Title: “Alone”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Ernest Dickerson

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene
Laura Cohan as Maggie Greene
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Jeff Kober as Joe

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

Daryl forgets himself and disaster ensues. He loses Beth but meets some new potential allies— though we already know this group to be a lethal combination of dangerous and moronic. Bob, Maggie, and Sasha debate their direction. We also learn more about the smiling Mr. Stookey.

Terminus calls.

High Points

The episode features a number of strong, small moments: Sasha confronting her loneliness; Bob smiling at the conclusion. Beth’s disappearance seems contrived (and it in fact may have been orchestrated), but it’s no less painful. The show cannot just be about zombie mayhem and abandoned buildings; we have to see analogues of our own experiences reflected on the screen. This episode serves us some interesting horrorhouse reflections.

Low Point

Apparently, becoming nice means you throw all caution, training, and experience to the wind. Daryl opens a door without checking for the large, miraculously quiet horde of walkers who have come a-calling. Later, a group of humans who have hitherto distinguished themselves by their incompetence, brutality, and cluelessness can sneak up on him (though, in all fairness, he is exhausted at that point).

The Scores

Originality: 2/6 We’re in a groove lately, but we do have the House and the Caddy. Is the House a trap? Did someone send the zombies to the door? Both interpretations would keep with the show’s unrelentingly bleak view of human nature.

Effects: 6/6 This episode delivers shamblings1 of walkers.

Story: 4/6 I appreciate the character development we’ve been seing, and I know the Dead is building to something, and I like a good road trip as much as anyone. Nevetheless, the show needs to stop meandering soon.

I would have also appreciated more internal logic behind the Sasha/Bob/Maggie split, but stressed people do strange things.

Acting: 5/6 We get some fine and often understated performances this week, even when the script gives the characters uncertain motivation.

Emotional Response: 5/6 The show had a few very strong emotional moments.

Production: 5/6 After episodes of finely-groomed, well-dusted houses, Daryl finely decides that the cleanliness of one particular episode means someone is looking after it. Remember, he makes the observation before they find the corpses and the well-stocked cupboard. Way to call attention to the one thing we’re not supposed to notice in other episodes.

Overall: 4/6 A great deal of activity appears to be happening, independently, in a very small area. Given that collective responses have kept humans alive, historically, why have so few of these people banded together? And why do our heroes have such difficulty finding each other? The tracks all head in one direction, they represent the only apparent hope– and they can all find that same spot on the highway, with the red hydrant.

In total, “Alone” receives 31/42

Notes

1. Clearly, the proper collective noun for a horde of Romaro/Ghul zombies.