If it's Sunday, we must be talking about the pop culture event that gripped the entire nation this evening! The moaning crowds gathered to slobber over deliciously tempting bits of exposed human flesh, the shambling, half-rotted figures whose forever-frozen-in-time features are held together by mystical forces beyond our understanding! But I'll leave the Oscars recap to another writer, because I watched the zombie show instead.
Here's what went down on tonight's episode of The Walking Dead -- and as always, spoilers ahead.
We begin with Daryl and Beth at their makeshift campsite, having survived an onslaught of walkers by hiding in a car trunk. Now they're sitting down to morosely gnaw slabs of fire-roasted snake (can we reflect for a moment on how gross a skinned snake looks? Like a giant inside-out horse penis) and I bet they could really use some barbecue sauce or A-1 or something. Or, you know, one of those nearby pudding barrels to wash it all down with.
Apropos of nothing, Beth announces that she needs a drink. You know: a real drink. She's never had one and right this minute while camping in zombie-infested woods seems like the perfect time to start. Daryl pretty much refuses to acknowledge that she exists, but reluctantly accompanies her to a country club, which is absolutely lousy with zombies. "Golfers are big booze hounds, right?" Beth chirps. Daryl just looks like this:
Daryl super-hates the country club setting, what with the reminders of the sort of lifestyle he never had and the constant zombie attacks and all, and after Beth picks out a nice white preppy sweater, Daryl pummels a walker with a 9-iron until he violently (and deliberately?) splatters zombie-goo all over Beth's torso. Uh, rude. Golf club beheading etiquette demands you at least call out "fore," Daryl.
Beth finds some peach schnapps, but before she can have her first taste, she succumbs to heaving sobs while Daryl angrily hurls darts at photos of hoity-toity country club founders. Finally, he grabs the bottle and smashes it to pieces on the floor. "Your first drink ain't gonna be no damn peach schnapps," he growls, then stomps off. It's no comforting hug, but, well …
Eventually the two of them make their way to a run-down hillbilly shack, where Daryl presents Beth with something's definitely 100% more appropriate for someone's first drink: moonshine. Beth takes an experimental swig, casually announces it's disgusting, then sips again. Excuse me, but ---
I seriously cannot deal with the fact that she's not even bothering to act like she's drinking something stronger than water. It's fucking high-proof distilled spirits probably made from contaminated materials and it should taste like she's guzzling nail polish remover. Come on! Do some coughing, or gagging, or grimacing, or a wacky spit-take, or SOMETHING, for god's sake.
So Beth coerces Daryl into a girly slumber party drinking game, during which point neither of them seem even remotely intoxicated until Daryl inexplicably Hulks out, pees nearby in a sink or maybe on the wall or something, and starts yelling about how he never needed no one for NUTHIN and he sure as shit never hacked his wrists open for attention. Yeesh, that was a low blow, but his nasty behavior gets worse when he hauls Beth outside for her first crossbow lesson, which consists of shooting wildly at a zombie while scaring the crap out of poor Beth. To her credit, she doesn't run away, but stands her ground and screams at him: "I know you look at me, and you just see another dead girl. I’m not Michonne. I’m not Carol. I’m not Maggie… but I made it!"
Daryl rages at her: "You lost two boyfriends and your entire family and all you can do is go looking for hooch like a dumb college bitch!" (Yeah but all YOU were doing was staring vacantly at campfires while roto-eating snake like it was corn on the cob, Daryl.) But eventually his moonshine-fueled bravado subsides and he starts sniffling about how he could have maybe stopped the Governor, and then everyone would still be together. Daryl weeps manfully, and Beth hugs him from the back like a baby koala.
Afterwards, they sit on the porch drinking companionably-- because why not be totally exposed in the middle of the night while dulling your senses? -- and we learn more about Daryl's background. Well, not really. Let's say we confirm what we had suspected: he mostly just spent his time aimlessly dicking around with Merle. Beth points out that he's perfectly suited for the shitty world they live in now (although telling someone they're going to be the last man standing in a lonely, corpse-filled existence doesn't really seem like a soothing thing to say), advises him to let go of who he used to be, and suggests burning down the house would be a fine way to do just that. Daryl agrees, and through the help of the remaining moonshine and the stacks of cash Daryl had hoarded from the country club, they do so.
Nothing against the Mountain Goats, but the background music that plays as Daryl metaphorically torches his past and flips it the bird was a little on the unsubtle side, wouldn't you say? In fact, the entire scene of the two of them happily dousing the place with the tune strumming away kind of gave me a teeny tiny case of the rom-com eye-rolls. But just in case we hadn't truly understood the point of tonight's DarylBethaPalooza:
there's bound to be a ghost
at the back of your closet
no matter where you live
there'll always be a few things
maybe several things
that you're gonna find really difficult to forgive
there's gonna come a day
when you'll feel better
you'll rise up free and easy on that day
and float from branch to branch
lighter than the air
just when that day is coming
who can say
So, an episode about letting bygones be bygones and reconciling class differences and finding hope despite difficult circumstances, wrapped in a search for booze.
Did you enjoy tonight's episode? Or were you, like me, mostly left wondering if this season is ever going to get back on its feet?
Image via AMC