The Walking Dead Review – “Consumed”

Editor’s note: this review will contain some spoilers. I will try to keep them to a minimum, but they’re be there nonetheless. You’ve been warned.

I’m a bit torn on the latest episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead. On the one hand, it feels like the show is dragging its heals a bit. That’s been a complaint I’ve heard leveled at the last few episodes, and I’d defended the show because I liked what they were doing with the divergent story lines and individual character development. In “Consumed”, it feels like they’ve taken that just a bit too far. On the other hand, I really like what the show has done with Carol, and this episode really built on that in nice ways.

The Walking Dead Review

Let’s start with the positives here. Carol is a real success story for this show, which has long struggled with writing female characters that had more than a single dimension and acted like real human beings, rather than just automatons programed to advance the plot. Lori was awful. Andrea was somehow even worse. Carol started off that way. She was the battered wife stock character right out of a Lifetime Original Movie, and her abusive husband was a cartoon character for all intents and purposes. In the second season, her primary role was that of the mother of an imperiled child. She had pretty much nothing else to do.

She was written in a way that female characters are all too often pigeonholed: as a perpetual victim with no agency of her own. I absolutely hate this kind of characterization. It’s shallowly manipulative and perpetuates the ludicrous idea that women can’t manage their own lives.

But then, Carol started making her own decision, and actually started to become something of a human being. And what a breath of fresh air that was. Sure, there were some heavy-handed moments, but that’s just growing pains. Carol has somehow become one of the most interesting and successful characters on the show. It’s also fantastic that they managed to write a female character with her own motivations and goals, without making her some sort of overly-sexualized virgin/whore. We need more of this please, Walking Dead.

The Walking Dead Review

Pairing her with fan-favorite Daryl almost seems like a cheat. Almost.

“Consumed” gives us some nice insights into Carol’s development, including several glances at her involvement with plot points that have only been hinted at up to now. The real story here is her familiarity with the battered women’s shelter that she and Daryl camp out in for the night. When they arrived at this setting, I was worried. It would have been very easy for the show to get lazy and maudlin with this plot thread, but they handled it extremely well. Carol was pained by the memories, and her regret at not taking action in the past.

They also took the moment to address some of the criticism leveled at the show: Carol actually talks about how much she’s changed, and is not a self-actualized person, rather than someone who simply reacts to the circumstances of their life without actually doing anything about it. Well done, writers.

The Walking Dead Review

Of course, there’s that other hand full of negatives that I mentioned. “Consumed” had a lot of good moments, but let’s be honest here: a lot of it was filler too. There were some great moments here, like the zombies in the sleeping bags who were clearly murdered by someone – presumably the people at the hospital – based on the bullet holes in the sleeping bags. And then there were the parts with Noah, which just didn’t work for me at all. It seemed out of character for him to hold Carol and Daryl at gunpoint and leave them unarmed, and then it took things to a ludicrous new level when he released several zombies on them for no good reason. We knew exactly how this was going to end, our heroes were going to catch back up with Noah, who would be in trouble and need help, and then they would fold in together, where Noah could tell them about Beth and the hospital. The needless back and forth was an irritant.

Eventually, we end exactly where everyone assumed: with the hospital people taking Carol away, and Noah and Daryl heading back to the church to bring in the rest of the group for a big rescue attempt. The story could have been told much more efficiently. Oh, and the van thing was really stupid.

Grade: 3.5 zombie heads out of 5



It answered how Carol got into the hospital, blowing my “Snake-Eyes” theory out of the water. Given the circumstances, I think she should lawyer up and sue them, to cancel her indenture service. It must be nice, wandering around the zombipocolypse and finding vehicles with full-to-half-full gas tanks, so one can drive everywhere!

I’m still puzzled, as to how much time has passed since the outbreak began. One year, two?


Excellent point. Gas doesn’t stay good for ever; I doubt any of these vehicles would run.


I actually really enjoyed this episode – despite the huge amounts of gumpf thrown in! The little flash backs of Carol didn’t lead us to any new info so I really don’t think it needed to be in there, and I agree with Dave on Noah story-line being rather peculiar.

Like I said last week, had they got rid of the filler crap from these recent episodes they could have been compacted down, we could have had a shorter catch up with the sister we all forgot, and tied Noah’s escape in with D&C scoping the place out. Instead we had a potentially great episode with 2 of our favorite characters (ok one of them only recently turned it around) turning out just ok because of yet more filler.

How much filler will we get next week before the big shocking mid-season final – which I’m guessing will be an assault on the hospital that ends badly.

There were good things to be taken though, more cool zombies (tents and sleeping bags are freaky) the zombie big city backdrop looked great and D&C actually covered some good ground discussing whats going on in their heads.

And the van – really? REALLY?!?! That thing was landing on its roof, and there were a lot more zombies that should have poured over the edge with it. Disappointing.


Oh, I think we’re in for a good deal of filler next week, Mark. Perhaps you and I will finally agree on that episode.

And yeah, that van thing was absolutely ridiculous in every way.


We know they have experienced one winter (which the skipped over which is a shame because life is better in winter as zombies freeze) so at a guess we’re well into our second year. Winter must be coming – wait thats a different show…..

As for fuel, I reckon its safe to say 95% of the population is dead – if not more, so there are a lot of gassed up vehicles that could be utilised or siphoned, won’t be long before it runs out though.


There would be a lot of gassed up vehicles, but gasoline goes bad after a while. I’m not sure how long it takes though.


Its suppose to be roughly 1.5 year during the woodbury/prison storyline. So I’m thinking 2 to 3 months later? 20 months in?

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