Spoilers ahead for this weeks episode of The Walking Dead!
Slight comic spoilers as well!
Boring, slow, and repetitive are a few of the words I often use to describe The Walking Dead. This week’s episode, titled “Always Accountable,” hits all three of those marks. I’ve always said that when The Walking Dead is good, it’s really good, and when it’s bad, it’s really bad. Well this season redefines what bad Walking Dead episodes are capable of. From this absurd plan to lead Walkers down a straight path away from Alexandria (which somehow worked) to Daryl trusting complete strangers, this has been one hell of a dumb season so far.
Rick’s group has been spread apart since the first episode and have slowly been regrouping back at Alexandria. This has caused the writers to focus on the smaller groups one at a time. This week we finally got to spend time with Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl. The trio seem to have succeeded in luring the zombies far enough away from Alexandria when they are fired upon and chased by a small group.
Daryl, by some act of divine intervention, is completely unscathed by automatic rifle fire raining down upon him from what seemed to be 10 feet away. He wipes out on his motorcycle and is eventually separated from Abraham and Sasha as he heads into the woods to lose the group pursuing him. He eventually finds himself in what seems to be a burned down forest filled with burnt corpses.
It’s in this forest that he encounters a small group that takes him hostage. They mistake Daryl for a member of some other group that they are trying to avoid while they search for someone named Patti. Oh, and apparently they burned the forest down for some reason. It wasn’t made very clear but then again, maybe I just wasn’t paying attention enough. We didn’t even learn the names of these characters.
Daryl is eventually able to get his gear back and make his getaway, only to discover that he stole a cooler full of insulin from the people holding him hostage. So instead of doing the smart thing and getting the hell out of there, Daryl decides to return the insulin to the group. Great job Daryl. Like a diabetic, or any person with a significant health issue for that matter, has any real chance of surviving in the zombie apocalypse.
After returning the insulin, Daryl and his new friends are interrupted by the group they have been trying to avoid. We don’t learn much about this group other than the fact that they seem a bit ruthless. One of them gets bit by a zombie and has his arm cut off on the spot. The leader simply tells him to “walk it off.”
Could this be a certain villain from the comics that we have all been waiting for? I’m going to say yes. For those of you who don’t know anything about the comics and don’t want to have anything spoiled then skip the next paragraph.
It was very possible that the group we saw in this episode was the Saviors, the group led by the infamous Negan in the comics. It was a bit strange that we didn’t get to see the face of the leader of this group. The only reason I can think as to why they would do this is because he is in fact Negan and they were using a stand in. It wouldn’t be the first time they’ve used a stand in for a character. Back in the season 2 finale, they used a stand in for Michonne. The news that Jeffery Dean Morgan has been officially cast as Negan only adds more fuel to my theory. For now, we’ll have to wait and see.
Daryl and the gang eventually escape, finding themselves at a burned down cabin where diabetic girl gets eaten by some kids she used to babysit. It’s all overly complicated and I don’t care. While Daryl and the others begin digging a grave for diabetic girl (because we have time for these things) he decides to ask them the big 3 questions in his first recruitment attempt. Satisfied with the answers he gets, he tells them about Alexandria and they seemingly agree to accompany him, only to pull a gun on him later and steal his bike. What did you expect Daryl?
Ok, I get it. Daryl is a big misunderstood teddy bear that Walking Dead fangirls fawn over for absolutely no logical reason. It doesn’t mean he has to be an idiot. I understand he has a good conscience underneath his rough exterior, but after all he’s been through, how does he just turn his back on these strangers like it’s not big deal? Rick Grimes 2.0 would have shot them all dead, given the first chance.
Too bad he’s back at Alexandria debating with the the pacifistic incarnation of Kung Fury.
Meanwhile, Sasha gave a long winded speech about responsibility and Abraham found a rocket launcher and some smokes. I mean seriously, who just happens to find a zombie impaled on a fence hanging off a bridge, who then happens to fall off conveniently leaving behind a loaded RPG with a case full of spare rounds. You can’t make this up! The best part about this weeks episode?
“Loose ends make my ass itch.”
Quote of the week from Abraham! Maybe Rosita can scratch that for you when you get home buddy. Or maybe Sasha.
Then, of course, the final thing to note was at the very end of the episode. As the trio are headed back to Alexandria, we hear a voice mutter “help” over the radio. Who could this be? My money is on Glenn, because if it’s not, then who cares? The Glenn cliffhanger has been left dangling for too long. I’m getting Sofia flashbacks over here. Just show us that he survived already.
Overall, this was another filler episode. While it foreshadowed a possible new threatening group, the rest of the episode was boring and predictable. Daryl proved to me that he’s not yet adept at choosing potential candidates for Alexandria. He is letting his good nature get the better of him and it’s causing him to make poor choices. I couldn’t believe that he just turned his back on these two complete strangers.
Not only did this put him in danger, but I believe that those two individuals will eventually make it back to the unnamed group and inform them of Alexandria. If they turn out to be the who I think they are, then Alexandria will be in for a rough time in the near future.
The main problem with The Walking Dead is that they don’t know how to keep it interesting without an antagonist. I know a lot of people hate on season 2, but I really think that was when the show was at its peak. The transformation of Shane from hero to villain was great to witness. It pushed Rick to grow and change as a character in a way that we haven’t really seen since.
Right after Shane’s demise, we were introduced to the Governor, and since he left back in season 4, there really hasn’t been much of a main antagonist. We had the claimers near the end of season 4, the hunters, and the group in Atlanta that had taken Beth hostage. All of these threats were dealt with quickly and didn’t really bring any interesting conflicts to the table, save for the hunters and their cannibalism.
Now we have the Wolves, who just seem like a bunch of scared idiots with sharp sticks, and it’s been about 4 episodes since we’ve seen them. I don’t know how much longer this show can keep my interest without a strong antagonist.
Here’s to hoping that baseball season gets here sooner, rather than later.
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FEATURED IMAGE CREDIT: © AMC Film Holdings LLC.