‘The Walking Dead’ Breakdown: ‘Alone’

SPOILERS AHEAD, so use caution, Walkers…

Season Four, Episode 13: “Alone”

Written by Curtis Gwinn; Directed by Ernest Dickerson

This week’s episode of The Walking Dead is all about the fear of being alone, which makes sense because it’s titled…“Alone.” We caught up with Bob, Sasha, and Maggie, while continuing Daryl and Beth’s storyline from last week. This second half of the season has provided some more thoughtful episodes and a chance for all the characters to be redefined. We are clearly heading toward a regrouping at this “Terminus” community, but that group will be quite different from the people who lived in the prison.

Quick Breakdown

The episode opens with a close-up of Bob’s face. He looks a bit different — his hair is longer; he’s weathered and hobo-like in appearance, and he’s clearly alone. We follow him through the woods and then out onto a road, where he climbs on top of a truck to rest in safety. This is a bit confusing — last time we saw Bob, he was with Maggie and Sasha.

Suddenly, Daryl and Glenn show up and we realize we are in a flashback. Daryl asks Bob the important questions (How many zombies have you kill? How many people?) and then tells him he can come with them to the prison. Bob agrees and Daryl asks, “You have any questions for us?” Bob doesn’t have any. All he can say is that “it doesn’t matter.” As the episode progresses, it’s clear he means anything is better than being alone. Cue the opening credits.

Next we are in the fog with Maggie, Bob, and Sasha, with the sound of zombies around. They are surrounded and can barely see, standing back to back and each taking out zombies as they come into view. A few get out of control and almost get both Bob and Maggie, which causes Sasha to use her gun to save them. Bob seems unfazed and is flirting again with Sasha (He’s got to be horny, and this show doesn’t address sexual needs nearly enough, so I can’t blame him).

We then switch to Beth and Daryl. After his drunken lesson last week, Daryl is actually teaching Beth how to use the crossbow and track things. She’s exited and tells him, “Pretty soon, I won’t need you.” (This kind of statement always makes me nervous.) They come upon a zombie, and Beth heads toward it so she can practice her newfound skills. But before she can, she gets her foot caught in some kind of bear trap. Daryl must come to the rescue. (What’s new?) He kills the zombie and gets Beth out of the trap.

Back at camp Sasha/Maggie/Bob, they are low on bullets and have a broken compass. The fog has lifted, but life is looking rough and so are they.

Daryl and Beth, on the other hand, come upon a cemetery with an old house in the distance. Beth’s foot is hurt,and she needs to stop, so this seems like good timing. Daryl offers her a piggyback ride, which continues this odd sexual tension between them. Beth is hopeful that there might be nice people in the house: “There are still good people, Daryl.” (Are there?)

They stop at a grave for a “beloved father,” and Daryl takes some flowers and places them on the tombstone (clearly a gesture for Hershel). It is these small moments that help hit the point home that these characters have lost a lot. Not only people, but also the accepted forms of grieving (like funerals).

Sasha, Maggie, and Bob are continuing their journey and come upon the sign for Terminus (This is now the third group that has seen the sign). Bob says he heard about the community on the radio a long time ago. Sasha looks unsure about heading there and thinks it sounds too good to be true (She’s probably right). Maggie, however, is convinced if Glenn saw this sign, he’d go there.

Daryl and Beth have now made it into the large house, which is partly a funeral home. It’s also very clean, which makes them think someone must be tending to it (This isn’t going to go well). Beth is moved by the idea of remembering funerals and acknowledging that “these things (zombies)” were once people. They find a bandage for Beth’s foot.

Sasha’s doubts are continuing, and she tells Bob, “Odds are Glenn is dead and we will be too.” Sasha wants to find a shelter so they can begin again and regain some sense of security. Bob is torn. He clearly likes Sasha, but thinks they should all stay together.

Daryl and Beth explore the house further and discover a fully-stocked kitchen with no dust on any of the goods. (Seems like this is setting us up for something really bad.) They decide to take some of the food but leave the rest. Beth also finds a piano, which means she breaks into song again. Daryl climbs into an empty coffin and says it’s the best bed he’s had in years (Again, feels like a bad sign).

When Sasha and Bob wake up the next morning, they find that Maggie has left a note in the dirt saying, “Don’t risk your lives for me.” She’s clearly left them. Bob thinks they should go after her. Sasha would really rather not.

Maggie is following the tracks, which have become a vital part of this half of the season. She gets to one of the signs for Terminus and kills a zombie to use its blood to write Glenn a note. (How sweet.)

Bob and Sasha can’t be too far behind. As they walk, Sasha comments again about Bob smiling all the time (which she mentioned a few episodes ago). Bob tells her he’s smiling because he’s not alone, and he already lost two groups before, but not this time. After some walking, they find Maggie’s note for Glenn.

Back at the house, Daryl and Beth are having fun and feeling safe until they hear some sounds outside. Daryl goes to check and discovers a mangy old dog on the porch. It runs away when he calls to it (another bad sign).

It’s dark again, and Bob and Sasha still haven’t found Maggie. (I guess she’s walking fast.) They are resting for the night but can’t sleep with the distance sound of zombies gurgling. (Who could?)

Beth decides she wants to leave a “thank you” note at the house, but Daryl thinks maybe they should stick around for a while. Beth teases him about thinking there is still good people in the world. Clearly he’s starting to believe a little more because of Beth. There’s hope, which means something bad is about to happen to destroy that hope.

They hear the dog again, but when Daryl goes and opens the door, there’s a herd of zombies pushing their way into the house. Daryl screams for Beth to get her stuff and run. Daryl kills a bunch of them and finally escapes the house. He comes running out to see Beth’s bag on the ground and a car speeding off. (What!?) Now Daryl’s alone, and Beth has been captured!

Bob and Sasha continue following Maggie’s signs for Glenn, but when they come upon some empty looking buildings, Sasha wants to stop. Bob is against anyone being alone and believes they have to find Maggie. Sasha is stubbornly saying she’s stopping no matter what. Bob goes in for a kiss to help convince her, but it doesn’t work. (I’m not sure I fully understand Sasha’s great resistance here.)

Bob continues on, and Sasha goes alone into a building. We can see from her face that she is questioning her own judgment. She looks out the window and realizes Maggie is right outside. (Surprise!) She then accidently knocks the windowpane out, which attracts zombies to Maggie. (Nice going.) Sasha runs out to help her kill them, so now the one person who didn’t want to be alone is alone: Bob. Maggie tells Sasha that she needs her help to do this. Sasha kind of comes around and they both go after Bob.

Next we find Daryl sitting in the middle of the road defeated. Beth made him believe again, and now she’s gone. Suddenly a group of men come up to him. He knocks one of them down and jumps up with his crossbow (which was probably not the best idea). The guy he knocked down is named Joe, and he seems to be the leader of this group. Joe laughs at Daryl and makes fun of his crossbow a bit, but he gets him to ease up a little. Daryl is no longer alone, but who are all these new people?

We then cut to poor Bob all alone again, walking down the tracks. Then he hears some people behind him, and it’s Maggie and Sasha. The team is back together. All is well (or as well as it ever is).

The episode ends with Glenn seeing a sign for Terminus. A reunion is coming, but what kind of place will Terminus be?

Rating

B+

This was another fairly strong episode. This half of the season has had a very different vibe to it, and I like that they are taking their time restructuring the characters and redefining them. Quite a few of the characters had really lost their personalities in the prison setting. Having them all scattered around has made for some interesting interactions and for some intriguing relationship reconfigurations.

Now for some random thoughts and my favorite moments of the night…

Will Bob ever get some?

I’m really not sure about this uncomfortable sexual tension between Daryl and Beth.

Best line goes to Daryl after he finds peanut better, jelly, soda, and pigs feet in the house: “That’s a white trash brunch right there.”

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