It’s kind of hard to follow up an episode like last week’s “The Same Boat,” but “Twice as Far” keeps the ball rolling with a basket full of Easter Eggs from the comic books, all revealed in surprising ways that kept comic book and non-comic book fans alike on the edge of our seats. If you can take a break from Netflix’s Daredevil, let’s dissect the latest episode of The Walking Dead.
Source material: Much unlike the previous episode that was based completely on source material “Knots Untie,” this episode did a great job of not dragging their feet throughout. There were plenty of twists and turns along the way, and the pieces fit together quite well.
Daryl’s arch nemesis: Last week, we talked about how Chelle and Paula were reflections of Maggie and Carol, respectively. This week, it’s Daryl who gets to look in the mirror and see Dwight’s ugly face staring back at him (we’ll get into why his face is all gross later). Dwight is a great supplement to who Daryl has become, and is challenging his ethos with each encounter.
Twice as Far: The episode title had a lot more in common with the subject matter than simply diverging paths to go to the drug store. Eugene and Denise were the main focal points of this episode, and two of the most cowardly people in the group that have recently learned to overcome their fears to contribute – and are still mentally in the process. Both Eugene and Denise have had to progress twice as far just to stay on pace with the rest of the group; it’s a nice metaphor for not letting your handicaps keep you handicapped.
The walkers: There’s a nice variation in terms of walkers this episode. We really haven’t had any of the undead stick out to us this season, but there are a few here that max out the gross/cool factor. There’s the one at the camp with the spear through his cheek and the “Dibs!” one covered in hardened molten lead (although, I’m pretty sure he’d be a little top-heavy at that point in his decomposition… but whatever). The real creep-out is the psycho in a leg cast in the pharmacy accompanied by the remains of a child. Gross!
Pookie no more: It was great seeing Daryl and Carol speak again, but it was also heartbreaking. It doesn’t feel that long ago that Daryl was handing Carol a Cherokee Rose in honor of Sophia, but it also feels so long ago. Daryl was just getting to know himself, and Carol was still hiding in her shell. Here they sit, as close as they’ve ever been, but still separated by an invisible wall. I think they both need a hug. Or at least, I do.
Welcome to Stage Two: Man, as much as Eugene sounds like an idiot, talking about tabletop RPGs to describe his ascension to mediocrity (which is definitely a step up from where he was, no doubt) is hilarious. Eugene faced a dangerous situation with cunning, and wasn’t afraid to put a penis in his mouth to get the job done.
Day in, day out: The repetitious montage at the beginning of the episode to show that everybody has been in such a daily routine was just plain confusing. For a minute, we thought that the episode had just oddly restarted on its own. There are cooler ways to show that Alexandria is business as usual without literally replaying the same clips over and over. Lazy.
No complexity: This might just be the episode being victim to following up two great, intellectual episodes, but “Twice as Far” only did half the legwork when it came to exploring the psyche of Eugene and Denise. Sure, I get that they felt inferior, that they wanted to “pull their own weight” and wanted to overcome their fears, but it all just felt so selfish. Real strength in this setting is just what Abraham was trying to say. Both characters had extreme usefulness, and by abandoning their REAL duties and not knowing where they fit in the grand scheme of things puts more people in danger than it saves. It would have been nice to explore what purpose really means at Alexandria.
Carol’s decision: The ending of this episode took me aback. Not because of her profound exit letter, or even that she gave it to Tobin. I was mostly filled with questions that were aimed at her lack of thoughtfulness in terms of the situation – especially because of how calculating Carol is as a character. There’s no way she thought that the group wouldn’t go after her, right? And why didn’t she go talk to Morgan, who is really the sole reason she has been forced to reflect on her deeds, and who is the one person in Alexandria that could relate? Is it because Melissa McBride is too old for Akido? It just didn’t make sense.
TWD on HGTV: Today on Zombie House, Morgan constructs a full prison cell, complete with a brand new, custom-welded cell door and freshly-laid brick. Not everybody is thrilled with the addition to the home, though. Morgan meets Rick’s criticism of wondering what the purpose of the room is with “it’ll give me some choices next time.” Oh yeah, it will. We know just who is going in that cell.
Negan’s shit list: We know that, at least in a general sense, our group of Survivors are not the “good guys” here, but let’s look at this thing from Negan’s POV. Rick’s group has decimated dozens of his men, stolen supplies, and messed up a really cushy trade agreement. What if the Saviors were keeping Edison stocked? The same way they were (likely) keeping that truck stocked with supplies hidden away – the same one that Rick dumped into the river. Rick is kind of an asshole.
Book stuff: There’s not a whole lot left to predict. Lucille is thirsty, and somebody gon’ die.
The Walking Dead Easter Eggs & Other Tidbits:
Maggie is her father’s daughter: In the aforementioned silly montage scene, we see Olivia taking inventory of all the yummy produce – Maggie’s produce. Lord knows where they found all those mason jars, but that’s not the point.
Spencer, stage 5 clinger: It’s starting off innocently enough, with being Rosita’s rebound, but Spencer will begin inching his way towards Creepsville now that Rosita is back on the market. This similarly happens to Andrea in the comic books, who takes Spencer’s advances as sweet as first, but later a bit suffocating and possessive. As with Andrea in the books, Rosita is more than capable of letting Spencer know that his gentlemanly attempts to lock down a woman are not appreciated.
Stupid wooden soldier: While going through the knapsack on his recently-recovered bike, he finds this stupid wooden soldier, which is the same stupid one from the stupid “Always Accountable” episode that stupid Dwight carved for the stupid girl with her stupid diabetes. They’re all stupid.
Daryl’s aversion to tracks: Nothing good comes from train tracks; claimed dudes, cannibalistic Terminians… it’s all bad news on the train tracks. Maybe he should have listened to his own advice.
Everybody Loves Eugene: There are several moments from the comic books that show Eugene’s actions in this issue. From the idea of manufacturing ammunition to shitting on Abraham to make himself feel better to getting a mouthful of wiener, it’s all about Eugene.
The arrow: It’s not Denise who gets the arrow from Dwight (she is still very much alive through most of All Out War), but Abraham. Series creator Robert Kirkman has been on record saying that he regrets killing Abe off in the books, so this was a bit of redemption for him. How long it lasts, though, is uncertain.
Survivor: Eugene mentions to Abraham that he is a survivor. That is the first time we’ve heard anybody in the group referenced as a Survivor. In the comic books, Rick’s Alexandria group was marketed as The Survivors.
Dwight’s face: It’s okay to stare; nobody is worried about hurting this guy’s feelings. Dwight’s face is FUBAR, you guys. It wasn’t before, and now it is. Before, he was running away from The Saviors. Now his loyalty seems to be back to Negan. Nothing like a little hot plate to the face to change your opinions on upper management. There’s a more detailed story as to why he chose to run in the first place, but we’ll let the show explain that one.
Carol literally can’t even: In Carol’s pseudo-suicide note, she states that she just “can’t anymore.” It’s the same sentiment that Maggie gave Glenn upon their escape from the slaughterhouse in the last episode.
Music From this Episode of The Walking Dead:
“Chapel” by Nicole Dollanganger was playing while Daryl, Rosita, and Abraham helped Eugene away. If you feel like being eternally freaked the fuck out, please enjoy the lyrics.
Hush Comics gives “Twice as Far” a B for the shock value of killing one of the Survivors, but otherwise, for being a bit of a bore.
All images belong to AMC and are credited to Gene Page. The comic book images belong to Image Comics and are credited to Charlie Adlard and Robert Kirkman.