"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. It was written by Scott Gimple & Channing Powell and directed by Michael Satrazemis.
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. They exchange bites of an apple together. Michonne gets dressed so she can help Glenn and Maggie beef up security. She tells Rick that Maggie is worried about an attack. Rick assures her that they'll be able to handle any remaining Saviors, in the event of an attack. "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, so that during an attack, they'll know where to find weapons, but the enemy won't.
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 that Carol took a car and left out when the guards changed shift during the night. 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. They demand that she exits the car, with her hands up. Carol complies. The men interrogate her from a distance, and reveal that they are aware of Alexandria, its location, and its perimeter defenses. 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
Rick and Morgan follow Carol's tire tracks to the east. Morgan notes that it's opposite the direction of the Saviors' compound. Rick asks why Morgan wants to help find Carol, whom he barely knows. Morgan insists he knows more about Carol than Rick thinks. He goes on to admit that in his worldview, there is no "right". 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 tries to interrogate Jiro about Carol's whereabouts, but he is too weak to be of any use. As he walk around the cars, Rick notices one of the Hilltop's spears among the bodies, and correctly assumes that the men were Saviors. Uncertain whether she's alive or dead, they follow a trail of blood leading away from the road, and into a field. Rick comments that the Saviors were dangerously close to Alexandria, and laments that their attack on the Saviors' compound didn't end the threat, as they previously thought. Morgan agrees, stating that they only "started something". Once they continue on, the injured Savior emerges from his hiding spot. He grabs Carol's rosary beads from the ground, and starts following Rick and Morgan.
Rosita, Glenn, and Michonne arrive at the spot where Dwight killed Denise. A walker is feasting on one of the dead Saviors. They find Daryl's motorcycle hidden underneath some branches, confirming Rosita's hunch that he came back to kill Dwight. Glenn asks Rosita which direction Dwight was headed in when he escaped, but Rosita seems distant and doesn't answer. Once Glenn gets her attention, she suggests that they should let Daryl complete his mission. Glenn insists otherwise, so Rosita points him toward the woods.
Rosita, Glenn, and Michonne catch up to Daryl. Expressing his fear that something will go wrong, Glenn tries to stop Daryl from going after Dwight. However, Daryl refuses to stand down. He explains that if he had killed Dwight in the burned-down 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. He comments that with the Hilltop and the Saviors, the world is bigger than they had ever imagined. They are just about to reach their vehicle, when Dwight and the four other Saviors (who survived the previous day's attack on their compound) 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, fighting off walkers. 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, who sneaks 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, but 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.
- The title of the episode, "East", comes from when Rick points out to Morgan the tire tracks left by Carol's car "were going east".
- The original title for the episode was "The Calm Before".
- 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.
- Instead, "The Calm Before" was the title given to the penultimate episode in Season 9.
- The song featured in this episode was "It's All Over" by Johnny Cash.