The Walking Dead recap: Tempus Fugit

Beth and Daryl go on the hunt for spirit(s). Daryl confronts the man he once was.
Ep. 12 | Aired Mar 2, 2014

ZERO TO HERO | Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) reflects on his past as a drifter who followed his brother's lead. With Beth's support, he finds the strength to continue his evolution into leader and genuine hero. Booze helped, too.

Gene Page/AMC

Remember when I complained that I had reached my limit on character-centric over plot-driving episodes? Never mind. That was before this revelatory Daryl and Beth episode. Beth showcases just how far she’s evolved from the fragile teen we met back in season two. And even more exciting, we finally (finally!) get insight into Daryl’s emotions and internal struggles.

Night falls. Or has fallen. Beth and Daryl are off the tracks and back on the road, still on high alert as they endeavor to survive on their own. I guess they didn't catch any other billboards for Terminus. Beth attempts to start an abandoned car to no avail. Rather than continuing exposed on the street, Daryl and Beth hurry into the truck of the abandoned car. Something — or some things — lurk in the darkness. They bunker themselves in the trunk just in time as a herd of Walkers pass over them. Now that I mention it, this sequence is like an absurd, horror version of Passover.

Wave after wave of Walkers passes them; Daryl and Beth never leaving sight from the small gap of the truck door. Daylight arrives and with it a reprieve from the onslaught of street Walkers. (Sorry.) Still awake from the previous day, Beth and Daryl emerge from the truck. They gather a few supplies from the wreckage and move on down the street. They don’t speak a word to one another. They don’t have to. This is life now — life in the Zombiepocalypse.

Back in the woods, Daryl hunts for food. He shoots an arrow at a squirrel, his signature game save for Walkers, but misses. His arrow cracks — he's losing his edge. Beth, on the other hand, does a masterful job of building a fire and setting up a zombie detection device around their camp. Ever the survivalist, Daryl has better luck with a rattlesnake, which serves as the meal for the day. I would say, “Eh, gross” except that watching them eat the rattlesnake jerky reminds me that I really want to try Dornish snake with fiery sauce.

After six-odd minutes of no dialogue, Beth delivers the first line of the episode: “I need a drink.” Who wouldn't? Beth has never had a real drink as in alcohol before, and given the circumstances, she thinks it's high time she tried one. Daryl is unresponsive, digging deep into his snake jerky. As such, Beth goes it alone on her mission from the Alcohol God, quickly running into Walkers. She evades them with a simple toss of a rock just as Daryl, unbeknownst to her, is ready in the wings for extra protection. He leads her back to their "suck-ass camp," but she is undeterred. She even flips him the bird. (Can they do that on TV? Perhaps on cable but apparently not during the Super Bowl.) Unwilling — or unable — to verbalize his objections, Daryl drags his feet and follows Beth as she leads the way to find booze for her first-ever drink.

They happen upon the Zombie-friendly Pine Vista Country Club, which bears a striking resemblance to the infamous country club in The Wolf of Wall Street. Too bad a growing posse of Walkers are on their tails. Daryl hurries them into the back entrance, where they find a temporary shelter. Unfortunately the only remaining members of the club are dead and undead corpses, three of which gurgle and moan as they hang from nooses. Something bad has happened here. Then again, when hasn't something bad happened to a shelter on this show?

NEXT: Country clubbing, clubbing Walkers

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