by Transmute Jun
Warning: this review contains multiple spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 10, Episode 21.
The title of this episode is Diverged, which clearly represents Carol’s and Daryl’s different paths, as well as their broken friendship. Yet for me, it represented a broken storyline. Clearly, Carol is feeling overwhelmed by the mess she has made of her relationships as a result of her reckless actions, and Daryl has to work hard to survive on his own, yet ultimately, I’m not sure what purpose was served by this episode. The plotline wasn’t really driven forward, because Daryl and Carol were still in the same strained place at the end that they were at the start. If anything, the only thing that really happened is that we saw that Jerry still worries about Carol. The point of all of this escapes me. It feels as if this episode was completely unnecessary, and fans who missed it would have no problem going on into the next season without it.
Ultimately, Daryl blames Carol for the loss of Connie, and the part that really bothers Carol about it is that he is right. It was Carol’s recklessness that caused the cave-in that lead to Connie’s disappearance. The fact that Carol barely acknowledges this, and doesn’t ever properly apologize for it, is eating away at Daryl’s faith in her. Viewers know that Connie survived (as she was seen meeting Virgil in the ‘original’ Season 10 finale) but the others do not, and they likely think that she is dead. Still, when Daryl wanted to stay out looking a bit longer (while Carol went back to town), it was obvious that he was looking for Connie, in addition to looking for supplies. One thing that was made clear in this episode is that Daryl is completely self-sufficient on his own, and doesn’t need Carol, nor Dog, to survive. He is able to scavenge car parts, supplies, and even knives, from the remnants of the pre-apocalypse civilization.
Carol is still in a fragile state of mind, as her rampages to catch the rat clearly demonstrated. It wasn’t enough for her to mess up her kitchen, but then she had to completely destroy the wall. This is even more reckless than it might seem, as replacement building materials are not readily available in the apocalypse (Although apparently, she found some more drywall toward the end of the episode?). What bothered me is that Carol is generally capable, and was easily able to make a trap for the rat, but then she was careless enough to let it go? It just felt completely out of place. Surely, the writers could have found a better way to show Carol’s distressed state of mind. It also felt like they missed the mark with the wall-destruction scene, as that little hole with Carol peeking through was crying out for a The Shining reference.
The best part of the episode was definitely Jerry, an always loveable character who has maintained consistency as a good-hearted, cheerful, and loyal person ever since he was first introduced. It’s good to see that the hardships that have befallen the Kingdom and Alexandria have not diminished Jerry’s spirit.
For those who play the AMC Walking Dead mobile games, this week’s Walking Dead: No Man’s Land season episode has Daryl gathering gear from walkers and fixing his bike in the woods, racing to finish before he gets overwhelmed by a horde. Walking Dead: Our World is running a Daryl Diverged event, to play raider missions (Presumably, to fight military walkers?) with Daryl.
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