by Sherry Lipp
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Things are unraveling on The Walking Dead. In the pentultimate episode to season six, “East,” we see that no one, except Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), is really ready for a fight. Yet, we know a fight is right around the corner. Carol (Melissa McBride) is gone. Morgan (Lennie James) says he’ll be back one he finds her, but I got the feeling he was ready to leave it all behind as well. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is suffering some kind of health problem, half the crew has been captured, and then there’s the Daryl (Norman Reedus) cliffhanger.
It’s clear Daryl has been shot, but it’s not clear if he survived or not. Dwight (Austin Amelio) utters the words, “You’ll be alright,” but what does that mean? He might not even be talking to Daryl. I have to wonder if their already going to go with the same trick they did earlier in the season with Glenn (Steven Yeun), where you think he’s dead, but he’s not. Then again, that’s a really sucky way for Daryl to go out. I’m thinking he survived the gun shot, but I don’t think he’s going to be okay in the long run.
Overall, I thought this episode was average. We’ve seen this kind of build up on the show before. I thought the scenes with Carol facing off with the men in the truck were tense and exciting, but I wasn’t a fan of the music video sequence that preceded it. That montage just felt like a shortcut to actual storytelling.
What was cool and what wasn’t in “East:”
Carol puts up a fight: Okay, there’s nothing new there, but I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen in this scene. I liked that she wasn’t perfect in mowing everyone down. It left things messy instead her just cleaning up and moving on.
Morgan keeping Rick grounded: I’m not sure that I always agree with Morgan’s yin-yang theory, but I do like that he’s keeping Rick (Andrew Lincoln) from going completely over the edge. Rick has lost his hope that a real society can form again, but Morgan is trying to keep that ember burning.
Daryl taking matters into his own hands again: It may not have worked the way he planned, but I liked that he stood up for what he believed to be the right thing. I do hope he gets a chance to take out some revenge on Dwight’s group. Let’s hope he didn’t go out so easily.
The not so cool:
Sometimes the build up to the big finale feels like marked time: We know Negan is coming. It felt like this episode was just meant to draw things out a little longer.
Rick and Michonne – putting them together to take one out?: Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) hooking up seems a little out of the blue. It seems like it could be an obvious way to get one of them riled up if the other gets killed. It would be nice if this turns out to just be a genuine relationship, but I’m kind of doubting it at this point.
Final thoughts: I’m not going to riot if Daryl doesn’t make it past this season finale, but I will be unhappy if his send off is getting caught completely off guard. After all these years, it’s hard to believe he acted so foolishly as to not realize he was caught in a trap.