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A Recap and Review of The Walking Dead “East”

If you haven’t watched the newest episode of The Walking Dead, then I would suggest not reading any further, because there will be spoilers. You have been warned.

 

Alexandria Safe Zone

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Everything seems to be going well in the Alexandria Safe Zone. The wall is standing and is strong. New guard posts are being built. People are adjusting to their new positions and new jobs. Rick and Michonne are happy and share an apple in bed together. Carl visits the armory and grabs a gun. There’s even a cute shower scene with Maggie and Glenn. But this is The Walking Dead, and happiness is pretty much a bad omen.

With the turn of a dime, things go south quickly. Carol and Daryl have both left, which in turn causes two different search parties to go out looking for them, and while things remain relatively quiet in Alexandria for the remainder of the episode, the characters still have their own struggles. Much of the story of the ASZ centers on Maggie, who has taken over leadership. She is picking up extra shifts, but Enid insists that she rest and takes her shift for her. Towards the end of the episode, Enid visits Maggie again and gives her a hair cut…a very short haircut. Maggie tells her she wanted it all cut off because she has to keep going and she doesn’t want anything getting in her way. The lighthearted moment is replaced with fear as Maggie begins to experience immense stomach pains. Could she be losing the baby?

 

Carol

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Carol’s story picks up just prior to where it left off in last week’s episode. She is seen packing a bag full of supplies before hiding it under her bed just as Tobin enters. As Tobin is speaking to her, she zones out, still struggling with what she has done and what she is about to do. Later that night, as Tobin is asleep in her bed, she leaves.

She takes one of the cars that are parked outside the gates of Alexandria, and as she is driving it down the road, spikes and poles and all, she encounters a truck full of Saviors who shoot her tires out. As she gets out of the car, hands raised and hand gripping the rosary, she puts on her “I’m weak” act. She doesn’t want to kill, but she knows that she’s going to have to. She tells the men that she is nobody, that he name is Nancy and she doesn’t belong anywhere. The man says that she looks like she’s from Alexandria and that maybe they can take her back there. He tells her that they know that Alexandria has cars with spikes in them, just like the one Carol was driving. As the man continues, Carol begins to cry, telling the men that they can go home and that nobody has to get hurt, and before the men can hurt her, she shoots at them with a gun hidden in her sleeve. Very crafty, Carol.

 

Rick and Morgan

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After hearing about Carol’s disappearance and the note that she’s left behind, Rick and Morgan jump into a car and take off looking for her. These two men, who had been a friendly duo in season one, are so vastly different from who they had once been, and the atmosphere that surrounds them is anything but comfortable. They are polar opposites. Morgan refuses to kill, while Rick will kill anyone he perceives as a threat.

The two men decide that Carol has gone east, the opposite direction of the Savior’s sanctuary. They come across the scene that Carol had left behind, and they immediately know that it was her. Rick admits that he’s proud of Carol; she took down four Saviors. She’s a force to be reckoned with. Morgan counters him by stating that Carol left because she couldn’t do this anymore. While it is something that Rick is proud of, it’s something that Carol hates.

As they follow a trail of blood into a field, thinking that it could possibly be Carol’s blood, Rick acknowledges that the group of Saviors that Carol had killed was heading towards Alexandria. The fight is getting closer to home. Rick tells Morgan that he’s out looking for Carol because she is family, and Morgan tells him that he knows about the prison and he knows that Rick sent Carol away for killing Karen and David. Morgan wonders whether Rick would do the same thing today, and Rick informs him that if Carol did it today, he’d thank her.

The trail of blood eventually leads them to a farm where they encounter a man. The man tells them that he’s only looking for his horse and warns them that walkers are coming. As the walkers approach, the man uses the distraction to flee. Once all of the walkers are put down, Rick wants to continue after the man, believing that he is a Savior and could know where Carol is. He doesn’t want to risk anything. Morgan, on the other hand, says that the man could simply be someone just looking for his horse.

In an effort to change Rick’s outlook on life, Morgan finally confesses to having let a Wolf live when they attacked Alexandria and later keeping the Wolf hidden away in Alexandria. He tells Rick how that Wolf took Denise hostage, but he ultimately ended up saving Denise’s life. Denise was then there to save Carl’s life. Had the Wolf not saved Denise, Carl would have died. Everything comes full circle. Everything gets a return. He urges Rick to go home to Alexandria, telling him that he’ll look for Carol. The two men go their separate ways.

 

Daryl and the Search to Find Him

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“East” opened with a restless Daryl. He is not content to just stay in Alexandria, not after what had happened. So he gets on his motorcycle and drives off before anyone can stop him. This doesn’t settle well with the others, however, and Glenn, Michonne, and Rosita go to find him. Rosita leads them to the train tracks where Denise was killed, knowing that Daryl is going after Dwight. Her suspicions are confirmed when Michonne finds Daryl’s bike hidden under leaves.

Rosita believes that they should go back and let Daryl do this by himself. Glenn is adamant with his refusal to do so, though, insisting that they continue looking for him. Daryl is family, and he knows that what Daryl is doing at the moment could get him killed. So the trio takes off in the direction that Dwight had run, knowing that that is the same way that Daryl would have gone.

As he is walking through the woods, Daryl hears a noise and is quick to aim his crossbow and pull the trigger, the arrow hitting a tree right by Rosita’s face. The knowledge that the others have come looking for him doesn’t sit well with Daryl. Daryl tells them that he is out here because Denise’s death is his fault. He didn’t kill Dwight, and if he would have, Denise would still be alive. He is feeling guilty. Glenn tells Daryl that he is only doing this for himself, but that he is needed back at Alexandria. He can’t do anything out here, but he can actually do something back home, something to help protect their home. When Daryl is adamant that he can’t go back and walks off, Rosita follows after him.

Michonne and Glenn begin to head back towards the train tracks. Glenn knows that he has to get back to Alexandria. His pregnant wife is there and there is work to be done. Before they can reach the tracks, they hear whistling and are surrounded by Saviors. By the end of the episode, the two are gagged and restrained. Rosita and Daryl stumble upon them and Glenn tries to warn them, but it is too late, and Daryl is shot, blood splattering on the camera lens. “You’ll be alright.” He better be all right.

 

Final Thoughts…

Every character in this episode is searching for something. Maggie is searching for safety in Alexandria, safety for her family and unborn child. She is searching for herself, her new self. Glenn, while searching for Daryl, is searching for his family, which is what ultimately causes him to turn around to go back home. Daryl is searching for revenge, for justice. He is searching for a way to rid himself of the guilt that he feels over Denise’s death. Morgan and Rick are searching for Carol. Morgan is searching for the man in Rick that he used to know, the man that Rick was in season one. Carol is searching for relief. She is searching for a life that doesn’t include killing. Each character is experiencing an internal struggle.

Bullets:

  • Rick and Michonne are far too cute together. More scenes of the two of them, please.
  • There was a lot of good music this episode. Really helped set this foreboding mood.
  • Carol hiding a gun up her sleeve? Yeah, she’s a badass.
  • “People can come back, Rick.” Yeah, Rick, you don’t have to stay who you are. You can go back to who you were.
  • Maggie better not lose the baby.
  • Rick is afraid of losing someone else, and that’s why he kills and why he doesn’t allow himself to feel it.
  • Blood on the camera lens? Do we like it? Yay? Nay?
  • So, what’s going on with Daryl now? Is he dead? Is he alive? Do we really need to wait an entire week to find out?
  • Negan is coming…

 

Don’t miss an all-new episode of The Walking Dead Sunday at 9 EST on AMC.

Written by Allison Schonter

Binger of TV. Writer of words. Forever daydreaming about fictional characters. My current obsessions include The 100, The Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, and Wynonna Earp. So go ahead and talk to me about those.

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