Never have I ever… thought in a million years that ‘The Walking Dead’ would air an episode that largely revolved around Daryl and Beth getting drunk.
The Walking Dead has been noticeably playing around with its structure during the second half of its fourth season, but we’ve never seen anything quite like the March 2 episode “Still.” Find out what happens when you spend 42-odd minutes drinking with Beth (Emily Kinney) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) below!
‘Walking Dead’ — Daryl & Beth Go Drinking
I’ve gotta be honest, here — after two viewings, I’m still not sure whether or not I actually liked this episode.
Sure, Daryl and Beth are lovable characters, but last week’s episode drew me in so quickly to both the Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln, who has been doing his finest work lately) plot lines that I think I would have preferred a wider focus on this one, with the Daryl/Beth scenes — which, don’t get me wrong, had their moments — serving as the “b” plot. The narrow-focus routine worked during the midseason premiere episode, mostly because Rick, Carl, and Michonne are more fleshed-out characters than Daryl and Beth, but with only a few episodes left to go I think we all would have liked to see a little bit more movement in the plot department.
But anyway, let’s move on, because I don’t want to give off the impression that I didn’t enjoy an hour with Daryl’s arms. Daryl began the episode in the same mopey, depressing state he was in last week, which is probably why Beth decided straight away that she needed a goddamn drink. I can’t really blame her, because for a teenager, having to hang out in a rainy tent with a weird, redneck-y 40-year-old man who eats snakes with no fork is has to be pretty awful. (ASIDE: Thank God Daryl is weirdly asexual, or else this night could have gone much, much differently. Unfortunate, but it’s true.)
Of course, since Daryl has a heart of gold no matter what his scowly face might say, he chose to follow Beth “Zombie Bait” Greene to find some hooch rather than let her go off by her dumbass self. She almost got killed like two minutes into it — and even worse, nearly chose peach freaking schnapps as her first ever alcoholic drink — and in swooped Daryl to save the day, both times.
But in the end, of course, it would be Beth who did the major saving — metaphorically. When Daryl refused to acknowledge Beth as a real, still-alive person and showed a cruel indifference towards the horrifically violated rich-lady corpse, Beth knew that everyone’s favorite redneck with a hard of gold was in some real emotional trouble. And who better than a Greene to make those troubles go away?
Never Have I Ever… Been This Confused
Beth and Daryl left the schnapps and the rich corpses behind and quickly found an abandoned redneck cabin in the woods, where some poor corpses kept better alcohol. You see, Daryl KNEW there’d be moonshine cause his Daddy was a drunk, and apparently all redneck drunks live in the same style of shack and drink only the best when it comes to moonshine.
Easily the most fun scene in the episode was the game of “Never Have I Ever,” though Beth referred to it as “I Never” which is either some weird southern thing or just Beth being Beth. (Also, is it just me, or was Beth maybe a little too flirtatious with the whole ‘Mr. Dixon’ taunting thing?)
Overall, it was a pretty tame game of NHIE compared to the sex-and-drugs filled rounds that you and your friends played back in college, but Daryl went completely postal when Beth said “I’ve never been in jail — like as a prison” — figuring Daryl would have to drink. This set Daryl off in a major way — like, fighting with Merle levels of pissed — and he hilariously called out Beth for all of the weird crap she’s pulled during her tenure on the show. (Like, you know, singing Tom Waits songs in the middle of major crisis situations.)
“I’ve never eaten frozen yogurt,” he spat. “I’ve never had a pet pony. Never got nothin’ from Santa Claus. Never relied on anyone for protection before — hell, I don’t think I’ve ever even relied on anyone for anything. Never sung out in front of a big group in public, like everything was fun. Like everything was a big game. I sure as hell never cut my wrists looking for attention!”
Way harsh, Tai. I (and Beth) get that Daryl is hating himself over “losing everyone” back at the prison, but it’s kind of silly to paint Beth as some spoiled princess given that she’s lost her entire family and survived a zombie apocalypse. A zombie apocalypse ain’t no picnic, but it’s definitely an equalizer — Michonne was a bona fide rich lady and Daryl was a greasy drifter, but they’re all the same now that social order has been completely obliterated.
Drinking Games As Metaphors For Life
Still, in the end, I’m glad that Beth got Daryl to open up and admit that he cared about people — not only because I’m a woman and am far from immune from Norman Reedus’ charms, but because now we can move on and stop pretending like he’s an uncaring asshole — we’ve known since Season 2 that he’s not! I wasn’t really sold on his “opening up” speech about how crappy his life with Merle was, because even though Daryl never outright said all of this, we’ve been given pretty huge hints about his past over the years — it’s not like he’s Michonne, whose past was a big, giant question mark until three weeks ago. (Also, I think I said this last week, but it’s frustrating to see so many scenes of these characters mourning the dead, because we as viewers all know that they’re still alive.)
When all was said and done, Beth and Daryl burned down the shack that served as their temporary housing for a night. I mean, now they don’t have a warm place to sleep, but at least Daryl got a chance to metaphorically set fire to his demons. Yay, metaphors!
What did you think of the episode, fellow Dead-heads? Did you enjoy the narrowed focus on Beth and Daryl? Do you enjoy them as a duo? Who would you rather get drunk with? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
— Shaunna Murphy