The Walking Dead Recap

The Walking Dead Recap: The Road to Hell Is Paved With Reinventions

The artsy start of this week’s episode of The Walking Dead made it seem like it was going to be one of those ponderous, introspective outings. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

But as fast as an arrow can fly through the air, the relative calm was shattered, and by the end of the hour, one of my (your? our?) favorite characters was six feet under, and another (whom I know most of us love) was on their way out. WTF?!?

‘I SHOULDA KILLED ‘EM’ | As “Twice as Far” began, gentle as daybreak, we learned that Morgan had finished building his jail cell (to “give us some choices next time,” he explained to Rick); Rosita was sleeping with Spencer (who wooed her with “beef jerky stroganoff”); and Daryl was as haunted by the fact that he hadn’t killed Dwight (the Savior fugitive who stole his bike and crossbow) as Carol was by the fact that she had killed Paula & Co. When he asked his gal pal what her and Maggie’s captors had done to them, Carol ruefully replied, “To us? They didn’t do anything to us.”

‘YOU DID GOOD’ | After informing Daryl and Rosita that there was an apothecary nearby, Denise insisted on accompanying them on the run. (As she pointed out, she is trained with a machete!) Along the way, she opened up to them about Dennis, the twin brother who’d taught her how to drive a stick (so much better than Daryl did). When a downed tree forced them to hike the rest of the way, Daryl — ever the rebel — left the women rather than join them on the shorter route, following the tracks.

The trio reunited in time to raid the pharmacy, but neither Daryl nor Rosita were in the slightest inclined to let Denise do much more than… well, stand around and shop for a Dennis keychain. So, when they heard a walker trapped somewhere in the store, Denise — eager to prove that she’d been transformed into a fearless badass — investigated… and then nearly hurled when she discovered not only a really ripe walker but what appeared to be a drowned child, as well. (What else would you call that mess? Kid soup?)

Afterwards, Daryl — closet softie that he is — tried to cheer Denise up by giving her props for leading them to the apothecary’s treasure trove of drugs and asking about her twin, who was apparently as angry as he was brave. “Sounds like we had the same brother,” cracked Daryl. (RIP, Merle.) He even joined the women on the tracks for the trek back to the truck.

The Walking Dead Recap‘YOU DON’T SPIT GAME, YOU ARE GAME’ | Meanwhile, on a mystery mission with Eugene, Abraham noticed all the changes that the brainiac had been making. He’d even tied back his “Tennessee waterfall”! What’s up with that? “The key to survival is allowing oneself to be shaped by the assigned environment,” he explained, adding, “I’m a survivor.” Unconvinced, the ginger hulk retorted, “Keep telling yourself that.”

However, Abraham couldn’t help but be impressed when he and Eugene arrived at a warehouse, and smarty-pants “spill[ed] the pintos” that he was “most definitely, almost certainly” sure that he could use the site to manufacture bullets. Alas, the moment soured when Eugene — dying to show off his new skill set — called dibs on a walker, which Abraham ended up dispatching. (For the best, no? The zombie’s head was covered in solid lead, making it awfully tough to kill.)

Ticked, Eugene informed his longtime protector that “your services are no longer required,” and, in fact, “you’ve outlived your usefulness to me.” And if Abraham hadn’t just been such a jerk to Rosita, I might’ve felt bad for him — the dismissal clearly stung. Not that he was going to admit that. Instead, he walked out, telling Eugene, “Find your own way back… a—hole.”

‘YOU WANNA LIVE, YOU TAKE CHANCES!’ | En route home to Alexandria, Denise spotted a car with a cooler in it. Well, a cooler and a walker. (Don’t they always have walkers in them at this point?) Daryl and Rosita didn’t wanna bother with it — they had what they set out for and wanted to get back. But Denise wouldn’t — couldn’t — let it go. So she pulled out the cooler and with it, inadvertently, the walker, which she dispatched all by herself, thank you very much.

Afterward, Denise puked on her glasses. But it was totally worth it to her — in the cooler was a six-pack of soda, and one of the cans was the brand that she had been trying to score for Tara! Though Daryl and Rosita joined in a chorus of “What are you, nuts?” Denise wasn’t hearing it. She was riding high (uh-oh) and giving her friends a pep talk that was as spirited as it was adorable (uh-oh!) and pfft! She was shot in the eye with an arrow… by Dwight… using Daryl’s crossbow! (This is why they should never go on a run without a redshirt!) “She wasn’t even the one I was aiming for,” said the baddie, upon emerging from the woods with Eugene as a prisoner and a buncha fellow Saviors for back-up.

At least no one else had to die — provided Daryl and Rosita escorted the Saviors to Alexandria and allowed them to take whatever and whomever they pleased. Or, suggested Eugene — on his knees in front of Dwight like a future victim of a Mob hit — if someone else did have to die, they could make it Abraham, who was lurking nearby and, BTW, was a total jerk. In the split second that the Saviors were distracted, Eugene bit Dwight’s johnson right through his jeans and, bless his heart, did. not. let. go! At the same time, Abraham opened fire, as did Daryl and Rosita, and together, they took out enough of the Saviors to force Dwight, his freed willy and the survivors to retreat.

‘I WAS NOT TRYING TO KILL YOU’ | Back in Alexandria, as Eugene recovered from a (slight) gunshot wound, he made sure that Abraham knew he hadn’t vengefully ratted him out to the Saviors, “I was looking for our moment” to attack Dwight & Co. In turn, Abraham at last acknowledged his buddy’s new skill set. “You know how to bite a d—k, Eugene,” he said. “I mean that with the utmost of respect.” (Is there another way to say that besides respectfully?)

Upon leaving the infirmary, Abraham made a beeline for Sasha’s and noted that, with all that Alexandria had going for it, a couple could conceivably spend 30 years together there. And, he added, “that’s still too short.” (For Rosita’s sake, he remains on my s—t list, but credit where it’s due: That was a sweet line.) In response, Sasha invited him inside.

Nearby, a disconsolate Daryl pocketed the Dennis keychain as he and Carol buried Denise (who, unlike Carl, wasn’t merely issued an eye patch as an accessory and sent along her merry way). “You were right” — you should’ve killed Dwight, Carol told him. “I knew it when you said it.” Off this latest loss, she broke up with Tobin — and, in a way, all of Alexandria — in a letter read in voiceover. “I love you all here,” she wrote. “I do. But I’d have to kill for you, and I can’t. I won’t.” She went on to point out that, after Rick banished her, she was never supposed to return to the fold, much less stay. So she was leaving. And, judging from the way Morgan was weighing his options — Carol’s now-empty porch swing on one side, carts full of weapons on the other — it looked like he just might follow.

So, on a scale of 1 (killing off a random day player) to 10 (killing off Glenn), how upset are you that Denise was offed? Do you think Carol is gone for good? Hit the comments! (Oh, and check out this sneak peek of next week’s sexy ‘Richonne’ scene!)

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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79 Comments
  1. Matt C. says:

    Carol better not be gone for good! But if she is, I’d rather have her be written out this way than to kill her off. I felt the same way when she “left” back in season 4, too. But there’s no way that this is her goodbye. I have a feeling Morgan will track her down somewhere and convince her to come back. That look at the end was very telling…

    • Socrates says:

      Matt – I totally agree. Carol can learn a lot from Morgan, who seems to have found a way to kick ass when necessary but still treat life as sacred.

    • Mike Pirollo says:

      I’m not so sure, guys. The writers have invested a lot of script showing Carol as a chameleon since season 1. She’s constantly disguising herself, physically, behaviorally and otherwise, to “blend in” to her environment and give her the element of surprise when she ultimately does attack… which she always does. I think she may be planning to infiltrate Negan’s group as a “nobody” to ultimately help her own group. She’s been through too much and is too strong to just walk away without an underlying plan.

      • I completely agree, Mike Pirollo! I had the same thought. Just like at Terminus, I think Carol will ride in on her white horse and save her core friends. I think she’s leaving Alexandria now because she’s beaten down; but I think she’ll spend some time alone, regroup, heal a bit, and rally to save the troops. That’s just who she is. We haven’t seen the last of her yet.

  2. Gina says:

    As soon as I realized that Tobin was reading a goodbye note, I immediately thought Carol left to find Negan and the rest of his group and will (try to) take care of them all on her own.
    And this makes me real nervous for Carol in the finale.

  3. MissEllys says:

    Denise’s death felt lame and random. Carol is leaving so she won’t be around to stop Negan. That’s two random exits in one episode, though Carol will be back.

  4. DarkDefender says:

    Carol… Nooooooo
    .
    R.I.P. Denise .. I would have loved to see her and Darryl bond more.
    .
    Now I’m really scared of Negan. Really. Scared.

  5. AngelWasHere says:

    This was an alright episode. Kinda a filler, but it was ok. I can’t remember who Dwright is for some odd reason. Is his face burned from the explosion or was he in another episode?

    • Will says:

      I think Dwight was the one who stole Daryl’s bike. Dwight and a woman were supposedly running away from Negan’s group.

    • Urnakedcellmate says:

      It’s a relationship plot point between two characters so it would be a spoiler but I’m sure it will be explained soon hopefully. I don’t want to ruin it for anyone. Not huge but meaningful (if they follow the comic).

    • Bwhit says:

      I thought it was filler up until the last 15 minutes when Denise caught that arrow.

      • AngelWasHere says:

        @Will I was thinking that, but I don’t remember his facs being burned at less I miss something. Maybe I need to that watch that one again.

        @Urnakedcellmate If it’s more to it then I’ll wait. :)

        @Bwhit Yeah that arrow saved it from being a complete filler.

    • JheironDotel says:

      In the comic Dwight try to be with one of the girls negan, and as punishment negan burned his face.

      Dwight apparently in the series I can not escape with the girl who walked and caught him negan and punishment that way.

      If you follow more or less the story of the comic as to the relationship of Dwight and negan, they explain what I said at first.

       
      and SPOLER ALERT

      It is the reason that betrays Dwight negan and helps rick and others to beat him…

  6. AngelWasHere says:

    B/w I’m pissed Carol left and is on the morale train with Morgan. Boooo! I need Rambo Carol back.

  7. Mary Burrell says:

    Sad to lose Denise and where is Carol going?

  8. Wayne says:

    About a 3 on the Denise, demise scale, although that might be effected by what we all know is coming in 2 weeks. No way Carol is gone she has said that the finale was hard for them all, if she was gone for good she wouldn’ t be involved in the finale. Looking forward to Negen, although it might be hard to see Jeffery as Negen, I go to his Candy store in Rhinebeck once a week for coffee and have met his girlfriend and son.

  9. D. Ferd says:

    Negan deplores violence against women. There’s probably a 1% chance any woman gets killed by his hands in the finale. That arrow was meant for Abraham in the comics. Now the show is playing with house money regarding him. My money is on Abraham getting whacked by Negan……and Glenn as well.

    • Ray says:

      If Negan deplores violence against women how did the woman from last week get her finger chopped off? Or did I read that situation wrong? I thought she was punished for stealing gas.

    • sonnybatson says:

      The season will be worth it if the obnoxious clown Abraham is killed off- throw in a Eugene and Glenn and considerable progress will have been made.

  10. Bwhit says:

    I love Carol but simply saying ‘don’t come after me’ is foolish given the history she has with Daryl, Maggie, Rick, Glenn, Carl Ect. I am guessing this is the catalyst that finally brings us face-to-face with Negan so I understand it’s necessary, but there is no way that none of the ‘original’ crew are going to try and find her. I didn’t think Denise’s death would bother me so much but after laying some truth bombs on Daryl and Rosita, I was sad.

    • wrstlgirl says:

      For me this whole Carol thing just came out of nowhere. But I get that eventually your conscience comes back to haunt you but it just seemed to happen overnight. Maybe it was Sam’s death kicked it into gear :-) If Daryl gets killed because he goes after her I’m betting we lose Carol too. She’ll never be herself again if that happens. Two more to go and I noticed that the finale’ is 90 minutes. Yay!!

      P.S. I loved Denise, but what a way to go!!

      • nochhy says:

        Carol is a badass not a psychopath. We saw her struggling after every kill. After Karen and David kicking the water container at the prison. After Lizzie she confessed to Tyreese killing his girlfriend and she was ready to be killed by him. After Terminus she prepared for leaving the group. After the wolves she started smoking. And then Morgan …

        A suffering Carol isn’t a surprise.

      • Ripley2 says:

        It didn’t just happen overnight – go back 2-3 episodes and you’ll see she was starting to struggle with killing humans – takes her time to off Paula & Co, she takes much longer than usual to go through with it. U are right – Sam’s death definitely affected her – at one time I thought if they had to leave Alexandria, she’d take Sam with her. I blame the mother for Sam’s death; she never really prepared him for any of it = lame.

  11. patrick says:

    I couldn’t hear the end of carols note because AMC jumped in early with the scenes from the next episode.
    That makes me angrier than it probably should.

    • Cassie says:

      Oh no, it made me pretty damn angry too. I rewound the DVR and put on the closed captioning… It looks like it was just a “dramatic silence” that was missed (complete with creeking swing) but clearly someone f’d up and it pissed me off.

  12. Jem says:

    honestly well watching that scene between eugene and the Lead-Zombie, all i could think was ” i really hope they salvage his head..”

  13. Ray says:

    To me it was obvious that either Rosita or Denise was going to die this episode. The more the episode started focusing on Denise it was only a matter of time. I’m glad Rosita lived, hopefully they will flesh out her character more. Give her more to do than just be hot and a badass. Don’t understand why the closest thing you have to a doctor would be making runs. What’s next, sending a pregnant lady on a mission to kill people? Oh yeah, that happened last week.

    • omar says:

      amen! lol

    • Drinksalot says:

      Don’t understand why the closest thing you have to a doctor would be making runs? Denise even told the; “Ill go alone if i have to”. And once a woman makes up her mind like that, don’t try and bother ;)

      • Mike M says:

        It was stupid indeed – Denise outright said it herself to Tara when she wouldn’t go with her because: “I’m the closest thing to a doctor we have – they need me here, I can’t go”. Merritt just had better opportunities come up I think – and honestly she’s totally wasted in TWD.

        • wrstlgirl says:

          Actually Merritt said when she got the job she was told it was only for a limited time. I think this was the plan all along.

    • wrstlgirl says:

      I kind of see it like these guys are so confident in their skill set that they can protect and deal with whatever threat gets in their way. This Negan situation is poking holes in that confidence and they are realizing that they are not infallible and indeed in over their heads. They have no idea what’s coming.

  14. S. Hall says:

    I’m afraid Daryl going to find Carol will leave Alexandria exposed without Daryl and Carol to help. As for Morgan- I blame him for getting inside Carol’s head. I’m not ready to lose her character.

  15. wrstlgirl says:

    So… maybe Carol’s attempt to leave was interrupted by Morgan and she’s in his cage.

  16. Spence says:

    As shifty as this looks for Carol, I’m actually more worried about Daryl now. I mean, I’m picturing Daryl runs off to find her, gets hung up by the Saviors, and gets killed by Negan in the finale. Imagine the horror Carol would feel knowing that she left in order to not kill and ended up getting the person she most cares about killed because of her…

    • Lisa Wilson says:

      I’m worried about Daryl AND Carol. I have a feeling one will die saving the other. I can’t imagine the show without either of them. Ugh, I would be devastated. If they kill off 1 or more of our fav’s, the death’s better be EPIC, like No Way Out times 10! They gotta go out in a blaze of glory doing something only that character would do.

      Morgan looks for her on horseback. I hope he’s the one who dies saving someone from the main group, preferably Carol. So maybe he will kill if forced too?? I’d stand up and applaud!!! If they keep Morgan and kill off Daryl and/or Carol, yeah I’d help start the riots!!!

  17. Kevin Martin says:

    Wait Glenn died? When?

  18. Mary says:

    The weirdest thing was that Tara wasn’t there when Denise was buried…??? Did I miss something? What happened to her? Will she get the soda? :O

  19. Phoenix5634 says:

    Awesome episode! I’m really worried for Daryl right now :( That arrow totally surprised me. And wish Morgan never got into Carols head, we need the “queen of the apocalypse” back we love. Oh and for those wondering about Dwights’ burns, it’s kind of a spoiler thing, you’ll find out next episode I assume.

    I’ve heard that when this season is released on bluray/dvd, it has extra scenes that they couldn’t show on network tv, like an unrated/ directors cut.

    • Tucstwo says:

      This show isn’t on Network TV. They can run whatever scenes they want on the show.

      • wjsc says:

        Not exactly. Though not regulated by the FCC, cable channels do ‘self-censor’ — meaning they’re careful not to send their advertisers running. To exist, networks like AMC have to keep advertisers, so they impose their own rules and limits on what is aired.

  20. Jack says:

    When we talk about a filler episode it’s still better than most any other shows on tv. We aren’t gonna have a banging show every week. As for last night’s “filler”. I seriously doubt this is the end of Carol. She has found a peace in her heart but how long will this last considering what’s going on. Darryl is gonna find her and may get his brains bashed out. (SAD). I thought Denise was gonna die sooner or later but the arrow was for Abe so they put a twist into the show vs the comic that’s why I said Darryl gets the bat and not Glenn.

  21. carrabus says:

    I’d say 8. Denise has promise!

  22. A fan of TV says:

    I don’t know what the plan is with Carol but I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of her, yet. You knew that we were going to lose one of them after Denise and Tara’s I love you later bit, but I still thought it’s be Tara for some reason. I’m sad to see Denise go, but more sad that Carol is cracking. She can’t find it in herself to kill Morgan and from there she starts rapidly unravelling… Come on Carol, get it together before you’re Savior meat.

    The bite a d–k scene was nice comic relief from the likes of Eugene, who’s always good for it, but I hope the writers know they’ve made a non-threatening joke of a survivor out of Dwight with the way he lost that stand-off. I mean really, you had weapons in your hands and you decide to try to push Eugene off???

  23. chicagorob says:

    Denise wasn’t shot in the eye, she was shot through the back of hear head and the arrow exited through her eye. It’s a little point (see what I did there?) but it will be important later. The unusual usually is with TWD…

  24. MJ says:

    When did Carol become weak? She has killed plenty of people not walkers. She killed a girl. I don’t understand this character change. She was going to kill the wolf guy too. What changed her?

    • Troy says:

      I think when she sat down and thought about how many humans she’s actually killed. She has killed 18 humans since this has all began and I think that kind of made her think twice about her actions. I feel she has no trouble killing a walker but killing that many humans in order to survive does something to you and maybe she hasn’t had to think about too deeply until Rick asks her to help them invade a settlement and kill everyone in it. She’s having a crisis of faith and part of me thinks it is kind of rushed but this is only an hour long show we’re talking about. I think she’s also just tired of all the killing and she just wants to enjoy living a normal life as a house wife.

      • Matt says:

        All that and the fact that she saw a mirror version of herself in last week’s episode that made her see herself in a deeper way. Killing herself was almost a way of witnessing the end she might be headed for if she stays the same, and I think it shook her to her core

    • nochhy says:

      Carol is a badass not a psychopath. We saw her struggling after every kill. After Karen and David kicking the water container at the prison. After Lizzie she confessed to Tyreese killing his girlfriend and she was ready to be killed by him. After Terminus she prepared for leaving the group. After the wolves she started smoking. And then Morgan …

      A suffering Carol isn’t a surprise.

    • sonnybatson says:

      What changed Carol? Poor writing.

  25. tawana says:

    Maybe Daryl will go after her! That way he will not have to be killed to leave the show.

  26. Michael Christy says:

    I hope if Carol is gone she is gone for good, not because she is not my favorite character, she in fact is! But, because it would look so stupid if ONCE again, when they are in danger, Carol appears again to save them all, that would be to hard to swallow a 2nd time around.

    I think she left the show. But, in her defense, and the story, I would MUCH rather she left this way than a bullet to the head or else. Denise I was really beginning to like as part of the group, she was cool and was trying to help them all as best she could, I really wish they would have kept her and got rid of Eugene, who bugs the hell out of me all the time.

  27. shadester says:

    I think Daryl will go after carol they have a special connection. He will bring her back. Maybe this will be what it takes for him to finally make and move and they can get together! I thought this was a great episode. I was sad Denise died but liked them revealing more about her. I like spencer with Rosita too.

  28. Sally says:

    At first I couldn’t understand how carol was getting soft, I mean this is the same woman that a few seasons ago was teaching children to kill without their parents knowing, Carol is also the woman who stabbed someone in the head before she was dragged out and burned, so why is Carol suddenly all soft and confused. I wasn’t buying it until I realized, Carol is use to killing Zombies, not necessarily doing mercenary military like killings towards non zombies… just my thoughts

    Also, this episode was dragging just a little , I was about to get up and get a snack…when BAM, arrow. I was hooked and reeled in again! :P

  29. Jd says:

    Daryl didn’t leave the women on the tracks, Denise chose to go with him over Rosita.

  30. sonnybatson says:

    As usual- rather than have a chain in the back of the truck to pull the downed tree from the road, they split the group with the ONLY FING DR. ON THE PLANET IN TOW- and the rest joins a history of bad writing and juvenile storytelling.

    Nice for Rosita that botox is still available in the apocalypse.

    There’s only- what- billions of bullets on the planet for a relatively small number of survivors.

    At least the morons cleaned out the entire pharmacy this time.

  31. Meg says:

    “Daryl — ever the rebel — left the women rather than join them on the shorter route, following the tracks.”

    Incorrect. Rosita followed the tracks, Denise and Daryl took the longer way on the roads.

    I was upset by Denise’s death, but not devastated. I figured she wouldn’t be around for very long, but at the same time I think she fit in with Rick’s group quite well and I liked Meritt Wever. Wever said she knew when she signed on for the show that it wouldn’t be a long term job.

    I don’t think Carol is gone for good. I am curious to see if she is reunited with the group anytime soon. From the preview for 615 it looks like Daryl is going after her. Though with only 2 episodes left in the season, we may not see her return until season 7.

    SPOILERS…

    I kind of wonder if Denise got comic Abraham’s death so that Abraham can get comic Glenn’s death in the finale. I just don’t see how they can pull the dumpster death fake-out and then actually kill Glenn in the same season. Just speculation on my part, they’ve obviously changed quite a lot from the comics.

  32. Elizabeth says:

    I believe Carol never left… she’s still “there.” Morgan cemented her into his cinder block wall he was building and he wrote Carol’s letter to throw others off. His antagonism toward her finally made him crack. He wanted to stop her killing ways

  33. Tatiana says:

    I love the walking dead😀😀😀