By Nanea Hoffman
This week’s episode broke my heart. Or, to put it more specifically, it shot an arrow through the metaphorical eyeball of my heart. Are you trying to make sense of that? Good. Because I’m still processing, and why should I suffer alone?
The idyllic opening sequence confused me at first because of the whole Groundhog Day repetition thing. Also, I watch these episodes late Sunday night, usually, and I was one glass of wine in, but still. TELL me when you’re going to get fancy like that, show! Otherwise, I think I’m losing my mind, and/or I end up accusing my husband of sitting on the rewind button of the remote. “We already saw this part!” I get the point, though: life has settled into what passes as normal routine for the Alexandrians.
Rosita is having revenge-rebound sex with Spencer. If you don’t know what revenge-rebound sex is, this is when you sleep with the guy most likely to piss off your former lover. Spencer totally qualifies. I realize I’m inserting some motivation into Rosita’s actions, but whatever. It makes sense.
Denise goes on a medicine run with Daryl and Rosita that ends up having tragic consequences, and Eugene and Abraham find a warehouse that Eugene thinks he’d be able to use to produce bullets, which are the new currency in the post-apocalyptic world.
Eugene is trying to level up! I love that he views survival as an RPG and he is trying to acquire skill points. Also, his indignant reaction when Abraham kills the lead-encrusted walker who is about to bite him is everything. “I called dibs!” Abraham clearly does not understand the rules of game play.
Did the metal-head walker remind anyone else of Viserys from Game of Thrones?
Denise offers to hold Daryl and Rosita’s bags in the apothecary. This moment is everything I love about Denise. She wants to help even though she knows there’s not much she can do, so she’ll totally be the one who guards the purses while her girlfriends Daryl and Rosita are off dancing gathering supplies. She’s that friend.
Denise is the humanity of the group. She cries after finding that child’s shoe floating in a sink full of goop. She snags a keychain with her twin brother’s name on it. She is willing to kill a walker for a can of soda, because why the hell not? And she wants so desperately for her friends to appreciate themselves that she’ll give them a full-on lecture right there in the middle of the tracks.
And that is why the arrow that kills her in mid-speech is so fucking devastating. It’s an emotional sucker punch. It HURTS.
It turns out that the guy who shot Denise (with Daryl’s crossbow, goddamnit) is Dwight, the guy who stole Daryl’s bike. The one Daryl knows he should have killed. Over and over again, this show teaches us that in the new world, compassion isn’t just weakness, it’s often death.
Dwight’s got a crew, and they have Eugene hostage. If Rosita and Daryl don’t take him back to their camp, he’ll start killing them, starting with Eugene. It’s startling when Eugene pipes up that Dwight should start with Abraham, who’s been skulking around watching all this unfold from behind some oil barrels. Is this part of Eugene’s plan to get Dwight to fire at the oil barrels and cause an explosion? No, it’s even more diabolical. Eugene, whose hands are bound, uses the momentary distraction to BITE DWIGHT IN THE DICK! Talk about leveling up! He chomps down and does not let go!
In the ensuing ruckus, Daryl, Rosita, and Abraham are able to overcome Dwight’s gang, although Dwight scampers off into the trees. Bastard. Rosita calls Daryl back to help with Eugene, who’s been hit.
That leads to this touching exchange between Abraham and Eugene:
Abraham: “I apologize for questioning your skills. You know how to bite a dick, Eugene. I mean that with the utmost of respect. Welcome to Stage 2.”
Eugene: “Don’t need to welcome me. I’ve been here awhile.”
Our weary heroes return to base to bury the fallen Denise.
Carol, who hasn’t been the same since her abduction by the Saviors, during which she and Maggie barbecued the lot of them, has had enough. She takes off on her own, leaving a note that reads: “I can’t love anyone because I can’t kill for anyone. So, I’m going like I always should have. Don’t come after me, please.”
Only two more episodes to go in the season, Walking Dead fans! Let’s hold hands.
- Eugene’s George Washington ponytail #FreeTheMullet
- Spencer’s Beef Jerky Stroganoff and Rosita’s reaction to his invitation
- Morgan building a jail cell: “It’ll give us options next time.”
- Daryl and Carol, smoking together on the porch #IamNotOk
- Abraham and Sasha: “It could be 30 years here for us, and it still wouldn’t be enough.”