The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 14: “Twice As Far”

Melissa McBride stars as Carol Peletier in Episode 14 ("Twice As Far") Season 6 of AMC's The Walking Dead

[Image via AMC]

So I really didn’t think AMC could top last week’s episode of The Walking Dead. However, this episode comes pretty damn close! Here’s what went down in Episode 14 (entitled “Twice As Far”) of season 6 of The Walking Dead:

CF:  Oh, yeah.  They managed to top last week.  Though it seems like it was kinda scattershot.  🙂

  • We start this episode with Groundhog Day. Over and over again we get to see Alexandria doing the same thing, day in, day out. But there is a point to this–of sorts, which we will see at the end. Most important to note is the fact Carol (Melissa McBride) is chain smoking and PTSDing pretty hardcore. The other important thing is Daryl (Norman Reedus) fessing up to the fact he should have killed Dwight (remember him, he’s the blonde guy who stole Daryl’s bike back in episode 6 of Season 6 of The Walking Dead).

CF:  Carol is doing that slow, “I’m losing my mind over all this,” but I can’t figure it out if she’s just burned out from the killing, or if Morgan has gotten into her head.  It’s not playing out well for me.

RT: I think we will get a whole “What Carol Is Thinking” episode at some point. Much like we got the “Morgan’s backstory” when all we really wanted to know was whether Glenn was alive or not. And this will piss me off a lot because it will likely occur right when we want to know whose head Negan just bashed in.

CF:  I think we’ll get some of that at the start of Episode 16.  If she lives, they’ll flesh it out in Season 7.

  • In this episode Denise (Merritt Wever) wants to prove she is tough enough for Tara (Alana Masterson) while she is away on a supply run with Heath (Corey Hawkins). She thinks a local apothecary might actually still contain pharmaceuticals and convinces Daryl and Rosita (Christian Serratos) to let her come along with them on account of her being able to ID the meds when she gets there. Seriously? How badly can this end?

CF:  A huge amount of Idiot Ball passing occurred during this episode, and this is the first one to get bounced around.  Both Daryl and Rosita should have known better than to take the ONLY DOCTOR IN THE AREA with them when she wasn’t qualified to be out beyond the walls.  And seriously, we knew The D & T Squad was going to do what they did, so there wasn’t any need for Denise to be outside.  I take that back:  there was one reason

  • Remember back in seasons 4 and 5 of The Walking Dead when everyone was following the tracks to Terminus? Well, Daryl seems to have his own version of PTSD when it comes to following tracks now as a result of this. Really Daryl? The apothecary is just there, but no, you want to take the scenic route. Denise agrees with him and they let Rosita walk the tracks alone.

CF:  Daryl had Man Period going on for a big part of the episode, and I think it was because he didn’t want Denise out on the run.  Well, then, why didn’t you make her stay back in the ASZ?  Don’t be an asshole, Daryl, and then act pissy on the run.

  • Meanwhile, Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) is taking another newbie out into the wilderness, Eugene (Josh McDermitt). Eugene reckons he is ready to level up and is taking Abe out to look at a place where they could potentially manufacture bullets (so long as they can find enough lead–sounds like a cake walk #not). But, just when he thinks he is all walker-ready, he gets attacked by a walker wearing a lead-hat and Abe has to step in and finish the job. This totally pisses of Eugene and the best awkward fight ever commences. After Abraham tells Eugene he would have a better chance of picking up a turd by its clean end than finish the lead-head walker, it seems a breakup is eminent. Abraham then leaves Eugene to fend for himself.

CF:  This was Idiot Ball Moment Two:  Eugene picks the wrong moment to grow a pair of balls.  Yes, you’re mad at the guy who has actual combat experience for saving your ass, and so the best thing to do is get in his face and call him out for saving your ass.  Idiot Ball Moment Three came next when Abraham was like, “Fuck this guy,” and wandered off.  Now, it does appear that Abraham probably shadowed Eugene back, but still:  walking off like he did wasn’t cool.  What if there had been another walker in that foundry and Eugene died.  What’s Abe’s excuse then?  “He pissed me off”?  Yeah, Rick will buy that in a second.

RT: I think every man in this episode had Man Period. Regardless of whether it was a way to teach a lesson while following behind, it is still a remarkably stupid thing to do in the zombie apocalypse.

Lead-Head walker stars in Episode 14 ("Twice As Far") Season 6 of AMC's The Walking Dead

[Image via AMC]

  • While all this is going on, Daryl, Rosita and Denise are breaking into the apothecary and it turns out Denise is right, it is stacked to the rafters with really cool drugs, none of which have been pilfered for what ever reason AMC thinks is a good one. Denise is also welcomed to the world of “walkers stink like shit and then some” and they find evidence of a mini-walker and its walker-mum in a backroom.

CF:  No one in this area of the world knows how to crowbar open a security door.  Now, the dead baby changing table is, by far, one of the creepiest things the show has ever done.  I did half expect to find a walker baby on the floor, and my guess is that the kid probably was at one point, and that’s how it got offed.

RT: This scene actually gave me flashbacks to Z Nation. And no one should ever have to go there…

CF:  What is this thing you speak of?  Isn’t that a show Liv watches on iZombie?  😉

  • So this is when the Denise backstory starts to crank up a notch or two. (Because we all know that nothing good ever comes from a developing character we haven’t seen much of up until the backstory is introduced…) Denise finds a key chain that reads “Dennis”. This is all good and well until Daryl asks about Denise and her twin brother called Dennis. Apparently their parents named them while they were on a bender and she points out that Dennis was angry just like Daryl and I am officially starting to get the Beth and Daryl vibe off this pair.

CF:  A surefire way to die on this show is to open up about your past.  Axle opened up to Carol–BAM!  He’s dead.  Beth opens up–BAM!  She’s dead. Noah wants to improve himself–BAM!  Dead.  Keep your mouth shut and your head down.

  • Now they have plenty of drugs (apparently, couldn’t really see where they had stashed them all, but then again, I didn’t ask for a cavity search), it’s time to head home. Daryl, feeling all secure in his new relationship with Denise decides to bite the bullet and confront his Terminus demons by walking along the train tracks. All is going well until Denise spots an esky inside a car and wants to find out what’s inside. She totally takes out the walker babysitting the car and then discovers Tara’s fave soda. Remember that way too long side story back in episode 10 of The Walking Dead? I am starting to query just how much backstory and Denise story arc this episode needs when Denise takes a fucking arrow to the eye! WT-Fucking-Fuck?!?! Yes, that’s right, Denise dies right there on the train tracks and Daryl and Rosita have to just let her drop because SOMEONE JUST SHOT HER IN THE EYE. Who the fuck even does that?

CF:  I’ll reserve comment on this until the end.

Merritt Wever stars as Denise Coyd in Episode 14 ("Twice As Far") Season 6 of AMC's The Walking Dead

[Image via AMC]

  • Then people start coming out of the fucking forest and I feel really bad now at getting shitty at Daryl for wanting to avoid the train tracks. Who are these people?! Oh fuck! Not only is it the arsehole that stole Daryl’s bike, but they have Eugene! Mother fucker! Dwight (Austin Amelio) even used Daryl’s crossbow to do the deed.

CF:  The first thing I checked out when they focused on Dwight was his face, and I was going, “Did he get the iron?  Did he?  YES, HE DID!”  I’m strange that I love little touches like that.

  • And so the negotiations begin. Daryl says he should have killed Dwight and Dwight totally agrees. But in the midst of all this, Eugene sees that Abraham is hiding behind some huge barrels and I think everything might turn out okay. Or, equally, everyone may die…
  • Dwight totally wants to gain entry to Alexandria so he can rape and pillage, threatening to blow out everyone’s brains otherwise. While Daryl and Rosita are thinking about it, Eugene announces Abe is hiding behind the barrels. WTF Eugene?! Just when I am thinking Eugene is an idiot, Dwight totally sends people to check it out and while everyone is distracted, Eugene bites Dwight in the motherfucking balls! Way to get some dick Eugene! A war erupts. But Eugene is not giving up the dick for nobody. Daryl slits some throats, there are bullets everywhere. So, of course, walkers arrive. Somehow Dwight manages to escape, but, oh shit, Eugene is shot. Oh no 😦 And Denise is dead, is he going to survive without a doctor? They all carry him back to the car and have to leave Denise behind. Seriously AMC, so many feels are being felt in this episode of The Walking Dead.)

CF:  This was, without a doubt, the best moment of the night.  The Saviors are complete idiots to fall for a bit right out of Loony Toons, but Eugene going straight for the dick bite–excellent!  Rick gets to bite necks, Eugene gets some dude’s sweaty balls.  And let’s keep in mind that with walkers around, when they came back for Denise, she probably wasn’t that “fresh” anymore.  I was already feeling bad about Denise, and then–sadness all around.

  •  Now that the dust has settled and Daryl’s group is back in Alexandria, we learn that Eugene is going to be okay. Abraham arrives and he and Eugene make up. You know it’s man love when Abe says, “You know how to bite a dick, Eugene.” Seriously, can Abe and Eugene get their own show already AMC???

CF:  If only they had Netflix . . .  😉  And you gotta give Michael Cudlitz credit for being able to say those lines with a complete straight face.  I would love to know how many takes that scene took.

RT: Please let there be an outtakes section in the BluRay release of Season 6!

CF:  They could do a whole show of that and it’d pull TWD audience numbers.

  • Then Abraham decides it’s time to take life by the balls and hit on Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) all over again. Except this time it works and Abe is getting laid tonight no doubt.
  • Now the only thing left to do is for Daryl to bury Denise. Daryl is slowly getting minibar blind. Carol is all thinking and shit and not really digging holes. She agrees Daryl was right about killing Dwight.

CF:  I do wonder if they went back for her, or if Abe carried her out.  Again, if they had to go back for her, she was probably chewed up a bit.  😦

Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) decides to leave Alexandria in Episode 14 ("Twice As Far") Season 6 of AMC's The Walking Dead

[Image via AMC]

  • And then Carol leaves Alexandria because she is feeling just too many goddamned feels right now and that is too hard for someone like her and this episode turns out to be the “Carol is leaving” episode more than anything else.

CF:  Which leads up next week to the, “Hey, let’s ALL OF US go look for Carol, because what’s the worst that can happen?”  Ummm . . . Negan?

  • On a side note, we get a big close up of Morgan right there at the end, what’s that all about AMC?

CF:  There is a rumor floating around that Morgan finds Carol on his own–remember some studio shots of him riding a horse?  Which means the horse dies because we know what two things The Walking Dead doesn’t like

RT: Oh, really good call on this one!

What did you think of Episode 14 of Season 6 of The Walking Dead? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below!

CF:  Okay . . . this next part is gonna get long, and if you wanna pass on by, feel free.  For what follows is a personal observation on my part, and probably isn’t going to get as snarky on the episode as we normally get.

Overall I thought that besides the obvious idiot balling the episode was a good one, and they’re doing a hell of a job setting up the dread that’s coming.  But one thing happened that really sort of spoiled everything for me, and that was Denise’s death.  And to talk about why it bothered me, I gotta get up on my soap box a little.

I know a lot of people who’ve reviewed/recapped this episode have complained about how the Bury Your Gays/Dead Lesbian Trope came out last night, because it looked as if Denise was just on the cusp of finding happiness and then–BAM!  Dead.  The Walking Dead is a show where anyone can die, and that means anyone can go at any time.  The world of the Zombie Apocalypse doesn’t give a shit who you’re banging:  straight or gay, in the end you’re gonna dance with the Reaper.  Or the Walker.  Take your pick.

HOWEVER . . . so much about her death felt like the producers and writers just plot hammered this fucker with Tyreese’s weapon of choice.  There was no goddamn reason for her to be outside the walls–except her death was used to set up a confrontation with Dwight, who just happens to have Daryl’s crossbow, and Pookie simply ain’t been the same since that was ripped off, so it was time for a little reunion.

Oh, and Denise took Abraham’s death.  That was exactly how he died in the comic:  he was out on a routine patrol, and Dwight–under orders from Negan–took a team to the ASZ, saw Abraham, and shot him in the back of the head with a crossbow.  He died confessing that he was sorry he cheated and split on Rosita, and that was that.

RT: I figured this out from stuff said on Twitter recently and the tweets from last night’s ep. Considering just how popular Abraham is with both viewers and meme makers, it wasn’t likely he was going anywhere soon when his death could be swapped out for another. Especially since the death was not really a catalyst except to meet up with Dwight. Unlike other deaths (such as Glenn’s) that really are a catalyst for certain main characters. However, considering just how great Merritt Wever was during the short time she was Denise, I wonder if AMC really tried to get the audience to love her character. And that sits uneasy with me. Especially since it seems to be another white girl death just like Beth’s (for people who haven’t read the comics).

CF:  Beth’s death was the biggest screw over job of all time on the show.  I still can’t figure out if they simply couldn’t come up with something better, or if they hated Emily and wanted to toss her on the bonfire in the lamest way ever.

This time, though:  Denise is dead, and the firefight that went down in the aftermath of Eugene’s Dick Chew was the final kick ol’ Abe needed to show up on Sasha’s doorstep and get to bangin’ that gong.

In the comic Denise was straight:  she was married to Heath and she died saving his life when she could have lived instead.  In the TV show, she’s gay, starts a relationship with Tara–and dies so someone else can have a shot at happiness, such as it is.

And that’s the problem I have:  in the parlance of the comics, Denise was ‘Fridged so Abraham’s story would advance.  Another Dead Lesbian was sacrificed so a straight white male could follow through on a proper heteronormative relationship.  That’s how it looks to me, a trans lesbian, and that’s why I have such an uneasy feeling with her death, and the way the episode set it up and carried it out.

RT: This is a really good point to make. While I have perused both sides of the Dead Lesbian debate via social medias since the episode aired, all I can say to AMC is that they can’t call equality on their show because they feature a diversity and then continue to kill of all the black guys and gay girls…

CF:  And we know how much AMC loved killing all the black zombies on Fear.  They got called out on that shit a lot.

Now, Merritt Wever, who played Denise, is saying that she was only hired for this one season, that her story wasn’t supposed to go on to the next season.  There are stories going around that Alana Masterson, who plays Tara, won’t return next season, either, so it feels as if their story was going to end anyhow.  Still, though . . . Couldn’t Abraham still have died as he did in the comic?  Couldn’t a heartbroken Denise have saved someone else’s life and went out proving that she was brave?  I mean, there’s already source material there, and since I know a little bit about writing–as do the people on The Walking Dead–I’m of a mind  that someone who is a better writer than me could have come up with something that didn’t involve Denise getting shoved in a refrigerator.

Call it a funny coincidence, but this same thing happened on the show The 100, where the character Lexa, a young lesbian, finally has her love scene with Clarke, another female character on the show–and then is shot dead with a bullet meant for Clarke–which, if you think about it, is the same thing that happened to Denise, because Daryl was the one who was supposed to die.  Sure, the actress who plays Lexa was leaving the show, because she was played by Alycia Debnam-Carey, and she now plays–her it comes–Alicia Clark on Fear the Walking Dead, but it was felt that Lexa could have died in a different manor than finally having her feelings accepted before being murdered.  Shit, man, let’s hope Alicia doesn’t come out as a lesbian and tries starting a relationship with Ophelia, ’cause–damn.

RT: I’m not sure whether to call this co-incidence between the two shows funny or tragic. Or just an everyday occurrence in TV as a whole 😦 Probably the last actually…

CF:  Probably the later, as both are shot in Canada and I believe Alycia took the part on The 100 because she didn’t need to be on the set all the time.

In the course of all six seasons of The Walking Dead I’ve felt bad over only one death, and that was Tyreese’s, who I felt the show had taken as far as they could and then just let him fade as a character. I felt bad about Denise’s death, only because I knew how she really died and I hoped that she’d get something from her relationship with Tara before she passed into the beyond.  I really didn’t want her to be another example of something that feels like a Mean Girl’s parody:  “Don’t have sex with a girl.  If you do, you won’t get pregnant and you’ll die.”

Most of all I didn’t want her death to allow another character to live so that person could have a shot at a semi-happy affair of their own.  Us lesbians really aren’t here to advance another person’s agency.

We really just wanna have a little love of our own, even if it means we may die tomorrow.  But at least we’ll die for our own agency.

RT: Well said Cassidy!

You can read the Episode 15 recap here.

[Photo Credits: AMC]

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5 thoughts on “The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 14: “Twice As Far”

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