Okay I realized something about this fucking scene that killed me once again.
Simon will never tell Kieren he loves him, at least not in those words. For Simon his views of love is different from everyone elses. For Simon love is for friends and family, it’s a calm caring love that makes him want to protect them from the bad things so they never feel the way he felt when he was alive. That they will never feel like everything is meaningless. Love to Simon is so different from everyone else’s it’s on such a high freaking level that most people haven’t reached.
Simon does love Kieren don’t get me wrong but his love is so much deeper than that, the scene in the kitchen is his big deceleration of love to Kieren. He knows he loves Kieren there and he knows there is no going back he is at the highest point of love he never thought he would reach, that he never thought he deserved to feel. Simon thought the love of his belief was it for him and he was fine with that. But then this fucking doe-eyed, sensitive, sweet, caring boy broke into his chest and kicked down his walls and fucking kissed his heart. And Kieren didn’t even mean to. It just happened. Simon is just completely floored by the fact this kid made him feel something he fucking never thought he would deserve to feel no matter how long he lived after everything he had done. But he accepts it and he is surprised he does.
IN ONE FUCKING SCENE SIMON FUCKING REALIZES HE IS IN LOVE, PROBABLY TELLS HIMSELF HE DOESN’T DESERVE IT, ACCEPTS THE FACT HE IS IN LOVE, AND CONFESSES IT.
So I have been seeing a fair amount of talk about this scene talking about how Simon was hadn’t really chosen Kieren over his beliefs and that is why he was freaking out when faced with having to kill Kieren or betraying ULA. I don’t t think that is what’s going on here with Simon.
He had already chosen Kieren over his beliefs and the ULA. Remember what Simon told Kieren when he had confronted him about leading Amy on? “I don’t lead people on.” Is what he had told Kieren, it wasn’t just in his defense in saying he wasn’t leading Amy on but that he also wasn’t leading Kieren on, that he was true to his advances towards him and that he wasn’t doing it half heartedly. From what we’ve seen of Simon he is a straight shooter (no pun intended) and he doesn’t beat around the bush.
So what was he freaking out about than? I’m glad you asked. It’s the Second Rising he’s freaking out about, or the possible lack of one. Think about it, while Simon was freaking out they showed his past after the First Rising, how he was treated in the treatment center, how he had killed his mother, how his father blamed him and kicked him out, all the way to him joining the ULA. I think Simon wanted the Second Rising so bad was so he could get his mother back pure and simple.
That’s why I think Simon was freaking out, he wasn’t being forced to choose between Kieren and the ULA he was being forced to choose between Kieren and seeing his mother again. And he picked KIEREN. Yeah he had a bit of a emotional war over it and he probably thought “When my mommy comes back I’m going to hug her and beg for forgiveness and I’ll tell her about everything that’s has happened and I’m going to introduce her to Amy and they’ll like each other and then I’ll introduce her to my Kieren…but what? I HAVE TO KILL MY KIEREN TO BRING BACK MY MOMMY?! …what will mommy say if she finds out? She always said love was special and if you find someone you love you shouldn’t let them go. WHAT DO I DO? ZOMBIE JESUS TAKE THE WHEEL! WWZJD?”
I was watching ‘Consumed’ for the 4637289365478629th time on the long bus ride back from D.C., and something about this small exchange caught my attention, even after all these viewings.
Daryl – obviously exhausted yet deeply concerned about Carol and eager to know what’s going on inside her head – asks a direct question. I could probably write a whole meta on what it means that Daryl has both the balls and the desire to do this, but that’s not the specific point that I want to make here.
What really caught me this time is that Carol just … answers him.
She pauses for a second (old habits die hard) and then puts it all out there. “I don’t think we get to save people anymore.”
For most of the other women on TWD, this wouldn’t really be worth noting. But think about the men we’ve seen Carol interact with on this show:
Ed. It’s reasonable to assume that Carol spent most of their marriage hiding her true feelings from him. She learned to lie, to deflect, to hold her tongue when necessary, and to steer the conversation in a different direction when she could sense things heading into dangerous territory. She honed all of these skills to do everything possible to keep her and her baby girl safe, and she still got beat up all the time.
Shane. There isn’t a ton of Shane/Carol interaction on the show (probably all to the good, because mostly I want to kick him in the balls with some steel-toed boots), but I’m pretty sure any thinking viewer would have to realize how much Shane probably reminds Carol of Ed. Yes, Shane beats the shit out of Ed and yes, Shane demonstrates a moment of unexpected tenderness when he helps Carol clean off her hands after she goes on the rampage in the bushes in the wake of Sophia’s death. But he’s just another man who’s prone to instant and unpredictable violence, and even in the scene where he’s speaking softly to her about how sorry he is for her loss, we can see in her eyes how much she doesn’t fully trust him. She can’t let her guard down, not for a second.
Tyreese. Her relationship with Ty might by the one that breaks me the most, because I absolutely believe that they both saw the good in each other, despite the fact that they could never quite wind up on the same page. Still, Carol considers him enough of a potential threat that when she pushes the gun across the table in ‘The Grove,’ she unquestionably believes that her choice to do so may result in her death. The look on her face when he says “I forgive you” says it all. She’s grateful as hell, but she in no way believed that this was the only way for the story to end.
Rick. Ahem. (laughs forever) Everyone who follows me knows I could write 12 books on this one, but in short, Rick’s yet another man with whom Carol has to keep her metaphorical left up at all times. He physically intimidated her through the entirety of ‘Indifference,’ in addition to inflicting the emotional blow of saying flat out that he considered her an active threat to his children. Yes, they’re working together now, and even I do believe that to some degree she trusts him. But I also believe that whatever trust she’s placed in Rick only goes so far, because there’s no way to erase the memory of what he was willing to do when he believed she wasn’t on his side. Carol’s a chess player, and chess players always keep their options open and think three moves ahead. She is well aware that he’s about two paces away from the border of Crazytown (if that far), and she handles him with kid gloves. She doesn’t strip herself emotionally bare with him.
And then there’s Daryl. Daryl, who’s called her a bitch. Daryl, who’s raised his fist to her with such apparent intent to hit that he’s caused her to flinch. Daryl, who’s screamed, “I don’t want you here!” right to her face.
And here she is, sitting with him in a dark room palpably haunted by the ghosts of her past, and she just … tells him the truth.
Maybe it seems like a small thing, but to me, it’s anything but. When has Carol ever been invited by a man to just say whatever she wants, with the unquestionable understanding that no negative repercussions will follow? When has she been asked how she thinks or feels about something and permitted to answer the question any way she chooses, without trying to adapt her words to what she thinks some man wants to hear?
Pretty much never, is when.
But Daryl doesn’t have an agenda. He doesn’t want anything from her except the truth. He isn’t asking for himself. He’s asking for her, because he knows she needs to give voice to the fear that’s eating her from the inside, that’s causing her to contemplate running away from the group, that’s keeping her at a distance from him and everyone else.
So he just asks her to speak her mind, and quietly waits for her to do so. And when she does, he doesn’t judge, or yell, or get angry, or shame or belittle her. He only asks why she’s doing what she’s doing if she genuinely believes she can’t save people.
And in asking that question, he’s (ever so gently) forcing her to admit that some small part of her still wants to believe, still wants to hope, still wants to fight.
This fandom can (and does) argue until the end of time about the nature of Carol and Daryl’s relationship. But it’s unquestionably canon that they trust each other in a way neither trusts another living human being. Daryl is the only person for whom Carol will drop her guard, and even when she can’t let herself do that (like in the heartbreaking forehead kiss scene in ‘Them’), she acknowledges to him exactly what she’s doing. She’s not trying to hide or pretend.
I just have so many feelings about how far they’ve come in their relationship, and about how Carol has reached a place where she can talk to a man – a man who was once capable of physically scaring her – with warmth and love and understanding and affection and not be even a little bit afraid of him at all.
It’s effing amazing, is what it is.
[Extra super special thanks to Donna, who made the .gif I used for this post especially for me. You’re the best!]
I wish I didn’t tell you how I died, it’s such a drag now youre a warm body and I’m a corpse. You say you would have noticed the maggots within my lips and the way my bones are poking through the skin, but you didn’t see my new haircut for a month and still can’t remember what colour eyeshadow I wear.
I still want to hold swing your hand and make conversation we would forget, pretending that we’re flightless birds and running across the wet grass till we were sweaty underneath the sweaters. But I can’t cos my limbs are rotting and so is the blood between us (literally, this is the fifth time this week I’ve had to change the bed sheets)
Now all you want to know is if I’m craving your body, (which I always have to be honest.) No, I don’t want to go to therapy or talk about my feelings, it isn’t a sign if I decide to oil paint on the tiles or if I lay my organs out to dry.
I want to go back to the times where you would circle the block and cat call me with rolling r’s just to make me laugh. I want to admire the back of your neck without you thinking I’ll take a bite. (I’ve been on a low protein diet since last July)
You’ll never find my killer, he’s buried deep in the ice of the deep freezer of the chip shop we used to go to. He’s technically not my killer all he did was stop my lungs from breathing and I’m still here, though all my hair is falling out as my flesh is shrinking… but I’m starting to think he stopped your heart from beating too.
You don’t tell people how we met anymore, you don’t tell our story, because I suppose it is a dead love.
I’m gonna go ahead and have another probably unpopular opinion here. If you’re super shippy and that’s the reason you’re on tumblr, it’s highly probable that you don’t want to read this post. Just sayin’.
Look, I ship Caryl like it’s my job. I have shipped it since the moment Daryl handed Carol the pickaxe and stared in fascinated horror as she smashed the hell out of Ed’s brains. I do not ship Carol and Tobin. And wow, I’m exhausted by the number of comments I’ve gotten on various posts – comments that go something along the lines of, “Why would anyone who loves Carol want this relationship for her?” blah blah blah. Because I love her with my soul and I do not want that relationship for her. You can go back on my blog until the end of time and you will never find a single post that says Carol’s relationship with Tobin is healthy, intended to be long-term, or meant to indicate anything besides Carol’s deteriorating mental health and her unsuccessful attempts to save herself from the abyss.
I do not ship it. I just don’t.
However, I have seen some seriously disturbing posts floating about here and there over the last few weeks. I mean, the ones from Carol’s number one fandom hater honestly just make me laugh. We all know her terrifying, misogynist agenda and honestly I dismiss every word of her bs with a superior shrug, because it must truly suck to hate women that much.
But I’ve also seen several posts floating about in the tags and occasionally even on my dash, posts that lowkey (or even highkey, ugh) try to make Carol’s relationship with Tobin about Daryl, or even worse, try to suggest that Carol has done something “wrong” and Daryl has some sort of right to feel … well. What’s the word even? Judgy? Slighted? Angry? Jealous? Disappointed?
There’s just this unbelievably creepy thread of unspoken suggestion that Carol was supposed to be “saving” herself for him or something, and I find the entire conversation so upsetting.
The thing is, this isn’t Daryl’s story. It’s Carol’s. This story is about Carol. It’s about her finally smashing into the wall and discovering that she no longer has the ability to deal with everything she’s had to do since she killed Karen and David. It’s about her hitting rock bottom (good lord – hopefully) with nowhere to go but up.
The entire time that Carol’s been slowly coming apart, Daryl’s been doing his own thing, dealing with his own shit. I’m not faulting him for that – this post isn’t remotely a finger pointing post. (I can’t believe that every single member of Team Family isn’t constantly suffering from every last symptom of PTSD, tbh.)
But here’s my issue.
There is not one single moment in canon that suggests Carol “owes” Daryl a single thing in terms of romantic “fidelity.” They’re not a couple. They’re not dating. He’s never once expressed any romantic interest in her. The few times she’s flirted with him, he’s responded with embarrassment and deflection. This man has had five seasons (we’re gonna write off S1 because well, Ed just died and that’s rude) to make a move, and he hasn’t done so, despite what I see as clear signals from Carol that she’d be open to it.
Because I’m a shipper, of course I read all of this as nothing more than evidence of Daryl’s spectacular lack of knowledge regarding relationships, his probable belief that he’s not remotely good enough for her, his total lack of self confidence in this arena, and as I already mentioned, the fact that he’s dealing with many epic issues of his own.
Personally, I can’t imagine that he doesn’t know about Carol and Tobin’s relationship. This is the man who’s supposed to be one of the most observant members of Team Family, by his own description of himself. How would he not notice Carol sitting on Tobin’s porch every morning, smoking cigarettes and looking sad af? How would he not notice that she’s sleeping at Tobin’s house at night? I mean, canon may prove me wrong as we go into S7 (we all know that I’m super hesitant to make predictions about anything, so I freely admit that this is speculation and nothing more than my opinion based on the history of the characters’ behavior), but at this point that’s how I see it.
I don’t think Daryl’s jealous, or angry, or judging, or disappointed. He loves her, is the thing. Bone deep, he loves her. So at most, he’s sad that he’s not put together enough to be there for her in the way he’d probably most like to be, and also sad that she is in such a bad place that she landed herself in a relationship that could never be more than a temporary band-aid on a potentially fatal wound.
*shrugs* As I said, all of this is nothing more than my personal opinion on the situation. I’m just not here, ever, for even the suggestion of slutshaming Carol for sleeping with Tobin. And I get even more upset when people try to bring Daryl into that equation. Daryl, the man who has always (aside from a few moments in S2, shhhhhhh) unreservedly adored her with no judgment in his heart.
God, I hope S7 lets Carol heal. And of course my shippy self can’t help hoping that Daryl’s allowed to be part of that. But wow, I need these posts that suggest Carol has somehow made herself less “worthy” of his love to die in a fire. Because it’s gross, it’s misogynist, and it’s straight-up wrong.
A purple zombie sort of…shambled behind Vincent, not attacking, not running, not really acting aggressive at all. Just…trailing behind him. However, he was..getting a bit too close, and who knew what could happen. A zombie’s a zombie after all, though, well, this zombie was Lavender. He still had his mind all together and could think and…he saw Vincent while he was eating a zombie for food and wanted to make sure he was ok. He would have communicated this if it wasn’t for the fact that the bite that infected him had damaged his vocal chords.
Well, here it is. The post birthday hangover. My mom’s been pumping me full of advil, water and pancakes but I still feel zombie status. I might have to skip school tomorrow, too. It was totally worth it, though. Sorry if I said or did anything stupid to you last night.