With only two episodes left this year The Walking Dead team are stepping up their game; filling gaps in the plot and bringing together characters from different groups. Consumed, Mondays offering, focused on Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (played by the beloved Norman Reedus). The two have had an interesting relationship throughout the entire series, which at one point seemed as though it may evolve into romance. Consumed, shows us that these two are more of a mother and son combination, which is a rather delicate and well-played out partnership, with both Reedus and McBride giving viewers some of their best work during their scenes together.
This is the third week in a row we have been away from Rick and the others, and by now the groups presence is being missed. Consumed focuses on Daryl and Carol’s (notice their names rhyme?) foray into Atlanta to follow up a lead on Beth‘s (Emily Kinney) whereabouts, along the way expect plenty of Walker action, and of course, as has become tradition, the trading of some heartfelt back stories. The past two episodes have certainly still been some examples of WD at its best, but generally not the best when it comes to season five. While the combining of different groups, and the separation of certain characters is proving interesting, the sharpness of its predecessors and intensity of the danger the Walkers pose (which is sometimes forgotten due to their slow walking and obvious lack of brain cells) is missing.
An important aspect this week is character development, specifically for McBride’s Carol who stands precariously between the barrier of love and hate. Looking back on moments that brought her character to this position makes for a clever technique in swaying the audiences affections towards her, meaning by the time the episode comes to its final minutes you are left reeling at whats to come for her. The shows ability to swap between time (the earlier scenes in this weeks installment are set before last weeks episode) and place means its almost impossible to become bored with WD, and the strength in acting (particularly from Reedus, who never over-acts as Daryl) is really rather refreshing. In particular watching the change in Carol from season one to now, from a naive and scared woman to a hardened fighter who often lacks sympathy with her fellow survivors, has made for one of the most (surprisingly) riveting elements of The Walking Dead.
Not the best we’ve seen so far, but certainly not the worst.