imorca: (sad regret)
[personal profile] imorca
So, I didn't want it to happen, but it did. 

My hope was for Merle to sacrifice himself in order to save Daryl. That was the only way I really saw Daryl returning to the group. My prediction was that if Merle lived Daryl would leave because there was no way Merle could join them. And, indeed, that's what happened. The cool thing was when Daryl makes his break from the group after Woodbury but before the prison, Glenn first says - "What about Carl? What about Beth and Carol?" Trying to get Daryl to rethink his choice. He doesn't. Then Glenn tried again, and he says, "What are we supposed to tell Carol?" Clearly, the group thinks they're a couple, even if they aren't. When Rick gets back and has to break the news to Carol, she's surprised and sad, and Rick comforts her. I'll admit to a moment of dark satisfaction, considering the possibility of Daryl returning later in the season to find Carol being romanced by Rick - even though that would be pretty much impossible. I mean, Rick is about ready to go completely off the sanity rails hallucinating visions of his dead wife. But, a shipper can have a fitful moment of petty pretend vengeance. Later in episode Carol has a revealing discussion with Beth about Daryl. She makes the first overt comparison that anyone has in the show itself between the two of them. She describes Daryl's situation with Merle by way of herself with Ed. She says of herself that she'd like to think that if Ed were still alive and walked through the door demanding she come away with him that she'd be strong enough now to say no. But, she does tell Beth that she understand how someone's abuser can get inside one's head and make it impossible to understand the world outside that relationship. She also defends Daryl to Beth by saying "he's got his code." This is 1) an obvious reference to her line to Daryl from season 1 finale "Beside the dying fire" about desiring "a man of honor", and 2) Daryl's explanation in response to Glenn's "What are we supposed to tell Carol?" that "She'll understand." She did. Dammit.

As I looked at the way the dynamics are shaping up, Carol is likely to be a hot commodity. She's the only single woman of age with a stable full of eligible suitors: Rick, Tyreese, Axel, Allen, and even Hershel if it came to it. The craziest part was that now that Daryl's gone, Carol had about 20x more screen time than she's EVER had in any episode in 3 seasons. Huh.
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