This review has SPOILERS from this and past episodes, as well as the comic series.
The plot synopsis for this episode is:
“Two separate groups leave Alexandria for supplies, and while both worry over the future of the community, they will face imminent danger”
This episode is about finding out who you are and what you are capable of. I liked the message of the episode but, unlike last week’s episode, the character moments in this episode did not hit as hard and felt almost forced. In this episode, Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Denise (Merritt Wever) come into their own in the world of the apocalypse and learn that they are capable of surviving out in the open. They learn that they are not as weak as they once believed. In this episode, Denise, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) go out on a supply run for medicine and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Eugene go on a run to a factory where Eugene reveals he can use the location to make ammunition. A walker appears and Eugene calls ‘dibs’ on killing it but struggles, resulting in Abraham saving him. Eugene is angry with Abraham for not allowing him to prove himself and Abraham leaves. On the way back from getting the medicine Denise kills a walker and starts to tell Daryl and Rosita that they are both brave and capable and that she needed to see what she was capable of when she unexpectedly receives an arrow in the eye, a fate received by Abraham in the comic book series. Dwight, a character Daryl met earlier in the season appears with a few men and they have Eugene captive. They want to be taken to the group’s home of Alexandria and in order to create a diversion, Dwight calls attention to Abraham who is hiding to take out Dwight’s men and then in a moment lifted directly from the comics, Eugene bites Dwight directly in the crotch. A firefight ensues and Dwight escapes. The episode ends with Abraham apologizing to Eugene and Carol deciding that she cannot kill for anyone anymore, something that has been brewing inside her for a few episodes now, and leaving Alexandria.
The biggest gripe I have with this episode and the series in general is that many characters only get significant development in their death episode, Denise’s death was no different. This feels wasted to me. First, it telegraphs who is likely to die in any episode and second, it feels cheap. Why not give characters the development they need all the way until their death? It would give their deaths more of an impact on the audience. As stated in my spoiler free review, other than Denise’s death and crotch bite scene, this episode felt like an attempt to be as good a character episode as last week’s but ultimately came off as filler. It felt like biding time until the finale. The acting and effects were great. The writing and pacing of this episode is what hindered it the most. What did you think of the episode? Is Dwight part of Negan’s Saviors? How will Alexandria cope without a doctor now that Denise is gone? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!