The Walking Dead, Consumed - TV review: The search for Beth leads to disaster

Warning: This review contains spoilers for viewers in the UK

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In keeping with this season’s record of shifting genres, ‘Consumed’ is part buddy movie, part action thriller, offering an insight into the troubled minds of two of the series’ most popular, fascinating characters.

With a few dozen walkers thrown in to keep things interesting, it’s a marked improvement on last week’s instalment that pieces together the final details surrounding Beth’s disappearance.

Still in pursuit of the mysterious vehicle that belongs to Beth’s kidnappers, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) team up to track down their long-lost companion. Their efforts lead them deep into zombie territory, where a mysterious foe might just hold the key to their captured friend’s survival.

The teaming of Carol and Daryl will likely be a cause for celebration for fans, as two of The Walking Dead’s most celebrated (and recently neglected) characters get their chance to shine. By this point, Reedus and McBride have honed the nuances of their respective characters. At once emotionally complex and ruthlessly efficient zombie-killing machines, both depict moments of intense action and sensitive reflection.


Unlike last week’s instalment, it’s full of surprises. Noah makes a shock return, only to end up being the antagonist for much of the story before nearly becoming walker food (trapped under a bookcase with a zombie at his throat, he almost ends up getting a love bite he will never forget). Carol’s tearful breakdown at the wheel of her car in the teaser and her remorse over her past mistakes exposes the vulnerable side of a seemingly impervious character.

The action sequences scattered throughout save the episode from becoming a sob fest. In one memorable sequence the pair find themselves trapped inside an abandoned van while a horde of zombies surround them like a pack of bloodthirsty groupies. When the vehicle is hauled off the freeway and onto the level below both Carol and Daryl emerge virtually unscathed (unlike many of their zombie counterparts, who end up as puree).   

Only in its final minutes does ‘Consumed’ become somewhat less involving. While viewers of episode four may have suspected the conclusion (where Carol ends up on a stretcher) the incident feels somewhat rushed, with Carol’s accident and capture feeling like a hasty setup for the showdown to come.

Despite this for the most part it’s a convincing episode that provides answers to many longstanding questions and sets the stage for the inevitable battle that lies ahead.