It’s the penultimate episode of Season 6, and it looks like all the pieces are in place for at least some of our ‘Walking Dead’ heroes to finally come face-to-face with the much-talked-about but not yet seen Negan. That means there’s also a good chance that one of the series regulars will be offed in next week’s finale. This week’s episode gives us a hint at who might be saying goodbye.
The pre-title sequence this week is the shortest of the season, and quite possibly the entire series. We’re shown the aftermath of a shoot-out on a road, with a bullet hole in a car window and blood dripping off a spike sticking out of a car.
After the opening credits, we jump back in time to the events leading up to that shoot-out, starting with Carol back at Alexandria packing up her things. She also stitches up her jacket – though we won’t find out until later what that’s all about. Carol hears Tobin coming upstairs to talk with her, and quickly hides her pack underneath the bed. Tobin says something about Denise’s death, but Carol has too much going on in her head to pay attention to him.
After a montage of scenes showing what’s going on in the community (set to Johnny Cash’s “It’s All Over”), Glenn, Michonne and Maggie see Daryl heading out of Alexandria on his motorcycle. The three are joined by Rosita (who knows where Daryl is going) and leave Maggie behind as they hop in a van to follow him. Meanwhile, Tobin comes to Rick with Carol’s goodbye letter. They run out to the gates to discover one of the cars parked outside is now missing. Morgan insists on going after her, and Rick rides shotgun.
The car Carol is driving has spikes sticking out of it that were rigged to take care of Walkers that got too close to Alexandria. As she’s driving along, she sees a truck coming towards her in the distance. Instead of turning around, driving off road, or making some other evasive maneuver, Carol (who’s usually brighter than this) just keeps heading straight for it – and pays for her decision. Several guys riding in the back of the truck blow out the tires of Carol’s car with machine guns, forcing her to bring the car to a stop.
Carol gets out of the car and, when she’s asked who she is, claims that her name is Nancy and she’s nobody important. Of course, the men – who are indeed a group of Negan’s Saviors – aren’t buying her story and figure out pretty quickly that she must be from Alexandria. As she did when she was held prisoner a few weeks back, Carol hyperventilates and cries again. (The way the writers have changed this character in the last handful of episodes is really annoying, and borderline insulting to fans.) Fortunately, when she sees that she doesn’t have any other way out, the old Carol springs into action, opening fire on the men with a gun hidden in her right sleeve. (That’s what she sewed in there earlier.) She has to do a little clean-up by impaling one guy with a spike and shooting another hiding behind the truck, but she basically takes care of them all – except for one that she doesn’t see is still alive inside the truck. However, he’s still unconscious when Carol leaves the area on foot.
The injured Savior in the truck exits and goes looking for Carol. Not long afterwards, Morgan and Rick arrive on the scene in their vehicle. Rick is pretty proud of the way Carol took care of the Saviors. Morgan sees a blood trail heading off across a field and into a wooded area and suspects that might be the way Carol went, so they follow. From the other side of the road, the surviving Savior emerges from the woods. He approaches Carol’s car and sees her rosary lying there. He picks it up and takes it.
Michonne, Glenn and Rosita arrive at the train tracks where Denise was killed in last week’s episode. Glenn asks Rosita which direction Dwight fled when he retreated during the gun battle. They head off in the correct direction, and Rosita almost gets her head taken off when Daryl shoots an arrow at them, thinking they’re part of Negan’s group. Glenn tries to talk Daryl out of his revenge quest, but Daryl is having none of it. Rosita decides to go with Daryl as well, but Glenn and Michonne head back to their van. They don’t get too far when they hear whistling and are surrounded by Dwight and a group of armed Saviors. Having no choice, they drop their weapons and surrender.
Rick and Morgan see what appears to be a woman limping across a field. They run towards her, only to discover it’s just a Walker, which Morgan quickly kills with his staff. The two men then make their way toward a farm, where they spot another man taking care of some Walkers. Rick yells at him to drop his weapon and come out from hiding, but the guy won’t listen and runs away. When Rick tries to take a shot at him, Morgan hits Rick’s arm so the shot misses its target. Morgan then tells Rick the story of what really happened back at Alexandria – how he kept a Wolf prisoner and how that Wolf escaped with Denise as a hostage, but how later the Wolf also saved Denise’s life, which allowed Denise to save Carl. He tells Rick to go on back to Alexandria and that he’ll find Carol on his own… but if he doesn’t come back, not to look for him. Rick agrees and before heading off tells Morgan (his final words to him?) that Michonne was the one who stole his protein bar.
Rick returns to Alexandria where he has a nice little moment with Abraham and the two men discuss being more afraid when they have people in their lives that they really care about. Meanwhile, Maggie asks Enid to cut her hair, and chops it off to the point where she now looks like a young boy instead of a girl. (Could that be an upcoming plot point?) All of a sudden, Maggie has severe abdominal pain and collapses to the floor. Is she having a miscarriage?
Back out in the woods not far from the railroad tracks, Michonne and Glenn are tied up and gagged. Glenn spots Daryl and Rosita sneaking towards them. Glenn tries to make noises to warn Daryl off, but it’s too late. Dwight sneaks up behind Daryl with a gun pointed at him. The episode ends with a shot going off and Daryl’s blood splattering all over the screen. After the screen fades to black, Dwight says, “You’ll be all right.”
Well, let’s get one thing out of the way first: Daryl is obviously not dead. The only question is how bad he’s been injured and perhaps why Dwight decided just to maim him. My bet is on a shoulder or arm shot, although I guess there’s an outside chance Dwight decided to blow off one of Daryl’s ears.
Next, we all know we’re finally going to see Negan next week, and he probably intends to make an example out of our cast members by offing one. The two prime candidates at this point appear to be Carol and Morgan. I think Morgan is most likely the one we’ll see exit the series – not for any real plot reasons, but probably more due to the fact that actor Lennie James doesn’t want to commit to another season of the show. (I’m not privy to any inside info. That’s just my guess.) Also, it can’t be a coincidence that his final (?) scenes were with Rick. They basically said their goodbyes and Morgan got one more chance to spout off about his newfound philosophy that “All life is precious.”
OK, time to hear what you think. Who will say “So long” in the season finale? Morgan? Carol? Maggie? Someone else? Nobody? Tell us in the Comments below!