Life is getting back to normal in the not-so-big city. The sun is shining, the breeze is light, the food pantry is stocked, armed residents are patrolling the grounds (including FatherG), Eugene and Sasha are armed and on the gates, Morgan is practicing with his staff, and Carol is clutching her crucifix. What could go wrong? Tsk Tsk. It is never that easy. Morgan is later shown finishing the impressive prison cell as Rick approaches and wants to know why. Morgan says that it will give him more choices, next time. We see the normality of their lives as it all begins again the next day. This time Carol is kissing Tobin goodbye, while clutching the crucifix. Rosita wakes up in Spencer’s bed. Working on his recovered bike, Daryl finds a bag with a toy soldier in it, a reminder that the rider may have been a father, or a soldier himself, in a previous life. Carol comes and shares smokes with Daryl while talking about the people in the burned forest. She wants to know if he saved them. He says he should have killed them. He wants to know what the saviors did to them while they were captured. Her reply “to us” give acknowledges that they did things to the saviors, instead. Another day. More normality. More cigarette butts on Carol’s porch swing. Things should be fine, but the tale of the psychological impact of recent events is unfolding.
Eugene and Abe go out together on a scouting expedition. Look at Abe trusting Eugene to have his back! Look at Eugene planning to have his back. We are reminded by Denise’s presence, looking out over the wall, that Tara is not back, yet. Spencer is tagging behind Rosita like a lost puppy when her disinterest causes him to ask what’s going on. She reluctantly agrees to have dinner with him and he accepts it. It is the next world, and being a rebound love ain’t what it used to be. Instead of practicing her skills with Rosita, Denise remembers she ran across an apothecary on her way out of D.C. and wants Rosita and Daryl to go with her to see if anything is left. The sudden knot in my gut tells me someone isn’t coming home when Rosita and Daryl decide to go to keep Denise from going out on her own. Daryl’s grinding the gears of their beat up truck doesn’t help alleviate the fear. The knot grows larger as he and Rosita get out of the truck to move “fallen” branches from the road. They decide the tree rotted out and fell over on its own. They then decide to walk since the truck won’t make it the rest of the way. Time to put on your black armbands, #TWDFamily.
Abe and Eugene are rattling on while walking down an alley – as if that isn’t ringing the dinner bell. Abe notices the changes in Eugene, who tells him that the key to survival is allowing oneself to be shaped by your environment – using way too many words to do it. He says that he has changed, adapted, and become a survivor. The other party, Daryl, Rosita, and Denise meet up at the train tracks near the drug store. Daryl chose one path, followed by Denise. Rosita chooses to walk the tracks and ends up waiting for their arrival. He and Rosita open the doors just as Eugene and Abe open the door to the building they were searching for. Eugene wants to manufacture bullets in a machine shop. Shouldn’t they clear the building of equipment and take it back, for safety’s sake? Abe is happy that Eugene is thinking outside the box, but wants him to pause his comments in order to kill an approaching walker with some sort of melted metal helmet on. Eugene wants the honor but fumbles the effort multiple times before Abe stops the walker from killing him. Eugene is angry, thinking he had the situation under control and wants an apology from Abe. Hello, pipe dream! Abe says that Eugene would have had better luck picking up a turd by the clean end. Eugene throws him a “screw you.” They ring the dinner bell even harder as they start yelling at each other. It ends with Eugene thanking Abe but telling him that his services are no longer required and that he has outlived his usefulness to him. Um, isn’t that the speech Abe gave Rosita? Touchy Abe leaves, telling Eugene to find his own way back, after calling Eugene an asshole!
At the apothecary, the drugs are all still there, locked behind a security gate. They hear a walker thudding and Denise takes that moment to become brave. She opens the door to a darkened room and finds a child’s play yard, stacked boxes, and a walker, in a cast, rotting in the corner. She crashes glass running out of the room after realizing that the person inside probably killed a child trying to keep it quiet. She waits outside, among walker corpses, until Daryl and Rosita return. While walking, she tells them about her older brother, Dennis, who was brave but dangerous. Daryl tells her that it sounds like they had the same brother. Daryl takes Rosita’s path back, noting that it is faster. Denise detours, again, when she sees a blue car and looks inside. She decides the cooler inside might have something they can use, ignoring the calls to keep going. She pulls the cooler, and the walker trapped inside with it, both falling out on top of her.
Luckily, she gets the better of it, and kills it, not allowing Rosita or Daryl to help her. She is fully brave, just before losing her oatmeal breakfast, throwing up on her fallen glasses. She is not impressed by Daryl’s yelling at her for the risk she’s taken. She says that you live by taking chances and instead of taking it all, takes only one soda from the cooler. More yelling ensues. Rosita asks her if she is seriously that stupid. Denise returns the favor. She tells Daryl she asked him along because he is brave like her brother, and makes her feel safe. She asked Rosita because she is alone, probably for the first time in her life, and is stronger than she thinks she is. It gives Denise hope that she can be strong, too. She knows that not going with Tara and not telling her that she loves her was a mistake. Just as she finishes yelling at them for not trying, given how strong and smart they are, and telling them that they are really good people, an arrow pierces Denise’s skull from behind. It pierces through her right eye, just like Carl.
WHY,writers, WHY? We already hate the saviors. Denise falls and Daryl and Rosita are surrounded by armed men who have captured Eugene. It’s Blonde Rick (Dwight), the man who stole Daryl’s bike. He went back to the saviors and paid his price, a partially burned, severely burned, closed, ear. He used Daryl’s stolen bow to kill Denise while aiming for Daryl. The men want into the complex, which looks just beautiful, to them and they want the Alexandrians to let them take whatever, and whomever, they want. Eugene tells them to start with their companion, a first class a-hole, who is hiding behind the nearby oil barrels, he deserves to die more than they do. Dwight sends men to check it out. Eugene bites Dwight’s crotch while he is distracted. Abe comes from another side and blows several of Dwight’s men away. Daryl slits a nearby guy’s throat and picks up a gun and starts shooting. Rosita picks up her gun and catches a shooter Abe didn’t see coming. The walkers are coming and Eugene still has a grip until he cuts Dwight loose and ducks the hailing bullets. Dwight and his men soon retreat. Daryl grabs his bow and chases a retreating Dwight until he is stopped by Rosita. They are crestfallen by Denise’s death but have to leave her body as they carry a wounded Eugene back.
At the infirmary, we learn that Eugene was grazed and that the antibiotics they picked up, thanks to Denise. might save his life. Eugene asks if Abe apologizes for questioning his skills. He does. Abe tells Eugene that he knows how to bite a dick and he means that with the utmost of respect. Abe then goes to see Sasha, reminding her that she once said he had choices. She does too. They could have 30-years there, and it would be too short. She invites him inside. Carol and Daryl bury Denise inside the compound, as she tells him he was right and she knew it when he said it (he should have killed the people in woods). Carol later ends things with Tobin. In a letter she tells him that she knows she has to go out and kill again and she can’t do it. She is done killing. She leaves, just as Tara, Heath and the others have returned. Hopefully they are all coming back. Carol doesn’t want anyone to come looking for her. Morgan sees the empty porch swing and realizes something is wrong. Will he be leaving, too?
Two episodes are left and I am already mourning our beloved Alexandrians. Hopefully the Colonial Hilltoppers will join them. No pun intended, but these people need Jesus!
I’m an exasperated soap fan who keeps hanging on – waiting for the daytime I once loved to return to its former glory! Hey, it doesn’t hurt to have a dream. I learned to love soaps thanks to my wonderful mother and grandmother. I’ll always have fond memories of daytime, most especially of ‘Another World’, my first stoap love. The ever great, but sadly defunct, daytime shows like Ryan’s Hope, Search for Tomorrow, The Doctors, Loving, and many others keep a special place in my heart, as well.