Fans crumbled when The Walking Dead's midseason 10 premiere ended with a falling out between best friends Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus). After falling victim to a trap sprung by Alpha (Samantha Morton) in the midseason finale, leaving seven of our survivors surrounded by thousands of walkers below ground, Daryl once more pleads with Carol to curb the reckless vendetta she's carrying out to avenge the murdered Henry (Matt Lintz), her son she shared with now-ex Ezekiel (Khary Payton). But when Carol sees a chance to take out half of the Whisperers' walker horde, she inadvertently causes the cave to collapse, leaving Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Magna (Nadia Hilker) buried beneath rubble.
When "Squeeze" starts, a claustrophobic Carol tries to stave off panic, and it's only after the group moves deeper through the cave system that Carol and Daryl get a chance to talk.
"It’s like I can’t even turn my back on you anymore," Daryl says, adding it's bad enough Aaron (Ross Marquand) is hanging around "skin freak" Gamma (Thora Birch). "Now I gotta worry about you going around all half cocked every time you go outside."
She's sorry. "I begged you to talk to me. I want to be there for you. I do," Daryl says. "I don’t know what to do anymore." A tearful Carol admits she can't stop thinking about her loss and the pain she wants to inflict to avenge that loss.
"I don’t want to just kill Alpha. I want to hurt her. I want to make her regret everything," Carol confesses. "I want her to beg forgiveness and then I want to kill her." Daryl gets it. "If I went through all the shit you went through," he tells her, "I’d probably feel the same way. Unless you tried to stop me. You gotta quit all this. You gotta. People you care about are starting to get hurt."
She knows. "I didn't mean for any of this to happen," Carol says, stopping only when Daryl tells her not to bullshit him.
"You gotta promise. I gotta know we’re on the same team," Daryl tells her. "We fight for our future. We don’t fight for revenge." Carol promises.
That promise is broken when Carol sneaks away with a stick of dynamite uncovered by Kelly (Angel Theory). With a swear, Daryl goes after her, finding Carol out on a ledge above the swarming mass of walkers hundreds of feet below. She inches out closer. Carol is right on top of them, dynamite in hand, which she carefully places on a ledge. She readies her matches, but in her nervousness, she slips before she can ignite the explosive.
Daryl's hand reaches out. He pulls her up with a, "What the hell are you doing?" Carol wants to see the mission through and take out the threat of the walker horde, but Daryl tells her, "You're gonna get yourself killed."
Through tears, all Carol can say is, "She killed my boy." Daryl knows. But she's gotta come back. Please. When she does, Carol goes to retrieve the dynamite, accidentally knocking it loose. The resulting boom sends Connie and Magna in search of the missing Carol and Daryl, who are brought back in one piece as Kelly and Aaron get free. Everyone else follows except Connie and Magna, who are still inside when another boom blows up the cave's exit.
Daryl rips away pieces of rubble, but Aaron says it will take a week to clear it all. Kelly says they can't, knowing the blast will bring walkers and Whisperers from a hundred miles away. "We can't save them if we're dead."
Without a word, Daryl sticks his finger in Carol's face and is stopped when he goes to leave.
"Go ahead and say it to me. I deserve it. You should say it to me… you were right about everything," Carol cries, a complete wreck. "Just say it. Please. You cared about her, and now she’s gone because of me. Please just say it. Please say it… please…"
But he never does, and Carol is left alone outside the rubble.
Reedus previously warned the Carol and Daryl relationship gets "really complicated" in Season 10, saying during an October convention appearance, "If you look at all the things that have happened to Carol, she's lost so much, you know? And she's become very damaged because of it. So there's a lot of that kind of relationship this year."
Daryl loves Carol so much. She is one of his best friends and family member. Hearing him being at a loss is so heartbreaking. #TheWalkingDead— Becca (@StewBecc) February 24, 2020
Carol & Daryl aren’t in a great place and I’m SO SAD. 😭😭😭— Chelsea of Tarth 🌙☀️🏳️🌈 (@ChelzKaye) February 24, 2020
I'm sorry but....is Carol just not allowed to be happy? An excellent performance tonight from @mcbridemelissa, so much raw emotion. I just wish we could see Carol having better days 💔 #TheWalkingDead #stophatingcarolpeletier— αηgєℓα (@katya_velour37) February 24, 2020
After the cave collapsed and daryl was in distress he pointed at carol and no matter how carol begged him to say it in her face, to blame her, daryl would never say it and hurt carol like that. 😭 #TheWalkingDead— Mish B Esmenda ; (@mishywoo) February 24, 2020
Seeing this Carol hate and ppl saying she should’ve died at the prison is making me so disappointed. If this is their goal for some elaborate storyline then it’s working. Stan Carol :( #TheWalkingDead— 𝕡𝕖𝕪𝕥𝕠𝕟 𝕕𝕚𝕒𝕫-𝕥𝕨𝕚𝕟𝕖 💙 (@peytonsidol) February 24, 2020
Carol is just broken 💔 #TheWalkingDead— Mish B Esmenda ; (@mishywoo) February 24, 2020
I know that Carol is suffering, but her decisions can make other people suffer just like her!! Example: Kelly & Yumiko right now!!February 24, 2020
Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus performance at the end of the episode was so good that I not only wanted to yell at Daryl to hug Carol, I wanted to tell at Norman to hug Melissa. #TheWalkingDead #twdfamily— Ms Heather (@HeatherByTheSea) February 24, 2020
Daryl is an amazing friend to carol from I think season 1 or 2. He always has her back. Don’t know how they repair this now !? He was so pissed for what carol did in the cave.— Lo (@Delosmilagros2) February 24, 2020
Watching Daryl upset and Carol falling to pieces...wow one of the best scenes in TWD! it had me simultaneously crying and in awe of their acting #twd #TheWalkingDead #DemDeadz #DeyWalking #twdseason10 #twdfamily #TalkingDead pic.twitter.com/eLSmCuVuVs— Hey, Amanda girl! (@datgirlmanda_) February 24, 2020
You can’t show me for 10 years that these 2 are soulmates who love each other more than anyone else & then try to sell me anything other than them being together forever. They love each other. They need to be together. They have a bond too strong to be broken.#caryl #twd pic.twitter.com/7lSTpyrDV5— Jennnnn 🦥 (@ZedWordJen) February 24, 2020
New episodes of TWD Season 10 premiere Sundays on AMC. For more TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.