Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
I made it no secret that I wasn't exactly a fan of this week's episode of The Walking Dead and the reasons still stand for me. I was not in sync with Beth's silly decision to hunt down a drink when steering clear of walkers was likely a better decision but went along with it anyway.
I hung through it because I love the show and because not every episode can be as solid as "Clear" and because of the fact that as always, the show gave us insight into parts of the human psyche that we take for granted or don't quite think about. This week, it was about what happens when we've suffered trauma at the hands of a disaster and there's down time and how the silence finally allows us to cope.
All irritations about this episode aside, that's exactly what Beth was trying to do...cope and the chance to have a drink was in many ways her only way of getting close to her father. Her tears as she sat before that big bottle of Peppermint Schnapps spoke to this. For despite what alcohol had done to her family...she needed it to feel closer to her father if only for a moment.
But while Beth's pain and need to cope was transparent, Daryl's was downright fascinating. This dude is a rock, and we have seen his toughness time and time again throughout the show. Sure he wept when he found his zombified brother, but who wouldn't? Yet despite Merle's loss he kept on moving forward. But this week, we finally saw the cracks break with Daryl, we saw his regrets and now we truly understand the man.
For Daryl when the going gets tough he simply works it out in solitude. Their not hunting for the group as the others are is Daryl's way of dealing with the distinct possibility that he and Beth are indeed the only survivors left from their final showdown with the Governor and that's some quality character development.
I just wish it had come about in more spectacular fashion than sitting around drinking moonshine. It makes me feel as though learning the best parts of Daryl Dixon were wasted, but what matters most is that during an episode full of down time...we finally learned what makes one of the show's favorite characters tick.