It was nice to get some insight into Carol’s activities after she left the group in season 4. The shot of Carol in the car, rolling towards the entrance of the prison with a horrified expression was very well judged. As was the following shot which was the tower on fire reflected in the windscreen.
The bird’s eye view shot of the city was a callback to the iconic image on the show’s poster. This shot was of the exact same place as in the famous image of Rick on the horse travelling down the highway. It was good to have the moments that were just Carol and Daryl, we do not get enough of them, a lot more scenes between the two were needed if we are to believe in or care about their relationship. The two character’s absence has been noticeable for the past few weeks, it is good to see them both back on the screen.
The tension was built really well in the early stages of this episode, the odd jump scare never goes amiss. Jump scares add to the atmosphere of tension rather than shattering it, when you think about it this is the world these characters inhabit. It immerses you more in the world of The Walking Dead when you are kept on your toes just as much as they are. The ravaged city of Atlanta made a welcome return in this episode, the destroyed city always has the desired impact. It really feels like something straight out of The Walking Dead’s roots, destroyed cities overrun by zombies; moss crawling up the walls; cars abandoned in the middle of the road, are all aspects of the zombie movies that are the groundwork of this show.
The dynamic between Daryl and Carol felt very fresh: two capable survivors getting by as a team of two. This episode proves that if the two had gone out on their own like they seemed to be planning before they sped after the hearse, they would have been just fine without the rest of the group. However, that isn’t to say that I hope they don’t reunite with the group. On the contrary, I hope that they get back to Rick’s group who eventually meet back up with Abraham’s group.
It is good to see that the show is creating a history for itself. I believe it was in season 2 that we found out that some authority made the call to drop Napalm to try and stop the zombie threat in the city, now that we are returning to the city we can see signs of this in the streets. The scorch marks on the buildings instantly sets off the scene playing in your head in which Carl, Lori and Shane stand on the hilltop and watch the city being fire-bombed.
This episode filled in many of the blanks that were left from Carol’s departure in the first half of season 4 and her subsequent return. Many sections of this time were left undocumented until now. Some moments that initially seemed to be plot holes made sense after some flashbacks, for example in the aftermath of the fight at Terminus many people questioned how Carol went from being covered in blood and Walker guts to being clean, a moment in this weeks episode resolved this.
Although the scene with the van perched on the edge of the bridge was fun, especially the aftermath in which the zombies that were attacking it followed it off the bridge, I thought the way the van fell made no sense at all. It was edited shoddily and just didn’t make sense when you factor in gravity. The van was half way through flipping over in the air onto it’s roof and then miraculously lands on it’s wheels. It some how tilted backwards despite being halfway through turning over in the air.
The final piece of dialogue between Noah and Daryl injected some excitement into proceedings, promising a battle between the people in the hospital and the group some time in the future. Based on the sneak peak after this episode it looks likely that The Walking Dead is going to pick up the pace significantly in the last four episodes of 2014.