WARNING: Spoilers ahead for 'The Waking Dead' TV and comic series. Proceed at your own risk!
It's been a long time on The Walking Dead since we've seen our man Daryl Dixon on screen for an extended length of time, but boy did this week's episode, 'Always Accountable' make up for that!
After losing track of Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl way back earlier in the season, we finally got to see where they ended up after the truck crashed into Alexandria and sent the horde of walkers scattering. Straight away things turned back for the traveling trio when a group of unknown assailants opened fire on them and split up the group. While Sasha and Abraham stayed hidden in one place, knowing Daryl would come back to find them, Daryl had a wild adventure of his own, eventually losing two of his most valuable possessions, but gaining a whole new one by the very end.
The episode was slower than the first four of the season, though it definitely had more action than last week's Alexandria-based episode. But despite less action, I believe that it was probably the most important episode to date in terms of setting the foundation for massive future storylines to come over Season 6 and 7. The episode had some great moments, but did you catch them all? Well, loose ends make my ass itch, so why don't you take a look at the 5 things you might have missed in The Walking Dead 'Always Accountable.'
1. There was a great callback to Season 2
Huge thanks to Redditor Senor_Diablo for pointing this one out! One of the coolest moments of 'Always Accountable' was when we saw the gnarly mossy walker lurching out of the trees toward Daryl as he struggled to get his crossbow free. When he finally killed the mossy walker (which was a tribute zombie to the 'Swamp Thing'), it fell face down and when it did you may have noticed a flower was growing out of its back. Recognize the flower at all? Let me cast your mind back to Season 2, episode 4 'Cherokee Rose,' when Daryl was out searching for Sophia:
As Daryl searched for the lost girl, he found a cherokee rose and brought it back for Sophia's mom, Carol. The exchange of the rose, which is the flower commonly associated with the Trail of Tears, served as a great developmental moment for Daryl, showing his softer side, and also the first moments of what would become Carol and Daryl's close friendship.
2. We got out first introduction to the Saviors
Just a few days after Negan was officially cast, we've already been treated to the first glimpse of his gang, The Saviors (for those that might want some base info on Negan and The Saviors, head over here).
The three people who Daryl came across in the woods were obviously on the run from someone, and that someone seemed to end up being a man named Wade who came crashing through the woods with a truckload of men on the lookout for the group. Whether you realized it at the time or not, It's more than likely that those men, and the three people Daryl met, were part of Negan's gang, The Saviors.
First, let's focus on the three people Daryl encountered. We know that the women were named Tina and Sherry, and Sherry also happens to be a character in the comic series. In the comic series, Sherry's husband is named Dwight, and both of them are members of The Saviors. While we never learned the Blond-haired man's name in 'Always Accountable,' it seems pretty fair to assume that it's Dwight, especially considering he rode away with Daryl's crossbow. In the comic series, the crossbow is Dwight's signature weapon (remember, Daryl is not a character in the comic series), so it seems like too much of a coincidence for the pair not to be Saviors.
Going back to the man named Wade and his men. From what we could hear of the men's conversation, it definitely seemed as though they made reference to Negan a few times:
"He only wanted to take this so far, and he only wants ass that's willing, you know?"
In the comic series, Negan is well known for having many wives, but also despises rape; in fact, one of the rules of the Saviors is "we don't rape."
There was also the interesting fact that we only saw the face of one of Wade's men, and that the man's forehead was covered so we were unable to tell if he was a member of the Wolves or not. However, judging by the fact that he had a gun, I think it's fair to say he's not. So why else weren't we shown the faces of the Wade and co.? Well, perhaps it's because it would have given too much away. Negan has a very interesting method of punishing members of the Saviors who fall into his bad graces -- he burns their faces with a searing hot iron. If we saw Wade's face, we likely would have seen that half his face had been burnt, a dead give away for which group he belonged to.
3. Has Daryl's date with Lucille been hinted at?
There was a particular word used a couple times in 'Always Accountable' that made me wonder if it was hinting at a major future event. When Dwight, Sherry and Tina are yelling to Wade they make a point to say, "we're done kneeling" and that they want to be free of Wade's group and their rules. Later on when Dwight and Sherry double-cross Daryl, Daryl asks Dwight, "you don't kneel?" to which Dwight fires a warning next to Daryl's head.
For Walking Dead comic book readers, use of the word 'kneel' might conjure up the image of the iconic scene involving Negan and his wire-covered baseball bat, Lucille. After forcing Rick, Carl, Michonne, Heath, Glenn, Maggie, and Sophia (who is still alive in the comic series) to kneel in a line in front of him, Negan brutally smashes Glenn's skull in, killing him. For a long time now, there has been speculation that Daryl might be primed to take Glenn's spot in this scene, and the use of the word 'kneel' has definitely added a little more substance to that theory. What do you think?
4. Abraham is leaving his past behind
There were some great scenes this episode involving the Abraham and Sasha (aside from the whole 'a man can tell' part, of course). Abraham clearly has huge hang ups about his past, particularly surrounding the death of his family (they ran away after his violence scared them, and were promptly eaten by walkers), which totally explains his dedication to killing as many walkers as possible. However, after a pretty deep talk with Sasha, and then some solitary moments outside, he seemed to have finally regained some control. The moment at the end of the episode when Abraham glanced in the truck's wing mirror and saw nothing but empty road behind him, neatly symbolized that his past was in the past, and he was moving on.
However, given the fact that the show has a tendency to kill off characters as soon as they show any sort of character development, does this spell the end for Abraham, or is the possibility of a relationship between him and Sasha enough to see him stick around for awhile yet?
5. Who is yelling for 'help?'
All right there's no doubt that you missed this moment at the very end of 'Always Accountable,' but I figured it was worth while laying out all the options for who might have been yelling 'help' on the walkie talkie. First up, have a listen to that moment again (thanks Redditor poidupoi), and then check out the possibilities:
Rick definitely still has his walkie talkie, and has been seen trying to use it to get in contact with members. It's worth noting that this episode is happening at the same time as, or earlier than, last week's episode, 'Now.' So it's possible that it could be Rick on the walkie talkie asking for help from his surrounded RV, but it's probably not likely.
A popular theory seems to be that Dwight has Glenn's walkie talkie and is using it to radio Sasha and Abraham's radio for help. This theory isn't totally insane, especially because we know that there was a whole truckload of men after the pair, and they could easily have ambushed the couple on the bike. Also, it gets even stronger when you notice that earlier in the episode the walkie talkie was clipped to Daryl's belt, and at the end when the couple leave on the bike it's nowhere to be seen. Sure it could be in his bag, but it could also be with Sherry and Dwight.
This is the big one, guys, the one all the conspiracy theorists, including myself. want to be true: Was the voice on the other end of the radio Glenn's? So far we've not seen total proof that Glenn is dead (unfortunately, poor Nicholas is certainly dead), and there's a lot of speculation that he somehow survived (check out the theories here and here). Next week is tipped to be the episode we finally revisit Glenn and Nicholas in that ill-fated alleyway, so if that voice on the other end of that walkie talkie was Glenn's, it would fit in very well.
Bonus: Dwight and Sherry may have inadvertantly helped Alexandria
Early in the episode Dwight and Sherry described how they burned part of the woods away to kill walkers in the area by drawing in surrounding walkers with the flames. Later on, Daryl found Patty the fuel truck stashed in the trees and picked up Sasha and Abraham to head back to Alexandria.
After hearing how the the fire in the woods helped to combat a herd of walkers, I can bet that Daryl plans on using the knowledge to help Alexandria very soon. In fact, Norman Reedus seemed to confirm this in an interview with Entertainment Weekly when he talked about filming in the burned out forest:
That was really surreal. We actually took a large chunk of forest and either burned part of it or burned it and painted it...Also, I learned something in that episode that may or may not happen later with the burning of the woods. [Showrunner Scott M. Gimple] is really good at never wasting any sort of screen time, so everything that happens in an episode will play again in one form or another. He’s got things mapped out so far in advance that every little thing comes back to into play.
Does that mean a huge walker bonfire might soon be seen on screens? Let's hope so! Perhaps Abraham's newly acquired grenade/rocket launcher might also come into play -- what better way to ignite a tanker full of fuel?
Episode 7 of 'The Walking Dead' will air on Sunday, November 22 on AMC.