Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Walking Dead - Sophia Wasn't Mine - Daryl's Rant

As I mentioned yesterday in my post, I used three clips in Untouchable that were from the last episode S2E9, Triggerfinger. Here is the most of the scene I was referring to.  It's only from watching and hanging out with Criminal Intent types that I ever would have known to look more deeply into what went on during this scene.  It was amazing.  The analysis is below the video.
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This is such an amazing scene and I was completely driven to analyzing it to death.  If you want the full meal deal, read on.
We don’t know too much about Carol.  She is very quiet and her emotions are cloaked in reserved dignity.  But every time Daryl opens his mouth, we learn far more about him than the words he’s speaking.  He is the bubbling cauldron of volatile emotions.
Carol is tenacious, that’s for sure.  He doesn’t scare her at all. And neither does walking across a big field at night to talk to him. Really, she has nothing left to lose, so why not be eaten by a walker?  So sad.  I keep thinking the reality of Sophia’s loss hasn’t hit her yet.

Their conversation isn’t much of a conversation. He’s just mad and sarcastic.  He doesn’t care what she’s saying, he’s just ready to vent, to insult her, to drive her away. The comment about sticking her nose in everybody else’s business is just plain mean.  And not very accurate from what I can see. But this is Daryl grieving.

When Carol replies “Go ahead”, at first I thought she was inviting more insults, let him rant and get it out of his system.  I really hope that’s what she wanted, but I’m afraid she was offering herself up to be hit. Oh, yuck, Carol.  Daryl doesn’t get it, but then after a second, I’m pretty sure he does.  To his credit, he *doesn’t* get it at first.  Obviously hitting women is not part of who he is. (We know there is far more behind that fa├žade.  He’s only shown it to Carol though, so he’s probably feeling vulnerable around her.)
Carol stands her ground and says nothing.  At first he is not focused at all when he calls her “a real piece of work” and assumes she’s judging him and his upbringing.  But she hasn’t said a word.  Then he begins to focus and drill into her.  He is cruel. Perhaps part of what he says is true.  And still she stands her ground. 

Daryl cannot cope with Carol because she didn’t react to Sophia’s death the way he wanted or expected her to.  Her grief seemed almost non-existent. She didn’t go to Sophia’s “funeral”, he did. 
Maybe the reason Carol went out to Daryl that night was because she was looking to feel something.  Anything.  And she knew that he’d beat her up – somehow. But I’m not sure about that.  He certainly beat her up verbally.  I suppose that’s a step above physical abuse.

Why does he say “You ain’t my problem”?  Because he wishes she was? Because he wishes he could comfort her? But he comes completely unequipped to handle the whole situation.  For the first time in his life he felt like part of a family and that has been taken away. 
The most interesting line was “Sophia wasn’t mine” and the unspoken part of that that came through loud and clear to me was saying “then why does this hurt so much?”

He may as well have shot her with an arrow from his crossbow with his last line which was full of fury. So cruel and unfair. He *knows* they were always together or Sophia was with Carl. Carol’s head whips back as though she’s been struck.  Whoa.  Brilliant acting!
After that, his expression is way too enigmatic for me, but he’s watching her like a hawk.  It’s so dark, it’s hard to see details in their expressions. Such a shame.  I don’t think there are any tears on Carol’s face.  But after she agrees with him, she heaves an exquisite tiny sob.  Another brilliant gem.

Of course he cares about her or he wouldn’t have caught her as she went running to Sophia.  Perhaps he feels he failed her and seeing her reminds him of his failure.  Maybe he feels un-needed or useless.
Did either of them get what they needed here?  I think so. It’s a start.  And it won’t be smooth.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

In case it doesn’t come across in this analysis, I adore both these beautifully flawed characters! And (for what it’s worth) a huge thumbs up from me to the writers and fabulous actors Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Walking Dead - Daryl & Carol - Untouchable (video)

I'm thinking there must be *one* Walking Dead fan out there who might appreciate this!!

This video has been brewing for quite some time.  I really didn't care much for The Walking Dead the first season.  I'm not a big fan of gore however talented the "costume" crew is.  But when that wild man Daryl (if he was a person I met in real life he would scare me to death) brought the Cherokee Rose to Carol with such a beautifully eloquent presentation of the story behind it, I sat up straight and wanted to know more about him. Why does he care, why does he want to share and how does he know how to tell a story so well?

We know far more about Daryl than Carol, but an amazing bond developed there, initiated by him.  We know from his conversation with Andrea that he understands being lost, as Sophia was lost, but in his case no one was looking for him.  So he is an abused kid.  And if you don't get it from that, you get it from his flinch when Carol leans over to kiss him.  It's such a foreign concept to be touched with affection.

All we really know about Carol is that she lives with an abusive husband and has a loving healthy relationship with her daughter.  She has faith, she often appears impassive, but tears will roll down her cheeks giving away the emotion inside.  She is the total opposite of Daryl whose feelings boil under the surface and he will lash out and move into "attack mode" in an instant.

We get insight into his life and relationship with his brother Merle when he is hallucinating in pain, an arrow piercing his side. Their whole culture is based on contempt.  I was left with the impression that Daryl tried hard to live up to Merle's reputation, but also wanted and needed to be unique.

So when I really listened to all of My Skin by Natalie Merchant, I knew this was a match that would work.
"Untouchable"  is a repeated lyric.  I knew that was perfect for Carol and Daryl, but Sophia became untouchable after she was bitten - that didn't occur to me until I was making the vid.

"Slow dying flower".  Both Daryl and Carol are slow dying flowers who need saving.  I hope they are sufficiently different in their needs that they can save each other.  Unexpectedly, the Cherokee Rose, which represents hope in Daryl's story, can parallel the slow dying flower.  Carol is ripping them out of the ground after Sophia's death.

"Contempt loves the silence, It thrives in the dark, with fine winding tendrils that strangle the heart" perfectly describes Daryl, especially now that he has isolated himself away from the group as he grieves the loss of Sophia.  I hope Carol gets through to him and draws him back.  She seems determined to do so.

"Angel sweet love of my life" of course was Sophia.  Without her, this song would not have worked so well for these two.  i.e. I would have had to do some fancy interpretation!

"Is it dark enough?  Can you see me? Do you want me?  Can you reach me?  Or, I'm leaving"  I have only once worked with clips that were so "fresh" and that was a instrumental piece of music (Loyalty), so it was stunning that these new clips just slipped perfectly into place after Sophia's death.

There are three clips included from last night's episode S2E9 and well, that's a whole 'nother subject. In the meantime....  (the lyrics are below)
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My Skin - Natalie Merchant

Take a look at my body
Look at my hands
There's so much here that I don't understand
Your face saving promises
Whispered like prayers
I don't need them

I've been treated so wrong
I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable

Well contempt loves the silence
It thrives in the dark
With fine winding tendrils
That strangle the heart

They say that promises sweeten the blow
But I don't need them, no I don't need them

I've been treated so wrong
I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable
I'm a slow dying flower
Frost killing hour
The sweet turning sour and untouchable

O, I need the darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
O, I need this

I need a lullaby
A kiss good night
Angel sweet love of my life
O, I need this
I'm the slow dying flower
frost killing hour
The sweet turning sour and untouchable

Do you remember the way that you touched me before
All the trembling sweetness I loved and adored
Your face saving promises whispered like prayers
I don't need them
No, I don't need them

I need the darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
Oh, I need this

I need a lullaby
A kiss good night
Angel sweet love of my life
Oh, I need this

Well is it dark enough?
Can you see me?
Do you want me?
Can you reach me?
Or I'm leaving

You better shut your mouth
And hold your breath
kiss me now
And catch your death

Oh, I mean this