This Walking Dead review contains spoilers.
The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 6
To be honest, I don’t have much to say about tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead. You could almost call “Always Accountable” a villain-of-the-week episode that bears no real consequence by the end of the hour. In the past few years, this show has developed a bad habit of stalling major plots, and it’s becoming evident (especially in the last three weeks) that season 6 will suffer from the same.
That’s not to say that I need explosions and deaths all of the time. I understand that sometimes these characters need to talk, interact with each other with something other than rifles, but it seems that the writers have decided that there are only a couple of situations the characters should be restricted to. For example, we get a replay of last week’s big talking point—several Alexandrians, especially Maggie and Deanna, chose to live—with one of the least interesting characters on this show.
Not to knock Michael Cudlitz, who plays Abraham quite well, but I’ve felt for a while that this berserker doesn’t really fit the rest of the cast. Or rather, he hasn’t had anything to do since the first half of season 5. Since then, it’s been suicide missions, one after another, as if the writers are daring us to want this guy dead. Guess what, I want Abraham to die, if only to be spared another episode where he recklessly punches zombies in the face because he so obviously wants to get killed off. Because he has no real purpose on this show anymore. And making Sasha, who is a bit more complex and deserves more screen time than she usually gets, the focus of his affections isn’t a solution.
Basically, I hated wasting half of an episode wondering how things were going to turn out for Abraham, who gets tamed a bit by Sasha in the end, enough so that he won’t needlessly stab everything he sees. For his good behavior, he’s rewarded with a box of cigars and some rocket launchers we’ll probably see again in the midseason finale.
I’ve enjoyed watching Sasha regain her faith throughout the season. She’s come a long way from lying on top of a bunch of corpses in a mass grave to talking Abraham out of an early one. Again, the issue with her story is that she’s rarely on the forefront of anything and is given the same “do I want to live or die?” plot as many of the other secondary characters. This show desperately needs to a) add some new situations, or b) trim the fat in the cast. There are about five characters too many on this show.
I feel that my opinion of The Walking Dead gets turned around after every season premiere, where it seems like the show is going in a new, interesting direction that has major consequences. But by the time we reach midseason, I’m dragged back into familiar territory, as if my head were being thrust back into a tub of water. And it becomes more painful every single time.
Okay, so I’ve spent a lot of time complaining tonight. Let’s talk about Daryl’s story. Where is it? Has everyone’s favorite badass with a crossbow turned into “How’s he going to get out of this one?” fodder? His dire situation in “Always Accountable” isn’t even all that dire. Although I did like seeing him do a bit of recruiting tonight, if only to show how much the character has changed over the last few seasons, having all three of the guest characters slip through his fingers seemed cheap. No, of course, I don’t want any more dead weight on this show, but the bike-jacking gave this little story an unnecessarily grim ending. Also, ten bucks says that we’ll see the bike-nappers’ corpses laid out on the road by the end of the season, accompanied by sad synth.
“Always Accountable” is another gap in a story that started off very strong and is now quickly unravelling. Let’s hope tonight’s cliffhanger is directly addressed next week and not subject to more stalling.