The long-awaited Walking Dead Season 4 DVD/Blu-Ray Sets have finally arrived and seeing how Carylers were granted a limited amount of “physically present” Carol and Daryl scenes, the anticipation for anything extra or even a little more insight in the characters story arcs, has been building up since the final episode and only made the hiatus more difficult.
Based on the previous season releases and the fact that all of them had deleted CARYL scenes included in the bonus material, my expectations while a little more cautious that before were definitively positive and on the hopeful end of things.
Since the end of Season 4 the CARYL spirit has been boosted and empowered from many different angles and Carylers have a lot of reasons to feel optimistic about Season 5 especially regarding the direction the Carol and Daryl connection seems to be heading.
The Bonus Material granted does not include a direct CARYL moment like in the past BUT there are several things in the commentary that certainly look and sound like they just might be favorable for our ship.
That being said I have to admit that the extraordinary praise donned on Melissa McBride herself is the star here but then again listening to anyone fan-girling or fan-boying over her brand of fabulousness never gets old with me!
Without Further Ado I Present To You the Highlights;
Episode 1 “30 Days Without an Accident”
*Greg Nicotero commented on the Carol and Daryl first scene - “Just remember I liked you first” and “You gotta learn to live with the love” - by saying;
“I love the chemistry between the two of them, they are great together..”
Now granted this isn’t exactly “new” news and a similar version of that sentiment has been uttered by a almost everyone BUT I still liked hearing Nicotero’s thoughtful take on the “thing” between Carol and Daryl because it highlighted his own emotional approach to creating and interpreting personal scenes between characters. The comment was said as an observational “fact” and not his personal opinion (like he did with his Alone “feeling”)
*This is the BIG ONE (I will revisit this in it’s own post) -
Scott Gimple said that he put a concentrated effort into making sure that the Carol and Daryl interactions in the premiere episode were highlighted and specifically meaningful because they were aware that they were going to be separated for much of the season.
The reason I consider this to be important is simply because it essentially confirms that the relationship Carol and Daryl have is not just different from the ones they have with the others BUT was significant enough to need a strong acknowledgment from the get go so the audience doesn’t completely dismiss it and forget it’s importance to both of them.
It also implies that CARYL will come into play in the future and those scenes were the groundwork for what it’s to come later on.
*The comment about Norman Reedus’s contribution to the whole “finger-licking” part made me smile because it reminded me of the Season 3 Premiere “Seed” and Daryl licking his fingers clean before giving Carol a shoulder massage during the whole “Screw Around” scene on the bus.
Episode 8 - “Too Far Gone”
Scene - “Daryl finds out Rick banished Carol - reaction”
Seth Hoffman (writer):
“Daryl comes in and gives this whole speech about why he knows Carol is going to be a survivor and Norman came up to me and said look I like this speech, at some point in the series I would love to give this speech but this is not where this character’s head is at this point. So we cut the speech and he was completely right and the scene works great as it is.”
“This was one of the scenes that the fans were looking forward to seeing. What was Daryl’s reaction going to be when Rick tells him he banished Carol.”
*Having seen the scene and read other Reedus statements the quote from the writer made actually makes sense - Daryl is a character that needs to process information which is why Norman wanted the scene open-ended. The conversation wasn’t finished and Daryl was too angry and taken aback to make any eloquent speeches - Carol was gone, Rick did it and Tyreese needed to be “handled”!
Had the governor not attacked just then the speech might have been heard later on - Daryl was angry and that part was very clear! (this too will be revisited)
*The anticipation and fan enthusiasm about getting to this scene was plainly and bluntly acknowledged in the commentary - What is Daryl going to do? was HUGE! (Nod to CARYL)
Episode 14 “The Grove” - Andrew Lincoln Version
First I am going to let the quotes speak for themselves;
*Andrew Lincoln - “Can I just say I know I’m supposed to talk smack about Melissa but she is the single greatest actor I have ever worked with. Am I allowed to swear? She’s a fucking alien. She’s so good. Seriously, remember the first time doing a scene in S1 at the camp. she says two things to me. It was so real, so disarming and brilliant, I said to Jon Bernthal who the fuck is that? I’m so thrilled you’ve written this incredible journey for her. I think she’s one of the strongest. She’s one of our secret weapons on the show.”
Scott Gimple - “Not a secret anymore. I watched S1 from home and it was the same reaction. Who was that? From a character standpoint, the thing that is most exciting about her character is seeing characters change and for her to be here from where she started, it was a remarkable thing. “
*Scene - “Lizzie kills Mika and Carol talks her down into giving her the gun and going in the house with Tyreese. Once out of sight Carol breaks down to tears”
Scott Gimple: “The performance Melissa gives here is astounding.”
Denise Hutg: “She’s Amazing!”
Scott Gimple: “It’s one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen!”
Andrew Lincoln: “She’s so amazing, man. So amazing.”
(muffled - almost sounds like he’s holding back tears)
*About working with and writing for Melissa McBride;
Scott Gimple: “When you’re writing something for people. And you know they have super powers, it give you super powers to deliver them material that you know they can do. There’s a weird relationship to fanfiction. Fanfiction on the internet is always based on passion. It’s the same here, just a lot more expensive. Oh man, if I had a dream where I can write for Melissa Mcbride.”
***Now I can’t speak for him but personally I can’t see a guy whose dream is to write material for Melissa McBride killing that DREAM just to further something as unoriginal as man-pain or solve something as tacky as an offensive love triangle!
*About The Grove Episode (in summary)
Denise Huth: “It’s the whole story, the tragedy, the zombies and all of that. The ugliness of what you have to do then you have this scene of just utter grace and forgiveness between two human beings who only have each other left.”
Episode 14 “The Grove” - Melissa McBride and Chad Coleman Version
My favourite quote;
“I think you’re an acting teacher in disguise… You’re so incredibly intuitive and always passionate and always driven to go further. I never had to worry. All I had to do was look at you, babe.”
Chad Coleman speaking to Melissa McBride
*I think the undertone of that statement works for both Tyreese to Carol and Chad to Melissa
“When was the last time Carol had a hug?”
Melissa McBride on Tyreese hugging Carol
***The commentary itself was beautiful and surprisingly light-hearted and worth the listen for Melissa’s voice alone!
****This masterpiece will get its own post!
Episode 12 “Still”
***I will be including some material from “Still” because there are those out there who use that particular episode to undermine the relationship between Carol and Daryl.
I feel that there are a few things in the commentary that reinforce the platonic/familial bond between Daryl and Beth and confirm claims a lot of Carylers predicted and concluded prior to this release.
*Scene - “Drinking game and the confrontation-breakdown that follows”
Emily Kinney: “Beth hasn’t gotten to be much of a teenager since everything happened…lets do something kind of fun like play one of these games that I remember.”
Julius Ramsay (director) “She thinks she’s coaxing him into having fun but what she’s really doing is antagonizing him…”
“…she doesn’t know that she shouldn’t confront him about something which is part of the reason I think she does it…”
Many analysis posts have been done on this scene (mine is here)
and the director basically confirms what almost every Caryler suspected in the first place - Beth has no clue who Daryl is, how to approach him or how to talk to him AND ultimately she is still very YOUNG in her ways and her attitude.
The writers went out of their way to portray Beth as a sheltered, vulnerable “teenager” which is confirmed by Emily Kinney herself and the director says outright with no ambiguity that Beth was antagonizing him, pushing his buttons and initiating games for FUN without even an inkling of understanding of what kind of PAIN is brewing inside Daryl.
The commentary indicates that this wasn’t some BIG masterful plan by Beth to heal Daryl’s emotional wounds and help him - she was trying to distract both of them from reality by coaxing some fun and because she doesn’t know Daryl, they have no history together, she doesn’t know that this is exactly what she shouldn’t be doing.
*On a side note - the mere fact that Emily Kinney refereed to Beth AGAIN as a TEENAGER makes this whole shipping contemplation with Daryl just…err…uncomfortable!
I will be honest - a CARYL deleted scene would have been amazing BUT Carylers were given some extra hopeful reassurance about Season 5, Melissa and Carol were clearly celebrated and some of our suspicions and gripes were vindicated!
*My favorite part was Scott Gimple giving Carol and Daryl extra time in Episode 1 because he knew they wouldn’t get it later on - that to me speaks volumes about what this show-runner deems to be important!
CARYL On My Lovelies - There is Hope…so much HOPE!