This week’s episode of The Walking Dead was a filler episode centred around Daryl, Carol and Dog. On a surface level the episode is skippable however it did reveal what Daryl was doing in the years following Rick’s disappearance.
The episode begins by showing Daryl and Carol heading out to neighboring woodland to hunt for deer and any other meat they can find. As they travel by a river Carol speaks of how she she believes the groups luck has ran out. Daryl tries to change her mind but throughout the conversation and trip he appears distant.
Dog catches the scent of something and speeds off with the duo following behind only to discover that he had found an old cabin. Daryl immediately seems sad and tries to avoid searching the place all while Dog excitedly runs around the cabin.
After searching the place Carol finds a letter under the floorboards addressed to a girl called Leah that was written by Daryl saying he chooses her and wants her to find him. Carol is confused and eventually Daryl reveals what happened in the years after Rick disappeared before the season 9 time jump.
Daryl tells the story of how he met this Leah woman and Dog. Leah was his original owner and it was Dog that found him and introduced them. They lived in separate camps but would see each other more and more as the months progressed. Eventually the two became a couple and bonded over the loss of their loved ones.
Their relationship ended with Leah walking out on Daryl and asking him to choose her or his relentless search for Rick’s body. He returns the next morning to her cabin and finds her missing and Dog left their himself. He leaves her the note and adopts Dog.
Carol tries to comfort Daryl and tells him to stop blaming himself for Leah and Connie’s disappearance only for him to say he blames Carol for what happened to Connie.
The episode overall can be described as both wholesome but heart wrenching as Carol is left broken after Daryl denounces their friendship and you see Daryl’s regret and grief present itself throughout the episode. The interactions between himself and Leah seem slightly uncharacteristic for Daryl but it is refreshing to see a new side of vulnerability that he normally doesn’t show. The final argument between Carol and Daryl and its outcome was overdue as despite Carol playing a massive role in ending the Whisperer war, a Connie and Magna’s fates and the loss of Hilltop during the war were due to her actions. The episode doesn’t bring much to the story in terms of lore but it does help plug in the details about what happened during the season 9 5 year time jump. It does however show the true extent of how damaged Carol and Daryl’s relationship is and begs the question of how will that impact season 11 and their spin-off show?
Rating 3.5 stars / 5