Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead was emotionally heavy, and throughout the show one common theme remained consistent: the price for innocence.
Denise and Eugene both paid a hearty price for attempting to shed their innocence, and the imagery provided only reinforced that notion. From the photos of small children on the counter in the apothecary to the playpen and the baby shoe left in the sink, it was clear that those who were pure of heart were getting the raw end of the deal.
Did you ever watch a superhero movie as a child and then leave the theater feeling six inches taller and certain somehow that deep down, you were really an alien with superpowers, capable of one day saving the entire world? That’s how Denise and Eugene appeared last night, with a bit of false bravado and a lot of determination to be the next Superman. Unfortunately, that swagger didn’t do much beyond inviting kryptonite to pay a call, landing poor Denise (dammit, Denise. We liked you!) on the tracks with an arrow through her head, and Eugene with a mouthful of the big D.
Speaking of the tracks, let’s talk about them for a minute. Daryl was determined not to follow the tracks, perhaps a kickback to the last time he still had a shred of innocence about him and was able to trust that things were going to be okay. But they weren’t okay, because those tracks led to Terminus, people stew, and Gareth the fine young cannibal. Now against his better judgement, they are back on the tracks, more Saviors have arrived, and Eugene is left looking like a miserable toddler who has just wet his pants.
Dwight the Savior and his crew are intent on vengeance, and they won’t settle for less than an eye for an eye… hold up. Let’s discuss eyes.
Carl, who is no longer an innocent kid, lost his eye this season, and Dr. Denise was kind enough to take care of that surgery for him. In return, she gets an arrow through her right eye – the same eye Carl lost. And in hindsight, we had a bit of forewarning for that, when Denise’s glasses fell off and she threw up all over them, and even further back in the episode when the trio was in the apothecary and we saw the rack filled with glasses. Think about vision, and what the lack of it will cost you in the zombie apocalypse, and you’ll see how much symbolism about it there was in this episode.
We had a quick view of Morgan, who lost his innocence but keeps trying to regain it. He was fairly quiet in this episode because clearly he’s learned the fate of those with inspiring monologues, and this season we have seen how much Morgan has impacted Carol and her conscience. Oh, Carol! Her storyline is so real, so raw, it seems each week we see a new development with her character. Carol is deep, and much like an onion, she’s got layers. As each layer is pulled back, we gain new insight as to how her mind ticks, and even though she left last night, I know she’s going to be okay. Of course she will. She has to be. Anyone who states differently will be met with me shoving my fingers into my ears while chanting lalalalala.
Michonne might be Judith’s new mommy, but without Carol, who will bake her acorn and beet cookies and tell her terrifying bedtime stories? Besides, Daryl has just witnessed his buddy be shot through the brain with his own crossbow. He needs his Pookie. Carol has got to come back.
“Twice as Far” was an emotionally wrought episode with the thread of innocence and its cost woven throughout. Though the amount of gasp-worthy moments was so high I nearly caused myself an asthma attack, I think perhaps one important question is still weighing on viewer’s minds, and hopefully will be answered for us next Sunday: