Well, that was certainly a tough one wasn’t it? I don’t ever recall an episode of The Walking Dead where I had to turn away from a death scene. Tonight, I turned away twice. And even though we lost two characters tonight I do have to say that it is probably one of my favorites of the series thus far. I liked how the focus wasn’t on just one story. There were five different arcs woven into one episode and it didn’t feel rushed or jarring- it actually flowed. There was character development, death, walkers, explosions, actions that pushed the story forward, and cookies. Seems like a pretty well-rounded hour to me.
Let’s break up the recap by story line this week as opposed to the usual chronological order!
We only get one small scene of Daryl, but he’s on a motorcycle looking like a complete bad ass. He’s leaving Alexandria with Aaron to go and scout for more potential residents. We don’t see him again this episode.
Rick and Carol (Alexandria Safe Haven)
Rick wasn’t at the center of the action this week, which was a nice reprieve. Sometimes it’s good to take the main character out of the equation and let the others shine. I’m looking at you Glenn! As the town constable, Rick is wandering around looking for something to do when he comes across Jesse whose owl sculpture has once again been destroyed. Rick tells her that he will ask around and try to figure out who the culprit is.
I couldn’t help but giggle a little bit at this. It reminded me of a “case of the week” TV trope. Like every week Rick will have a new case to solve in Alexandria with the help of his psycho sidekick, Carol- who is probably the one that committed the crime anyway.
Speaking of Carol, she gets a visit from Sam. You remember Sam… the boy she threatened to have murdered by walkers if he told anyone about her stealing guns. Sam isn’t there to cause any trouble though. He just wants the cookies that she promised him after her threat. Carol wants nothing to do with Sam. I’m not sure if it’s stemming from the fact that she doesn’t want to connect with anyone in Alexandria just in case things go south or if it’s because she does not want to have any more relationships with children after Sophia, Lizzie, and Mika.
All of her efforts to get rid of the kid fail and she agrees to bake him the cookies if he steals some chocolate from the town pantry. She is so emotionally distant from Sam and her overall maternal instincts in general that she does not even care if he gets caught or anything in the process.
While they are baking, Sam tries to make some conversation with Carol, which she adamantly ignores until he asks her why she was stealing the guns. She looks at him and simply says that she wants to protect herself. Sam asks her if he could have a gun too, insinuating that he has something he needs to protect himself from as well.
When asking him why he would need a gun, Sam shuts down, leaving Carol to allow her gut feelings to take over. She has experienced this before. Something is going down at Sam’s home. She suspects that his father is abusive. Carol also learned that Sam was the one who broke the owl sculpture. Just like Carol bakes to calm down, Sam likes to break stuff when he is upset.
Meanwhile, Rick gets a brief visit from Pete, who is Jessie’s husband and Sam’s father. It’s the middle of the day but he is clearly wasted. He claims that it is just a friendly visit but his ulterior motives aren’t invisible. He may as well have brought Jessie over and peed on her. It’s an intense conversation where he tells Rick to bring Carl and Judith in for a checkup. There are two red flags here. Number 1 is that you’re reminded this douchebag is the only doctor in town and number 2 is that he probably is not always sober when performing his medical duties.
It’s a very tense conversation and ends with Pete basically telling Rick that they have no other option but to be friends. You can almost see all of Rick’s hairs standing up. He is on full alert with this guy and after last week where he was almost ready to shoot Pete from across the street, things are not looking good for these passive aggressive bros.
After a brief encounter with Pete while looking for Jessie, Carol has also come to final conclusion. She finds Rick and tells him that Pete is hitting Sam and probably Jessie too. She tells Rick that there is only one option here…he is going to have to kill Pete.
Now, I love Carol but does anyone else think that she’s becoming a little too extreme? It’s like she believes the only option is to kill someone. Couldn’t they arrest him or exile him or even investigate?! He is the only doctor. You can’t just go around killing the one person that is a necessity in this environment. We aren’t sure if Rick agrees to her plan but the way that he’s been feeling Jessie lately I’m sure he will be pretty on board.
Abraham (Construction site)
Abraham has a new mission now. He is part of the construction team that is building a new wall in order to expand the community. So him and the rest of the construction crew, including Tobin who Carol met in the pantry last week, are out collecting supplies from an abandoned mall site.
Things are going well until Abe notices a flock of birds flying away. This just goes to show how impressive the instincts are of Rick’s group that has been out on the road for so long. He knows that something must’ve startled those birds. He takes a second to himself to prepare and then turns around right as a herd of walkers comes out of the forest.
We learned during this scene (and also later in Glenn’s story) that the Alexandrian’s don’t really believe too much in loyalty for their own people. They’re more of a ding-dong ditch kind of gang. When Tobin accidentally hits a cord that sends their lookout tumbling down from the tractor bucket she was in he does nothing. Even as walkers begin to encroach on her, Tobin and his men begin to retreat. This completely infuriates Abraham who takes off to go save the woman, who turns out to be a spunky woman named Francine.
Abraham kicks some walker ass with a smile on his face and manages to save Francine. Once the attack is over Francine punches Tobin for trying to leave her to die. Tobin makes the call to take the rest of the day, go back to Alexandria, and start back up tomorrow. Abraham is on a mission though. He wants to build this wall. There are three hours of daylight left and they are going to stay and finish their day of work. Things like that happen all of the time outside the walls and it can’t affect anything. Life goes on.
This leadership send Tobin to Deanna to relinquish his position as head of the construction detail. He thinks that Abraham’s bravery and personality is much more equipped for what they’re doing than he is. Maggie beams with pride next to Deanna who is becoming more aware that Rick’s group is slowly taking over all aspects of her town. Maggie kindly reminds her that that’s why Deanna wanted them there in the first place.
Glenn, Tara, Noah, Eugene, Aidan, Nicholas (On the Road/Supply Run)
This is by far the most important and heartbreaking story line of the night for many of the characters. The after effects of this supply run will affect the characters involved in either a positive and negative way.
The group is heading out to find some supplies that will help Eugene expand and improve the power grid. While Eugene fights tooth and nail to get out of the run, he is ultimately forced to go so he can help find the necessary parts and maybe find a little bit of courage too. The group takes off in a van while blasting dub step. Yes, dub step has survived the apocalypse. They turn the music up as a means to lure any creeping walkers away from Alexandria.
It seems that Glenn and Aidan have found some sort of common ground because when they get to the warehouse Aidan appears to be letting Glenn take the lead. I don’t blame him. Glenn is the master of supply runs and has really never failed any mission that he’s been on. The boys go and check for wandering walkers while Tara tries to convince Eugene that he really needs to step up.
Eugene thinks that he’s the one that got them to Alexandria since DC was his idea but she promptly reminds him that they were the ones that got him to Alexandria. He needs to stop being such a coward and start pulling his weight.
Glenn, Noah, Aidan, and Nicholas believe that all of the walkers are stuck behind a gate and they are safe to quickly wander around and look for the component that they need. Of course though, there are a few straggler walkers lollygagging around that they need to put down along the way. One however is in a full body armor and Aidan is unable to get a head shot. Having no experience with this like our group he panics and begins shooting everywhere at the walker.
Glenn notices that the walker has a grenade on him and just as he shouts for Aidan to stop shooting the grenade goes off. Explosion!
Things are not looking too good for the group after we return from commercial break. Aidan was thrown back and is pinned to a shelf by shrapnel, presumed dead. Tara was knocked out and is lying on the ground with a massive bleeding head wound. When a walker comes toward her Glenn yells for Eugene to take it out. He fails and Glenn has to come and save the day. Meanwhile, Aidan is miraculously alive and starts calling for help. To make matters worse the explosion released the walkers behind the gate.
Glenn and Noah’s first instincts are to save him. They actually have to beg Nicholas to come help who already had one foot out the door. Classic Alexandrian. They try but can’t get Aidan off of the shrapnel. Nicholas takes off and Aidan tells Glenn not to leave him. He also tells Glenn that him and Nicholas were the reasons they lost the 4 members of their last group. They panicked and ran away to leave their team to suffer and die.
Noah grabs Glenn at the last second and they leave Aidan to be eaten by walkers. This was an extremely gruesome death and also extremely long. The camera panned up and we watched as the walkers tore into his body as Aidan writhed in pain, clearly still lucid enough to understand and feel what was happening. We saw about a good 30 -40 seconds of just that. I had to look away.
The group takes refuge in an old office to plan their next moves. With Tara unconscious that leaves a huge liability and a huge time crunch. She needs to get to the drunk doctor stat. Eugene says that he will stay with Tara so the guys can get out and try to find another exit. After a matter of time Eugene takes things into his own hands. He throws Tara over his shoulder and becomes the hero we knew he could be. He takes out any walkers in his path and makes his way out to the van to go and find the other men.
Meanwhile, the three of them are trapped in a revolving door with huge amounts of walkers on both sides. Noah and Glenn are in one panel with Nicholas in the one next to them. They are using all of their strength to keep the walkers from pushing it one direction or the other. Just in the nick of time Eugene shows up with the dub-step blasting van and lures the walkers away from one side of the door, giving the guys the freedom to flee that way.
Glenn tells the guys to hold tight as he tries to break the glass so they could all three escape. However, being the punk that he is, Nicholas finds an opening and flees leaving Glenn and Noah helpless to the strength of the walkers. This severely pissed me off. Glenn would have been able to get all three of them out. I just know it. These Alexandrian’s have A LOT to learn.
Thanks to Nicholas the walkers were able to find an opening and get a hold of Noah’s leg. In this moment Noah, Glenn, the walkers, and us all know that Noah is a goner. There’s no way he can get out of this situation. Right before he gets pulled out all of the way he tells Glenn not to let go.
He knows he’s dead though so he isn’t talking about Glenn not letting go of him. He’s telling Glenn not to let go of hope. Or the idea that they can have a future. Not to let go of his humanity and the person that he is. And then, just like that he is pulled away leaving Glenn alone in the revolving door.
Remember how I said I had to turn away twice? Noah is thrown up against the glass door and the look on his face deserves some sort of recognition. It was haunting. Glenn is then forced to sit there and watch Noah get eaten. They tear is face off and it’s the most gruesome death we have seen on the show thus far.
Both actors did a phenomenal job in this scene. The fear present on Noah’s face is incredible and the utter destruction on Glenn’s as he is forced to watch his friend die is horrific. Glenn has never lost a man under his watch and tonight he lost two. This supply run will have long-term repercussions for him for sure.
Nicholas tries to take out Eugene after he realizes that something is up when Nicholas returns solo. Glenn shows up and beats Nicholas unconscious. He could have killed him and probably wanted to but I think that Noah’s words echoed in his head and he had Eugene put him in the back of the truck. They quickly make their way back to town.
Gabriel (Loserland being horrible)
Father Gabriel is so annoying! Basically, at the end of the episode he goes over to Deanna’s house and tells her that Rick’s group is full of bad people and that she shouldn’t have let them in. He tells her that they’ve done things…bad things.
Deanna tells him that Rick told her all of this. They had to survive and she knows they have done some things they weren’t proud of. Gabriel continues though, telling her that they are dangerous and “the day will come when they put their own lives before yours and everyone else’s. And they will destroy everything here.” Unfortunately for the group Glenn is on his way back right now without her son.
Luckily for the group though, Maggie overheard the whole thing and will hopefully tell Rick what Gabriel has done. Is this guy so obtuse that he doesn’t realize that Rick’s group saved his life? That they were trapped in train cars about to be eaten? That those same people that wanted to eat them cut off their friends leg and ate it? They invaded his church and tried to kill Rick’s children? I’m sorry Garbiel but you are the bad person- who by the way had his entire parish eaten by walkers.