“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:
Or, email me at : firstname.lastname@example.org
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.”
“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.”
“You see that!?”
“It’s open! We gotta do this now! We’re doing this NOW!”
(Dude, already, the hotness…the Rick Grimes hotness…it’s all-consuming. I love it so.) ❤
Rick-In-Charge delegating, peeps scrambling…getting it done, son.
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!”
Nicholas: “I’m here, let me help.” Glenn: “No.” Nicholas: “I’m HERE!”
Glenn: “Do everything I say.” Nicholas: “I will.”
Daryl yells, “They’re coming!”
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.
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!
Taken down by Daryl’s arrow. ❤
As one of the trucks pulls away, according to plan, the Plan B Walkers spill out of the opening.
“You were wrong.”
Wordlessly, Gabriel nods.
Abraham takes a drink…
…and then pours one…
…for the dead. RIP Reg. 😦 ❤
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.
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 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 “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, “Holy shit!” he exclaims, running over to her.
Tara blinks up at Eugene. “Thank God, nothing happened to your hair,” she deadpans.
As Eugene keeps looking down, smiling at her, Tara says, “Ok, Eugene…”
She turns to the others. “Eugene’s freaking me out. Somebody needs to send Noah in here to save me.”
(Oooo, Nicholas, you are in so much trouble…)
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.
“You were right,” Morgan says to Rick. “It wasn’t over.”
“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.
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.
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, “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!) 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 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! ❤
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. “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. “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 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, 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: 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.
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. “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, “If you were so worried, why did you get in the car with me?”
“Listen,” Sasha says, “Doing something as big as this, that’s living.”
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.”
“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.
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, “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, “Hey, it’s us, you gonna let us in, or what?”
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.”
“I’m Eugene…I brought myself and my group directly within that window…
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. “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 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.
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. “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, “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 “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. “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. “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. 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. “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, “No.”
Morgan processes this a moment. He doesn’t seem convinced. “See, I could have sworn that there was one more peanut butter left.”
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.
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.
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…
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.
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 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…
…of young Ron, running for his life from a band of…
…boythirsty Cougar Walkers!
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.
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!
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.
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…
…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, “I wanted to know where my dad was buried.”
“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.”
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, “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.
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 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. “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, “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! “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 “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.
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 like one, big, horrible equation of undead exponentiation!
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.
“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?
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. “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 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.
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?
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…
Michonne fires a flare, then edges closer, bracing herself, peering through the corner…
More and more walkers notice, are drawn towards the flares…
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, “Goddamn it!”
So far, the plan seems to be working…
Go West, Walkers!
Time shifts back again, and we see the beginning of the construction of the barrier.
Jessie looks up from her digging to see…
…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)’?”
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. “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.
“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.
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.
Time shifts back, to the barrier construction, as Glenn and NIcholas work, side by side.
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, “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, “But I am gonna trip his ass when nobody’s looking.”
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.
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. “It’s Carol, right?”
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. “Since Atlanta,” she says, brightly.
Morgan regards Carol. “Were you a cop, too?”
Carol, nonplussed, plays dumb, asks, “Why would you say that?”
“You’re always watching…”
“You always, ah, seem ready.”
JL Carol wrinkles her nose. “For what?” she asks.
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. “Aren’t you sweet,” she says, before walking off. Ha! #Corgan
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 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.
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 “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. “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, “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.
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…didn’t you go on runs, before? Like, WTF?) as another Alexandrian shoves a walker away.
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.
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. 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…
…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.
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.
In true Josh McDermitt comedic timing and delivery, Eugene looks up at Carter, says, “Hello…”
Carter says slowly, “He heard.”
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.
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.”
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. “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…!
“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??”
Carter says, in a shaking voice, “It was just me…just me. Just kill me.”
Daryl looks up at Rick. “Rick,” he says softly, holding out his hand for the gun.
Rick looks up at Daryl. “I’m good,” he says, and his voice, manner, are very calm, clear.
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.
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.
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.
Unfortunately for Carter, who leads the way to the front, alone, some bad luck is hiding behind a tree…
Oh, shit, Carter!
I was def obsessed with this tree walker, couldn’t stop taking pictures of him…so scary!
Nicotero, you crazy beautiful genius, you’ve outdone yourself once again with this episode!
Poor Carter gets face-chomped so hardcore, it’s like you can feel it when you watch this scene. Ouch!
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 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.
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…
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.
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. “You should stay with us,” Rick offers.
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.
“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. “Do you want to hold her?” Rick asks him.
Morgan laughs, looks down, shyly, then accepts the offer.
It’s so sweet to watch.
I sent my WD buddy this pic from my phone, texted her, This is the stuff. ❤ ❤
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.”
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…
…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…”
“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.”
“Somebody like that…they’re gonna die, no matter what.”
Rick reaches poor Carter, and manages to pry him off the tree walker.
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…
…Rick quickly dispatches the tree walker with his knife.;
By this time, I was really feeling pretty awful for poor Carter.
Rick tries to shush the screaming man…
…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…
To his credit, Rick Grimes tries to calm him, but to no avail, of course.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.