As many survivors head towards Terminus and hope it's a safe haven, Beth and Daryl are still left wandering the wilderness and fighting to survive. The latest episode, Still, revolves 100% around this duo, turning it into a purely character-driven tale and aims to give both characters a little more depth.
Thankfully, the script and performances give a far more humanizing approach to both characters. They've been through hell and, seeing as they're completely different people, they have totally different coping mechanisms. As a viewer, it's easy to think Beth's "mission" is foolish or stupid, but considering what she's recently endured, it's an understandable one. This path makes her feel more human instead of just giving her something like a good cry and then making her move forward. I especially love how they have her point out that what she wants seems idiotic but it's something she needs.
The very same applies to Daryl. He's distant yet when he has a moment to vent, it leaves one hell of a mark. A tad more is revealed about his life pre-zombie apocalypse as well. Both gave solid performances and absolutely had a few key moments to help build their characters. To top it off, the show avoided going the most obvious and cliche route with their bonding experience.
As always, The Walking Dead had some impressive set pieces and practical effects. The decayed bodies, the locations that have been stripped of hope and, of course, shuffling zombies all looked stellar. Still also presented some enjoyable tension and horror focused moments, but I can't lie, it's always so frustrating to see a zombie more focused on grappling than trying to take a bite out of its prey.
While Still offered some great character-driven moments, the pacing really, really took a toll on the episode. Simply put: many scenes felt drawn-out and getting to the more compelling material took far too much time. The fact it doesn't move the narrative forward at all doesn't help, either. I won't be surprised if many of you view this one as filler.
Daryl and Beth's journey produces a good insight into both characters, but the sheer amount of time between the stronger scenes really weighs down the episode. There's some gripping conversations to be found in this one and they did a thorough job creating a legitimately creepy atmosphere, but I have a good feeling many of you will be somewhat bored in-between those standout instances.