The Walking Dead: ‘East’ Review (S06E15)

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Are you tired of hearing me complain about this TV show? Well don’t read the rest of this review because this was… gosh… this was something else. This was bad. Like… really bad. The fifteenth episode of the season, ‘East’, the penultimate episode of the season, instead of building gloriously — or at all — toward the season finale, just kind of dumped what little content it contained onto our screens while trying to tell a half baked, half written story about Carol and Daryl venturing outside the confines of Alexandria. We’ve hit rock bottom, folks. This is the one that did it, and just the thought of dissecting it makes me want to run into a brick wall. Oh well.

So basically a whole bunch of characters ran out of Alexandria’s gates, Rick and Morgan after Carol who had left because she doesn’t want to kill anymore and can’t be around others that do. I guess? I don’t know. Glen, Rosita and Michonne chased after Daryl, who left in a rage, seemingly looking for revenge for what happened to Denise. Why on earth all these people had to leave, at a very dangerous time for everyone at the town, is beyond me — leaving basically a pregnant Maggie to keep watch. Yeah, okay, great idea. This episode was full of instances like this, full of character choices that were purely baffling. None more so than this decision of exodus, leaving the town incredibly weak. It was idiotic; it was so dumb that it moved far beyond stupid characters and into the realm of bad writing.

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Alexandria deserves to be attacked, having things like this happen, having the characters of this show make moronic decisions like this, they just deserve to hurt, they deserve what surely is coming for them. And punishment found them pretty quickly this week. Carol, out for all of five minutes, gets attacked on the road by a band of Saviors. These dudes were on their way to Alexandria, telling Carol as such. Carol gets upset and Carol kills them. The show tried to convince us that she didn’t want to kill them but it’s executed so poorly that it just comes off as plain weird. If she was so dead set against killing anymore (the reason why she left) why did she have a machine gun up her sleeve? It’s like the show can’t event be bothered to follow through on its themes anymore. Also, after blowing a bunch of them away, there were two guys left, so why she couldn’t have maimed the wounded ones is beyond me. Little sense, did it make.

Another dumb decision that actually didn’t really lead anywhere but was still just a head banging against the wall moment, was when Maggie let Enid take her guard shift. A small girl… when 90 percent of the heavy hitters had skipped town. This was surely going to end bad. It didn’t, but it doesn’t erase its stupidity, stupidity for no reason. Which was more annoying than anything because it was all for nothing. It was just bad writing, its bad content creation. It’s just BAD. Not as bad as a conversation between Rick and Morgan during their pursuit of Carol however, this was on a whole other level. I would love to discuss what was said but that’s the thing… NOTHING WAS SAID. Their talk was drivel, drivel about nothing, suggesting stakes and depth that don’t exist. It was just noise to fill the seconds before they found the wreckage of Carol’s shootout, where they quickly spotted the dead Saviors and followed Carols trail — realising that their attack on the compound didn’t end their organisation (this ‘realisation’ was the highlight of the episode. This is how low we’ve gone).

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Like I’ve said, there were just stupid decisions all over the place, like why did Carol not take the Saviors car? Why did the Saviors only bring a handful of people to attack Alexandria? Why — even while angry — did Daryl leave by himself? Why is anything on this show happening? I used to love that this show wasn’t really about anything, that it was just about surviving, but now… this is just a mess. I know Daryl feels guilty that the people he let go killed Denise, but he’s acting like this kind of thing has never happened before. Why is this situation so different? I don’t know. Again, mess. It didn’t get any cleaner when he refused to go back with Glen and the others because of… reasons, I suppose. Or when Rosita ended up going with him further into the woods because she was also angry. Glen and Michonne essentially ended up saying “fuck em” by letting them go. The writers really gave up on that one didn’t they?

So then we get to Glen and Michonne, bumping into the people Daryl was looking for randomly in the woods — some complex and surprising storytelling there. They get captured and then we get treated to another truly bizarre scene with Rick and Morgan. While looking for Carol, they found a farm and then a man who quickly ran away, and instead of chasing after him they stopped for a lengthy chat. Mind boggling stuff. Just top shelf material here on THE WALKING DEAD. After some more wasted minutes, Morgan ended up sending Rick home as this mission was too ‘risky’. Too risky? Where was this kind of thinking at the beginning of the episode? I mean, come on. So basically they had Rick tag along with Morgan because they needed someone for him to stand next to. That’s essentially what happened here. Nothing was gained from their partnership at all. Nothing happened here that couldn’t have been achieved by leaving Rick at home the entire time. Someone, please help me understand any of this. I want to understand WHAT IS HAPPENING.  I wonder if the writers think they are cranking out great work here or if they know that they are screwing us. In times like this it’s really hard to tell.

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After all this… stuff… the show quickly wrapped up, just after Maggie got some pregnancy pains (why was this even a part of this week’s episode?) — structurally this one was all over the place — and after Daryl gets shot while finding Glen and the others. They couldn’t even leave us in pretence of suspense, feeling the need to add a line by his shooter confirming that Daryl had merely been wounded. I wanted to punch something.

Does anyone remember when this show was good? When the characters didn’t make stupid decisions, not because they were smart but you know… because the writing was decent? I’m fed up of waiting for this show to get its act together. Maybe it’s just not going to happen. I guess they think they can get away with this, with being subpar. This show is so big now, it’s such a hit for AMC, maybe they think they can just phone it in because why bother trying? They’ve won. Maybe if we stop watching it will force them into action. Ugh. Sorry about this but you have to admit this is frustrating. This is how shows die. This was awful. It was not only the worst TWD episode I can remember. It was one of the weakest episodes I’ve seen of anything in a long time. There’s one more episode to go, and if we don’t get the results we so desperately need, at least it will be over for a while. I want to believe in a better tomorrow, but Jesus are they making it hard.

Samuel Brace

Film and TV Journalist

Follow:@SamuelBraceFollow: @filmandtvnow
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Author: Samuel Brace

Film and TV Journalist Follow: @SamuelBrace Follow: @filmandtvnow Read More