Episode Spoilers Ahead
With yet another agonisingly intense episode of The Walking Dead over, it’s time for us to look back on proceedings and see how the playing field currently sits going into the most anticipated season finale and possibly episode in the shows history.
We open with a speculative scene, with scenes of a blood splattered road and bloody pointed rod, Carol’s voice asking a mystery man to reveal himself and the mans voice making it clear that he has no intention of doing so. After a few more moments of silence, a sudden yell followed by a single gunshot brings the action to an end. And the titles begin.
Carol is packing her things up, her note on the bed, Tobin calls out to her forcing her to hide her bag and note. He talks briefly about Denise and Pete which sends Carol into a blank state of mind, perhaps reminding her of her role in Pete’s death. Having encouraged Rick to kill him at a time that seems like forever ago now. Once they are in bed and Tobin is sound asleep, Carol leaves, taking one last glance behind her.
At this point we get another excellent musical montage, Carl in the armoury finds a gun with a carving of a barbed wire covered baseball in the handle. (Very subtle foreshadowing.) Next up is a scene showing Glenn and Maggie showering together, cleaning one another, a moment of closeness, Daryl is pacing back and forth, visibly angry, he sits on his motorcycle, looking at the Dennis nametag Denise picked up in the pharmacy. The scene finishes on Abraham and Sasha having a moment together, with Sasha handing him a cigar from her bag. She exchanges an awkward look with Rosita who is on gate duty.
Rick and Michonne are in bed, snuggled up together, they share an apple before Rick tries to move in on her, she explains that she promised to help Maggie, who wants to set up a number of watch points. After a brief back and forth, Rick agrees to let her go, and she does, but not before mentioning to Rick about their safety. Rick responds with a very confident and short speech that the group will end it as soon as need be, and that it isn’t like before, that he has trained the Alexandrians to fight. He claims that the world is theirs and that everything they need is within the walls, and that he isn’t going to lose it. Michonne reiterates that point specifically.
Meanwhile, Maggie is in discussions with Glenn and Michonne over her plan to hide some weapons in the case of needing to go outside the walls and use them. Glenn is in the process of deflating those concerns when Daryl suddenly approaches the gate and forcefully opens it up, shooting down Rosita’s questions he gets back on his bike and speeds off. Glenn makes the decision to go after him, he and Michonne are about to leave in the car when Abraham stops them, demanding to go along. Rosita also interrupts and tells Abraham to take her watch. She uses the fact that she has knowledge on where Daryl will go to secure her spot in the search party. Glenn, Michonne and Rosita set off out. (This is totally a good idea.) Maggie watches on as the gates close between her and the rapidly dispersing Glenn.
Rick and Tobin are walking and talking, Tobin is trying to quickly but accurately explain that Carol left without his knowledge, Sasha declares that she saw no sight of Carol, Abraham emphasising her point. He also mentions that Daryl, Michonne, Glenn and Rosita are outside the walls, a wild Morgan appears asking to see the note. He walks off, telling Rick he’ll find her. Rick joins him but not before making it clear that nobody else leaves Alexandria.
Carol is now driving along in a very hardcore looking car, almost Twisted Metal inspired. A truck is slowly but surely approaching opposite her, out of nowhere three men travelling in the back of the truck shoot at her, causing her to stop the car, in a brief but by no means peaceful moment of silence, Carol stares on at the men in the truck who are casually staring back. One finally demands she exit the car. One man who claims to be Hiro, mentions that he knows about the community. (12.75 clicks) Carol, or Nancy from Montclair as she sneakily refers to herself as, pleads with Hiro and his group, who we know by now are Saviors, but he tells Carol that he recognised her car as one very similar to that parked outside Alexandria’s gate. He also tells Carol that by taking her back with them, it might even gain them easier access inside. the walls. Carol playing the cowardly, defenceless woman tries to talk him down, practically begging that it doesn’t have to transpire like this. They begin to advance on her but almost immediately are gunned down by a barrage of bullets. Carol, having hid a gun up her sleeve, stands distraught for a moment, observing the mess before her, a man hidden inside the car takes a few shots at her though, requiring her to dive into cover. She resolves the issue by driving a pointed wooden pole through the mans chest, bringing him to a slow but inevitable death. She picks up his gun and presses on, cornering Hiro, we now see the scene from the cold open play out, and it is revealed that as Hiro charges Carol with a knife she shoots him dead in his tracks.
Maggie returns home to find Enid (remember her), who asks her about current on goings. Once Maggie explains that she’s having to work hard because of the numbers outside the walls Enid volunteers herself to take some of the weight off of Maggie’s shoulders. Enid leaves her to rest and… eat pickles.
Rick and Morgan are now firmly on their travels, Rick says Carol will likely be travelling East (Ah, he said it!) and Morgan mentions the Saviours compound being West, but ultimately agrees that Carol is probably going East. Rick asks Morgan why he is looking for Carol and Morgan responds with his typical Morganisms (I am making this a word).
One remaining Saviour exits the truck that met Carol, and surveys the area, visibly hurt, wanders off, assumedly in search of Carol. Not long after, Rick and Morgan pull up to the scene and Rick finds a fallen Hiro, clinging on to what remains of his life. Rick very quickly interrogates him, and realising it is a lost cause, kills Hiro officially with a knife through the skull. Morgan finding a patch of blood in the road, Rick finds a weapon crafted by the Hilltops blacksmith and identifies the men as Saviours. Rick says he is proud of Carol, calling her a “Force of nature”, Morgan tells Rick she ran because she couldn’t kill anymore but Rick points out that she already has, and that sometimes you just have to. Morgan finds a trail of blood leading into a field. Rick and Morgan follow it, hoping to find Carol, alive or otherwise.
The one remaining Saviour finds a car with taped over back lights, and a very familiar rosemary necklace on the ground beside it. He heads off into the field.
Back to the search party, who are now on the tracks where Denise was killed. Rosita points out that this is where it happened. Michonne finds Daryl’s motorcycle hidden beneath some bushes. Glenn asks Rosita where to go but she contemplates letting Daryl go after Dwight, Glenn talks some sense into her and she leads them forwards.
Daryl is deep into a field, tracking Dwight and his men, he turns quickly and fires a bolt into a tree, inches away from Rosita’s head. She goes off on Daryl and he keeps moving forward. Glenn pulls him back, but Daryl goes into a rant about how Dwight treated him on their first meeting and how despite that he saved him anyway. Glenn challenges Daryl’s guilty conscience and gives a speech about how Denise is dead and anything Daryl does now is only for himself. He tells Daryl that they need him and that they can plan ahead back home. Michonne promises Daryl that it’s going to be put right. Daryl rejects this and walks on, Rosita follows after him, but Glenn and Michonne turn to head back home. Glenn reflects on everything that has happened so far, talking about the Saviours and the Hilltop, how there’s more to what is actually going on. A number of whistles and raised guns later and we see that Glenn and Michonne have been surrounded by Saviours. Dwight reveals himself from behind a tree.
Rick and Morgan are following the trail, Rick calls Carol family which triggers Morgan to question Rick’s decision to send her away at the prison and if he’d still do that now. Rick tells Morgan that she was right to do it. Morgan continues by telling Rick that even though she was sent away, she came back and she saved Rick and the group, this is his logic for claiming that “everybody can come back.” They come to a patch that is lighter on blood than the rest, Morgan deduces that this means the source is near, they run on to find a walker shuffling towards a barn, momentarily it seems like it might be Carol but Rick sees that it isn’t her. Morgan notices that the body is still relatively fresh however. They move forwards, towards the barn and find a man dressed in armour fighting off walkers, Rick pulls his gun and questions him, the man hides and professes his intentions are to find a horse, Morgan asks if he has seen a woman, the man, clearly in a panic tries to run and as Rick attempts to shoot him, Morgan pushes his arm clear, making Rick miss the shot. They fight off some walkers and after a brief struggle, Rick saves Morgan. After a short back and forth, Rick reminds Morgan that he doesn’t take chances anymore. Morgan reveals to Rick that he took in the Alpha Wolf, he goes through the whole story of what happened and tells Rick the moral of the story, which is everything comes full circle and everything gets a return. He validates his choices by explaining that the wolf saved Denise who was then able to save Carl’s life. Morgan tells Rick to go home, and that he’ll find Carol. Rick reaffirms to Morgan that he will be back, and Morgan reassures Rick that he will be. Rick gives Morgan a gun, after initially refusing, Morgan accepts the offer. Before leaving, Rick tells Morgan that Michonne did in fact take his last protein bar. They exchange small smiles before separating.
Rick returns to Alexandria, Abraham and Rick have a short but sweet heart to heart, declaring that although they are afraid to possibly lose the people they care about, it just motivates them to “rip the world a new asshole.” As Abraham so eloquently puts it.
Enid returns to Maggie, who asks for Enid’s help with something. That something, is an impulsive hair cut, with Maggie telling Enid that she doesn’t want anything holding her back. Whilst admiring her new short haired look, Maggie begins to have excruciating pains, to the point she falls to the ground screaming.
Glenn and Michonne are sat in front of a camp fire, arms and legs tied, mouths gagged, Daryl and Rosita are swooping in nearby to save them, with Daryl scouting the area. Glenn, tries desperately to warn him away, but it’s too late. Dwight gets the advantage on Daryl and has him held at gun point. Another man has a gun held to Rosita. Daryl lowers his crossbow and turns towards Dwight, who shoots him, evidenced by a large amount of blood splatter on the camera. Cut to black, the sound of a body dropping, and Dwight smugly saying “You’ll be alright.”
So if I were to quickly summarise this episode, it’s certainly set us up very nicely for what looks to be an incredible season finale. This whole back half of season 6 has been built terrifically and it looks like Negan’s impending arrival will send unfathomable shockwaves through The Walking Dead universe.
- The foreshadowing littered throughout this episode was incredibly anxiety inducing, but makes for plenty of discussion going into the finale.
- Character interactions, Rick and Morgan, Daryl and Glenn, Maggie and Enid, it was great to see these characters develop more chemistry between them, it’s been too long since we’ve seen these characters interact on such a deep level.
- The stakes have been set very high, Daryl is down, we don’t know exactly the extent of his fate, Glenn, Rosita and Michonne are captured, Carol and Morgan are still out there somewhere, and Maggie is in desperate need of medical attention, we’re looking at an action packed 90 minutes next week
- .Saviours are mostly incompetent, another scenario where the Saviours should have full control, and they are disposed of very easily, and by a morally suffocating Carol no less.
- .Survivors seemingly becoming less intelligent, they are out in the open, delivering speeches and talking loudly, oblivious to their surroundings, by now they should surely be way more high alert?
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