The hate for this episode is laughable. Did you honestly want a Tom Hanks 'school teacher' moment from Saving Private Ryan for Darryl? There couldn't be two different characters on the show than Darryl and Beth. They have nothing in common. The awkwardness and tension between the two felt genuine, IMO. There were some cliched moments, and the fire at the end was a little over the top (maybe the fire is seen by one of the other groups...or the smoke the next morning), but we know more about each character than we did before.
I'm not sure what people expect from this show anymore.
Who wanted a Tom hanks moment? All I want is for the show to feel real. In this episode, everything felt forced and cliched.
Beth decides now is the moment to have her first drink.
Darryl suddenly quits speaking and walks around like a 2 year old throwing a tantrum.
They go to a country club so Darryl's class envy/hate of the rich/disdain for Beth can play out against the rich vs poor backdrop.
Darryl decides to have Beth drink moonshine.
They get drunk in the middle of the forest when there are zombies everywhere.
They burn down a shelter when there are no other places to hide - at night.
All of the above just seemed incredibly fake and forced to me. It all happened because of the plot, not because it grew organically from the characters/the story. I want the show to stop beating us over the head with everything (Beth was spoiled! Darryl was a bum! Carl's a brat!) and give us nuances. Right now, the only character who feels real is Michonne. I want the show to not be so cliched and silly. I want the show to respect the characters, not make them idiots who would have never survived 10 days if this really happened.
Take the last episode with Glenn and the new characters. Glenn wanted to go back and find Maggie (even though they'd driven for 4 hours past the bus so they're approx. 120 miles away at a min.) so what does he do? He stomps around and acts like an eight year old who just got grounded. Why? Why can't these people speak? Why can't Glenn explain that he wants to try to find his wife because she's the only thing he has left in the world? These are human beings, they should understand that, even if they think it's a fool's errand. But no, the characters aren't allowed to behave realistically they have to fight, draw attention from the zombies and end up almost dying and losing the safety of their truck. The only reason that went down was to force the plot in the direction the writers wanted to go.
I don't want zombie porn, I want a show that feels like real people in a real world. I like subtle, slow burn episodes of dramas. This episode was neither. TWD comes off like a toddler putting together a jigsaw puzzle. Instead of finding the pieces that fit together naturally they just beat on them and force them into place. Sure, the puzzle eventually goes together but it certainly doesn't look as good as it could have.