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

The Walking Dead – Season 6, Episode 14: “Twice as Far”
Grade: B+

We’re nearing the finale of the sixth season— and the show continues to be my favorite on television at the moment. And while I thought this episode, “Twice as Far,” was technically good and well-written and brilliantly acted (especially by Merritt Wever), this wasn’t my favorite episode. The main reason is the death of Denise, a character I’ve come to love and hoped she’d make it through as long as possible on the show—though, I knew it was a long shot she would make it, since she had little skill for this type of Walker-filled world (not to mention the fact that she was a queer female character, the second to be killed off on this show, a common TV trope.) I still liked the episode, however, and thought it came at a perfect time setting up what’s to come in the last two episodes.

At the start of the episode, we’re shown a series of mundane activities of the Alexandrians, repeated over several days. Morgan built a cell in one of the brownstone basements where he’d kept the Wolf. Rosita and Spencer sleep together after being broken up with Abraham; she just wants a hook up, but he asks her to dinner, and she, annoyed, accepts. Eugene and Abraham go on a run together and find a warehouse that they can make bullets in. After a Walker with melted metal on his head, hardened like a helmet, comes after them, Eugene tries to prove himself but can’t do it and Abraham steps in. They fight and Abraham tells him to get back to Alexandria by himself after Eugene tells him that his services of protection are no longer needed since he can handle himself now—supposedly.

Denise remembers a place where there could be a lot of medication that no one would really know about it. She convinces Rosita and Daryl to take her with. They get the drugs at creepy apothecary and antiques place, with a lot of dead people and children. Seeing all of this freaks Denise out. There was a lot of children imagery throughout the episode, showing both Denise and Eugene’s journey growing in this new world. On the way back, Denise tries to prove herself, getting a cooler from a car with a Walker in it. She’s nearly killed but tells Daryl and Rosita to stop from saving her, and killing it herself. She’s visibly shaken—she even pukes—but has a more confident attitude, even finding a single orange Crush soda for Tara inside the cooler. She takes it and while Daryl and Rosita aren’t impressed, saying how stupid it was and how it wasn’t worth it, she starts to tell them off at how big of a deal it was for her that she could do it. As she is encouraging them, she’s suddenly and completely unexpectedly shot through the eye with an arrow, mid-sentence, dying.

The Saviors, led by the guy (Dwight) who’d stolen Daryl’s crossbow and motorcycle has Eugene as a hostage.  He says he hadn’t been aiming for Denise at all, but it doesn’t matter to him. Abraham watches from behind some barrels, and Eugene, seeing him, tells them that Abraham is there, purposely looking for a distraction. Eugene bites Dwight in the crotch and a shootout begins. The Saviors get away and after Eugene is shot, a bullet grazing his abdomen, Abraham, Daryl, and Rosita bring him back. It turned out that the medication Denise had wanted to get saved Eugene’s life. Daryl goes back for Denise’s body and buries it in the Alexandria graveyard with Carol. Sasha invites Abraham into the house, beginning their relationship. Carol leaves a note for her new boyfriend, Tobin, and telling him that she’s leaving Alexandria.


HIGHLIGHTS

Merritt Wever
is an incredible actress that not only perfectly played her part of Denise, but in general does a phenomenal job at being a genuine person you’d know in real life, adding such a realness with her performance to the scenes that she’s in. I’m overjoyed she’s been a part of the show and am sad to see her go.

Stand-alone episodes
are my favorite episodes of the show. They keep the overall arc moving along but focus on only a select number of characters in this ensemble show, highlighting certain storylines and this episode was one of the best of these episodes.

LOWLIGHTS

Losing Denise,
a real, relatable character was a huge loss. Especially the way in which it happened, so sudden and unexpected, while well-done, made me upset. This is more of a personal lowlight. But the fact that another queer female character was killed off upset me, too, because there is so little representation on the show, losing one is like losing most. If her character had had a longer run, had a more meaningful death, and there were more representational characters of the LGBT community, I wouldn’t have minded.

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