[WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Tales of The Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 6, “La Doña.”]
Halloween came a little early on Tales of The Walking Dead, as this episode sees two survivors trapped in a haunted house.
Idalia (Daniella Pineda) and Eric (Danny Ramirez) stumble upon La Doña’s home one night as they struggle to survive in the freezing woods. Idalia says they should go inside and see if La Doña will help them — apparently, according to one of their late friends, she was something of a figure of legend among those in the area. But La Doña appears to be very much alive, as a woman is there in the house who’s willing to give them food and shelter. But when Eric demands they be allowed to stay in her home for more than a night, his outburst causes her to choke and then hit her head on the corner of the table, killing her.
That’s where the trouble starts. La Doña may be gone, but as she reminds Idalia through creepy voiceovers, the house is still hers and the land is still hers. This drives a rift between the couple, as Idalia wants to leave while Eric insists they should stay. Slowly, weirder and weirder stuff happens to Idalia; she’s almost strangled by a pair of ghostly hands, she sees a shadowy figure standing over her bed, silver Jesuses on crucifixes climb down from the walls and start to attack her, that kind of thing.
Eric’s convinced it’s all in her head, but then he starts suffering from it, too. He sees a “sleepwalker” that he fully believes is a real person, which Idalia has to put down. That’s when we get the couple’s backstory; apparently, Idalia might or might not have been responsible for killing the woman who told them about La Doña, and Eric and her ended up killing everyone else in their group because of it.
As the episode ends, the house descends into chaos. The windows crack, the ground shakes, and La Doña rises again (perhaps literally, if the scene of her walker emerging from her grave was real) to tell the couple to get out of her house. They skid across the floor and into a mausoleum filled with walkers of the people they killed, and as they struggle on the floor, Eric stabs Idalia. As the camera pans out to show both characters dead on the floor (with not a walker in sight), it’s not abundantly clear what happened. What caused those hallucinations? Did they kill each other, or were they both dead the whole time? We’ll never know.
“La Doña” concludes a rather underwhelming first season for Tales of The Walking Dead. While this episode lands somewhere within the middle of the pack, overall, the season had more lows than highs — and even the finale isn’t immune from a strange sense of “ho-hum”-ness surrounding the whole thing.
Tales never told us much of anything we didn’t already know about the Walking Dead universe, and it relied much too heavily on hallucination storylines. (One might say that’s a sin of the TWD-verse as a whole.) When it was announced, fans had hoped Tales would explore other places and elaborate on what had already been shown in the three(!) other spinoffs. Instead, it felt like in its quest to distinguish itself from the others, Tales has gotten too bogged down by what came before.
Tales of The Walking Dead, all episodes now streaming, AMC Premiere