Last week’s episode of The Walking Dead has us back in Alexandria, our group who attacked the Saviors having returned from their mission. We’re shown the day to day regimens—people doing their jobs and following the same routines. There is a monotony giving the allusion of safety. Then we get to a day which breaks from the pattern.
Two groups are heading outside the walls to make runs. Eugene with one group and Denise with the other. The episode follows parallel stories of these two people as they try to find their places within the group. Despite the fact that they both have valuable skills to offer the group, Eugene’s mind for technology and agriculture and Denise’s medical training, they do not believe they have as much to offer because they have yet to prove themselves against the world outside the safety of Alexandria.
EUGENE AND ABRAHAM
Eugene and Abraham set out to an industrial machine shop where Eugene wants to manufacture bullets. Abraham thinks making bullets is a brilliant plan! Because, duh, it is. Along the way Abraham notices Eugene has a new swagger in his step. Eugene is learning to use weapons and is taking on more guard shifts. Heck, even Eugene’s hair is evolving. His mullet has graduated into a ponytail! I mean, this is a big deal for a man who takes great pride in his hair game. While in the shop a metal head walker emerges to break up the bromance moment. And when I say “metal head,” I don’t mean of the music fan variety. I mean his head is covered in hardened metal that probably poured out onto him and killed him…ouch! Eugene is determined to take this walker out himself to prove he is just as capable as the others of taking care of business. Abraham can’t help himself though and when it seems like Eugene isn’t going to be able to handle it, the latter steps in and kills the walker. This doesn’t sit so well with Eugene and he informs Abraham that his protection services are no longer needed. Well, Abraham doesn’t need to be told twice and tells Eugene to find his own way home if that’s how he feels.
DENISE, ROSITA, AND DARYL
Denise enlists Daryl and Rosita to escort her to a nearby apothecary where she thinks there may be useful medical supplies. Obviously, Daryl and Rosita don’t want Denise to come along. Not because they don’t like her, it’s just that Denise doesn’t have any experience surviving beyond the walls. However, Denise is insistent, so off they go. After they finish their business at the apothecary, where Denise has a bit of a panic attack after coming across a walker and some child remains, they start to head back home. Daryl agrees to follow the train tracks back, which he refused to follow on their way into town. And who can blame him? The last time he followed train tracks they ended up in Terminus with the cannibals. Along the way, Denise decides she still needs to face her fears and she does this by attempting to retrieve a cooler from inside a car which Daryl and Rosita decide isn’t worth it since the car also contains a walker. Makes sense. Of course, the walker almost gets Denise when she makes a grab for the cooler. Daryl and Rosita try to help her. Unlike Abraham, they listen when she tells them to let her handle it. Denise is triumphant and she is rewarded with a can of soda from inside the cooler. Score! And when Daryl and Rosita try to lecture Denise about safety, she goes off on them with a great little monologue about facing her fears and why she brought them along in the first place. She brought Daryl because he reminds her of her brother and he makes her feel safe. She brought Rosita because she thought she could help Rosita cope with being alone (because, you know, Abraham dumped her and all). And just as Denise is telling them they need to work out their issues because they are both strong and smart and really good people…BAM!!!!
MEETING ON THE TRAIN TRACKS
An arrow goes right through Denise’s head. Honestly, I am sitting on the couch yelling, “WTF!?!?” Not only that, but it turns out the arrow comes from none other than Daryl’s stolen crossbow. How do I know this? Because out of the woods waltzes Dwight and a gang of other armed men. If you don’t remember Dwight and how he came to have Daryl’s crossbow, you can refresh your memory here. Looks like Dwight has returned to the Saviors (which explains why they had Daryl’s bike). And not only THAT, but Dwight informs Daryl that he was the real target. AND NOT ONLY THAT, but they have Eugene!!! Things just went from inspiring monologue to staring death in the face in .02 seconds. Too bad Daryl didn’t kill them when he had the chance, like he admitted earlier in the episode (Carol reminds him he saved them because that is who he is). But now I guess Daryl is going to be able to make good on his promise that they were going to be sorry for what they did to him after he saved their lives. What does Dwight want? He wants Daryl to lead the Saviors back to Alexandria. Well, there’s no way in hell that’s going to happen.
So how do our people escape this little predicament without more casualties? Abraham shows up, Dwight (who is on his knees) causes a distractions by biting Dwight in a rather sensitive southern region (if you know what I mean), and Daryl and Rosita are able to retrieve their weapons and join the fray. In the end, the Saviors retreat, but Eugene has been shot. Denise is already gone, but they are able to save Eugene and get him home. They may have come out on top this time, but it seems their luck may be running out. Rick and his group brought the fight to the Saviors, and now the Saviors are bringing the fight to Alexandria.
Carol leaves a letter with Tobin, who brings it to Rick, explaining she can no longer be what the group needs her to be—a killer. So, she’s leaving and not saying any goodbyes. Based on scenes for next episode, Daryl goes after her and it’s a dangerous endeavor. I swear, if Carol gets Daryl killed…I will not be a happy camper.
*All images courtesy of AMC