Hi there unknown friend,
Thank you for the message and for trusting me with this rather “sensitive” question.
I will tell you right away that I respectfully disagree with your opinion because I don’t see Daryl taking Carol along to follow the “cross car” lead just “cause she was there”.
In fact I believe that HIM taking HER along is not just significant in a way of ‘back-up’ for the search-and-rescue BUT also speaks volumes about how Daryl feels both about Carol and her own state of mind.
Let’s consider the entire episode first and I will show you what I mean.
The “Strangers” episode doesn’t seem to have much of a time jump so we can assume that the emotional reunion between Carol and Daryl had happened not that long ago. We witnessed the intense feelings exhibited during that encounter and after that scene there is no way of denying the importance Carol’s presence holds in Daryl’s personal reality.
He was overwhelmed by his emotional response to her return and their interaction both acknowledged and solidified the bond they share.
Carol is essential for Daryl’s happiness - regardless of the nature of their relationship.
In this episode we saw Carol reeling from the grief and pain brought on by the tragedy at the Grove AND we saw her struggle to adjust and find a place in the now expanded group that she used to call “family”.
What’s even more significant is that we also saw Daryl notice that Carol was having a hard time and we also saw him try as best as he can to offer support, encouragement and a watchful eye.
He steps up emotionally several times and tries to be there for her because he could tell she was slipping away from both the group and him.
Rick plans a supply mission which is something Daryl would normally spearhead or at the very least assist with BUT interestingly enough he stays behind to help Carol…carry water jugs.
He takes watch with her, he trails after her, he sits by her at supper and basically doesn’t leave her side at all, mostly because he knows she wasn’t doing well and because she had been there for him in the very same way.
In Season 2 when Daryl thought about leaving the group Carol was there to pull him back in AND it seems that now it is Carol that needs someone to do the very same thing for her. Fittingly it is Daryl who notices her isolating herself and essentially makes it his mission to make sure that doesn’t happen.
That’s the reason he follows her outside when she attempts to sneak away and that’s why they are there together when the car speeds by.
Daryl didn’t have to get Carol to go with him and in fact it would have been beneficial for him to leave her behind so she can tell the others that he was following a lead to find Beth. With both of them gone and with nobody knowing why or where they went, the group is not just more vulnerable but also prone to wasting valuable resources and time searching for them.
He could have jumped in the car and sent Carol back to the church to tell Rick but instead he choose to take her along with him.
Minutes before the car was spotted Daryl had caught Carol trying to slip away unnoticed so he knows her mind set is not a good one at the moment AND he could be thinking if he leaves her behind she most likely won’t be there when he comes back.
Weighing out all the facts Daryl chooses to take her with him because he doesn’t trust the others to keep an eye on her like he would - after all she was sneaking away and he had been the only one that had noticed.
If he chases the car on his own, Carol could tell the group and Rick wouldn’t have to search for yet another person in the wilderness - the group would have been better off that way BUT if Carol stays to do that then HE might LOSE HER and that’s more important to him.
She Is More Important To Him - That’s Why She Is With Him In That Car and That’s Why Rick Will Not Know What Happened To Them.
He Choose Her Because He Wanted Her With Him.
Carylers are not concerned about Daryl searching for Beth because we don’t need to be.
Beth was with Daryl when she was taken and naturally since she was essentially under his protection he would feel responsible for her disappearance and he would want to bring her back if he could. He searched for Sophia, Merle, Andrea, Glenn and Maggie - Daryl doesn’t leave anyone behind and seeing how he was the one watching out for Beth the fact that he will follow a lead that might result in her being found is not just completely understandable but noble as well.
Carol didn’t have to be with him and in fact the group would have been better off if he had gone alone BUT he wanted her there and he needed to keep an eye on her to make sure she isn’t lost to him once again.
Just as she couldn’t lose him when he was straying away in Season 2, the reunion and the emotional pleas Daryl made to Carol in this episode tell us that now it is him who “can’t lose her too”.
Just as she convinced him to “learn to live with the love”, HE took HER with him to show HER the very same thing.
If anybody can pull Carol out of the depths of despair it will be Daryl AND while yes, they are searching for Beth that doesn’t mean that she is just tagging along so he can find “his true love” like some are suggesting,
Carylers know that the woman sitting next to him is the one person that is so important to him that he can’t trust anyone else with her presence or her life.
They are together - they are alone - Daryl knows she’s hurting and judging by what he was like in the last two episodes he will do whatever he can to keep her alive, safe and finally happy.
Everything else will sort itself out - I fully believe she’s with him for a reason!
A CARYL Reason!
CARYL On - The Best Is Yet To Come