After a serious tease last week, the reaper made good on his promise this week as the Alexandria crew took a major loss tonight. Despite the shocking death, this episode felt like a major come down after a string of amazingly stellar episodes.
Eugene took Abraham to a factory where he figured he could make lead for bullets. I’m glad this latter portion of the season has tackled increasingly short supply of materials. There’s only so many fresh stock of canned goods and bullets available. Eugene and Abraham’s interactions were easily the highlight of the show. Abraham had a number of great lines including suggesting Eugene would have an easier time picking a turd up by the clean end than killing an attacking walker.
Denise recalled a drug store just on the outskirts of the city and asked Daryl and Rosita to tag along/escort her on her supply run. For so many reasons this was a dumb move.
Rick and Daryl going on supply raids wasn’t the smartest plan, but the town had a backup leader (Maggie) and A class fighter (Michonne) in reserve. Letting the only sorta doctor go out on any kind of mission, especially the non-essential ones was a stupid idea. I was actually glad the worst case scenario occurred to hopefully prevent any future idiotic decisions like this in the future.
With the focus on dispensable characters (and Daryl), the odds seemed real slight that everyone would be making the return home. Rosita and Eugene seemed to have the best odds. Naturally, the most essential character was the one that bit the bullet … er, crossbow bolt.
Denise seemed to have a death wish all episode, first exploring the sound of the bumping noise in the drug store and then going into a parked car with a walker inside just to get the cooler inside. Her lack of experience in the walker world really came to a head when she went on a loud rant about how silly being afraid is and how she should Tara she loved her.
After Denise escaped the walker, she seemed protected for the night, so her getting a crossbow bolt through her eye was somewhat surprising. But really, she kind of was itching to get killed considering all of her actions for the night. Dwight — now with his burnt side visual like his comic book appearance — was aiming at Daryl and missed. Along with his crew (that wasn’t aligned with Negan?), Dwight had Eugene and wanted to strike a deal — they get entry and free reign to take whatever and whoever at Alexandria and Eugene lives. Even Eugene would agree that was a terrible trade.
Proving his newfound ingenuity, Eugene takes a bite into Dwight’s crotch giving Daryl, Rosita and Abraham enough time to drive off Dwight’s crew. Daryl sought payback, but Eugene was shot in the fray and needed to get back to Alexandria. Back at base, Abraham apologized for not giving Eugene his due while Carol and Daryl buried Denise.
Denise’s death was interesting as she was one of an increasingly smaller amount of native Alexandrians who’d gotten significant screen time. In the long run, besides losing the doctor, the loss of her character isn’t going to strongly affect anyone besides Tara, who was definitely conspicuous by her absence in this episode. Alanna Masterson had likely delivered her baby by that point and was understandably unavailable making the decision to off Denise at this point even more questionable.
In the midst of all this, a far more important development occurred as Carol decided she needed to return to her exile since she couldn’t bring herself to killing any longer. Although Carol’s heart hadn’t been into killing since the Wolves’ attack, having her decide to pack up and leave felt like it came out of nowhere. And in the long run, Carol’s decision meant a lot more than a half developed doctor in training’s death. In a rare misstep this back end of the season the attention was focused on the wrong subplot.
This week everything unfairly gets graded against the curve-wrecking Daredevil Season 2. Even with Denise’s death, I just wanted to get back to binging. Considering the circumstances, just losing Denise almost feels like a win in itself. With Negan still on the horizon, expect more bad things to come and hopefully a stronger and sensible final two episodes of the season.