Last week’s episode ended with Carol leaving a farewell letter and taking off from Alexandria in the dark of night.
This week’s penultimate season 6 episode, “East,” opens on a running car, blood dripping, and a voice calling for someone to “Come out!”
In Alexandria, Carol sews something into the sleeve of her jacket, and packs a bag with food and supplies. When Tobin calls from somewhere in the house asking where she is, she shoves the bag under the bed and yells back, “In here!” Tobin talks a little about Denise and how long he knew her, but Carol doesn’t really seem to be listening.
Later that night, while Tobin sleeps, Carol pulls out her bag and takes off.
In the morning, Sasha and Rosita guard the gate together, which is obviously a little awkward for both of them. It’s probably a good thing Abraham isn’t around. Inside his house, Carl looks at one of the guns that Rick confiscated from one of the Saviors. Glenn and Maggie are in their shower and Glenn sees all of Maggie’s bruises from her encounter. Daryl clutches Denise’s “Dennis” keychain and starts up his motorcycle.
And then Abraham shows up to relieve Sasha at the gate. Rosita watches as Sasha hands him a cigar and they have a little cutesy moment.
Rick and Michonne are in bed and it’s the first time we’ve seen them really together in several weeks, so this solidifies that they are in a relationship now. Michonne gets out of bed and gets dressed and they talk about improving security of Alexandria. Rick says they can hold their own against the Saviors. “The world’s ours and we know how to take it,” he says.
Michonne runs into Glenn and Maggie outside where Maggie has a bin full of guns they took from the Saviors. Maggie wants to boost up the weapons cache. For some reason, it seems like Rick is the only one thinking they aren’t in danger of getting attacked.
Daryl is at the gate and Rosita tries to keep him from leaving. As he rides away, Rosita has a little bit of a look that could be concern or could be interest. Glenn and Michonne see Glenn leave and they decide to follow him, bringing along Rosita because she thinks she knows where he’s going even though he gave no indication.
Tobin finally gets around to showing Rick the note Carol left and he and Morgan decide to go after her since Carol has specifically asked that no one go after her. When they talk to Sasha and Abraham at the gate, they quickly deduce that Carol must have taken a car since there’s a car missing and Sasha insists that she never saw anyone leave during her overnight shift.
Carol is in a car, driving down the road. She sees a truck rapidly approaching from the other direction. They swerve and block her path. It’s full of Saviors. Carol clutches the rosary that got her away from Paula and crew a couple of weeks ago. They order her out of the car, and she makes up a backstory, claiming to be Nancy, a loner who has stayed by herself for a very long time. They don’t believe her and demand that she take them back to Alexandria and let them in. Instead, she fires on them with a gun she has sewn into the sleeve of her jacket, killing all but one. She orders him to get out of the truck, which he does. But then he lunges at her with a knife.
Back in Alexandria, Maggie is in the pantry when she runs into Enid. Maggie says something about her shift guarding the wall, but Enid insists on taking it so that Maggie can rest.
Rick and Morgan examine Carol’s tire tracks, concluding that she has gone East, even though the Saviors’ compound is West. They find the scene where Carol had the shootout with the Saviors. There’s no sign of her, just several dead Saviors and one walker that Rick takes out. They decide to follow a trail of blood in case it belongs to Carol. They don’t see that there is one injured Savior still hiding. When they run off into a field, the Savior grabs Carol’s discarded rosary and takes off after them.
Glenn, Michonne and Rosita arrive on the train tracks at the place where Denise was killed. Rosita’s hunch had been that Daryl was going off to find and kill Dwight and it seems that she is right. They find Daryl’s motorcycle hidden in the bushes and take off into the woods where they eventually find him. Glenn tries to talk him out of going after Dwight, but Daryl insists that if he had killed Dwight in the first place, Denise would still be alive. Rosita decides to join forces with Daryl while Glenn and Michonne decide to head back to Alexandria. Except that, just before they reach their car, they are ambushed and taken hostage by Saviors.
Rick and Morgan are still following the blood trail and Morgan decides it’s a good time to start peppering Rick with questions about the time he sent Carol away from the prison for killing Karen and some other long-forgotten person. Morgan asks what Rick would do if Carol did the same thing now. Ricks says, “I would thank her.”
Morgan keeps going, apparently trying to convert Rick to his way of thinking of “all lives are precious” by pointing out that because Rick sent Carol away instead of killing her, she was around to save them all from Terminus. Morgan says, “People can come back.”
They come to a barn on a farm full of walkers, where a man sees them and ducks behind it. Rick yells for him to come out, but he says he’s just looking for his horse and then he takes off, dropping a weapon. Rick tries to shoot him, but Morgan shoves Rick so that he misses, hitting a walker instead. Rick guesses the man must be a Savior because of the spear he was using.
Morgan finally comes clean to Rick about the Wolf he had captured and held in Alexandria. Rick is angry, but Morgan continues with his story, talking about how he had avoided killing the same Wolf out on the road and then he later escaped and took Denise hostage, but then they were overrun by walkers and he saved Denise, so that later that night Denise was alive to save Carl. Morgan’s point is that the Wolf was ultimately redeemed. Never mind the fact that if Morgan had killed the guy out on the road, Alexandria might not have been overrun in the first place…
Morgan decides to set out on his own. He tells Rick he wants to find Carol and that he’ll be back. “But if not, don’t come looking for me.” I’m pretty sure Rick wasn’t planning on it, but he hands Morgan a gun anyway.
Rick goes back to Alexandria alone, but Abraham tells him that Michonne hasn’t come back. Rick is concerned and he and Abraham talk a little bit about allowing themselves to find love in the zombie apocalypse. Abraham basically says he’s not concerned about it because, “I think I’m that much more ready to tear the world a brand new asshole.” He has such a way with words.
Maggie and Enid are hanging out and Maggie asks Enid to cut her hair, which she does. Enid asks why she wanted her hair so short and Maggie basically says that she doesn’t want distractions anymore. And then she screams in pain, grabs her abdomen, and collapses to the floor.
Back in the woods, Daryl and Rosita find Glenn and Michonne, who are tied up. Daryl motions for them to be quiet, but Glenn is obviously trying to get Daryl’s attention. “Hi, Daryl,” says Dwight, holding a gun to his head. Daryl and Rosita lower their weapons and then Dwight’s gun fires, blood splatters everywhere, and as the screen fades to black, Dwight says, “He’ll be all right.”
And that’s how we leave things as we head into the finale.
What did you think? Will Morgan find Carol? Will Rick and Michonne be reunited? And, most importantly, is Daryl really dead?? Be sure to tune in for the season finale next week in which we will find out the answers to all these questions, and finally get a glimpse at the mysterious Negan.