This episode opens lazily, with serene shots of the days passing without incident and Fake Doctor opening the storage garage repeatedly.
“Gee, it sure is boring here today,” says Rick.
“Mah boy, this peace is something all true warriors strive for!” points out Daryl.
Fake Doctor may be a fake doctor, but she knows any doctor needs medicine even if she can’t tell what all the labels mean. And they’re running low. …..You know, just for this one last time, let’s call her by her name, why not. You’ll see what I mean by “last time.”
Denise mentions when she was once driving around, she noticed a strip mall business that says “Edison’s Apothecary and Boutique” on the sign. “If it’s really an apothecary, there should be medicine inside,” she concludes. Daryl mentions the possibility that it might’ve been plundered already, but agrees to check it out. He, Fake Doctor and Rosita head one way while Abraham and Eugene head another.
What are Abe and Eugene doing? They’re trying to figure out what to do about the bullet situation. They’re aware that there’s only a finite number of rounds in the immediate area, and once they’re gone, they could be open for attack. Eugene says there’s a simple solution: he can make his own bullets with the materials and equipment in this metalwork shop. Abe is skeptical, but Eugene is an enigma: he could very well have the talent to pull that off. He’s willing to give Eugene a chance.
Daryl, Rosita and Denise arrive at the apothecary, and as they’ve learned to do, knock on the doors to see if any inside Walkers will be alerted to the noise. When none appear to be, they carefully and cautiously pry open the doors.
Inside they find a ton of cheesy tourist-trap knickknacks covered in dust….but they do find a pharmacy located in the back, just as Fake Doctor suspected. And the shelves are stuffed with medicine! Rosita wonders if they should take multiple trips, but Daryl insists they get it all now.
Suddenly they hear a noise coming from someplace in the building, which means there’s at least one Walker about. Daryl and Rosita go off someplace, but Denise is the one who finds the direction the noise is coming from. She’s tired of being useless and is looking for a chance to make her first zombie slay. But does she have the courage?
Maybe she should have picked a different circumstance; the place she’s stepping into here is pretty much a haunted house. Everything is pitch black and only illuminated by her flashlight. Photos of someone with children, then stuff written on the walls in red, then one Walker on the floor with no jawbone and a broken leg. Then evidence that this person drowned his kid in the sink. Denise immediately flees.
The three start heading back. Walking along a railroad track next to some abandoned cars, Denise notices a cooler inside one of them, guarded by one Walker. She sees a second chance to earn a courage medal from the Wizard. “Hey, there…there might be something in that cooler there, do you think we should get it?” “We don’t need it, let’s move,” insists Daryl.
But Denise, unwilling to give up, runs over to the car with her knife out and physically pulls the Walker out of the backseat. I had heard a rumor that Fake Doctor was going to die this week, and I figured this was how she’d go. For a minute it seemed that way, but Denise finally gained the upper hand in the struggle and stabbed the zombie in the head. Then she took ONE soda from the cooler, claiming it as her reward.
They’re furious with her for risking her life like that. Denise shouts back that she’s tired of being useless and tired of running, that from this day forward there’s going to be a NEW Denise and THEY BETTER GET USED TO IT, AND—
THERE it is.
She’s actually so worked up that she continues her verbal beatdown for a few words AFTER her brain has been skewered, before finally collapsing onto the train tracks.
Who attacked them? It’s that guy from Daryl’s solo episode earlier in the season, and he just used Daryl’s crossbow to kill Denise! Remember when he seemed to be a good guy? He’s pretty much a psycho now. He has Eugene as prisoner, and he’s wagering Eugene’s life to get what he wants: access to Alexandria, all their food storage and some of their women.
Eugene briefly glances to the side and notices Abraham hiding behind some barrels, waiting for a moment to strike. Confident with the knowledge that there’s still a chance to be saved, Eugene…..
…..immediately spills the beans. “There’s some guy over there, hiding behind those barrels and he’s gonna shoot you!” Apparently Eugene did this because he and Abe were fighting earlier, but wow, that’s some stupid. I’m constantly impressed by the willingness of these people to NEVER let anything go even when they’re about to die. Of course Eugene has the excuse of being relatively dumb. When Roy tried to shoot Carl in the middle of ten thousand Walkers he had no excuse at all.
What they don’t know is that Eugene has his OWN backup plan! The Eugene-iest backup plan of all time:
While everyone’s….distracted, Abraham makes his move and begins shooting. The others fight back and run for cover, then start spitting lead too. A major gunfight ensues, Walkers are attracted and are shot, Eugene is cowering in the worst hiding place ever while bullets fly around him…..finally all the bad guys are dead and Daryl can reclaim his crossbow.
It’s too late for Denise, but they can still save Eugene, who was grazed by a bullet. They carry him back to Alexandria, where they find…
CAROL IS GONE! Holy Cliffhanger! She left because she couldn’t take having to kill one more person. So, logic would follow, she must leave out into the unprotected wilderness full of zombies and shoot-first hunters, all alone, where….she’s not going to have to kill anyone anymore….okay, maybe this is just dementia setting in.
They’re going to have to look for Carol now, but they’ll most likely find a different female, made of wood and covered in barbed wire, attached to the hand of an arrogant swearing man. If you didn’t like this episode, things are about to get better.