We're back with the roamers on The Walking Dead, only a couple episodes left of the season, I'm always worried at times like these. Let's spoil the hell out of it after the break!
Carol and Maggie beat their way out of a kidnapping / hostage sitch last week, reuniting with the gang and (I'm pretty sure erroneously) thinking they had taken care of the Negan problem for Hilltop AND themselves. We also had Abraham leave Rosita as cruelly as possible, thinking Sasha was the home he needed to make. Carol didn't handle anything very well in the Saviour's bunker, in fact, she hasn't handled anything very well since Sam and Jesse and that entire fambly was wiped out. On to this week.
Time is passing in Alexandria, food supplies are checked, people patrol and nod at each other, Carol meditates with her rosary and smokes, Eugene and Father Gabriel are now full time members of the Watch and good for them. Morgan has built a jail, I thought that was what he was welding. Rick asks why and Morgan says that this will give them choices for the next time. And we know there will be a next time.
More time passes, more nodding, more watches, Morgan slices the shit out of some air with his pointy stick, Carol smokes and kisses Tobin, sorry shippers :(. Rosita has found a new someone to play pancakes with, it's Spencer and I guess that kinda makes sense. She looks sad, but she's a beautiful woman, no way she'd be lonely long, even if she is kind of a rude ahole.
Daryl's been reunited with his REAL one true love, his motorcycle, he picks at it while Carol smokes and talks to him about how to come out the other side. He wants to know what the Saviours did to her and Maggie? Carol says THEY did nothing, but I think at least some of that incessant yakking by Red must have gotten through.
Spencer and Rosita have this awkward conversation where there's Beef Jerky Stroganoff (all the HERKZ) and he pushes; are they gonna do this or no, and if no, just say? She says fine, okay, supper and then is headed off with Daryl when Denise stops them. She's been going through maps and has found an Apothecary in a strip mall near by that may have some useful drugs. Number one, aren't apothecaries with a hundred years out of date or so incredibly hipster-fied that no way will they carry ACTUAL drugs? And number two, talk about your long shot, I bet strip mall apothecaries were right at the top of every neckbearded porkpie-hatted mofo's LootList and it's been 3 years. Ish. How old is Judith again?
Denise want to go too and Daryl says absolutely not, but with less words and with more growl. She says she'll go by herself then...and Rosita chimes in with "I am NOT babysitting her by myself" and see what I mean about rude ahole?
They drive off in a old pickup and AGAIN I have to call some serious bullshit. DARYL can't drive a stick shift?? I mean. He's a fcuking mechanic fcs, no way he doesn't know how to drive a standard transmission. It's a plot device so Denise can talk about her brother, who Daryl is so much like.
They're stopped by a fallen tree and it's interesting to watch Rosita and Daryl dispatch roamers from inside the cab of the truck; it's a great analogy? metaphor? little help? for Denise's experience with the dangers outside. She can see it, but she's safe and protected in her metal and glass bubble and other people do all the scary bits. Although I would argue that being a doctor when you aren't ACTUALLY a doctor is more terrifying, just in a different way.
Coast clear, Rosita grabs Denise and they use the map to figure out the way to town. They're at a railroad crossing so Rosita wants to follow the tracks, but Daryl knows better. Denise follows him, with a guilty look over her shoulder at Rosita and "we should stick together." STAY OFF THE TRACKS! That's where animals figure out real quick to hunt the stupid game. Don't be stupid game!
Abraham and Eugene are also in town, wandering down a back alley discussing Eugene's new man-pony. He still has the mullet, just now it's tied and apparently this is worth all these and their words. Everything Eugene says is just so damn quotable, but Imma try. He says the hair doesn't make the man, the man makes the man, if you don't spit game, you are game and Abraham wants to know what's going on? Why all the changes? Eugene says he's changed, he's adapted, he's in Stage 2.
Daryl and Denise make it to the town, long after Rosita and her tracks shortcut. Rosita and Denise walk, Denise asking who taught her to fight? And then remembers that it was Abraham and he left in the most aholish way possible a few months ago and feels bad. Rosita says it's okay, though, soon he'll just be a name in a long list of names.
They find the apothecary, easily identified as the one with all the bloody handprints all over the doors and windows and all the dead people strewn about in front.
Eugene has a plan; this is going to be a manufacturing facility for bullets. He's come up with it, figuring that ammunition has become the coin of the land, and he's good at that kind of thing. Abraham thinks that's awesome, and a metal head walker wanders over. Eugene formally calls dibs (dibs is dibs too), drawing his machete, let the dance begin!
Did I mention this walker is covered in melted metal? You know what doesn't cut through metal? Machetes. Machetes don't cut through metal and it's too long to get up and under the chin and hey, this poor bastard must have died a horrible death. Eugene is slamming the roamer up against machinery, but can't reach a piece of rebar handy that would fit just so perfectly under that chin right there...Abraham gets tired of waiting and kills Eugene's walker AND EUGENE CALLED DIBS!!
Eugene is furious, you don't kill a man's walker after he loudly called dibs more than once! Dibs is DIBS! He tells Abraham his services are no longer required, he's outlived his usefulnesS. Awww, our bromance is OVAH! Abraham tells Eugene to find his own way back then.
Daryl, Denise and Rosita are exploring the extremely smelly apothecary, Denise is smiling at picture after picture of an adorable little girl while Rosita finds the drugs. SO.MUCH.DRUGS! YAY!! They all hear a thumping, but Rosita and Daryl aren't worried: it sounds like just one. Denise decides to cowboy up and go take out the threat, so she finds...a crib. A filthy dirty crib and brains on the wall and a walker with a cast and "HUSH HUSH" written on a wall and a baby shoe in a sink full of blood and OHMYGOD.
All the shudders
Denise and I have to sit and cry for a bit, that was messed up, man. She's so green. They head back and Daryl asks about her brother Dennis, who is older by 6 minutes so they were twins! And he was angry and dangerous, which Daryl can absolutely relate to, and hey! I wonder how Merle is doing these days? Besides all dead and shite.
On the way back, Daryl's trying to get along, so he takes Rosita's way along the tracks, where we see all kinds of cars laying around like bits of giant road kill. Denise sees a car with a cooler inside; she thinks it could be something valuable and wants it. So does the walker inside the car, though, and she seems super frisky, jumping on Denise and almost getting a boob bite off our our favourite doctor. Denise gains the upper hand, though, and yelling for the others to leave her to do it, kills the walker then stands up and throws up on her glasses. Her and Eugene, needing to prove something.
There's just soda in the cooler, and Daryl is MAD. Denise yells back that if they want to live, they take chances and then the monologuing. Really, really loudly and that is just never a good idea. I really like Denise and Merrit Wever plays her so well and all of a sudden there's an arrow through her head. I TOLD YOU TO STAY OFF THOSE TRACKS!!!!
It's several heavily armed men telling Rosita and Daryl to drop their weapons
Oh and they have totally evolved Stage 2 Eugene with them as their hostage. I mean.
There's a standoff, ohhh the leader is D or Dwight, that took his motorcycle and crossbow and that's what he shot Denise with. It's got a bit of a kick, he wasn't exactly aiming for her anyway. D's face is all burned up, though, something has happened?
Lots of banter back and forth, they want access to Alexandria, but
Useless Eugene spots Abraham hiding and we have a chance now. He points him out as a distraction and when Dwight looks, leans over and BITES HIS JUNK. Full on, yo. He doesn't let go, either, he holds on all the way through the fire fight with the ambushers; most of whom are killed and the rest flee. Eugene manages to get shot anyway, and I mean. They drag him home, but I don't think they take Denise as well.
Poor Denise, I really liked her. And she was their sole medical practitioner. I have to admit I kind of expected she might be on the block after they found that so-handy gynecologist last episode.
Back in Alexandria, Eugene is gonna be okay, thanks to Denise's antibiotics, and then he and Abraham make up (you had him by the dick, man. Respect). Abraham wanders off to Sasha's house, where he makes his pitch...and she invites him inside. I liked him just then, he seemed grave instead of buffoonish, do more of that!
They did go back for Denise, Daryl and Carol bury her with her Dennis / Denise keychain and he drinks. Carol tells him he was right; she knew it when he said it.
Tobin is reading a letter from Carol; she can't love people any more because she can't kill people to protect those she loves any more and she's gone, she's in the wind and that's it for now. I bet she becomes like Morgan, she needs a spiritual quest to center herself.
We're oot, watching Morgan listen to the creaking of the gate.
So. This was a tough episode, but not altogether unexpected, I mean, we knew we would lose people and it's like playing No Trump in Bridge, when push comes to shove, you've got to lose your losers first. NOT that Denise and Carol were losers! They just were vulnerabilities and now they are not. I will miss Denise and I wish nothing but the best for Carol, our warrior extraordinaire in need of a spiritual hiatus.
I actually love that Morgan built a jail, I mean, that is the beginning of civilization, you have to start bringing back the rules of society slowly, but they do have to come back. It can't be just like it was when they murdered all the sleeping Saviours. Me and Morgan can't stand that.
I like that we got to know a little more about Rosita, she's always so angry and we don't know why. I would like to know why, she's such a great defender and was defined solely by her clothing choices in previous seasons. Until next week, where it looks like Daryl and Rick respect Carol's choice to leave, just kidding, they track her down like a dog. Mwah!
Abrahamism of the Evening (to Eugene, after killing his walker): "You would have had better luck picking a turd up by it's clean end "