(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)
Ladies and gentlemen, in the spirit of brevity, levity, freedom, and frolic, may I present…TWD, Episode 513, IG-Style:
WD Ep 513 opens before the sun rises upon Alexandria: Vanilla Dream. In the predawn darkness, we see framed pics of some unknown white people arm in arm, smiling, laughing, trying to look casual and unscripted while posturing themselves in various wacky antics for the camera.
Those white people are crazy fun…they really know how to throw down! Just look at those smiles…good times, good times.
And here’s one of Mom holding Muppet, her beloved little dog.
Sasha lay awake in the darkness, staring around at the frozen smiles of dead people, in better times.
Finally, after lying there a while, Sasha’s had enough of trying to sleep, She sits up, gets dressed.
Good Morning, Alexandria!
We see Sasha walking into the Alexandria Storeroom and Gun Lending Library, followed by Olivia, who’s like, “Oh, yeah, it’s cool that you came and woke me up before the dawn…I used to work in a coffee shop, so, you know, no problem.“
Sasha gets what she came for…hello, lover.
As Sasha checks over her rifle, Olivia has a special request…
“Hey, if you bag a boar, can I have a leg?”
Sasha’s like, “Say what?”
Olivia explains that she used to cure meat in her basement, even before the turn (…) and she’s asking, you know, so she can make prosciutto. As Sasha processes this, Olivia begins to wax nostalgic for the prosciutto and “those pickles” she used to make. (Put blond hair on Olivia, and a bottle of something in her hand, and she would be the real-life embodiment of Pam on Archer.)
Sasha’s like, “Ok, got it, Olivia,” while probably thinking, <“Bob, Ty…why the hell’d you go off and die, and leave me all alone in this neo-suburban nightmare, surrounded all these crazy people?”>
Sasha thanks the gate keeper as she walks out of Alexandria into the world outside the gates.
We see Sasha begin to set up the framed pictures, one by one.
Sasha takes aim…
…and finally gets a reprieve from her constant, crushing grief and inner torment, for that one brief second when she can put it all aside, and focus on the target in her scope, on pulling the trigger and watching her bullet explode the target into bits.
Sasha nails the first frame with a single bullet.
After the first frame goes down, Sasha looks around, seeing if anything, or anyone approaches, attracted by the sound of the gunfire. But all is quiet…
…so Sasha sets her sights on the next target.
Sasha listens, but aside from the loud caws of ravens nearby, all is quiet in the woods.
Sasha’s eyes are wild, and her manner is more and more agitated as she raises her rifle again, and begins picking off all the framed pictures, one by one. Each shot is perfectly aimed, not a bullet wasted…
Sasha pauses, waits, but nothing comes….
Bye, bye, Mom and Muppet.
After all the pictures are shattered and lying on the ground, Sasha walks over to the large tree stump, sets her rifle beside her, and waits…
“Come and get me,” she says.
After the Bear McCreary opening title sequence and the McConaughey “it’s not about huggin’ trees” car commercial, we see this opening shot of two walkers, both dropped by a bullet to the brain…I’m assuming they were Rick’s bullets that rekilled these walkers.
We see Rick, in his constable’s uniform, Carol, in her Junior League uniform, and Daryl in his Daryl Dixon uniform, angel-wing leather vest and greasy hair. Brother has still not taken a shower yet…that’s some willpower. I would have taken like 25 showers by now, and brushed my teeth about 100 times already.
The Porch Council has reconvened, this time outside the abandoned little house in the woods where Rick had stashed his handgun in the plastic blender… they can hear the hiss and slaver of a walker nearby. Daryl returns, says he can’t see the walker, but it’s close. Rick says they’ll be quick, and asks them both, “So what do you think?”
“We go in when it’s empty,” Carol offers. “How’s that?” Rick asks. “It’s locked at night.” Carol replies that the window just has a latch, and she’ll leave it open. It seems they are planning on sneaking into Alexandria’s storeroom and stealing some guns that are stored away there.
Rick takes this in…
“A latch?” he asks, incredulously. Having a mere latch on a window be one of the only things keeping someone out of a storeroom that holds valuable food, supplies, and guns must seem laughably naive to ones who have seen, and experienced, the horrors of the world outside the walls.
Daryl chimes in,“What if one of those pricks shuts it?”
Carol thinks quickly, suggests if that happens, she can wait a couple of days, then leave the latch open again.
Rick replies that they need to do it sooner than later, while they are not being watched or monitored…whether or not they’ll actually end up needing the guns that they are planning on taking from the storeroom. Carol is quick to reply that however it all turns out, they’ll need the guns.
Rick shakes his head, says the Alexandrians are “the luckiest damn people I’ve ever met…and they just keep getting luckier.” “How’s that?” Daryl asks. “We’re here now,” Rick replies.
Daryl considers this statement, nods.
Carol turns to Rick, tells him that the storeroom has footlockers filled with 9 mm’s, auto’s, Kel-tech’s, all just sitting there, unused. Carol says the guns will never be noticed, or missed.
In his usual matter-of-fact style, Daryl turns to the trash heap, with the empty plastic blender, and remarks that “someone’s got one now, right?” (When rewatching last week’s episode, Episode 512, “Remember,” I wondered if maybe Enid saw Rick stash the gun, and she took it, or if she may be working, or spying for someone else, maybe one of the exiles, who saw Rick stash the gun, and took it…I thought maybe Enid was sent to infiltrate Alexandria by some bad guys who have the upper hand on her, like someone she loves is being held captive by them…and with that thought, The Enid Theory sprang out of my head like the goddess Athena sprung out of Zeus’s.)
Rick turns to Carol and Daryl, says that they should keep their doubts, suspicions, plans about Alexandria to themselves, that they want the others in their group “to try” with Alexandria.
Carol turns to Daryl at this, adds, “You, too.” Rick nods at something past their shoulders, tells Daryl, “There it is,” as the walker from the woods has entered the clearing and is coming towards them.
Carol, however, motions to the men…she’s got this. She points her gun and starts shooting at the approaching walker.
Carol keeps firing bullets into the walker’s chest, and finally drops it with a shot to the head. At Rick’s questioning look, Carol explains that they said they were going shooting, and she couldn’t very well come back with a full mag…
Daryl sees something on the walker’s forehead, bends over for a closer look. “What’s this,” he asks, “A ‘W’?”
The others bend over and see the “W” clearly marked on the walker’s forehead.
Rick kneels over the walker, studies it a long moment…surely he must remember those walker heads and upper torsos that fell on the van’s hood back at the Shirewilt Estates, 100 miles away…those walkers’ foreheads, too, were clearly marked with “W’s” carved into them.
Rick looks troubled, but says nothing to Carol and Daryl about this. I wonder why, but I am thinking that Rick is not one to say something if he feels it is too soon, or not time. Seems like he remembers those other “W” walkers, though…his face looks like he does, and is trying to figure this out.
Seeing this marked type of walker twice now, first time 100 miles back, at the scene of a community cruelly ravaged and destroyed by an unknown foe, and now, here, suggests that some big, bad trouble is coming for Alexandria. I feel Rick knows this, on some level, and will keep it to himself, for now…but he will be thinking, and planning. Watching, and waiting.
Meanwhile, Michonne models her new constable’s uniform in the mirror.
I am def loving the lace-up in the back of the jacket…would love a black leather jacket, with a lighter colored lace-up situation in the back like that…super styley.
Michonne pulls out the katana and customizes one of the laces that is too long to be functional.
Michonne looks at the katana…she seems to be wondering, “Does katana go with ‘constable’?” Seems like she’s leaning towards “no.”
Rick comes up, looks at her new getup. He wonders aloud, “I don’t know if this is some kind of play, handing authority over to strangers.”
Michonne quips, “The authority to break up fistfights.” Rick banters back that if breaking up fistfights was all this was for, they should have given one of these uniforms to Daryl.
Michonne appreciates the funny mental pic of Constable Dixon meting out his own special brand of justice in Alexandria. That shit would be awesome.
Richonne, Richonne, Richonne…
…you two, together, as a sexy crimefighting superteam would have been the total tits, my fave ever. But, alas, Rick Smash!’s brain stem, and his donkey kong, have spoken, and Richonne is not to be, in the romantic sense. He wants Jessie. So, it’s Ressie, which is pretty much as dumb as it sounds…but, I did say, recently, that I was, now and forever, riding in Rick Smash!’s car, so I will support his choice in mate (even if it wouldn’t be my choice). I gotta throw down the unconditional for my man, Rick Smash! and put up with his questionable taste in women. Can’t be helped, gotta move on.
Michonne replies, after a moment, that she doesn’t know “if it’s for us, or for them,” but if Deanna wanted to get rid of “us” and “them,” and put the jackets on Michonne and Rick, to show to everyone that they are all equal citizens of the same community, then in Michonne’s opinion, that “play” would be “smart.” It would be ideal, for sure. Michonne adds that Deanna “seems smart.”
“Smart for then, or smart for now?” wonders Rick. Michonne replies, firmly, that “This is now.”
Meanwhile, as Daryl prowls through the woods, crossbow in hand, he hears and noise, whirls. “Come out, now!” Aaron emerges from the trees, hands raised.
Aaron is pretty amazed. “You can tell the difference between walkers and humans by sound?“ It’s interesting that Aaron uses the gang’s terminology for the undead with Daryl. Daryl doesn’t answer, just looks super hot silently vibing Aaron.
Aaron asks, over Daryl’s silence, “Can you tell the difference between a good guy and a bad guy?” Aaron adds that Rick seems to be having trouble telling the two apart. Daryl growls, “Ain’t much of a difference no more.”
“Is that how you feel about your people?” asks Aaron. (He is definitely braver than I initially gave him credit for!) Daryl menaces closer to Aaron, demands, “Why are you followin’ me?”
Aaron replies, bemused, “I didn’t know I was,” and, in what I hope is a homage to Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd, Aaron adds that he just came out to “hunt rabbits.”
“I know why you’re out here,” Aaron adds. “Mind if I join you?” (Aaron really is one super ballsy dude, with impeccable manners to boot.)
Daryl vibes Aaron a moment more, then turns, ordering Aaron to “Keep up…keep quiet!” Way to go, Aaron…you’re in! Now, try not to blow it.
Meanwhile, Deanna is outlining Rick and Michonne’s duties as co-constables. “You protect and serve…you patrol, walk the wall, protect the kids.”
Deanna does not mention guarding or maintaining a watch beyond the walls for any outside threats to the community as a whole.
Deanna says that the people of Alexandria believe in Rick and Michonne’s authority, so it’s official…with jackets, even, from a former police officer who used to live in the community.
Deanna continues to outline her long-term plans for her community…government, industry, commerce. She says that’s why she wants Maggie working with her. “It may be just horses and mills (at first), but-“ Deanna stops, looks at Rick’s face. “What?” she asks him. “Does that sound like pie in the sky?”
Maggie looks at Deanna. “No,” she answers. Deanna then looks at Michonne. “No,” replies Michonne. Deanna finally looks up at Rick. “No,” he says, after a brief pause. He then looks at Deanna. “Can we talk security?”
Rick brings Deanna outside, points out that the walls need to be patrolled always, not just checking for damage, but also for any activity or signs that they had been breached. Rick also points out that someone could move right up the supports on the outside of the walls. “That’s what I’d do,” he says. Rick looks at Deanna. “People are the real threat now.” Yes, exactly.
Sasha approaches, volunteers to take lookout in the clock tower. Deanna replies that they don’t have lookouts in the clock tower…
Constable Grimes be like, “Say what?”
We see a small glimpse of Constable Smash! as Rick grinds out, “We need a lookout in that clock tower right now, 24/7.”
Michonne adds that it’s the only way they’ll be able to see if someone’s coming at them.
Sasha immediately volunteers to take as many lookout shifts as possible… Deanna is looking a little spooked by Sasha, and the entire conversation. She looks at Sasha, asks, “Why?”
Maggie speaks up, tells Deanna that Sasha’s “one of our best shots…she can do it.” Deanna nods, but says while she will consider putting Sasha as primary lookout, that she’ll be putting her son, Spencer, on lookout today. It seems Deanna is throwing the new constables and Rick’s gang a soiree at her house, tonight, and she wants them all to come, including Sasha.
Now, it’s Sasha’s turn to look spooked…
Meanwhile, the Alexandria Junior Leaguers are talking party menu. Mashed lima beans, cocoa powder, sweetener…it’s protein, and the one Junior Leaguer swears, “I would have eaten it, before all this.”
Junior League Carol beams, exclaims, “Sounds delicious!”
Carol excuses herself, seeing Rick, telling the other JL ladies that she needs to ask him for his help with the party. As they walk together, Rick and Carol agree that tonight would be the night to break into the armory, as everyone will be at the party.
Rick volunteers himself to back Carol up, but Carol points out that his absence would be noticed. Rick adds that Daryl is out, as they are watching every move he makes, these days. That leaves Carol flying Han Solo on this mission. Carol smiles and says that the good thing about this place is that, “I can be invisible again.”
Meanwhile, as Daryl and Aaron make their way through the woods, Daryl hears the soft nicker of a horse.
Aaron says he has been trying to get the horse, named “Buttons” by a child in Alexandria, for months, to bring him inside the safety of the walls, but the horse would spook whenever Aaron or Eric would try to approach it.
Daryl watches the horse a moment, then reaches for Aaron’s rope. “Have you done this before?” asks Aaron.
Daryl replies that his group did, before, with horses that hadn’t been out for such a long time. “The longer they’re out, the more they become who they really are,” Daryl tells him.
Daryl begins to approach Buttons cautiously, talking softly to the horse.
“Yeah, you used to be somebody’s, huh? Now you’re just yours.“ Daryl almost gets close enough to put the rope over the horse’s neck, but the horse gets spooked by the telltale hiss of…
…walkers, coming to ruin another beautiful moment between the living.
Instead of enjoying a loving moment with a fellow equine survivor, Daryl must employ his invaluable “crossbow upside the walker’s head technique” as Buttons rears up, then gallops away.
Go, Aaron! (I am really loving Aaron, and Eric, more and more, especially after this episode.)
“I was talking to my new horse, and you fucking interrupted our conversation, you undead prick!”
Take that, Cockblocker Walkers! After killing all the walkers, Daryl and Aaron set off after Buttons.
Back in town, JL Carol is following Olivia into the storeroom. Olivia expresses amazement at JL Carol’s revelation that applesauce can be used in lieu of eggs in a cookie recipe. Surely, Alexandria must have some yard chickens, somewhere, but eggs are probably still in short supply. Carol asks Olivia if she can keep the applesauce thing between them, as it’s the “secret” of these cookies. Ha! So much for sharing & caring between community citizens…
At Olivia’s surprise, JL Carol laughs, saying that a girl’s gotta leave herself some secrets…
Olivia assures Carol that her applesauce secret “will die with me.” (Oooo, just got a bad foreboding feeling for Olivia and the other “not quite battle-savvy” citizens of Alexandria.) Olivia breaks it to JL Carol that the “chocolate’s gonna be a problem.” She can only give JL Carol a quarter of a bar…JL Carol assures Olivia that she’ll “make it work.”
Just then, Tobin comes in, tells Olivia he and his workmate have to make a “withdrawl” from the gun lending library, as “the boss lady” wants them to check a segment of the wall before the party. Olivia invites Carol to take what she needs, and follows the men to the back of the storeroom, where the armory is.
Carol helps herself to an entire bar of chocolate from the freezer, then follows the others to the back. As she stands at the window, Tobin asks her if she’s afraid of guns…JL Carol delivers another riveting performance as she says that she carried a handgun while with the group, but says, with a coy little laugh, that she knows nothing about the bigger guns, like the one Tobin is now holding, before her.
Tobin smiles at Carol, introduces himself, and offers to teach Carol to shoot, any time. Better safe than sorry.
JL Carol beams at Tobin, and thanks him for the kind offer.
As everyone files out of the storeroom, we see that Carol has opened the window’s latch.
Meanwhile, as they make their way through the woods, Aaron asks Daryl if he ever rode…Aaron’s talking about horses, but Daryl replies that he used to ride bikes. Aaron jokes that he’s assuming that Daryl isn’t talking about 10-speeds…
Aaron tells Daryl that they are both viewed as outsiders by the residents of Alexandria. Aaron says that he and Eric, being gay, have had to endure countless well-meaning but highly ignorant remarks from otherwise nice people.
Aaron tells Daryl that people are afraid of what they don’t know, so Daryl should let the others in Alexandria get to know him a little better. “You should come to Deanna’s party tonight,” Aaron encourages Daryl.
Daryl tells Aaron that he doesn’t have anything to prove. He tells Aaron that he’s met a lot of bad people, out here, and has seen, experienced a lot of bad things, and those people “weren’t afraid of nothin’.” Aaron walks behind Daryl, considering this. “Oh, yeah they were,” he replies.
And then, it’s party time. Carol, Carl, and Rick, holding Judith, file into Deanna’s home.
It is truly surreal to see people holding glasses of wine, milling and mingling, a table stocked with assorted beverages and brightly colored plastic party cups. Deanna spies them across the room, delighted. She makes her way across the party to greet them.
Junior League Carol puts on her party face.
Rick Grimes’ party face is more smoldery than sunny.
Abraham and Rosita come next…Rosita’s body language immediately pronounces the party as L-A-M-E.
Abraham looks around doubtfully, wonders aloud if he can do this. “There’s beer,” points out Rosita, and Abraham immediately says, “I’ll try,” and heads over to the beverage selection. Rosita follows suit, enjoying a silent laugh at her big, crazy, flame-haired bf.
Deanna presents her prize constable, Rick, to her husband, Reg, builder of the wall.
Reg tells Rick that he watched all the tapes of the interviews, and he heard what 14 people said about how Rick saved them, kept them alive, together for this long, out there…
Rick asks Reg, diplomatically, didn’t he, Reg, build that wall out there? Reg says he did, with lots of help, and while that is an achievement, compared to keeping 14 people alive, safe, and together, in these times, well…
Reg says to Rick, “I think you have me beat.” (It really is just one big pissing contest with dudes, isn’t it?)
Rick smiles, diplomatically, employing his invaluable “smiling, nodding, and politicking” maneuver from times past…you know he’s thinking, “Yeah, motherfucker, it’s pretty much no contest.” Deanna laughingly strokes her hubby’s ego, pronounces it “a tie.”
Reg graciously offers Rick a drink, and Rick, after a moment’s hesitation, and some good ol’ fashioned peer pressure from Reg, accepts. The men clink glasses and drink…
…when the McBeaty family makes their entrance to the party.
Rick sees Jessie and her family make their entrance…
…and he takes a drink…
…all the while clocking Jessie with hungry eyes.
Meanwhile, Daryl and Aaron find Buttons, penned in with a group of walkers. They must act fast.
Daryl spears a walker’s head and rushes in. Aaron follows suit…
…but Aaron gets tripped up by a grabby walker.
Aaron chops the walker’s hand away, and Daryl comes forward and stomps the walker’s head.
Daryl grabs another walkers and smashes its head into the other smashed walker.
Aaron returns the favor by blowing another walker’s head away when it comes up on Daryl. Daryl thanks Aaron, and they turn to save Buttons, but, tragically, they are too late…
Poor Buttons. 😦
Before the men can act, the walkers surround the horse and savagely attack it as it whinnies helplessly.
Poor Aaron and Daryl must watch as poor Buttons gets taken down.
Daryl prepares to go in, and after a moment, Aaron follows him. It is the code with Daryl and his people that they will go in, and battle walkers, even if just to ease a poor animal’s suffering, as opposed to Alexandrian code, as we will see, which seems to be, pretty much, “Save yourselves!”
Daryl rekills the last walker feeding on the disembowled horse, which is horribly still alive.
He turns away, tells Aaron to “go ahead.”
Aaron shoots Buttons in the head, ending the poor animal’s misery.
Aaron says, miserably, “He always ran away.” Daryl looks on a moment, then says, “You were trying to help him.” Daryl turns away, and Aaron turns to follow him out of the penned area, back to the forest.
Later, it’s nightfall, and the party’s in full swing. Noah, however, is looking pretty uncomfortable, trying to blend into the wall.
Glenn and Maggie approach Noah, and Glenn asks him if everything’s ok. Noah says yeah, this just isn’t really his thing, and he tells them he’s gonna head out.
“No, no, no, you’re not bailing!” jokes Glenn. “We’re in this together!” Maggie tells Noah that he’s with them. “You’re here with family, now,” she tells Noah. He smiles and agrees to stay.
Meanwhile, there is an adorably shy party lurker outside, dressed up in a collared shirt (under his leather vest, of course), hiding in the shadows. What a perfect moment to sneak out of the party with a bottle of something, and a pack of smokes, and see that beautiful man, standing there…it would be like, “Hey, let’s go drink some of this, and smoke some of these, and shoot the shit under the moonlight…later for this party!”
Daryl turns to leave, and Aaron comes out and sees Daryl walking away, calls to him.
“Why aren’t you at the party?” Daryl asks Aaron.
Aaron pretty much says that he was never planning on going…boyfriend with broken ankle = perfect out.
Daryl asks, with his usual bluntness, “Why the hell’d you tell me to go, then?”
Aaron replies that he suggested that Daryl try to go, and Daryl did, so it’s a “thought that counts type of thing.” Daryl’s like, “Yeah, ok,” and prepares to walk away, but Aaron calls him back, invites him to stay for dinner.
Daryl considers Aaron’s offer, looking extra cute, like a feral cat that won’t let you come near it. “C’mon, man…it’s some serious spaghetti,” Aaron says, and that seems to do the trick. When is the last time anybody in the gang had spaghetti dinner?
Meanwhile, Rick and Carol try to act natural at the party. They watch Olivia arrive, and that means the storeroom and armory are unguarded at the moment. Rick once again offers to back Carol up, but once again, she tells him to stay put, because, you know…Rick watches her leave, says, “That’s right, you’re invisible.” They are such co-conspirators these days…am kind of totally loving it, even though they are enabling each other’s crazy big-time.
As Carol leaves, Jessie does the socially correct thing and introduces Rick to her husband, Dr. Petey McBeaty. The men exchange a boisterous handshake.
Petey McBeaty’s like, “So, did I mention that I’m a doctor?”
Rick Grimes is like, “So, did I mention that I’ll be sticking it to your wife soon enough?”
Dr. Petey McB is all like, “Ha ha, you’re quite the card, constable…now, does anyone else need to get totally wasted right now? Let me fill yours up there, buddy, and I’ll stay at the bar and do a couple of shots, while everyone around pretends not to notice, and then I’ll fill up both our glasses nice and high, and I’ll be right back atcha…ok, then,” and Petey McBeaty heads off, but not before being a total dick to his wife, who is trying, once again, to save Dr. P from himself, and who, once again, cannot… and, of course, Rick Grimes notices all of this.
As her D-bag husband walks away, Jessie turns to Rick, arms crossed in front of her, asks, “So, you having fun?” They do look pretty adorable being all awkward and shy with each other.
After some stops and starts in the conversation, Rick being so primal and new at this and all, Jessie points out that there’s a pretty “great view.” Rick is slow on the uptake with this playful statement, so Jessie points his attention to his people, across the party. “Take a look,” she says.
Rick first looks at Jessie, who really is quite lovely to look at, and then his attention is pulled away, finally, to…
…the sweet peeps, finally able to relax and share a laugh with each other. It really is a beautiful sight.
Rick then sees Carl joking and laughing with Rowan and Mikey like real teenage boys are supposed to.
Jessie says something really interesting to Rick…basically that while many good things were lost in the turn, a lot of bullshit went with them, as well.
Jessie says, basically, that “we all lost something, but we all got something back, in return.” Rick looks at her as she says this…seems like some truth of this is resonating with him. Really resonating, like new love and shit.
Just then, Jessie’s son Sam comes running up, and God help him, he says there’s no more cookies…
And Rick, feeling expansive and buzzed and wanting to impress Jessie and make a good impression on her kid, kneels down and says that he is a “good friend” with the cookie maker, and that he’ll try to get her to make Sam a batch of cookies all his own…unknowingly setting a super-creepy series of events into motion with that statement.
Sam then notices that Rick doesn’t have “a stamp” on his hand…Rick of course says yes, I want one, lay it on me, your mom’s watching and shit, and I want to look like the complete opposite of your D-bag dad, who is probably pounding whiskey at the bar and pontificating loudly and aggressively about some shit nobody cares about.
Ok, is it just me or does that stamp look just like the “A” in Terminus train car “A”? (Just saying, probably a homage to past craziness, not suggesting it is alluding to the ETTCT or anything like that…remember the good old days, when all we were speculating about the possibility of potential future Terminans, while getting our asses majorly kicked by everyone, and everything else, on this show? Ah, good times, good times.)
“See, now you’re officially one of us!”
Sam runs off, and Jessie tries to rein him in, to no avail, while Rick stares, completely and utterly captivated by her.
Jessie does the proper thing, at that moment, and excuses herself, and as she walks away, they both have smiles on their faces.
When watching this, my WD buddy and I turned to each other and said, “Rick never looked at Michonne that way,” and it’s true, and I know it, and we all know it, and I say good for you, Rick Grimes…you are looking a little relieved, and sweaty, because you just successfully flirted with someone you really like, and we approve. We have your back. Good job, bud…you did it!
Meanwhile, Sasha has been stone-cold busted trying to ring and run at the party by Deanna’s son, Spencer. That’s how he identifies himself, as Deanna’s son. Three words, Spencer: Major turn-off.
Deanna may have had visions and hopes for Sasha and Spencer hitting it off, but while he seems kind of cute, kind of clever, kind of fun, it’s like the complete opposite of the chemistry that Rick and Jessie are sharing…
…and the complete opposite of the total and unexpected love that Sasha shared with Bob. Sorry Spencer, your cocktail party quips about Mrs. Neidermeyer and her incessant talk about wanting a pasta maker isn’t going to cut it with this woman. Sasha excuses herself, with a pained look, and hurries off.
Speaking of pained looks, back at Aaron and Eric’s dinner table, Daryl is shoveling spaghetti into his mouth, slurping the noodles noisily…
…as Aaron and Eric struggle to keep straight faces, trying not to laugh.
Daryl slurps up the last of the noodles on his plate…
…and, wiping his mouth on his sleeve, thanks Aaron and Eric for dinner. Poor guy…where was he going to learn proper table manners, being raised by a drunk mom (who then became a dead mom), a drunk abusive dad, and a shitty older brother? Aaron and Eric, who are being very sweet, seem to know this, on some level.
Eric then turns to Daryl, and asks him, when out on his “travels,” if he came across a store with a pasta maker, that would be great, because Mrs. Neidermeyer will not stop talking about wanting one, even though they have “crates of dried pasta” in Alexandria…
Daryl listens politely, drinking his wine, looking blankly at Eric. It is clear that what Eric is saying doesn’t register, and Eric looks questioningly at Aaron, who looks back at him significantly.
Eric guesses, “You haven’t asked him yet,” and Aaron gives a small shake of his head. Nope. Not yet.
Daryl looks at Aaron. “Ask me what?”
In reply, Aaron brings Daryl to the garage, which is stocked with tools, a motorcycle frame, and many, many parts. Aaron explains that the frame and the tools were there already, that whoever lived here, before, must have built bikes.
Daryl comments that there are a lot of parts here for just one bike…Aaron says that he started collecting parts when he was out on recruiting runs.
Aaron continues, telling Daryl that while he, Aaron, always wanted to teach himself how to work on, and build, the motorcycle, he has a feeling that Daryl already knows how to do this.
“And you’re going to need a bike,” Aaron tells him. Daryl looks at Aaron questioningly, and Aaron tells Daryl that he told Deanna not to give Daryl a job because he, Aaron, had a job for him…
“I want you to be the other recruiter for Alexandria,” says Aaron. Aaron tells Daryl that he doesn’t want Eric out there, risking his life, any longer. “Oh, so you want me to risk mine?” asks Daryl. “Yeah,” replies Aaron, “because you know what you’re doing.” Aaron continues, tells Daryl that while Daryl is really good out there, and needs to be out there, sometimes, as does Aaron, Daryl doesn’t belong out there. Despite the awkwardness of letting new people get to know him, Aaron tells Daryl he belongs here, in Alexandria.
Aaron tells Daryl that another key part of him wanting Daryl to be a recruiter is that he knows that Daryl “can tell the difference between a good person and a bad person.”
Daryl takes this all in, then says, finally, that he doesn’t have anything else to do, so, ok…and after a moment, he gives Aaron this sweet look, and says, quietly, “Thanks.” (Daryl is totally my muse for this post…so many great shots of him in this episode!) ❤
Meanwhile, back at the party, Michonne is getting meta out on the veranda…
…as she studies the plastic cocktail sword in her hand.
Abraham comes up behind her, quips, “Packing a new kind of steel nowadays?” Michonne laughs, appreciating the wit, answers dryly, “Yeah…”
Sounding like a drunken oracle, Abraham muses, “You live by it, you die by it…you protect your posse by it. Pray to God you don’t have to use it again, pray to God you don’t get used to not using it again.”
Looking out into the night, Abraham muses, “It’s on your back, even when it’s off your back.” I really felt when watching this episode that it spoke to the experience of soldiers, who have come back from the unspeakable horrors of war, and the trouble they have trying to reinsert themselves into “normal” life in society.
Michonne turns to Abraham, asks him, “How much have you had to drink?” Abraham laughingly replies that he is a large man, and he’s had many beers to make up for that, and in doing so, has realized that things have worked out pretty damn well for him. He turns to Michonne, asks her, “What have you done?” Michonne thinks. “I put on this dress,” she offers. Abraham smiles at her. “Try again,” he says.
And here we have Carol, climbing through the window of the storeroom and armory to help herself to some of Alexandria’s gun surplus. I had a bad feeling the whole time with this plan, like Carol was going to get caught…
Before going into the armory, Carol opens the freezer and helps herself to another bar of chocolate…Carol, Carol, Carol…Olivia may not notice a few missing handguns, but I have a feeling she sure as hell will notice missing bars of chocolate!
And, of course, as Carol begins to load up her grinchbag full of handguns, a little voice behind her asks, “What are you doing?” Carol turns, and sees Alexandria’s version of Little Cindy-Lou Who: Sam, who is standing there, watching her. “Santy Claus, why are you taking our guns?”
Carol recovers herself quickly, asks Sam what he’s doing there. Sam replies that he was hoping she was making more cookies, but… Carol puts on a sunny smile, offers to make Sam a whole batch of cookies, just for him, but he can’t tell anybody he saw her there.
Sam replies that he has to tell his mom…he tells her everything.
Carol’s face loses its smile. “You can never tell anyone,” she says quietly. “Especially your mom.”
“Because if you do,” continues Creepy Carol, stepping towards Sam, who instinctively backs away a step, “One morning, you’ll wake up, and you won’t be in your bed.” “Where will I be?” asks Sam, stepping back another step, away from Creepy Carol, until he is pressed up against the wall, unable to back up any more.
“You’ll be outside the walls,” says Creepy Carol, looking regretfully down at the little boy. “Far, far away, tied to a tree…and you’ll scream, and scream, because you’ll be so afraid.”
“And no one will come to help, because no one will hear you…well, some thing will hear you. The monsters will come…the ones out there. And you won’t be able to run away when they come for you.”
“And they will tear you apart and eat you up all while you are still alive, all while you can still feel it. And then afterwards, no one will ever know what happened to you.”
“Or, you can promise never to tell anyone what you saw here, and then nothing will happen. And you’ll get cookies.” Creepy Carol’s eyebrows raise. “Lots of cookies.”
Creepy Carol smiles at the child before her, who is shaking with fright. “I know what I think you should do.” Damn, why you gotta be so creepy, Creepy Carol?
Poor Sam! His mom, Jessie, is going to wonder why Sam has suddenly started wetting the bed and has developed a serious, sudden aversion to cookies….
Meanwhile, at Deanna’s party, Rick Grimes is tanking the whiskey. I mean, when in Alexandria, right?
And like a moth to the flame, here comes Jessie, holding Judith.
Rick looks at Jessie, says that Carl and Judith, they are why he’s still here. “I get what you been telling me…here, now’s not so bad.” Judith begins to fuss, and Jesse asks him if he wants his baby back. He smiles, says he does.
As she hands the baby over, Jessie’s eyes meet Rick’s. They are both feeling it.
As he takes the baby from her, Rick sneaks a kiss on Jessie’s cheek.
Jessie hesitates a moment, processing this…
…and then smiles at Rick.
She liked it, Rick Grimes! Grimes in, McBeaty OUT!
Damn, Rick Grimes…you’s a mad player!
Sasha, meanwhile, is not having as much fun at the party as Rick Grimes…at Deanna’s behest, she tries to mingle, but she starts to bug out at the cocktail party gossip and chatter going on all around her.
As the Alexandria a-holes snipe, snark, and simper about a whole lot of nothing and nonsense…
…Sasha starts to have flashback moments of the gang, with Bob and Tyreese, at Gabriel’s church.
And as the Alexandrian party guests nosh on the party spread, Sasha imagines the Terminans eating chunks of meat from Bob’s leg…
…and poor Tyreese’s dead body being covered with a sheet.
Some nice lady approaches Sasha, asks her what her favorite meal is…the nice lady wants to cook one for each of the new arrivals, and she is worried that she’ll cook something Sasha will hate…
Sasha can’t take it any more…she yells at the woman, “You’re worried? That’s what you’re worried about??” As the party guests gape and stare, Sasha hurries off. Well, those guests certainly have something to talk about, now, don’t they?
The next morning, Deanna meets Sasha at the gate, tries to ask Sasha, what is it? Sasha tells her, “All this…it isn’t real.”
Deanna calls bullshit on Sasha and lets her out the gate with a box of bullets and her gun.
And as Michonne hangs up her katana, for now…
…Carol tries to hand out her ill-gotten handguns. Daryl takes a pass…he tells Carol and Rick if the shit goes down, they won’t need these. He tells them, “I’m good.” He’s going to try it here. Carol’s all looking at him, like, “Hey, buddy, I threatened a child for these!”
After a moment’s hesitation, Rick takes a gun.
As Rick, Daryl and Carol are let back into the gates, Rick sees Jessie walking with her husband, McBeaty. Jessie flashes Rick her scarlet “A” on her hand…
…and Rick flashes his scarlet letter back to her. He watches McBeaty put a protective arm around his wife as they walk away…
…and we see a glimpse of our favorite madman, Rick Smash! He no likey seeing another man’s arm around his woman…
…and we see Rick Smash!’s hand reach for the gun he took from Carol. (I think this is more a symbolic gesture, in this moment…another moment, soon, perhaps, Rick Smash!)
We see Rick walking past Morgan Street. (I am so hoping Daryl and Aaron find Morgan out there and recruit him!)
Rick Smash! hears a familiar sound, beyond the wall. He rushes forward, and Rick and a walker on the other side of the wall share a Romeo and Juliet “but for these walls, we could touch, kiss” moment.
One thing’s for sure…shit’s gettin’ cray in Alexandria!
Masterful performances by all, especially my muse, Norman Reedus, as Daryl, and Ross Marquand, as Aaron…but I’m giving this week’s Deadie to:
Enjoy the playlist, darlings. Tomorrow, I begin to tackle Episode 514, “Spend.” Wish me luck with that one!
Goat, “Golden Dawn”
Deathcab For Cutie, “Black Sun”
Jack White, “Lazaretto”
Courtney Barnett, “Pedestrian at Best”
Radiohead, “Like Spinning Plates”
Converge, “Hell To Pay”