On the Nov. 16 episode of ‘The Walking Dead,’ Daryl and Carol proved to be the strongest of all the survivors as they desperately searched for Beth in downtown Atlanta.
As we near the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead‘s fifth season, things slowly start to come together on the Nov. 16 episode, “Consumed.” While Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) are trying to figure out where Beth (Emily Kinney) has gone, they are also realizing that they are two very different people than the last time they saw each other. Will they survive the search?
‘The Walking Dead’: Carol’s First Flashback — Her Banishment
For the first time ever, we get to see what happened to Carol after Rick banished her in season four.
After driving away with a car full of supplies, she found herself in a quiet little town where what appears to be an abandoned funeral home turned out to be her sanctuary.
One morning while trying to get some water through a window, she sees the black billowing smoke from the prison in the distance. Moments later she is back in her car, and we see the look of devastation on her face as she pulls up to see that the prison — where all of her friends once lived peacefully — is now up in flames.
Then, the flashback is over, and now we are back in real-time. Or, as close to real-time as The Walking Dead will let us get this season.
Carol and Daryl are following the black car they spotted out in the woods, and trying to figure out a plan. Carol thinks Daryl should just run them off the road, but Daryl wants to keep following them to see if there’s a group or something they need to be prepared to take out.
They find themselves heading towards Atlanta on a deserted highway we haven’t seen in a very long time, and the black car stops at an intersection in a little town. Somehow, Daryl and Carol go unnoticed as one of the officers gets out and surveys the land, even as a walker tries to get into their car for dinner.
When the black car takes off again, Daryl and Carol find themselves out of luck because the tank in the beater they picked up is now empty.
Carol Thinks Saving People Is Impossible Now
Realizing they don’t have a choice, they find shelter before more walkers find them. Carol brings Daryl to a shelter for abused women and children, and one he realizes where they are he asks her how she knew about this place. She tells him that she came here once, but that she did not stay very long.
You might remember Carol’s husband, Ed, was a real prick, and he liked to beat on her even in front of the other survivors.
Carol says something really interesting while she and Daryl are trying to get some rest: “I don’t think we can save people any more.”
She’s not wrong. The longer the survivors are out there, whether it be together or apart, they are saving less and less people.
Daryl asks her why she’s with him then, especially since he is trying to save Beth, and she tells him that she’s “trying.” Trying what, Carol? To be part of a group? To be a hero? To find yourself again?
Whatever it is she’s trying to do, it’s a heck of a lot more than Maggie is. You know, Maggie, Beth’s sister? The one who hasn’t mentioned her once since finding out she was kidnapped? Yeah. Awkward.
Their conversation is cut short when they hear something coming from down the hall. Weapons in hand, they find the source — a walker trying to get through a frosted glass-paned door in another room. Just as they are about to take care of it, another walker hits the glass. It’s a small child, eerily reminiscent of when Carol’s own daughter, Sophia, was turned back on Hershel’s farm.
Daryl & Carol Are Being Followed: By Who?
The next day, Carol wakes up to find out that Daryl took out both of the walkers. She finds him just as he is dumping the body of the small child into the fire, and she thanks him. Who knows what would have happened to Carol emotionally if she was forced to kill yet another kid.
Thankfully, they waste no time trying to track the black cars in downtown Atlanta. They manage to get to a high-rise building unscathed, which is a miracle in itself considering the population of walkers residing inside the city.
As they make their way through the parking lot of the building we see that someone is watching them. Who could it be? Morgan, maybe? Or is it Noah, and we’re passed the time in which Beth tries to escape the hospital with him?
Daryl is hoping that being high up on a building will give him a better view of the city, and maybe he’ll spot one of those black cars and it’s destination. Guess what? He’s right.
While they are looking out the window Carol asks Daryl why he hasn’t questioned her about what happened with Tyreese after the prison. It’s like she wants to tell him, but she won’t do it unless she’s asked.
They find something while looking out at the city: a white van with the crosses painted on the windows. It’s hanging off of a bride, but Daryl knows it’s a lead, so they take a moment to stock up on water before heading out.
On their way out of the building we find out who was watching them: it’s Noah. He steals Carol’s rifle, and robs them both at gunpoint for their weapons. He’s nice about it and even apologizes after, but it’s not until he lets a bunch of walkers out of their tents that he really starts to piss me off.
Noah has obviously pissed off Carol, too, because she pulls out her handgun and aims it at him, but Daryl stops her. I have to admit, I don’t know if I want to see him taken out so early or not. But, I do know that I don’t want to see Carol and Daryl handicapped, so this sucks to watch.
Survival Sometimes Means Driving Off A Bridge
Even without their weapons, they make it to the white van on the bridge. Inside they find a gurney that has the initials “GMH” — and Carol is the one who realizes it’s Grady Memorial Hospital. Unfortunately, neither one of them are allowed to give it much thought before a herd of walkers nearly takes them out on the bridge.
Desperate to survive the attack, the lock themselves inside the van in hopes of finding something to use as a weapon. There isn’t anything though, and instead Daryl comes up with a pretty stupid plan: let the walkers push the van over the edge.
Carol and Daryl buckle up in the front seat, and it doesn’t take long for them to go flying through the air towards the ground. And yes, they survive, but they are pretty banged up and Daryl has to help Carol walk so they can escape the scene.
They decide to find a building that overlooks the city again so that they can keep an eye on Grady Memorial for any sign of life. Their luck has obviously turned, because the first building they try directly faces the hospital. Miracle? Coincidence? Editing? Whatever,I’ll take it.
While sitting on a window sill and watching the hospital, Carol and Daryl have a heart-to-heart about “starting over.” As most of their conversations go, they interrupted by what we can only assume is a walker down the hall. When they get to the walker they find that it’s been shot with one of Daryl’s arrows, which means Noah can’t be too far away.
Down the hall they find Noah being attacked by another walker, but he throws it towards Carol and, because of her injuries from the van accident, falls over with the walker on top of her. Thank God Daryl is there to save her, but once Carol is in the clear he goes running after Noah.
With one football-esque body slam, Daryl knocks Noah into a bookcase that collapses on top of him. Behind where the bookcase was is a walker trying to get through a door, and Noah is screaming for Daryl and Carol to help him.
Daryl decides he’s not worth it, even after scolding Carol for nearly killing him back inside the other building. But when the walker makes his way through the door and grabs Noah, Carol screams for Daryl’s help and an arrow takes it out immediately.
They save Noah, but he’s already snapped. He’s paranoid, and he starts pacing and checking windows while mumbling about people coming for him. When he tells Daryl it’s the people “at the hospital” he’s afraid of, Noah tells him that Beth is alive.
Revealed: How Carol Ends Up Inside Grady Memorial
Unfortunately, that doesn’t matter because Noah was right: they are coming for him. Carol spots one of the cars pulling up, and the three of them go on the run. But that very same car runs over Carol — it’s unclear whether or not it’s intentional — and we see Dawn get out and supervise while they load Carol into the car. So, that’s how she ends up at Grady Memorial and, unfortunately, she really is hurt. Badly.
It takes every ounce of Noah’s strength for him to keep Daryl from running out to save Carol from the hospital people. Noah tells him that they can save her, that they have doctors, and that Beth is there. He also tells Daryl that after that, they can save her — and Beth.
Daryl asks how that is possible and what it’s going to take. “A lot,” Noah tells him. People, weapons, etc. etc. Little does Noah know what’s waiting for Daryl back at Father Gabriel’s church: Rick, Michonne, Tyreese, and more.
The last thing we see is Daryl and Noah making their way back out of Atlanta, and now the pieces of the puzzle are really starting to come together. Obviously, it’s Noah standing behind Daryl in the woods at the end of episode 3.
Now, there are only 2 episodes of The Walking Dead left. Nov. 30 is the mid-season finale, and then we won’t see new episodes again until Feb. 2015. Gah!
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers — Will Daryl be able to convince Rick & Co. to help him save Beth and Carol? Do you think Carol will survive her injuries? Comment below with your thoughts!
— Lauren Cox