TV Review: The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 6 “Always Accountable” (USA, 2015)

As the big mystery surrounding Glenn continues to linger in the minds of viewers, impatience is inevitable when confronted with a slower character-focused episode which takes us far away from the answers we all crave and focuses in on other parts of the now scattered plan from the season premiere. Last week’s “Now” was a stumble in what has so far been one of the most thrilling seasons The Walking Dead has delivered, explicitly and aggressively pushing lead characters into the background so we could focus on the relatively dull Alexandrians; “Always Accountable” at least pulls us in with stronger and more established characters, but similar pitfalls present themselves here.

The episode starts off strongly enough and reinforces the idea that there are other conflicts and encampments out there as Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham, fresh from their walker-herding mission, unwittingly drive into another group’s territory. A car chase kick starts the cold opening and we are left with Sasha/Abraham separate from Daryl, who finds himself in some kind of burnt forest area.

Sasha and Abraham hole up in in a nearby town and get to scavenging, strangely enough jumping into the “we could live here” talk we haven’t seen since Tyreese and Carol (and those two ill-fated kids) ended up in an abandoned cottage back in season 4. It seems strange that Abraham would abandon the thought of rejoining with Rick’s group almost instantly, but that moment of character clashing is made up with the beautiful, subtle interplay between Sasha and Abraham. Abraham needed that quietness to have his reckless impatience dug into by the now level-headed Sasha, and Michael Cudlitz does a terrific job portraying his character’s moment of clarity and the reveal that he runs from responsibility/choices; also, “loose ends make my ass itch”.

The off-shot arc was still all over the place though, as the writer’s found a way to – hilariously – have Abraham awkwardly ask Sasha if she wanted to start a relationship with him. It’s a confusing change to both characters, especially with Sasha’s non-committal “okay, but sort yourself out” response, and I’m not quite sure it’s the best way to go seeing as the show has all but completely given up on giving Rosita any sort of role.

Abraham’s unique way of getting to the point bears a striking resemblance to Eugene’s. Both characters have trouble expressing themselves in a more direct manner, but where Eugene opts for the awkward, science-geek psychobabble, Abraham overloads us with machismo and hilarious zingers. Watching Sasha quietly cut through this machismo was brilliant, as was the resulting awakening when Abraham was out finding supplies and screaming in a walker’s face, right before it hilariously fell to the ground and left behind a rocket launcher.

Daryl’s journey was often just as confusing, with him getting captured by three fairly dull survivors who have seemingly run from their obligations to another group. The younger woman was named Tina but the other two – the older woman and the man – were unnamed for the entire episode. These three getting the jump on Daryl seemed like a bit of stretch considering what we know of the effective, careful tracker; even worse was the betrayal at the very end where the man and woman (minus Tina, who was bitten and killed) once again jack Daryl, stealing his crossbow and motorbike – the two items which have defined the character for years.

At least the purpose of this arc is the introduce us to a new group of people who are likely to become a bigger threat further in this season, especially since we now know that the character of Negan has been cast – and comic book readers will know just how big of a deal that is.

Although we were treated to a nice amount of tension as the faceless villains search for the three deserters (+ Daryl), them retreating just because one of them was bitten (and had his arm swiftly chopped off) didn’t make much sense, especially if the show is going to be pushing this as Negan’s group, in which case they should be relentless and aggressive.

So the most significant things to come out of “Always Accountable” is that there is going to be a very substantial addition to the weapons cachet at Alexandria, Daryl has been stripped of his two favourite things, and Abraham and Sasha may end up in a relationship.

Also, the mystery leading out of this episode is who utters “help” on the other end of that walkie when Daryl is trying to get in touch with Rick. Many initially assumed it was Glenn saying “help” but, if you watch it again, that is clearly not Glenn’s voice (unfortunately).

Review Score: THREE STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Highlights:

  • Daryl lures one of the villains into a walker, getting him bitten
  • Sasha gets through to Abraham
  • We now have ROCKET LAUNCHERS

Lowlights:

  • Both arcs presenting confusing characterisations
  • The group of three Daryl runs into were dull
  • The supposed villains retreat so easily

Stray Thoughts:

  • That was DEFINITELY not Glenn’s voice asking for help at the end, so who was it? My guess is Tobin since he also had a walkie as part of the season premiere plan.  Alternatively it may be someone who has rescued Glenn somehow.
  • Sasha is definitely comic book Andrea.
  • Is that a fuel truck as well that they are now driving back to Alexandria? Fuel truck + rocket launcher = solution.

Episode MVP:  Abraham (for finding those rockets!) and for Michael Cudlitz’s very fine acting.

The Walking Dead airs on FX in Australia every Monday at 1:30pm and 7:30pm

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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.