Another week, another step along the path to Terminus for our far-flung survivors on “The Walking Dead.”
There’s no question now that this mysterious sanctuary known as Terminus appears to be the end point for this season’s arc, as we’ve witnessed each member of Rick’s former crew stumble across the direction signs and head in that direction. And with just three episodes to go before season’s end, it’s a safe bet that the crew won’t get there until the finale.
So how to spend the final few hours of Season 4? Lost in the woods.
The second half of Season 4 has bounced around between the various survivors of the prison battle as they’ve tried to regroup and figure out what they’re going to do next. As has become apparent, these people are better off in a group instead of on their own. As Jack from “Lost” once said, “Live together, die alone.”
This week’s episode, titled “Alone,” followed two separate groups: Daryl and Beth playing house in a funeral home and Sasha, Maggie and Bob struggling to figure out what to do next.
By far, the Daryl and Beth scenes were the strongest from this week’s episode. Daryl continued on his path toward his emotional side with his growing affection toward Beth and their love story was played out on the backdrop of a funeral home.
The funeral home and all of its weird details is another example of what “The Walking Dead” excels at: painting a bizarre, yet believable view of life after the zombie apocalypse. Inside the funeral home, a fresh stash of food was put away in pantries, yet the hoarder was nowhere to be found. Even more bizarre, dead walkers were lying on metal gurneys in the basement, laid out in their best funereal wear. Yes, they were once zombies. But someone -- and we never see who -- thought well enough of them to give them a classic funeral.
“It’s beautiful,” Beth told Daryl. “Whoever did this cared. They wanted these people to get a funeral. They remember these things were people, before all this. They didn’t let it change them in the end.”
A strangely touching moment, and a reminder of what our group of survivors are hoping to achieve. They’re not just trying to stay one step ahead of the hungry, undead hoards, they’re also trying to hold onto their humanity. And while some let the chaos of society’s breakdown consume them, like the Governor, others, like Daryl, have finally gotten in touch with what makes their heart beat. All in all, a touching moment.
Daryl and Beth’s tender-hearted love story showed signs of being the new Maggie and Glenn relationship, except one poorly timed zombie attack ruined it all forever. Daryl may be a whiz at killing zombies, but Beth apparently bolted like a jack rabbit, leaving Daryl in the dust. All that he saw was her abandoned bag and a car speeding off into the night.
And just like that, Daryl was back in the same kind of trouble he’s always been in, surrounded by a bunch of rejects from FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.” (Actually it was the guys Rick tangled with in the house two weeks ago.)
Beth’s behavior was surprising, but we can only hope that the car she apparently took off in wasn’t being driven by her and abandoning Daryl was against her will. The alternative is that Daryl has a really poor ability to get a sense of people. Either might be true.
Maggie, meanwhile, still hasn’t given up her search for Glenn, and in a particularly brutal move, leaves a message for him written in zombie blood. And though she may feel the need to carry on her quest alone, Sasha saves her from a zombie attack, showing once again that it’s foolish to try to strike out on your own in this new world.
And finally, there’s Glenn, finding the sign for Terminus on his own.
All these people will meet up there soon. The only question now is what will all of them find when they get there?