This Walking Dead review contains spoilers.
The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 14
Well, I really didn’t want that to happen. Worse yet, I didn’t even see it coming. For the last few weeks, I’ve predicted that Abraham would be the one to die before the season finale. Sure, I cheated a little since it’s exactly what happens in the comics, but it was a good guess, considering the writers’ knack for adaptation. What they spin in “Twice as Far,” though, is so much better.
For how much of a punch this episode packs, the first thirty or so minutes are relatively quiet, which is all the more reason to fear the worst. I’m not sure how I feel about the opening of the episode, where we’re treated to a time loop of guard shifts and cigarette ashes, but I get what the show is going for here, showing the inevitability of time, that life in Alexandria will always be about waiting for the next threat to kill, as Carol puts it before she leaves for good. You can almost hear the mad clock ticking with every one of Gabriel’s footsteps, every drag of Carol’s cigarette. Everyone, including all of us, expects what’s coming. And tonight, the Saviors started chipping away.
I’ve enjoyed watching Denise grow this season, from a terrified medic to someone who has faced her fears time and again. Tonight, we saw her take her final step, beyond the gates of Alexandria and to an unfair end, but that’s exactly what this show should be — even when we hate this universe’s decisions on who lives and dies. This is a cruel world where good people meet bad ends. I really liked Merritt Wever’s turn on the show and the arc the writers created for her. While in the past The Walking Dead hasn’t been great at balancing so many characters at once, Denise’s story was a surprise in the most unlikely place. Certainly, other secondary characters would’ve enjoyed the attention she did in the last few weeks.
In fact, this might be one of the first episodes dedicated to a group of secondary characters that doesn’t suck. Well, maybe I’ll give a pass to last year’s Beth episodes, but Abraham’s “Self-Help” still makes me wish I had an hour of my life back. This year’s Abraham stuff hasn’t been that much better, and the writers smartly pushed him to the background tonight, continuing his great American love story in just one scene towards the end of the episode. He does get a great moment with Eugene, full of RPG metaphors and terrible catchphrases.
Eugene does a bit of growing, too. It’s great to see his newfound bravery shaken by the lead-covered walker and then all of those Saviors before he decides to take matters into his own jaws and chomp down on Dwight’s scrotum. That last sentence might be my masterpiece. I really like the all-new, proactive Eugene.
Like Denise pointed out before getting an arrow to the head — and how great is it that she tries to finish her sentence, even after she’s been shot?! — Daryl and Rosita are absolutely the best team-up for the episode. The show’s never focused on Rosita all that much, but tonight it did an excellent job of showing a strong character. I really appreciate the fact that we’re not forced to watch Rosita brooding or crying or drinking or giving Spencer more screen time. No, we see Rosita out doing stuff, being tough, saving Abraham’s ass, laying waste to the Saviors. Yes, she’s pissed and has feelings and her heart has been broken, but it’s nice to know that her story isn’t dictated by who she’s sleeping with that week. In fact, I’m not sure that’s been any female character’s story on this show. Everyone’s busy doing their part. Well, actually, there was Lori…But we should all just forget those dark times.
It kind of bothers me that Daryl isn’t allowed to have a deeper connection with anyone. Merle, his only family, ended up on the opposite side of a fight with Woodbury. Daryl and Carol have had an on-and-off friendship. And there was Aaron last season. That seemed to be turning into something brotherly. Again, we see an interesting connection start to peek its head out between Denise and Daryl, but then that’s silenced by a single arrow. (Oh, and it’s ridiculously ironic that Denise is killed by one of Daryl’s arrows after she just finished telling him that she feels safe around him.) The two had some interesting little moments of funny dialogue, most involving orange soda and roadkill, and I would’ve liked to see that friendship flourish into something more like brother and sister, but this show doesn’t allow Daryl to get close to anyone.
Daryl’s situation is nothing compared to Carol’s, though, who literally loses everyone she loves. Except for poor Tobin, who just gets dumped. It’s probably for the best. I like that we never see Carol off of her swing in this episode except when she’s helping Daryl bury Denise. We watch the pile of cigarette butts grow as the hour passes, more of that doomsday clock, only its spelling the end of Carol’s time with the group.
The end of this episode teases Carol’s demise in the season finale. We’ve watched her lose her way this season, thanks to Morgan, who definitely knows he’s the one responsible for her departure from Alexandria. He got into her head somehow, and it’s going to get her killed. My guess is that she’ll get captured by the Saviors next week and pay a heavy price for it. Batter up.
– I’m really glad The Walking Dead followed up on the orange soda arc from “The Next World.” It’s too bad Tara will never get that pop she wanted…or that “I love you.”
– As soon as Denise started talking about her alcoholic parents and her brother and her feelings and her fears and all of that backstory, I should’ve known she was a goner.
– I think Abraham is safe this season. The way this show goes, Sasha will probably die instead.
– The dead baby in the sink full of muddy water is too much.
– The walkers are pretty gross this week. Great visuals for an unsettling episode.
– The show catches up with Dwight this week, but now he’s heavily scarred. I don’t think we’ve seen a bad guy with a facial scar like that before, have we? Plenty of eyepatches on this show, though.
– Rosita and Spencer probably never had that jerky bourguignon. But Sasha and Abraham totally had something.
– Daryl gets reunited with his crossbow and his motorcycle. Did anyone else hear that little Zelda tune when he picked up the crossbow?
– Eugene’s mullet ponytail is the best fucking thing I’ve ever seen.
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