The Walking Dead – Recap Video and Review – Season 5 Episode 6

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Recap video and review of The Walking Dead – Season 5 Episode 6 – Consumed:

This was a stoic episode of The Walking Dead.
Or maybe stoic isn’t the right word. But the drama here was in the
little moments between Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman
Reedus), as we explored the backstories of two characters looking to
understand each other better. While I’m not sure I needed an entire
episode showing us how Carol ends up at Grady Memorial Hospital, I
mostly enjoyed “Consumed” for the character-driven hour it was.

The action of the episode centered on Carol and Daryl looking for
Beth by tailing the car with the white crosses on the back, which is the
same emblem that was on the back of the car that took Beth. Towards the
end of the episode, Daryl and Carol discover that the emblem references
Grady Memorial Hospital, and with that, they have a location to aim
towards. But it’s a long time in getting there. “Consumed” fills its
spaces with little moments that provide insight into who Carol was, and
who she’s become. Flashbacks interspersed throughout the episode show
what Carol was up to when Rick sent her away, or when she discovered the
prison in flames, and even farther back, to when she burned the bodies
of Karen and David, the act which got her banished by Rick in the first
place. In each instance, Carol is someone heading towards a pillar of
smoke, which tells us that Carol has become someone who heads towards
danger. Recalling Carol’s past as the victim of an abusive marriage, the
episode illustrates how that informs who she’s become: Carol spent so
long “doing nothing” (in her words) about her horrible circumstances,
that she now exercises every opportunity to affect change in her world,
and in the world of others. When she killed Karen and David at the
prison, she was making a choice for the greater good of the group. When
she attacked Terminus, she was looking out for the people she loved. And
when she convinces Daryl to spare Noah (Tyler James Williams) from an
oncoming walker, she’s trying to help Daryl retain some semblance of
humanity. It’s a dog-eat-dog world as it is. But Noah robbing them at
gunpoint and stealing their weapons doesn’t justify being as
cold-hearted as Carol’s late husband.

The Walking Dead - Carol thanks Daryl for burning the walkers


Credit: AMC

And that’s a decent story to tell, although there was enough padding
in the early stages of the episode that I found myself wondering if the
show had enough material to sustain it. I mean, I liked the character
moments, and felt it really fleshed Carol out as a character. But…

1) I think she’s fairly well-developed as is.

2) Even if she isn’t, I don’t think there needed to be a full episode of
this development, since so much of what changed her can be inferred
through her actions.

3) I get the thematic significance of the flashbacks, but it feels like
this show is obsessed with accounting for every single minute a given
person spends outside the group.

Do we really need to see what Carol was up to after getting banished
by Rick? We can infer that she hardened in the absence of the group.
Show her development through her actions in the present. You don’t have
to actually show us what she was up to, or get down to the
brass tacks of spending another five silent minutes showing us how
someone survives in a world with minimal supplies. I like those
survivalist scenes, generally, but usually there’s enough story around
it that it doesn’t feel like the episode is stalling for time. Yet
that’s what this felt like, a tactic to stall until we got to the end of
the episode, at which point, things could actually start happening. I’m
not entirely sure it matters how Carol got to the hospital, other than
to make sure the audience knows this wasn’t some plan to fake being
injured to get inside. Turns out, Carol gets hit by a car being driven
by the Grady Memorial cops. They immediately put her on a gurney and
take her away, as a horrified Daryl is restrained by Noah, both of them
concealed in the shadows. Noah smartly tells Daryl that they can get
both Carol and Beth back if they bide their time. Attacking now would
mean killing both cops, and being unable to treat Carol’s injuries using
Grady Memorial’s machinery/supplies/doctors.

The Walking Dead - Daryl watches Carol get taken


Credit: AMC

It’s a moment that leads to one of the more badass line deliveries of
the episode. In telling Daryl what they’d have to do to rescue Carol
and Beth, Noah warns him about the Grady Memorial psychos. “They got
guns…people,” he says. To which Daryl flatly responds, “Yeah…so do we.”
And just like that, we know what’s coming. Daryl and Noah commandeer a
truck to return to the church, inform Rick and co. about what’s
happened, and lead an assault on Grady Memorial Hospital. And if it goes
anything like how Terminus went, the fine folks at the hospital haven’t
got a prayer. It’s a moment that almost makes up for the deliberate
pace of the forty minutes preceding it, although those minutes do have
some insightful moments that allow us to better understand these
characters.

The Walking Dead - Season 5 Episode 6 - Recap Video and Review - Consumed


Credit: AMC

While initially tailing the Grady Memorial vehicle, Carol leads Daryl
to a shelter for victims of abuse. Late in the night, they hear a sound
and discover what looks to be a mother walker with a little girl walker
on the other side of the door. Carol takes out the knife to kill them,
but Daryl sternly insists that she doesn’t have to. In essence, the
walkers are a grim parallel of Carol and Sophia, and her desire to do
right by them speaks to the ongoing trauma Carol is still processing in
the wake of Sophia’s loss. The next morning, when Carol sees that Daryl
has put them out of their misery, and is burning the bodies to give them
something akin to a proper sendoff, she cries and thanks him for it.
It’s a lovely exchange, and it tells us a lot about how much Daryl cares
about Carol. It manages to be one of the best scenes of the season, and
is the best sequence of the episode, rivaled only by Carol and Daryl
escaping a herd of walkers by piling into a van teetering on the edge of
a bridge. It’s kind of crazy that they survive its plunge to the ground
below, but it’s a wonderfully tense moment, accentuated by the raining
walkers that follow them off the edge.

The Walking Dead - Recap Video and Review - Season 5 Episode 6 - Consumed


Credit: AMC

Even in an episode as subdued as this, The Walking Dead
still manages to find moments of genuine, pulse-pounding drama. I wasn’t
over the moon about “Consumed”, but I didn’t hate it either. This was a
middle of the road episode, to me. And while that doesn’t have to be a
bad thing, it felt more like a setup episode for the towering drama
ahead.

 – Consumed

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