WARNING: Spoilers ahead for 'The Walking Dead' comic and TV series. Do not read on unless you have seen Episode 14, 'Twice As Far'
After a Groundhog Day-style opening and a slow first half, Episode 14 of The Walking Dead, "Twice As Far" really pulled a 180 when the Saviors returned and Dwight savagely killed of Dr. Denise Cloyd (before getting his manhood bitten directly afterwards). Absolutely ruthless.
The episode was pretty solid, and included the very interesting development of Eugene revealing he'd found an industrial machine shop that he hopes will soon be used to manufacture bullets. But of course, the good times sadly can't always roll in the Walking Dead universe, and following this discovery there was the unfortunate business of Dwight returning with more Saviors (revealing that there was in fact much more of the gang that Rick's crew first thought) and killing Denise. Thankfully though, Eugene knows how to bite a dick and the rest of the crew were able to take down many of the Saviors and escape.
But aside from what you definitely noticed in the episode, there was a whole lot more hidden throughout, and I'm formally callings dibs on showing you all the five things you might have missed in The Walking Dead Episode 14, "Twice As Far" — and as everyone knows, dibs is dibs.
1. Daryl was reluctant to use the train tracks for good reason
Toward the start of "Twice As Far" there was one scene that struck me as a little odd. After Daryl, Rosita and Denise are forced to walk the rest of the way to the apothecary there was an argument between Rosita and Daryl over which route to take. Rosita argues that the railway tracks will be quicker, while Daryl refuses, saying, "I ain't taking no tracks" and walks off down the road. This whole exchanged seemed a little weird to me, like something that belongs in Season 2 when they were a little less wise, not Season 6!
Well, as it turns out the argument actually demonstrated a kind of interesting insight into Daryl Dixon's brain and his probable post-traumatic stress disorder. After all, remember what happened last time the gang followed the railway tracks....
Yep, that's right, they ended up at Terminus. And what happened when Daryl eventually relented and took the tracks back this time? Dwight and the Saviors. So basically, if there's one thing I can predict it's that Daryl Dixon will not be using railway tracks as a path again any time soon.
2. Morgan's cell showed a return to civility
Right at the beginning of the episode there was an exchange between Rick and Morgan when Rick asked why Morgan had bothered to build a cell, to which Morgan replies, "it'll give you some choices next time."
Obviously up until now we've seen some pretty vicious behavior from Rick and the gang, with a lot of killing being done with very few questions being asked. However, if Alexandria is trying to make itself into a proper community, then at some stage they should probably stop acting quite so barbaric and offer people the chance of rehabilitation over death.
I've mentioned it before, but I believe that one day Morgan's cell will be occupied by a certain upcoming Big Bad, and when that moment does come it will truly show that civilization is on its way back to this post-apocalyptic world.
3. Denise took Abraham's death
Ah Denise, you saved Carl after he lost his eye, but no one could save you after you were shot through yours.
After being introduced at the start of the season, Dr. Denise Cloyd was brutally killed by Dwight in Episode 14. Some may say it was the arrow through the brain that did it, but fans of the show also know that she also suffered from that terrible Walking Dead affliction known as "character development" (other sufferers have included Bob, Noah, Deanna and Sam, among others).
Whatever it was that did Denise in, I was actually quite sad to see her go but also a little bit thankful because her death in the TV series took the place of Abraham's death in the comics.
Issue 98 of the comic series is quite similar to Episode 14, with Abraham and Eugene setting off to look at the location that Eugene thinks may be suitable for making bullets. However, the pair never make it to the site because Abraham is shot and killed by Dwight's crossbow. "Twice As Far" brilliantly toyed with comic readers when it showed the scenes with Abraham and Eugene, but then left us guessing whether or not Abraham would soon be killed off. Ultimately the writers opted to switch things up from the comics and surprise fans with the death of Alexandria's only doctor, Denise.
Thank goodness for Dr. Carson at Hilltop, amiright? Which actually brings me to my next point...
4. Denise's death has set the finale in motion
Denise's death now means that Alexandria is without a doctor, which isn't ideal at the best of times and is certainly less than ideal considering that Maggie is pregnant. However, Denise's death does seem to have set up the path for the season finale — again, I gotta warn you, there are some big comic spoilers coming up below.
Because Denise is now dead, at some stage Maggie and Glenn are going to need to go the Hilltop to see Dr. Carson, now more than ever. Carson has been set up as the ideal doctor for Maggie due to the fact that he was an obstetrician who is also in possession of prenatal vitamins.
In the comic series, following the death of Abraham (replaced by Denise in the TV show) and the fight with the Saviors, Maggie and Glenn decide to relocate to the Hilltop for a safer life for them and their unborn child. They set off with Rick, Carl, Michonne, Heath and Sophia (who is still alive in the comics), but are followed by the Saviors and after a confrontation Glenn is beaten to death by Negan and Lucille.
It's my prediction that following Denise's death, Maggie will have some sort of trouble with her pregnancy and require the care of a doctor, meaning a group has to set off to the Hilltop, and once they do they'll be followed be Negan and his Saviors. Do you agree?
5. Dwight's face tells us more about Negan's cruelty
Last week we got an insight into just how harsh Negan can be, when Michelle showed off her amputated little finger. This week, the show once again teased Negan's brutality when Dwight resurfaced with a very burned face.
Last time we saw Dwight, he was on Daryl's motorcycle with his wife as they attempted to escape from the Saviors. However, now it looks like he's back with the gang, and at some stage between Episode 6 and Episode 14 he was severely burned.
While it might be possible that Dwight was burned in some sort of accident, comic readers will have immediately realized that it was the result of a rather brutal punishment by Negan. In the comics, Negan burns the face of any of his Saviors who breaks the rules with a hot iron, including Dwight who was burned after he had an affair with his ex-wife Sherry, who was now one of Negan's wives.
It seems like now that audiences have now seen two characters with brutal punishment injuries, the build up to the finale is really ramping up. What this means is that by the time a beloved character gets killed by Negan bashing their skull in, it will seem totally in line with how this mad man acts.
Bonus: Beef jerky stroganoff got a mention!
Comic readers will have enjoyed Spencer asking Rosita if she wanted to come over and eat "beef jerky stroganoff," something that his comic book equivalent offers to Andrea. It was small, but a cool nod to the source material nonetheless.
Bonus #2: The orange backpack was back!
The bright orange backpack made its debut in Season 3, Episode 12 "Clear" and since then has made appearances in more episodes of the show than many of the supporting characters!
After nearly losing it multiple times (most notably at Terminus), it was a cool little nod to fans who have watched the show closely for so many years to see it pop up again in Season 6, Episode 14!
'The Walking Dead' returns with Episode 15, "East" on Sunday, March 27 on AMC.