Well, TWD fans, we’ve almost reached the end of the season, and Alexandria is again in recovery. Pantry stocking. Flowers growing. The stuff that happens in regular life minus walkers and a-holes. Catch your breath now. Mayhem isn’t far away.
Even in the lull, there is a general raised awareness. Eugene seems anxious to step up. He’s growing a pair right along with that mullet. Father Gabe is focused and armed. Morgan plays with his stick.
In another moment and another place, Morgan slides the last brick of his super prison into place. This is the tireless project he began two episodes back. Rick asks why, but I wonder why he bothers. We all know what Morgan’s answer is going to be – the cell will provide them with more choices “next time.” I hope he at least keeps the key to lock this one.
I’m not sure who is smoking more right now … Carol or me. She is deep in thought and contemplating that rosary. I know she’s grappling with a ton of emotions – questioning the many faces of Carol we’ve seen since her first appearance on the series – wondering just exactly which one, if any, belongs to the woman sitting on the porch swing.
I think Daryl’s doing a little soul-searching himself. As he checks over his rescued bike, he finds the toy soldier remaining in the pouch. After looking at it for a sec, he throws it to the ground – a bitter reminder of Dwight’s sh-tty move before the break.
Carol finds him and gives him a cigarette. They chat … she wants to know that Daryl didn’t kill the people who took his bike. He didn’t. In a nutshell, she regrets not doing more to preserve life, and Daryl regrets not taking it. He asks her what the Neganite captors did to her and Maggie. She says the Neganites didn’t do anything to them. She walks off leaving Daryl with his smoke … hell, she leaves the whole pack.
I don’t know what you think is going on here, but I’m going to give you my take. To those of you who want your CARYL, maybe you’ll get it someday down the road, but I don’t think it’s coming anytime soon. Believe me! I want it too, so I hate to be the naysayer. Problem is, in this scene, Carol recognizes the source of their connection. She also recognizes that it has to be on hiatus for now. Whereas once they were beaten down by those they trusted and loved, they forged a bond knowing they would never be those battered people again … that all those years of abuse made them survivors. It didn’t make them killers. It didn’t make them monsters.
All of her experiences up to this point are filling her head, and yeah, Morgan got to her, but he got to her because she was ready. I think Sam may have been the icing on the cookie. She doesn’t want to be our Ninja anymore. And Daryl, who up until recently didn’t have it in him to shoot first and ask questions later, has changed his tune. And if you think about it, he never really saw the Carol we did. What would he have thought?
Roll opening credits …
Eugene and Abraham take a walk. Denise watches the wall. Spencer tries to make a dinner date with Rosita … yeah, that was a weird little hook up I forgot to mention. Then Denise suggests a visit to an apothecary she saw not far away. Alexandria needs drugs.
She asks Daryl and Rosita to join her. They are bad ass, but Daryl sucks at driving stick. Denise and Rosita eyeball him grinding gears, and Denise offers advice he all but ignores … love him I may, but dude, it ain’t that hard!!! I failed my driving test in automatic and passed it in stick. Daryl, move your manly arse over and let Denise drive before you drop that tranny.
A deadfall in the road saves the truck. They must proceed on foot. They can follow some railroad tracks (the easy way) or follow a path through the woods that’ll take twice as long. Guess which one Daryl chooses? Rosita, also stubborn, hikes it down the tracks. Denise follows Daryl. I would, too … just not for the same reasons.
Elsewhere, Eugene and Abe approach their destination, and a now pony-tailed Eugene (who is in Stage Two of adaptation mode – he’s a survivor) lays out his transformation for Abe, who looks confused, amused and sort of mortified.
Eugene takes Abraham to a smelting factory or something. He intends to get a bunch of metal together, melt it down, and make an ass-ton of bullets. Abraham approves of this idea: “That, my friend, is some damn fine, genuine, outside-the-box thinkin’!” Couldn’t have said it better myself.
When a walker makes an appearance, a new and improved Eugene wants a crack at it. Abraham lets him go – for a while – but takes care of it in the end. Eugene is pissed. Even with “dibs,” Abraham is pretty sure he was in the right keeping Eugene — who would have had “better luck picking up a turd by its clean end” — among the living. Eugene demands an apology, but Abraham tells him to stick with his ‘smart guy’ skillset.
Then it happens … Eugene, who has worked so hard at his walker killing skill set, is incensed by Abraham’s blow off. He tells Abraham that he can fly solo … that Abraham’s “services are no longer required.” Abe turns around. He looks ticked … and hurt. He leaves. As his services are no longer required, he feels it’s only appropriate to allow a liberated Eugene to figure out how to get back home on his own.
The apothecary proves to be an excellent suggestion on Denise’s part. They find plenty of meds that will come in handy. While Daryl and Rosita pack up the drugs, Denise hears a walker in another room. She sees an opportunity to practice the art of killing the dead, and she grips her knife with determination. When she finds the walker, she sees a cast on its leg. This makes it more human – helpless – to Denise. She can’t do it. She waits for the others outside.
As they walk back, Denise and Daryl talk brothers. The key chain from the apothecary reads DENNIS – he was her twin – and he was brave … and angry. A dangerous combination. Daryl says, “It sounds like we had the same brother.” Connections are being made, which means something bad is going to happen very soon.
To save time, they take the tracks back. Along the way, Denise sees a cooler inside a car. There is also a walker inside the car, which is what I think she’s really interested in … a kill-two-birds kind of thing. She calls to Daryl and Rosita. They don’t think the cooler is worth the risk. They keep walking. Denise, however, is on a mission.
She opens the car door and reaches for the cooler. Of course, the walker is attached to it, so as she tries to yank the cooler free, she ends up with both. Daryl and Rosita run to her aid, but she insists on taking care of this one herself. It’s time.
She’s aware her little stunt was stupid, but she understands that surviving the mess they’re in requires taking chances. She just took a chance, found the guts to kill her first walker and will take a soda-pop back to Tara as result. Even if she did barf up her oatmeal, she got over yet another hurdle.
And she wants her companions to understand this. She didn’t go with Tara because she wanted to prove to herself that she could find some inner-strength. Daryl and Rosita don’t understand because they are strong people; they are survivors and they don’t even have to try. It’s not like that for Denise and she wants to change – to let go of her fear.
But she won’t get a chance. Before she can finish baring her soul, an arrow from Daryl’s long-lost crossbow shoots her right through the eyeball. She falls into his arms.
At least she took down a walker first. Man! Poor Denise! She had such promise!
Daryl and Rosita find themselves surrounded by Douchebag – that’s what ‘D’ stands for, right? I forgot – and some other douchebags. And they’ve got EUGENE! This is a game changer. Eugene looks like he’s going to crap himself. I think he’s still in Stage One. Regardless, if he hadn’t gotten too big for his mullet and pitched his little fit, I doubt we’d be here right now! Dammit!
Actually, if Daryl had killed Dwight and his bunch before, we wouldn’t be here right now. And that is exactly how the conversation begins. D gives Daryl the floor, but Daryl being a man of few words, has little to say but “I shoulda killed you.” D agrees – Daryl’s poor decision did, indeed, bring them all together again.
Dwight continues … he didn’t really want to start off like this … blah, blah … that he wasn’t even aiming for Denise, but the crossbow kicks like a bitch … blah, blah, blah. During Dwight’s yammering, Eugene sees a tuft-of-red rescue behind some nearby oil barrels. Abraham!
Dwight keeps right on going. Daryl and Rosita are going to take him and his group back to Alexandria, and then they’re gonna take “whatever and whoever” they want. Blah, blah … I’ve heard this crap before. He only took out one of them to make a point, but if Daryl and Rosita don’t comply, he’s gonna shoot ‘em all. Yeah, yeah.
Then Eugene suggests Dwight and his guys go get the “first-class a-hole” hiding behind the barrels instead … he deserves it more.
No way! Eugene! You did not just rat out Abraham! You spineless little … crotch-biter!?
What at first seems a complete act of betrayal becomes a beautiful distraction! Dwight’s attention is drawn from his three captives to the a-hole that may or may not be behind the barrels. He sends a few of his men over. At first they see nothing. Then Abraham starts firing, and Eugene takes a different approach. Dwight screams in agony as Eugene hangs from his nether region like an angry pit bull. Dwight’s crew is dropping like flies. Our gang, once again, gains the upper-hand. Huzzah!
Dwight finally detaches Eugene from his genitals and hightails it out of there with the remainder of his guys. Daryl reunites with his crossbow and is about to give chase, but Rosita stops him. Eugene lies wounded on the tracks. Daryl, Rosita and Abe carry him back to Alexandria. Daryl looks at Denise as they go. She, too, will make it back.
Eugene’s wound is minor, and Abraham finally apologizes for questioning his skills. “You done had it by the dick, Eugene. I mean that with the utmost of respect.” Sniffle. I hate it when they fight, but it’s so cute when they make up.
Abraham stands before Sasha’s house. She steps out to make sure he’s okay. He reaffirms his feelings for her – 30 more years would not be enough – and she invites him inside.
Carol and Daryl bury Denise. Daryl keeps her key chain. Carol breaks the silence. “You were right. I knew it when you said it.” He should have killed them.
Tobin finds a note, and the episode ends with Carol’s voice. She apologizes for leaving him like this … for leaving them all … but she knows the threats to Alexandria will not end, and because she loves them all so much, she must leave because she can no longer kill to save them. She can’t love anymore because she won’t kill anymore. She’s done. She asks that they don’t come after her.
An empty porch swing (and an ashtray full of butts) is all that remains. Morgan sees it … hears it creak as it’s gently disturbed by a breeze. He knows what it means.
You HAVE to sound off in the comments this week! I didn’t see ANY of this coming!! OMG!!!
Did you see this coming?
- Is dickless Dwight going to crawl back to Negan now … or has he already?
- What is the death of Denise going to do to Tara?
- Daryl doesn’t say much, but now he’s not talking at all … he’s losing it … what’s gonna happen when he finds out Carol’s gone?
- Now that Sasha finally let Abraham in, which one of them is gonna go first?
- Is Morgan going after Carol?
Let’s talk people!
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