find the script online or a YouTube clip of this scene, so…here’s to my memory):
Annette: Don’t you see, Sandi? He wants me back! He’s throwing this bonfire for me! He’s trying to send me a message.
Sandi: So…when Dad wants to talk to you…he burns stuff?
And that, I feel, is much of what was going on in this week’s episode of The Walking Dead. Carol burned stuff, Daryl burned stuff. They metaphorically burned away negative aspects of their pasts (Carol’s abusive marriage, Daryl’s messed up childhood), and also, you know. Burned stuff. It was sweet, really, and an indication of what life will be like for couples in the zombie apocalypse (walkers, whatever). She finds the two of them a reasonably safe place to stay, he kills and burns the parent and child walkers scratching at their front door, so she doesn’t have to.
See? Sweet. Though I suppose that’s sort of what house chores could morph into, in a dystopic hellscape like the world of The Walking Dead. Picture a night after dinner: Honey, could you…? Oh, you read my mind! Come here and give me some sugar, my zombie-burning man.
But it’s not all roses! Strangely, I find it comforting that we’ll still have those awkward, halting, strangely distant couples’ conversations in the postapocalyptic future.
But they’re trying (that’s a direct quote), and that’s the important part. This episode broke into two separate parts: the first was the tale of Daryl & Carol, the second revolved around the discovery of Noah and the beginnings of Operation: Beth Rescue.
Suspending disbelief for a moment (and this is tough), here’s what happened. Noah, all by himself, managed to get the upper hand on (geek alert: D&D reference coming), basically, a 15th level assassin and a 15th or 16th level ranger, stripping them of their guns and forcing them to fight their way back through the zombie horde. Of course, once they find Noah again they drop him under a bookcase and make him think they’re going to let a zombie eat his head, because you do not mess around with Cararyl.
You like that? Cararyl? Because I just made it up.
For me, the real oomph of the episode came right at the end, when Carol goes out into the street ahead of Noah and Daryl…and promptly gets run over by a hospital car.
The car was heading in the general direction of our intrepid band of adventurers, ostensibly because (Noah said) “they” must have heard a gunshot (from some Noah/Cararyl zombie adventures) and were coming by to check out the noise. Now. Carol walks out into the street, and we, the viewers, can hear the car tires squeal. Not to stop, no no, but rather, to speed up.
And then the cops got a gurney out of the back of the car, loaded Carol onto it, and squealed back up the road to the hospital and to Beth.
So this answers my one question, when I theorized that Carol was faking an injury in order to get indoors, like she was a super-sneaky secret spy. Clearly, um. No. BUT! Is that what these guys do? Is that how they got their hands on Beth? It could explain the cut on her cheek she woke up with. Beth’s narrative is that she was fighting a walker and then…nothing. She doesn’t remember what happened, which would be consistent with a trauma like that, which wouldn’t allow for the formation of short term memory. This subsequently wouldn’t allow for the short term to make the transfer to long-term memory. You’d think if the cops ran up next to her and fought alongside her, she’d remember that sort of thing. Instead…boom? And off they go? The stronger ones who survive wake up alone, in a strange place, essentially kidnapped, injured, and under the thumb of a dictatorial regime that doesn’t place any value on their captures as fully voiced, fully capable human beings.
The wards are just there to keep the officers happy, sez “we have to do this for the greater good” Dawn.
Ew. Which would mean they’re not just opportunists, they’re predators.
Seriously, the people are the monsters in this joint.
And if Carol dies, we riot. #TeamCarol
See you next week!
To play you out, here’s a little “Jamaica Ska” from Back to the Beach. To lighten the mood a bit. You know. Kind of a pick-me-up.