"East" is the fifteenth episode of the sixth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the eighty-second episode of the series overall. It premiered on March 27, 2016 at 9/8c on AMC, and on March 28, 2016 at 9pm on Fox. It was written by Scott Gimple and Channing Powell, and directed by Michael Satrazemis.
Alexandria is alerted after realizing someone is missing. Several search parties will venture out, but what they find isn't what they're hoping for.
A car idles on the road, its windshield shattered by a bullet. Blood drips onto the ground. A woman's voice orders a man to come out. The man says he won't, and after a pause screams. A gunshot rings out.
At home, Carol packs her bag in preparation for leaving Alexandria. She hides her bag when Tobin enters the room. He reminisces about Denise, whom he knew from the start of Alexandria. Carol only pretends to listen.
Later in the night, Carol slips out of the bedroom as Tobin sleeps.
Daryl mounts his motorcycle, clutching the "Dennis" keychain Denise found at the apothecary.
Abraham takes over Sasha's post at the gate. She smiles and hands him a cigar. Rosita watches their exchange.
Rick and Michonne snuggle in bed. Michonne gets dressed so she can help Glenn and Maggie beef up security. She tells Rick Maggie is worried about an attack. Rick assures her they'll be able to handle any remaining Saviors should they attack Alexandria. "The world's ours and we know how to take it," he declares.
Michonne joins Maggie and Glenn outside, where Maggie has collected a bin full of guns. Maggie suggests they create hidden caches of guns throughout the community, to guarantee they'll have weapons in the event of an attack.
Despite Rosita's protests, Daryl opens the front gate and leaves on his motorcycle. Glenn and Michonne go after him, along with Rosita, who claims to know where he's heading.
Tobin shows Carol's farewell note to Rick. They convene with Sasha and Abraham at the gate and deduce Carol took a car and snuck out when the guards changed shift overnight. Rick and Morgan leave to find Carol.
Carol drives down a road and runs into a truck full of armed men – more Saviors – who shoot out her tires. Carol steps out with her hands up. The men interrogate her and reveal that they know of Alexandria's location and perimeter defences. They demand she lead them back to Alexandria. Carol begs them to return home, but when they don't comply, she opens fire with a gun she had hidden in her coat sleeve, killing most of them and dispatching another by impaling him with a spike. After the shootout, she orders a surviving Savior to come out from hiding. He grabs a knife and charges at her.
Maggie stops by the pantry to eat lunch before beginning another shift. Concerned about her fatigue, Enid insists on taking Maggie's shift so Maggie can rest.
Rick and Morgan follow Carol's tire tracks east – the opposite direction of the Saviors' compound Rick's group attacked, Morgan notes. Rick asks why Morgan wants to help find Carol, whom he barely knows. Morgan insists he knows more about Carol than Rick thinks, and admits his world view is not "right", and that there are only wrongs that don't pull you down. Rick stares out the window into the woods.
At the scene of the shootout, another injured Savior staggers out of the truck and surveys the carnage. He hushes the critically injured Savior who attacked Carol, and sees Rick and Morgan approaching.
Rick and Morgan arrive at the scene. They discover Carol's car, but no sign of her. Rick puts Jiro down and notices one of the Hilltop's spears amongst the bodies, correctly deducing the men were Saviors. Uncertain whether she's alive or dead, they follow a trail of blood leading away from the road into a field. Rick comments that the Saviors were dangerously close to Alexandria, and laments that by attacking the Saviors' compound, they hadn't ended the threat as they previously thought. Morgan agrees, stating they "started something" instead. The injured Savior emerges from a hiding spot nearby, grabs Carol's rosary beads from the ground, and follows Rick and Morgan.
Rosita, Glenn, and Michonne arrive at the spot where Dwight killed Denise, in which a walker is now feasting on a Savior's carcass. 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 Dwight escaped, but wonders if they shouldn't let Daryl complete his mission.
Rosita, Glenn, and Michonne catch up to Daryl in the woods. Expressing his fears that something will go wrong, Glenn tries to stop Daryl from going after Dwight, but Daryl refuses to stand down, explaining if he had killed Dwight in the burned-out forest, Denise would still be alive. Rosita decides to join Daryl.
Glenn and Michonne reluctantly turn back. Glenn is worried the Saviors might already be back at Alexandria, and comments that with the Hilltop and the Saviors, the world is bigger than they had ever imagined. Before Michonne and Glenn can reach their vehicle, Dwight and the four surviving Saviors from the previous day, ambush and capture them.
Rick and Morgan follow the blood trail. Morgan notes Rick banished Carol after she killed two of their people back at the prison, and asks what Rick would do if it happened today. Rick says he would thank her or do it himself. Morgan makes the argument because Rick spared Carol's life, she was able to return later and save them at Terminus. "People can come back," Morgan says.
Rick and Morgan encounter an armored man at a farm overrun with walkers, whose supposed inhabitants have been murdered. Rick orders the man to drop his weapon, but he says he's only looking for his horse and flees. Rick fires at the man, but Morgan intervenes. Rick guesses the man was a Savior based on his weapon, but Morgan insists they had no way of knowing who he was.
Morgan confesses to Rick he kept a Wolf captive during the attack on Alexandria. Rick seethes, but Morgan relates how the Wolf later saved Denise from walkers — and Denise then saved Carl. "It's all a circle." he says. "Everything gets a return." Morgan vows to find Carol on his own and tells Rick not to come looking if he doesn't return. Rick hands Morgan a gun.
Rick returns to Alexandria and learns from Abraham Michonne hasn't returned yet. Staring at the gate, the two share their fears over getting close to someone again. But, Abraham says, "I think I'm that much more ready to tear the world a brand new asshole." Rick smiles and nods.
Maggie asks Enid to cut her hair. "I have to keep going," she explains, examining her new look, "and I don't want anything getting in my way." Suddenly, she doubles over in pain. To Enid's shock, Maggie collapses to the floor, screaming.
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. "Hi Daryl," he says. Daryl turns around and is shot. A large amount of blood splatter is seen as Dwight then tells him, "You'll be alright."
- First appearance of Roman.
- First appearance of Daniel.
- First (and last) appearance of Miles.
- First (and last) appearance of Jiro.
- This episode was originally titled "The Calm Before", but was later changed.
- It would've referred to the calm the survivors are having prior to Negan's imminent appearance.
- It would've shared the same title as "Volume 7: The Calm Before" from the comic series, although having nothing to do with its story arc.
- This episode is marked to be around Issue 99 of the Comic Series.
- The title of this episode comes from when Rick points out to Morgan the tire tracks left by Carol's car "were going east."
- The man who was looking for his horse could be considered a nod to the notable comic series survivors from The Kingdom, given his choice of clothing – specifically body armor – and use of a horse for transport.
- The song featured in this episode was "It's All Over" by Johnny Cash.