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The Walking Dead 'Diverged' Ending Explained

The second episode of The Walking Dead season 10C, "Find Me," ended with long-term survivors Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) having a heartbreaking falling out. The latest episode of the season, "Diverged," picks up shortly after. As they saunter back toward Alexandria, it's clear that things between them are still very frosty and they come to a literal fork in the road that is also clearly a metaphorical one. While Carol and Dog head down the path that leads back to Alexandria, Daryl goes the other way to continue scavenging for food and supplies. For the rest of the episode, we follow the two characters on their respective missions. Unable to fix the rift in her relationship with Daryl, Carol looks around Alexandria for a problem she can solve. It seems like there would be no shortage of things that need fixing in the aftermath of the Whisperer War, but she finds that the rest of the community already has things handled, leaving her without an outlet to assuage her guilt.

Meanwhile, Daryl's scavenging mission is sidetracked when his motorbike breaks down. He manages to salvage the parts he needs but realizes that he gave the tool required to do the repairs — his Swiss Army knife — to Carol and forgot to get it back. Although it's substantially more low-key than the other season 10C episodes (especially after last week's harrowing "Splinter"), "Diverged" does still give fans a deeper insight into the current state of Carol and Daryl's fractured relationship.

Carol is trying to find something she can fix

Carol's search for a problem to solve begins with her picking up a tattered scarf off the streets of Alexandria. When she finds Jerry (Cooper Andrews) working in one of the fields, he eyes the dirty fabric; Carol explains that she wants to wash it and mends the holes, saying, "Somebody loved it and I just want to fix something." Although Jerry seems a little concerned, he also doesn't have any other task for Carol to take on. She creates one for herself by announcing that she'll contribute to the rebuilding efforts by making a pot of soup for everyone. However, that seemingly simple assignment doesn't go as planned.

Some of the problems Carol encounters while making the soup stem from the hardships of post-apocalyptic life. However, others are the result of her anxious desire to fix things pulling her attention in different directions. She starts and stops the project many times, taking detours to collect more greens, make an improvised rat trap to try and catch a rodent that's invaded her home, and fix a solar panel so that she can get her trusty crock pot working again. By the time night falls, none of the issues has been resolved: the rat is still loose, the soup is still just ingredients, and the scarf is still a tattered rag. In her harried desire to fix something, Carol ends up not accomplishing anything other than driving herself into a dark mood.

Daryl runs into trouble on his solo mission

While Carol struggles with her soup, Daryl is having a difficult time completing his scavenging mission on his own. His quest to repair the motorbike takes the better part of the day and sees him having several close calls with walkers. In the end, he's able to get the bike working again and even finds some useful supplies, but it's clear that his falling out with Carol both figuratively and literally set him back. The irony of "Diverged" is that Carol and Daryl spend the episode apart looking for a solution to a problem that the other could easily solve. If Daryl hadn't pushed Carol away, he'd have the tool he needs to fix his bike, and if Carol hadn't left, she'd have something she could easily fix. Had they not started the episode by going down diverging paths in the woods, everything would have been much simpler for both of them. However, as anyone who has ever had a falling out with a good friend knows, that is one problem for which there is no easy fix.

While Daryl remains stoic, Carol gives viewers some more direct insight into how she's feeling. She confides in Dog while the two are cuddling in bed, and says "He'll come back. He always comes back." Although she expresses hope for Daryl's return, she is much more pessimistic in her assessment of herself, saying, "I don't, though. Do I? What do you think? You think I should scram? Just get out of everybody's hair? I could..."

Jerry tries to offer Carol some solace

During the night, Dog wakes Carol up because he can hear the rat scurrying around somewhere behind the walls. Unable to let the problem go unsolved, Carol furiously rips apart the drywall, leaving behind a massive manifestation of her woes. Jerry picks up on this the next day when he stops by to pay Carol a visit. Although the soup is finally bubbling away in the crockpot, she's clearly still carrying around a lot of pain. Jerry offers to tell her one of Ezekiel's (Khary Payton) sayings to give her some perspective. But Carol isn't interested. She tells him, "Maybe I don't need a saying. Maybe I just need to fix what I broke."

In "Find Me," Daryl blamed Carol for the disappearance of his close friend Connie (Lauren Ridloff), who was lost in a cave collapse that, as he sees it, was caused by Carol recklessly seeking revenge on Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton). Although Carol believes that her actions were in service of a greater good, she still understands that they came with negative consequences and the guilt of it weighs heavily on her. It's not the first time we've seen her struggle in this regard, but Daryl being the one to point the blame seems to be a twist of the knife that may be too much for her to bear.

Jerry has already intuited that her pain has something with Daryl. He tells her, "A friend is someone who thinks you're perfect even if everyone else thinks you're broken." Carol isn't buying it, though, and responds "What if you really are broken? What if your best friend just realized it a whole lot later than everyone else did?"

What will become of Carol and Daryl's relationship?

After her conversation with Jerry, Carol apologizes to the tattered scarf before abandoning her plans to repair it and throwing it in the garbage. She walks outside and sees Daryl getting home from his scavenging trip. The two have a stilted conversation and, when Carol tries to give the Swiss Army knife back, Daryl tells her to keep it. The episode ends with them each going into their separate homes, no closer to reaching any kind of solution.

It's clear that this rough patch in their relationship is painful for both Carol and Daryl, but that neither is quite sure how to navigate it. The characters have known each other for a long time and have been through a lot together, but long-term relationships of any kind are difficult; they have their ups and downs, and sometimes they unfortunately break apart. It's possible that this low-point for Carol and Daryl will pass and we'll see them buddied up again (hopefully in time for the Daryl-Carol spin-off series). For now, though, it looks like their sorrow for the people they've lost and the guilt of their decisions are going to keep them at arm's length from one another.