Alexandria just can’t keep their doctors alive can they? The introduction of a medic in Hilltop probably should have rang some alarm bells about the precariousness of Denise’s chances of survival, but I honestly did not expect her to meet her demise in ‘Twice as Far’. Plus an arrow through the eye was quite the way to go! It’s a little ironic really, that the woman who saved Carl after his eye was shot out should lose her life from a mortal wound in a similar manner. It is a shame for her to leave the show so soon, especially since she was developing so much as a character after the whole Wolf-hostage situation, but I guess that nobody is ever safe in The Walking Dead.
Her death, however, means that Abraham was spared from dying in the same way as his comic-book counterpart. Scott Gimple has expressed many times in the past that he regretted killing off the character so early in the comics and I suppose that the television show has given him a second chance to expand upon this fan-favourite. That is unless this is all a misdirection so that Abraham can take Glenn’s place when it’s time for Negan to make his grand entrance. Either way, it looks like we’ve still got our favourite ginger badass for at least a little bit longer.
Speaking of Abraham, however, some of the better moments in ‘Twice as Far’ come from his interactions with Eugene. Who would have thought that Eugene would have to prove his newfound independence so soon after his argument with Abraham by biting onto anaother dude’s junk? As ridiculous as this sounds, it was actually pretty heroic of Eugene to attack an armed man like that in order to save his friends. When he blew Abraham’s cover, many of us thought that he was reverting back to his cowardly ways, but this was all a part of a larger distraction tactic that just went to show that Eugene’s intellectualism does have its benefits in the line of battle. He has undergone a lot of character development throughout his time on the show and this inevitably has destabilised the protector-protected dynamic that he had with Abraham. Coming out of the other side of ‘Twice as Far’, the two seem to see each other more as equals and there is definitely a stronger sense of mutual respect. This all resulted in what was probably the funniest line in the series so far: “You knew how to bite a dick, Eugene. I mean that with utmost respect.” Classic Abraham.
One criticism about ‘Twice as Far’, however, is how the paralleling ‘proving-themselves’ storylines of Denise and Eugene this week made the former’s death seem somewhat pointless. Eugene actually had a purpose to be out of Alexandria, he was locating the factory where he could come to manufacture bullets, but Denise really didn’t. Sure she wanted to prove that she wasn’t frightened of the outside world, but who in their right mind would think that it’d be okay to let the settlement’s only doctor risk her life for such a petty reason? Especially after the aftermath of Pete’s death showing just how vital medical knowledge is in the post-apocalyptic world. Eugene came across as a badass, whereas Denise just seemed whiny. Maybe that’s why she had to finish off her childish rant even after she’d been shot…