The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 3, “Thank You”

“ThankYou”

(All images used in this post are previously archived screen caps from AMC’s “The Walking Dead” unless otherwise indicated.)

building 9

Sonnet – Silence

There are some qualities-some incorporate things,

That have a double life, which thus is made

A type of that twin entity which springs

From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.

There is a twofold Silence – sea and shore –

Body and soul. One dwells in lonely places,

Newly with grass o’ergrown, some solemn graces,

Some human memories and tearful lore,

Render him terrorless: his name’s “No More,”

He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!

No power hath he of evil in himself;

But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)

Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,

That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod

No foot of man.) commend thyself to God!

Edgar Allan Poe

_______________________________________________________

After summoning the bravery, charging the phone, and purchasing the 12-pack of Negra Modelos (and the lime) required for the endeavor, I sat down last night to rewatch TWD’s Episode 603, “Thank You.” 

It was not a journey I was looking forward to taking again, as the first go-around with it left me pretty messed up for about 24 hours after… as the week progressed, this feeling downshifted to a lingering feeling of hauntedness and melancholy.

My WD buddy and I talked, texted back and forth, shared and tagged each other in social media postings, trying to process this episode.

We, along with an entire world of TWD fans, had many burning questions in our hearts and minds that needed answering, so when the opportunity presented itself, I charged up, beveraged up, and went in.

A couple of hours later, I had watched, rewatched, rewound, paused, photographed, and posted about the episode, and I came away shaken, buzzed, and somewhat clearer about some points in the storyline of “Thank You”  while being just as unclear, and uncertain, about others…there were a few key questions I was watching again to find answers for, the main question, of course, being, “Did Glenn die, or is there a chance he’s still alive?”

I still do not know, dear readers, with any certainty if Glenn Rhee survived his “untimely lot” of being knocked off the dumpster by Nicholas’s lifeless body, into the horde of walkers waiting below.

After watching, pausing, rewinding, and rewatching this shocking, harrowing, heartbreaking scene, I came away with the same feeling that I had upon watching Episode 603 for the first time…it felt to me that the scene was deliberately, artistically crafted and filmed to leave a real question, a real possibility that the gushing blood and innards that we saw the walker horde tearing into, feasting upon, were Nicholas’s, and not Glenn’s.

Call it wishful thinking…I am totally owning that shit. I did strive to be objective in the rewatch, and this is what I saw:  After Nicholas and Glenn fired at the oncoming walker horde, emptying their chambers (or so we thought) and scrambling up on top of the dumpster, I made a note that both men were wearing grey t-shirts under their jackets/outerwear. Nicholas was wearing a khaki/grey jacket over his t-shirt, while Glenn had on a similarly colored button-up flannel-type shirt over his.

After Nicholas succumbed to his growing panic, he turned to Glenn, who was screaming at Nicholas (Look at me!”), shaking him by the shoulders, trying to get him back…but when Nicholas turned to Glenn, with those dead, glassy eyes, it was clear that Nicholas was already gone.  Nicholas thanked Glenn, pulled out his gun, put it to his temple, and shot himself, falling forward into Glenn, knocking Glenn down off the dumpster, and both men fell into the waiting horde. The entirety of the fall was not shown, but the angle in which the men fell suggested that Nicholas’s body would land, more or less, on top of Glenn’s body.

When Glenn landed, he landed on his back, and in the shot of his landing, we see his face, registering his pain, his shock, his horror, as the realization of what just happened, and of where he was, fully hit him. When we see that first shot of Glenn on the ground, we also see the top portion of Glenn’s chest, which is exposed, not shielded by Nicholas’s body at that angle.

If Glenn had the presence of mind, through his shock and horror of what was happening, to use Nicholas’s body as a shield, it could buy him a moment of time to perhaps block the walkers’ initial attack. He would really only have the smallest buffer to work with, as there were hundreds of walkers in the that horde, waiting eagerly for the men to fall so they could tear into them.

In that first shot of Glenn’s face, as he lay on the ground, there is no evidence of Nicholas’s body that we, the viewers, can see, and in that moment, Glenn’s face, throat, and chest are open, exposed, and vulnerable to the walkers.

Then, the angle of the shot changes, and we see Glenn’s face and what looks like his upper chest from above, as if we, the viewers, are looking down at Glenn’s face as if straddling him high on the belly, diaphragm-level. We see Glenn’s face in anguish, crying out, throwing his head back with eyes closed, as the walkers begin to tear into a grey shirt-covered-surface that looked, to me, to be at a higher level than Glenn’s chest would be.

(Let’s face it, while Glenn has definitely gotten more buff and manly looking since his days in TWD Season 1, he is still of a slender build, and the surface level that the walkers were tearing into looked, to me, to be much higher than the surface where Glenn’s chest or belly would have been. The level shown would have been the chest or belly of a bigger, stouter individual, like Abraham.)

This detail raised the question, to me, that perhaps the walkers were tearing into Nicholas’s body, rather than Glenn’s. In addition, the walkers on top of Glenn were shown eating intestines, which would have been lower in Glenn’s body than his chest area. We saw walkers’ fingers tearing into a grey surface that looked like it could be Glenn’s t-shirt at his chest-level, but it looked like the walkers were clawing at at a more elevated surface, and the innards the walkers were pulling out and eating were intestines, which would not be at chest level, but lower in the belly.

This second detail, the intestines, raised the possibility, for me, that the walkers were tearing into Nicholas’s lifeless form, which was on top of Glenn, and not into Glenn’s body…yet.  And this slight chance, inspired by deliberately ambiguous camera angles, too many Negra Modelos, and a huge dose of wishful thinking, unleashed a wild hope in me that if Nicholas’s body was on top of Glenn, it could provide, perhaps, a momentary shield for Glenn…and Glenn, being ever-resourceful, could maybe capitalize upon this momentary reprieve to orchestrate the most insane, superhuman escape from certain, unspeakable death that anybody has ever pulled off in the history of television.

I watched Glenn’s face closely, his reactions, his anguish, the way he was screaming. It yielded few clues…it could be interpreted either way. Glenn could have been crying out in pain and terror, being eaten alive, or he could have been reacting to the sheer horror of watching Nicholas’s dead body being torn apart and eaten right on top of him, knowing he would be next.

The scene ends with the shot panning out, so we see an overhead view of the walker horde closing in over Glenn’s face. The dumpster is right there, only a foot or two away from him. While many TWD fans have speculated on social media whether Glenn would be able to get underneath the dumpster for refuge, protection from the horde, I cannot say for sure whether I personally saw any crawlspace underneath that dumpster.

Did any of you see a space under the dumpster when you were watching this scene? Please leave me a reply, give me a shout if you did. I so want there to be a space under that dumpster for Glenn to get to safety!

The only ways I can think of for Glenn to come out of this dire scenario are: 1) Nicholas’s body provides a shield and buys Glenn some time to get under the dumpster, 2) Glenn figures out a way to use Nicholas’s blood and guts, or a walker’s blood and guts, to disguise his smell (can he quickly slash a walker’s leg with his knife, undetected, and get some walker blood onto him?) or, 3) somebody else comes, making noise and creating a big, loud diversion to draw the horde’s attention away from Glenn.  It would have to be someone who has seen the whole thing go down, who knows that one dude just shot himself and knocked the other guy down with him, and who has the both the desire to help and the skills to do so.

(Haven’t we been hearing about the imminent arrival of another character from the comic book series, Jesus, who is due to come on the scene at some point in Season 6?  Jesus, buddy, if you’re coming, come quick, please, like, right fucking now, because some of our most beloved characters are in some real shit in the moment: Glenn, Rick, and Michonne, basically in that order of immediacy!)

Jesus, help us!

Another key question that was burning a hole in my heart, and still is, is what happened to Rick’s hand…look, I know when we last left him, he had just shot and killed, in pimp deputy style, like 5 Wolves (the blond dicknuts and his mini “pack” that Morgan let go back after they massacred Alexandria…and, btw, Morgan, dude, I love you, and I am looking forward to watching this upcoming 90-minute episode that seems to feature your backstory, but the fact that you let those murderous misfits of malignant malice & malintent go once again, to fuck shit up for our peeps once again, is starting to grate on my fucking nerves…like, seriously, dude, you’re killing me here.  Please. Just. Stop. Doing. That.)

Anyway, as I was saying, before I went off on another parenthetical tangent (and speaking of, am loving how Edgar Allan Poe was not afraid to deploy the parentheticals in the sonnet I included at the beginning of this post), I know that Rick is in all sorts of deep shit right now…he had to shoot and kill the mini-pack, and the walkers are swarming in, and the RV won’t start, and Rick’s face is actually showing the emotion of fear right about now, which tears at my heart like, well, like a horde of walkers…

I know all this, and all this is seriously sending my cortisol levels through the roof. I am bugging hard about all of it.

But, I am seriously bugging about our man’s hand right now.

I rewatched that scene, replayed it many times, and while my initial fear, that Rick had gotten bitten in his knife battle with the walkers (and, Rick, sweetie, the machete…your red-handled machete is the weapon of choice in that scenario, not your trusty Swiss Army Knife!) was allayed, what I saw was Rick’s knife breaking at the handle, and his having to use said handle, and his fist, to break open the walker’s skull.

I am horrified to report that I think what I saw was Rick’s hand getting cut open from this blow, and possibly the knife break, and the way he examined it, I think some walker blood may have gotten in there…

Noooooooooooooooooo!

I swear, it took me chugging like two Negras to calm down after this realization, and while the beer didn’t really calm me down, it did numb the roar of panic and dread that filled my heart and mind at the thought of this perfect specimen of man, my most favorite pretend boyfriend, Rick Grimes, being infected in any way by tainted walker blood.

I think this realization is hitting Rick, along with everything else, in that moment when he is frantically trying to start that damn RV as the swarm of walkers closes in around him, that awful moment when his face is actually looking really scared.

If Rick does manage to get out of this RV/walker debacle, and actually get back to Alexandria before the walker horde does, is he going to be at the mercy of Denise, Ph.D., psychology docotoral student’s medical ministrations? While I completely endorse Denise as Eugene’s potential gf, I do not endorse Denise to be the one to diagnose and treat/amputate my man, Rick Grime’s, beautiful hand!

This simply will not do, people!

Deep breaths, deep breaths…let us look at something beautiful to calm our frazzled hearts and minds, shall we?

Just look at the beautiful man, like you're supposed to...

Just look at the beautiful man, like you’re supposed to… 

Kirkman, Gimple, & Nicotero, Inc. have really put TWD fans through the slapping machine with this episode.

Glenn may be dead, Glenn may make it out alive and intact, or Glenn may become a walker, Rick is trapped and about to be overrun, Rick probably has putrid walker blood coursing through his hand right now, Michonne almost got pulled from the fence, into the walkers, and is now trapped, along with Heath, Scott, maybe someone else…I am really so stressed, I can’t even remember it all right now.

I do remember how Michonne, Heath, Scott just stood and watched that poor guy, David, get chomped from the other side of the chain-link fence…hey guys, maybe you can stop gaping and put at least one bullet to good use and do poor David, the “never coming home” newlywed, a solid and put a fucking bullet through his brain to end his suffering instead of just watching him get chomped to death, huh?

And because this snarking is actually relieving some major stress, let me continue on a couple of other points…remember, darlings, when I told you in my “About” section of this blog, that there would be random ranting?  Well, here goes:

This rant goes out to all those Rick-haters out there, specifically the Plan-haters, who have been whining online about how “Rick’s plan was a bad plan, it got people killed, and it killed Glenn.”  Seriously, there are whiny a-holes actually being paid to write that crap, and this is what I have to say about that shit:

Plan-haters, please…if Rick Grimes hadn’t found, and sleuthed, the walker horde in the quarry, you know what would have happened? Those walkers would have knocked over the tractor trailer truck blocking them on the one ledge anyway, and many of them would have found their way to the hallowed walls of Alexandria, sooner rather than later, with no forewarning of any kind.

The Wolves were on their way to attack Alexandria, no matter what, so while Rick and the others would have been there to fight them, there still would have been casualties, shit would have still been fucked up, and once everyone rekilled the fallen and went to dispose of the bodies, guess what they would see, coming en masse towards the walls…a huge-ass horde of quarry walkers, swarming towards the hallowed walls of Alexandria.

Rick Grimes’s plan was actually really fucking brilliant.

The man thought it through, step-by-step, conferred with others, got the barrier wall constructed and buffetted, got all the gang organized and mobilized, all the while saving his newson’s stupid ass, mending relations with Morgan, squelching a mini-rebellion in a fair and benevolent manner, and communicating righteously with his girlfriend. (Um, and what the fuck did you do today, Plan-haters? Wrote another shitty article, posted some tweets, did 20 minutes on the elliptical, and reheated some leftovers for dinner? Oooooo, standing ovation, douchebags.)

And if you remember, the plan was working, and while poor Carter met his inevitable, horrible demise (oh, and Rick Grimes also quickly and humanely put Carter out of his misery, and got Tobin to fire some rounds to redirect the walker horde back on track), the casualties were pretty minimal.

The plan was working, and as with even the most brilliantly constructed plans, there is always the possibility of something completely unplanned, unexpected, coming into play to fuck it all up. And that is what happened when the blare of the truck horn screamed out through the woods, and kept going, and going, and then the plan was fucked.

Not Rick Grimes’s fault, dicks.

Put that blame on Morgan, and Aaron, if you’re going to assign blame to anybody.

Rick Grimes then singlehandedly risked his life, and probably his hand, to go alone to get the RV and draw the walkers away from Alexandria.

So, there, Rick-haters. Go sell your shit-talking elsewhere, because I will always step up to serve up on behalf of my main man, Rick. Fucking. Grimes. 

IMG_4826

<3<3<3<3

And, since I’m going off, one more thing…this whole “Flight 462” business, the snippets of webisode AMC is showing in commercial breaks during TWD, is not really doing it for me.  Like, dudes, I usually am totally the AMC/TWD cheerleader, but it’s been like three weeks, and we haven’t gotten very far in this whole “Flight 462” storyline.

Each segment is, like, only 2 minutes, and at this point, all we’ve seen the kid checking his phone, trying to text his mom, and looking around, all spooked, at the other passengers. We see some guy across the aisle, sweating, arching back, loosening his collar. I am definitely voting that guy “Most Likely To Keel Over And Reanmimate.”

There’s also that one Asian lady looking around like she knows some shit that nobody else does. ZombieApocalypse secret agent or some shit? Maybe she’s a sky marshal trained in the zombie kill.  At any rate, she’s looking around like, “Just wait, fuckers, until that sweaty guy over there has a heart attack, dies, and reanimates…then the real fun begins!

All I’m saying is, if that bitch knows something, she better be ready to rumble and get to rekilling when that sweaty dude dies and turns. Maybe she could grab one of the knitting needles that lady next to the spooky teenager is crocheting with and jam it into the heart-attack guy’s temple…and, um, about that…since when does TSA allow knitting needles on flights? That’s like, 1997 shit, guys. That shit is a few decades behind the reality of the times. We can’t even bring a 4 0z bottle of fucking lotion on a flight nowadays, let alone knitting needles. Your viewing audience has all flown in the 21st century. We’ve all had to endure the laborious TSA screenings, going through the metal detectors, taking off our shoes, and emptying the contents of our bags and purses for the world to see when trying to get on even a domestic flight. We’re not a bunch of idiots.

Tighten that shit up, please and thank you.

And, pick up the pace already...I am beyond bored with the whole thing. Three weeks into it, and we haven’t gotten off the runway.  I’m with that one lady who’s ordering the alcohol from the flight attendant…over here, please, Miss, and make mine a double!

P.S. Heart Attack Guy = great name for a band

Wow. Sorry, gang. So snarky. You know that’s not like me. I am not myself in the moment. Super worried, super stressed about Glenn, Rick, and all our sweet gang.  I have been paying a lot of lip service to coping with the TWD related-stress, but I am actually having a hard time putting my preachings into practice.  Send me some love. I need it.

barnfullawalkers on social media:

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Or, email me at: barnfullawalkers@gmail.com

Deadies to: Steven Yeun, Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Greg Nicotero (for another amazing walker cameo in Episode 603, Scott M. Gimple (for kicking our asses and putting us through the slapping machine, hard), Robert Kirkman (for making it all happen, and for said Gimple reason ^^^^)

A very special and heartfelt Deadie to Michael Traynor, who delivered a haunting performance as Nicholas, a cowardly, tormented young man who falls in the Rick Grimes category of those who “aren’t going to make it,” and who will be sure to fuck it all up for somebody, or everybody, because “that’s just who they are.”

I felt real compassion for Nicholas, and in his brief, destructive, tragic run on the TWD storyline, his character went through such transformation.  Glenn was right on one hand, when he tells Nicholas, “That’s not who you are anymore.” Sadly, on the other hand, Glenn was wrong, and it may have cost him his life.

Michael Traynor delivered one of the most haunting performances I have seen, well, anywhere in that moment when, on top of the dumpster and looking down into the horrible siren song of unspeakable death, the sea of leering walkers (headed by our man Nicotero, with that special gleam in his eye that he has when playing a walker…that dude has the most fun at his job of anyone I’ve ever seen!), their teeth bared, faces rotting, eyes wild with horrible anticipation. We see it in Nicholas’s face, the growing panic, then the shift, the horrible, pulsing soundtrack as his eyes deaden, and he turns to Glenn.

“Thank you,” he says, thickly, and puts the gun to his temple. And, in that moment just before he pulls the trigger, his face... I got an incredible picture of his face in that moment, of the bloody hand holding the gun to his temple. After some reservation, I did decide to post it on Instagram. It’s horrible, and beautiful, all at the same time.  Bravo, Michael Traynor. May your star continue to rise after this iconic performance.

And, finally, to Glenn Rhee. I have cried so many times. I love you, Glenn Rhee, and I think I speak for all of TWD fandom when I say, We are not ready to lose you.

And Rick, if you have to lose your hand to maintain comic book cred, please may they outfit you with the most badass, sexy set of post-apoc prosthetics the post ZA world has ever seen!

Send Glenn, Rick, and the gang the love, enjoy the playlist, and have a safe and happy Halloween!

Much love, Glenn Rhee. I am keeping the faith! 

And, Rick Grimes, hand or no hand, you are still my #1 pretend boyfriend…my devotion will never waver.

Glenn Rhee’s Perfect 10 Playlist: xoxoxoxoxo

The XX, “Intro”

Rush, “Working Man”

Mudhoney, “Flat Out Fucked”

Fugazi, “Promises”

alt-J, “Hunger Of The Pine”

Kid Cudi (w. King Chip), “Just What I Am”

Led Zeppelin, “Thank You” (for Glenn and Maggie <3)

Eddie Vedder, “Rise”

 deadmau5, Kaskade, “I Remember-Strobelight Mix”

The Black Keys, “Everlasting Light”

The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 2, “JSS”

Due to life, media storage snafus, and temporary tweaker burnout, www.barfullawalkers.com will be posting insanely awesome music playlists on this blogsite to honor TWD Season 6 until further notice.

Check us out on social media, where the TWD Season 6 conversation is just beginning:

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/barnfullawalkrs

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Email: barnfullawalkers@gmail.com

Enjoy the playlist!

Playlist:

Neurosis: “Through Silver In Blood”

Slayer, “Raining Blood”

Pantera, “Cowboys From Hell”

X, “The Hungry Wolf”

Lil Kim, “Queen Bitch” (for Carol)

Sonic Youth, “Kool Thing”

John Frusciante, “Murderers”

PJ Harvey, “The Sky Lit Up”

Bronski Beat, “Smalltown Boy”

Kurt Vile, “Life Like This”

The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 1, “First Time Again”

“First Time Again”

(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead unless otherwise specified.)

Well, dear readers, once again, the joke’s on me…as I was frantically plugging away to get this epic post finished, my bare-bones, bottom-of-the-line WordPress blog theme finally buckled, and cannot hold any more images until my broke ass can afford an upgrade.

It’s something I have been wanting, and needing, to do for a while, and it will happen, loves, but not right away.

I was going to end this post with a thoughtfully crafted message to you all, letting you know that, out of necessity, I was going to have to dial way back on the level of posting I have been doing, which we can probably all agree is pretty insane. We do love it, no one more than me, but it’s become pretty hard to justify, time-and-energy-wise, and almost impossible to sustain.

I had hinted at this inner quandry in my TWD Season 6 prepost, “The Night Before The Walking Dead Season 6 Premiere.”  The reality of these times is that my family, my world needs my full, focused attention right now.  Making these posts happen takes a lot of time, energy, and attention, and while I am already blown away by TWD Season 6, and am inspired on so many levels, I need to simplify things, give myself, my family my full time, love, and attention right now.

Honestly, people, I’m a little fried, and I am needing to “relax the posting standards, ease into civilian life” for a while, as Abraham Ford would say. It’s time to find a new balance.

When I am able to upgrade my blogsite, I will start loading pictures, text again, at some point, along with playlists, which I will still post, weekly, on this site.  The playlists are on Spotify, and I think they are easily accessible to all, even if you are on a free plan and have to deal with ads. It’s worth it. The playlists have been really fun and inspiring for me to create, with each week’s new episode in my mind, and in my heart. I stand by each and every one.

I have written 47 posts over the span of two years on www.barnfullawalkers.com, covering The Walking Dead episodes through the entirety of Seasons 4 and 5. I have left a sizable body of work for peeps to read, enjoy, and I certainly plan on posting more actively on my social media accounts. I will provide links to these accounts, along with my email address.

I would consider it the most amazing job in the world if I could do what I do here for a living, celebrating, promoting pop culture, sharing thoughts and feelings, and turning peeps on to great music. In the moment, I am but a working stiff who tries to squeeze out the droplets of time to do this…this latest obstacle seems like a sign for me to honor what I need to do, open my mind, and my perspective, and get creative with how to work around all this.

There is much fun to be had on barnfullawalkers social media accounts, so check me out, show the love, double-tap, give a follow at:

Instagram: https://instagram.com/barnfullawalkers/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/barnfullawalkrs

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barnfullawalkers

Or, email me at : barnfullawalkers@gmail.com

I am sorry if this sounds lame, or is disappointing. It’s just the way life happens.  I have been working hard on this project for two years, a fairly solitary endeavor on one hand, but it connects me to TWD fans, and readers, all over the world. This crazy blog is far from over, dear ones, and while I get my shit together, and tend to my nearest and dearest, there is so much fun buzz, art, and conversation about this already amazing sixth season of TWD.

Much love, dear readers, and enjoy this humble, almost-complete homage to The Walking Dead’s Season 6 premiere episode, “First Time Again.”

rick 1

“Rick?”

“I know this sounds insane…this is an insane world. We have to come for them, before they come for us…it’s that simple.”

quarry 1

“You see that!?”

quarry 3quarry 4

quarry 5 quarry 6 quarry 7 quarry 8 quarry 9 quarry 10 quarry 11

quarry 12

quarry 13

quarry 14 its open

“It’s open! We gotta do this now! We’re doing this NOW!

(Dude, already, the hotness…the Rick Grimes hotnessit’s all-consuming. I love it so.) 

Rick-In-Charge delegating, peeps scrambling, getting it done, son.

Rick-In-Charge delegating, peeps scrambling…getting it done, son.

Carter looks like he's about to cry.

Carter looks like he’s about to cry. “Rick, we’re not ready!” Too bad, so sad, Carter. Fucking get ready, do this shit, and you can cry about it later. (Even though Carter is a weenie, the actor who plays him, Ethan Embry, is completely awesome, total TWD fan who auditioned for various roles on the show 5 or 6 times before getting cast as Carter. He had to keep this news a secret from the group of friends he gets together with to watch TWD. How cute is that? They must have been totally shitting when they found out he was going to be on it!)

Rick bellows, “Abraham, Sasha!”  “Damn straight,” replies Abraham, “We’re doing this live!”

plan b 3

plan b 2

Nicholas:

Nicholas: “I’m here, let me help.” Glenn: “No.” Nicholas: “I’m HERE!”

Glenn:

Glenn: “Do everything I say.” Nicholas: “I will.”

Daryl yells,

Daryl yells, “They’re coming!”

plan b walkers 1

plan b 6 abraham

At Rick's command, one, two, three flares go up, diverting the walker horde's attention towards them...

At Rick’s command, “Get ready to hit the flares!” one, two, three flares go up, diverting the walker horde’s attention towards them…

...and here come the Plan B Walkers.

…and here come the Plan B Walkers.

plan b walkers 3 plan b walkers 4

As the walker gets shoved through the narrow opening between the trucks, we see how its skin and soft tissues tear away easily from the bones. Greg Nicotero, you beautiful madman!

As the walker gets shoved through the narrow opening between the trucks, we see how its skin and soft tissues tear away easily from the bones. Greg Nicotero, you beautiful madman!

plan b walkers 6

Taken down by Daryl's arrow. <3

Taken down by Daryl’s arrow.

As one of the trucks pulls away, according to plan, the walkers spill out of the opening.

As one of the trucks pulls away, according to plan, the Plan B Walkers spill out of the opening.

plan b walkers 9

wd

deanna 1 deanna 2 deanna 3 you were wrong

“You were wrong.”

deanna 5 gabriel

Wordlessly, Gabriel nods.

deanna 6

abraham graves 1 abraham graves 2 abraham graves 3 abraham graves 4 abraham graves 5 wedding ring abraham graves 6

Abraham takes a drink...

Abraham takes a drink…

...and then pours one...

…and then pours one…

...for the dead. RIP Reg. :( <3

…for the dead. RIP Reg. 😦 ❤

Meanwhile...

Meanwhile…

As he gets up and rushes off, Jessie calls after her eldest son,

As he gets up and rushes off, Jessie calls after her eldest son, “Ron!” (Watching this, I turned to my WD buddy. “Ron??” I asked her. Not Rowan, like I had always thought?  “Ron,” she agreed, nodding.  I turned back to the tv, thinking, ‘Damn, I really do need to get my hearing checked!’)

This poor family has been through such hell.

This poor family has been through such hell.

tara rosita 1

Glenn and Nicholas come stumbling in...this was right after Nicholas shot Glenn, they fought, Glenn almost killed-then-forgave Nicholas scene in the woods.

Glenn and Nicholas come stumbling in…this was right after Nicholas shot Glenn, they fought, Glenn almost killed-then-forgave Nicholas scene in the woods.

“You guys look like shit,” Tara jokes, weakly.

Glenn beams at Tara.

Glenn sees Tara, beams at her.

Maggie comes rushing in, sees Tara awake, then Glenn. As she tends to him, Glenn puts his injuries off on

Maggie comes rushing in, sees Tara awake, then Glenn. As she tends to him, Glenn puts his injuries off on “walkers,” calling Maggie’s attention back to as she turns and glares at Nicholas.

Eugene comes in, then, and his face breaks into the sweetest little smile when he sees Tara awake, sitting up,

Eugene comes in, then, and his face breaks into the sweetest little smile when he sees Tara awake, sitting up, “Holy shit!” he exclaims, running over to her.

Tara blinks up at Eugene.

Tara blinks up at Eugene. “Thank God, nothing happened to your hair,” she deadpans.

As Eugene keeps looking down, smiling at her, Tara says,

As Eugene keeps looking down, smiling at her, Tara says, “Ok, Eugene…”

She turns to the others.

She turns to the others. “Eugene’s freaking me out. Somebody needs to send Noah in here to save me.”

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(Oooo, Nicholas, you are in so much trouble…)

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This is the worst night in Ron's young life, and that's saying something, considering the poor guy is growing up in the zombie apocaplypse!

This is the worst night in Ron’s young life, and that’s saying something, considering the poor guy is growing up in the zombie apocaplypse.

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“You were right,” Morgan says to Rick. “It wasn’t over.”

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“We should talk tomorrow,” Rick says, in a polite, veiled manner. He then walks over to Morgan, leans in towards the seated man.

“Listen…I don’t take chances, anymore,” Rick tells him.

As Daryl watches the exchange, Morgan looks down, registering Rick's meaning. He looks back up at Rick.

Daryl pauses eating, watching the exchange, Morgan looks down, registering Rick’s meaning. He looks back up at Rick. “And you shouldn’t,” he agrees, easily.

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abraham sad 8 double peace

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We see the newbies running while Rick-In-Charge's voice instructs over the radio,

We see the Newbies running, pacing themselves but looking scared as shit while Rick-In-Charge’s voice instructs over the radio, “You all have your assignments…you know where to rendevous.” (I’d be all like, “Yessir, General Smash! I know where to rendevous, Sir!” Good thing the Newbies were regulars at Aaron’s cardio kickboxing class, back in the day in ol’ Alexandria.)

Two other Newbies fire flares up into the air to keep the walkers coming towards their lead as Rick-In-Charge reviews the plan,

Two other Newbies fire flares up into the air to keep the walkers coming towards their lead as Rick-In-Charge reviews the plan, “Daryl leads them out…Sasha and Abraham join him at the bottom of the hill.”

“Glenn,” Rick’s voice continues over the radio…

“You hit us when you take care of the walkers at the tractor place. That’s the one thing we gotta get ahead of…”

“Everybody, keep your heads. Just keep up.

Yessir, General Smash! Keeping up, Sir!

(Yessir, General Smash! Keeping up, Sir!Rick stops, looks back to check on…

...Daryl, who coasts slowly on his motorcycle, coming up over the hill. We do not see the massive horde of walkers just a few feet behind him, yet, but we hear their savage caucophony grow louder and louder as Daryl rolls closer. Always putting himself at the greatest risk for the good of all. How we love thee, Daryl Dixon! <3

…Daryl, who coasts slowly on his motorcycle, coming up over the hill. We do not see the massive horde of walkers just a few feet behind him, yet, but we hear their savage cacophony grow louder and louder as Daryl rolls closer. Always putting himself at the greatest risk for the good of all. How we love thee, Daryl Dixon!

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Daryl does not look up as he asks Rick,

Daryl does not look up as he asks Rick, “So, was he ok with it?”

“It was pretty much his idea,…he gets it.”

“It’s got a bed and a bath, but it’s still a cage, you know?” Daryl replies, quietly.

Rick looks down at Daryl.

Rick looks down at Daryl. “He gets it,” he says, again. Rick then tells Daryl that Morgan told him what happened at the cannery, how Morgan found and rescued Daryl and Aaron.

“Did he tell you about those guys he met?” Daryl motions to his forehead. “W’s?”

Rick nods.

Rick nods. “Like that walker we saw…yeah.

“We need more watch points,” Rick continues, “and I’m gonna tell Deanna…”

“…we don’t need to go looking for people any more.”

Daryl takes this in, silently, before turning away. Rick can see this doesn't sit easy with Daryl.

Daryl takes this in, silently, before giving a nod, turning away. Rick can see this doesn’t sit easy with Daryl.

“You feel different about it?” Rick asks him.

Daryl turns back, looks at Rick.

Daryl turns back, looks at Rick, nods. “Yeah…I do,” he says. ❤

“People out there, they need to take care of themselves, just like we do,” Rick asserts.

Daryl says nothing, but his look seems to say,

Daryl says nothing, but his look seems to say: But we were people out there, not that long ago, and we’d still be out there if Aaron and Eric hadn’t found us. Rick tells Daryl that he will let Morgan out soon, that they shouldn’t keep him “in there” any longer than they have to, and turns, walks away, leaving Daryl to process all this.

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As the car speeds down the road, Abraham looks out the window, asks Sasha, casually,

As the car speeds down the road, Abraham looks out the window, asks Sasha, casually, “You good?”

Keeping her eyes on the road, Sasha nods.

Keeping her eyes on the road, Sasha nods. “Yeah,” and she does sound like she might actually mean it.

“I’m trying,” Sasha amends. Abraham suggests something about “Because if you were gonna go buckwild,” implying that maybe Sasha was still hellbent on her deathwish.

Sasha, annoyed, retorts,

Sasha, annoyed, retorts, “If you were so worried, why did you get in the car with me?”

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“Listen,” Sasha says, “Doing something as big as this, that’s living.”

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Sasha sees the marker.

Sasha sees the marker. “There it is,” she says, pulling up and stopping at the red helium balloons tied at a tree. “We’re at red,” she radios in, “Bottom of the hill.”  “Alright,” Rick radios back, “Here comes the parade.”

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“Where’d you learn that?”  “Friend,” Morgan replies.

“Before, or after?” asks Rick. Morgan looks up and regards the man in front of him.

And says nothing.

And says nothing.

This makes Rick snarky.

This makes Rick snarky. “I ask, you answer, it’s common courtesy…right” Rick smiles tightly, and Morgan gives a little laugh, looks down, remembering. (Now, darlings, I know that Snarky Rick is not the hottest incarnation of our man, Rick Grimes, but remember, it’s been a rough couple of days, and thankfully, this snarky period does not last too much longer…we seem to be moving through it pretty well by the end of Episode 601, when many, many more pressing matters present themselves in front of Alexandria’s hallowed steel walls…but, more on that, later!)

“After…it was after, everything.” (Ok, I cannot wait to see that backstory episode, but if I have to watch little Dwayne get chomped by his undead mom, Jenny Walker, I may lose it…just saying.)

This softens Rick a bit, and his hotness meter immediately starts to climb as he apologizes,

This softens Rick a bit, and his hotness meter immediately starts to climb as he apologizes, “Look, I’m sorry for this, for having to do this,” and he gestures around the detention mansion that Morgan has been detained in. “That’s alright,” Morgan says, quickly, then adds:

“The way I look at it, sometimes you’re safer when there’s no way out.” (Great line, and I find myself hoping this is true, because I think there’s a bit of foreshadowing happening with this statement…like, Alexandria’s going to be surrounded by thousands of walkers, and there will be no way out…)

“Gotta get to know each other again,” Morgan says, easily.

“For the first time, again.” (I really do love how Scott M. Gimple inserts the episodes’ titles into the dialogue, somewhere…a consistent favorite moment for me, in each episode!) 

Meanwhile, manning the gate, Eugene hears the sound of a vehicle pulling up, then a voice on the other side of the fence,

Meanwhile, manning the gate, Eugene hears the sound of a vehicle pulling up, then a voice on the other side of the fence, “Hey, it’s us, you gonna let us in, or what?”

In response, Heath is greeted by a mulltastic stranger who replies,

In response, Heath is greeted by a mulltastic stranger who replies, “I technically am not authorized, so I will not be doing so.”

“Who the hell are you?“You first,” replies Eugene.

“I’m Heath. I live here. My team’s been on a run these past couple weeks.”

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“I’m Eugene…I brought myself and my group directly within that window…

Heath cuts in,

Heath cuts in, “Open the gate.”

“If I do, how do I know you will not attempt to kill me?”

Heath gives a little laugh at this.

Heath gives a little laugh at this. “Look, I’m not going to kill you…”

“…but the longer you make me wait, the more you’ll motivate me to want to beat your ass.”

Eugene looks at Heath a moment, then at Carter, and another woman, the driver, waiting behind Heath in the car...and after another brief moment, the gates roll open to allow Heath and his team inside.

Eugene looks at Heath a moment, then at Carter, and another woman, the driver, waiting behind Heath in the car…and after another brief moment, the gates roll open to allow Heath and his team inside. Eugene meets others, Scott and Holly, and as Heath closes the gates, he asks Eugene, “Anything big happen while we were gone?” Eugene thinks a moment. “We  had a meetin’ last night…”

“Oh, yeah?” Heath asks. “About what?” Eugene pauses. “You might want to talk to Deanna, get it from the horse, her mouth, you know.” he replies. As Heath turns to go, presumably to find Deanna and find out what the hell’s going on, Eugene calls after him, “It’s nice to meet somebody like me…I fully respect the hair game.” This leaves Heath more confused than ever…was he just complimented, or insulted? Fully rattled, Heath turns and walks off…not realizing yet, of course, that he hasn’t heard the half of it.

In the next scene, we see Rick and Morgan, walking up to a section of the wall. Morgan asks who put it up, and Rick tells him that there was a man, Reg, an architect, who put up the wall early on. He explains to Morgan that the Alexandrians had food, energy, not many walkers…they had been just living, for much of this time, and haven’t really had to survive. Rick tells Morgan they figured this out, and found Rick and his gang, brought them in as ones who could show them, teach them.

Rick tells Morgan, “It still may be too late.”

“Too late, how?” Morgan asks. “For them to come around…we’ll see,” Rick replies. He begins to tell Morgan that he’ll have to talk to Deanna, the woman in charge…she was married to Reg. “Was?” asks Morgan. Rick is about to explain when he sees Gabriel’s head through the bushes, and walks ahead quickly to investigate.

Snarky Rick comes up on Gabriel and Tobin, digging the graves for Reg's and Pete's bodies...and of course, Snarky Rick ain't having it. No murderers get to rest underground within the precious real estate within Alexandria's walls.

Snarky Rick comes up on Gabriel and Tobin, digging the graves for Reg’s and Pete’s bodies…and of course, Snarky Rick ain’t having it. No murderers get to rest underground within the precious real estate within Alexandria’s walls.

Tobin diplomatically tells Rick that he understands how Rick feels, but says, “It’s not your decision.” Rick looks down at this with a little laugh…

...when Deanna Monroe walks up, just at that moment, and sides with Rick.

…when Deanna Monroe walks up, just at that moment, and sides with Rick. “Tobin,” she says, “Rick’s right.” She looks down at Pete’s body. “Take it away.”

Poor young Ron looks on from behind the bushes as Deanna instructs,

Poor young Ron looks on from behind the bushes as Deanna instructs, “Go west, down Branton Road a few miles.” (I do feel bad for Ron, but if he’s the one honking that damn horn in the end, I am going to want to get in the long, long line of peeps waiting to kick his angst-ridden little ass…just sayin’!)

As Ron looks on, Deanna continues, telling the men to take Pete's body

As Ron looks on, Deanna continues, telling the men to take Pete’s body “past the bridge…we don’t go that way. Let the trees have him.” (Brrrr...that’s cold, Deanna Monroe!)

Later, as they load Pete's body into the car trunk, Rick looks over at Morgan.

Later, as they load Pete’s body into the car trunk, Rick looks over at Morgan. “I shot him, because he killed Reg. That was it. We didn’t have a choice,” Rick explains. Morgan looks down at the body in the bag. “You do have a cell,” he says, mildly. “Not for killers,” replies Rick.

Morgan looks over at Rick.

Morgan looks over at Rick. “I’m a killer, Rick. I am, and you are, too.” Rick gives Morgan a long look before shutting the car trunk.

In the next scene, we see Rick, Michonne, and Morgan running ahead of the dreaded walker parade. Rick radios Glenn, checks in. It seems Glenn and the others are right on time, ahead of the horde, at the tractor store. As they regard the barricade they set up, before, RV and car parked in front of metal gates, Rick says,

In the next scene, we see Rick, Michonne, and Morgan running ahead of the dreaded walker parade. Rick radios Glenn, checks in. Glenn tells Rick that they’re almost at the tractor store, and will have a handle on things before “they” get there.. As Rick, Michonne, and Morgan regard the barricade they set up, before, RV and car parked in front of metal gates, Rick says, “It’ll hold.” Michonne replies that’s good, considering where they’re standing. It seems the barricade will soon be the only thing standing between them and the massive walker horde.

As they stand there, Michonne looks over at Morgan, as if waiting for him to say something, and he does.

As they stand there, Michonne looks over at Morgan, as if waiting for him to say something, and he does. “Michonne?” he asks. “Yeah?” Morgan waits a moment before asking, “Back when you were in that place…where I lived…did you take one of my protein bars?”

Michonne looks over at Morgan, her face softening with inner mirth, and she answers quietly, with a smile in her voice,

Michonne looks over at Morgan, her face softening with inner mirth, and she answers quietly, with a smile in her voice, “No.”

Morgan processes this a moment. He doesn't seem convinced.

Morgan processes this a moment. He doesn’t seem convinced. “See, I could have sworn that there was one more peanut butter left.”

Michonne says,

Michonne shakes her head, says, comically, “That’s how it is, isn’t it…you always think there’s one more peanut butter left.” This sweet, comical moment stands a second more before the roar of walkers approaching begins to swell over the barricade.

In the next shot, time shifts back, again, and we see Ron, coming out from under a bridge, alone.

In the next shot, time shifts back, again, and we see Ron, coming out from under a bridge, alone.

He looks up, and a moment later, the trusty old

He looks up, and a moment later, the trusty old “Astoundingly Ugly Car” drives over the bridge.

Ron springs up, over the rocky hillside, after it.

Ron springs up, over the rocky hillside, after it.

As they step their way through the woods, Morgan leading the way, trusty staff in hand, RIck prompts,

As they step their way through the woods, Morgan leading the way, trusty staff in hand, RIck prompts, “Morgan…maybe we just leave him here.” If it were up to Rick Smash!, they would have heaved the body just off the road and taken off. Later, McBeaty. However, the Bear McCreary music in the background is all soft and dreamy, so we know that somebody is going to have a human moment in life and love coming to them, and Snarky Rick is def due for one of those…

And, here it comes...

And, here it comes…

Morgan smiles at Rick, taps the shovel in his right hand a few times into the ground, says,

Morgan smiles at Rick, taps the shovel in his right hand a few times into the ground, says, “That’s not who you are…I know.” Morgan turns and continues down the path. Rick follows quickly, catches up with Morgan. “Hey,” Rick says, and Morgan turns around to face him.

“You don’t, Rick says quietly.

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Morgan looks at Rick a moment, says nothing, shrugs off his bag, and begins spearing the shovel into the ground. In the background, there is a quiet roar, the telltale noise of...

Morgan looks at Rick a moment, says nothing, shrugs off his bag, and begins spearing the shovel into the ground. In the background, there is a quiet roar, the telltale noise of…

“You hear that?” Rick asks, listening.

The men approach the edge before a steep drop into a deep quarry, where thousands of walkers are, below, snarling and milling about, trapped in all sides by steep embankments, piles of rock, and serendipotously placed tractor trailers.

The men approach the edge before a steep drop into a deep quarry, where thousands of walkers are, below, snarling and milling about, trapped in all sides by steep embankments, piles of rock, and serendipitously placed tractor trailers. It is a fearsome sight, with staggering implications.

The men are startled out of their shock by a noise from behind...

The men are startled out of their shock by a noise from behind…

...of young Ron, running for his life from a band of...

…of young Ron, running for his life from a band of…

...boythirsty Cougar Walkers!

…boythirsty Cougar Walkers!

The impetuous young dummy is speeding right for the cliff's edge...

The impetuous young dummy is speeding right for the cliff’s edge…

...before being tackled in pimp linebacker-style by his newdad, Rick Fucking Grimes.

…before being tackled in pimp linebacker-style by his newdad, Rick Fucking Grimes.

And the Cougar Walkers charge, one by one, over the cliff's edge.

And so the Cougar Walkers charge, one by one, over the cliff’s edge, as so often happens in the troll for tender young boyflesh…better luck next time, Cougar Walkers!

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Watching this scene, I found myself wondering what Daryl would be thinking about, riding for all that time with thousands of walkers snarling on his tail, just a few yards behind him. I thought that he would be thinking of Beth, either reliving those sweet, stolen moments with her, or perhaps creating a fantasy world of the two of them, together, to help him escape the hellish world all around him.

Watching this scene, I found myself wondering what Daryl would be thinking about, riding for all that time with thousands of walkers snarling on his tail, just a few yards behind him. I imagined that he would be thinking of Beth, either reliving those sweet, stolen moments with her, or perhaps creating a fantasy world inside his mind of the two of them, together, in his quiet moments, to help him escape the hellish world all around him.

Sasha and Abraham meet up with Daryl in the Astoundingly Ugly Car.

Sasha and Abraham meet up with Daryl in the Astoundingly Ugly Car.

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Here comes the Parade of Walkers.

And, here comes the parade that nobody loves, the Parade of Walkers.

As Rick and Morgan look down at the steep quarry filled with walkers...

As Rick and Morgan look down at the steep quarry filled with walkers…

...Ron comes up quietly to stand beside them, looking down. Rick looks over at the boy.

…Ron comes up quietly to stand beside them, looking down. Rick looks over at the boy. “What are you doing out here, Ron?” he asks gruffly.

Not looking at Rick, the teen answers,

Not looking at Rick, the teen answers, “I wanted to know where my dad was buried.”

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This is how…” Rick realizes aloud. “How what?” Morgan asks.

“This is how the community is still here,” Rick replies. “They’ve had walkers at their walls…”

“…but a lot of them, most of them, ended up here.”

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Ron flexes his teen rebellion once again and turns to leave, only to be stopped by Rick.

Ron flexes his teen rebellion once again and turns to leave, only to be stopped by Rick. “You shouldn’t be out here,” Rick says, grabbing the boy by the arm.

“I don’t care what you think,” Ron says (of course). “It’s not what I think, it’s what I know,” Rick tells him.

Rick tells the young man that he has no idea how to protect himself out here, and while Rick can show him how, right now, as he is, if he comes out here,

Rick tells the young man that he has no idea how to protect himself out here, and while Rick can show him how, right now, as he is, if he comes out here, “You’re gonna die.” Rick lays it out for Ron…the death won’t be quick, and it won’t be over, because he’ll be “one of them.” So, basically, NewDad Rick gets the last word on young Ron, tells him he’s going to come back with him and Morgan, now. Rick looks at Ron significantly. “Don’t make it hard,” he tells the young man, before walking back over to Morgan.

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My WD buddies and I were so happy, watching this scene, to see Rick step up and do the right thing.

My WD buddies and I were so happy, watching this scene, to see Rick step up and do the right thing. ❤

Glenn, Nicholas, and Heath have reached the tractor store, without a moment to spare. If they are too late, the noise of the tractors could distract the walker parade off the road. They must act fast.

Glenn, Nicholas, and Heath have reached the tractor store, without a moment to spare. If they are too late, the noise of the tractor store walkers could distract the walker parade off the road. They must act fast.

Glenn comes up with a plan, for Nicholas to man the door, let out a couple of walkers from inside the store at a time, so Glenn and Heath can take them as they come out. Heath is unsure of this...what if Nicholas can't shut the door, hold them off? Glenn tells him then, they take them on...at Heath's

Glenn comes up with a plan, for Nicholas to man the door, let out a couple of walkers from inside the store at a time, so Glenn and Heath can take them as they come out. Heath is unsure of this…what if Nicholas can’t shut the door, hold them off? Glenn tells him then, they take them on. “Take them on?” asks Heath, incredulously. Glenn tells him if too many come out at once, they lead them around the building, towards the woods.

Nicholas tells Heath,

Nicholas tells Heath, “You’ve been on runs this whole time…he knows what he’s doing.” (Nicholas was def scoring some redemption points with me at this point in the episode.) Nicholas looks at Heath, admits, “Me and Aiden…we didn’t.” Heath shakes his head at all of this. “This was supposed to be a dress rehearsal,” he gripes. Glenn shakes his head at Heath in disbelief. “I was supposed to be delivering pizzas, man,” he says. Ha! Zinger!

Glenn counts down, and Nicholas pulls the door open to reveal...metal security door!

Glenn counts down, and Nicholas pulls the door open to reveal…metal security door! “Shit!” Glenn must improvise now, and quickly.

At the meeting, Heath clears up the mystery of the quarry walkers...he says early on, in some of the first scouting trips around the area, he and his

At the meeting, Heath clears up the mystery of the quarry walkers…he says early on, in some of the first scouting trips around the area, he and his “team” spotted the quarry…

It had once been a camp, and he surmised that the people down there must have tried to seal off the entrances into it with the trucks. It didn't work, however, for all the reasons Rick and Morgan saw before, with the walkers sliding down the embankment, right into the lower levels.

It had once been a camp, and he surmised that the people down there must have tried to seal off the entrances into it with the trucks. It didn’t work, however, for all the reasons Rick and Morgan saw before, with the walkers sliding down the embankment, right into the lower levels.

Heath says that the last time he saw it, there were about 12

Heath says that the last time he saw it, there were about 12 “roamers” down there. When Maggie asks him if anyone’s checked on it since, he replies that nothing on goods runs was in that direction, and that he didn’t exactly want to have a “picnic next to the camp that ate itself.”

Michonne, being brilliant as well as beautiful, and a badass, points out that the sound of the walkers draws more walkers, who fall in, making more sound, drawing more walkers...it's a horrible equation of undead exponentialism!

Michonne, being brilliant as well as beautiful, and a badass, points out that the sound of the walkers draws more walkers, who fall in, making more sound, drawing more walkers…it’s like one, big, horrible equation of undead exponentiation!

As Rick begins to outline his plan, which, he admits, sounds

As Rick begins to outline his plan, which, he admits, sounds “risky,” Carter stands there, looking like the poster child for the word “lugubrious.”

Rick points out that one of the trucks holding the walkers back could fall over the edge any day now, like after one more hard rain, and that would send the walkers east, right towards Alexandria.

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“Marshall and Redding…we’ll force them west, here.” “How?” “Block it off, so they can only go one way, west, away from the community.”

“Block it off with what?” “Cars…we’ll use the RV, some of the bigger trucks, park ’em in the end.” (It’s actually a great plan. It should have worked, Rick Grimes…it almost did!)

Michonne reminds them that they’ll be drawing the walkers away, that the horde will keep moving.

 Carter, however, is not convinced that the barricade will hold against the walkers, and questions the plan. What if the barricade doesn't hold, and the walkers start slipping through the cracks, and that noise catches the other walkers' attention...what then?

Carter, however, is not convinced that the barricade will hold against the walkers, and questions the plan. What if the barricade doesn’t hold, and the walkers start slipping through the cracks, and that noise catches the other walkers’ attention…what then?

Heath looks over to Rick, tells him that

Heath looks over to Rick, tells him that “The man’s got a point.” Michonne shoots Carter a look like, “You really are a whiner, and kind of a pussy, you know that?”

A voice, bearing the familiar Texas drawl we love so well, speaks up from behind.

A voice, bearing the familiar Texas drawl we love so well, speaks up from behind. “We got plates,” says Eugene, standing tall and bearing the mullet we love so well. “Big-ass metal ones from the construction site. We could use them to fortify the whipwall, disperse the force of impact and help direct the walkers clean…like a pool table, 8-ball, corner pocket.” (Yes, Eugene! I loved seeing him step up in this moment, as it really felt like Eugene was starting to find his role in this community: Professor Mullet.)

Carter objects, of course, but that's just because it just became super clear to everyone that even Eugene is less of a pussy than Carter.

Carter objects, of course, but that’s just because he’s mad that Eugene is showing himself to be more of a man than Carter is, and everyone knows it.

Rick Grimes shuts down Carter's whining by telling him that he, Carter, a.k.a. Construction Dick, better help make sure that barrier holds against the walkers.

Rick Grimes shuts down Carter’s whining by telling him that he, Carter, a.k.a. Construction Dick, better help make sure that barrier holds against the walkers.

planning 7

Morgan chimes in,

Morgan chimes in, “That wall, you built it. So, you’ve already done the impossible,” with incredible deadpan delivery, referring, of course, to Alexandria’s hallowed steel wall barrier (featuring Reg’s patented “outside-the-wall” supports which thoughtfully provide easy climbing access for any live enemy forces to invade, and defile, the Vanilla Dream…hey, now that I think of it, Carter, was that your idea? If so, thanks for nothing, asshole.) #letsblamecarter

The scene shifts, and we see it's the moment of truth...Daryl is leading the horde to the corner pocket...will the barrier they built hold?

The scene shifts, and we see it’s the moment of truth…Daryl is leading the horde to the corner pocket…will the barrier they built hold?

As the mass approaches, Rick, Morgan, and MIchonne begin firing well-timed, well-placed flares to distract the walkers' attention from charging full-forward into the wall, and lead them around the bend.

As the mass approaches, Rick, Morgan, and MIchonne begin firing well-timed, well-placed flares to distract the walkers’ attention from charging full-forward into the wall, and lead them around the bend.

The flares begin to capture some walkers' attention...

The flares begin to capture some walkers’ attention…

Michonne fires a flare, then edges closer, bracing herself, peering through the corner...

Michonne fires a flare, then edges closer, bracing herself, peering through the corner…

parade 5 parade 6 rick parade 7 flare

More and more walkers notice, are drawn towards the flares...

More and more walkers notice, are drawn towards the flares…

Putty Face Walker is like,

Putty Face Walker is like, “Oooo, pretty!”

The indignity just doesn't ever end for the Trampled Underfoot Walkers...they fall into a quarry, get stuck there for like a year, and when they finally get out, now this! They're like,

The indignity just doesn’t ever end for the Trampled Underfoot Walkers…they fall into a quarry, get stuck there for like a year, and when they finally get out, now this! They’re like, “Goddamn it!”

parade 16

So far, the plan seems to be working…

parade 15

parade 17 go west, walkers

Go West, Walkers!

Time shifts back again, and we see the beginning of the construction of the barrier.

Time shifts back again, and we see the beginning of the construction of the barrier.

Jessie looks up from her digging to see...

Jessie looks up from her digging to see…

...Rick looking at her. He seems to be thinking,

…Rick looking at her. He seems to be thinking, “Do they make a Hallmark card for ‘Sorry I Killed Your Husband (But He Was A Dick)’?”

building barrier 4 daryl what you said before, about us needing to take care of ourselves

Rick nods at Jessie, goes back to his task, when Daryl comes up, pushing a wheelbarrow. “What you said before, about us needing to take care of ourselves?” he begins, as he dumps the contents of the wheelbarrow…

“Going out, and finding more people, that is taking care of ourselves.”

Daryl finished dumping his load, and Rick looks up at him.

Daryl finished dumping his load, and Rick looks up at him. “Your call, though,” Daryl says, turning and heading for another load.

Carol brings Rick a drink, and they confer quietly. Rick tells Carol she should stay back, get a feel for how the citizens are taking all this, how they feel now. “We still have a long way to go with them,” says Rick.

Carol looks over the assembled workers, all busy, sweating. “We’ll get there,” she says. “She’s in charge, but you’re in charge, now.” Carol walks away, leaving Rick to ponder this.

Time shifts again, and the tractor store walkers are banging against the glass in a fury to get out and chomp Glenn, Heath, and Nicholas, who stand outside in the parking lot.

Time shifts again, and the tractor store walkers are banging against the glass in a fury to get out and chomp Glenn, Heath, and Nicholas, who stand outside in the parking lot.

“This is a bad idea,” moans Heath. “This is the only idea,” retorts Glenn. Nicholas peers in the window, estimates there to be about 12 walkers inside.

Glenn outlines the plan...they stand back, he and Heath standing at opposite ends, splitting up the walkers when they come out, taking them on.

Glenn outlines the plan…they stand back, he and Heath standing at opposite ends, splitting up the walkers when they come out, taking them on.

Nicholas offers to help, cutting the walkers to four each, but Glenn is having none of it. He hands Nicholas the radio, instructs him to radio Rick if this goes south, and lead the tractor store walkers away.

Nicholas offers to help, cutting the walkers to four each, but Glenn is having none of it. He hands Nicholas the radio, instructs him to radio Rick if this goes south, and lead the tractor store walkers away.

Nicholas starts to protest, only to be shut down by Glenn, who orders him to stay back.

Nicholas starts to protest, only to be shut down by Glenn, who orders him to stay back.

Time shifts back, to the barrier construction, as Glenn and NIcholas work, side by side.

Time shifts back, to the barrier construction, as Glenn and NIcholas work, side by side.

Tara watches them, vibing Nicholas as says to Maggie,

Tara watches them, vibing Nicholas as says to Maggie, “He got Noah killed.”

“He did,” agrees Maggie, calmly, like her father would.

“He did more than that,” Maggie continues, telling a shellshocked Tara that Nicholas lured Glenn into the woods and tried to kill him. Maggie tells Tara that Glenn asked her not to tell anyone, as this would get Nicholas exiled, and surely killed, out in the feral open. Tara is angry, and pretty hellbent on blowing the horn on Nicholas.

“Glenn saves people, even people like that,” Maggie replies.

Watching Tara struggle with this information, Maggie tells her,

Watching Tara struggle with this information, Maggie tells her, “I couldn’t accept it either…but then, I thought about you.” Tara turns to look at Maggie. Maggie continues, “I thought about how we were on different sides of that fence, on the worst day of my life…and now, you’re one of the most important people in the world to me.”

Maggie tells Tara that things can get better, that they can make them better…she tells Tara it’s her decision, whatever she wants to do, now that Tara knows the truth.

“I’m just gonna follow your lead,” Tara tells Maggie.

The girls hug, and Tara seems to be thinking,

The girls hug, and Tara seems to be thinking, “But I am gonna trip his ass when nobody’s looking.”

building 9

Tractor store, present day...Glenn turns to Heath, asks,

Tractor store, present day…Glenn turns to Heath, asks, “Ready?” “No…” Heath jokes peevishly.

“…but since you’re doing this thing, anyway…” Glenn points his gun, readies himself.

tractor trauma 3 tractor trauma 9 glenn and heath tractor trauma 10 tractor trauma 11 tractor trauma 12 tractor trauma 13 tractor trauma 14 tractor trauma 15 tractor trauma 16 tractor trauma 17 tractor trauma 18 nicholas save tractor trauma 19 tractor trauma 20 tractor trauma 21 tractor trauma 22 tractor trauma 23

Back in time, back at the construction site, Carol offers Morgan a cup of water, which he accepts with a thanks.

Back in time, back at the construction site, Carol offers Morgan a cup of water, which he accepts with a thanks.

As she turns away, Morgan looks at her.

As she turns away, Morgan looks at her. “It’s Carol, right?”

Carol beams a sunny Junior League smile at Morgan.

Carol beams a sunny Junior League smile at Morgan. “Yeah,” she replies. Just lil ol’ me, the water girl. Carol tries, once again, to turn away, and Morgan asks, “You been with Rick long?”

Carol turns back to Morgan, her forced smile even bigger.

Carol turns back to Morgan, her forced smile even bigger. “Since Atlanta,” she says, brightly.

Morgan regards Carol.

Morgan regards Carol. “Were you a cop, too?”

Carol, nonplussed, plays dumb, asks,

Carol, nonplussed, plays dumb, asks, “Why would you say that?”

“You’re always watching…”

“You always, ah, seem ready.”

JL Carol wrinkles her nose.

JL Carol wrinkles her nose. “For what?” she asks.

Morgan looks Carol over with a deferential nod, looks away,

Morgan looks Carol over with a deferential nod, looks away, “To handle things.”

Carol, unsettled, tries to mask this, fixes Morgan with one more coquettish smile.

Carol, unsettled, tries to mask this, fixes Morgan with one more coquettish smile. “Aren’t you sweet,” she says, before walking off.  Ha!  #Corgan

Back to the present, the Rearview Walkers seem to be going off the beaten path.

Back to the present, in the Astoundingly Ugly Car, some of the the Rearview Walkers seem to be wandering off the beaten path, and into the woods.

“We got some looky-loos taking a constitutional off the shoulder,” Abraham reports.

Abraham cranes his neck aroundfor a better look.

Abraham cranes his neck around for a better look. “They’re starting a walkout.” “Should we get Daryl to circle back?” Sasha asks.

“Naw,” Abraham says, opening the door and jumping out. He tells Sasha to keep moving, he’ll catch up…and proceeds to run in front of the wayward walkers, yelling and grabbing a shiny piece of plastic hanging from a tree branch (probably the thing that distracted them in the first place), waving it around, recapturing their undead attention.

“Idiot,” Sasha mutters, in the car, watching.

rearview 5 rearview 6

rearveiw 7

Abraham jumps back in the car, checks his appearance in the rearview mirror, chuckles.

Abraham jumps back in the car, checks his appearance in the rearview mirror, chuckles. “Look at me,” he remarks.

He then says, conversationally, that Sasha

He then says, conversationally, that Sasha “Didn’t see Reg…that was a mess…and Pete…his face blowing up like Pompeii.” It seems even a seasoned soldier like Abraham is having a hard time shaking the horrible images from that fateful night.

“Right when we were cheek to cheek,” Abraham continues, then laughs it off, jokes, “I still feel like I got some of his brains in my ear.” (That’s right, Abraham was the one who wrestled Pete down after he slit Reg’s throat…he was right there when Rick blew Pete’s brains out. Totally gnarly.)

Abraham checks the rearview, notes with a satisfied smile that the walkers are back on track.

Abraham checks the rearview, notes with a satisfied smile that the walkers are back on track. “Everything is aces again,” he announces. Sasha is looking majorly disturbed by this lowgrade wack-attack. “What the hell are you doing?” she asks him. “I’m just grabbin’ the bull by the nut sac…I’m living, darling, just like you.” he replies, in inimitable Abraham-style, before laughing at some private joke.

Back in time, at the construction site, Rick tells Deanna,

Back in time, at the construction site, Rick tells Deanna, “I’m sorry I haven’t had the chance to say it yet, but I’m sorry about Reg. He was smart, and kind.” Deanna nods silently.

“He was a good man,” Rick says.

Rick gestures to the crew, setting the walls and barriers, commends Deanna on going with the plan to lead the walkers away from the quarry, and route them away from Alexandria. “We need this,” Rick tells her. Deanna is astute, and she asks Rick what else he needs to say to her. Rick looks at her.

“People need to be armed inside the walls,” Rick tells her. “They need to be trained…everyone.

And, case in point, the Perfect Timing Walkers make their appearance through the woods, coming towards Carter and others.

And, case in point, the Perfect Timing Walkers make their appearance through the woods, coming towards Carter and others.

Rick tells them to use their shovels, that guns will draw too much attention from other nearby walkers.

Rick tells them to use their shovels, that guns will draw too much attention from other nearby walkers. “You can do this,” he coaches. “You need to.”

Carter, I think, puts down his shovel (dude, seriously...you're killing me, here) as another Alexandrian shoves a walker away.

Carter, I think, puts down his shovel (dude, seriously…you’re killing me, here…didn’t you go on runs, before? Like, WTF?) as another Alexandrian shoves a walker away.

The newbies are basically cringing, stumbling backwards, and crapping their pants. Amateurs!

The newbies are basically useless, cringing, stumbling backwards, and crapping their pants. Amateurs!

It quickly becomes apparent that these Alexandrians don't know shit about killing walkers.

It quickly becomes apparent that these Alexandrians don’t know shit about killing walkers.

Rick calls Morgan and Daryl in, and soon, the seasoned gang is making quick work of the walkers.

Ow, My Head Hurts Walker takes an arrow to the mulligan.

Ow, My Head Hurts Walker takes an arrow to the mulligan. Soon, all the walkers are rekilled, no thanks to any Alexandrian.

Morgan looks at Rick, rebukes sharply, “You said you don’t take chances anymore.” Rick looks at him, at Carter, nods. It was risky, and Rick probably doesn’t feel great about his call, but it does make a clear point to Carter, Deanna, and all the other Alexandrians:  Time to get battle-ready, chumps.

Well, apparently, Carter had a different take on the earlier day's events, because as Eugene stocks up in the commissary, he overhears the hushed whispers and scheming of Carter and others...

Well, apparently, Carter had a different take on the earlier day’s events, because as Eugene stocks up in the commissary, he overhears the hushed whispers and scheming of Carter and others…

...shit-talking Rick and basically planning on overthrowing the Ricktatorship, killing Rick.

…shit-talking Rick and basically planning on overthrowing the Ricktatorship, killing Rick. Ungrateful assholes.

“Plain and simple,” Carter is saying, “we kill him, before he kills us.”

Poor Eugene is so shocked, he drops one of the cans in his armload, and it crashes to the floor, loudly.

Poor Eugene is so shocked, he drops one of the cans in his armload, and it crashes to the floor, loudly.

Et tu, Tobin? Olivia? Spencer? Tsk, tsk, tsk...

Et tu, Tobin? Olivia? Spencer? Francine??  Tsk, tsk, tsk…

Eugene is so scared now, he falls back, sending an entire shelving unit crashing down. Carter comes around and gapes at the poor mulleted man on the floor.

Eugene is so scared now, he falls back, sending an entire shelving unit crashing down. Carter comes around and gapes at the poor mulleted man on the floor.

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In true Josh McDermitt comedic timing and delivery, Eugene looks up at Carter, says,

In true Josh McDermitt comedic timing and delivery, Eugene looks up at Carter, says, “Hello…”

IMG_5088

Carter says slowly,

Carter says slowly, “He heard.”

And as the others protest, try to dissuade him, Carter raises his pistol and points it at Eugene.

And as the others protest, try to dissuade him, Carter raises his pistol and points it at Eugene.

Just then, the door opens, and there stands Rick Grimes, flanked by Daryl and Morgan.

Just then, the door opens, and there stands Rick Grimes, flanked by Daryl and Morgan.

Ooooo, Carter, you are so busted, son.

Ooooo, Carter, you are so busted, son.

“What the hell’s going on?” Rick Grimes asks softly, dangerously, and Carter’s bowels look like they are about to unleash into his, well, his Carters…

“What are you doing?” Rick Smash! growls, and Carter manages to reply, “I’m taking this place back from you.”

IMG_5100

Rick Smash! looks over at Tobin and the others.

Rick Smash! looks over at Tobin and the others. “That’s what you were talking about in here?” Spencer is quick to reply, “That’s what he was talking about.”

Rick Smash! nods, taking this in.

Rick Smash! nods, taking this in. Shit, I would have set up some lookouts…”

“…that would have been the smart thing, if I had -…” and then Rick Smash! lunges at Carter, disarming him in one swift, pimp deputy manuever. Whew, the hotness…!

IMG_5104 IMG_5105

“You really think you’re going to take this community from us?Rick Smash! grinds out, holding the gun at Carter’s head.

“From Glenn, from Michonne, from Daryl…from me??”

“Do. You. Have. Any. Idea. Who. You’re. Talking. To??”

IMG_5111

Carter says, in a shaking voice,

Carter says, in a shaking voice, “It was just me…just me. Just kill me.”

IMG_5114

Daryl looks up at Rick.

Daryl looks up at Rick. “Rick,” he says softly, holding out his hand for the gun.

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Rick looks up at Daryl. “I’m good,” he says, and his voice, manner, are very calm, clear.

IMG_5118

Rick looks down at Carter, who seems like he can't believe he's still alive.

Rick looks down at Carter, who seems like he can’t believe he’s still alive. “You can try to work with us,” Rick tells the shaken man. “You can try to survive.Will you do that?”

The scene shifts back to the present, with the grisly walker parade shuffling down the road, led by Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham.

The scene shifts back to the present, with the grisly walker parade shuffling down the road, led by Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham.

IMG_5123 IMG_5128

As they hide behind the trees, surveying the walkers, Carter says,

As they hide behind the trees, surveying the walkers, Carter says, “It’s working.” He turns to Rick. “You were right.”

Carter holds out a hand, and Rick takes it. The men shake, making peace.

Carter holds out a hand, and Rick takes it. The men shake, making peace.

Rick then turns to the others, tells them that “we need to finish this.” Basically, they need to flank the horde on both sides of the road, monitoring the “parade’s” progress, firing shots if it seems like the horde is wandering off the path, and directing their flow back along the road.

Carter says he’ll take the front, and Rick goes after him, after making sure everyone knows their places, one after the other. The team splits up.

IMG_5133 IMG_5134 IMG_5135

Unfortunately for Carter, who leads the way to the front, alone, some bad luck is hiding behind a tree…

Oh, shit, Carter!

Oh, shit, Carter!

I was def obsessed with this tree walker, couldn't stop taking pictures of him...so scary!

I was def obsessed with this tree walker, couldn’t stop taking pictures of him…so scary!

IMG_5139 IMG_5140

Nicotero, you crazy beautiful genius, you've outdone yourself again with this episode!

Nicotero, you crazy beautiful genius, you’ve outdone yourself once again with this episode!

IMG_5142

Poor Carter gets face-chomped so hardcore, it's like you can feel it.

Poor Carter gets face-chomped so hardcore, it’s like you can feel it when you watch this scene. Ouch!

Damn!

Damn!

So gnarly! (On a funnier note, Greg Nicotero said later on Talking Dead that the effects crew guy in charge of pumping the blood from actor Ethan Embry's fake facial wound had to stomp on the pedal pump to try to dislodge a clog in the line, sending a spray of fake blood gushing out like totally horizontal...this sight gag take was sent around, to much hilarity, among the TWD cast and crew.)

So gnarly! (On a funnier note, Greg Nicotero said later on Talking Dead that the effects crew guy in charge of pumping the blood from actor Ethan Embry’s fake facial wound had to stomp on the pedal pump to try to dislodge a clog in the line, sending a spray of fake blood gushing out full-on horizontal, like a fake blood super-soaker…this sight-gag take was sent around, to much hilarity, among the TWD cast and crew.)

Ethan Embry did such a great job as Carter, who was a major tool, and a whiner, but who started coming around, and then got face-chomped just as he was getting cool. I award Ethan Embry, the TWD fan who finally landed a role on TWD, with a very special Deadie: The Red Shirt Guy Deadie, for being so fun, and such a good sport. Kudos, bud. You're awesome!

Ethan Embry did such a great job as Carter, who started out as major tool, and a whiner, but who finally started coming around, and then got face-chomped just as he was becoming tolerable. That really sucks, dude. Sorry about that.  I would like to award Ethan Embry, the TWD fan who finally landed a role on the show, with a very special Deadie: The Red Shirt Guy Deadie, for a standout single-episode performance, and for being so fun, and funny, and for being such a good sport. Kudos, bud. You’re awesome!

Carter, of course, cannot stop screaming, and honestly, I cannot blame the poor guy. I mean, Jesus.

Carter, of course, cannot stop screaming, and honestly, I cannot blame the poor guy. I mean, Jesus.

The horde of walkers begins to follow the sound of the screams...

The horde of walkers begins to follow the sound of the screams…

Rick can see the walkers are veering off from the road, but doesn't yet know why...he radios Tobin, then rushes to see what is happening...

Rick can see the walkers are veering off from the road, but doesn’t yet know why…he radios Tobin, then rushes to see what is happening…

IMG_5151

This scene shifts to the past, where Morgan sits outside on Rick's porch, polishing his staff.

This scene shifts to the past, where Morgan sits outside on Rick’s porch, polishing his staff.

Rick comes out, carrying Judith, and he and Morgan remark about the lovely evening.

Rick comes out, carrying Judith, and he and Morgan remark about the lovely evening.

Morgan apologizes for invading Rick's porch, but says he wanted to enjoy the evening, and his place doesn't have a porch, so...

Morgan apologizes for invading Rick’s porch, but says he wanted to enjoy the evening, and his place doesn’t have a porch, so…

Rick reaches in his pocket, tosses Morgan a key, tells Morgan he should go get his stuff.

Rick reaches in his pocket, tosses Morgan a key, tells Morgan he should go get his stuff. “You should stay with us,” Rick offers.

IMG_5156

Michonne comes forward, overhears this conversation. Morgan asks Rick if they have room, and Rick tells him they'll make room. He gestures to Morgan's quarters across the street,

Michonne comes forward, overhears this conversation. Morgan asks Rick if they have room, and Rick tells him they’ll make room. He gestures to Morgan’s quarters across the street, “We don’t need to do that anymore,” i.e. keeping Morgan separated, confined.

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“I know you, Morgan,” Rick says, “even if this is the first time.”

Morgan looks at Rick, pleased. He then looks at Judith, which Rick notices.

Morgan looks at Rick, pleased. He then looks at Judith, which Rick notices. “Do you want to hold her?” Rick asks him.

Morgan laughs, looks down, shyly, then accepts the offer.

Morgan laughs, looks down, shyly, then accepts the offer.

IMG_5162 IMG_5163 IMG_5164

It's so sweet to watch.

It’s so sweet to watch.

I sent my WD buddy this pic from my phone, texted her, This is the stuff. <3 <3 She texted back, He almost looks relaxed. It really is beautiful to see, even if it is just for fleeting moments these days...

I sent my WD buddy this pic from my phone, texted her, This is the stuff. ❤ ❤

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Morgan turns to Rick and tells him that when he saw Rick with that man, Carter, in the armory,

Morgan turns to Rick and tells him that when he saw Rick with that man, Carter, in the armory, “That’s you. You’re still the same man I met in King County, the one who told me it wasn’t over.”

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Morgan looks at Rick, nodding.

Morgan looks at Rick, nods. “That was you, same you that’s right in front of me, right now.”

Rick looks at Morgan a moment...

Rick looks at Morgan a moment…

...then looks away.

…then looks away.

“I wanted to kill him,” Rick confesses, “so it would be easier, so I wouldn’t have to worry about how he would screw up, what stupid thing he would do next, because that’s who he is…”

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“Somebody who shouldn’t be alive, now…I wanted to kill him….it hit me, I realized I didn’t have to do it… “

“He doesn’t get it.”

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“Somebody like that…they’re gonna die, no matter what.”

Rick reaches poor Carter, and manages to pry him off the tree walker.

Rick reaches poor Carter, and manages to pry him off the tree walker.

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It’s horrifying to see a big piece of Carter’s flesh in the walker’s mouth as Rick throws the suffering man off the undead ghoul.

With thousands of walkers just feet away, and Carter screaming in his shock, pain, and anguish...

With thousands of walkers just feet away, and Carter screaming in his shock, pain, and anguish…

...Rick quickly dispatches the tree walker with his knife.;

…Rick quickly dispatches the tree walker with his knife.;

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By this time, I was really feeling pretty awful for poor Carter.

By this time, I was really feeling pretty awful for poor Carter.

Rick tries to shush the screaming man...

Rick tries to shush the screaming man…

...looking up at the walkers who will surely be coming, soon.

…looking up towards where the walkers will surely be coming, soon.

Carter's eyes are wild, and he keeps screaming in his panic and agony...

Carter’s eyes are wild, and he keeps screaming in his panic and agony…

To his credit, Rick Grimes tries to calm him, but to no avail, of course.

To his credit, Rick Grimes tries to calm him, but to no avail, of course.

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Honestly, by the time Rick put the knife into the base of Carter's skull, I was relieved. He made it quick, humane.

Honestly, by the time Rick put the knife into the base of Carter’s skull, I was relieved. He made it quick, humane.

Rick Grimes, once again, doing what must be done, tireless against these grim, horrible, unrelenting times. We love you, and we believe in you, Rick Grimes!

Rick Grimes, once again, doing what must be done, tireless against these grim, horrible, unrelenting times. I love that man so hard, sometimes I tear up with emotion when I think about him. I really do. Rick Fucking Grimes, for fucking ever and ever, Amen. 

Once again, Rick looks up from killing a man, to see Morgan there, looking all judgy and horrified. It's like, What? He was fucking bitten, and he was fucking screaming, and there are like a million fucking walkers out there. Sue me.

Once again, Rick looks up from killing a man, to see Morgan there, looking all judgy and horrified. It’s like, What? He was fucking bitten, and he was fucking screaming, and there are like a million fucking walkers out there. Sue me.

Tobin, as instructed by Rick, peppers the silence with faraway gunfire, drawing the wave of walkers away once again, redirecting them onto the road course.

Tobin, as instructed by Rick, peppers the silence with faraway gunfire, drawing the wave of walkers away once again, redirecting them onto the road course.

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Michonne comes up, sees Carter’s dead, bloodied body on the ground…like seriously, just five minutes ago, they were all standing around, daring to think, “Hey, this might actually work!” And five minutes later, this guy is dead. Shit’s crazy.

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Rick radios Tobin, tells him he got them, the walkers are heading back out to the road. Tobin copies, then asks what that screaming was. Rick, crouched over Carter’s dead form, matter-of-factly tells Tobin that Carter got bit, right in the face, and he, Rick, stopped him.

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Rick comes to Morgan, and it's basically back to business, because it has to be. They need to make sure those walkers make it to the point where Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham continue on with the herd, draw them out 20 miles. Rick tells Morgan to go and tell the others, that they need to know about Carter. Morgan tries to tell Rick something, but Rick shuts it down. It's irella.

Rick comes to Morgan, and it’s basically back to business, because it has to be. They need to make sure those walkers make it to the point where Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham continue on with the herd, draw them out 20 miles. Rick tells Morgan to go and tell the others, that they need to know about Carter. Morgan tries to tell Rick something, but Rick shuts it down. He doesn’t want to talk about feelings right now.

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Rick asks Morgan if he can do as he asks, and Morgan quietly agrees. Rick leaves, onto the next.

Rick asks Morgan if he can do as he asks, and Morgan quietly agrees. Rick leaves, onto the next. There’s a walker ambling through the woods, and he needs to go kill it before moving on to the next order of business.

Michonne steps forward. They look down at the dead young man who lay at their feet.

Michonne steps forward. They look down at the dead young man who lay at their feet. “I know it’s how it is,” Morgan says. “I do.”

He looks over at Michonne.

He looks over at Michonne.

“Yeah,” Michonne agrees, quietly, sadly. “I do, too.”

And this, dear readers, is where the media storage buckled under the sheer weight of my tweakerness, and we are currently on media blackout. Before I turn you over to the music, Deadies to Scott M. Gimple, for leading us deeper and deeper into the beautiful, crazy world where television and comic series meet; Greg Nicotero, who thinks and directs 3-dimensionally; and the entire TWD cast and crew, for another outstanding job.

The trucks fell into the quarry in my world, loves, the walkers are out, and we’re doing this live. Let’s see what happens, and it’s all good. Check out the playlists, posted here, and follow barnfullawalkers’ social media sites. We’ll keep this party going, people.

Cheers, to you, dearest ones. One love, peace, respect. 

And, enjoy the playlist! Many more to come.

Playlist:

Jane’s Addiction, “Mountain Song”

Death Cab For Cutie, “The Ghosts Of Beverly Drive”

Here We Go Magic, “Tokyo London US Korea”

Foo Fighters, “Stacked Actors”

Minor Threat, “Screaming At A Wall”

Garland Buckeye, “Attest”

Jane’s Addiction, “Just Because”

Schoolboy Q, “Hell Of A Night”

Elton John, “Honky Cat”

Book Review, “Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise”

Capture

Ladies and gentlemen, Jack Flacco has done it again.

It is a tall achievement for any writer to complete, and publish, a first novel, especially when said breakout novel, Ranger Martin And The Zombie Apocalypse, delivers a thrilling, action-packed tale of already-iconic characters navigating love, life, and loss while fighting for their lives, their sanity, and their humanity in the throes and fury of a zombie-apocalypse.

It is even more amazing for said writer to follow up this breakout novel with a stellar sequel, Ranger Martin And The Alien Invasion. an eloquent second-act which takes readers by our shaking, green blood-spattered hands, and leads us deeper into both the story, and the psyches, of truck-driver-turned-apocalyptic-hero, Ranger Martin, and his ragtag, lovable band of young survivor sidekicks as they win some, lose some, and inadvertently stumble upon the actual cause of the zombie apocalypse in their travels, and travails.

(No spoilers here, but let’s just say said cause does involve aliens, military conspiracies, laughter, tears, and more in-literary-technicolor zombie-kill scenes than we post-apoc junkies can shake a machete at!)

After all this sheer awesomeness, it is nothing short of epic to cap it all off with a third novel in grand, full-trilogy style.

And that, ladies and gentlemen,  is just what author Jack Flacco has done with his third installment of the Ranger Martin series, Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise. which comes out next week, October 20th, on www.amazon.com.

In Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise, the master of mayhem has served up yet another tasty morsel to feed our insatiable hunger for the undead while bringing the readers, and our core group of now-beloved characters, Ranger, Randy, Matty, and Jon, another thrilling adventure, guaranteed to keep readers turning the pages long past bedtime.

In the span of said Ranger Martin trilogy, the makeshift soul-family of four have seared themselves into readers’ hearts and imaginations. As a writer with a real flair for character development, and a keen ear for dialogue, Jack Flacco has breathed a real life and depth into the characters of Ranger, Randy, Matty, and Jon to such a degree that it feels as if we, the readers, have witnessed firsthand the evolution of these four characters, as they morph from scrappy survivors into seasoned warriors, bearing the physical and emotional scars of veteran soldiers, fighting the good fight in a world gone mad while searching for a safe place to call home.

We, the readers, have walked the lonely miles with Ranger and his tribe of plucky youngsters… we have grown to love them as we listen to their stories, laugh at their jokes, feet their pain, and fight alongside them as they, time and time again, must tirelessly battle both undead and living foes alike in their constant struggle for survival.

We have celebrated each victory with these characters, the big ones, and the small ones…another battle won, another day alive, a lucky meal or a place to sleep for the night, and we have cried, grieved alongside them as they must struggle through another loss…the loss of another friend, another family member, another ally, another dream.

It is a testament to Flacco’s skill as a writer that he manages to create two parallel journeys for our gang of main characters in the Ranger Martin series to embark upon, each one as harrowing as the other.  On one hand, we have the journey of Ranger and the kids through the hellish, apocalyptic world around them, a world filled with death, horror, and unspeakable evil.

On the other hand, we have the equally fraught, terrifying emotional world within each character, as he or she must grapple with the terror of allowing others in, to risk opening their hearts, and feeling love for another, when the reality of the times poses a constant danger that any of them, at any time, could be killed at a moment’s notice.

It is a choice that each character in the Ranger Martin must make, and this wrenching issue is at the emotional heart of each book of the Ranger Martin trilogy:

Is it worth the pain of opening up, of loving another, if that person could be yet another loved one that is taken, cruelly, away by the savagery of this new world order?

There is no safety, any more…or, is there? 

With the air of one who has done it many times before, Jack Flacco ups the ante on himself once again. As the plot unfolds in Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise,  Ranger and his tribe’s journey west to reestablish their home base in Arizona transforms into a much bigger quest upon discovery of a legend, and a map, pointing the way to a place called “Paradise,” a safe, peaceful, non-militaristic haven nestled inside a fortress located in the San Francisco Bay area.

Through an exacting attention to detail, and an ability to craft scene after scene of dizzying plot twists and epic battles with the “sons of rot” and the “deranged draggers”, Flacco weaves another rich, riveting tale as we, the readers, ride shotgun along with Ranger and his crew, as they decide their next course of action.

Is Paradise real, or just a dream? Or, is it another trap? Is the chance of finding a safe haven from the hordes of flesh-eaters worth taking the risk, when it could cost them their very lives?

Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise is a wild ride, a tour-de-force that will stay with a reader long after he/she reads the final sentence of the final chapter.

In Jack Flacco’s blog site, www.jackflacco.com, Jack’s Warrior Wednesday posts honor a different man, woman, or child each week who isn’t afraid kick butt, take names, and make the world a better place in general.

If I may, I’d like to nominate this man, writer Jack Flacco, to be today’s Wednesday Warrior (in addition to his pick for today, Bryan Mills, played by Liam Neeson in Taken).

Author Jack Flacco

Author Jack Flacco

In addition, I would like to raise a glass, and a cheers, to Jack Flacco, on an epic trilogy, and on behalf of barnfullawalkers, I would like award him a Deadie, a twisted trophy of highest honor in this realm of the world.

Kudos, and congratulations, Jack Flacco. Once again, you are an inspiration to writers everywhere.

Do yourself a huge favor and check out Ranger Martin And The Search For Paradise, available at www.amazon.com on October 20th!

In the meantime, enjoy the playlist. 🙂

In Search of Paradise Playlist:

Kurt Vile, “Pretty Pimpin”

The Offspring, “Gotta Get Away”

Potty Mouth, “Cherry Picking”

The Dead Weather, “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)”

Bikini Kill, “Rebel Girl”

The Motels, “Only The Lonely”

Guns N Roses, “Paradise City”

The Night Before The Walking Dead, Season 6 Premiere

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Tonight. 9 p.m. Eastern. Season 6 is finally here.

What can I say, at this point, that hasn’t already been said?

I, like you all, am feeling the love, the anxiety, the excitement. I am so nervous about what dangers are coming, and I am so worried for our gang. I love them all so much, and I don’t want to lose a single one of them…but I know that’s not really how this all works.

I know it’s not real, people, but I still obsess. It’s how I do. And if you have found this blog, and actually read my tweaker posts, then I guess that’s how you do, too!

Welcome aboard the Crazy Train.

I have come to refer to this time, when the TWD television series is about to resume, and kick all our asses, as “blog season.” Ever since the fall of 2013, when TWD’s Season 4 began, I have been writing about each new episode of The Walking Dead television series, and aside from some questionable font choices, and typos (which I still find), I can pretty much say that I stand by my crazy product.

I have read, and reread, each post I have written so many times by now that I cannot even face them…this phase will pass, and I will return to them, one day, and reread, and do some much-needed editing.

One day, when I have time…

Time. Time is something that I am constantly negotiating, on many levels, in my life.  As a mom, a wife, and a grown-up who works two jobs for my paycheck (unfortunately, this writing gig is not one of those jobs that pay…yet.). But, I am hopeful. Momentum is building. I am pleased.

This blog is something I started doing`for myself, something soley for myself, that had nothing to do with anybody else. This was my joint.  While I had dabbled in writing, before, and had some aptitude for it, I had never fully committed myself to writing any kind of cohesive project, writing for long hours at a time, until the self-consciousness and inner constraints fell away from sheer exhaustion, and a strong voice I didn’t even know I had began pouring out, and glimmers of inspired magic began to appear on the screen.

The concept of this blog started forming itself in my head, and in my heart, years ago, when I, an exhausted, nursing mom, would read over the hilarious text exchanges between myself and my WD buddy as we watched The Walking Dead tv series together, in our separate homes, after our kids went to bed.  I really have no idea where exactly this idea came from, but once it took root, it was like a, “Build it, and they will come” kind of thing.

So, I lined up a trade with a technical wizard friend, and he helped me set up a WordPress account, helped me load in my artwork for the banner, and showed me how to insert playlist widget embeds into my posts. And so, when TWD Season 4 began, I began writing.

My writing style asserted itself from the beginning as a kind of “live blogging” style, letting my personal responses to what I was watching lead the narrative.  I wanted what I wrote to have the same organic, conversational feel as my text exchanges with my friend.

When I first started writing my posts, I was not on any kind of social media at all. Not even Facebook. Truly. In the beginning days of www.barnfullawalkers.com, I would send a mass text to my circle of friends every time I completed a post.

Now, two years later, I am a big social media ho (or as much of one as I could, or should, be, being a mom and someone who is old enough to know better). I try to keep my usage of social media as a fun, creative way to promote my blog and explore whatever element of pop culture I am obsessed with in the moment. While I do, at times, get political on my social media accounts, being a “citizen of the world” and all, I usually try to keep it light, tight, and deliciously superficial.

Speaking of keeping it tight, I have been thinking about the evolution of my writing style, and what I want for myself, the blog, and my readers as TWD Season 6 unfolds.

Look, I know that nobody asked me to basically write a 10,000+ word dissertation on every new episode of The Walking Dead. The highly-detailed synopsis-parody-deconstruction style I offer is self-imposed, tweakeresque, and inexplicable, really. I really have no idea what exactly I am trying to achieve with any of this.

After each episode’s breezy 400-word recaps have come and gone, there I am, long after everyone else has moved on, wading around the fake blood, guts, and gore in my mucking boots, pulling key items of interest out of the mire and holding them up for others to see, “Hey, guys, look what I found!” 

I’m like a TWD episode archeologist or some shit, and the funny thing is, I think it’s filling a need out there, because my readership is growing at unprecedented rate. I’m still small-time, for sure, but just to give you some specifics: Last year, over Thanksgiving weekend, barnfullawalkers hit a milestone of 3,000 total views. At the time of this writing, not even a year later, barnfullawalkers is fast approaching 10,000 views, from different countries, all over the world.

That’s a 200% increase in less than a year’s time, if I’m doing the math right.

At the very least, my detailed synopses and my crazy rantings seem to be adding something to the conversation surrounding the TWD phenomenon, and that makes me smile. I am pleased. I know many readers started tuning in with my Season 5 posts, with all the fun screenshots, crazy captions, and epic playlists.

I love what I achieved with my Season 5 postings…it was such an incredible season, and I am proud of have honored it in the way I did.  But, it cost me. It left a mark.

To post in that high-media style, taking, loading, naming, and uploading all those pictures, takes a lot of time and energy. I committed myself to it, then, but for someone in my position, who is raising children, working, running a household, and trying to stay married, it is not sustainable to devote that much time to a recreational endeavor that does not bring in a paycheck.

When you are a parent, you begin to think of things in a “needs before wants” framework. You have to. The needs must be met before the wants can be considered. In my Season 5 posting style, I was able to achieve a lot of great things, stylistically, and I feel like the blog grew, and evolved, in a way I never thought possible. But, personally, it was a constant struggle to try to make it happen.

You can’t create time where there is none, and so, time-wise, I robbed Peter to pay Paul, as the saying goes.  I pulled all-nighters, worked all day on weekends to make those posts happen. There were fights, there were tears. It was kind of crazy, and by the end of it, I was completely fried. I still don’t know if I’ve completely recovered, honestly. Probably never will, and that’s why man discovered how to make alcohol.

If I could get a paying job doing what I do with my blog, with my social media accounts, I would consider it the best job in the world. And I think I would totally kick ass at it. When I look at what I can achieve doing it on the side, I think, “Imagine what I could do if someone actually paid me to do this!”

I personally think I would be a great social media marketer…Robert Kirkman, drop me a line if you think you could use me. For instance, I feel like I could singlehandedly raise the hype on your new spinoff series, Fear The Walking Dead, which I was posting about before I was beset by technical difficulties. I got what your new show was trying to do, and I felt like the shots I got, the moments I highlighted really captured the feel, the nuances of that show. Plus, amazing L.A. based playlists! 

Think about it, Robert Kirkman.  I would work my ass off for you!

Anyhow, shameless self-promoting aside, while my Season 5 style contained lots of glitz and glamour, I did miss my grassroots Season 4 writing style, where I paddled out, until I caught a wave, and rode the swells and breaks of prose. Some of my personal favorite posts are from that time: “The Grove,” “Claimed,” “Still,” “Alone,” “Us,” are all from that period, TWD Season 4.

Is it weird of me to kind of think of them as “classics” in my crazy world of barnfullawalkers?

To me, the feel of the writing is more organic in the Season 4 posts, and when I read back on them, I can see how the direction of the writing took its shape and form. I really found myself missing the purity and innocence of that time, that style, and while the Season 5 posts shine in their own high-media glam style, I am gravitating towards combining my Season 4 and Season 5 writing styles for my upcoming postings on TWD Season 6.

I’m going to open it up, dear readers, and not hold myself chained to any one style, or set of self-imposed expectations. There may be fewer pictures, less blow-by-blow in some posts, while, in other posts, we may hearken back to the Instagram-style postings for TWD Season 5’s “Forget,” and my brief posting foray into Fear The Walking Dead, a show which I really loved, by the way. (Had an epic post in the works for FTWD finale episode, “The Good Man,” with amazing sweet 16 song L.A. playlist, in the works, but I ran out of time, so I had to abandon it…it’s saved, so one day, I will try to put it out there. If I find the time. 🙂 )

So, don’t worry darlings. It all gets better and better. I wanted to keep you up on what is really happening, and while there will be a shift in how I do things this season, I imagine it will still be chock full of all the fun and crazy you have grown to know and love with www.barnfullawalkers.com !

I promise.  In many ways, dear readers, I feel like things are just getting started. And I am pleased. 🙂 ❤

I predict TWD Season 6 will be about evolution…Rick and his gang must evolve, Morgan must evolve, as do Deanna and the Alexandrians (um, band name alert!), and we must all learn to evolve alongside them.

We may gain some, we may lose some, but one thing will always be true:  We are family.   #TWDfamily XO

Much love, dear readers, and raise a glass with me tonight, when the first strains of the iconic Bear McCreary opening title sequence begin to play, and let us toast to Rick and the gang.

To Rick Grimes, and to our sweet gang, and to you all, dear readers.  Cheers! 

Enjoy the playlist, which features some sweet selections from my epic L.A. FTWD finale playlist.

Playlist:

Foals, “Mountain At My Gate”

The Delicate Cycle, “Promises and Plans”

Bad Religion, “Suffer”

Los Lobos, “Mas Y Mas”

Open Mike Eagle, “Ziggy Starfish (Anxiety Rap)”

Deepakalypse, “I Got A Vibe”