The Walking Dead - Season 5, Episode 6: "Consumed" TV Episode Review
Written by Steve Pattee and Daniel Benson
Directed by Seith Mann
Written by Matthew Negrete and Corey Reed
2014, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on November 16th, 2014
Norman Reedus and Daryl Dixon
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier
Tyler James Williams as Noah
Ricky Wayne as Officer O'Donnell
This week's episode of The Walking Dead, "Consumed", is more of the same. But this time we follow Carol and Daryl in their attempt to track down the missing Beth.
Warning! This discussion contains spoilers!
Steve: Well, another week, another episode concentrating on two characters. This time the spotlight is in Carol and Daryl. While I enjoyed this one more than I should have because these are arguably two of my favorite characters on the show, I imagine it was quite painful for you.
Dan: Actually, no. Sure, it has some serious pacing issues, but at least these are characters that I’m happy to give the time of day to. I know I’ve said I’m not particularly team Daryl, but damn if he isn’t a hell of a lot more interesting than the blonde nothing he’s trying to rescue. I’ve thought long and hard about what’s not working this season, and I’m almost sure it’s the way they keep splitting the story, its timeline and its characters. We’re another three weeks in and we’re still not at the point in the church group’s story where Daryl comes out of the bushes to greet Michonne. If the showrunners would split each episode to cover concurrent storylines, then we could be moving things along much more efficiently.
Steve: Is this not the same goddamn thing they did last season? The woe-is-me Governor split story. Because that was lame, too.
Dan: And damn, what the hell was the point of all the Carol flashbacks in this episode, if not merely filler? I know you weren’t impressed with Abraham’s back story last week, but this was utterly pointless and did absolutely zero to embellish Carol as a character (not that she needs that anyway).
Steve: I 100% agree with you. I love Carol. She is has changed the most since the first season – for the better – and arguably the most well-rounded and most realistic character on the show. But as I watched this episode, there were numerous times I thought, “Are you fucking kidding me? A flashback to that? Could the writers be lazier?” Because that was some serious half-assed writing going on. Those flashbacks were pointless filler and completely unnecessary to forwarding the story.
Steve: It honestly astounds me that The Walking Dead continually gets the praise it does when it has some of the laziest writing I’ve ever seen on such a popular show. Are people really that desperate for zombies? Can one honestly defend the “let’s distract the zombies with a burning legal pad” moment? Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy this episode (albeit only moderately), but that’s only because it focused on my two favorite characters. If someone who truly disliked the show came up to me and said, “That episode was shit and the writing sucked,” there’d be no way I could argue it. He distracted zombies with a burning piece of paper. Jesus Christ, can it get more lame? And why haven’t they been doing this for five seasons? It would have saved them a lot of trouble (and lives).
Dan: Lazy and stupid. Case in point, the scene where they went to check out the van on the bridge and Daryl starts to climb into the back. Carol warns him, “It’s unstable, I’m lighter”, and what do they do? They both climb into the front seat to search the vehicle. Jesus. And following on from that, when they strap themselves in to escape the horde when the van falls, there’s no way on earth it had time to flip a full turn and land on its wheels, that thing would have landed on its roof making a Carol and Daryl smoothie. I’m more tolerant than most when it comes to suspending disbelief for films and movies, but when the shit is just too stupid, I can’t let it slide.
I was at the point where I was glad that Carol gets hit by that car; not because I want her to die, but because it marks the convergence point of the split story we’ve been seeing for the last three episodes. I only hope to hell that the writers have shown the same story-moving efficiency from this point forward as they did in the opening episodes of the season. I’m thinking that this particular thread will run at least until the mid-season break, though.
Steve: Spot on about the van. It’s bad enough they climb into it, but the convenience that it lands on its wheels is laughable.
Steve: I should at least talk about what I liked about the episode, if only for my grade to make sense. As I mentioned, Carol and Daryl are my two favorite characters on the show. I could watch a series with just them. And together, they have amazing synergy. It’s this wonderful relationship these two have that isn’t romantic and, even better, doesn’t feel romantic. No other duo on the show holds a candle to them, and even with the glaring problems with this episode, it still manages to exemplify how well Carol and Daryl work together. They don’t need a lot of dialog. One of my favorite exchanges of the night was when Carol said to Daryl, “You don’t know me.” His reply of, “You keep telling yourself that”, was accurate. And you can tell Carol knows he’s right.
My other favorite exchange involved Daryl as well, but this time with Noah. As Noah is holding our crossbow-wielding hero back from going after Carol, he says, “They have people and guns.” And Daryl replies with, “So do we.” I’m not going to lie, I did a little fist pump. Not to go after Rick (and admit it, I’ve been good about that this season), but you have to admit Daryl’s response here is far more threatening than Rick’s “They’re messing with the wrong people,” of last season’s finale.
That said, I’m with you on the convergence point on the story.I’m praying that the only reason we are dealing with the mediocrity of every episode past the second this season is because they are trying to close out the storylines from last year. I don’t understand why Beth’s could not have been handled as efficiently as Terminus, but at this point it’s neither here nor there. Maybe they can wrap this shit up by the break in December and we can have something fulfilling waiting for us in January. If not, that’s fine too, because Game of Thrones, Justified, and Archer all start up in the new year as well, and I will have something to watch that is well-written and not a sea of meh like this has been.
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