With last week’s Self Help finally seeing the much anticipated reveal that Eugene (Josh McDermitt) didn’t really have a Scooby about how to save the world from the walker-ridden hellhole it had become, this week’s episode initially takes us back to the previous outing, Slabtown, before going even further back into the story of Carol (Melissa McBride).
When we last saw Carol, in the final moments of Slabtown, she was seemingly in a bad way as she arrived at the Grady Memorial Hospital where Beth (Emily Kinney) had resurfaced. Similarly, it was also around this time that we saw Daryl (Norman Reedus) arrive back at Father Gabriel’s (Seth Gilliam) church. After initially setting off to find Beth, here we find out just how Carol and Daryl became separated. Additionally, we also pick things back up with Noah (Tyler James Williams), a character who was introduced when we observed Beth’s time at Grady. But regardless of Noah, this episode is firmly about Carol, Daryl, and their relationship. And no, we don’t mean that sort of relationship.
In an episode laden with flashback sequences, the episode is anchored by Carol and Daryl’s mission to find and rescue Beth, but we are also taken back to familiar moments such as Carol burning bodies at the prison, of Tyreese (Chad Coleman) burying the bodies of Mika and Lizzie, of Carol’s Rambo-esque crusade to rescue Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Co. from Terminus, and even some mention of Carol’s troubled past in the pre-walker days. Intertwined with these moments, we also hear Carol talk about the way in which she has changed as a person since we first met her in Season 1, how the change let her finally became who she always should’ve been, but how that content person then also vanished, leaving us with the version of Carol that we see on our screens currently. Despite her and Daryl both not exactly being the most open of the show’s characters when it comes to their emotions and feelings, the duo seem to be able to finally talk here despite barely opening up at all. And actions are always something that speak louder than words for this pair, with both seemingly acutely aware of each other’s mindset and always looking to lighten the load for their partner-in-crime.
Consumed is an episode that is a strange beast; it’s dripping in compelling, tense moments, yet there’s an overall sense of predictability to what we’re seeing. Still, we don’t quite know all of what could be just around the corner. Yes, we knew that Daryl ends up back at camp with somebody and that Carol ends up at Grady, but where do things go from here? Much like how Rick, Daryl and the rest of our familiar survivors have gone to battle with The Governor at Woodbury and at the prison, not to mention this season’s early Terminus carnage, it appears that things are all going to come to a head when the group set their eyes on the Grady Hospital. If we’ve learnt anything from The Walking Dead by now, it’s that these things always result in some big names meeting their demise and that when it comes to pin-pointing characters who may be offed, all bets are off. Plus Bob’s (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) the only casualty we’ve seen this season from our core group. With only two episodes left before the show heads for its mid-season break (yes, it’s already nearly that time again), there’s seemingly something big on the horizon. But surely not Carol, right? Right…?
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