Thursday, April 7, 2016

Preparedness Review of The Walking Dead Episode 615: East


Episode 615: East


Morgan:  What I believe, I'm not right. There is no right. There's just the wrong that doesn't pull you down."

Synopsis:  Carol encounters Saviors on the road, and kills most of them before fleeing on foot.   Her absence is discovered, and Rick and Morgan go out to find her.   Meanwhile, Daryl rolls out on his bike to track and kill D, the Savior who killed Denise.   Rosita, Glenn, and Michonne go after him.  They try to talk him out of his pursuit, but he walks off, and so does Rosita, who also blames herself for the doctor's murder.   Glen and Michonne are captured by Saviors.  Rick and Morgan track Carol to a farm area where they encounter a man beset by walkers.  He leaves behind a spear like the ones made by the Hilltop.  Morgan tells Rick to head back while he continues the search.  Maggie has Enid cut her hair, but begins suffering abdominal pain.  Daryl and Rosita infiltrate the camp where Glenn and Michonne are being held, but D surprises them from behind and shoots Daryl.

Carol hits the road and kills some Saviors.
The plot contrivances of previous episode come back to haunt us in East, where the death of Denise and Carol's crisis of conscience split the group and make them easy pickings for the Saviors.  We open on a car idling on the road with a bullet-smashed windshield and blood dripping on the pavement. Carol has left Alexandria, and has encountered a group of Saviors in a pickup truck. She tries to play dumb, but they know her car, with it's stakes pointed outward to trap walkers, came from the entrance to Alexandria, and tell her the town is only 12 miles away. It's clear the Saviors have been conducting a thorough reconnaissance of the settlement. She asks them to let her go but they tell her no, and she kills most of them with a gun hidden in her sleeve.   She tracks who she believes is the last survivor, who attacks her with a knife.  She shoots him and flees on foot.

Back in Alexandria, Rick and Michonne snuggle in bed.  Michonne gets dressed so that she can help Glenn and Maggie improve security.   She tells him Maggie is worried about an attack, but Rick is confident they can repel the Saviors.

Pride goeth before the fall.

Michonne joins Maggie and Glenn outside, where Maggie has collected part of their arsenal.   She suggests they disperse the weapons in caches only they know about to guarantee weapons access in case of an attack.  That way, the Saviors can't do to them what they did to the Saviors -- lock down their armory and prevent them from defending themselves.

HALLELUJAH!!!!  Someone has seen the light!

Daryl approaches the gates on his motorcycle.   He is going out to extract revenge on D for Denise's death.   Rosita tries to stop him, but he leaves anyway.  Glenn, Rosita, and Michonne drive after him, with Rosita leading them to the site of the ambush.

Tobin shows Carol's farewell note to Rick.  They confer with Sasha and Abraham at the gate and realize Carol took one of the cars recently placed to guard against walkers the day before, probably when the guard shift changed.   Rick and Morgan grab a car and pursue her.

Later, Maggie stops by the pantry to eat lunch before beginning a guard shift.  Enid offers to cover her shift so she can rest.  Enid hands her a jar of pickles as she leaves.

At the scene of Carol's shootout, a Savior survivor stumbles out of the truck and hides as Morgan and Rick approach.  They find Carol's tracks and set off for her on foot after stashing the car.   The wounded Savior follows behind them at a distance.

Rosita, Glenn and Michonne arrive at the spot where Dwight killed Denise. They find Daryl’s motorcycle hidden underneath some branches, confirming Rosita’s hunch that Daryl came back to kill Dwight. Rosita points in the direction that Dwight escaped, but wonders if they shouldn’t let just let him go and do what he needs to do.  They catch up to Daryl in the woods, but Daryl won't listen.  Rosita decides to join him, and the move off in pursuit of Daryl.  Glenn and Michonne turn back, but in the midst of holding a discussion in the middle of a forest filled with bad guys (because that is a good thing to do)  they are captured by D's Savior crew.

Daryl is on the warpath.
Rick and Morgan discuss Carol.  Morgan tells him he knows that he banished Carol at the prison for murdering two people, and how he would handle the issue today. Rick says he would thank her.  Morgan points out she was able to save the group at Terminus, and that people can come back.  They encounter a man at a farm swarmed with walkers in makeshift body armor, looking for his horse.  They try to question him, but he runs off.  Rick takes a shot, but Morgan spoils his aim.  Morgan tells him to go back and he will continue the search.   He confesses to the events regarding the wounded Wolf he captured at Alexandria, and that the Wolf later saved Denise, and Denise was able to save Carl.

Of course, if he hadn't taken Denise to treat the Wolf and just killed the dude in the first place, Denise would never have been in danger, but that way lies the madness of actual logic as opposed to Hollywood plot logic.

Someone is about to get an ouchie.
Rick returns to Alexandria to learn the party that pursued Daryl has not yet returned.   Maggie asks Enid to help her cut her hair, but collapses in pain as she is finishing.   They need to get her to Denise ... oh, wait.  They can't.  She will have to go to the doctor at the Hilltop, right as the Saviors are closing in on Alexandria.

In the woods, Daryl and Rosita creep up on the Saviors’ camp where Glenn and Michonne are being held. Glenn tries to scream a warning to Daryl through his gag, but Daryl is caught off-guard by Dwight sneaking up behind him. Dwight has a gun trained on Daryl’s back. He shoots Daryl. Blood sprays across the screen, with Daryl's fate left uncertain.  The fate of Carol is also left unsettled.

Preparedness Discussion

The overconfidence of Team Rick is its undoing, in the end.   They have become so accustomed to beating the odds that they really cannot conceive of losing or being beaten.  The Saviors are surrounding Alexandria, and are tightening the noose at every turn.  Rick still has no idea of the size and disposition of the forces he faces.   I feel this is going to bite them in the collective rear during the season finale as it does here.  While Daryl and Rosita move stealthily through the woods in combat mode, Glenn and Michonne do not and it gets them captured.   Survival situations are a full-time proposition.   You have to maintain your focus completely, especially if hostile forces are nearby.

Daryl never should have left.  Denise is dead.  He cannot change that.  He can help protect the others, but instead goes off on a rather selfish revenge errand, and pulls Rosita along with him.   Likewise, I question whether Rick should have pursued Carol. She wanted to leave and they have other priorities.

Finally, everyone is seriously underestimating the Saviors.   They have now managed to successfully ambush our heroes three times, killing one and taking four others hostage.  The crew taking Carol went down for the count, but all in all, the Saviors have numbers, and the Alexandrians do not.  Further, the Saviors have proven they are not above torture and murder to achieve their ends.   That means the four captives are now bargaining chips to use against Rick.

Preparedness Lessons for Episode 615:

  • Don't overestimate your abilities, or underestimate your opponent's abilities.
  • If faced with a potential attack, consolidate your numbers and your position to maximize the potential for success. 
  • Don't put all your eggs in one basket when it comes to supplies.  Cache critical supplies as discussed in previous reviews in several locations to prevent a catastrophic loss.

Next week:  They have to get Maggie to Hilltop, and Negan makes his entrance with Lucille.

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