It was just supposed to be one of those quiet character-building episodes… until everything went sideways and some major bombs were dropped.
I’ve been impressed with the back-half episodes of The Walking Dead Season 6, and The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 14 simply continued the positive trend.
It’s just too bad Denise won’t get to continue on that journey.
Honestly, I should have been worried Denise was getting so much screen time (and that there’s another doctor on the show now), but I appreciated the focus on her and Eugene, two characters who aren’t the typical badass survivors, figuring out how to live in this brand new world.
They wanted to be involved and not just helpless individuals who need a Daryl or an Abraham to show up and get them out of a jam.
And while I liked seeing the new and improved, pony-tail wearing Eugene, I was far more invested in Denise’s story.
Sure, her speech to Daryl and Rosita on the train tracks was definitely on the nose, but it was far more affecting seeing her walk into that room with the playpen or sitting outside the apothecary, holding onto the keychain with her brother’s name.
There didn’t need to be any dialogue to convey what was happening, and Merritt Wever did a great job making me care for her character.
I liked that she opened up to Daryl about her family, and it was funny when he said they probably had the same brother.
I also couldn’t help but groan at what felt like her taking unnecessary risks, and enjoyed seeing Daryl and Rosita make the same comments to her, but it was just a reiteration for her of what she was trying to accomplish. She was adamant about trying to take part and adapt in the zombie world.
It made exploring her character further a far more interesting prospect, as well as the thought of continued interactions with Daryl and Rosita… except an arrow through the eye squashed those dreams.
It was a major WTF moment that shook all the quietness of the hour away and reminded us to not forget that Negan and his men are out there and hungry for retaliation.
Just seeing Daryl standing feet from Dwight made you want him to get his revenge, and the tension was palpable after the group came out of the woods with Eugene. It really made you wonder if they were going to be captured or they were going to be killed or they were going to let Dwight and his crew into Alexandria.
The not knowing which way things would go was as fantastic as it was intense before Eugene decided to go for a dramatic and well-placed bite to spur a shootout.
Dwight better get his comeuppance, but seeing Denise lying on the tracks was heartbreaking. And she never got a chance to say she loved Tara…
As if that craziness wasn’t enough, Carol decided to leave Alexandria. That was a major shock to drop in at the very end, and through a letter no less!
I understand her faith and stance has been shaken recently, but is it really better for her to be out on her own rather than with the group?
It certainly can’t be the last of her, and my fears of her death at the hand of Negan (she returns for some sacrifice?) are still holding.
I hope Denise gets a little more of a farewell from the group shown in the next episode, but wow, The Walking Dead Season 6 is looking to go out in dramatic and strong fashion.
Were you shocked by Denise's death? Will we see Carol again? Sound off below and be sure to watch The Walking Dead online now!
NOTE: The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 15, "East," will air March 27 at 9/8c.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.