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Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5, Episode 6, ‘Consumed’: We Ain’t Ashes

Review: 'The Walking Dead' Season 5, Episode 6, 'Consumed': We Ain't Ashes

Whose Episode Is It?

Carol’s, which is great news, since Carol’s become one of
the show’s best characters. We follow Carol and Daryl as they plan to rescue
Beth, with occasional flashbacks to previously unseen Carol moments from last
season. The flashbacks aren’t extensive; most of them are downright brief. They
simply serve as a reminder of the things Carol has had to do to survive and the
various actions that have worn away her humanity to make her the survivor she
is now. The episode is fairly uneventful — it’s mostly a quiet examination of
Carol and how far she’s come.

Achievement in Grossness

Daryl chops into a zombie’s head with a machete and we get a
brutal close-up, but that’s about it. Not a lot of outrageous violence, in
keeping with the episode’s somber, low-key tone.

A Shred of Humanity

Carol leads Daryl to a women’s shelter she had previously
stayed at before the zombie plague, and they find a locked room with a
zombified mother and child inside. Carol is prepared to kill them, but Daryl
stops her, emphatically telling her that she doesn’t have to. The next morning,
Carol awakes to find that Daryl has killed them himself, and is respectfully
burning their bodies in the courtyard.

It’s a genuinely warm gesture from
Daryl, as he knows all the things that Carol’s been through, and how this
particular situation might affect her. It’s thus another nice moment in the Carol/Daryl
relationship, one of the strongest bonds the show’s built. They might not agree
on modern art, but they care for one another deeply.

Man is the True Monster

Carol and Daryl encounter Noah, who escaped the hospital
with Beth’s help back
at the end of the episode “Slabtown.”
 In their first
encounter, Carol is willing to shoot Noah (to wound, not to kill) in order to
keep their weapons, but Daryl stops her. When their paths cross again, Daryl is
perfectly willing to leave Noah to die, since that time Noah directly
endangered Carol. Carol is willing to take preventative extreme measures in
order to survive, while Daryl is only willing to go to those lengths when the
danger is more immediate. In the end though, Carol saves Noah and he gives them
the info they need about the hospital. Again, Rick’s group has retained enough
of their humanity, but Carol’s attitude is understandable, since she’s seen and
done things more extreme than nearly anyone else in the group.

Most Badass Use of a Van

When Daryl and Carol are surrounded by zombies, they pull a
desperation move and ride a tottering van off an overpass. They both survive,
although Carol is a little worse for wear. It’s an exciting sequence and a
great stunt, and the hard rain of zombies falling after them made for a great
visual.

This Week in Death!

Another death-free week! For humans, that is. Zombies die on
this show by the bushel.

Ultimate Team-Up

Carol and Daryl are a great team, because they’re both
competent and not prone to idle chitchat. What little dialogue there is in this
episode involves Carol and Daryl examining how they’ve changed since the plague
started. Daryl’s change is fairly simple: As Carol points out, he used to be a
kid, and now he’s a man, someone that others look to for leadership and
support. Obviously Daryl is still grappling with this new found responsibility,
as his dalliance with the Claimer group indicated last year, but he’s much more
self-assured.

Carol has come quite aways from the one-note “battered wife” character she was in the first season — her passivity has turned into a
commitment to action, from killing those infected with the plague last season,
to trying to stop Noah from robbing them by any means necessary. She’s worried
that this life will take and take from her until there’s nothing left. But
Daryl correctly notes that they’re both still here. They’re survivors.

Didn’t Your Mother Ever Teach You To Look Both Ways?

Carol gets hit by one of the hospital’s cars out of nowhere
as she’s scouting the area. It’s so abrupt that the moment plays more funny
than horrific, which is a pretty jarring tonal shift from the previous hour.
It’s unclear whether the hospital staff hit her on purpose (although you
probably don’t keep an eye out for pedestrians in the zombie apocalypse). At
least it leads to a solid cliffhanger, as Daryl and Noah race out of Atlanta to
secure reinforcements.

Next week: The gang’s all here for a good old fashioned
rescue mission!

GRADE: B

READ MORE: Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 Maintains The High Bar Of Season 4

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