Welcome to the penultimate Walking Dead episode of Season 5! Last week we saw a growing divide between Rick’s group and the residents of Alexandria. Tonight we’ll see that play out a bit more, so let’s get right to it.
As the episode starts, the Monroes sit in their living room and listen to Aiden’s running mix (kind of an odd way to mourn, but hey, to each his/her own), Carol whips up some tuna casserole while Sam peeps in the window, and Sasha is up in the tower looking incredibly emotional from her perch. As a walker approaches the gates, Reg finally has enough of the running mix (not a NIN fan I guess) and asks that they turn it off. There’s a knock on the door. When Deanna opens the door she finds Carol’s casserole and a note of condolence. Deanna takes the note, leaves the casserole on the doorstep, and then reads and burns the note. Sasha finally fires on the walker near the gate and takes it out.
Off on their own this episode, Aaron and Daryl are out at night and spot a campfire. Someone is out there. The next day they track the person. They find a dismembered walker. Whoever they’re tracking is the one who did it. The next thing they find is a little more disturbing: A woman was bound to a tree naked and left for the walkers. Daryl lifts her head up to see her face. A “W” is carved on her forehead (not surprising). She opens her eyes and starts doing the walker growl. Daryl puts a knife in her brain.
We see Nicholas and Glenn tell their conflicting sides of the story of Aiden/Noah’s deaths. Nicholas to Deanna on video and Glenn to Rick. Glenn’s version is, of course, the accurate version. Nicholas changes the story to make Rick’s group out to be at fault for Aiden’s death and makes them sound reckless. To her credit, Deanna seems to be a little disbelieving of Nicholas. She orders everyone to stay in, no guns, until she can investigate.
Rick tells Glenn that the Alexandrians don’t know what they’re doing and they can’t see how things really are. “We are them. We gotta make this work,” Glenn says. Rick talks to Carol. She tells Rick that Jessie installed a bolt on the inside of Sam’s closet so he can lock himself in and that one time Sam found his mom bleeding and unconscious on the floor after a fight with Pete. Carol points out that she knows how Rick feels about Jessie. When asked why she cares about Jessie, Carol says that if walkers hadn’t killed her husband, she’d be dead. Rick disagrees and walks off. He walks down by the pond and pulls his hidden revolver. Pete just happens to walk up. When he asks Rick if he’s ok, Rick gives him a level 10 mad dog and tells him to keep walking.
Michonne wakes up and has a meaningful moment with a t-shirt from the laundry (one of Noah’s shirts) and then lays out her uniform for work with a big sigh. Mondays, amiright? Before she can suit up, Rosita arrives and reports on Tara (stable) and then says that Sasha spent the night in the tower. They take off to check on Sasha. It’s their first time outside the walls since they arrived. Tara says that it feels different. Michonne thinks that’s probably a bad thing. Tara points out that she didn’t bring her sword with her. “That’s not nothing.”
They come upon a couple walkers that were shot from behind (meaning they were not attacking), along with one of Sasha’s target portraits. Sasha has been actively hunting down the walkers. They find Sasha as she puts down more walkers. When they ask her what she’s doing she says “I’m sick of playing defense.” A larger herd approaches but Sasha refuses to leave. As she puts down walker after walker Michonne flashes back to some of her violent killing sprees. She starts to fire also. When Sasha says she doesn’t need help, Michonne says it’s not for her. After they finish them all off Sasha is still angry. She feels like things are not working out for her and no one can help.
Meanwhile, Carl is outside the walls following Enid. He’s not exactly stealthy and she catches him tailing her. She tells him to go back and that she finds him a little creepy. He asks her what she does outside the walls and she playfully runs from him. When they come upon a walker, she uses an egg time to distract it. They run off and sit down by a tree. Enid says that people aren’t meant to be walled in. Carl admits that he dreams about being in the woods, with walkers. He asks Enid why he scares her and she says he just does. She pulls out a knife that used to belong to her mom but she won’t talk about what happened before Alexandria. A herd shows up and they take shelter inside a hollowed out tree. As the walkers shuffle past Enid says “It’s their world, we’re just living in it.” Carl starts to reach for her hand and then thinks better of it. “Cool. You’re afraid of me too,” she says. Ah young love in the middle of a rotting, living corpse apocalypse. It’s a story as old as time, really.
While Carl is playing tag in the woods, Glenn finds Nicholas cleaning out the van. Glenn puts the blame for the people he’s gotten killed at his feet and tells him that he’s not allowed to go outside the walls anymore. “Are you threatening me?” “No, I’m saving you.” Nicholas heads out past the gates and digs up a coffee can with Rick’s blender gun inside. Mystery solved!
Of course, the big events of this episode involve Rick. After running into Pete earlier, Rick meets up with Deanna while she’s at her son’s grave. She admits that she knew what Pete was doing but was hoping it would get better. He is the surgeon after all. Rick says they should separate him from Jessie. And what if he doesn’t agree to that, Deanna asks. We kill him, Rick says. Deanna says they don’t do that, that this is civilization. They’ll exile him if they have to. Rick says that exiling people is how you put the community at risk from the outside.
Rick goes to talk to Jessie. He lets her know that he knows about Pete. Jessie says it will stop and starts to make excuses. Rick says he can fix it. Jessie says he’ll just make it worse. “If it’s gotten worse, it means he’s killed you. That’s what’s next. I’m not gonna let that happen.” Jessie gets angry, reminds Rick that she’s married, and insists she can take care of herself. Then she shuts the garage door on him.
Rick walks down the street and sees everyone just out and about in their daily lives. He takes a deep breath and then goes back into Jessie’s house. He tells her that Sam asked for a gun to protect her. “If you don’t fight, you die. And I don’t want you to die.” He tells her that he can keep her and her boys safe. When she asks if he would do this for just anybody he pauses and then says no. Then she agrees to let him help. Just then Pete walks in.
Jessie tells Pete that he needs to leave. He yells at her and Rick tells him that they’re going to leave. They come to blows, eventually smashing through the patio window. As they tussle in the middle of the street everyone comes running. Sasha even takes aim from the tower (and then has to take out a small herd as it approaches the wall). Jessie tries to break them up and Pete backhands her. Carl tries to break them up and Rick shoves him away. Eventually Rick gets Pete in a chokehold. Deanna shows up and tells Rick to stop. Rick gets to his knees and pulls a gun and waves it around. “You still don’t get it. None of you do! We know what needs to be done and we do it. We’re the ones who live. You! You just sit and plan and hesitate.” When Rick says they have to control who lives there Deanna stares right back and says “that’s never been more clear to me that it is right now.” As Rick continues his tirade about having to do what needs to be done, Michonne comes up from behind and knocks him out.
Hey so what’s up with the red balloon? Does that represent the buoyancy of childlike expectations and innocence? If so, shouldn’t it get popped there at the end?
Is Sasha too far gone? She seems to still be kind of taking care of business but man.
It was nice to see Rosita minus Abe and Eugene. Got some time to be herself for once.
More of this psycho “W” business. How much trouble is this person/group going to be?
We finally found out who took the “J” Blender Gun. Who thought it was Nicholas that had it? How’s that going to factor in? Anyone think that Nicholas was going to put a hole in Rick while he fought Pete?
Carl + Enid 4Ever?
Talk about it down below! Just one episode left!!!