‘The Walking Dead’ 5.06 Recap: “How Did We Get Here?”

‘The Walking Dead’ started off Season 5 with a trio of very good episodes that looked like this series was really hitting a creative highpoint. However, fans were then treated to ‘Slabtown‘, one of the weakest episodes we’ve seen in a while. Last week’s entry made the previous one look like just a bump in the road, but this week fans get yet another lackluster episode, which may actually be worse than the one from a couple weeks back.

There’s little denying that Daryl and Carol are two of the most popular characters among fans. So how could the writers come up with a story featuring the two of them where virtually nothing of consequence happens? This is basically a flashback episode to show us how Carol got inside the hospital and how Daryl made it back to the church – and on top of it being a flashback, we get flashbacks within our flashbacks involving Carol. Those flashbacks don’t serve any storytelling purpose, other than to emphasize a fire theme that the writers want to establish. Maybe they should have set fire to the script.

When I say nothing happens in this episode, I’m not being coy. Literally nothing happens. The episode opens with a flashback to Season 4 when Rick kicked Carol out of the group and she drove away from the small housing project they were searching. From there, she makes her way into town, where she holes up in an office. One morning, she sees a fire burning in the distance and drives to see where it’s coming from. Of course, it’s the prison with one of its towers on fire (from the Governor’s first attack).

We leave that flashback to a more current flashback, with Daryl and Carol in pursuit of the car with the white cross taped to the back window. They follow it into Atlanta, see a police officer get out of the car, go do something that involves dragging some debris (looks to be a bicycle, maybe?) closer to his car, and then drive off again. Carol says she knows a place she and Daryl can hole up for the night. The two break into a building, which Carol later reveals to be a shelter that she and Sophia stayed in when Carol’s husband was particularly abusive to her.

The next day, our duo make their way into a parking garage and up to a skywalk that leads to a pair of other offices. The skywalk is filled with Walkers inside sleeping bags and tents. Daryl kills the ones in the sleeping bags, but doesn’t bother taking care of two that are still inside a pair of tents. The only reason for this is so that those Walkers can play a role in a later scene. Otherwise, it makes no logical sense for Daryl to kill some and not others.

The two make it inside an office overlooking the city, when Daryl notices something in the distance and borrows Carol’s rifle so he can look through its scope. He sees a wrecked van perilously hanging over the edge of a highway overpass. The van has a pair of white crosses on its back windows. Carol then fills her canteen with water and the two head out again. Now, wait a minute… Are you telling me that the only reason they risked life and limb to break into this office was for a little bit of water? Spotting the van was just happenstance. Once again, this is some very poor scripting by the writers.

As they make it back to the skywalk area, Noah (the boy Beth helped escape from the hospital back in the ‘Slabtown’ episode) is waiting for them with a gun. He makes Daryl and Carol turn over their weapons. He then cuts the two Walkers loose from their tents and takes off running. Daryl and Carol are able to dispose of the Walkers (Daryl with a knife, and Carol with a pistol that Noah didn’t know she had), but the two are now pretty much without any weaponry.

This episode then goes from the boring to the ridiculous, as Carol and Daryl get to the van they spotted, confirm that it’s from a local hospital, then get stuck inside as Walkers surround and start pounding on the vehicle. Daryl and Carol strap themselves into the front seats, and the van goes flying off the side of the overpass, dropping at least 50 feet (if not more) and crashing to the ground below. Not only does the van land upright (not bloody likely), but our heroes walk away more or less unscathed. I call B.S. on this one.

In yet another building, Daryl and Carol run into Noah again. This time, he’s fighting off some Walkers and trying to block them with a large bookcase. Daryl rushes him and knocks the bookcase on top of him, pinning Noah to the ground. Our duo also get their weapons back in the process. (Note: There’s a nice nod here to ‘The X-Files’, as Daryl gets his hands on a carton full of Morley cigarettes, which was the brand used by the Cigarette Smoking Man on that popular sci-fi series. The Morley brand didn’t originate on ‘The X-Files’, but it’s the fictional brand’s most noted and popular use on a TV show.) A Walker is about to chomp down on Noah when Carol pleads with Daryl to save him. Daryl is reluctant at first, but then puts an arrow into the head of the Walker, and he and Carol get the bookcase off Noah.

Noah relays that he recently escaped from the hospital, and that Beth was the one who helped him. The three of them then head toward the hospital, but Carol gets hit by a car driven by a pair of cops and is taken away on a stretcher. Daryl at first wants to go after her, but Noah stops him, telling him that everyone at the hospital has guns. Daryl informs Noah that he has some friends with guns too, and the two commandeer a truck to drive back to the church for help.

That’s it. That’s all that goes on in this week’s episode, and like the last couple of entries, almost nothing at all happens during the first half hour, with more squeezed in at the end to fool viewers into feeling that a lot more happened than actually did. In fact, I think this week’s episode might go down in ‘Walking Dead’ history as the one where virtually no storyline progress is made at all. Was I the only one who thought this week would deal with what happened to Carol after she got inside the hospital? Did we really need a whole episode dealing with how she got there? Couldn’t everything that happened in this week’s entry have been told as dialogue to characters later on?

Bottom line: Did anything vital happen in this week’s episode that we absolutely needed to see? My answer is a resounding “No.”

16 comments

  1. I think Shannon’s being way too hard on this episode. While I agree that the plot is filler and doesn’t progress any of the storylines, the episode has a lot of good character stuff in it and is nowhere near as boring as the Beth episode.

    That van crash is bullshit, though. We clearly see the van going nose first off the bridge and looks like it’s about to flip entirely over, but in the very next shot it lands totally upright… and everyone’s OK? No way. And why did it take so long for the zombies to start falling on them? They should have come tumbling right along with the van.

    I can chalk that up to needing to shoot a complicated stunt on a TV budget and schedule, but it looked ridiculous.

  2. I like Carol and Daryl ( haha, it rhymes! ) as a duo, but not a couple. I think I’m the only one in my circle of friends who doesn’t want them to hook up. I just don’t see the chemistry. Does it happen in the comics? The thought of them making out kind of grosses me out. Maybe it’s the fact that all of them look stank. How long do they go without bathing or brushing their teeth? Nasty! We got enough romance with Glenn and Maggie. That van drop could’ve been executed a little better. They should of shown less of the van tipping over and more of the crane drop van. They should’ve of strapped some burstable zombie dummies to it when it landed splatty stuff would go every where. I thought this episode was pretty solid, but I am starting to get restless with the solo stories. Time to put the band back together.

    • Chris B

      Seriously man? The sexual tension has been building between these two for years! In the real world they would have started banging by now, both are single, they obviously have affection for each other and living in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested world would definitly require stress relief from time to time. Who cares
      if they’re all “stank”, remember the super-hot sex scene in Enemy at the Gates between Rachel Weisz and Jude Law ?(pretty much the only reason to see that movie). That’s the kind of vibe the creators need to shoot for. I don’t even give a shit about zombies anymore, these two just need to go at ‘er.

      • I don’t know that I would call what Daryl and Carol have “sexual tension,” exactly. There’s some sort of love and affection between them, and they operate almost symbiotically, but the bond has never seemed sexual to me.

        • Chris B

          I think you’re most likely in the minority, pretty much everyone I know who watches the show thinks there’s at least some level of sexual tension. It’s almost inherent in any male-female relationship where some sort of attraction exists. Ever notice how difficult it is to be “just friends” with a girl when you’re both single? 9 times outta 10 something happens to make it more than a friendship.

      • If the two of them hook up, I’d rather them hint at it then actually show it. I like the way the relationship is now. It would be one less cliche. On a side note, I actually like all of Enemy At the Gates. And I love me some Rachel Weisz, she’s one of my favs. I’m glad I’m not the only one who isn’t rooting for a Daryl/ Carol show-mance. What would the tabloids call it? Darol? Caryl? Nine times out of ten, guys and girls hook up, but there is that one time where it doesn’t have to happen.

        • Chris B

          I like Rachel Weisz a lot to, but Enemy at the Gates is one of those movies you remember as being better than it actually is. The scene near the beginning when Jude Law grabs a rifle and greases like 5 nazis in a row could have been so badass, instead it’s ruined by bad music and poor editing. The whole movie squandered the story of a truly interesting person. Not to mention all the Russsians had British accents and the only German of note was an American for pete’s sake. It’s just not a very good movie.

          As for The Walking Dead, it’s supposed to be a show about staying human in the wake of a zombie apocalypse right? But most of the characters act like zombies themselves half the time, just kill and brood, kill and brood, etc. They need to show there’s still humanity left in the survivors…

          • You know adding british accents to movies makes it more classy. : )

            On the subject of Walking Dead, the show is all about survival, but I actually feel its more about the evil that man is capable of, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. It’s always man that turns out to be his own worse enemy. That’s actually a zombie apocalypse trope. I wouldn’t mind if they steered from that mind set in some episodes and actually showed humans helping each other out. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned it before. The show has been very aware as far as having characters acting like zombies. Take a look at Michonne, Rick too. I think there’s been some good “human” moments this season. The church celebration was a nice one. The quiet moments when characters interact, for some it’s boring filler, but I take it as human moments. Whatever, the show isn’t perfect, but I still really enjoy it.

  3. Kraig McGann

    Sounds like Shannon is about to abandon TWD and become a Z Nation fan. 🙂 Lots of stuff happens each week in Z Nation; mostly dumb stuff though. Yes, it is hard to defend not having Rick in the show for almost a quarter of a season long stretch, but I am trying to keep calm and wait until the Mid Season finale to evaluate the first 8. I have a feeling that overall it will be a good grade.

    • I’ve commented on Rick’s absence in seasons past…I’m willing to bet his contract only pays him for “x” number of episodes per season. So every time AMC decides to add episodes to a season, that’s so many less episodes Andrew Lincoln will appear in. If they ever up the series to 22 episodes per year, Rick will disappear for a LONG time. 🙂

  4. cardpetree

    I actually kind of enjoyed the episode, even though it really didn’t go anywhere. And add me to the list of folks who have no interest in seeing Daryl and Carol hook up.

  5. eric

    I liked this episode, hated the last episode, would of preferred Slabtown if it had gotten weirder… but it didn’t. I do not need to see Daryl and Carol hook up, doesn’t need to happen. We don’t need a new buzz couple “Darol” in the headlines.

    The van drop was lame and pointless, could’ve done this better, almost the show runners were bored when they did this.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.