TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 6 “Consumed” (2014, USA)


Fans of The Walking Dead have been waiting for Daryl and Carol to have their own episode for awhile, with the chemistry between these two both interesting and unique. Any sexual tension is mostly attributed to fan speculation, but what these two have here is an endearing platonic magnetism that always deserved to be explored with much more depth than just a few lines of dialogue. In “Consumed” we still didn’t really get much more than just a few lines of dialogue, but the strange comfort these two find in each other didn’t really need many words.

Carol has quite clearly been the fan favourite lately, and it was a smart move to make this episode much more about her than it is about Daryl. Her willingness to slowly, and quietly open up to Daryl about her past and about her near decision to leave the group is a testament to how these two are around each other, and it adds an extra layer to a character who can be frustratingly vague at times. The use of flashbacks showing brief moments of Carol alone after Rick banished her from the group were nice, and although they didn’t really add too much to the plot, it gave credence to the scene where she almost left the group again.

The last we saw of this duo – 3 episodes ago – Daryl sprung Carol contemplating leaving the group but then a similar car to the one that kidnapped Beth in Season 4 drove past. They both follow the car at night, tracing it to the outskirts of Atlanta where they slowly piece together Beth’s whereabouts in Grady Memorial. This process is quite tedious, and moves slowly while we spend a bit too much time with Carol looking vacant and numb, and Daryl looking determined and concerned. This interplay gets a bit trying, but The Walking Dead have always been good at breaking things up with a bit of tension, which is easy to create in this series. Just throw in a bunch of walkers in unique situations and you have a ‘when will they attack?’ running through your head, although we already know that neither Carol nor Daryl are going to die – so far, anyway.

Because of the non sequential series of episodes that has been thrown at us lately, there is no room for much effective tension and it’s only when we spy Noah (from “Slabtown”) does the episode start to get some weight behind it. This puzzle is slowly being pieced together; first Daryl had a mystery person behind him at the end of “Four Walls and a Roof” – which we now know is Noah – and then Carol was wheeled into the hospital at the end of “Slabtown”. Surely, The Walking Dead must be building towards an epic two-episode mid-season closer for them to take this much time slowly detailing the situation; that, or they are yet again experimenting with different plot styles – one can never really claim that this show is too formulaic.

Undoubtedly the biggest scene in “Consumed” is the sequence with the van rocking over the bridge. It would seem a bit out of character for Daryl to willingly get himself – and Carol – into that situation with his persistence, had he not spent that time with Beth. It’s a nice development for Daryl that this caring side is increasingly coming out of him, but that seems to mess around with the Daryl we have come to care about – the survivor. Further to this irrational behaviour, Noah had to hold Daryl back towards the end when Carol was hit by the car, talking sense into him to which Daryl asked “what will it take?”

There was some nice interplay between Carol and Daryl over Noah’s situation before they found out that he knows where Beth is. Daryl was the one who stopped Carol from shooting Noah when he took their weapons, and then a couple of scenes later he is willing to let the kid die because he almost got Carol killed. The episode set up that situation quite well here, complete with an awesome back tackle by Daryl.

A few minutes later, Carol, as mentioned above, is hit by a car as she walks ahead of Daryl and Noah, setting up her “Slabtown” entrance and bringing things back full circle. Now that Daryl and Noah are on their way back to Rick’s group, we surely get to watch another ‘this is war’ scenario as this year’s round of The Walking Dead comes to close.

A big high point for this episode was the landscape of Atlanta. It’s great that we get to re-visit the city, and we are thrown a bunch of nostalgic Easter Eggs to make it all a bit more entertaining (that tank!); there’s even a fun LOST reference thrown in when Daryl and Carol are in the van – the statue of Mary sits on the dashboard right before the van tumbles over (we first see that statue in LOST when Boon is in the wrecked plane – and if you’ve seen the show, you all know what happens next). There’s also a sly reference to X-Files with the brand of cigarettes that Daryl briefly smoked during the scene with Noah under the cabinet (same brand that was used by The Smoking Man).

Visually and in terms of tone, this was an excellent episode, but the lackadaisical pace brings things down a bit. There’s almost that sense of waiting that we got in the terribly mediocre first half of Season 2 when Sophia went missing, and even though there’s some nice character moments and humour thrown in (Daryl the art critique!), there’s ultimately not enough to make this an episode which would be remembered for much more than the fact that Daryl and Carol got to spend some time together.


1. Exploring more of Atlanta – visually impressive
2. Puzzle pieced together – now we can move on.
3. Carol opens up to Daryl
4. Nice humour thrown in

1. Daryl makes some sloppy moves
2. Too slow in parts
3. Initial interaction with Noah a bit frustrating – for his character mainly

Episode MVP: Carol
Walker Kill of the Week: Daryl

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The Walking Dead screens on FX in Australia.


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.