‘The Walking Dead’ Season 4, Episodes 12 “Still” & 13 “Alone” (2014) Review
Season 4 Part 2 of The Walking Dead is off and running but its not what I expected. All of the survivors have been split up into five groups with their own subplots. One group consists of Rick, Carl and Michonne who are on their way to the mysterious Terminus. Then there is Glen who is on a mission to find Maggie accompanied by Tara, Sgt. Abraham Ford, Rosita Espinosa and Dr. Eugene Porter. In addition, there is also Maggie who is stringing along Sasha and Bob to aid her in finding Glen. Oh and by the way, there is also Tyrese playing daddy to Judith, Myka and Lizzie who met up with the wayward Carol before discovering the Terminus sign. Last and certainly not least there is Daryl and Beth, the two unlikeliest characters to be on their own and the one’s with the least amount of screen time this season. However, that all changes after this episode “Still” as it focuses entirely on Daryl and Beth.
Now, with any Daryl themed episode, one would expect an action packed hour of violence. Well, not so much here as the action was translated into character development, suspense and tense moments. There was a great scene at the beginning of the episode where Daryl and Beth managed to escape an attack of walkers by hiding in an abandoned car trunk for an entire night. Maybe thats where the title of the episode comes in as they remained still. Or maybe it could be interpreted as Daryl’s attitude has grown still, he has given up hope, satisfied with thinking that the entire group of survivors are dead. After all he told Beth, “you’re never going to see Rick again”. However, Beth does not want to remain still. She wants to be on the move, destined to find something to live for and desperate for a drink.
That’s right in this episode we get to see Beth experience a part of her youth that was taken for her. Daryl assists in taking her on a tour through a golf course where they find a bottle of peach schnapps. Beth is content, but Daryl eventually comes to his senses and lets Beth know in a funny manner that schnapps isn’t fit for anyone’s first drink. So, they go to a still, yes a still yet another meaning for the title of the episode. At the still they find plenty of moonshine and Beth’s desire for a drink are answered. The two get tipsy and their emotions really come out. We learn a little more of Daryl’s dark past and see a rare emotional side of him when he talks about the death of his brother, Merle and the loss of the prison. Beth, on the other hand, seems to be enjoying her first drinking experience until some much needed walker tension appears. Eventually, they decide to use the moonshine to burn the still, and that could be interpreted as the two burning away their past demons. The episode ends with the two alone in the woods again.
As I did like the episode, I felt like it ran a little long. I thought this was just a filler episode in a season that doesn’t have time for fillers. There are only a few episodes left and they could’ve included another group here to break up some of the boring, mundane conversation scenes. I also hated the fact that they inserted the song “Up the Wolves” by The Mountain Goats as the still was burning. While it may not be a big deal now, watching this episode years from now will seem dated by that silly song. It was just totally inappropriate and obnoxiously annoying for a full 3 minutes. Please, Walking Dead creators, enough with these horrid, awful bands trying to make an impact with their shitty music.
Now, onto the episode “Alone” where character development continued as this episode focused on Maggie, Bob and Sasha as well as the ongoing saga of Daryl and Beth. The episode commences with a flashback featuring Bob where he meets up with Daryl and Glen for the first time. He explains that he is alone and opts to go with them. Now, fast forward to the present day and Bob is involved with a new crisis that leaves him alone again. Maggie is hell bent on finding Glen and in her search finds the Terminus sign, which sets her mind on the fact that Glen would go there to find her. Bob is on board but Sasha is not. She thinks Bob’s hurt and needs time to rest and heal. However, Maggie laments that their is no time for that. Some great character development here with characters who recently had extremely little screen time.
We learn that Sasha is not this tough as nails fighter. She’s scared that Tyrese may be dead and doesn’t want to face reality that if she shows up at Terminus he may not be there. What transpires is everyone going their separate ways. Sasha to live in an abandoned building, which is hard to believe. Maggie embarking on finding Glen at terminus and Bob all alone again for the third time. However, it doesn’t last long, thank god for 40 minute episodes.
Bob would rather unite with Maggie and Tyrese at Terminus then live alone with Sasha. He even tries kissing her to persuade her but it fails. However, Maggie hangs back in a desperate attempt to gain Sasha’s help, which she does and I have to say it feels forced. In the end, the three reunite and share a rare moment of happiness on their way to Terminus. Furthermore, at the conclusion of the episode, Glen finds the Terminus sign and is obviously now on the way there with his dysfunctional crew. So, if you are keeping score, all the survivors are on their way to Terminus with the exception of Daryl and Beth. Speaking of the latter, their scenes if this episode saved it from boring hell.
Daryl and Beth seem to be enjoying each other’s company, as they are shown holding hands. It seems like Daryl has found some hope in the form of Beth. Maybe this is the spark of romance or maybe he just thinks of her as a kid sister. Either way, he cares about her and wants to see her safe. They even find a funeral home, equipped with food, and the two enjoy a nice, cozy dinner with diet cola, peanut butter and pigs feet. However, Daryl’s must be distracted with Beth as he lets his guard down as the place is suddenly overrun with walkers. Daryl holds them off, but meanwhile Beth is carted off, kidnapped by someone in a hearse.
Daryl goes off trying to find her until he simply tires out and then runs into the same crew that invaded the house Rick, Michonne and Carl were staying in. A fan of the series can only wonder what would of happened if Beth was found by these men with Daryl. After all, when they found Michonne’s shirt, they couldn’t wait to put dibs on her and eventually probably would have tag teamed her. Maybe its a blessing that Beth was picked up as Daryl held his own with this crew of nutcases, hell he looks the part and fits right in, but for how long. This is where the conclusion of the season will get extremely interesting. With only 3 episodes left what will transpire.
I liked the latter part of “Alone” but like “Still” found some of the character development scenes run long and in turn felt forced. The scenes with Beth and Daryl in “Alone” were great and advanced the plot in a way that was surprising and now one can only imagine in which way they are going to go from here. Again, I hated the insertion of the song, this time at the beginning and end of the episode. Enough all ready with this crap, my ears were raped twice by “Blackbird Song” by Lee Dwyze, not a wise move at all by the creators or American Idol by selecting this guy as their season 9 winner, but that’s not either here nor there. What’s left is the final 3 episodes and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for the survivors at Terminus and also who got a hold of Beth. Also, how will Daryl deal with this miscreant band of bad guys?
– Great character development by characters who have had very little screen time including Beth, Bob and Sasha.
– Amazing scenes of suspense and gore: The scene in which Daryl goes medieval on a walker with a golf club.
– The plot thickens: The pace has picked up as all the survivors are aware of terminus, Beth is kidnapped and Daryl has to deal with maniacal madmen.
– The insertion of horrific music by bands who do not deserve to be included in The Walking Dead universe, spoiling great scenes.
– Boring conversations: “Still” with Beth and Daryl who also could work on their acting skills
– “Alone” with Sasha, Bob and Maggie whose crisis really turned into nothing and they could also use acting lessons.
Predictions: I think that everyone will arrive at Terminus only to be horrified that its run by cannibals.
Daryl will kill that entire ragtag crew that picked him up once he realizes they are the same people who ran into Rick.
Beth will be raped and pillaged and when Daryl finds out, he’ll unleash a mean streak that may never be stopped.