That didn’t really just happen, did it? It couldn’t have, right?
In the penultimate episode of The Walking Dead’s sixth season, Carol found herself in the unfairest of fights; Rick and Morgan took off after her; Daryl took off after Denise’s killer; Michonne, Glenn and Rosita took off after Daryl; and it sure looked like at least one of them wasn’t gonna make it back to Alexandria with a pulse.
Who was the apparent goner-of-the-week? And what other tragedies befell our beleaguered survivors? Keep reading and find out!
‘I’M NOT PISSING OFF A PREGNANT LADY’ | Early on in “East,” a montage revealed the calm before the storm that is the looming Alexandria vs. the Saviors showdown: In the armory, Carl found a gun with a picture of a barbed wire-covered bat carved into the handle (foreshadowing Negan’s weapon of choice); Glenn and Maggie’s sexy shower time turned depressing when he noticed how many bruises she was sporting (in the wake of her abduction by Paula); Rosita set her glare on “stun” as she spotted Sasha giving Abraham a cigar (and to be clear, that’s not a coy euphemism — sometimes a cigar IS just a cigar); and Michonne declined to indulge in morning nookie with Rick, lest she be tardy and tick off taskmasker Maggie, who was as worried about the imminent battle as Rick was confident. “The world’s ours,” he told his lover, “and we know how to take it.” Which was, of course, the cue for complications to arise.
No sooner had Daryl ridden off to avenge Denise’s murder — with Glenn, Michonne and Rosita giving chase in hopes of bringing him back for the war with Negan — than Tobin delivered Carol’s goodbye letter to Rick, who wasn’t about to let volunteer Morgan follow her tracks by himself. On the road, Carol didn’t exactly need their help. But she wasn’t having an easy time of it, either. After her tire was shot out by a pick-up full of Saviors, mild-mannered “Nancy from Montclair” clutched her rosary and wept in an attempt to convince the thugs to leave her be. When instead they decided to use her to gain entry to Alexandria, she reluctantly released her inner Rambo and opened fire.
‘DARYL’S GONNA GET HIMSELF KILLED’ | Following Carol’s tire tracks east — the direction that led away from Negan and also gave the episode its title — Morgan admitted to Rick, “What I believe, I’m not right. There is no right. It’s just the wrong that doesn’t pull you down.” When Rick insisted that his way hadn’t pulled him down yet, Morgan predicted, “It will.” Upon finding Carol’s abandoned car and her bullet-riddled new acquaintances, Rick marveled that Alexandria’s badass baker is “a force of nature.” But, as they began following a trail of blood, hoping that it wasn’t Carol’s (and it wasn’t), he also acknowledged that the siege on the Saviors’ HQ hadn’t ended the conflict as he’d imagined it would. On the contrary, noted Morgan (trying the role of Spock on for size), “You started something.” And how. After they walked away, the one Savior to survive the encounter with Carol came out of hiding, picked up her rosary and followed them.
Meanwhile, Rosita led Glenn and Michonne to the railroad tracks where Denise was killed, and in no time, they’d located Daryl, who blamed himself to the nth degree for the doc’s demise. Go on a guilt trip later, Glenn suggested. Alexandria needed him right now — badly. But not even Michonne promising to make Dwight pay could convince Daryl to abort his mission and go back. In fact, Rosita decided that she wasn’t returning with Glenn and Michonne, either — she was sticking with Daryl. When Glenn and Michonne finally did head home, they were captured by — who else? — Dwight and his Savior sidekicks!
‘PEOPLE CAN COME BACK, RICK’ | After Rick and Morgan found a walker who bore a striking resemblance to (but wasn’t) Carol, Rick took aim at a guy who claimed he was only out and about looking for his horse. When Morgan made Rick miss his target, Mr. Shoot-First-Ask-Questions-Later said that whether the man had been telling the truth, “I don’t take chances anymore.” In turn, Morgan confessed that he’d spared a Wolf, who in turn had saved Denise, who in turn had saved Carl (after he’d been shot in the eye). So didn’t Rick see? “It’s all a circle,” Morgan suggested. “Everything gets a return.” Eventually, Morgan sent Rick home, promising to find Carol and come back himself. “But if I don’t,” he added, “don’t come looking.” And since this could’ve conceivably been the last time they’d see each other, Rick admitted that, yep, Michonne had stolen Morgan’s (now-legendary) peanut butter protein bar.
Upon returning to Alexandria and learning that Michonne was still out, Rick admitted to Abraham that he was scared to get close to someone again. “Me, too,” replied the ginger Hulk. “But now I think I’m that much more ready to tear the world a brand-new a–hole.” At Glenn and Maggie’s place, Enid — who actually cracked a smile in this episode! — gave the mom-to-be a cute pixie cut. But why had Maggie wanted it? Because she had to keep moving, she explained. And “I don’t want anything to get in my way.” Then, out of nowhere, she doubled over in pain so acute that it suddenly seemed unlikely that Judith was gonna get a playmate after all. Finally, Daryl and Rosita discovered Glenn and Michonne tied up in the woods. The Saviors’ prisoners tried as best they could while gagged to warn their friends that they were walking into a trap. But before they caught on, they were surrounded. “Hi, Daryl,” said Dwight, managing to sound friendly and creepy-as-s— at the same time. As Daryl turned to face Denise’s killer, Dwight shot him — at point blank range, in the back, far as I could tell — and blood splattered across the screen before we cut to blackness. “You’ll be all right,” we heard Dwight say. But would Daryl really be okay? Would he?!?
What do you think — did The Walking Dead just kill off Daryl? If so, do you think this means that Glenn will survive his first encounter with Negan? Hit the comments!