In this weeks episode, Beth has a decision to make: peach schnapps, or moonshine?
Frustrated with her moody companion Daryl, unhappy about their makeshift campsite in the woods and desperate for a change in scenery, Beth declares she wants a drink (her first) and doesn’t care if Daryl comes along with her to find one. He does, because he’s too loyal and to protective to let her go off on her reckless quest without him.
So the two set off on an introspective journey while on the hunt for Beth’s first drink.
The first stop on Beth’s bar crawl? A country club, where she is sure she’ll find plenty of booze. Daryl, along for the ride, is uncomfortable from the get-go. Surrounded by the remnants of a wealthy, privileged institution, he snatches up money and jewelry, throws darts at the photos of club members hanging on the wall and attacks walkers in a fit of rage (one zombie gets a particularly harsh beating with a golf club).
The country club only has peach schnapps, which Beth can’t bring herself to drink and Daryl won’t let her. It’s clear he wants to leave the club as quickly as possible.
On they go to the second stop of the crawl, a run-down cabin Daryl said he discovered with Michonne. It’s a spot, he says, that reminds him of the place he and Merle lived in with their abusive father.
There’s plenty of moonshine to share, and the two play a drinking game to pass the time. They reflect on their past, on things they’ve never done (Daryl has never left Georgia, Beth has never shot a crossbow), all the while getting tipsy on moonshine.
The alcohol rouses something in Daryl that’s clearly been festering; his guilt over the battle with the Governor and Herschel’s death. He takes out his frustration on Beth, yelling at her and trying to teach her how to use his crossbow with a walker as target practice. The bickering and back and forth leads to a break down in tears, and the animosity and frustration between the two seem to vanish.
The two continue to drink, but the conversation is no longer tinged with agitation or anger. The weight of guilt Daryl was carrying has lessened, and he goes even further to tell Beth about how his life seemed to have no purpose before the zombie apocalypse —how nothing he and Merle did together had any meaning. It’s time for Daryl to let his past go, and Beth helps him by suggesting they burn down the cabin.
“You gotta stay who you are, not who you were,” Beth tells Daryl. “Places like this, you have to put it away.”
Sure, it’s a metaphorical gesture, but a meaningful one for Daryl. They douse the cabin with moonshine, light it up and flip off the burning wreckage together before heading off into the woods.
Unanswered questions: How long will it be before these two finally run into other survivors? They are almost resigned to the fact that they won’t.
Romance report: Nothing to report today.