Twice as Far Plot Summary:
Things seem to be normal in Alexandria after the raid on The Saviors’ compound…too normal. Denise (Merritt Wever) recruits Daryl (Norman Reedus), and Rosita (Christian Serratos) to make a run with her to a drug store that might have some crucial medicines they need. Eugene (Josh McDermitt) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) find a spot where Eugene can manufacture bullets for Alexandria.
‘Twice as Far’ looked to be ‘one of those episodes’ of The Walking Dead. You all know the type — the episode that comes after a big story arc, where nothing really happens, and some side characters get their moment in the sun. These episodes are usually rather pointless outside of some minor character development, and the requisite end-of-episode hint of what’s going to happen next week.
This episode was certainly following that pattern — focusing mainly on Denise, a character that’s been an important, but still a rather fringe character. She serves a major role as the surgeon/doctor in Alexandria, but she’s never been the most compelling character. So, to have her as the focus of the episode, really seemed to grind the momentum of the past few weeks to a grinding halt. The audience is chomping at the bit for The Saviors and Negan — why do we need an episode where Denise mopes around because she wants to be taken seriously as a fighter? And yes, she does mope. And yes, it’s annoying to watch her verbally stamp her feet at Daryl and Rosita — screaming about how she needed to prove herself — after she nearly dies trying to foolishly dispatch a walker.
Then an arrow goes through her damn eye.
This was probably one of the more shocking deaths (in regards to a “good guy”) we’ve seen in a while. The word shocking here is more in regards to “didn’t see that coming.” Now Jessie’s (Alexandra Breckenridge) death earlier this season was pretty shocking, but that was due to its graphic nature. She’s surrounded by walkers in a rather flimsy disguise, yeah good chance she’s going to die. Denise’s death reminds me a bit of Beth’s (Emily Kinney) death at the hands of Dawn (Christine Woods) — you just didn’t see it coming. Although, gotta admit it, Beth’s death was way more traumatic than Denise’s.
And as the arrow flies, the episode took an excellent turn. The reveal is that Dwight, the man that stole Daryl’s crossbow and motorcycle (and Daryl let live), shot the arrow from Daryl’s old crossbow. He’s leading, what we’re assuming are Saviors, and they’re ready to kill everyone — Rosita, Daryl, and a captured Eugene. What ensues from here is a fantastic action sequence, spurred on by Eugene literally biting Dwight in the crotch. Literally. It sounds so stupid, but because this is Eugene, it makes perfect sense.
The episode works as an antithesis to the past two weeks’ worth of episodes. The theme of Rick’s posse killing The Saviors made Rick and company look like a bunch of cold blooded savages. ‘Twice as Far’ sadly proves Rick correct, this world is now “kill them first before they kill us.” Daryl’s act of kindness lead to his friend’s death. Now Alexandria is done a surgeon. It’s a sad, terrible state of affairs, but we, as the audience, now have to accept the fact that our heroes have to kill other humans in order to survive — because look what happens when you don’t. Rick and company aren’t a bloodthirsty band of people, these are people that want to preserve life, their life, even if it means ending the lives of others.
The episode ends with Carol letting Tobin (who by proxy represents everyone in town) know that she has left Alexandria for good. She cannot handle the violence anymore, and knows that in order for the life everyone enjoys to remain, she must kill again. This is not an option for Carol — but can we really trust this? Is she really leaving to save her soul, or is she on her way to seek out Negan and kill him herself, ending things once and for all? This definitely throws an interesting wrench into the works with just two weeks left in the season.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Bill Bodkin is the editor-in-chief of Pop-Break.com, which he co-founded in September 2009. He writes regularly for the television section – reviewing The Walking Dead every week. He also contributes to the film, music, and pro wrestling sections. He is also the host of the site’s podcast “The BreakCast” and he even sang the theme song. He is a graduate of Rutgers University and is currently a regular contributor to New Jersey Advance Media (Star-Ledger, NJ.com). He’s married, has a beautiful daughter named Sophie, and a dog named Leon. Follow him at @BodkinWrites or @PopBreakDotCom