TV Show Review

TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD: Season 6, Episode 6: Always Accountable [AMC]

Norman Reedus Christine Evangelista Austin Amelio The Walking Dead Always Accountable

AMC’s The Walking Dead Always Accountable TV Show ReviewThe Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 6: ‘Always Accountable,’ made it official: season 6 has gone into ‘message in a bottle episode’ mode. We saw this last season, and not everyone appreciated the break in momentum; but that break did set up for some pretty dramatic (if not traumatic) turns – and considering we’ve already had something of a history repeat, a bottle episode like this one suggests a pretty Bad Moon on the rise.

Of course, we still have to get there; and getting there, for the Walker herd wrangler team, meant ditching the herd, and getting back to Alexandria. A more ‘civilized’ complication left Sasha & Abraham (Sonequa Martin-Green, Michael Cudlitz) cut off from Daryl (Norman Reedus) – the former left forced to hold up, on site, while the latter found himself, wounded & on foot, wandering into a whole other drama in progress. This involved a scorched stretch of woods, some gentile gunmen, and a trio of wild-eyed whippersnappers named Dwight (Austin Amelio), Sherry (Christine Evangelista), and Tina (Liz E. Morgan). Frankly, I wasn’t sure whether I should’ve even bothered to note their names… but, meh – it was something to do, while Sasha & Abraham continued their role reversal thing.

There seemed to be a lot of convenience to this episode, and much of that handed to Sasha & Abraham’s element. Come to think of it, the whole role reversal thing has become one convenient means of having Sasha reconcile her season 5 dark spell, to then act as a mirror for Abe’s turn. Off course, literally facing your inner darkness goes further than a lecture, on this show, and convenience allowed Abe to do just that. Captive Walker, to test his impulse control: check; that Walker turning out be a military man, providing an alternative avenue of pride: check; oddly overlooked cache of RPGs, and a precariously hung Walker, sporting the launcher – clearly meant to bait Abe into doing something revealingly stupid: check; the universe rewarding his epiphany with the efficiency of gravity (and a co-operative shoulder sling): check; Sasha not promptly going for the nut-shot, at his Alpha-male conclusion to it all: check-your-mate.

For some reason, the thought of there being more, to Rosita warming up to Spencer, bugs me a little; but I won’t lie, the subject of monogamy & other sexual practices, under survivalist conditions, is one I kind of hoped the show would take up – and Alexandria is as good a place as any to address it. No tears for Rosita just yet, folks (or hate, for Alpha Abe, for that matter). At the very least, this turn left us with something to show, for all that role reversal cross-catharsis.

I suspect this was all done just for the sake of getting things done & out of the way; but it did make for an uneven story. Even with some of that Sashraham convenience spilling over to his side of the story, to wrap up the episode, Daryl’s short stint as Scout leader was the notably better half.

Frankly, I’ve been wary of fresh new faces being anything other than bait or Red Shirts, since season 4 (remember why Carol got exiled?), and the jury was left out, concerning these three. All that soot did not make for a convincing trio of Roadies, so it was plain they were fresh out of a community; but the episode still played the fog-of-war angle – implying they were as much in on the initial ambush, as they thought Daryl was part of the community they were escaping. Thus, the name of the game was Exercise in Trust: Road Edition. Once the matter of who had the higher ground (by being the more trusting would-be sucker) was set aside, much of this element was devoted to piecing together just what these babes-in-the-woods where about, from, and up to (though I recommend you don’t get too caught up in the ‘Patty’ thing). Some of that was clarified by the ambushers forcing them into a mutual survival scenario; but from there, it was mostly Daryl hanging back to see if any merit badges would be earned.

Tina forgot the part about “if you see something, say something,” but really, I think Daryl should’ve at least had some insight on what the risks were (having lain with active fire-roasted Walkers, earlier). In any case, one wash-out, on the Rick-to-err-scale, seemed as good a reason as any for Daryl to apply ‘the test’ to Dwight.

Not everyone is qualified to answer; but not everyone is qualified to ask, either. Somebody’s gonna regret this crossing of paths. For the moment, it’s Daryl; but there may be a lot of pain coming, behind Dwight & Sherry.

The lengths taken to keep the pursuers’ heads out of view, was likely an effort to keep Wolves under consideration (including obscuring the forehead of the one guy whose face we did see). If that were the case, I’d call it a wasted effort. Too well armed, too motorized, too organized, too… civilized, really. No, they were something else; and unless the showrunners plan on springing some sort of Revenge of Terminus angle on us, I’m thinking the Saviors are now in play.

That would be a pretty important note, to pull out of a bottle episode; as it would officially launch a countdown to some anticipated source moments, on one hand, while likely leading to some major twist, regarding how the show will probably change such moments. For those reasons, alone, I’m willing to indulge the Sashraham catharses, and annoyingly panicked noobs. It was all part of a picture only just coming into focus.

We are running out of film, though. These last minute pauses, to let someone else into the shot, have to stop, and the shot taken. I’m sure many of you would agree; but I’m not sure you’re going to like that final pic, once it’s taken.

On one final note: a call for help, from a garbled walkie signal, was clearly a Rorschach dog whistle. The showrunners are playing with your theories & hopes, people. I have no intention of knee-jerking over the bait – particularly with the show’s potentially Baddest Moon on the rise – but then….

“Maybe I’m stupid, too.”

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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