The Walking Dead - TV
The Walking Dead Recap: Season 4 Episode 12 "Still"

Dan O'Halloran | 4 Mar 2014 16:00
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I think this episode was successful on quite a few levels. First, we were set up to think it was going to be about Beth dealing with the death of her father (and it was), but more importantly we learn about how Daryl's abusive father had shaped him into something useful while at the same time drilling into him that he is useless. And it takes Beth's constant prodding to get him to realize that he is not that scared kid anymore and is now, in fact, the most useful person anyone could know right now. Burning down the cabin, for him, was an act of defiance for him as much as her as the place clearly represented his screwed up childhood. On top of that, seeing the depth of his grief over failing to stop the Governor's attack of the prison shows just how much Daryl has grown past a self-obsessed punk.

Beth's story is that of a strong, young woman coming into her own now that her family protectors are gone. Daryl tries to act as her new guardian, but she'll have none of it and heads off on her "girls gone wild" adventure of drinking and experimenting. To everyone's surprise, she can hold her liquor with the best of them. And she turns out to have the necessary warrior instincts to survive a walker attack. But she's no Michonne and nor does she want to be. She somehow manages a balance between fierce warrior and bubbly optimist.

By the end of the story, both characters are set on a path of hope, no longer being dragged down by the pre-Turn past. This continues the trend of the last three episodes as well. The survivors are finding purpose and meaning in their lives that have otherwise just been about getting through the day alive. And in the case of Beth and Daryl (and Michonne) are confronting past demons as well.

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I quite enjoyed getting to know both of them better and that the writers gave them an entire episode to show who they were, who they are and who they want to be. You may think there was a lot of wasted time where nothing happened, but I saw a lot of small moments that added up nicely to the bigger story they are trying to tell about these two. And it led to many wonderful moments including Daryl's quick and ugly devolution into his father that turned into his breakdown over his failure to save his friends and Beth's tearful realization that she has to put her dreams of a quiet life growing old with her family behind her to survive in this new world.

From what I've seen since the mid-season finale, each story will continue to explore the characters of the series on the road to hope and I'm good with that.

But can someone please explain to me what the hell was up with the sawed-off torso of the rich zombie lady with her blouse open, "rich bitch" sign stuck to her chest, stuck on top of the lower part of a mannequin? I mean, just what the hell went on in that country club??

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