The Walking Dead, “Find Me,” 10×18 (review)

Earlier in the week, a sneak peak of Find Me was circulating online, and it hinted at an unfamiliar name, simply known as Leah. My curiosity piqued, I clicked on the link and after watching the sixty or ninety second clip, I was baffled because it seemed out of place with the current storylines. Who exactly was Leah, anyway? I soon learned that it was a flashback episode centered around Daryl.

Knowing that actually intrigued me because following Andrew Lincoln’s departure in season nine, there was a big gap, and part of me always wondered where Daryl was through all that, and what (besides hunting) occupied his time. I also wanted to know the story behind him and his faithful companion, Dog. This episode answered those questions, and so much more.

“Do me a favor and not talk the whole time that we’re out here.”

Alternating between both past and present, the hour delivered on two fronts: his contentious relationship with Leah (Lynn Collins,) and the uncertainty of the Carol/Daryl friendship. Neither side usurped the other. That was impressive and surprising in its own right, as reaching that delicate balance can be challenging. 

There was a great balance between the deeply solemn and the comedic. Particularly in the opening minutes, showcased by Melissa McBride’s Carol and Norman Reedus’s Daryl. Beneath their jocular one-liners and loving friendship lies something much more serious, even volatile. 

 There was a lot give and take all around; masked sorrow and reticence. The brilliance of those revelations was that it was only in hindsight that said facades were cast away. The end result was haunting and almost tragic.

“It’s not for everyone, living in the wild.”

Interspersed throughout Nicole Mirante-Matthews’s Find Me was such stunning beauty, the likes of which are rarely seen on The Walking Dead. The aesthetics were consistent, and served as a reminder of just beautiful Georgia scenery can be, and the cinematographer(s) responsible should be commended. The seasonal and situational changes signified the passage of time that Daryl was out in the wilderness (the clarifying subtitles were nearly unnecessary, although helpful,) and spoke volumes about all three character’s colorful and complex mentalities. In addition to David Boyd’s exceptional direction, Find Me was unapologetically unconcerned with plot progression and the typical gore. The minimal walker presence was, in fact, refreshing. And though some might call that a literary faux pas, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Driving it home were three emotionally raw performances by Reedus, McBride, and Collins. This is one I hope to never forget. All three are worthy of Emmy nominations.

4/5 stars

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