A fork in the road.
The episode begins with Carol, Daryl, and Dog on the road. After Daryl helps Carol open her canteen, the two wish they had more to show for their trip. More so with all the extra mouths to feed, but Daryl is confident that they can make this work. As the two approach a fork in the road, Daryl decides to stick around a bit longer to hunt more.
Carol, thinking Daryl is about to apologize, tells him that he doesn’t. As it turns out, he didn’t plan on it. He just wishes her good luck. The two part ways, with Dog surprisingly deciding to go with Carol.
While Daryl rides off, Carol and Dog teleport back to Alexandria by the very next scene. They head to Daryl’s home, where Carol confides in Dog that she didn’t need an apology from Daryl. She knows that he meant what he said. An apology would just be a truce- it doesn’t fix anything.
Carol heads out to tell Jerry that she wants to work on north gate post. If things work out, she’d clean the dead fish out of the fishery. However, the fishery has been cleaned out, and Rosita already has some people on the north gate. He asks about the filthy rags Carol found, and she thinks someone dropped them during the evacuation.
For reasons neither I nor Jerry can figure out, she wants to make the rags look nice and pretty again.
Since Jerry is hungry, Carol figures she can whip up something. However, there are people crashing in Michonne’s kitchen. Carol can’t use the hot pot in the pantry, either. Since the Whisperers probably messed up the solar panels, there’s no energy for the hot pot. They also had to throw out a bunch of grain due to rats. At the very least, Carol can make some soup.
Still not finished, Carol tells Jerry about the story of stone soup. A hungry stranger came to a village, but had nothing to trade for food…except for a big rock. He convinced the villagers to try his world famous stone soup. But before that, he had to borrow some salt…and then onion. Soon enough, the stranger had a real soup on his hands. Jerry is confident that Ezekiel and the others will be back with help.
That way, Carol doesn’t have to make a soup out of rocks. If only. I feel like they just had two different conversations.
Carol gets to work on her soup, but she’s distracted when she finds Dog ripping up shit and causing a big, fucking mess. Turns out that Dog is looking for a rat. He rushes into the pantry, knocking over Carol’s pot in the progress. Well, a lot of good that did.
So instead, Carol creates a rap trap. She leaves it unattended, so I’m going to guess that Dog falls for this instead.
She heads outside the walls to pick some plants when walkers approach. They’re all nicely spread out for her. Isn’t that just kind of them to do?
A loose wire in Daryl’s motorcycle forces him to travel on foot. He finds some abandoned cars and goes through them for wires. While searching under one vehicle, the walker inside starts moving around, shifting the car’s balance. Luckily, Daryl manages to retrieve the wires he needs.
However, because he gave Carol his pocket knife, he has to use his combat blade. When that doesn’t work out the way he likes, he decides to just walk his motorcycle.
A bloody Carol returns to the Safe Zone and gets to work setting up a solar panel. Jerry, who is just always around, asks Carol if she needs any help, but she’s got this. When she’s finished, she returns to the pantry and flips a switch. Voila, on come the lights!
Daryl approaches some railroad tracks when he spots walkers in the distance. He attracts their attention when he steps on a branch. Well, shit. Daryl leads the walkers in his direction when he spots one walker stuck on a tree. He heads towards it, but slips down just as the walker breaks free. After a struggle, Daryl stabs the walker and raids its uniform for supplies including, conveniently, a cable cutter.
Conveniences, am I right? Anyway, Daryl returns to fixing up his motorcycle.
Back in Alexandria, Carol brings Dog into the pantry. She’s managed to capture the rat. Like any sensible person, she unintentionally frees the damned thing when she lifts up the trap. For essentially the next minute, we watch Carol scramble to try and catch the rat, but it ends up scurrying into a hole. For this, Carol finds a use for that rag: plugging up the hole. Also, the power goes off again, so no way to heat that soup.
That night, Carol and Dog settle in for bed. Both miss Daryl, but Carol knows that he’ll be back. He always comes back. She, however, does not. She even asks Dog if she should just leave for good and get out of everyone’s hair.
Because sleep is for the weak, Daryl keeps working on his motorcycle, late into the night. He finally gets it working and speeds off into the night.
Dog awakens Carol and leads her to the pantry. That damned rat is at it again. Carol stabs at the wall enough times to make a hole, but the pesky pest refuses to budge. She then hacks at and starts tearing down the whole damn wall. All this for a rat.
The next day, Jerry arrives and sees Carol’s extreme home makeover. He’s come by to check on her, but Carol tells Jerry that she wants to just suffer in peace. That’s a pretty nice way of telling someone to fuck off, Carol. She tells Jerry that she had a bad day yesterday. Ezekiel had a saying for this: “A friend is someone who thinks you’re perfect, even if everyone else thinks you’re broken.”
Carol didn’t tell Jerry why she had a bad day, but he noticed that Daryl didn’t return with her. Carol wonders if she really is broken, and her best friend just realized it a lot later than everyone else. Ezekiel might have a saying for that, too. Apparently, Ezekiel must have a book of sayings. What would Jerry say, though? He responds with a hug.
Also, the rat crawls out and scurries away.
Daryl returns to Alexandria. He and Carol have a brief exchange, with Daryl telling Carol that she can keep the pocket knife. Exhausted, both decide to turn in for the day as the episode comes to a close.
Even though Carol was in “Find Me,” that was more Daryl’s episode than anything. “Diverged” gives Carol the spotlight in a pretty quick episode. Seriously, all things considered, this episode just flew by. Still, it’s nice to spend more time with Carol as she sorts out her problems.
It’s clear that she’s still feeling burned by how she and Daryl left things in “Find Me.” Though the two at least being on speaking terms in the opening hopefully shows that they squashed their beef. Daryl might still be miffed at Carol for apparently getting Connie killed, but he’s not holding it over her head forever. At least, not here.
I’ve heard some describe these extra Season 10 episodes as webisodes. I agree. More so with this episode because not a lot happens. Carol goes back to Alexandria, tries to make a soup, tries to catch a rat, and rips down a wall. Daryl fixes his motorcycle. When you say it out loud, it doesn’t sound like 40 minutes worth of engaging content. It’s not.
It’s also not new, for Carol. Her talking about leaving? Wanting to suffer in peace? We’ve been down this road so many times with Carol that she either needs to shit or get off the pot. She wouldn’t keep coming back without a reason. In this episode, she just wants to be of use. That and find a way to occupy her time.
I mean, we know Carol’s built for more than making soup and catching rats, but if she can bring some joy to Jerry or Dog, then she’s done her job. Though she accomplish either one of those things by episode’s end. She gets some form of encouragement from Jerry, so that’s nice.
Given the circumstances of filming these episodes with only a few people at a time, having Jerry be the one to encourage Carol was a good decision. He’s not as overly theatrical as Ezekiel, but has the same optimism. He sees the good in Carol with none of the baggage. Actually, I don’t know how much Jerry does know about Carol, but right now, that doesn’t matter to him. He’s just being a good friend.
Considering how at odds Carol and Daryl had been, a good friend is just what Carol needed. Jerry’s not in this episode a lot, and that’s fine because a. this is Carol’s moment, and b. he works better in these short bursts. If he checked in on Carol every few minutes, it’d get old and we’d probably wonder if he has literally anything else to do.
That said, at the end of the day, not a lot happens in the episode. It was a trial-and-error day for Carol, with Dog knocking over the soup, her chasing the rat, and the power going out. Her only solace came in caring for Dog, and that was after he tore up the place trying to catch that rat. It was sort of entertaining to watch, even if it didn’t amount to much.
Given how good we’ve seen Daryl is with motorcycles, it was nice to see him make use of what tools he could find to fix his motorcycle. The odds of him finding enough abandoned vehicles to get wires and snag cable cutters off of a walker are probably slim, though. It’s as convenient as Carl and Enid finding roller skates that fit them.
As simple and uneventful as this episode was, I didn’t mind it. That’s not really a high bar when it comes to these extra episodes, and it doesn’t take much to top the awful “Splinter,” but I liked watching Carol’s misadventures. Plus, by episode’s end, she and Daryl look to be on good terms again, so that’s good, even if it’s just the show bringing them back to the status quo.