The Walking Dead, Episode 614 “Twice As Far” brings viewers a sudden departure, goodbye Carol and Denise, and a new arrival, hello, Dwight.
Seated on a porch swing, thumbing the rosary beads she used to initiate her and Maggie’s reign of terror in The Walking Dead Episode 613, it’s clear Carol’s cross may be too much to bear.
Fire and smoke are motifs tied to Carol. From burning Karen, Tyrese’s girlfriend, to setting Saviors ablaze, Carol’s downward spiral is marked with flames. Each time, her goal was to protect herself and her group. She’s a survivor, but is she forgetting how to live? What’s more, does she want to live?
The cigarette dangling from her lips indicates her quality of life is less of a concern. After all, she’s lectured others on the ills of smoking. Is her habit a means of managing stress or a form of self-destruction?
Carol’s guilt isn’t the only prison on this episode of The Walking Dead. Daryl regrets not killing D and the other strangers from the burnt forest, strangers who are almost certainly runaway Saviors. If he killed them, would that have spared him and the rest of his group other run-ins with the Saviors?
Just as Denise was lecturing Daryl, bringing him closer to his better self, a piece of Daryl’s past lodges itself in Denise’s eye. Enter Dwight. RIP Denise.
Dwight and a mob of Saviors interrupt Denise’s heart-to-heart with Daryl and Rosita. Turns out, Daryl was right– he should have killed D…who turned out to be the infamous Dwight.
Dwight, a character from the comics, is a harbinger for Negan and one of Negan’s grotesque cronies. After demanding that Daryl takes him and the Saviors to Alexandria to take whatever and whomever they want, Eugene creates a diversion that helps the Grimes gang, sans Denise, escape.
In a sad twist of irony, Denise’s path– the reasonable path– was the path to destruction. Daryl refused to travel by the train tracks on the way to the apothecary, but, moved by Denise, decided to travel back to the truck her way.
Had they not traveled by way of train tracks, Eugene, who has plans to build munitions, would have been lost to the Saviors. Is Eugene more valuable than Denise, an optimistic healer?
The loss of Denise is sure to haunt Daryl. He is sure to feel responsible for her death now that Dwight, the man he laments not murdering, has taken her life. The only solution, so long as a person has something of value…something that someone else will want, violence or death or the only two options.
Carol resigns herself to this sad truth and so removes herself from any objects of desire. She can no longer kill, so she removes herself from Alexandria. But will her attempt to preserve what’s left of her humanity result in more destruction?
Daryl is sure to chase after Carol. All the while, Negan’s premier grows nearer. Does this foreshadow Daryl’s date with Lucille, Negan’s barbed wire bat?
The episode closes with a shot that lingers on Morgan, who has built a prison cell much like the one his mentor constructed. As Carol’s voice recites her Dear John letter, explaining her need to stop killing, Morgan stares into the distance while her porch swing creaks in the distance– upon it her cigarette butts smolder. Will Morgan, too, go after Carol?
With two episodes left, the big question remains. Who will end up at the mercy of Lucille? If Morgan and Daryl go after Carol, certainly they may find themselves on their knees, only one finding his way back to his feet. Will Morgan, Daryl, and Carol all find themselves held hostage by the saviors?
Will Morgan, Daryl, and Carol all find themselves held hostage by the saviors? Both Daryl and Carol have killed Saviors, so Negan will surely have a bone to pick with both of them.
Was Carol right to leave Alexandria? Who do you think will fill Glenn’s iconic death in the television adaptation? You can leave your predictions, questions, and insights in the comment section.