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.

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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”

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