The Walking Dead: Always Accountable Review

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By: Jonathan Pilley (@omnicomic)

The Walking Dead is adapted from previous source material. This review is not meant to compare similarities and differences between the show and comic. It’s meant to be read purely as a take on the episode as it stands.

That being said, SPOILERS AHEAD.

“Everybody’s got their code.”

If you thought Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl were living the easy life shepherding a mob of zombies, then you don’t know the world of The Walking Dead. Presumably set upon by the same group who attacked Alexandria (the Wolves), the trio was forced to make a detour. Abraham and Sasha were a bit more successful in warding off their pursuers, but Daryl wasn’t so lucky. Their paths would seemingly converge on Alexandria at some point, yet getting there clearly won’t be that simple.

Daryl took the road less traveled through the woods – that is, the remnants of what once were woods. The charred remains of trees and walkers alike served as a reminder of the desperation taken on the part of those struggling to survive. It turns out, a trio of survivors torched the forest for some peace and quiet at the onset of the apocalypse. In the interim, they apparently found a group to be less than trustworthy, catapulting them into a state of mind where they trusted no one but each other. It’s not a new a mindset by any stretch of the imagination and it’s one Daryl has been on both sides of at multiple points throughout his quest for survival.

The three he encountered were on the run themselves, from presumably the Wolves. That group is getting more and more of a face as the season progresses and will likely be the Big Bad in the second half of the season. Here, they’re trying to regain what was taken from them in medicine and insubordination. It seems as if the Wolves have their own “society” where they require the citizens to contribute in some form or another. The jury’s still out as to whether those methods of contribution are on par with what’s expected of the citizens in Alexandria.

Daryl dug into the plight of the trio (duo after some mourning gone wrong) with Rick’s three questions. Daryl clearly sees something in the two that he feels makes them worthy additions to the Alexandria community. Turns out he couldn’t quite hone in on the survival instinct of the two, as they quickly turned on him for reasons unknown. It’s possible they still didn’t trust Daryl’s assertion that he wasn’t part of the Wolves. It’s also possible that they’re just skittish. Still, the two seemed to want to turn on Daryl from the start, but all’s well that ends well for Daryl.

Much of the banter between Sasha and Abraham revolved around the concept of control. Sasha previously seemed to be spiraling out of control, largely in response to the death of Tyreese. Abraham actually did lose control with Eugene’s revelation that his mission wasn’t really a mission at all. Both characters have control issues and placing them in a room for the duration of the episode with a walker that history dictates they kill made for a good lesson in self-control.

Abraham still seems to have some demons that need exorcising, as best evidenced by his knife game with the zombie soldier on the bridge. Sure, there’s a practicality to obtaining an RPG launcher, but Abraham seemed like he wanted to stare in the face of death and laugh as opposed to actually obtain the weapon. Turns out, though, his patience in refusing to simply die and give up paid off in a somewhat amusing way. He found a new clarity in life that gave him bold new initiatives and an approach.

By the end of “Always Accountable,” the trio left out in the wind is on their way back to Alexandria. There’s still half the herd that was following the three of them lingering somewhere, while the other half are descending upon Alexandria. The last word uttered in the episode was, “Help,” by Rick into the walkie-talkie (unless it’s Glenn crying for help). That has to be a surprise to Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha, despite Abraham’s otherwise positive assertion of their defensive capabilities. The season started off pretty ho-hum and with Rick’s bold plan to maintain the safety of the community, but has since devolved into a chaotic bid for survival.

Rick made it back to Alexandria and Glenn is still missing. The viewer knows more about Morgan’s trip to Alexandria and now it appears that Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha will be rejoining the others shortly. The tension that accompanied the group being splintered was short-lived, as now it’s replaced with the more familiar tension as to whether or not the group can batten down the hatches and survive the oncoming storm. That storm will likely be a mix of walkers and Wolves, all poised to test their resolve. Within the context of this episode, however, things were more or less calm by The Walking Dead standards.

Rating: 3 out of 5


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