Welcome to Series Issues. Those who arrive, survive. Just kidding. Spoilers dead ahead.
First the good news. This week’s episode The Walking Dead 4×13: Alone is going to have some payoff. We are going to get a couple of development shockers. I’m not going to linger over the slow parts but the whole episode is worth watching.
Up for more character development is Bob Stookey. We get a flashback of the time he was picked up by Glenn and Daryl during more prosperous times. The team of Bob, Sasha and Maggie is one of two groups in focus this episode.
We get to see them fighting off zombies in the middle of the fog. Bob and Maggie fare well until they get overwhelmed. Sasha saves both of them by pulling a gun and firing off precious rounds.
The other team we get this week are Daryl and Beth, who now seem to be in the same page after the last episode. Daryl seems to be teaching her how to track and letting her use the crossbow. As they run into a walker whose back is turned, Beth attempts to sneak up to him only to run into a steel trap. Fortunately, she’s wearing boots and she only ends up with a sprained ankle.
Daryl helps her walk across a cemetery, where Beth makes him a stop upon an unnamed grave marked “Beloved Father”. On the other side is a funeral home where they find bodies with make up and most important, food. The place is a little too clean. Things are going too well. Daryl even manages to get some rest inside a coffin while Beth plays the piano.
Meanwhile, Maggie, Bob and Sasha find the tracks and the signs to Terminus. We get some heart to heart talks with Bob and Sasha, as she tells him that she doesn’t think Glenn or Tyreese are alive. Come morning, Sasha gets up to find Bob staring at a message from Maggie asking them not to risk their lives for her. She’s gone on her own, hoping that Glenn will also be headed to Terminus. As they follow, Sasha insists they find some place safe for them. Bob explains why he seems happy. He’s not Alone. Maggie starts leaving signs for Glenn to go to Terminus in walker blood.
Bob and Sasha eventually see a three story building and a small town by the side of the road. Sasha tries to convince Bob to abandon their search for Maggie and try to establish themselves there. Bob kisses her and decides to go after Maggie. Sasha instead goes up the building only to see Maggie about to get attacked by walkers. She runs to her, and together they manage to kill off the walkers.
Back at the funeral home, Daryl and Beth seem to continue to get close as the alarm set by Daryl rings outside. It’s just a one-eyed dog. Later on, Beth starts writing a thank you note and Daryl tells her they might just stay there for a while and see if the folks that keep the place clean and stashed that food are friendly. Beth asks him what changed his mind. Daryl just stares at her, implying that it was Beth. Cue the dog barking as Daryl goes back to check the front door – and finds a horde of zombies. He calls for Beth, who hands him his crossbow, and tells her to go outside via the window while he leads them away.
Daryl almost ends up being fair game as he gets pinned by walkers in the basement. Somehow he manages to sneak on his hands and knees and escapes the death trap. As he runs outside, he finds Beth’s stuff on the ground. A car is speeding away from the scene, with a kidnapped Beth. Daryl runs in vain into the night. By the morning, he still seems to be following the car’s path and finds the tracks. Exhausted, he drops down for some rest and desperation. He is Alone now.
On a different part of the tracks, Bob hears someone calling him. There’s a tender scene as he reunites with Maggie and Sasha.
Daryl is the one ending up alone. He has lost all hope. Suddenly a man with a shotgun walks up to him and he’s surrounded by the same group of scavengers that took over Rick’s house back in episode 4×11: Claimed. We can tell by the leader, whose face we recognize from that episode. Daryl knocks him to the ground and points his crossbow at him. The leader calls him a bowman true and true and tells him why hurt him when he can hurt other people. He identifies himself as Joe. Daryl tells him his name and lowers the crossbow as the others lower their weapons as well. Is he part of the gang now? Is this gang connected to Terminus?
On another part of the track, someone else is discovering a sign and map to Terminus. It’s Glenn.
Highs: As shocking as it is, Beth’s kidnapping means there’s a new big bad in the neighborhood. Daryl suddenly running with this gang might mean he starts shutting off again and turning back to the dark side. These developments are both dark but they do make the episode interesting and keep us watching.
Lows: The whole Maggie and Glenn as star-crossed lovers is a bit tiresome. Bob is gaining terrain as he leaves the background and becomes more of a main character. Or he’s going to die soon and this is a trap. Bob, Sasha and Maggie better find Glenn soon because their team doesn’t seem to have a lot going for them right now.
Three episodes left in the season. The chances that Terminus, the people inside the car and Daryl’s new gang friends are connected are high. The truth is we are not going to develop a new villain or batch of baddies in just three episodes. We might just get a presentation. At this point, I’m even doubtful we get a reunion. The one thing I sense we are going to get is a good ole’ cliffhanger.
That will do for now.