“Consumed” saw Daryl and Carol teaming up to follow a vehicle bearing the same mark as the one that fled the scene of Beth’s kidnapping. As Daryl and Carol followed the car into Atlanta, they made a few stops along the way, including one to a temporary housing shelter for abused families, before meeting up with the escaped Noah. In the end, Carol was injured and taken in by the hospital group, while Daryl pledged to take Noah back to the church and get reinforcements. The episode was full of great scenes and exceptional charisma between Daryl and Carol—but there is one particular detail that many fans missed during their first watch.
One of the themes in this episode was moving on from the past, and becoming a new person while leaving the past behind. Carol referenced her earlier life prior to the outbreak, where she was abused by her husband but never had the will to leave him; she considered herself weak and useless. But her current status as one of the most reliable and deadly characters on the show is a far cry from the Carol we saw in the first season.
Daryl, too, is a new person—as Carol put it, he is now a “man.” Daryl is not just the ‘muscle’ of the group, but an integral member who lives by his own moral code and is not afraid to put his life on the line for others.
One interesting touch that fans may have missed during the scene where Carol and Daryl are packing to leave the temporary shelter for abused women is Daryl tucking a book into his bag. The book was a guide to treating survivors of childhood abuse; earlier on in the series, it was revealed that Daryl’s father would beat him and Merle mercilessly, and deep scars can be seen on Daryl’s back from this childhood abuse. The book is a way to show that Daryl wants, like Carol, to move on from his past as an abuse survivor.
Carol was shown holding onto a copy of Tom Sawyer that Hershel gave to Lizzie and Mika back in the prison. In addition to having some interesting parallels (in the book, Tom Sawyer pretends to be dead and ‘rises’ from the dead at his own funeral) it could be a way to show that Carol is holding onto some part of her past, despite her claims to have let go.