Oh man, so last week we left y’all on a bit of a cliffhanger, with a curious, well-dressed, very clean (there’s a reason for this) man named Aaron popping up and introducing himself. So what is Aaron all about? Let’s see if tonight’s episode holds any answers:
Maggie and Sasha bring Aaron into the barn and everyone is understandably alarmed and cautious. Rick checks the gun they took off of him. Sasha tells Rick the deal: Aaron has a community nearby and he wants them to “audition” to come join them. Aaron’s job is to convince them to come back to the community to meet with them and see if they’re a good fit.
To help convince them, Aaron brings photos of the community. There’s a wall, made of slabs of solid steel. As Aaron starts to narrate the next picture, Rick walks up to Aaron and knocks him out cold. Welcome to the group, Aaron!
Michonne suggests that he’s not a bad guy while Rick goes into full-alert, getting everyone rounded up and having them go through all of Aaron’s things. He suggests that they’ll be attacked soon. He ignores Michonne, and he ignores Maggie when she tells him that Aaron could have snuck up on them if he wanted.
Carl finds a flare gun in Aaron’s backpack. When Aaron comes to, he’s completely understanding. Rick presses him on how many people he’s with but Aaron knows that whatever he says Rick won’t believe him. He reveals that he left water for them in the road and that he’s been following them long enough to know that they’re tough and they never turned on each other, even when they were starving and thirsty. He says he’s with just one other person and they’ll drive the entire group back to his community.
Michonne tells Rick that it’s fine that he’s sure of himself, but she’s going to take a chance and try to check out Aaron’s story about having two cars. Maggie sides with Michonne. Rick sends Abraham and Rosita with Michonne, Glenn, and Maggie. Everyone else goes out to keep watch while Rick stays inside with Aaron.
Aaron tells Rick that he used to work for an NGO (Non-Governmental Organization) delivering food and medicine to the Niger River Delta. He had guns stuck in his face all the time and he knows that Rick won’t kill him. “Just because we’re good people, doesn’t mean we won’t kill you. If the five of them aren’t back in an hour, I’ll put a knife in the base of your skull.” Rick is a real charmer.
Glenn’s crew is marching down the road. Glenn is super cautious and tells them to shoot on sight if anyone approaches. He says that anyone that would approach an armed group is dangerous and suspect. Michonne says that maybe they’re just like them. Glenn says they should kill anyone that’s just like them. Michonne argues in favor of their group and all the good they’ve done, all the people they’ve saved.
Back in the barn, Judith starts crying so Aaron tries to talk Rick into giving her some apple sauce to quiet her down. Rick, trusting guy that he is, wants Aaron to eat it first. Aaron really, REALLY doesn’t like apple sauce so this is a problem. Like REALLY doesn’t like it. Bro, this bearded dude with a baby will KILL YOU. He eats it. Rick tries some. So I guess it’s ok.
Glenn’s crew finds the car and RV that Aaron had mentioned, so that checks out. They kill a couple walkers and check the cars. All clear.
Regrouped, Rick is still being suspicious of Aaron. Michonne puts a stop to it. “We need this, we’re going.” “This barn smells like horse shit,” says Daryl.
One problem, Aaron won’t just tell them where it is and wants to drive them there. Michonne won’t go that far. Aaron tells them how to get halfway and will then tell them the rest. Rick says they’ll go their own way, which Aaron says is a bad idea. But Rick is being overly cautious. They leave at sundown.
Outside Michonne has a one-on-one with Rick. She asks him how serious he is about trusting Aaron. Rick asks, “When you first came up on the walls outside Woodbury, what did you hear?” “Nothing.” “And Terminus?” “Nothing.”
Rick says he’s going to have to make the call to trust this new community with his family based on nothing but what he’ll be able to hear outside the walls when they arrive.
In the car, Aaron tells them that he’s trying to collect license plates from all 50 states for the wall in his house. “You have your own house?” Michonne sounds impressed. He shows her the pictures. Then she realizes something: there are no pictures of other residents. He explains it away but Michonne is alarmed. Suspenseful music starts playing. “Did you ask him the questions?!” Michonne asks Rick. To be honest, I’m still not sold on these questions. Rick finds Aaron’s long-range listening device and he and Glenn are highly alarmed but just then they drive straight into a herd of walkers.
It seems to me that Glenn didn’t hit the brakes to A) prevent the RV from slamming into the back of them and B) to prevent them from being surrounded.
They emerge on the far side of the herd in the bloodiest car of all time. No sign of the RV, so it must’ve been able to avoid the herd. Glenn wipes an insane amount of guts and blood off the windshield and they try to start the car. No dice. Michonne starts pulling arms and limbs out of the engine when a flare goes up. Aaron starts freaking out and makes a run for it. They follow, knowing that their group will head for the flare as well.
Glenn gets separated from Michonne and Rick and gets tackled by a walker, whose head he bashes open on a rock. He then finds Aaron fighting a walker off with his feet. He kills the walker and cuts Aaron’s binds and says he can leave. Aaron repeats Glenn’s wisdom back to him “We can make it together, but ONLY together.”
Back to Rick and Michonne, looking for Glenn, fighting walkers. Rick runs out of ammo and shoots a flare into a walker’s eye hole. As they’re about to get overrun when Glenn and Aaron show up and mow down the walkers. They head off in search of their group, heading towards a water tower where the flare went off.
The group is there. Aaron starts frantically calling for “Eric.” Eric is inside, laid up with a broken ankle. He clearly has met Maggie and that part of the group. Aaron is hugely relieved. And then they make out. Eric shows him the license plate he found that day.
Rick comes in and just kind of stares, still not sure whom to trust. “Hi, I’m Eric!” “Rick.” Aaron leaves with Rick to address the group. He thanks them for saving Eric and tells them that he’ll repay them when they get to Alexandria. They agree to stay put for the night. When Rick tells Aaron that he has to sleep on the other side of the room, away from Eric he replies “the only way you’re going to stop me from being with him right now is by shooting me.”
Glenn tells Rick that Eric told them where Alexandria is and points out that they’re unarmed and one of them has a broken ankle. Even he has come around. Rick relents.
The next day, they’re on the road. Noah brings painkillers for Aaron’s wrists (pretty bruised and chafed where he was bound). Noah nods at his wrists, “I know how bad those hurt.” Aaron says that their surgeon, Pete, might be able to fix Noah’s leg.
Out the front of the RV you can see the Washington Monument. The low voltage warning is on. “We can make it,” says Abe and then we cut to them broken down on the side of the road. When he starts complaining about how screwed they are, Glenn shows him the extra batteries near the side door. “How’d you know those were there?” Glenn plays it cool.
Michonne is telling Rick that he needs to let his guard down a little bit. He needs to let the fight go. Rick says that Bob tried to tell him that. When it’s safe, when to let someone in. The RV starts up. Rick says he needs a minute.
He heads off to the side of the road, to a house. He finds a heap of trash and stashes a sidearm in an old blender.
They pull up to Alexandria. Rick stares at the gas and you hear people talking, and laughing, and kids playing. Everything you didn’t hear outside Woodbury or Terminus. Michonne reaches over and touches his hand. “You ready?” “Yeah.” Carol stops by Rick, “Even though you were wrong, you were still right.”
Rick whispers to Judith, “Should we go?” and kisses her and they walk toward the gates.
Hey, so it’s Alexandria! Hope and death lie beyond those walls! It’s a new era for The Walking Dead!
What did you guys think? Sound off in the comments!