TV Review: The Walking Dead S6 E15, “East”

Published on March 29th, 2016 in: Current Faves, Horror, Reviews, TV, TV Reviews |

By Laury Scarbro

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As of this exact moment, I’m almost sure the majority of the population knows something major happened on The Walking Dead Sunday night. To say that my mind is blown would be an understatement. But it needs to be emphasized that the worst fears of the fans may not be realized. What you see on the first viewing tends to be inaccurate, as our minds like to use our worst fears against us and make us see things differently than when we go back and rewatch certain events. Recall when Glenn fell off the dumpster? This is just like that, optical illusions caused by shock.

This episode tweaks the threat levels well into the red, with members of the core group going off in different directions. That’s never a good idea, and as we’ve seen in the past, it leads them to greater danger than they would have been in if they’d simply stayed put. Carol carries out her plan to leave, Daryl takes off to get revenge on Dwight, which forces Glenn, Rosita, and Michonne to go after Daryl, while Morgan and Rick go off in search of Carol. Carol can easily take care of herself. She went off by herself before, albeit involuntarily, but I believe it was that time away from the group that is responsible for her current way of thinking. Before, she was willing to do whatever was necessary in order to protect the group, but with time to reflect on it, each life she takes now is hacking away bits of her humanity.

It doesn’t take long before she runs into the Saviors, who fire at her car, forcing her to stop. Again, she falls back on her pattern of making people think she’s weak and helpless. What they don’t know is that there’s more to Carol than meets the eye, and she didn’t leave Alexandria without something up her sleeve. By the time Rick and Morgan arrive, Carol is long gone, but there’s a blood trail and they follow it off into the neighboring field. They don’t find her, but they do find someone wielding a spear, and it’s rumored that this guy is from another group of survivors entirely, known as The Kingdom. Morgan and Rick part ways, with Morgan continuing on the search for Carol and Rick heading back to Alexandria.

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Elsewhere, Glenn and company go back to the railroad tracks, where Michonne locates Daryl’s motorcycle hidden in the brush, so they know they’re on the right track. They do catch up to him, and Glenn takes the lead on trying to get Daryl to return to Alexandria. Daryl seems to turn it over in his mind, knowing it’s the right thing to do, but ultimately he feels he has a responsibility to end what started back in the burnt woods. Rosita supports his decision, and the group splits up. The result is Glenn and Michonne being taken prisoner by Dwight’s group, and as Daryl and Rosita spot Glenn and Michonne, Dwight sneaks up behind them. There’s a gunshot, and blood splashes the screen. Pay close attention to where everyone is, and where the guns are pointed, and it becomes pretty clear that whoever was shot did not receive a fatal wound.

Back at home, Enid gives Maggie a haircut. As Maggie’s admiring the job, she begins having cramps. Terrifying, gut-wrenchingly painful cramps that indicate she’s having a miscarriage. The only hope she might have is someone getting her to the Hilltop. Should she somehow not miscarry at this point, she’s still going to have to take it very easy so nothing else happens.

I hold to my previous opinion in saying that I’m filled with dread. I’ve seen the group split up and make spontaneous decisions before, and it’s never gone well. This episode is what I would define as visceral, causing me more than a few moments of nausea, and bordering on physical pain. I tend to get entirely too invested in fictional characters, so when I see people in shows I love making terrible choices, my first response is to want to climb through the screen and beat some sense into them. Unfortunately that’s not possible, so I’m forced to sit here, waiting with bated breath until next Sunday’s finale. It just so happens to fall on the same night as Wrestlemania 32, and will necessitate avoiding the entire Internet until I’m able to see the finale episode.

I’ve seen multitudes of criticisms of the show’s writing, the decisions of the characters, and insinuations (or outright accusations) that the show has made sacrifices to character growth and plotlines to make the introduction of Negan happen. I have to disagree, because even in real life, we experience moments of weakness. That’s what makes this show so great, the way they make the characters believable. How many times have you watched it and said “If that was me, I would (fill in the blank)”? There’s been criticism of Carol, crying in the face of certain doom, saying it makes her appear weak. Wrong again; it’s a tool she’s learned to use to her advantage. The tears are real, but the reason behind them is not because she’s weak. It’s only fear of losing another part of herself.

It’s also been said that Daryl’s revenge makes no sense. Again, I must disagree; Denise died because he had a moment of sympathy and he tried to do the Rick thing and recruit the people who turned on him and stole his crossbow and bike. Now he’s just out to correct his mistake, nothing more nothing less. Fans on a multitude of sites have been predicting who they think will meet Lucille in the finale, and perhaps it’s wishful thinking on my part, but I choose to believe it’s not Daryl. I’m sure someone will get it, but I don’t believe that we will really know who it is until the season 7 premiere. I just hope the finale is one that silences the critics once and for all.

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