Season Six, Episode Fourteen — “Twice As Far”

© Copyright 2016, AMC. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2016, AMC. All Rights Reserved.

By Jarrod Jones. We’ve been grappling with the complexity of Carol for nearly as long as she has, but I don’t think it ever occurred to any of us that she’d decide to up and leave Alexandria for greener pastures. Why? Primarily, because there ain’t no greener pastures, not outside Alexandria, and certainly not anywhere else. Consider her conditions for a purportedly better life: “I can’t love anyone because I can’t kill for anyone,” she tells Tobin in his only-inevitable “Dear John” letter, which made about as much sense as keeping poor Sam safe by telling him about the monsters that can bite his chubby little cheeks off. That logic is also in line with her bewildering request to be left alone with her decision: “Don’t come after me, please.

Of course everyone’s gonna go out after her, into the same Savior-infested wild that just stole Dr. Denise from The Walking Dead. It was a shocking and undignified death, the sort of which this show favors and indulges in whenever the opportunity presents itself. Denise had plans for a better life too, just like Carol, only she never had the removal of self that comes with slaughtering walkers wholesale. Tara was ever at the forefront of Denise’s thinking, and it was precisely that sentimentality that got her killed. I can’t help but think, had Denise not scored that can of Orange Crush, or attempted to give Daryl and Rosita a pep talk in the middle of an opening that clearly made them sitting ducks, Denise would’ve been able to hold Tara again. Sure, Eugene probably wouldn’t have made it, but… hey. We’ve been grappling with the complexity of Eugene a hell of a lot longer than he ever has, and probably ever will.

WHAT WORKED: So what did Dr. Denise in? Her overeager desire to get her hands dirty with the likes of Daryl, who apparently has rivals out there just itchin’ to do him in, and Rosita, who really has nothing, or nobody — not even beef jerky stroganoff-cookin’ Spencer — to lose? Was it the moment that she broke that cardinal rule of horror, which is to never go off and investigate a strange noise alone? Or was it that moment when she spilled the beans on her dearly departed brother, in a moment of character discovery that only means certain death on cable TV? All the signs were there: either Denise was gonna die, or she was going to be directly responsible for the death of one of Alexandria’s most hardened warriors. Either way, there was no possibility that this week’s episode was gonna end well.

WHAT DIDN’T: I can scarcely tolerate Abraham’s perplexing vernacular on a good day, and I just gloss over the screen whenever Eugene’s mullet meets my gaze (it was pulled back into a li’l Eugene bun this week). Together, they bantered back and forth over Eugene’s ambition to create more of the rapidly depleting ammunition Alexandria is definitely going to need, and they even broke up for a minute or two. But did any of us actually believe for a minute that dim-bulb Eugene was going to accomplish anything, aside from wasting Abe’s time and getting his fool ass shot? Absolutely not. And until Eugene found his mouth full of Dwight’s, um, package (which I’m not even gonna talk about, because what would be the point), all we had to contend with was the Olympian slog their dialogue put us through.

Eugene has always been a liability, and nowadays Abraham is kind of one too — the man’s ever-mounting death wish has only become more apparent as the weeks go by, and no amount of Sasha snuggling’s gonna take it back. Methinks if The Walking Dead wants to continue to trim the supporting weight, one of these dudes ought to bite it next.


Aw, man. I threw up on my glasses.” – Dr. Denise.

BEST MOMENT: Denise is out. We spent most of the episode watching Denise struggle with the actively terrifying prospect of scavenging in the open wild. More often she buckled, making it almost a certainty that Alexandria’s primary care physician was about to become walker chow. But then there was the cooler, left inside a zombie-inhabited four-door, that nearly got Denise done in. But she survived, and even went through with her first bonafide walker kill. Then came her speech, the one meant to solidify the bond between her, Daryl and Rosita, not to mention establishing Dr. Denise as an Alexandrian heavy. Only thing is, she never got to finish it.

EPISODE’S MVP: Denise. Merritt Wever is a wonderful actor, and The Walking Dead was lucky to have her as long as they did. I always kinda figured that so long as she kept to the compound (would Rick have allowed her to leave, even with Daryl? maybe we’ll find out next week), Wever would have had a long, bright future on one of television’s biggest shows. Instead, we got closure, painful as it was, that embraced all the pratfalls of Denise’s character. It was as lovely as it was maddening. (Tara, part of this is somehow your fault.) It was also enough to remind us of how essential Merritt Wever actually was, both to Alexandria, and to television.

© Copyright 2016, AMC. All Rights Reserved.

© Copyright 2016, AMC. All Rights Reserved.


– Spencer’s a clinger. Spencer’s a clinger.

– Daryl can’t drive stick? That’s a rather… peculiar character trait.

– It’s another episode of The Walking Dead, brought to you by Orange Crush.

– Morgan’s secret project stands revealed, and it turns out he’s a rather skilled metalsmith: Alexandria has its very own holding cell, just like the one Eastman stuck Morgan in back in his more primal days. It seems this will act as the impetus behind Morgan’s push for post-apocalyptic justice — or due process, at the very least. “It’ll give us some choices next time,” he tells Rick, who’s kinda “meh” about the whole thing.

– Last time we saw Dwight, he definitely did not have those burn scars on his face. Maybe it was a punishment for getting lost back in this season’s sixth episode. This Negan character certainly likes to keep things tight.

– Denise gets her exit in lieu of Abraham this week. (It was ol’ Abe who got the arrow through the eye in the comics.) How long can this guy hold out?

6.5 out of 10

Next: “East”, soon.

Before: “The Same Boat”, here.