With this week’s episode of The Walking Dead entitled “Look at the Flowers,” it was a pretty safe bet that this would be a big episode for Carol. For those that don’t remember, that is the phrase she said to Lizzie before she had to shoot her after she killed her younger sister.
This was an exceedingly well-written episode of The Walking Dead. Besides Carol, other characters moved on in the aftermath of the Hilltop battle and what happened to Alpha, setting up storylines for the last couple of episodes of the season.
Carol Wants to Live
Carol did what she always does when she needs to process her feels – she went off to be alone. Negan was all like, uh, cool, I’ll just wait here. While he fulfilled his end of the bargain, the amount of time it took him came at a huge cost. Carol is indeed to blame for what happened to Connie, but Negan spending time embedding himself with the Whisperers made her more desperate every day.
Now that she has what she wanted and Alpha is dead with her head on a stick, Carol has to process the lengths she went to get there. And of course, the ghost of Alpha shows up to be her conscious on her solo walk through the woods.
It’s insteresting that Carol’s first flinch is to say that she doesn’t want to be alone. This is in direct opposition of her instinct to always seek out solitude when she’s upset.
Ghost Alpha says this isn’t what she really wants and makes a good point that there is a reason Carol is imagining her and no one else – she will get things done. So the real question of the episode here, and what many have been asking all season is: is it really time for Carol to “look at the flowers” and take herself out of the equation because she is a danger to others because of her actions? Is she too unstable to be a functioning member of the community?
Ghost Alpha named all the people who have died because they were close to Carol, and it’s true, there have been so many. But this is a sign of the good side of Carol. She is still willing to let people in despite all the loss she has gone through.
It was amazing to see that though she was considering her “look at the flowers” moment, even with Ghost Alpha counting down like Carol did so long ago with Lizzie, our girl fought her way out of being trapped. She wants to live. She doesn’t want to be alone.
Her words of “it’s never too late” give us hope that she can repair some of the damage caused by her single-minded quest to destroy Alpha. We will always believe in Carol, and hope that now we can see her move forward and put the ghost of Alpha behind her for good.
Negan and Daryl
With Carol off having her “look at the flowers” moment, Negan is in the position where he has to try to explain everything that happened without her and convince Daryl that he is not a bad guy.
Daryl is understandably pissed, especially now that he’s a soft uncle. He blames Negan for the kids almost dying at Hilltop. We love tough Daryl, but now that we know he has such a soft gooey inside, we can’t get enough of it.
Honestly, the banter between Negan and Daryl was more fun than expected tonight. When Negan gained the Alpha title for a few minutes there, he really lorded it over Daryl. But then the two of them fought the Whisperers together and went right back into their begrudging companions bit again.
Negan finally admitting that he liked the positive attention from the Whisperers but thought Alpha went too far by murdering people who didn’t deserve it and going after kids helped earn a bit of Daryl’s trust. They still have long way to go, but it was a start. Carol is right that the community might remember Negan for killing Alpha now, instead of what he did as the leader of the saviors.
Still, we know Maggie’s coming back…
Hope for Caryl Shippers
It was surprising how in an episode where the two of them weren’t together except for a few seconds, there were a surprising amount of moments for Caryl shippers to rejoice over.
Here are a few things that caught our attention:
- Even Negan sees it! When talking to Daryl, he referred to Carol as his girlfriend.
- Ghost Alpha (aka Carol’s inner thoughts) says that not even Daryl will be coming for her after what happened with Connie. Reminding us that Daryl has always been Carol’s person and she thinks she has messed it up for good.
- Ghost Alpha listing all the people Carol has lost and saying that Daryl will be next. Revealing that one of Carol’s biggest fears is losing him. Is she afraid to make that step into a different kind of relationship because that has always ended in death in the past?
- Carol going back to the group, back to Daryl, with the mindset of it never being too late.
- Daryl saying the same thing that Carol did to Negan – he took too long
- Daryl waiting all night by the pikes for Carol
- And he’s waiting for her and opens the gate when she finally comes back.
The looks on their faces when she returned clearly indicated there is a conversation coming between the two. We can’t wait to see what happens in the next episode.
Best Friends Forever
Beta was also having a hard time letting go of Alpha. He grabbed her severed head and went to listen to country music with it. True best friends forever bonding. We saw the reveal that Beta was a famous musician.
We still don’t get why he always wants to cover his face. Still, we did get a small glimpse of Ryan Hurst and that is nothing to complain about at all. Beta didn’t go on the immediate killing rage we expected this week, but it seems that it’s likely to come in the next episode.
And now that he used Alpha’s face for half of his mask, the two of them will be together forever. Bonded for life…and afterlife.
Ezekiel Says Goodbye
Eugene finally spilled about Stephanie, his radio girlfriend to the group. We get a side quest with him, Yumiko and Ezekiel to go and meet her. Did anyone else feel like that scene between Ezekiel and Jerry was a final goodbye? We know that Ezekiel has cancer, but that moment seemed like he would not be coming back and it had us all up in our feels.
Will something happen to Ezekiel on this trip? Will he make a decision to sacrifice himself for others?
The horse seen might also be foreshadowing this. Ezekiel put him down he asked Yumiko to leave him behind if he was ever in danger. His line about his horse not making the journey was heartbreaking. She told him that he had to keep fighting, but all of this feels like it’s setting us up for a heroic sacrificial death for this character. Or maybe he will find a way to beat cancer?
And who is this wild and fun person they meet along the way? Her walker tableaus were kind of cool. We can’t wait to see more about her in an upcoming episode.
Next week’s episode of The Walking Dead will be the last for a while. The season finale got delayed in post-production because of COVID-19. The finale will air later this year as a special episode.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Good review. Very insightful.