The Walking Dead Review: East

Editor’s note: this review of AMC’s The Walking Dead will contain some spoilers. I will try to keep them to a minimum, but they’re be there nonetheless. You’ve been warned.

I’m just going to get this out of the way: this episode of The Walking Dead was a complete mess. I know that it’s largely supposed to be table setting for next week’s season finale, but it made for an incredibly frustrating hour of television.

It really bothers me when characters do things because that’s what the plot needs, rather than due to their own motivations. Sure, the show does its best to offer up some semi-plausible explanations for things, but an astute watcher sees them for what they are: post hoc justifications.

The Walking Dead Review - Episode 615 - East

Rather than taking a look at the episode in a linear manner, I’m just going to jump around to the various things that bugged me. We’ll start with Carol, since her brief arc was the strongest of the three, which isn’t saying that much.

Carol left Alexandria because… well, that’s not really super clear. We get the sense that she doesn’t want to be too close to people, because then she might have to use violence to defend them. Of course, she also has to use violence when she’s out on her own. It’s almost as if she lives in a violent world.

Anyway, she does the scared, hyperventilation thing again before drawing down on the truckload of thugs who are harassing her. All the while we’re treated to shot after shot of her rosary, which really started to bug me after a while. I get this this is supposed to be some sort of symbol, and that it suggests both that she’s clinging to something for peace, and using it as a tool to get people to underestimate her. That’s all fine and good, but it feels like we’re being bludgeoned over the head with symbolism.

The Walking Dead Review - Episode 615 - East

Carol isn’t the only one to skip town. Daryl does the same, although in a much less sneaky manner. Glenn, Michonne, and Rosita see him leave, and decide that the best course of action is to immediately follow, telling no one but Abraham of their plans. Shortly after, Rick discovers that Carol is also missing, and he leaves with Morgan. That’s now seven of the strongest people in the community gone without any sort of plan or means of communication. And we’re supposed to believe that these people are such incredible survivors? I hate it when the show makes people stupid just to move pieces around the board.

Morgan and Rick don’t find Carol, but they do pick up what might be her trail. There are more arguments about killing, and ultimately Rick leaves Morgan to find her on his own. Another flawless plan.

Michonne, Glenn, and Rosita find Daryl almost immediately, fail and talking him into coming back. In fact, Rosita decides to join him. Their half-assed rescue attempt a failure, Glenn and Michonne head back, only to be immediately captured by the Saviors. Daryl and Rosita appear ready to rescue their friends, except they’re captured too.

The Walking Dead Review - Episode 615 - East

The episode ends with a gunshot and a splash of blood, making it look like a major character was just unceremoniously executed, but I’ll believe that when I see the body.

“East” was a terrible episode filled with awful writing that absolutely mangled our characters. We’re supposed to believe in these people and their abilities, so seeing them act so incredibly stupid is hard to swallow.

Grade:
1 zombie head out of 5

13 Comments

Pi3rK

I’ll try to save what can be saved from this episode… Obviously you spotted everything that was wrong in this episode, and I need all of you to overshadow everything Dave said to explain my points LOL.

True we had to face incomprehensible choices to justify table settings, and I sure take it as an offense from the writters… Yet… I have to say that going after Carol, Rick and Morgan together, was a nice arc. I still can’t figure out why Carol left in the first place though.

Of all the ones who left, I feel that Rosita may be the only to have a valid point. She just don’t wanna stay around Abe anymore. I still can’t figure out why Daryl had to leave in such a hurry in the first place though LOL.

What about Maggie? Baby problems? Related to all the bruises covering her body?

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Dave

Rick and Morgan had some nice moments together on their hunt for Carol, but the setup just didn’t work for me at all. I did like Morgan confessing, and all that implies.

Rosita did have the best reason of everyone to leave, what with Abe’s absolutely cold break-up with her. That said, she’s also been extremely undeveloped as a character, so it really didn’t carry a lot of weight for me.

Maggie’s baby scare should have been addressed in the review, if only to recognize it. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I guess it it leads to something, I’ll be happy, but if it’s just another fake-out I’m going to be pretty annoyed. I’m not sure if the bruises were related, but it would make sense that they are. The fetus might be reacting to the earlier trauma. I’m honestly not sure how to react to this one yet.

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pi3rk

I was kinda hoping Morgan would confess at some point, I actually felt this was the best moment. Like he knew he was gonna part way with Rick (temporary or not).

I felt Morgan was in his role asking Rick to go back and him going alone after Carol, like all the season was a setup for this moment. So this worked for me. Now if you want my 2 cents, I kinda feel Morgan will find Carol and train her as his apprentice. She’ll be forever known as the 1st Jedi ever.

After all, all episode is precious…

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Dave

I’m always game for more Morgan. Lennie James is just the best, even if his pacifism thing is a little annoying.

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Mattexian

Maybe Carol running off on her own, is because she’s finally having to deal with the realization that she’s so good at killing other people, folks in another group, banding together and fighting against any threats for their own survival. It might be catching up with her, especially after the fight over the Wolf against Morgan, and Morgan’s explanation to Rick about the circles of karma. Carol might not go full Kwai Chang Caine like Morgan did, but I’d hope he’d be able to help her thru her struggle internally, after we saw how off the rails he went.

Ruck and Morgan pairing off to hunt for Carol is about the only thing that made sense in this episode, tho they lose that when they split by the end. Granted, they both know how to take care of themselves solo, but it’s not smart, as the other group, with Daryl, Glenn, Michonne, and Rosita demonstrated. They almost immediately split up after finding Daryl, and then Glenn and Michonne deserved to be caught (by my reckoning), walking like a pair of green BoyScouts thru the woods, stomping on the crunchy leaves and taking, forgetting that anywhere outside of Alexandre should be treated as enemy territory. Daryl and Rosita had the skills, but slipped up when they didn’t consider Dwight’s crew of Saviors might have an outer perimeter of sentries, and got themselves captured too.

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Mad..

Agree on the Glen and Michonne capture… looked like they were just out on a normal chatty walk in the woods, you would think they would be more alert given what happened to Denise etc.

Mad..

Whoa. A one star? Do you have grumpy pants on Dave? 🙂 I didn’t think it was that bad an episode and I really liked a bunch of stuff that happened in it especially when considered with previous episodes.

Carol – Here is my take: She left because she is psychologically traumatised by what she can do to people. This was illustrated well last night when she was face to face with The Saviours and she starts crying and hyperventilating… The Saviours took this as her freaking out because she is a weakling, however Carol has done this a couple of times now, and my take is she is freaking out because she knows she is going to mess them all up in a bad way and that is what she is “running” from. She can still do what she needs to survive, she just isn’t as black and white cold hearted as she was.

Rick and Morgan – Did they need to go running out after Carol given the amount of fighters that had already left Alexandria? Heck no, but given that these two guys haven’t really spoken to each other at any length this season and that is something they/we needed I could forgive the premise of them going out on the road together, besides Rick running off to do something when he should stay back is his M.O. since season one. Once out they have a good back and forth, a confession from Morgan and they both understand each others position a lot better and Rick “I’m always Right” Grimes now has that seed of doubt in his mind and I’m sure Negan and the finale next week will have that seed grow more. Plus – the parting words from Rick to Morgan were just awesome!

The Daryl arc seemed the most odd to me, now I have had some time to mull it over… Dwight is alive due to Daryl’s goodness, Dwight then turned on Daryl and took bike, crossbow and left him for dead. Then Dwight shows back up and kills Dr Denise, Daryl blames himself and is angry, anger makes you do stupid stuff and now his anger and stupidity have gotten himself and three others in even more trouble. Also Dwight has engaged and dodged Daryl a few times, and has seen him come back at him time and time again and is right to be worried… I rewound and watched the gun shot a few times, and it looks like it is a arm or torso shot, so Dwight has taken Daryl down so he can’t cause immediate problems, because he knows he is an angry bull, but he hasn’t killed him… yet.

Maggie and Enid – I’ll wait and see where they go with that either next week or beginning of season seven… not sure what they are going for at this point, maybe just showing the after effects of the fight Maggie had with Saviours and giving the audience a bit of a fright? Which gets totally forgotten when Dwight pulls that trigger… I bet the internet went nuts haha.

3/5 episode for me.

So bring on finale next week… the promo looks promising, Lucille looks absolutely brutal in reality and the Saviours already have Glen, Michonne, Daryl, Rosita and judging by the promo Negan will have even more to choose from come the Lucille line up time. There is a lot of chatter out there about who Lucille will choose, I wonder if they are going to up the ante and choose more than one given in TV version Rick and crew attacked first.

Sorry for the wall of text team, just wanted to get some different thoughts across.

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Pi3rK

Man, you’re probably more positive than I’m on this episode! I think we all agree that Rick and Morgan’s arc was the strong part of the episode. I guess that a 3/5 is well paid but fair at the end of the day.

Anyway, they can’t make a worst episode than the one where Daryl and Beth torched an old house drinking beers in season 4.

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Dave

Oh they can definitely do a worse episode, and have. Remember in the first season when they found that nursing home with the Hispanic gang members?

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Dave

Hah. To be fair, yeah, I might have had my grumpy pants on.

Still; I really disliked this one. I hate that they’re raising the stakes in the game by making out characters dumber. That just sucks.

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Mad..

Totally agree they have done worse episodes which I will agree were one star worthy!

Fun little thing I did last night was find all the pre season trailers from one to six on youtube and watched them… really quick way of refreshing your memory on how far these characters have come, who we have lost along the way and what went on in each season.

And once season six finale is done, we have six months to wait again… so I’ll re watch the previous seasons, one a month sounds doable 🙂

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