REVIEW: The Walking Dead 6.14 ‘Twice As Far’ delivers shock change from the comics
The Walking Dead has been known to switch it up with deaths from the comic books in the television series, so we shouldn’t be completely taken aback by the latest cast member to meet a grisly end in the zombie survival drama – but we totally were.
Poor Denise had been on a through a lot – starting out an insecure psychiatrist turned emergency medic after safe zone Alexandria’s previous medic kicked the bucket last season (okay, Rick executed him for being an abusive A-hole, but you know what I mean). She slowly built confidence in her skills as a medic, began a fledgling relationship with Tara, and in this episode demonstrated she could just about look after herself on a supply run. Until it was all cut short.
As fans of the comics will know, it was Abraham who suffered the gruesome fate of an arrow through the eye in issue 98. Abraham, whose arc seems mostly over – we know more of his back story than most, and in the two seasons we’ve known him, he’s hit rock bottom, found a new lease of life plus been involved in a love triangle (which now looks to be resolved). As much as Michael Cudlitz is a fan favourite, it might have been his time to go. Denise, on the other hand, was still very much coming to grips with her position and her bravery, and little had been made of her relationship with Tara.
Apart from that surprise, however, ‘Twice As Far’ was far from a disappointment – and the minutes after Denise’s shock execution at the hands of Dwight were Walking Dead at its best. Those few moments of shock, realisation and a masterfully executed bit of thinking from Eugene pushed me to the edge of my seat – and I did not return until the credits rolled.
If we were to expect anyone to kick it this episode, it might have been Eugene. The scene in the metalworks where Abraham and Eugene discussed whether Eugene was ready to progress to the next part of training was beautiful. Almost too beautiful, because immediately I suspected Eugene may not last another forty minute episode. It threw me (who doesn’t expect the worst when someone in an apocalypse explains they’ve grown and are strong enough to survive alone now?), leaving me unprepared for Denise’s awful end (a first timer on a supply run felt way too obvious a death).
Meanwhile, the question of Carol is still prevalent. We don’t know what’s been going on with her since last week. While last week we suspected her disintegration into a panicky housewife was a ruse to lure her captors into a false sense of security, this week we’re not so sure. Something in Carol seems broken (or more broken than before) and in ‘Twice As Far’ she departs from Alexandria for good. One can’t help but wonder if Carol’s long-forgotten fate from the comics may be catching up with her after all, but only time will tell if Carol is on a suicide mission.