Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6, Episode 14, ‘Twice As Far’: Know Your Role

Review: 'The Walking Dead' Season 6, Episode 14, 'Twice As Far': Know Your Role

LAST WEEK’S REVIEW: ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 6, Episode 13, ‘The Same Boat’: Know Your Enemy

Whose Episode Is It?

Denise is the main focus, as she leads Daryl and Rosita to a pharmacy she remembers passing on her way to Alexandria. Meanwhile, Eugene and Abraham are on their own exploratory run, and just when you think it’s over, BAM! Carol makes a fateful decision.

Little Town, It’s A Quiet Village

I can’t remember an episode of this show that has frustrated me as much as this one. This could have just been one of those bad, one-off "Walking Dead" installments, where nothing much happens except some unsuccessful attempts at character development and you figure they’ll pull it together for the last few episodes, but then the last 15 minutes of "Twice As Far" wind up having major consequences, and it makes a dumb episode into an aggravating one.

We open with a montage of quiet life in Alexandria, since everyone seems to think they successfully killed Negan and eliminated all the Saviors. Apparently Carol didn’t tell anyone that the Savior Rick killed at the end of the last episode was referred to as "Primo" multiple times by the Saviors who were holding her captive, and that one of the Saviors explicitly said "We’re all Negan," which would certainly seem to indicate some sort of "I’m Spartacus" situation, especially to someone as sharp as Carol. But I guess she’s got a lot on her plate, what with her multiple murders weighing heavier on her with each passing day.

Anyway, Doctor Denise remembers an apothecary that she passed a long time ago, and wants to make a supply run. Daryl and Rosita are willing to go, but Denise insists on coming along, despite admitting that her experience outside the walls is "zero." This is an insultingly stupid decision by Denise with an almost equally stupid decision by Daryl and Rosita in agreeing to bring her along. She’s the town’s only doctor. Sure, she’s not formally trained, but she’s been learning, and she’s the best Alexandria has got, so taking her out into the wilderness is basically insane. Even if the Ricketeers think the Saviors are all gone, there are still the endless hordes of the undead to contend with, not to mention whatever other nightmare humans might be around. Do they think they killed all the Wolves, too? No one in the Wolves said "Oh yeah, I’m definitely the last member of this nutty cult." Yet Daryl and Rosita agree to bring Denise with them after only some cursory badgering. Man, no one tell Rick, I bet he’d be pissed if he knew! (We don’t know what Rick thinks about the whole situation, because Andrew Lincoln isn’t in this episode. Convenient!)

Most Embarrassing Death

If that wasn’t maddening enough, once Denise is outside the walls, she keeps taking insane risks. She investigates a closed room containing a zombie by herself, despite not knowing how to hold a machete. She insists on breaking into a car with a zombie in it because there’s a cooler inside they could salvage. It turns out she’s feeling useless, which again is crazy, because she’s the town’s only doctor, but she’s also feeling guilty about not telling Tara she loved her when she had the chance. This all builds to Denise, Daryl, and Rosita getting into a big argument about how dumb Denise is being, with Denise insisting you have to take chances in order to live. There’s a fine line between "taking a chance" and risking your life, which Denise learns the hard way when her big, passionate speech is interrupted by a crossbow bolt through her eye.

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What’s worse is that this plot would make a lot more sense with Eugene instead of Denise, which is why it’s even more frustrating that Eugene is actually in this episode, in a subplot with the same basic character arc but with much less airtime — he and Abraham scout out a factory that Eugene claims they can use to start manufacturing bullets. Like Denise, Eugene wants to prove himself against a zombie, but, unfortunately, faces off with one that’s got a helmet of molten metal (one of the episode’s only clever bits), and Abraham comes to his rescue. Eugene tells him off, and Abraham ditches him. Eugene’s actions here actually make sense, considering his cowardly past and the power dynamic that existed between him and Abraham. Abraham was his protector for months, but Eugene wants to show him that he can handle himself now.

The solidity of this plot line just shines a spotlight on the main plot’s weaknesses. Denise’s story this episode seems to exist simply to get her away from Alexandria so she can be killed off. The script gives her some cursory backstory to give some heft to her "shocking" death, which is a shame, since Merritt Wever was a great addition to the ensemble. Even if her character was never meant to exist long-term, she still deserved a better write-out than this. This is also another annoying example of "Walking Dead" killing off newly-introduced characters as a way of artificially raising the stakes, so the world can still seem dangerous but none of the regulars have to go. Watch your back, Heath!

Man Is The True Monster

So yeah, turns out there’s a bunch of Saviors left. Denise is killed by Dwight, the guy who stole Daryl’s bike and crossbow back in "Always Accountable," and he’s sporting a scarred face, presumably punishment for going astray in his earlier appearance. He shows up leading a pretty large group of Saviors who have managed to capture Eugene, but of course, Abraham, being in the sensible plot, didn’t really abandon Eugene, and he manages to get the drop on the Saviors after Eugene offers some misdirection. Daryl and Rosita get to cover and the Saviors are forced to retreat. In a downright odd bit of business, Eugene contributes to the confusion by biting Dwight’s crotch, which is certainly a unique and effective method for slowing a guy down. Considering how many Saviors the Ricketeers have killed, at this point Negan’s going to have to nuke Alexandria from orbit in order to even the score.

(Imagine if you were Dwight and you had to go back to the Savior camp after what happened. All your pals saw it, so you couldn’t just make something up. When Negan demands to know how the Ricketeers got away, you’d have to say, "The nerdy guy bit my dick." You would never live that down.)

Line Of The Week

The honor goes to Abraham: "You know how to bite a dick, Eugene. I mean that with the utmost of respect." This is undoubtedly hilarious, but it’s an odd tonal decision in an episode that writes out two major characters.

One More Bad Idea For The Road

That’s right, I said two major characters, because in the last few minutes of the episode, Carol sneaks out of Alexandra, leaving a note saying she can’t kill anymore, and that she knows she’d have to if she stayed. The last few episodes have clearly been building to something with Carol, but this decision still comes out of left field, plopped in as an addendum to an episode where Carol is largely absent. It might have felt less shoehorned in if Carol got more screen time this episode, but I guess we couldn’t miss a second of whether or not Daryl and the others were going to take the road or the railroad tracks.

We’ve been down this road with Carol before when Rick exiled her (as Carol mentions), so this feels like a retread of an earlier plot. Either Carol’s really gone forever (unlikely), or she’s just on walkabout for a few episodes again. It’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out, which makes it an appropriate capper to "Twice As Far."

Grade: D

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Comments

Neil

It would help if the writers made you care about any of these people. I honestly watch each episode hoping that more of them will get killed off. The cast is too large and useless, uninteresting, undeveloped characters take screen time away from those that are actually developed and interesting. What’s even more annoying is as soon as they whittle down the cast, and we get a handful of decent episodes, they go and do it all over again.

Steve naus

SUCKS. Not watching this show ever again

Steve naus

Who the fxxk

k wrote the last season 6 episode?
Absolutely horrible

Steve naus

The UPS and downs of Carol have made too many episodes this seaon suck.

Elaine

As for the next character to be killed off, I don’t know that the show has given any tells as to that. I think it may be Glenn. However, I do think Morgan will for sure be going. So I’m expecting the actors that play Morgan and/or Glenn to be picking up their last pay check soon.

Elaine

Am I the only one that thinks Carol isn’t really gone? I think Morgan has her in the jail he was building. I’m not hearing anyone else saying this so it makes me think I’m wrong. But, it makes sense to me.

Alex

Sooo im the only one who like this episode. I mean the scene were Denise goes in the back room of the pharmcay was sothing the walking dead needs more of, these moment of people you dont know but you still know what happend to them. The speech Denise gave wasn’t bad of course she would die but did somine really like her that much she was annoying as f. Season 3 the same happens what happens with denise so its not that of a plot twist or somthing. I think fans of the walking dead only want these action based episodes like at the start of the mid season. i think thats to bad. I would rate this episode: B

catfips

Comic spoiler! In the comic Abraham was the one to take the crossbolt in the head, I’ve a feeling that they’re going to save him for another, much more grandiose exit…very soon!

Muy Ramede

Kind of reminds me of that Platoon quote "innocence is the first casualty of war". Sure the arrow was not mean for her, then again that is also truth for so many bullets. That is the underlying tragedy is it not? She did not have an active role in this war and yet she is one of the first to go that’s pure dramatic conflict for you.

Christopher Bowles

People are complaining about them killing off Denise. I mean in all honesty, if you heard what Dwight said, he said he was aiming for someone else (DARYL) but he missed. So if Denise didn’t go with them, Daryl would’ve been the one dead or even Rosita!

Plus, it’s weird how people love Game Of Thrones for killing off main characters and get away with it. But as soon as The Walking Dead do it, everyone looses their minds. What’s up with that? They can’t just leave everyone alive.

Michelle

I couldn’t agree with your analysis more. This show was so very frsutrating! Why on earth take the two most incompetent people out for a stroll when there’s a war coming?? And the only person close to a doctor you have. Ugh. Made me want to trun the channel! I didn’t, of course but still….

Dani

I love TWD but the show is reaching.

To me, their zenith was season 2 and 3 when it was character rather than plot driven. Events happened based on authentic, organic behaviour of their central characters.

Now, the character’s make bizarre, inconsistent choices simply to keep the plot moving. Even the decision to attack Neigan (based on this never shown lack of resources) seemed forced. I don’t believe the group would suddenly become these murderous mercenaries. It’s not believable.

The problems they have in my mind are (SPOILERS):
1. The main characters are all too competent. The joy/ terror of the early seasons was their fear coupled with ineptitude.

2. There’s no real moral conversation. For me, this was more gripping than any other element of the show. Dale, questioned the actions of the group and forced them to debate their actions. They need that character.

3. All the characters they now encounter are a bit weird/ other-worldy and have also adapted to the new world. As a consequence of this (and point 1) it means we don’t completely relate to the characters as we once did. They’re NOT like us anymore. Their situation is now far removed from anything we could connect with. It’s what happened towards the end of LOST.

4. The producers are scared to kill off any of the regulars. Glenn should have died before. That would have been beautiful and poetic (if gruesome) but they didn’t and on top of that, they cheated by making it look like he’d perished AND then instead of letting us know what happened, subjected us to a 90 min origin story about Morgan when no-one cared. We’re all thinking, fine, but what the hell happened to Glenn??
This all felt like a cheap trick and devalued the show. Kill your darlings. Thats why the show is/was so good.

Also, don’t just intro new character and kill them off to make it look like it’s still a dangerous world. All that does is make the main group look even MORE invincible.

5. Since season 4 they have this huge cast but what they continually do, is shoot with only a few of them at the time. This probably has financial and practical benefits as well as allowing the actors to pursue other projects but as a viewer, it’s unsatisfying. We can go for two sometimes three episodes without having any real face time with the guy I understood to be the lead, Rick.

6. The show lacks internal conflict within the group (that is authentic and organic). Rick/ Hershal, Dale/ Shane, Shane/ Rick, Michonne/ Andrea, Merle/ Daryl, etc all created an incredible dynamic and by default precipitated amazing plot.

I don’t think the show is going anywhere anytime soon but I do find myself flicking through my phone while its on in a way I never used to.

Let’s cut the long speeches and artsy, fartsy stuff and get back to fantastic CHARACTER driven plotting. The audience doesn’t need huge set pieces and action, we love the people who find them selves in this extreme scenario and we love seeing how they’ll cope.

Just had to get that off my chest as I love the show but starting to feel let down…. :(

Tom

Of course Heath is next… he’s already been signed as the lead in "24" next year.

LaserWolf

I’ve been enjoying this season, but was dreading the obvious "shocking" death so much I read this rather than watch it.

Fred

I understand the disappointment of some with the last couple of seasons, but the previous two weeks’ episodes gave me hope that Season 6 would reverse this downward spiral. That is why "Twice As Far" was such a letdown for me. I won’t go into all the reasons, since they are pretty well covered above. I can only hope the last two episodes will compensate for this yawner and create some excitement for Season 7.

Dave P

Like any episode of TWD I enjoyed it warts and all. Yeah, don’t get attached to any character because they could meet their demise at any time? Duh! That’s is what makes this show great. Apparently, some commenters don’t know the source material of TWD. Lots of major characters should already be dead if the show was true to its comics origin. Like the arrow was supposed to go through Abraham’s eye, not Denise’s. I will say it was nice to have a mostly Rick Grimes-free episode. These next two episodes are going to be interesting.

Jennifer

I’m really glad that I am not the only one that was super disappointed with this episode. While I was happy that there was a LOT of Daryl in it (this girl loves Normal Reedus), the killing of Denise was just shocking. I mean she was in the middle of this TERRIBLE speech and all of a sudden there’s an arrow in her eye. I wasn’t expecting that and yelled several expletives. Daryl and Rosita never should have taken her. Plus it seems like the writers wasted half an episode coming up with an excuse to get her out of Alexandria just so she can be killed. This show had such potential the first few years and it really has gone downhill. I used to look forward to this show every week but now I just dread it, because I don’t know who they are going to kill off next. You can’t get attached to any characters because it seems that if they’re new, they’ll be dead soon. And WTH was up with Carol at the end? What a ridiculous ending to that episode. They devote 30 minutes to Denise but Carol leaves in the last 30 seconds? Ehhh – I just was not happy with this episode and I am seriously dreading the next two because I know they’re going to be killing off some major characters. I just hope the characters get a better send off than Denise and Carol (even though I totally think Carol will be back – even if it is just to go down in a blaze of glory saving the group).

Yedly

Just another example of the end of the walking dead. If the series is to survive, the majority of characters have to die.

Josh

Horrible episode. The monologue Denise gave just before the end was god-awful as well. "You’re stupid!" "No you’re stupid! Don’t you see?! My logical reasons for staying in town are now invalid because… love. Actually I guess I could just tell her when she gets" *squish* hoobadrrrr *thunk*

Laura

What does Carol think she’ll be doing once she leaves Alexandria? Smoke fags and have a great old time? How is she going to protect herself once she is alone and vulnerable to any crazed person, alive or otherwise, if she’s not going to kill? Doesn’t make much sense.

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