Spoiler Warning for this week’s episode of “The Walking Dead”

Daryl Dixon (Photo courtesy of AMC.)
Daryl Dixon and the two strangers. (Photo courtesy of AMC)

Ambiguity has always been an important component to “The Walking Dead,” but has the show become too ambiguous? With numerous storylines and threats, “Always Accountable” takes the time to check in with Daryl, Sasha and Abraham as they lead the front half of the massive walker herd. This episode leaves viewers with more questions than answers, but serves to plant seeds for the rest of the season and to develop the characters.

Daryl, Sasha and Abraham find themselves in a difficult situation after successfully leading the walkers away. An unknown group of assailants armed with guns begin shooting at the trio; Daryl falls off his motorcycle while Abraham and Sasha crash their car. Sasha and Abraham shoot and kill several of their attackers and flee to the safety of a nearby town. Meanwhile, Daryl manages to conceal himself and escape into an incredibly creepy burned forest. Much of the episode takes place in this forest where charred walkers and skeletons litter the ground. Daryl comes across two sisters (Liz E. Morgan & Christine Evangelista) and a man (Austin Amelio); the name of only one of these new characters is revealed, Tina. The man knocks Daryl out and ties him up against a tree.

The male stranger begins questioning Daryl at gunpoint, but receives no real information. The strangers then march Daryl through the forest in search of “Patty,” which is later revealed to be the name of a fuel truck. The man shares with Daryl why the forest is burned; this group of survivors set the forest ablaze to attract and kill large amounts of walkers. He explains that they joined a community that they naively believed would help in rebuilding society. The four come across a walker-infested parking lot and Tina faints, therefore allowing Daryl to escape, but not before grabbing a duffel bag belonging to his captors. After escaping, Daryl attempts to radio Sasha and Abraham, but only hears static. In the duffel bag, Daryl discovers a cooler filled with insulin. He quickly realizes that Tina is a diabetic and returns to them, but demands their gun in exchange for the insulin.

Suddenly, several men arrive in the forest and begin searching for Daryl’s captors; these men appear to be the same gun-wielding assailants from the beginning of the episode. This new group is led by a man named Wade (Darin Cooper). Daryl uses a walker as a weapon against one of the men, who is bitten on the arm, which Wade amputates to prevent the infection from spreading. Rather than leaving his captors to fend for themselves, Daryl helps them to escape and gives the male stranger the gun back. This episode truly highlights Daryl’s character and his belief that people are important for survival. While some of his actions during this episode are incredibly irresponsible, they are very consistent with Daryl’s nature.

After escaping the mysterious group, Daryl and his captors come across a greenhouse where Tina finds two corpses of people she once knew. The walkers awaken and manage to bite Tina on the neck as her devastated sister breaks down. Daryl and the male stranger dig a grave for Tina and begin to discuss Alexandria. Daryl asks the famous questions used by the Rick’s group to recruit new members: “How many walkers have you killed? How many people have you killed? Why?” The male stranger answers the questions and Daryl begins leading the two back to find Sasha and Abraham. Distrustful of Daryl, the strangers manage to overpower him and steal his crossbow and motorcycle. Alone and unarmed, Daryl discovers “Patty” in the forest, hidden under brush and leaves. The mysterious male and female strangers, as well as the other curious group lead by Wade are sure to return later in the season. Will they help or hurt our beloved characters?

Abraham Ford (Photo courtesy of AMC.)
Abraham Ford. (Photo courtesy of AMC)

As Daryl trudges through the forest, Sasha and Abraham wait in an office building. Abraham feels the need to kill every walker in sight, but Sasha warns about “leaving breadcrumbs” for the new group of enemies to find. Inside the office building, Sasha calls Abraham out on his recklessness to which he reminds her of her recklessness in the previous season. The two characters have essentially switched roles where Sasha is much more mentally stable and Abraham is slowly becoming unhinged; the opposite was true last season. These two characters have always had a rather interesting dynamic and this episode truly highlights their relationship. They both care about one another, but definitely butt heads at times.

They both decide to spend the night inside the office, but Abraham sets off on a mission. He discovers an abandoned military vehicle containing RPGs and a box of cigars. Near the vehicle, an impaled walker with an RPG launcher strapped to its back dangles off a bridge. The rotted walker eventually slips and falls off the bridge, conveniently leaving the launcher for Abraham to take. He returns to the office and confesses to Sasha that she was correct about his hastiness. He also tells Sasha that he would like to get to know her better; an unexpected romantic relationship may be on the horizon for these two characters. At first glance, Sasha and Abraham seem to be drastically different, but in actuality are very similar. Will Sasha and Abraham be the next relationship in this seemingly hopeless world?

Daryl somehow manages to find the office building that Sasha and Abraham were sheltered in, much to their relief. They load themselves into “Patty” and begin driving back to Alexandria. While driving, Daryl attempts to radio to Rick, but instead hears a meek and unidentifiable voice saying “help.” The obvious and primary theory about who the voice asking for help would be Glenn, whose fate is still a mystery to viewers. Glenn did have one of the walkie-talkies, so this is a definite possibility. The voice could also be a distressed survivor in Alexandria or a member of the group seen in the forest. Hopefully, this particular question will be answered in the next episode.

Overall, “Always Accountable” does more to establish future storylines than it does to explain the current story. This episode is weaker than its predecessors this season, although there are some major high-points and positives. Norman Reedus, Sonequa Martin-Green and Michael Cudlitz all gave remarkable performances and helped to develop their three characters. The new characters are incredibly interesting and set the stage for some very thrilling story arcs in the future; hopefully the male and female strangers’ names will also be revealed. However, the current story arc is so complex and eventful that the new material feels somewhat premature. Who is the voice on the other end of the radio? How will Daryl, Sasha and Abraham get back into Alexandra? Be sure to tune in to “The Walking Dead” next Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Jeffrey Kopp is the Community Editor of the Niner Times. He is a senior double majoring in Communication and Political Science. His interests include writing and keeping up with an excessive amount of television shows. He is also the go-to expert on all things “The Walking Dead."


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