“You’re Still Here”
Alicia studies another painted tree and wonders aloud where the person who wrote it is. Walkers appear and she refuses to kill it, but thankfully Strand saves her at the last second. Shaken, Alicia apologizes but he tells her he should have been closer. She looks back at the tree’s message and asks Strand, “You ever get the feeling the universe is trying to tell you something?”
Later, Alicia adds the tree’s location on the map and Strand asks what her end game is with them. She explains the message gives her hope. Suddenly, a stranger radios them and asks for help; it’s Wes. They quickly locate him and load his motorcycle on their truck. Wes explains what happens and Strand quickly deduces it’s Logan. Wes tells them he needs to get back to his brother and they allow him into their truck.
Elsewhere, Morgan and Althea get attacked by walkers in a bank. After killing some walkers, Al opens the vault thanks to a convenient old interview she conducted with the manager. Inside, Morgan stabs the walker while Al locks her tapes in the safety deposit boxes. On the road, Wes tells Alicia she’s probably wasting her time searching for the painted trees. She says she wants to meet the person responsible but Wes is dubious.
Alicia and Strand drop Wes off at the police station he’s staying at and promise to load him up on gas. Suddenly, gunshots ring out from inside and an injured older man sprints out, steals their truck, and drives away. Wes shoots at him and quickly runs out of ammo, which attracts nearby walkers. “I take it that wasn’t your brother,” Strand says to Wes.
They grab weapons from the police car and quickly realize they only shoot rubber bullets. “It’s riot gear,” Alicia says. Strand accidentally shoots tear gas into one of them, forcing everyone inside. Alicia pours water on his eyes and gives him a wet towel when his eyesight doesn’t improve. Alicia confronts Wes about the stranger and he explains he doesn’t have a brother (anymore) and he was just trying to get back what the man stole from him. Alicia warns killing doesn’t always help things. Shortly after, she radios Al to update her on the situation. She then tells Strand she wants to maintain her no kill rule for now.
Al and Morgan run into Logan and his people on the road. Morgan explains they’re trying to help their friends but Logan says he won’t move until they divulge the location of the oil fields. Morgan tells Logan he can help them but he declines. “Helping other people isn’t going to make you feel better about not being able to help them,” Logan says. Morgan turns on a dime and asks who he’s talking about. “Your wife and son,” Logan replies. Morgan tackles him into the truck and holds his stick to his neck but Al stops him. Logan warns if he doesn’t want people in his business then he shouldn’t record it. The two leave.
Back at the station, Wes mocks Alicia’s mantra to help people, saying he doesn’t need some inspired speech. “The guy was an asshole, plain and simple. I just want what he took from me,” he says. After some more sarcasm, Wes finally tells her his brother got attacked by a walker during a milk run (and yes, that was his brother’s motorcycle). Wes explains shooting and killing is the way of the world now, but Alicia is still determined to help the guy he shot. Al radios her to update them on the roadblock. Alicia then decides to find the man and Wes agrees to go with her. Outside, Wes uses the police guns to shoot the walkers blocking the entrance, which draws the others away. Alicia finally gets the keys to a cruiser when a walker walks through the glass of the front door. Alicia nearly kills it with a police baton but Strand kills it with her pipe. Wes kills the rest before Strand’s forced to do so himself.
On the road, Al apologizes to Morgan for keeping his family’s story on the tapes. He reminds her he did it to prove to others they can trust them. Al calls bullshit and says what they do defines them, not their pasts. Alicia radios her to say they found the truck crashed into a fence – and the man re-animated as a walker. Wes approaches him to get his bag and the man turns around – he’s alive!
He tosses Wes the bag and tackles him to the ground, trying to choke him. Wes grabs his knife and plunges it into the man’s side. He asks the man where his manuscript is and he tells him in the bag. Sure enough, it’s there. “It’s really good stuff,” the man says before dying. Wes finishes him off as Alicia questions his decision to kill over a book. He tells her people are people, and when she tries giving him the manuscript Wes says, “He died for it. He can keep it” before walking away.
Morgan and Al buries the man as Alicia flips through the manuscript. It ends with a man using the last ink in his pen to write “If you are reading this, it means you are still here” on the cover. It was Wes who painted the trees all along. Later, Alicia paints a bird on her own tree as Wes finds the first tree he wrote the message on. A walker approaches and Alicia finally kills again. She returns to the tree to write “No one’s gone until they’re gone.” Morgan admires it and Al says she’d like to hear more about his wife and son. Back the bank, Logan uses his truck to rip off the vault door. His people search the tapes and Logan tells them to start watching the tapes.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let us know in the comments!