“The End of Everything”
We finally catch up with Althea, who is getting dragged through the mud by a stranger. She watches them burn a walker corpse and takes the opportunity to escape through the woods. She quickly gets surrounded by walkers and has to be saved by the stranger, who then knocks her to the ground. Althea unmasks them, revealing a woman, who asks where her camera tape is and Al says in her boot which she lost.
The next morning, Al finds herself tied to the passenger seat in an old car. She calls out to a nearby walker, grabs the barbed wire attached to it, and uses it to get free. She slams the walker’s head in with the door and leaves. Nearby, she discovers a helicopter parked in the field – it looks identical to the one that picked Rick up in his final episode.
Al tries radioing Morgan and Alicia but someone else responds. The stranger appears and holds her at gunpoint, instructing her to get out. She tells the person on the radio that “the lead” was killed in action but she needs to refuel before delivering the payload. The person pauses and promises to send a reclamation team. The stranger demands Al take her to the tape. Al agrees but only if she gets her story. The stranger agrees but says they need to find fuel.
On the road, Al questions her on her background, rationalizing their stories will be all that’s left after they’re gone. Suddenly, walkers tumble down the hill and the woman instructs Al to stay in inside, but Al refuses. The woman gives her a bite-proof jacket and then takes care of the walkers. A second rockslide hits their car and tips it over. Al grabs her camera as a walker emerges from the rubble and tries to bite her. Luckily, the coat saves her.
The woman rummages through Al’s bag and allegedly finds the missing tape; Al suggests she watch it before killing her. In it, we see Althea giving confessionals at the onset of the apocalypse. Al explains her brother died and she risked her life for the tape because it’s all she had left of him. The stranger scolds her for focusing on the past and claims her people “have the future.”
The two search nearby cars for supplies and decide to camp out before their fuel mission tomorrow. That night, the stranger reveals she killed her partner because she was doing her job. “I do think stories matter; some things just matter more to me,” she says. We then see their tent suspended above ground by a tree branch.
The next day, the two scale a mountain with rock-climbing equipment. They encounter an undead climber and the stranger nearly falls to her death. She repositions as Al kills the walker and maneuvers around it. The two eventually reach the top and lay down. The woman reveals the walker used to be her friend and together they would fetch supplies to purify water around the power plant, but her partner got spooked by the infected and she had to kill him. She takes out a key and said it belonged to a cabin her partner liked, but she doesn’t need it anymore. She tosses it off the cliff and reveals she might have to kill Al for “operational security.”
A little later, Al tackles the woman and takes her rifle, saying she needs it for her own security. She then threatens to leave with the climbing equipment and supplies without her so the woman finally agrees to her interview. That night, the woman reveals she’s from a community (she won’t reveal its name or location) focused on rebuilding society for the future. She says if she doesn’t show her where the tape is then there might not be a future to tell their stories in. The woman pulls out a beer and says she wishes she met Al before this. Al shares the beer, tears up, and says, “This is nice.”
The next morning the two head out to retrieve the tape. Al pulls a bag off a walker and hands it to her. The woman pours gunpowder on it and lights it on fire. She explains this is just part of the mission and that no one can see them. She makes Al turn around and puts a gun to the back of her head. Al hands her the tape with her brother on it, saying she hopes that he can live on. “I want YOU to live,” the woman says, deciding not to kill her. She reveals her name is Isabelle and she’s from Indiana. She says Al’s the prettiest thing she’s seen in the apocalypse and then kisses her. Shortly after, they go their separate ways.
Isabelle kills walkers on the road (which is what the kids saw earlier), returns to her helicopter, fuels it up, and turns it on. She radios that she’s ready to return, and the voice says they’ve called off the reclamation team. She stares at Al’s tape and flies away, as Al watches nearby. Al radios Morgan and finally hears him respond on the other end. Later, Morgan and Alicia find her and ask what happened. Al lies and says she got attacked by walkers and don’t know where the helicopter went. The kids walk up and Morgan says he’ll explain on the way. Before they can leave, Al reveals her last name is Sefchek-Provoki, and she thought they should know that. They smile and walk off together.
What did YOU think of this week’s eye-opening episode? Do you think we’ll see Isabelle again? Join our discussion in the comments!