‘The Walking Dead’ Review: ‘Always Accountable’ Finds Daryl Face-to-Face With Desperation
Recap and review of The Walking Dead – Season 6 Episode 6 – Always Accountable:
Each season, various crews on The Walking Dead get split up, creating a divided narrative that rotates week-by-week to focus on a different group of people. This week, it’s the Sasha/Abraham/Daryl trio who are up to bat, as we learn why they’ve taken so long to make it back to Alexandria. In the process, Daryl (Norman Reedus) comes face-to-face with desperation — albeit not his own. “Always Accountable” is a slow burn, but with the indication that this is all headed somewhere big.
The main reason I feel this otherwise dull hour is actually setup for something major is the introduction of a new group of survivors. After getting separated from Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Daryl is captured by a trio of escapees from a settlement that employs forced labor, with severe penalties for those who don’t comply. The organizational structure, their relatively grime-free clothes, the clear and articulate way in which they speak, and their apparent knowledge that cutting off a bitten body part can stave off the walker infection tells us they’re not the Wolves. So who are they? And just how awful are they, really? I mean, on the one hand, the man and two women whom Daryl meets seem positively terrified by the prospect of going back, even while, upon entering a burned-out encampment with scorched bodies, admitting “We did this.” They seem cautious but relatively decent, which is why it’s all the more surprising when they end up jacking Daryl again — and after he went through all the trouble of returning their insulin the first time he escaped their clutches.
Ultimately, this feels like a story of nature vs. nurture. Was this group always so ragged and desperate? Were they always prone to self-preservational dishonesty? Or were they shaped into being this way through the harshness of their experience back at the unnamed settlement? I think it’s telling that the only member of the trio who gets a name (well, that I caught, anyway) — Tina, the girl who needs the insulin — is the only one who dies. She gets chomped by two walkers she had been mourning, and it’s a simple gesture that makes her feel far more endearing and relatable than the other two, who appear to be a Bonnie and Clyde-type couple, particularly towards the end. It’s as if the narrative is stating that this world has little room for sentimentality anymore. Given how Daryl is rewarded for having helped this group, they might have a point. But I wouldn’t expect for this crooks to get off scot-free. “We’re sorry,” the woman tells Daryl, as they prepare to speed away with his crossbow and motorcycle. “You will be,” Daryl responds, as stoic and badass as ever. It’s a promise, of sorts, that these actions will have consequences. And that’s what I enjoy about a show like The Walking Dead. The knife cuts both ways. Whether a good guy or a bad guy, actions will have consequences. Because when you commit an act, you’re always accountable for it. So here’s hoping Daryl meets these two again.
On the other side of things, we get a scavenging mission with Abraham and Sasha, and while I can appreciate the character building going on here, I wasn’t particularly crazy about this story. The theme seemed to center on keeping hope alive for the future, since it’s been difficult for these survivors to even imagine what a future looks like on the other side of this conflict. The long and short of it is that Abraham is struggling to adjust to a world in which he might actually get to have some kind of future, and this realization manifests in the form of making a proposal of sorts to Sasha, implying that they’re two wounded souls who could be happy together.
Sasha asks what the hell gave him the impression that a life with him is something she’d even want, prompting Abraham to respond, “A man knows.” And hey, maybe he does, although I really don’t feel as though the show has earned this relationship yet. Then again, I didn’t really think they earned the Sasha/Bob pairing when it started, but that ended up delivering some of the most emotional moments in the show’s run. And it’s not as if this entire portion of the episode was a bust, since we got some cool moments such as Abraham nearly getting bitten while attempting to wrestle a rocket launcher away from an impaled soldier walker, or Abraham finding a fresh new suit to wear, to Sasha’s amusement. We even get the awesome closer to the episode, as Daryl finds a truck and tracks down Sasha and Abraham so they can all head back to Alexandria, only for the walkie talkie to come alive on the way home with a ragged voice saying one word: “Help.” I don’t know about you, but that sounded a whole hell of a lot like Glenn, no? Here’s to keeping hope alive.
But what did you think of The Walking Dead, “Always Accountable”? Sound off in the comments!
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