Walking Dead 4×13 Review: Alone

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While last week’s complete focus on Beth and Daryl had its weak points, and tonight’s episode was certainly both more suspenseful and action-focused, I can’t help but feel that Still was the stronger of the two in terms of furthering the story.

Alone begins with a flashback to Bob’s past – a montage of him traveling alone, ending with Daryl and Glenn finding him and inviting him back to the prison. This was followed by the title sequence and a commercial break, and then the episode jumped right in to the fog scene that we were teased with last week. This was a great scene, full of the tension of the unknown that this show exhibits so well – but am I the only one who wonders how these people never think to just climb a tree?

In all seriousness, besides being a different and well-presented zombie attack scene, we see that Maggie, Sasha, and Bob are certainly working well as a team when necessary. Unfortunately, it seems that each member of this trio has a different idea of what they should all do – but before any of this can be resolved, we’ve jumped back to Beth and Daryl, followed by another glimpse at Maggie/Sasha/Bob, and then Beth and Daryl again. Out of these several short scenes, the only thing that seemed memorable to me was Beth taking hold of Daryl’s hand – and not in a good way. But more on that later…

Admittedly, it was quite a relief when our argumentative trio finally came upon one of the signs for Terminus. Though it’s not surprising that Maggie wants to go there in search of Glenn, the fact that she has yet to mention Beth, or wonder where her sister is, is beginning to make me question just how far gone she is. Maggie’s lack of interest in Beth is especially glaring in this episode, as it jumps back and forth so quickly between the two of them and their traveling companions.TWD 4x13 3

At this point it was becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of what, if anything, was happening in each of Alone‘s two focus groups. Beth and Daryl holing up in a funeral home that’s both clean and stocked with food? Seemed too good to be true, but they both let their guard down and took it at face value. And though there are several Maggie/Sasha/Bob scenes, it is only when Maggie goes off on her own that anything of import seems to happen. And even then, it’s with Maggie herself – first her leaving Sasha and Bob, and then with her taking out walkers to use their blood and leave messages for Glenn.

Otherwise, a good chunk of Alone seems to exist to shove new relationships down the viewers’ throats. While whatever is going on between Beth and Daryl could at this point still be brushed off as a [slightly off kilter] brother/sister thing, Bob’s obvious interest in Sasha certainly can’t be ignored now that he’s actually kissed her.

Finally we get a slightly more extended look at one of tonight’s mini ‘groups’ when Daryl thinks the dog he’d seen earlier in the episode has come back to the funeral home, but it turns out to be a large group of walkers. This is the first time in a while where I actually worried that the writers would have the courage to kill off such a popular character, because when Daryl ended up cornered it didn’t seem likely that he would get out of the funeral home alive. He does, though – only to run after Beth and realize that she’s essentially been abducted.

TWD 4x13 1It’s pretty clear that the funeral home, the food, and the walker attack were one big setup. Beth and Daryl were likely being watched the entire time they were there, though by who – and what these people want with Beth, or whether they just planned on picking up whoever came out of the house first – are both pretty interesting questions.

The quick scene changes continue throughout the rest of the episode, though as it wraps up we at least get a few actual developments. The split up and subsequent reuniting of Maggie, Sasha, and Bob seemed like a somewhat pointless – and perhaps even drawn out – storyline, but Daryl joining up with Big Joe and the Mystery Gang and the glimpse of Glenn finding one of the Terminus signs gave me hope that despite the fact that the scene jumping in this episode was frustrating, we may still be headed in the right direction for a somewhat clean wrap up to season four.

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.

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11 thoughts on “Walking Dead 4×13 Review: Alone

  1. I honestly hadn’t noticed Maggie’s glaring lack of concern for Beth until you just pointed it out. Now that you’ve brought it to my attention though I’m looking at these past few episodes through an entirely different lens. She couldn’t leave a few messages for her sister in blood too? I overlooked it because Maggie and Glenn are the characters I’m most connected too (I ship them so hard it hurts) and I’m just enjoying the Beth and Daryl dynamic so I didn’t even stop to think that two of those characters have an extremely large connection too. I wonder if the lack of concern is meant to highlight how far gone she is… or if the writers are distracted by their own favorite relationships to notice?

    1. Yeah I guess I hadn’t thought much about it so far, but then in the ‘previously on walking dead’ scenes before this week’s episode I realized that Beth had mentioned missing Maggie, when all Maggie has talked or been concerned about is Glenn. However on last night’s Talking Dead someone actually asked Lauren Cohan what she thought about that, and she said that she thinks perhaps Maggie is so focused on Glenn because in her current state she just assumes that if she finds him, she finds everyone? I don’t know, it’s still an annoying plot hole IMO.

      1. Well you guys must realize the only reason she was separated from Glenn is because she left the bus to look for Beth. But I totally understand your point on her seeming to ignore the fact that her sister is also gone.

        Another thing I find extremely strange is Daryl and Beth’s relationship. It freaks me out and I strongly hope they don’t end up having any type of relationship other than the brother/sister one. He’s like 40 something and she’s like 18? Maybe 19? Well I guess she did get abducted…

        1. Oh I totally get that she left Glenn to look for Beth…but to be honest that makes it even more weird to me, that she is SO focused on Glenn that she now seems to have forgotten the reason they were separated in the first place? Really it’s just a silly plot hole, but that’s kind of par for the course with this show (much as I love it).

          To be honest I don’t really have issues with the relationship from an age standpoint – to each his or her own, really. I just wouldn’t care for it if they finally started giving Beth agency of her own, only to turn around and make her just a love interest for Daryl.

  2. Now, don’t burn me alive for saying this, but I actually hope they explore the daryl/Beth relationship. I really like their chemistry; it’s about 100 times more palpable and realistic than Carol or Michonne if you really examine all 4 seasons. Also, Robert Kirkman hasn’t been shy about May-December romances in Walking Dead. In the comics, Dale and Andrea were a romantic, intimate couple, and Dale was 40 years older than Andrea there. Beth is about 18 or 19 at this point and Daryl is supposed to be mid-30’s. A 16-20 year age gap is remarkably tamed down from the comics and it’s realistic. There are plenty of people in happy, healthy, loving relationships where one person is 20 years older than the other. Three of my closest friends, all very rational people who aren’t in a Zombie Apocalypse, are all in relationships with people 15-20 years older than them, and it works. So maybe because I’ve seen it happen and seen it work, I’m not biased about it. I don’t have a problem with “Bethyl.” I’ll admit, the idea initially bothered me too, but I’ve spent time with these couples and I can see why they happened and why they’re so strong, and I’m since changed my perspective on the concept. You can’t really put an age limit on love, especially if two people make each other happy and give each other strength. I think the writers should take a risk and explore that sort of romance on the show the way they did in the comics. It was brave, bold and true to life.

    1. I’m intrigued by it wherever they choose to take it. I don’t think you’re alone in wanting to see this. My absolutely favorite movie of all time is Harold and Maude and there’s almost a 60 year difference in that romance, so it doesn’t bother me much. I just hope Beth is 18 if they go that route, though I guess in a zombie apocalypse those types of standards are a bit more meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

      1. You’re in luck! Beth is 18 😉 She was 16 when she first appeared in season 2, and right now she’s listed as 18 on the Walking Dead wiki. (She may even be close to 19; it’s hard to tell how much time has passed, exactly, and it’s not like we know when her birthday is.) That’s the first thing I checked when I realized there was a chance of them going that route with her and Daryl, haha. Zombie apocalypse or not, I’m just not of the mindset that it would be a good idea for them to portray someone under 18 in a physical relationship with anyone who is significantly older than that person – be it someone who is 28 or 38 or whatever.

        1. You can read an interview with Kinney here: http://www.accesshollywood.com/the-walking-dead-emily-kinney-on-beth-and-daryl_article_91725

          She talks about Beth’s age, Daryl’s age, and how Beth knows Daryl is older than her, but that she doesn’t perceive him in the same way she does Hershel or Rick; he’s not old enough in her eyes to be a parental figure and their relationship is “very special.” So, we’ll see what happens. Fingers are cross for this one — mostly because I know Daryl is a character who is more emotionally-driven than physically. Reedus says Daryl has never had sex. The emotional intimacy will be the first real step. Daryl has to be able to tell Beth how he feels before he can do anything more than holding hands and carrying her around. That’s what I like about the pairing. They’re on the same level in that sense. It’s a new relationship in every sense for both of them in that they really get each other and it’s very natural and nothing about it is rushed. I know people say “but they were fighting in one episode and then playing house in the next,” but these episodes most likely have a big time gap in between for the characters to build to this point, likely several weeks. The time lines in all of the back eight are scattered and not happening parallel to each other.

      2. I agree. Emily Kinney did an interview just last week stating that she and the writers came to the consensus that Beth is currently 18-going-on-19, which makes it all perfectly acceptable by modern, non-apocalyptic social standards, technically. I also try to gauge where their relationship began to turn around, and I think the biggest thing to remember is that the time gap between “Still” and “Alone,” is probably much more significant than you might first think. I definitely think they’ve been out there on their own, bonding, building up this relationship for several weeks. Terminus was a good distance away on foot, and while coping with the day to day needs of survival, Daryl taking time out to teach Beth tracking and bowman-ship, it would likely take even longer. Daryl and Beth don’t know about Terminus yet, so they weren’t in the same hurry to get there as the rest of the group were. I definitely think they’ll get their reunion and, after having been a reluctant tag-along with Joe’s group, Daryl will probably be a lot more forthcoming about how important Beth has become to him. The sneak peek for “Us” involving Daryl really cinches for me that Beth is still in the front of his mind.

    2. Haha, I actually don’t have a problem with the age discrepancy. You’re right, Beth is at least 18, and Daryl is listed I *think* as late 30s or early 40s. So let’s say it’s a 20-year gap. But regardless that’s not where my concerns lie – as I mentioned in a comment above, I just won’t care for it if they’ve finally given Beth some agency of her own, only to make her a ‘Daryl love interest’. Now, if they give her character more time to grow of her own accord, and then say she and Daryl are reunited sometime next season and *eventually* a relationship blossoms – I’ll probably have a different/better opinion of the idea. But for right now, it just seems lazy for the writers to throw those two characters together and have it immediately turn into a relationship…if that makes sense.

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