Okay, I’ll admit it: I didn’t particularly love this episode – or the one before it. The format TWD has been following these last few weeks reminds me of the all the character-centric episodes leading up to the group’s reunion in Terminus; except back in season 4 neither the group nor we had any idea what they were walking into: would Terminus indeed be their sanctuary, or was it all an elaborate trap?

This time, we are pretty much aware of all the dangers our group has to face: will the herd return? Will the Alexandria walls hold? How many people are out there waiting to attack? We know there’s going to be a huge blow-out eventually, so building up suspense isn’t as effective as in previous seasons.

Which brings me to Sunday’s Always Accountable. I’m sure Daryl fans were super-excited to see him doing something other than riding his motorcycle, but I felt it dragged on too long, like a filler episode to hold us over until the big mid-season finale.

A few random thoughts:

  • The opening scene was spectacular and very unexpected. However, it looked like Daryl could have easily circled back to Sasha and Abraham and this entire story arc could have been avoided.
  • Another thing that could have been avoided: the right-to-the-last-second suspense of Daryl’s first walker kill of the episode: he kept fumbling for his crossbow for some time there, and all the while he could have just easily reached for his knife, which was clipped onto his belt. Or am I missing something?
  • Are we meant to assume that there are more than one group of hostile people ready to launch an attack on Alexandria? A lot of the Wolves were swiftly taken care of in previous weeks, but are there more to come? Who’s Wade and what is his group about, except apparently kneeling? These guys have lots of fire power, whereas the Wolves didn’t seem to have guns, and they probably would have used them when they attacked Alexandria if they had them. There was a lot of news coverage last week about Jeffrey Dean Morgan being cast as bad guy Negan, and comic book fans seem to be excited about that prospect, so I’m guessing this is a separate group of villains altogether?
  • Which brings me to the obvious question: Alexandria has managed to survive peacefully since the beginning, but all of a sudden Rick and his group show up and every human being in the vicinity is coming out of the woodwork?
  • I get that this episode was more about character development than pushing the story forward, but are they maybe taking Daryl too far in the other direction? Yes, he’s a good guy beneath the tough exterior and he did the right thing going back to return Tina’s insulin, but has he gone so soft that he didn’t even think of keeping the blond guy’s gun until he knew for sure those people weren’t a threat to him? Now it’s bye-bye bike and crossbow, and Daryl will probably have to revisit his bad side to take care of business.
  • The entire ‘let’s save a freshly introduced character only to kill them off two minutes later’ is getting old and isn’t surprising anyone any more.
  • The Patty plot point was confusing to me, until it turned out to be a fuel truck. Are we to assume that Rick and co will go into Governor mode and turn the bad guys’ camp into a giant bonfire?
  • On to Sasha and Abraham: it seems like Sasha’s moved on from her issues in Season 5 and is perfectly cool and together. Abraham looked like he was losing it a bit after Reg’s grisly demise, and he obviously had some stuff of his own to sort through, which is seems like he did this week.
  • Add Loose ends make my ass itch to the list of Abe’s fantastic lines, along with Motherdick! and Who’s Deanna?
  • Are things over between him and Rosita? From the looks of it, I’d say so. It’s also probably the first time since Maggie and Glenn’s pharmacy hook-up in Season 2 that someone actually made a pass during a mission. I didn’t expect it to be these two though.
  • I really thought Sasha would either sneer or flat-out punch Abraham when he delivered his ‘A man knows‘ line, but she didn’t. She didn’t say no, either.
  • The big question remains: who’s on the other end of that walkie-talkie?

– This is all happening while Rick is ambushed in the RV, so it could very well be him (although it didn’t really sound like Rick). We already know he got home safely, so if this is the case, it’s not that big of a cliffhanger, although I did complain about not seeing him escape being a lost opportunity last week.

– I’m sure I’m not the only one wishing this is Glenn asking for help: we all saw Nicholas die, but none of us is entirely sure Glenn met his end next to that Dumpster. If the fan theories are correct, then Glenn managed to crawl underneath the Dumpster and is calling for help. I hope this is the case, but knowing TWD, it can’t possibly be as easy as having Daryl, Abraham and Sasha go back and bail Glenn out, can it?

– The blond guy and the girl have Daryl’s equipment, so maybe they ran into some trouble. If that’s the case, then they sure have some nerve, calling for help after they just royally screwed him.

In next week’s episode, the Talking Dead sneak preview showed us Rick and Michonne talking to Morgan about his famous all life is precious code. Are they deciding whether to exile him? Have they found out about his pet Wolf in the basement? And where the hell is Carol?