When episode 4X12 of “The Waking Dead” rolled the final credits, we saw Beth and Daryl get a bit sloshed and play true confessions until the hunky bowman broke down in tears. A little moonshine, a visit to a cabin and childhood game were all it took for us to see what it’s like when Daryl cries, according to the episode recap published by Mercury News on March 2.
Though the Beth-Daryl-centric episode had its fair share of zombie slaying, it focused more on character development for these two. That seems to be the trademark of the latest showrunner. Scott Gimple. “Still” looked at how the characters viewed their past, social mores like class differences and how they mended fences and moved on.
Daryl and Beth are bickering again like an old married couple when “Still” begins. They are avoiding conversation and each other when it can be helped. Beth has campsite fever and wants out. She also wants a drink, something Herschel was dead set against her doing. She flips off Daryl and heads out in search of some alcoholic libation.
Daryl can’t let her go off on her own so he tags along and they end up at the Pine Vista Country Club. Beth associates country clubs with alcohol and she isn’t really wrong.
Her companion, however, is anything but comfortable there because it reminds him of all the things he’s never had. He starts grabbing all the cash and jewelry he can find as if his old self has kicked in and this will somehow change his situation. Beth finds a bottle of wine but has to crack it over a zombie’s head to protect herself.
Beth finds the pro shop and quickly changes into a clean shirt and white sweater. Her new preppy look doesn’t last long. Swarmed by zombies, Daryl takes a golf club to one and the zombie’s gooey fluids end up splattering that pretty white sweater.
Daryl is using the framed photos of country club members as targets for his dart-flinging practice while Beth searches for booze. She finds peach schnapps but can’t let herself drink and breaks down in tears. Daryl comes to the rescue, smashing the bottle against the wall and hauling Beth out of there.
Daryl and Beth come across a cabin that he and Michonne had found once before. It reminds him of where he grew up with Merle and their abusive father. Here, they locate an entire case of moonshine. Though Beth finds the taste “disgusting,” she drinks and so does Daryl.
Soon a drinking game begins. They take turns naming something they have never done and if the other person has, that person has to drink. Though he doesn’t want to play, Daryl agrees. The exchange goes something like this:
Beth: "I never shot a crossbow."
Daryl: "I've never been out of Georgia."
Beth: "I've never been drunk and done something I regretted."
Daryl: "I've never been on vacation."
But when Beth finally says "I've never been in jail," she hits a nerve with Daryl.
"Is THAT what you think of me," he shouts. He then launches into a long laundry list of nevers.
"I never ate frozen yogurt. I never had a pet pony. I never got something from Santa Claus," he spews. " ... And I never cut my wrists looking for attention!"
Once they are back outside, Daryl grabs Beth from behind and forces his bow into her hands, ordering her to shoot at a zombie as target practice. Beth isn’t playing. She wriggles free and tells him, "Killing them is not supposed to be fun!" Things escalate and Beth finally calls him on his mask, saying, "Nothing matters to you," she says. "None of the people we lost matter to you."
Daryl lashes out at her.
"What about you!?" You lost two boyfriends and your entire family and all you can do is "go looking for hooch like a dumb college bitch!"
Something finally snaps though as Daryl admits he has fears. His tears start rolling as he admits he worries that he could have done something back at the prison to stop Governor. He regrets not doing something to save more of their friends. As he cries, Beth comes up from behind, puts her arms around him and hugs him while he cries it out.
After the tears are over, Daryl relates a story from his childhood. Once when he and Merle were watching cartoons, an argument erupted over the show. Guns were drawn and it looked like someone was going to die. Then Daryl took a punch to the gut and puked which broke everybody else up in gales of laughter. Such sweet childhood memories.
There is more introspection and more talking before they finally realize they need to stay who they are today and not worry about who they used to be. As a parting shot, they burn down the cabin that reminds Daryl of his hardscrabble past using the moonshine as accelerant and the cash from the country club as a wick.
©TheresaLeschmann. All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without prior permissions from the author. Partial reposting is permitted with a link back to the original article.