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.
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.
It’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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