The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 5, “Now”

“Now”

I must admit, gang, it was with some trepidation that I sat down to watch this past week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Now.”  

It seems pretty safe for me to speak on behalf of the entire TWD fanosphere when I say that Season 6, at this point, has been royally kicking our collective asses up and down the bloodstained streets of Alexandria (and beyond).

While I have been predicting this grim inevitablility for some time now, citing the Law of Kirkman like a mantra (“Kirkman does as Kirkman wants, and Kirkman can, and will, play with our emotions…it’s nothing personal, it’s how he do.”) while discussing coping mechanisms and Daryl Partners at great length and detail, I still have found myself as lost, heartbroken, and haunted as the next TWD fan by the soul-shattering plot twists, murderous mayhem, and freefall cliffhangers that Season 6 has served us thus far.

So, it was a truly a pleasant surprise to emerge from the watching of TWD Episode 605 happy, relieved, and relatively unscathed…plus, I had a nice buzz on from the couple of “coping mechanism coldies” I enjoyed during the watching.

While Glenn’s fate remained a mystery, there were no significant casualties (excepting: Deanna’s will to live, along her term as Alexandria’s leader; Spencer’s sobriety; some crappy Wolf Walker who was reanimating under somebody’s porch; Alexandria’s walker cherry; and, finally, the one poor suicide bride that Jessie had to rekill, employing Andrea’s invaluable “Here’s a knife in your eye” technique before turning and informing her horrified Alexandrian viewing audience, “This is what life looks like now...you fight, or you die.).

It made me downright gleeful to see Rick Grimes sprinting like an Olympian back to the gates in those first moments of Episode 605, killing himself a swath of undead along the way, remaining intact, uninfected, and hotter than ever. And then, in true Rick-In-Charge fashion, our man immediately began the business of sexy multitasking, getting in done in his inimitable style, and even stealing a long-awaited kiss from Jessie in the garage at the episode’s end (which has pretty much become their love den at this point.)

And, speaking of lip-locks, I, for one, was cheering aloud when Denise unburdened herself of her fears, self-doubts, and overall paralysis and came out of the medical supplies closet, finally opening up her medical book, getting some doctoring going, and bravely pasting one on Tara in a “It’s the end of the world!” moment of abandon.

Did not see that one coming, and all I have to say is, “You go, Denise!”

Episode 605 also served us up with a highly entertaining round of Teen Tap Out between Carl “I Stole Your Girlfriend” Grimes and Ron McSlappy (the accursed hellspawn of Petey McBeaty, and heir apparent, apparently, of his father’s rage issues and general sliminess. I hope Rick gets his usual on-target read on that kid, whom I trust about as far as I could throw him, right over the wall, and into the horde of Hangry, Hangry Walkers.)

Now, darlings, while this tantilizing teen shove-match did serve us many peals of hilarity (both in the happening, and in countless social media postings afterward) I will say that unless a young person has been studying some form of marital arts in his/her formative years, a first real fight is sure to be awkward as all get-go, and will not win any style points.

I remember my first real fight, aside from scrapping with older siblings…I was old enough to know better, but young enough not to care.  It was many years ago, at a late night afterparty I was at with my boyfriend at the time.  As I remember, I was on call for work, and had an actual pager clipped to my purse (yes, darlings, I realize that I am really dating myself with this statement). Some drunk kid sporting greasy blond dreadlocks and unfortunate facial tattoos came lurching up to the group I was with and fell into my little boyfriend, knocking him to the ground.

I turned to the red-haired girl the drunk kid was with and told her to take her drunk-ass friend home, and she and I immediately launched into a she-match shit-talk exchange of profanity-laden threats and insults. As she turned to leave, the red-haired girl tossed a “Fuck you, bitch, over her shoulder along with her lit cigarette, which landed bullseye on my cheek, the hot cherry of it searing a burn about an inch or so under my right eye.

What happened next goes into the annals of “Defining Moments of A Life,” namely, my life.  I am sure you have heard, and read, the line many times where someone was so angry, so incensed, that they “saw red.” Well, darlings, for the first and only time, thus far, in my life, in that moment, when I felt the double burn of Hot Cherry’s last-word diss and the firey end of her cigarette burning a hole in my cheek, I saw red.

Like, for real. A hot, red, slo-mo, Rick Smash!-style murderous haze enveloped me as I stood in shock, watching Hot Cherry toss her long red ponytail and saunter away, my cheek burning, my mind spinning, as I realized, That bitch just fucking flicked her cigarette at me, and it landed on my cheek, and it FUCKING BURNED MY FACE!” 

And so, dear readers, in my slo-mo, red, murderous haze, with an Altoid-sized circular burn beginning to blister my right cheek and a primal scream of fury roaring rampant inside my brain, I strode up behind Hot Cherry’s retreating form, reached out, and yanked back her head by her long, red ponytail. As I yanked her head back, her wide-eyed shock and surprise was pretty great to see (she definitely did not see that coming!). As Hot Cherry looked up at me, and I looked down at her, I realized that I was gripping a fistful of her ponytail with my right hand…and I am right-handed.

Well, darlings, as I said, aside from going battle royale with my older siblings as we were growing up, this was my first real fistfight.  I had no idea how to throw a punch (even though I fronted tough and had thrown countless on-point punches in my rich imaginary world, where I had the starring role of sexy warrior goddess in the realm of Motoko Kusanagi, Xena Warrior Princess, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer). In real life, I had no idea how to throw a punch, and I certainly did not know how to throw a punch with my left, non-dominant hand.

So, in a moment of dawning realization that felt like it lasted an entire year, I looked at Hot Cherry, and she looked at me, her long red ponytail gripped tightly in my right hand, and with a feline growl, Hot Cherry lunged at me, and we began grappling in a girly, hair-pulling, mid-90’s version of Carl and Ron’s sissy slap-fight.

It all felt so surreal, and slow motion, as Hot Cherry and I hissed and slapped and pulled at one another. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I’m really going to get my ass kicked,” because I really had no earthy idea how to fight anyone, and there I was, in the beginning throes of a full-party brawl that I had pretty much started.

While I had gotten some good ones in on my sisters, back in the day, it had been years, and in all that time, I effectively had fronted so tough, and kept myself in good shape, so nobody really ever tried me. Until now.

Now, as time slowed down and the world closed in, Hot Cherry and I pulled each other to the ground, scrapping and mewing and rolling around in the grass (the dudes at the party must have been like, “Yes!”).  I remember looking up and seeing the entire party pile in above us, like some sort of fight tsunami. All around us, above us, fists were flying, kids were scrapping, punching, shoving, knocking each other down, kicking at each other.

Thanks to me, and my burned cheek, and my murderous haze, the party had become one mass brawl.

Hot Cherry must have gotten pulled away by a friend, because I lost her in the crush of people who descended upon us. I kept expecting to get my ass kicked, my face punched, tackled, slapped, but surprisingly, no blows landed on me as I crouched down under the fray that raged all around me. A moment later, the sea of bodies parted, and I resurfaced for a brief moment, coming to standing, and facing, of all people, the greasy blond drunk kid with facial tattoos who had knocked into my little boyfriend, starting the whole mess in the first place.

As the party fight raged under us, the drunk kid with the greasy blond dreads and facial tattoos regarded me, swaying, with glassy eyes, and I regarded him, and before his impaired reflexes could react, I clenched my right hand into a fist, wound back, and punched that drunk kid square in the nose, and he went down, ladies and gentlemen. That. Bitch. Went. Down.

Between you and me, that kid was super drunk, barely able to stand in the first place. One way or another, he was going down, anyway, but when my fist connected with his face, dropping him, I tell you, dear readers, that shit was a rush like none other.

My inner celebration was short lived, because I promptly got pulled back into the fray, and the fight once again closed in on top of me, until I felt a strong pair of arms circle around my waist and pull me out of the melee…it was my friend, Erik, who got me safely away and chided me for getting myself into the whole mess in the first place.

Later, my buddy Bryan recounted my shining knock-out moment to my boyfriend (who was not amused, was pretty pissed, actually, and blamed me for ruining the whole night with my Fight Club antics…needless to say, we broke up soon after), saying, “Katie punched that dude right in the face, and he went down like a friggin’ bowling pin!  It was awesome!

And so, the next morning, as I walked home across town from pissed-off boyfriend’s apartment, sporting a good-sized hangover and an Altoid-sized circular burn on my right cheek, I felt like I had crossed over into another realm of my life, like I had gained entry into another tier of existence: Welcome to Badass Country.

My head hurt, my cheek burned, but damn, it felt good to be a gangsta.

Deadie this week goes to Lauren Cohan, and her character, the lovely and beloved Maggie Greene, for being so beautiful, and brave, and who is embarking on the journey of new motherhood.  Much love to Maggie Greene, and to Lauren Cohan, for an amazing performance, and for being one of the most beautiful criers I have ever seen.

If Glenn does not return, it is some small consolation that Maggie will be under the loving care and dotage of Aaron and Eric, the cutest gay uncles any baby or beautiful young single mom could ask for.

And, dear fans and readers, as you know, the buzz about the TWD world community is that the role of Negan has been cast, and it’s none other than the super-tasty Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who is really a perfect choice to play the brutal, charismatic sociopath. If this news is indeed true (and it seems confirmed by a tweet from Robert Kirkman himself), then I am alternately experiencing total excitement, total elation, and total dread…a dizzying, heady, strangely thrilling combination.

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Until next week, darlings.  Stay safe, stay strong, and enjoy the playlist, which is at times brooding, loungy, lovelorn, and full of new resolve.

Playlist:

Perfume Genius, “Queen”

Thomas Newman, “Any Other Name”

Zero 7, “Destiny”

Moby, “Porcelain”

Bravery, “Believe”

Joywave, “Now”

The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 15, “Try

“Try”

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

The Walking Dead’s Season 5, Episode 15, “Try, opens with a shot of a lone walker, lurching through a woods at night…we see the walker’s mouth, chin, and shirt is slick with fresh blood, suggesting it has recently fed.

While I have read on Walking Dead Wiki http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wiki/The_Walking_Dead_Wiki  that walkers do not have to eat the flesh of the living to continue to move, and function (as they are already dead), that the impulse to eat the flesh of the living is their strongest impulse. Eating the flesh of the living does seem to energize the walkers...this guy, You Got A Little Something On Your Face, There, Buddy Walker does seem infused with some vim and vigor after chomping on some poor somebody, or some thing.

I have read on Walking Dead Wiki http://walkingdead.wikia.com/wiki/The_Walking_Dead_Wiki that walkers do not need to eat the flesh of the living to continue to move, and function at their rudimentary level (as they are already dead).  The impulse to eat the flesh of the living is the strongest (and only) remaining impulse that the reanimated, rotting corpses possess, and eating the flesh of the living does seem to energize the walkers…this guy, You Got A Little Something On Your Face, There, Walker does seem quite animated after chomping on some poor somebody, or some thing, in the woods.

As the walker lurches, snarling, through the woods, we see it step upon a shattered framed picture lying in the grass...

As the walker makes its way, snarling, through the woods, we see it step upon a shattered framed picture lying in the grass…

...and as it lurches off, we recognize the picture as one that Sasha had used as target practice, not far from the gates of Alexandria.

…and as it lurches off, we recognize the picture as one that Sasha had used as target practice, not far from the gates of Alexandria.

Meanwhile, inside the walls of the sustainable community…

...in the home of the Monroes, there seems to be a vigil being held for Aiden. Candles are lit, and we see Deanna's hands holding a cd of another one of Aiden's specialty

…there is a small family vigil being held for Aiden at the home of the Monroes. Candles are lit, and we see Deanna’s hands holding a CD of another one of Aiden’s specialty “Run Mixes.” Deanna’s fingers lightly caress the cd case before she opens it, walks over to the CD player, and puts the CD in, presses “Play.”

deanna pushes play

The beginning of Nine Inch Nails’ “Somewhat Damaged” begins to play in the room…the song starts out kind of mellow, with jangly guitar notes and a steady beat… the song quickly builds as Deanna, Reg, and Spencer listen, thinking of Aiden.

spencer winces reg listens

deanna listens

And, in the kitchen of another palatial Alexandria home…

An oven preheats...

…an oven preheats…

...and we see Carol's hands as she prepares a tuna casserole.

…and we see Carol’s hands as she begins to make a tuna casserole.

We see how Carol carefully measures and prepares each ingredient of the casserole, certainly amending the recipe to substitute for missing ingredients.

We see how Carol carefully measures and prepares each ingredient of the casserole, most certainly amending the recipe to substitute for missing, unavailable ingredients.

It is easy to imagine how the step-by-step science and methodology of cooking helped provide distraction, comfort, and order in Carol's world back before the turn, when she was married to an abusive husband, trying to survive each day and protect her daughter from Ed's unpredictability and violence.

It is easy to imagine how the step-by-step science and methodology of cooking helped provide distraction, comfort, and order in Carol’s world back before the turn, when she was married to an abusive husband, trying to survive each day and protect her daughter from the violence and unpredictability of her everyday existence.

tuna casserole 4 tuna casserole 5

After Carol sets the casserole in the oven to bake, she wipes her hands on a kitchen towel and picks up a pen, trying to find the words to craft a sympathy note for Deanna and her family.

Carol pauses above the blank notecard...

Carol’s pen is poised above the blank notecard…

...and Carol looks up at a tiny picture of a baby, most likely left there by the former residents of the home. Like Deanna, Michonne, and so many others, Carol is a mother who has lost her child in the apocalypse, and who has had to find the strength inside her to keep going, to keep living, while carrying this loss, this grief inside her.

…and Carol looks up at a tiny picture of a baby (is this a baby monitor?) left behind by the former residents of the home. Like Deanna, Michonne, and so many others, Carol is a mother who has lost her child in the apocalypse, and who has had to find the strength inside her to keep going, to keep living, while carrying this loss, this grief inside her.

As Carol struggles to find the words, a little face peers in the window...it's Sam. He looks at Carol through the window.

As Carol struggles to find the words, a little face peers in the window…it’s Sam. He looks at Carol through the window.

Carol looks up and sees the little boy.  It seems that lost children keep finding Carol in these times, and she is challenged once again to open her heart to a child who needs her.

Carol looks up and sees the little boy. It seems that lost children keep finding Carol in these times, and she is challenged once again to open her heart to a child who needs her.

As “Somewhat Damaged” continues to build, and escalate, layer by layer, we see, next, Sasha’s hand, in the darkness of the watchtower, grabbing for the night scope rifle propped up next to her.

sasha grabs for gun 1

...but as Sasha tries to peer through the scope, and focus, we see she is shaking, distressed, near tears.

As Sasha tries to peer through the scope, and focus, we see she is shaking, distressed, near tears.

Sasha is unable to hold the gun steady, keeps trying to bring herself back under control.

Sasha is unable to hold the gun steady, keeps trying to bring herself back under control.

For a moment, it seems Sasha is able to rein in her emotions, regain control, aim and focus her rifle...

For a moment, it seems Sasha is able to rein in her emotions, regain control, aim and focus her rifle…

...but immediately breaks down again.

Sasha dissolves into tears.

…but after a moment, Sasha again dissolves into tears.

As Sasha struggles in the watchtower, You Got A Little Something On Your Face, There, Walker comes, snarling, out of the woods, turns....

As Sasha struggles in the watchtower, You Got A Little Something On Your Face, There, Walker emerges, snarling, from the woods, then turns….

...and lurches towards the gates of Alexandria.

…lurching towards the gates of Alexandria.

Meanwhile, poor Reg, who has valiantly tried to hang with Deanna’s method of honoring Aiden, cannot bear the driving, intense music any longer.

Tears in his eyes, Reg quietly says,

Tears in his eyes, Reg quietly says, “Turn it off.” Spencer quickly rises to do his father’s bidding, looking relieved as he does so.

As Spencer kills the music, Deanna hugs a throw pillow miserably to her chest. A knock on the door surprises them.

As Spencer kills the music, Deanna hugs a throw pillow, and the empty CD case, miserably to her chest.

A light knock on the front door surprises Deanna out of her reverie, and she  looks up, goes to the door to see who it is.

A light knock on the front door surprises Deanna out of her reverie, and she looks up, goes to the door to see who it is.

We see, once again, a quick shot of the walker, lurching crookedly towards Alexandria… and then, the scene shifts back to Deanna, who opens her front door. Nobody is there. Deanna peers out into the darkness a moment, her expression grim. She is about to step back inside and close the door when she spots something sitting on her doorstep.

...and then we see Deanna open her front door, peer out into the darkness grimly, then look down to see the casserole sitting on her doorstep.

Looking down, Deanna sees Carol’s condolence casserole.

There is a note leaned up on the lid of the casserole,

There is a note leaned up on the lid of the casserole, which reads:  We’re truly sorry for your loss.

Deanna reaches down, picks up the note and reads its message, then looks up from the note, her expression still grim.

Deanna reaches down, picks up the note and reads its message, then looks up from the note, her expression still grim.

Deanna goes back into her home and closes the door, leaving the casserole untouched on the doorstep.

Deanna goes back into her home and closes the door, leaving the casserole untouched on the doorstep.

Deanna comes back into her living room with Carol's sympathy note, and holds the note to the candle's flame.

Deanna comes back into her living room with Carol’s sympathy note, and holds the note to the candle’s flame.

deanna lights note 2 deanna lights note 3 deanna lights note 4 reg

Deanna, Reg, and Spencer watch the note burn in silence before Deanna drops it into a dish on the coffee table, where it burns and curls into ashes.

Deanna, Reg, and Spencer watch the note burn in silence before Deanna drops it into a dish on the coffee table, where it burns and curls into ashes.

Meanwhile, You Got A Little Something On Your Face There, Walker has reached the Alexandrian walls and paws at the gates, snarling and trying to get in.

Meanwhile, You Got A Little Something On Your Face There, Walker has reached the Alexandrian walls and paws at the gates, snarling and trying to get in.

The walker seems to be bolstered by its recent feed, and it seems to smell the flesh and blood of the living on the other side of those steel panels.

The walker seems to be bolstered by its recent feed, and it seems to smell the flesh and blood of the living on the other side of those steel panels. (I also read in Walking Dead Wiki that while the walkers do not possess keen eyesight, their sense of smell, and hearing, remain their strongest senses.)

We see the walker's face just before a single bullet from Sasha's gun blows its head to bits.

We see the walker’s face just before a single bullet from Sasha’s gun blows its head to bits.

Meanwhile, in the darkness, somewhere outside and away from the walls of Alexandria…

...a lone walker in a field goes down after a single arrow spears its skull.

…a lone walker in a field goes down after a single arrow spears its skull.

Daryl strides up in the darkness towards the dead walker to retrieve his arrow, while Aaron, looking around, remarks, “There’s more of them around than there used to be….don’t know if any people are…” Daryl shushes him quiet, points to something ahead, in the distance.

“Someone is,” Daryl says quietly.

In the forest,  the men see a light of a fire burning in the distance.

In the forest, the men see a light of a fire burning in the distance.

daryl says someone is

Cue the Bear McCreary opening title sequence...

Cue the Bear McCreary opening title sequence…

After the commercial break, we see Nicholas’s videotaped account of what happened to Aiden being rewound, before being played again…

As the videotape is being rewound, we see the many gestures, expressions, pauses Nicholas puts on during his account of the events, which of course are rife with bullshit...

As the videotape rewinds, we see the many contrived gestures, expressions, sighs, and pauses Nicholas puts on while recounting the events leading up to Aiden’s death…of course, Nicholas is lying his ass off, trying to put the blame on Glenn.

Nicholas turns his eyes to the camera, trying for an earnest expression.

Nicholas turns his eyes to the camera, trying for an earnest expression. “Aiden was, uh, trying to save us…from a roamer…shooting at it.” Nicholas looks off, shakes his head. “Then, Glenn distracted him.” Nicholas’s story has many starts and stops, like a kid who is making up a lie on the spot to try to avoid getting in trouble.

We then see Glenn, who is giving his own, truthful, account of what happened during the fatal run to the solar supply warehouse. His expression stays even, and he doesn’t often break eye contact with his listener, even though his eyes are dull with grief and misery while remembering the horrors he witnessed. There is no need for gratuitous gesturing, sighs, embellishments…the nightmarish account speaks for itself.

Glenn's voice is hoarse, soft.

Glenn’s voice is soft, hoarse. “I saw the grenades…I tried to stop him.”

“They wanted to just go,” Nicholas lies. “I didn’t.”

“He was gonna run,” Glenn says of Nicholas.

Nicholas looks off again, shaking his head.

Nicholas looks off again, shaking his head. “I wasn’t going to leave him (Aiden),” he asserts, sanctimoniously. “What about Tara?” asks Deanna, off camera. Nicholas turns to face the camera. “I wasn’t going to leave her.”

“But we made him stay,” Glenn continues. “(We) couldn’t get Aiden out of there without help.”

Nicholas continues his lie, looking off again, getting more animated as his story gains momentum, “Then, when we got into the lobby…”

glenn's account 4

Glenn says, wonderingly, “All he had to do was hold the door…” (Nicholas clearly would have never lasted with out there with our fine, fine gang, who time and time again worked together to accomplish way more extraordinary feats to survive than holding a damn rotating door. Curse you, Nicholas, you cowardly liar!)

Nicholas keeps looking away from the camera, away from Deanna.

Nicholas keeps looking away from the camera, away from Deanna, as he proclaims, “He kept hitting at the glass, pushing my door open…they were going to kill me!”

Glenn looks sorrowfully at his listener.

Glenn looks sorrowfully at his listener. “But he (Nicholas) panicked.”

“Or, they were trying to, or…they didn’t care.”

“Noah…I had him. I had his hand…”

“And I…if I didn’t push back…I’d be dead too. Nicholas looks at Deanna then, his mouth set...it’s his story and he’s sticking with it.

glenn's account 7

Glenn looks sadly down, then. “I tried,” he whispers sadly, thinking of his friend.

Glenn looks miserably up at Rick, who is sitting with him, watching him, listening.

Glenn looks miserably up at Rick, who is sitting with him, watching him, listening. “I watched him die,” Glenn tells Rick, his voice breaking.

Nicholas looks right at the camera.

Nicholas looks right at the camera. “They did this…it was them.” We hear Deanna’s voice point out, “But you all came back together.” Ha, ha, Deanna’s no dummy…if Glenn and the others were trying to kill Nicholas, why would they bring him back to Alexandria with them, unconscious, in the van? Why not just leave him there, say he was attacked by “roamers?” Ooooo, burn, Nicholas!

“How did that happen?” presses Deanna. Nicholas’s mouth works a second as he grapples for an answer to that very logical question. We then hear Spencer’s voice, off camera, ask, “Mom, what are you doing?” (Ah, Nicholas, you douchebag, saved by the Spencer!)

Deanna replies, off camera, to her son, that they need to do this now, to be watched, later…

We see Deanna watching the video of her interview with Nicholas...

We see Deanna, now, watching the video of her interview with Nicholas…

...and we see Nicholas react silently, angrily as Deanna lays down the law: No guns, no going outside the wall...same goes for Glenn, until they get to the bottom of this.

…and we see Nicholas react silently, angrily as Deanna lays down the law on video, “No guns, no going outside the wall…same goes for Glenn, until I finish looking into this.”

Nicholas, on the video, demands, “What do you need to look into? I’m telling you how it went down! These people need to go…they’re not like us.” As Deanna watches this, we hear Nicholas’s voice lower conspiratorially as he tells her, in the interview, “I know you see it, too.”

We hear Deanna's recorded reply to this:

We hear Deanna’s recorded reply to this: “You don’t know what I see, Nicholas…and I see a great deal.” Definitely makes me think that Deanna Monroe isn’t buying Nicholas’s story, but she does seem to be having some buyer’s remorse about letting Rick and the gang into her community as well…and she is grappling with the loss of her son.

Meanwhile, Glenn confesses to Rick,

Meanwhile, Glenn confesses to Rick,” I almost left him out there…could have told a story.” Rick shoots him this look in response. (Well, I guess we know what Rick Smash! would have done in that situation, don’t we?)

Glenn looks at Rick, reads his look. “You think that’s what I should have done?”

Rick shakes his head. “They don’t know what they’re doing…any of them.”

“We’ll show them,” Glenn protests. Rick replies, “I don’t know if they can see it, how things really are…I don’t know if they can, yet. They haven’t caught up.”

Glenn isn't giving up on Alexandria so easily.

Glenn isn’t giving up on Alexandria so easily. “We have to be here,” he insists. “We have to.”

“Yeah, we do,” Rick agrees. “But, their rules? We don’t answer to them.(Zut alors! Constable Smash!  is tres encroyable when he goes all renegade and shit.)

Glenn, however, is not seeing the appeal…

“Rick,” Glenn says, incredulously, “we are them. We are, now.”

Glenn continues, telling Rick, “Noah believed in this place…I’m telling you, we’ve got to make this work.” 

Meanwhile, Carol stands on their front porch, watching Jessie, Sam, and Rowan across the way, on their front porch. Jessie nudges Sam, who seems to have fallen asleep in a porch chair, and sends him off to bed, along with his older brother.

Rick comes up and stands with Carol, watching Jessie and her sons. Carol turns to Rick, informs him that she sent a casserole over to Deanna’s family, adding, “I want her to see that.”

Carol then asks Rick if he’s thought about Pete, about what she said. “Yeah,” Rick answers. As they watch Jessie sitting on her porch, with her head in her hands, Carol tells Rick that she talked to Sam some more…Sam said that his mom put a bolt on the inside of his closet, tells him to lock himself in sometimes, and not come out until morning.

Rick's face is stony as he digests this information.

Rick’s face is stony as he digests this information.

Carol continues, telling Rick that Sam said that he can hear his dad yelling, things breaking, his mom crying. Last month, it got quiet in the middle of it, and Sam came out and found his mom lying on the floor, unconscious, bleeding, while “Pete was just sitting on the porch.”

Rick’s jaw and facial muscles work as he takes all this in, breathing deep, looking towards the porch floor, then back at Carol. “Why do you care what happens to Jessie?” he asks her. Carol looks at Rick.

“You know why,” Carol replies softly. “I know why you do.” Rick, looking down, asks gruffly, “Why?” Carol’s expression softens slightly as she looks at him. “I’ve seen you talk to her,” she replies gently.

Across the way, Jessie gets up and leaves her porch. Carol looks up at Rick. “If walkers hadn’t gotten Ed,” she says, “I wouldn’t be here right now.”

Rick looks at Carol. “Yeah, you would,” he replies, before turning to resume his night patrol.

Rick goes and stands at the small pond near their homes.  Facing the water, he pulls out the contraband handgun from his waistband and holds it, crossing his hands, waiting.

Rick goes and stands at the small pond near their homes. Facing the water, he pulls out the contraband handgun from his waistband and holds it, crossing his hands, waiting…

As Rick faces the pond, we see once again an image that Rick has noticed three times thus far in Episode 515...a helium-filled red balloon, tied to paper boat like a sail.  The breeze blows the balloon, gently propelling the paper boat in the water.

As Rick faces the pond, we see once again an image that Rick has noticed three times thus far in Episode 515…a helium-filled red balloon floats above the pond, tied to a paper boat like a sail. The breeze blows the balloon, gently propelling the paper boat in the water.  Watching this,  I marveled that Alexandria is so mad-stocked in these post-apocalyptic times…they even have helium tanks to blow up party balloons (or to inhale and do funny voices with: “Hey, look at me…I’m a roamer!”).

And who walks up then but Rick's good buddy, Petey McBeaty...

And who walks up right in that moment but Rick’s good buddy, Petey McBeaty…”Hey, Rick!” McBeaty calls out. When he gets no response, McBeaty tries again. “Rick!”

Rick pauses a moment, weighing his options...

Rick pauses a moment, weighing his options…

...before turning around, slowly and facing McBeaty with this fearsome, smoking-hot look. This man is not Officer Friendly to you, McBeaty!

…before turning around, slowly and facing McBeaty with this fearsome, smoking-hot look. McBeaty, meet Officer Not-So-Friendly!

McBeaty starts to falter upon seeing the malevolence in Rick's stare.

McBeaty starts to ask Rick if he’s ok, and then begins to falter upon seeing the malevolence in Rick’s face as Rick silently stares him down.

Constable Smash! looks at McBeaty a moment more before grinding out,

Constable Smash! looks at McBeaty a moment more before grinding out, “Keep walkin’.” 

McBeaty kind of gapes at Rick, asks,

McBeaty kind of gapes at Rick, asks, “What?…What are…?” but as Rick Smash! turns to fully face him…

...McBeaty wisely backs off, and shuffles away, rattled.

McBeaty wisely backs off, turns, shuffles away, rattled.

Ladies and gentlemen, Rick. Fucking. Grimes!

Rick. Fucking. Grimes! <3<3<3<3

As the scene ends, and McBeaty walks away, Rick closes his eyes, and we see his right hand, hidden by his leg, holding the pistol…it seems it has taken all of Rick’s will to stop himself from pulling the trigger on McBeaty, right then and there.

In the next scene, we see an alarm clock strike 6:30 am...

In the next scene, we see an alarm clock strike 6:30 am…

...and we see Michonne lying in bed, trying to get another moment of sleep.

…and we see Michonne lying in bed, trying to get another moment of sleep.

But she cannot...she lay awake, her eyes open...she looks over at a laundry basket filled with clean laundry...

But she cannot…she lay awake, her eyes open…she looks over at a laundry basket filled with clean laundry…

...and Noah's t-shirt on top.

…and Noah’s t-shirt on top.

Michonne gets out of bed, walks over, and picks up Noah's shirt, looks at it a long moment.

Michonne gets out of bed, walks over, and picks up Noah’s shirt, looks at it a long moment.

noah's shirt

Michonne then walks over to the bed, throws the shirt and jacket of her constable's uniform on top. She stands, looking at the uniform a moment.

Michonne then walks over to the bed, throws the shirt and jacket of her constable’s uniform on top. She stands a moment, looking down at the uniform.

Instead of donning the uniform, Michonne sits on the edge of the bed, covers her face with her hand. It must be exhausting, the loss and hardship that never ends...it must be so hard to keep going, to not give up.

Instead of putting on the uniform, Michonne sits on the edge of the bed, covers her face with her hand. It must be exhausting for our gang, the loss and hardship that never ends…it must be so hard to keep going, to not give up.

Then, there is a quiet knock on the door. “Come in,” calls Michonne, still looking off, thinking. Rosita peeks in, enters the room, greets Michonne, “Hey.”

Michonne asks, “How is she?” talking, of course, about Tara.

Rosita replies that she’s “stable, hanging on…I’ll go back there later.” Meanwhile, there are other things that need attending to…

Rosita tells Michonne,

Rosita tells Michonne, “I think Sasha might have spent the night in the tower.”

Michonne looks at Rosita, quick to grasp the gravity of that statement.

Michonne looks at Rosita, quick to grasp the potential gravity of that statement. “Is she still up there?” she asks.

Rosita replies that Abraham’s on watch now, but Sasha hasn’t been back, and nobody’s seen her. Michonne is definitely quick to grasp the real gravity of that statement, and she grabs her cardigan, leaving the shirt and jacket of her constable’s uniform on the bed, and follows Rosita quickly out of the room.

Patrolling the streets of Alexandria: Vanilla Dream can wait...these ladies have a post-apocalyptic sister to find!

Patrolling the streets of Alexandria: Vanilla Dream can wait…these ladies have a post-apocalyptic sister to find!

As they walk through the woods, Rosita tells Michonne, “it’s up ahead.” It seems Rosita has seen Sasha go out of the gates with her gun and a box of bullets, and upon further inquiry, Rosita found out that somebody was already on watch in the tower.

A sound in the woods startles them, and quick as an instant, both women have their weapons drawn, ready to battle…

Badass warrior women. <3

Badass warrior women who can bring it.

I found myself missing the katana, watching this scene...

I did find myself missing the katana, watching this scene…

Michonne and Rosita watch, and listen, a moment more, but all is quiet...they bring their weapons down, and continue walking, cautiously, through the woods.

Michonne and Rosita watch, and listen, a moment more, but all is quiet…lowering their weapons, they continue walking, cautiously, through the woods.

As they continue on through the woods, their breath frosting in the cold morning air, Rosita admits that this is the first time she's been out, beyond the walls, since they got to Alexandria.

As they continue on, their breath frosting in the cold morning air, Rosita admits that this is the first time she’s been out, beyond the walls, since they got to Alexandria.

“Me too,” replies Michonne, “It already feels different.”

“That’s good,” Rosita tells her.  Michonne isn’t so sure. “I don’t know,” she says, in a low voice.

As they walk, scanning the forest for Sasha, and living, and non-living, threats, Rosita tells Michonne that after finding out that Eugene was lying about having the cure, “I was screwed up, because I lost something…you seem screwed up because you’ve found something.”

Michonne whirls and faces Rosita at this.

Michonne turns and faces Rosita. “Noah’s dead,” she says.

Michonne continues,

Michonne continues, “And I think…” She turns, then, as if trying to complete the unfinished thought in her head. After a brief pause, she shakes her head, resumes walking. “Just feel like I was asleep in there.”

Rewatching this scene, I got a lot more insight into what Michonne may have been thinking, and feeling…like the moment she let her guard down, relaxed her vigilance, another one of their own was taken from them, and maybe if she had kept her guard up, hadn’t forgotten, Noah might still be with them.

“You were trying to forget…you could try,” Rosita tells Michonne. I really love in this scene how Rosita is giving Michonne permission, girlfriend to girlfriend, to try to be happy, to be regular. To me, this scene, beginning to end, portrays the bond, the sisterhood, and the unconditional love & support between the fine women of our gang.

We have seen, many times before, the brotherhood between the key males in our gang. Now, we get to see how the women of the gang do with having each other’s backs.

“I don’t want to forget,” Michonne says. “So, don’t.” says Rosita. “But it doesn’t mean you have to give up.”

Rosita points out,

Rosita points out, “You didn’t bring your sword with you…that’s not nothin’.” It seems Rosita definitely has fine-tuned the ability of talking down a high-idling, always-on-duty soldier, having Abraham as a boyfriend and all…and, she has def fine tuned the ability of looking totally hot and adorable while doing it!

Meanwhile, back in Alexandria…

Deanna stands at the community's makeshift graveyard, presumably in front of Aiden's grave marker.

Deanna stands at the community’s makeshift graveyard, presumably in front of Aiden’s grave marker.

Rick approaches her.

Rick approaches her. “I’m sorry for what happened.” He asks Deanna how’s she’s holding up…

“I’m not,” Deanna replies.

Now would be a good time to say something comforting to Deanna Monroe, but Rick Smash! is too filled with id and righteous rage (and the straight up desire to simply kill McBeaty and take his woman), so instead, Rick clumsily stumbles into the conversation with,

Now would be a good time to say something comforting to Deanna Monroe, but Rick Smash! is too filled with id and righteous rage (and the primal desire to straight-up kill McBeaty and take his woman for himself) to do this. So, instead, Rick barges into the conversation with, “We have a problem with Pete.”

Deanna looks down regretfully, says,

Deanna looks down regretfully, says, “I hoped it would get better.” Rick Grimes is like, “Say what?”

“You knew?” he asks, incredulously. Deanna does not nod, but lowers her lids once, in silent assent, Yes. 

To Deanna’s credit, she doesn’t look proud of herself, admitting this.  Everyone who is still alive has had to do something shitty (probably more like many things shitty) to survive in these times…and Deanna Monroe is no different.  I personally like, even admire, Deanna Monroe in many aspects, and I love Tovah Feldshuh’s graceful, poignant portrayal of this complex character.

But, enough of that, because Rick Smash! ain’t having it, any of it…

Rick Smash! is all like,

Rick Smash! is all like, “Oh, now I really am going to fucking take this place.”

To his credit, Rick tries diplomacy first, asserts, “It hasn’t gotten better. It won’t.”

“Pete’s a surgeon,” Deanna says, flatly. (Not her finest moment, granted.) “He’s saved lives.” Deanna turns and looks at Rick. “He might be saving Tara’s life.”

“He’s beating his wife,” Rick counters. “We have to stop it.”

Deanna looks at Rick, archly, arms crossed. “How?” she asks.

“Separate ’em. Tell him that’s how it will be from now on,” suggests Rick (thinking, of course, ‘And then, let the playdates begin!’). 

Deanna knows it’s not that simple. “And what happens when he doesn’t wanna do that?” she asks. She takes a couple of steps closer to Rick, looking him in the eyes. She waits.  She’s right, of course…McBeaty is not going to go for that.

(I’ve gotta give props to Deanna Monroe, in this moment, for as she told Nicholas, earlier in his taped interview, she does see a great deal…she probably was a fierce congresswoman, back in the day, and most certainly is one hell of a poker player.)

Rick licks his lips, pauses a moment before answering, hoarsely,

In reply, Rick licks his lips, pauses a moment before answering, hoarsely, “It’s not his choice.”

Deanna nods at this. She knows where this is going. Deanna peers up at Rick, narrowing her eyes. “So what happens?” she asks softly.

Rick looks at Deanna.

Rick looks at Deanna. “I kill him…we kill him,” he says.

“We don’t kill people,” Deanna replies. “This is civilization, Rick.”

Rick Smash! is like, 'Step aside, homes, and let me take this one.'

Rick Smash! is like, ‘Step aside, homes, and let me take this one.’  Rick shifts his weight back and forth between his feet, leans in towards Deanna, says, “Warning someone to stop or die is civilized nowadays.”

Deanna makes a disgusted noise, looks down and away, not believing the truth of Rick’s words. She, and most of the other Alexandrians, really have no idea what it’s like out there.

Even though Nicholas is a total douche, he really is one of the only ones in Alexandria who has any idea what the world beyond the walls is like, having borne the brunt of going on runs with poor, doomed Aiden (and whatever unlucky crew was recruited to ride along with them), armed with weapons, working vehicles, half-a-clue between the whole lot of them, and loud 90’s techno music.

Rick asks Deanna, “So, what do we do,then? We let him hit her, we let him kill her?” “No,” Deanna replies. “We exile him, if it comes to that.”

To this, Rick replies,

To this, Rick replies, “If we do that, we don’t know when he comes back or what he does to…” Rick doesn’t finish this sentence, continues, “Letting him go makes this place vulnerable. “

Rick Smash! continues, asking,

Rick Smash! continues, asking, “You really wanna wait til someone in that tower has to take care of it, and that’s if we’re lucky?” J’adore, Rick Smash!

Struggling to keep her composure, Deanna yells,

Struggling to keep her composure, Deanna yells, “We are not,” then takes a breath, continues, more softly, “executing anyone.” Deanna looks hard at Rick. “Don’t ever suggest it again.”

Deanna then narrows her eyes, threatens, “That sort of thinking doesn’t belong in here.”

Rick Grimes, undaunted, tries to school Deanna in the ways of the new world order.

Rick Grimes, undaunted, tries to school Deanna in the ways of the new world order. “People die now, Deanna, they do,” he tells her. But it is like he is speaking a language that she can’t understand. Rick Grimes is from Mars, and Deanna Monroe is from Planet Denial.

In inimitable Rick-In-Charge fashion, Rick Grimes lays it down for Deanna Monroe,

In inimitable Rick-In-Charge fashion, Rick Grimes lays it down for Deanna Monroe,“There’s times like this, you can decide who, and when, or it can be decided for you.”

This isn't Deanna Monroe's first game of seven-card-stud, and it's showdown time. She narrows her eyes at Rick.

This isn’t Deanna Monroe’s first game of seven-card-stud, and it’s showdown time. She narrows her eyes at Rick. “It already has,” she replies, adding, “I wouldn’t kill you…I would just send you away.” Oooo, snap, Rick Grimes!

(By this point in the watching, were you like me and completely blown away by this back and forth between two such amazing actors? Andrew Lincoln and Tovah Feldshuh, killing it! This whole episode was like some awesome play or musical to me, with amazing dialogue, soliloquies, tense moments, high drama, forbidden love, beautiful stolen moments…I crafted an epic playlist at the end of this post to honor it all.  The TWD episodes directed by Michael Satrazemis, like this one, Episode 515, and Season 4’s “The Grove,” are some of my favorite episodes, always rich in beautiful imagery and layered in meaning, message, and symbolism. A round of Deadies to this power trio of Episode 515!)

Meanwhile, Michonne and Rosita have happened upon a trail of dead walkers, each one shot in the back of the head…

walker dead back of the head

Michonne and Rosita stare down at the dead walkers. It definitely looks like Sasha's handiwork.

Michonne and Rosita stare down at the dead walkers. It definitely looks like Sasha’s handiwork. “Must be her,” says Rosita.

Rosita then kneels down, touches the shattered picture that Sasha had used as target practice a day or two earlier with the tip of her knife.

Rosita then kneels down, touches the shattered picture that Sasha had used as target practice a day or two earlier with the tip of her knife.

“She’s hunting them,” Michonne says.

Meanwhile, in another part of the woods…

Carl peers around, looking for Enid, when he hears her voice call out,

Carl peers around, looking for Enid, when he hears her voice call out, “Carl.” He looks around, does not see her. “I know you’re following me…again.” Enid’s voice continues. As Carl peers around, looking for her, Enid says, “And you’re going the wrong way.”

Still peering around, not seeing her, Carl asks, “You knew?”

“You’re very loud,” Enid’s voice replies, matter of factly. Carl then steps forward, onto a twig, which makes a loud crunching noise. He grimaces.

“Can you go back?” Enid asks him. “To be honest…you scare me.” Carl doesn’t answer this, instead tells her, “You shouldn’t sneak out by yourself…two people just died.”

Enid emerges from behind a tree.

Enid emerges from behind a tree. “Oh, come on,” she says. “People always die…you know that.”

Carl, unnerved by Enid, suggests again that they should go back. “Why?” asks Enid, looking at him.

In reply, Carl looks around the woods, asks Enid, “What do you do out here anyway?” Enid shrugs. “Same thing as you,” she replies, before playfully turning and taking off running. Carl’s face lights up, and he takes off after her.

In a beautiful slow-motion sequence, set to a dreamy  Bear McCreary score, we see the young people run through the woods, happy and free.  Young love and innocence shining through, even in these dark times.

In a beautiful slow-motion sequence, set to a dreamy Bear McCreary score, we see the young people run through the woods, happy and free, at least for this moment. Young love and innocence shining through these dark times, like a flower pushing up through a crack in concrete, and turning its face up to the sun.

Enid and Carl stop short upon seeing a lone walker lurching along in the woods and hide behind a tree, watching it.

Enid and Carl watch the walker a moment...

Enid and Carl watch the walker a moment…

...then Enid pulls out a white plastic kitchen timer out of her pack. She winds it, then lobs it out so it lands in front of the walker's path...the timer ticks a moment, then the alarm goes off, diverting the walker.

…then Enid pulls out a white plastic kitchen timer out of her pack. She winds it, then lobs it out so it lands in front of the walker’s path…the timer ticks a moment, then the alarm goes off, diverting the walker.

As the walker approaches the ringing timer on the ground...

As the walker approaches the ringing timer on the ground…

...Enid smiles a moment before turning and running off, Carl in hot pursuit.

…Enid smiles a moment before turning and running off, Carl in hot pursuit.

Back in Alexandria, two people are about to engage in a much less playful exchange…

We see a hand scrubbing out the blood in the back of the run van...

We see a hand scrubbing out the blood in the back of the run van…

Glenn approaches, comes around the van, addresses Nicholas, who is inside.

Glenn approaches, comes around the van, addresses Nicholas, who is inside. “Nicholas…don’t talk, just listen.”

Nicholas emerges from the van, faces Glenn.

“Those four people you lost on that run, that’s on you,” Glenn informs Nicholas.

“And Noah,” Glenn continues, “that’s on you, too.” Nicholas says nothing. “Those five lives, you have to carry that.”

“People like you are supposed to be dead,” Glenn continues. “But, these walls went up just in time. So, you’re not.” Nicholas glares at Glenn, who faces him, unafraid.

“You don’t go outside those walls anymore,” Glenn informs Nicholas. “Not by yourself, not with anyone else. And that’s how you’re going to survive.” (I completely agree…this edict should be drafted into Alexandria law, asap.)

Nicholas, however, does not agree. He steps closer to Glenn.

“Who the hell do you think you are?” Nicholas asks.

Glenn menaces closer to Nicholas.

Glenn menaces closer to Nicholas. “I’m someone who knows who you are,” he informs Nicholas. “I know what you did. And it’s not going to happen again.”

This, of course, sends Nicholas right up. “I’ve been protecting this place…I’ve been providing for it. You just got here.”

Glenn, undaunted, replies, simply, “Don’t forget what I said.” Nicholas looks at Glenn. “Are you threatening me?” he asks.

In response, Glenn lets out a little laugh, says, “No…I’m saving you.” And with that, Glenn walks away, leaving Nicholas, shellshocked, at the van.

Ooooo, burn, Nicholas!

Ooooo, burn, Nicholas!

Meanwhile, back at the frolicsome forest…

Still laughing at her walker prank, Enid and Carl find a felled tree stump and sit down to take a breather.

Still smiling at her walker prank, Enid and Carl find a felled tree stump and sit down to take a breather.

Looking out into the woods, Enid says,

Looking out into the woods, Enid says, “We’re supposed to be out here…we’re supposed to feel like this.” (Carl looks at her, seems to be thinking, “Well, maybe sometimes…but sometimes, it’s pretty sweet to be sleeping in an actual bed, or taking a hot shower, or chilling with my feet up on the couch, reading a comic book…you know, just sayin”!”)

“I don’t want to forget,” says Enid. It seems she has been having the same thoughts and feelings as Carl and the rest of his people.

“And,” Enid smiles, “running makes me feel better.”

“I can’t forget,” Carl replies. He turns to Enid. “I dream about it, being in the forest…with them.”

“I do, too,” Enid says, quietly.

Carl looks at her a moment, then says, “Rowan’s a good guy…” “He is,” Enid agrees. Carl asks, “Does he know you come out here?” Enid tells him no.

“He wouldn’t understand,” she says. Carl digests this information a moment, then asks Enid, with a laugh, “Why do I scare you?”

Enid reaches into her pack, pulls out a fine knife with a wooden handle,  and begins carving into the stump.

Enid reaches into her pack, pulls out a fine knife with a wooden handle, and begins carving into the stump. “I don’t know, you just do,” she replies.

“Cool knife,” Carl remarks. Enid regards the knife in her hand.

“It was my mom’s,” Enid replies, softly. Her voice sounds sad.

“What happened to you, before you got there (to Alexandria)?” Carl asks. Enid looks at him. “It doesn’t matter,” she says. “It does,” Carl asserts. “Something bad has happened to me, too.”

Enid looks at Carl, says nothing. She seems to want to tell him, but then, the telltale snarl of walkers approaching interrupt their sweet moment.

Enid looks at Carl, says nothing. She seems to want to tell him, but then, the telltale snarls of walkers approaching interrupt their sweet moment.

Carl and Enid jump up. “We need to go,” Carl says. “It sounds like a lot.”

Enid quickly ducks into the opening of a hollowed-out tree stump. Carl follows, and the young people find themselves face to face in the hollow.

Watching this, I cheered out loud. This sweet moment is like, everything.

Watching this scene for the first time, I cheered out loud. This sweet moment is like, everything.

carl and enid in the tree 2

Carl tears his gaze away from Enid and looks out with alarm towards the walkers, whose snarl and slaver grow louder as they get closer. Enid leans in towards Carl and whispers to him,

Carl tears his gaze away from Enid and looks out with alarm towards the walkers, whose snarl and slaver grow louder as they get closer. Enid leans in towards Carl and whispers to him, “It’s their world…we’re just living in it.”

From inside the tree, Carl and Enid watch the group of walkers pass...

From inside the tree, Carl and Enid watch the group of walkers pass…

There are a good number of them.

There are a good number of them.

Carl and Enid turn to face one another...

Carl and Enid turn to face one another…

...and Carl touches Enid's hand, holding her mother's knife, briefly with his own.

…and Carl touches Enid’s hand, holding her mother’s knife, briefly with his own.

After a moment, it becomes too much for Carl, and he turns away, exhaling a long-held breath. Enid smiles at this.

After a moment, it becomes too much for Carl, and he turns away, exhaling a long-held breath. Enid smiles at this.

She leans forward, whispers...

She leans forward, whispers…

“Cool…you’re afraid of me, too.”

Carl and Enid turn to watch the last of the walkers pass...

Carl and Enid turn to watch the last of the walkers pass…

...and we see one of the last walkers has a telltale

…and we see one of the last walkers has a telltale “W” carved into its forehead.

Elsewhere in the woods, we see a pair of hands digging with a stick at the base of a tree, unearthing a metal canister…we see the hands open the canister, and pull out a handgun…

It seems that Rick Grimes isn't the only one stashing guns around these woods! (This couldn't be Rick's gun, could it?)

It seems that Rick Grimes isn’t the only one stashing guns around these woods! (This couldn’t be Rick’s gun, could it? Nah…but…could it, though?) Talk to me, people!

The shot pans back, and we see that the stealthy gun-stashing saboteur is none other than...Nicholas! You bastard!

The shot pans back, and we see that the stealthy gun-stashing saboteur is none other than…Nicholas! (That bastard!)

Meanwhile, in another part of the woods (yes, children, the woods are def the place to be this particular morning in Episode 515…shit’s going down and blowing up all over the place in these damn woods!

Another group of walkers shuffles through the forest...

…we see another group of walkers shuffling through the forest…

...only to be dropped, one by one, by a rifle with a silencer and a scope. Not a bullet wasted, so of course the shooter must be...

…only to be taken down, one by one, from behind, by a rifle with a silencer and scope. Not a bullet wasted, so of course the shooter must be…

...our favorite crazy lady with a gun...

…our favorite crazy lady with a gun…

Sasha!

Sasha!

After she takes out the group of walkers, Sasha runs forward, soldier style, towards a walker that is ambling through the forest, as yet unaware of her presence…

Sasha sets the walker, who ambles through the trees, unaware of her presence, in the crosshairs of her rifle's scope...

Sasha lines up the walker in the crosshairs of her rifle’s scope…

...and brings down Crosshairs Walker with a single shot to the head.

…and brings down Crosshairs Walker with a single shot to the head.

Sasha takes a brief moment to survey her handiwork when she hears Michonne’s voice from behind her.

“Sasha!” Michonne calls. Sasha’s face registers her annoyance at being interfered with. “Go back,” she tells Michonne and Rosita, striding towards her next undead targets.

sasha tells ladies she's sick of playing defense2

Rosita and Michonne follow Sasha, keeping back a safe and respectful distance behind her. Sasha continues forward, walking quickly, scanning the forest for walkers. “What are you doing?” Rosita asks her. “I’m sick of playing defense,” Sasha tells them.

“So…you’re just going to take on all of them?” Michonne asks her.

Sasha nods.

Sasha nods. “Yeah,” she says, walking fast, looking forward, rifle ready.

Ahead, in a clearing, a sizable group of walkers approaches...

Ahead, in a clearing, a sizable group of walkers approaches…

Sasha, unafraid, quickly pulls off her pack as she strides towards the walker pack, ready 2 rumble.

Sasha, unafraid, quickly pulls off her pack as she strides towards the walker pack, ready 2 rumble.

Sasha lifts her rifle and peers through the scope as Michonne looks on dubiously...

Sasha lifts her rifle and peers through the scope as Michonne looks on dubiously…

...because man, that's a lot of walkers.

…because man, that’s a lot of walkers.

The walkers begin to close in, and there seem to be more and more of them coming through the trees, from many sides. Rosita says with some urgency, “We gotta get outta here.”

“Ohhh, you do…I don’t,” says Sasha, looking full-on crazy as she raises her rifle and peers through the scope, ready to massacre some walkers.

As Sasha begins blowing the walkers away, one by one, Michonne watches, remembering...

As Sasha begins blowing the walkers away, one by one, Michonne watches, remembering…

michonne flashback 4 w walker pets michonne flashback michonne flashback 2

michonne flashback 2.5

michonne flashback 3

michonne remembering

michonne and her walker pets 2

Something clicks inside Michonne, and she raises her handgun. Sasha turns to her, tells Michonne, “I don’t need your help!” 

“This isn’t for you,” Michonne says, and begins firing on the walkers.

michonne nails walker

Rosita joins the #walkerkillinparty

Rosita joins the #walkerparty “Hey now, save me some!”

rosita got her killinface on

#Rosita got her #killinface on…

michonne killinface

#Michonne #killinface

sasha killinface

#Sasha #killinface

michonne killinface 2

That’s how it do with #sisterunconditional. Your bitch be crazy in the woods, getting medieval on a horde of walkers…what does a real sista do? A real sista don’t judge… she jumps in ands gets to killin’ & slayin’!

Rosita! Rosita! Rosita!

Rosita! Rosita! Rosita!

Rosita goes it #hand2hand style...

Rosita goes it #hand2hand style…

She pins I Think It's Broken Walker to a tree, winds back, ready to stompkick...

She pins I Think It’s Broken Walker to a tree, winds back, ready to stompkick some rotten walker knee backwards…

Awwww, #thatsgottahurt !

Awwww, #thatsgottahurt

I think it's definitely broken, I Think It's Broken Walker...

I think it’s definitely broken, I Think It’s Broken Walker…#sux2bu

Meanwhile, it looks like somebody got lost on their way to the GOT set…

Enter White Walker, stage left...

Enter White Walker, stage left! “Um, this wasn’t the scene I read for, but hey, I’ll take it!”

As Rosita finishes off I Think It's Broken Walker with a rekill to the head...

As Rosita finishes off I Think It’s Broken Walker with a rekill to the head…

...Sasha's outta bullets.

…  D’oh!  Sasha’s outta bullets…

Michonne looks around, sees Sasha scrambling to reload, and has her sister's back by standing firm and continuing to blow away oncoming walkers...

Michonne looks around, sees Sasha scrambling to reload, and has her sister’s back by standing firm and continuing to blow away oncoming walkers…

michonne has sasha's back 3

...but White Walker gets the jump on Sasha and tackles her to the ground.

…but White Walker gets the jump on Sasha and tackles her to the ground.

White Walker is #ready2rage (I would really love to rage at a Metallica show with White Walker.)

White Walker is #ready2rage (btw, I would seriously love to throw down at a metal show with White Walker.)

Sasha is having a hard time getting her knife, which lay just out of reach above her head, so Michonne steps up and rekills White Walker, executioner style. Buh bye, While Walker.

As Sasha is having a hard time getting her knife, which lay just out of reach above her head, Michonne steps up and rekills White Walker, executioner style. Buh bye, While Walker.

sasha says I had it

Instead of thanking Michonne for saving her ass, Sasha looks up indignantly and says, “I had it!”

archer

Pouring himself another Bloody Mary, watching this scene, Sterling Archer’s like, “That is just so classic Sasha!”

Sasha slaps Michonne’s outstretched arm away, says, “I don’t need your help!” Rosita and Michonne exchange looks as Sasha rolls over and pushes herself up to standing. She turns and faces Michonne angrily.

Sasha glares at Michonne.

Sasha glares at Michonne.

“I told you to go,” she tells her. Michonne stands silently, lets Sasha unleash some of her anger and grief on her without reacting…Michonne looks really beautiful here as she lets Sasha dump on her.

Sasha looks up and sees Rosita looking at her, sadly.  Sasha has been through so much, has lost so much in a short period of time...first Bob, then Tyreese...and Noah's death is affecting them all deeply. Rosita and Michonne know that Sasha's struggling right now.

Sasha looks up and sees Rosita looking at her, sadly. Sasha has been through so much, has lost so much in a short period of time…first Bob, then Tyreese…and now, Noah’s death is affecting them all deeply. Rosita and Michonne know that Sasha’s really struggling right now.

Seeing Rosita’s, and Michonne’s, pitying looks sends Sasha right up…it’s either ride the anger, and take the offense, or let herself feel the crushing grief inside her, start crying, and not stop, maybe, ever…Sasha chooses the anger offensive over crippling grief (and I can’t say I blame her).

When in doubt, blame the big sister...Sasha glares at Michonne.

When in doubt, blame the big sister…Sasha glares at Michonne. “You,” she begins…(when in doubt, blame the big sister!)

“…you can’t do anything! It worked out for you…you can’t help me!”

Sasha whirls around to Rosita, who looks at her friend helplessly.

Sasha whirls around to Rosita, who looks at her friend helplessly. “No..body…” Sasha begins, cannot continue. Nobody can take her pain away, as much as they wish they could…they can only listen, be present with her as she feels it. Going after Sasha, not abandoning her, was a real act of love on Rosita and Michonne’s part.

Sasha knows all this, on some level, and her anger starts to give way into its true form: grief. Her face softens as she looks at Michonne, grappling for the words.

Sasha knows all this, on some level, and her anger starts to give way into its true form: grief. Her face softens as she looks at Michonne, grappling for the words. “Noah…” Sasha begins.

Sasha looks miserably at Michonne.

Sasha looks miserably at Michonne. “I told him he wouldn’t make it.”

Sonequa Martin-Green plays it beautifully as Sasha silently rides out a wave of realization and sadness at this statement. Nobody says anything.  After a moment, Sasha stalks off, Rosita following her, after exchanging a last look with Michonne.

Sonequa Martin-Green plays it beautifully as Sasha silently rides out a wave of realization and sadness at this statement. Nobody says anything. After a moment, Sasha stalks off, Rosita following her, after exchanging a last look with Michonne.

Michonne looks after Sasha's retreating form. She's been there, in the throes of grief, having lost everything in the early days of the turn...her baby son, her man, her best friend. And she has lost so many, so much, since...Michonne knows exactly what Sasha is going through right now, and she knows that Sasha needs to feel it, to ride it out, and decide on her own if she wants to continue on...

Michonne looks after Sasha’s retreating form. She’s been there, in the throes of grief, having lost everything in the early days of the turn…her baby son, her man, her best friend. And she has lost so many, so much, since…Michonne knows exactly what Sasha is going through right now, and she knows that Sasha needs to feel it, to ride it out, and decide on her own if she wants to continue on…

Michonne then looks down at the gun she is holding...she seems to be thinking about what the gun represents: the Alexandria way, and her new position as constable. Is their

Michonne then looks down at the gun she is holding…she seems to be thinking about what the gun represents: the Alexandria way, and her new position as constable. Is their “civilization” the better way, or is there a place in the middle, a more realistic place, which combines the edge, knowledge, and skills required to negotiate the world outside the walls, while exploring life beyond sheer survival within the relative safety of Alexandria’s walls? It’s a tough question…how do they find the balance between survival, and really living?

Meanwhile, now that it’s daylight, Daryl and Aaron make their way cautiously towards the campsite where they saw the fire burning the night before. As they come around the trees, into the clearing, they are met with a horrific sight.

daryl and aaron approach daylight daryl and aaron take it in 1

Disembodied arms and legs lay scattered about...it looks like they were severed cleanly, like the arms and torsos Rick, Michonne, and Glenn Who did this, and how...and, why?

Disembodied arms and legs lay scattered about…it looks like they were severed cleanly, like the arms and torsos Rick, Michonne, and Glenn came across, back at the Shirewilt Estates. Who did this, and how…and, why?

Legs severed cleanly from the torso, which is missing. We have never seen remains like this from a walker attack before...

Legs severed cleanly from the torso, which is missing. We have never seen remains like this from a walker attack before…

A girl's arm, severed clean through the sleeve of a striped shirt...where are the heads? Where are the torsos?

A girl’s arm, severed clean through the sleeve of a striped shirt…where are the heads? Where are the torsos?

Daryl takes it all in, says,

Daryl takes it all in, says, “Whoever did this, took what was left with them.”

It is a truly distressing and horrifying sight. We see an arm, the hand bearing a wedding band...these were once living people, presumably huddled around a small campfire just the night before...living people, out in the open, just trying to make it the best they could.

It is a truly distressing and horrifying sight. We see one arm in the foreground, with the hand still bearing a wedding band…these were once living people, presumably huddled around a small campfire just the night before. Much like Rick and the gang, these people were just trying to make it the best they could, out in the open, living day to day in the savage, predatory arena the world has become.

As Aaron takes this all in, Daryl lifts his crossbow and stealths forward, as he realizes,

As Aaron takes this all in, Daryl lifts his crossbow and stealths forward, realizing, “This just happened.”

Daryl and Aaron cautiously make their way forward, until they some upon another distressing, horrifying spectacle...

Daryl and Aaron cautiously make their way forward, until they some upon another distressing, horrifying spectacle…

...a woman's body, lashed to a tree, naked, disembowled.

…a young woman’s body, lashed to a tree, naked, disembowled.

Aaron and Daryl take in this awful sight.

Aaron and Daryl take in this awful sight.

The arms, and legs, and now this...it speaks of a sadistic cruelty and methodology being executed, as the woman was clearly stripped, lashed to a tree, helpless, and left for walkers to tear into.

The arms, and legs, and now this…it speaks of a sadistic cruelty and methodology being executed, as the woman was clearly stripped naked, lashed to a tree, helpless, and left for walkers to tear into…which they clearly did.

“She’s tied up,” Aaron says, horrified. He is breathing heavily as the full import of this hits him, “And they fed on her…they tore her apart.”

Aaron turns to Daryl.

Aaron turns to Daryl. “Did this just happen?” Daryl nods.

“Yeah,” Daryl says, softly.

Aaron shakes his head. “How the hell did this happen?” he whispers. Daryl reaches out and pulls the dead woman’s head up, by her long, blond hair, to get a better look at her face.

There is a fresh

There is a fresh “W” carved into the woman’s forehead…she was young, blond, pretty. She reminded me of Beth, and it seemed like the TWD writers, and director Michael Satrazemis, wanted to invoke that similarity, comparison, for the viewer (and, for Daryl). 😦

As Daryl holds the young woman's head up, her eyes flutter open as she reanimates.

As Daryl holds the young woman’s head up, her eyes flutter open as she reanimates.

Aaron raises his gun as the young woman walker begins to snarl and bare her teeth.

Aaron raises his gun as the young woman walker begins to snarl and bare her teeth.

Daryl quickly does the young woman walker a solid rekill, plunging what may have been Beth's knife into her skull, ending her misery.

Daryl quickly does the young woman walker a solid rekill, plunging what may have been Beth’s knife into her skull, ending her misery.

Back in Alexandria…

Jessie's sneaking a smoke...I am sure girlfriend needs something in these times.  If I were married to McBeaty, raising two sons in a zombie apocalypse, I would def be raiding the storeroom for liquor and smokes on a regular basis.

Jessie’s sneaking a smoke…I am sure girlfriend needs something in these times. If I were married to McBeaty, raising two sons in a zombie apocalypse, I would def be raiding the storeroom for liquor and smokes on a regular basis.

“Jessie.” Jessie looks up to see Rick, who has come into the garage. She has been crying. Her life really is becoming more and more intolerable…I am sure McBeaty came home after his encounter with Rick the night before feeling less than manly, and probably took it out on her.

Jessie grinds out her cigarette, asking Rick to please not mention her secret smoking…she doesn’t want Rowan or Sam to know.

“Your secret’s safe,” Rick assures Jessie, looking at her…it feels like they like each other more and more every time they interact with one another.

Jessie stands and faces Rick. They look at each other a long moment.

Jessie says, “Noah was a sweet kid…and Tara…Tara’s in good hands with Pete.” She really is a good person, finding the one nice, reassuring thing to offer about her shitty husband.  After that, Jessie kind of looks down, and away.

Rick watches Jessie, says hoarsely,

Rick watches Jessie, says hoarsely, “He’s hitting you.”

“He’s hurting you…” Rick continues.

“It has to stop,” Rick asserts softly. Jessie looks down, as if Rick is voicing all the thoughts she has been having for years, and especially, I’m sure, lately, since Rick Grimes and his people came on the scene.

“It will,” Jessie tries to tell Rick, and herself, mostly out of force of habit by this point. She didn’t really have a way out, before…she was stuck in these walls, stuck with Pete, and nobody was coming forward to help her…until now.

“How?” Rick presses. Jessie tries another played out rationalization then, saying how Pete had a lot of things happen to him to make him this way… Rick cuts her off, tells her basically he doesn’t care, he doesn’t want to hear about what happened to Pete…

Jessie tells Rick,

Jessie tells Rick, “Look, it was like this before, and he got help.” Rick doesn’t reply, and Jessie asserts, “I helped him, and things were good.” Rick still doesn’t say anything. “I can fix it,” Jessie says.

Rick shakes his head at this.

Rick shakes his head at this. “No you can’t,” he says, adding, “But I can.”

Now, Jessie shakes her head, steps up to Rick, asking what is he going to do, put Pete in jail? “You’re only going to make things worse!” Jessie tells Rick.

“If it’s gotten worse,” Rick replies, “that means he’s killed you. That’s what’s next, and I’m not going to let that happen.”

Jessie looks at Rick, asks,

Jessie looks at Rick, asks, “Why do you care?”

Rick's look says, Dude, because I'm falling in love with you. But, being a guy and all, he can't quite manage to find the words to answer her question, and so Rick says nothing.

Rick’s look says, Dude, because I’m falling in love with you. But, being a guy and all, he can’t quite manage to find the words to answer her question, and so Rick says nothing.

Jessie searches Rick's face, presses,

Jessie searches Rick’s face, presses, “Why is this so important to you?” Rick still cannot answer with words, but his look says everything…surely she must see the answer on his face, in his eyes?

Jessie must see something, because she tries to then talk Rick down from his crusade:

Jessie must see something, because she tries to then talk Rick down from his crusade: “Now, you, you’ve made it…you’ve found a home for your kids.” Jessie shakes her head in disbelief, asks, “Rick, what are you doing?”

Rick manages, hoarsely, “I’m trying to help.”

(Poor dudes…women and girls talk really fast, and sometimes dudes get really overwhelmed…we women can process, and verbalize, feelings like computers process digitized information, so quickly, that we are on to the third or fourth question before the dude can even think of, let alone speak, the words to answer to the first question we asked! Moral of this story? Ladies, take a breath, stop talking a minute, and let the dude find the words…dudes, pick up the pace, find some words, and tell your special ladies how you feel about them! You’re welcome.)

Now, back to our story…

Jessie narrows her eyes at Rick.

Jessie narrows her eyes at Rick. “I don’t know that,” she says. Rick still cannot find the words he needs to say to her, stands looking at her, shifting back and forth between his feet.

Jessie looks at Rick, exasperated.

Jessie looks at Rick, exasperated. “I’m married,” she says. Rick’s mouth works, like he’s trying to find a nice way to say, ‘Yeah, but if we do it my way, then you won’t be married any longer, because I will kill him, and you will be a hot widow, and I’ll be your hot boyfriend and the best NewDad ever to your sons!’ Can’t exactly put that one in a Hallmark card, can you?

Jessie informs Rick, who is still standing there, wordless and kind of gaping, “Ok, I can take care of myself!” She turns and begins walking away, looking over her shoulder at Rick, adding, “We have to take care of ourselves.” Jessie goes to the door and opens it, pressing the garage door remote.

As Rick Grimes stands there, still searching for the words, the garage door begins to roll down in front of him.

As Rick Grimes stands there, still searching for the words, the garage door begins to roll down in front of him. Dang, these women are firey in Episode 515…and I am so loving it! ❤

Rick strides quickly down the street, agitated. Around him, suburbia abounds…neighbors are on their porches and stoops, gossiping and chatting. Children are playing, walking their dogs. Just another day in Alexandria: Vanilla Dream.

Rick stops a moment, breathing deep, trying to keep his cool.

Rick stops a moment, breathing deep, trying to keep his cool, as the Bear McCreary music simmers and pulses in the background.

As he struggles to keep his composure, Rick sees a boy run by with the red helium balloon tied to his boat...the red balloon seems to represent the red fury that blooms inside of Rick Smash!

As he struggles to keep his composure, Rick sees a boy run by with the red helium balloon tied to his boat…the red balloon seems, to me, to represent the red fury that blooms inside of Rick Smash! whenever something, or someone, really pisses him off.

Rick turns towards Jessie's house. It seems he had finally found his words. He strides towards the house.

Rick turns towards Jessie’s house. It seems he had finally found his words. He strides towards the house.

Jessie is crying inside the living room when Rick opens the door. She looks at him in disbelief. “What are you doing?” she asks, helplessly, crying. Rick looks near tears himself.

“Sam asked for a gun, to protect you,” Rick tells Jessie in a shaky voice. Good for you, Rick Grimes…you found your words, and just in time, too!

Hearing this seems to break Jessie's heart even more.

Hearing this seems to break Jessie’s heart even more.

Rick’s words are coming fast, now. “Jessie, in here, it’s the same as out there…you can’t see it, but it’s the same. There’s food, and roofs over our heads, but you don’t get to just live. You don’t get to put it off, or wish it away, Jessie…”

If you don’t fight, you die.”

Rick's face is soft as he concludes,

Rick’s face is soft as he concludes, “And…I don’t want you to die.”  <3<3

Jessie hears that sweet message loud and clear.

Jessie hears that sweet message loud and clear. (I really am just beaming with pride at our man Rick Grimes’ bravery, facing his feelings and speaking his piece…in my humble opinion, he is super fantastic bf material on all levels.)

Rick leans in to Jessie, inching closer and closer to her as he talks. “I can help you,” he says softly. “I can keep you, and the boys, safe.”

“I can,” Rick says softly, emphatically, his eyes never leaving Jessie’s face. Two words: dream boat.

“All you have to do is say ‘yes,'” Rick tells Jessie.

Before she says yes, there's something Jessie needs to know.

Before she says yes, there’s something Jessie needs to know. “Would you do this for someone else?” she asks him.  It’s like, I know I’m falling for you, hard, Constable Dreamy, and it seems you like me too, but maybe you’re just all beautiful and heroic to everyone…am I special to you, or what? 

Jessie asks, again, “Would you do this for anyone?” And this time, it’s important…it’s everything, and this time, she gives him time to answer her question.

“No,” Rick whispers. He says it again, a little louder, “No.”

Awwwwwwwwwww Rick Grimes, you are a total sweetie and a total beast!

Jessie finally surrenders to the manly love and heroic hotness that is Rick Grimes, whispers,

Jessie finally surrenders to the manly love and heroic hotness that is Rick Grimes, and whispers, “Yes.”

In classic Rick fashion, he silently bows his head once, in humble assent and gratitude, overcome with feeling, and then looks into Jessie’s face with a look of hot mutual accord and intimacy. And love.

It is in this moment, when they are looking into each other's souls, when McBeaty comes into the room and finds them there, together.

It is in this moment, when they are looking into each other’s souls, when McBeaty comes into the room and finds them there, together. “Rick,” McBeaty says, surprised. “What are you doing here?” Ummm, nothing, just professing our mutual and undying love for one another, so why don’t you run along, and fuck off?  Beat it, McBeaty!

Stone. Cold. Busted.

Stone. Cold. Busted.

“Pete,” Jessie begins, and McBeaty steps forward into the room, his eyes never leaving Rick.

Jessie steps forward towards McBeaty (who seems drunk already, even though I think it's still early in the day), tries to talk to him.

Jessie steps forward towards McBeaty (who seems drunk already, even though I think it’s still early in the day), tries to talk to him. “Pete, listen to me…” McBeaty does not acknowledge his wife, still fixated on Rick. “I’m going to have to ask you to leave, Rick,” McBeaty tells Rick, his civil tone slipping away to reveal the menace underneath the statement.

Rick Grimes isn't going anywhere. If he leaves, it may very well be the time that McBeaty does kill Jessie. And beside, she said yes. She is Rick Smash!'s woman now, and nobody, I mean nobody, lays a hand against Rick Smash!'s woman. Fuck you, McBeaty.

Rick Grimes isn’t going anywhere. If he leaves, it may very well be the time that McBeaty does finally kill Jessie. And besides, she said yes. She is Rick Smash!’s woman now, and nobody, I mean nobody, lays a hand against Rick Smash!’s woman. Fuck you, McBeaty.

(Saying all this, I must interject that I have heard on many occasions that Cory Brill, who plays Pete on The Walking Dead, is actually a super sweet guy, even though he doesn’t play one on tv…once again, hating on the character, not the man!)

It is Jessie who speaks.

It is Jessie who speaks up. “No.” Rick looks at her, recognizing, no doubt, her bravery in standing up for herself to a dangerous man, a man who has beaten her, time and time again, repeatedly causing her, and their sons, real physical, mental, and emotional harm. McBeaty cocks his head, comes closer to Jessie, as if he didn’t hear her right. “Excuse me?” he asks, softly, with a little smile, like, oh, now you’ve done it…you’ve done it, now. Yes, children, McBeaty totally sucks, and needs to be voted off the island, like, yesterday.

Jessie looks like she's too tired of all this shit to be scared any more. She stands her ground, tells McBeaty,

Jessie looks like she’s too tired of all this shit to be scared any more. She stands her ground, tells McBeaty, “You need to leave.”

McBeaty, who is a bully, and a dick, menaces closer to Jessie, trying to intimidate her.

McBeaty, who is a bully, and a dick, menaces closer to Jessie, trying to intimidate her. “What are you talking about?” Jessie shoots McBeaty a look, says, “Just go, Pete.”

McBeaty's starting to put it all together, and he's losing it. His voice is shaky as he attempts a smile and asks,

McBeaty’s starting to put it all together, and he’s losing it. His voice is shaky as he attempts a smile and asks, “What have you two been talking about?” Oh, all sorts of things, like how you beat me, and terrorize our children, and how I’m done with that, and I’m taking the kids and leaving your ass…oh, and ps, Rick Grimes is my boyfriend now. Any more questions, asshole?

When his quiet menacing fails to intimidate Jessie, McBeaty steps to her, screams, What have you been doing!?” Jessie instinctively cowers back, protecting herself.

Rick steps forward, says quietly, “Pete, you and me are going to leave, now.” Petey McBeaty is in a full fury now, and he ain’t having it. He snarls at Rick, “You come in to my house…” and starts walking towards Rick.

Rick Grimes gives Pete one more chance, says quietly, firmly, slowly,

Rick Grimes gives McBeaty one more chance, says quietly, firmly, slowly, “Pete, you and me are leaving.”

“You’re leaving, right now,” counters McBeaty.

McBeaty squares off with Rick, face to face.

McBeaty squares off with Rick, face to face. “You think you’re the law?” he demands. “You actually think you have a say in anything, here?” It is easy to see here how McBeaty uses his words, and his towering physical presence, to try to intimidate others, and diminish their self-confidence and sense of worth. His poor sons, and poor Jessie!

“Who do you think you are?” McBeaty grinds out.

Rick Smash! grinds out,

Rick Smash! grinds out, “Someone who’s trying not to kill you.”

And the words are barely out of Rick’s mouth when McBeaty throws the first wild punch, and with that, the McBeaty Beatdown has begun…

mcbeaty beatdown begins

Rick Smash! wants it as much as McBeaty does, to end this fucker once and for all…

mcbeaty beatdown 2

McBeaty, being the bigger man, and filled with rage, rushes Rick and slams him up against the wall.

mcbeaty beatdown 3

McBeaty has Rick pressed up against the wall, in a chokehold.

jessie screams stop

Jessie desperately screams for the men to stop, to no avail.

mcbeaty beatdown 4 mcbeaty beatdown 5

Rick, of course, manages to get out of McBeaty’s chokehold, and soon the men are rolling around, scrapping on the floor…from outside the home, the sounds of crashing and screaming come through the window, and then…

...McBeaty and Rick Smash! come through the window.

...McBeaty and Rick Smash! come through the window.

Meanwhile, Sasha is back up in the watchtower...it's her safe place.

Meanwhile, Sasha is back up in the watchtower…it’s her safe place. She watches a group of walkers pass by the walls, then spies something within the walls…women running, screaming.

The McBeaty Beatdown has hit the streets, and every Alexandrian has come running and rubbernecking...it's the most exciting thing to have happened in this town in ages!

The McBeaty Beatdown has hit the streets, and every Alexandrian has come running and rubbernecking…it’s the most exciting thing to have happened in this town in ages!

mcbeaty beatdown 8 double chokehold

The men have each other in a double chokehold.

Reg screams for Deanna, who comes running.

Reg screams for Deanna, who comes running.

At first, Rick is above McBeaty...

At first, Rick is above McBeaty…

...but the large man gains the advantage, and ends up on top of Rick.

…but the large man gains the advantage, and ends up on top of Rick.

Jessie tries to pull McBeaty off of Rick and end this...

Jessie tries to pull McBeaty off of Rick and end this…

...but McBeaty backhands her swiftly and savagely, knocking Jessie onto the pavement.

…but McBeaty backhands her swiftly and savagely, knocking Jessie onto the pavement.

McBeaty chokes Rick, who surprises him with some blow to the something or other...

McBeaty chokes Rick, who surprises him with some blow to the something or other…

...and Rick ends up back on top.

…and Rick ends up back on top.

McBeaty knows that Rick will kill him without hesitation, if given the chance.

McBeaty knows that Rick will kill him without hesitation, if given the chance.

Carl screams for his father, tries to pull Rick off, and Rick, blind with rage, shoves his son off...at least he didn't backhand him, McBeaty, you dick!

Carl screams for his father, tries to pull Rick off, and Rick, blind with rage, shoves his son off…at least he didn’t backhand him, like some people, McBeaty, you dick!

One more shift, and Rick is behind McBeaty now, with his arm wrapped around the man's throat, #likeapython .

One more shift, and Rick is behind McBeaty now, with his arm wrapped around the man’s throat, #likeapython .

As it happens when Rick Smash! is smashing and killing, shit gets all slo-mo, and, in his killing haze, Rick watches the red balloon of Episode 515 fly away.

As it happens when Rick Smash! is smashing and killing, shit gets all slo-mo, and, in his killing haze, Rick watches the red balloon of Episode 515 fly away. For real surreal.

Deanna's voice breaks through Rick's #murderhaze as she commands him to Stop. Right. Now. (Meaning: Stop, or you will be banished, and your family, and chosen family, will have to choose whether to go with you, or to stay. You choose, but I suggest you fucking stop. Right now.)

Deanna’s voice breaks through Rick’s #murderhaze as she commands him to Stop. Right. Now. (Meaning: Stop, or you will be banished, and your family, and chosen family, will have to choose whether to go with you, or to stay. You choose, but I suggest you fucking Stop. Right. Now.)

Rick Smash! can't resist growling one last threat to McBeaty...if McBeaty even tries to talk to Jessie again, he'll kill him.

Rick Smash! can’t resist growling one last threat to McBeaty…if McBeaty even tries to talk to Jessie or the boys again, he’ll kill him.

Terrified, Sam hides behind Carol. Many TWD fans speculated on Sam's choosing Carol over his own mother for comfort and protection.

Terrified, Sam hides behind Carol. Many TWD fans speculated on Sam’s choosing Carol over his own mother for comfort and protection in this scene.

“Dammit, Rick, I said stop!” screams Deanna.

Tobin, Nicholas, and Glenn take a step towards Rick, and then back away quickly...

Tobin, Nicholas, and Glenn take a step towards Rick, and then backpedal quickly as we hear Rick’s voice, all crazy and askew, ask, “Or what?”

Rick pulls out his secret handgun, points it at Tobin and Nicholas, Deanna...Spencer's back there, like,

Rick pulls out his secret handgun, points it at Tobin and Nicholas, Deanna…Spencer’s back there, like, “Whoa!”

Rick asks, sounding super crazy,

Rick asks, sounding super crazy, “You wanna kick me out??” (Carl’s back there with Enid, like, “Um, so, that’s my dad.”)

Deanna tries to reason with Rick,

Deanna tries to reason with Rick, “Put that gun down, Rick.”

Rick's looking all Bloody Romeo and shit, looks around, laughs, shaking his head.

Rick’s looking all Bloody Romeo and shit, looks around, laughs, shaking his head. “You still don’t get it,” he says loudly, addressing the lot of them who stand around, watching the bloody constable,  kneeling and ranting in the street.

“You still don’t get it…none of you! We know what needs to be done…we do it!”

walkers at the wall sasha targetswall walker crosshairs

“We’re the ones who live,” Rick rants.

sasha targets 2

“You,” Rick points his gun at Deanna and her people, who stand, shellshocked, in front of him, praying that he doesn’t pull the trigger during his tirade…

“You pretend like you know, when you don’t. You wish things aren’t what they are…”

Sasha continues to peg the walkers, one by one, as they paw at the steel walls, agitated by the commotion going on inside…

“Well, you wanna live? You want this place to stay standing?”

w walker expodes

Rick looks at Deanna, says,

Rick looks at Deanna, says, “Your way of doing things is done.” He’s right of course, even though his presentation kind of lacks sanity credibility in this moment. (Enid’s back there, like, “You’re dad’s a little crazy (and btw, crazy hot!), but he is making some solid points. Shit’s way cray out there…we gotta keep our edge, be prepared. This is their world…we’re just living in it.”)

Deanna looks down at Rick...does she hear some truth to these words?

Deanna looks down at Rick…does she hear some truth to these words?

“Things don’t get better because you want them to,” Rick snarls.

Carol looks at Rick, Sam hiding behind her, like,

Carol looks at Rick, like, “That’s my boy.”

Jessie, however, is all like,

Jessie, however, is all like, “Oh no, now both my boyfriends are crazy!”

(Jesus, we could really use Daryl Dixon around these parts right about now, right? But Daryl, and Aaron, are, of course, solving some important mysteries right about now…more on that in our Episode 516 discussion!)

Rick's looking, and sounding, a little shaky. It's been a long day (and what time is it, exactly, at this point? 2pm? 5pm? Noon?) He, however, needs to bring the point home, so he perserveres...

Rick’s looking, and sounding, a little shaky. It’s been a long day (and what time is it, exactly, at this point? 2pm? 5pm? Noon?) Rick, however, needs to bring the point home, so he perseveres, looking a little woozy and wobbly as he does…

“Starting right now, we have to live in the real world.”

He's cute. He's cray. He's the constable!

(He’s cute. He’s cray. He’s the constable!)

“We have to control who lives here,” Rick asserts, jabbing his bloody finger down towards the pavement to accentuate key words in the sentence.

Deanna may not have a gun, but she is armed with a firey intelligence, and the ability to articulate said intelligence. She replies, cooly,

Deanna may not have a gun, but she is armed with a firey intelligence, and the ability to articulate said intelligence. She replies, cooly, “That’s never been more clear to me than it is right now.” Oooo, burn, Bloody Rick!

Bloody Rick looks up at these words...

Bloody Rick looks up at these words…

Me? Me?”

Bloody Rick laughs at this.

Bloody Rick laughs at this. “You mean me??”

Bloody Rick gets serious, tells Deanna,

Bloody Rick gets serious, then, tells Deanna, “Your way…your way is gonna destroy this place. Your way is gonna get people killed…”

“…it’s already gotten people killed…”

“And I’m not gonna stand by and let it happen.”

“If you don’t fight, you die.”

Bloody Rick starts to get a second wind, starts to get going again,

Bloody Rick starts to get going again, “I’m not gonna stand by – !”  when…

WHAM! Michonne lays down the tough love on Rick Grimes, and knocks him the fuck out.

WHAM! Michonne lays down the tough love on Bloody Rick, knocking him the fuck out.

Stop. Fucking. Talking.

Stop. Fucking. Talking.

My WD buddy and I, watching this scene, turned to each other and said,

My WD buddy and I, watching this scene, turned to each other and said, “Yeah, she needed to do that.”

Thanks so much for being patient, darlings, and new readers, welcome. Tomorrow I rest, but then, I will endeavor to conquer “Conquer.” Stay tuned.

Sweet dreams, Bloody Rick. 

Dripping with Hot, Hot Drama ’80’s Playlist:

The Jam, “Town Called Malice”

The English Beat, “I Confess”

Love and Rockets, “No New Tale To Tell”

Go Go’s, “This Town”

Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf”

The Smiths, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”

Siouxsie and the Banchees, “Arabian Knights”

Sex Pistols, “Problems”

Van Halen, “Everybody Wants Some”

Scorpions, “No One Like You”

Romeo Void, “Never Say Never”

Pretenders, “Bad Boys Get Spanked”

Joe Jackson, “Breaking Us In Two” (I read somewhere that Joe Jackson was not yet inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…could this be true? The man is a genius composer and deserves highest props and allocades!) #inductjoejackson #recognize

Big Audio Dynamite, “The Bottom Line”

The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 13, “Forget”

“Forget”

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

Ladies and gentlemen, in the spirit of brevity, levity, freedom, and frolic, may I present…TWD, Episode 513, IG-Style:

WD Ep 513 opens before the sun rises another day in Alexandria: Vanilla Dream.  In the predawn darkness, we see framed pics of white people arm in arm, or trying to look casual and unscripted while posturing themselves in wacky antics for the camera.

WD Ep 513 opens before the sun rises upon Alexandria: Vanilla Dream. In the predawn darkness, we see framed pics of some unknown white people arm in arm, smiling, laughing, trying to look casual and unscripted while posturing themselves in various wacky antics for the camera.

Those wacky white people...they really know how to throw down! Just look at those smiles!

Those white people are crazy fun…they really know how to throw down!  Just look at those smiles…good times, good times.

And here's one of Mom and Muppet.

And here’s one of Mom holding Muppet, her beloved little dog.

sasha looks away into dark

Sasha lay awake in the darkness,  staring around at the frozen smiles of dead people, in better times.

Sasha's had enough of trying to sleep surrounded by the captured frozen smiles of dead people in better times. She sits up, gets dressed.

Finally, after lying there a while, Sasha’s had enough of trying to sleep, She sits up, gets dressed.

Good Morning, Alexandria!

Good Morning, Alexandria!

We see Sasha walking into the Alexandria Storeroom and Gun Lending Library, followed by Olivia, who's like,

We see Sasha walking into the Alexandria Storeroom and Gun Lending Library, followed by Olivia, who’s like, “Oh, yeah, it’s cool that you came and woke me up before the dawn…I used to work in a coffee shop, so, you know, no problem.

Sasha gets what she came for.

Sasha gets what she came for…hello, lover.

As Sasha checks over her rifle, Olivia has a special request...

As Sasha checks over her rifle, Olivia has a special request…

“Hey, if you bag a boar, can I have a leg?”

Sasha's like,

Sasha’s like, “Say what?”

Olivia explains that she used to cure meat in her basement, even before the turn (...) and she's asking, you know, for proscuitto.

Olivia explains that she used to cure meat in her basement, even before the turn (…) and she’s asking, you know, so she can make prosciutto. As Sasha processes this, Olivia begins to wax nostalgic for the prosciutto and “those pickles” she used to make. (Put blond hair on Olivia, and a bottle of something in her hand, and she would be the real-life embodiment of Pam on Archer.)

Sasha's like,

Sasha’s like, “Ok, got it, Olivia,” while probably thinking, <“Bob, Ty…why the hell’d you go off and die, and leave me all alone in this neo-suburban nightmare, surrounded all these crazy people?”>

Sasha thanks the gate  keeper as she walks out of Alexandria into the world outside the gates.

Sasha thanks the gate keeper as she walks out of Alexandria into the world outside the gates.

We see Sasha begin to set up the framed pictures, one by one.

We see Sasha begin to set up the framed pictures, one by one.

sasha sets up frames 2 sasha sets up frames 3

Sasha takes aim...

Sasha takes aim…

...and finally gets a reprieve from her constant, crushing grief and inner torment  when she can put it all aside, for one brief second, and focus on the target in her scope, pull the trigger.

…and finally gets a reprieve from her constant, crushing grief and inner torment, for that one brief second when she can put it all aside, and focus on the target in her scope, on pulling the trigger and watching her bullet explode the target into bits.

Sasha nails the first frame with a single bullet.

Sasha nails the first frame with a single bullet.

After the first frame goes down, Sasha looks around, seeing if anything, or anyone approaches, attracted by the sound of the gunfire.  But all is quiet...

After the first frame goes down, Sasha looks around, seeing if anything, or anyone approaches, attracted by the sound of the gunfire. But all is quiet…

...so Sasha sets her sights on the next target.

…so Sasha sets her sights on the next target.

sasha scopes 4 frame shatters 2 frame shatters 3frame shatters 4sasha listens 1

Sasha listens, but aside from the loud caws of ravens nearby, all is quiet in the woods.

Sasha listens, but aside from the loud caws of ravens nearby, all is quiet in the woods.

Sasha's eyes are wild, and her manner is looking more and more agitated as she raises her rifle again, and begins picking off all the framed pictures, one by one. Each shot is perfectly aimed, not a bullet wasted...

Sasha’s eyes are wild, and her manner is more and more agitated as she raises her rifle again, and begins picking off all the framed pictures, one by one. Each shot is perfectly aimed, not a bullet wasted…

sasha shooting and buggin 2 frame shatters 6

Sasha pauses, waits, nothing comes....

Sasha pauses, waits, but nothing comes….

...so Sasha raises her gun and methodically, one by one, blasts the rest of the framed pictures into bits.

Buh bye, Mom and Muppet.

Bye, bye, Mom and Muppet.

After all the pictures are gone, Sasha walks over to a large tree stump, sets her rifle beside her, and waits...

After all the pictures are shattered and lying on the ground, Sasha walks over to the large tree stump, sets her rifle beside her, and waits…

“Come and get me,” she says.

After the Bear McCreary opening title sequence and the McConaughey

After the Bear McCreary opening title sequence and the McConaughey “it’s not about huggin’ trees” car commercial, we see this opening shot of two walkers, both dropped by a bullet to the brain…I’m assuming they were Rick’s bullets that rekilled these walkers.

We see Rick, in his constable's uniform, Carol, in her Junior League uniform, and Daryl in his Daryl Dixon uniform, vest and greasy hair.  Brother has still not taken a shower yet...that's some willpower. I would have taken like 25 showers by now, and brushed my teeth like 100 times.

We see Rick, in his constable’s uniform, Carol, in her Junior League uniform, and Daryl in his Daryl Dixon uniform, angel-wing leather vest and greasy hair. Brother has still not taken a shower yet…that’s some willpower. I would have taken like 25 showers by now, and brushed my teeth about 100 times already.

The Porch Council has convened outside the abandoned little house in the woods where Rick had stashed his handgun in the plastic blender... there is a walker nearby, but Daryl says it's only one, rejoins the council.

The Porch Council has reconvened, this time outside the abandoned little house in the woods where Rick had stashed his handgun in the plastic blender… they can hear the hiss and slaver of a walker nearby. Daryl returns, says he can’t see the walker, but it’s close. Rick says they’ll be quick, and asks them both, “So what do you think?”

“We go in when it’s empty,” Carol offers. “How’s that?” Rick asks. “It’s locked at night.” Carol replies that the window just has a latch, and she’ll leave it open. It seems they are planning on sneaking into Alexandria’s storeroom and stealing some guns that are stored away there.

Rick takes this in...

Rick takes this in…

“A latch?” he asks, incredulously. Having a mere latch on a window be one of the only things keeping someone out of a storeroom that holds valuable food, supplies, and guns must seem laughably naive to ones who have seen, and experienced, the horrors of the world outside the walls.

Daryl chimes in.

Daryl chimes in,“What if one of those pricks shuts it?”

Carol suggests quickly that she can wait a couple of days, then leave the latch open again.

Carol thinks quickly, suggests if that happens, she can wait a couple of days, then leave the latch open again.

Rick replies that they need to do it, to break in and get the guns, sooner than later, while they are not being watched or monitored, whether or not they'll actually end up needing the guns. Carol is quick to reply that however it turns out, they'll need the guns.

Rick replies that they need to do it sooner than later, while they are not being watched or monitored…whether or not they’ll actually end up needing the guns that they are planning on taking from the storeroom. Carol is quick to reply that however it all turns out, they’ll need the guns.

Rick shakes his head, says the Alexandrians are

Rick shakes his head, says the Alexandrians are “the luckiest damn people I’ve ever met…and they just keep getting luckier.” “How’s that?” Daryl asks. “We’re here now,” Rick replies.

Daryl considers this statement, nods.

Daryl considers this statement, nods.

Carol turns to Rick, tells him that

Carol turns to Rick, tells him that the storeroom has footlockers filled with 9 mm’s, auto’s, Kel-tech’s, all just sitting there, unused. Carol says the guns will never be noticed, or missed.

In his usual matter-of-fact style, Daryl turns to the trash heap, with the empty plastic blender, and remarks that

In his usual matter-of-fact style, Daryl turns to the trash heap, with the empty plastic blender, and remarks that “someone’s got one now, right?” (When rewatching last week’s episode, Episode 512“Remember,” I wondered if maybe Enid saw Rick stash the gun, and she took it, or if she may be working, or spying for someone else, maybe one of the exiles, who saw Rick stash the gun, and took it…I thought maybe Enid was sent to infiltrate Alexandria by some bad guys who have the upper hand on her, like someone she loves is being held captive by them…and with that thought, The Enid Theory sprang out of my head like the goddess Athena sprung out of Zeus’s.)

Rick turns to Carol and Daryl, says that they should keep their doubts, suspicions, plans about Alexandria to themselves, that they want the others in their group

Rick turns to Carol and Daryl, says that they should keep their doubts, suspicions, plans about Alexandria to themselves, that they want the others in their group “to try” with Alexandria.

Carol turns to Daryl at this, adds,

Carol turns to Daryl at this, adds, “You, too.” Rick nods at something past their shoulders, tells Daryl, “There it is,” as the walker from the woods has entered the clearing and is coming towards them.

Carol, however, motions to the men...she's got this.  She points her gun and starts shooting at the approaching walker.

Carol, however, motions to the men…she’s got this. She points her gun and starts shooting at the approaching walker.

w marks the spot walker

Carol keeps firing bullets into the walker's chest, and finally drops it with a shot to the head.  At Rick's questioning look, Carol explains that they said they were going shooting, and she couldn't very well come back with a full mag...

Carol keeps firing bullets into the walker’s chest, and finally drops it with a shot to the head. At Rick’s questioning look, Carol explains that they said they were going shooting, and she couldn’t very well come back with a full mag…

Daryl sees something on the walker's forehead, bends over for a closer look.

Daryl sees something on the walker’s forehead, bends over for a closer look. “What’s this,” he asks, “A ‘W’?”

The others bend over and see the

The others bend over and see the “W” clearly marked on the walker’s forehead.

Rick kneels over the walker, studies it a long moment...surely he must remember those walker heads and upper torsos that fell on the van's hood back at the Shirewilt Estates, 100 miles away...those walkers' foreheads, too, were clearly marked with

Rick kneels over the walker, studies it a long moment…surely he must remember those walker heads and upper torsos that fell on the van’s hood back at the Shirewilt Estates, 100 miles away…those walkers’ foreheads, too, were clearly marked with “W’s” carved into them.

Rick looks troubled, but says nothing to Carol and Daryl about this.  I wonder why, but I am thinking that Rick is not one to say something, in a moment, if he feels it is too soon, or not time.  Seems like he remembers those other

Rick looks troubled, but says nothing to Carol and Daryl about this. I wonder why, but I am thinking that Rick is not one to say something if he feels it is too soon, or not time. Seems like he remembers those other “W” walkers, though…his face looks like he does, and is trying to figure this out.

Seeing this marked type of walker twice now, first 100 miles back, at the scene of a community cruelly ravaged and destroyed by an unknown foe, and now, here, suggests that big, bad trouble is coming for Alexandria. I feel Rick knows this, on some level, and will keep it to himself, for now...but he will be thinking, and watching, and planning.

Seeing this marked type of walker twice now, first time 100 miles back, at the scene of a community cruelly ravaged and destroyed by an unknown foe, and now, here, suggests that some big, bad trouble is coming for Alexandria. I feel Rick knows this, on some level, and will keep it to himself, for now…but he will be thinking, and planning. Watching, and waiting.

Meanwhile, Michonne models her new constable's uniform in the mirror.

Meanwhile, Michonne models her new constable’s uniform in the mirror.

I am def loving the lace up in the back of the jacket...would love a black leather jacket, with a lighter colored lace up situation in the back of it like that...super styley.

I am def loving the lace-up in the back of the jacket…would love a black leather jacket, with a lighter colored lace-up situation in the back like that…super styley.

Michonne pulls out the katana and customizes one of the laces that is too long to be functional.

Michonne pulls out the katana and customizes one of the laces that is too long to be functional.

Michonne looks at the katana...she seems to be wondering,

Michonne looks at the katana…she seems to be wondering, “Does katana go with ‘constable’?” Seems like she’s leaning towards “no.”

Rick comes up, looks at her new getup. He wonders aloud, “I don’t know if this is some kind of play, handing authority over to strangers.”

Michonne quips, “The authority to break up fistfights.” Rick banters back that if breaking up fistfights was all this was for, they should have given one of these uniforms to Daryl.

Michonne appreciates the funny mental pic of Constable Dixon meting out his own special brand of justice in Alexandria.

Michonne appreciates the funny mental pic of Constable Dixon meting out his own special brand of justice in Alexandria. That shit would be awesome.

Richonne, Richonne, Richonne...

Richonne, Richonne, Richonne…

...you two, together, as a sexy crimefighting superteam would have been the total tits, my fave ever. But, Rick Smash!'s brain stem, and his donkey kong, have spoken, and Richonne is not to be, in the romantic sense. He wants Jessie.  So, it's Ressie, which is pretty much as dumb as it sounds...but, I did say, recently, that I was, now and forever, riding in Rick Smash!'s car, so I will support his choice in mate, even if it wouldn't be my choice. I gotta throw down the unconditional w my man, Rick Smash!

…you two, together, as a sexy crimefighting superteam would have been the total tits, my fave ever. But, alas, Rick Smash!’s brain stem, and his donkey kong, have spoken, and Richonne is not to be, in the romantic sense. He wants Jessie. So, it’s Ressie, which is pretty much as dumb as it sounds…but, I did say, recently, that I was, now and forever, riding in Rick Smash!’s car, so I will support his choice in mate (even if it wouldn’t be my choice). I gotta throw down the unconditional  for my man, Rick Smash! and put up with his questionable taste in women. Can’t be helped, gotta move on.

Richonne replies, after a moment, that she doesn't know

Michonne replies, after a moment, that she doesn’t know “if it’s for us, or for them,” but if Deanna wanted to get rid of “us” and “them,” and put the jackets on Michonne and Rick, to show to everyone that they are all equal citizens of the same community, then in Michonne’s opinion, that “play” would be “smart.” It would be ideal, for sure. Michonne adds that Deanna “seems smart.”

“Smart for then, or smart for now?” wonders Rick. Michonne replies, firmly, that “This is now.”

Meanwhile, as Daryl prowls through the woods, crossbow in hand, he hears and noise, whirls.

Meanwhile, as Daryl prowls through the woods, crossbow in hand, he hears and noise, whirls. “Come out, now!” Aaron emerges from the trees, hands raised.

Aaron is pretty amazed.

Aaron is pretty amazed. “You can tell the difference between walkers and humans by sound? It’s interesting that Aaron uses the gang’s terminology for the undead with Daryl. Daryl doesn’t answer, just looks super hot silently vibing Aaron.

Aaron asks, over Daryl's silence,

Aaron asks, over Daryl’s silence, “Can you tell the difference between a good guy and a bad guy?” Aaron adds that Rick seems to be having trouble telling the two apart. Daryl growls, “Ain’t much of a difference no more.” 

“Is that how you feel about your people?” asks Aaron. (He is definitely braver than I initially gave him credit for!) Daryl menaces closer to Aaron, demands, “Why are you followin’ me?”

Aaron replies, bemused,

Aaron replies, bemused, “I didn’t know I was,” and, in what I hope is a homage to Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd, Aaron adds that he just came out to “hunt rabbits.”

“I know why you’re out here,” Aaron adds. “Mind if I join you?” (Aaron really is one super ballsy dude, with impeccable manners to boot.)

Daryl vibes Aaron a moment more, then turns, ordering Aaron to

Daryl vibes Aaron a moment more, then turns, ordering Aaron to “Keep up…keep quiet!” Way to go, Aaron…you’re in!  Now, try not to blow it.

Meanwhile, Deanna is outlining Rick and Michonne's duties as co-constables.

Meanwhile, Deanna is outlining Rick and Michonne’s duties as co-constables. “You protect and serve…you patrol, walk the wall, protect the kids.”

Deanna does not mention guarding or maintaining a watch beyond the walls for any outside threats to the community as a whole.

Deanna does not mention guarding or maintaining a watch beyond the walls for any outside threats to the community as a whole.

Deanna says that the people of Alexandria believe in Rick and Michonne's authority, so it's official...with jackets, even, from a former police officer who used to live in the community.

Deanna says that the people of Alexandria believe in Rick and Michonne’s authority, so it’s official…with jackets, even, from a former police officer who used to live in the community.

Deanna continues to outline her long-term plans for her community...government, commerce.  She says that's why she wants Maggie working with her.

Deanna continues to outline her long-term plans for her community…government, industry, commerce. She says that’s why she wants Maggie working with her. “It may be just horses and mills (at first), but-“ Deanna stops, looks at Rick’s face. “What?” she asks him. “Does that sound like pie in the sky?”

Maggie looks at Deanna.

Maggie looks at Deanna. “No,” she answers. Deanna then looks at Michonne. “No,” replies Michonne. Deanna finally looks up at Rick. “No,” he says, after a brief pause. He then looks at Deanna. “Can we talk security?”

Rick brings Deanna outside, points out that the walls need to be partrolled always, not just checking for damage, but also for any activity or signs that they had been breached. Rick also points out that someone could move right up the supports on the outside of the walls.

Rick brings Deanna outside, points out that the walls need to be patrolled always, not just checking for damage, but also for any activity or signs that they had been breached. Rick also points out that someone could move right up the supports on the outside of the walls. “That’s what I’d do,” he says. Rick looks at Deanna. People are the real threat now.” Yes, exactly.

Sasha approaches, volunteers to take lookout in the clock tower. Deanna replies that they don't have lookouts in the clock tower...

Sasha approaches, volunteers to take lookout in the clock tower. Deanna replies that they don’t have lookouts in the clock tower…

Constable Grimes be like,

Constable Grimes be like, “Say what?”

We see a small glimpse of Constable Smash! as Rick grinds out,

We see a small glimpse of Constable Smash! as Rick grinds out, “We need a lookout in that clock tower right now, 24/7.”

Michonne adds that it's the only way they'll be able to see if someone's coming at them.

Michonne adds that it’s the only way they’ll be able to see if someone’s coming at them.

Sasha immediately volunteers to take as many lookout shifts as possible... Deanna is looking a little spooked by Sasha, and the entire conversation. She looks at Sasha, asks,

Sasha immediately volunteers to take as many lookout shifts as possible… Deanna is looking a little spooked by Sasha, and the entire conversation. She looks at Sasha, asks, “Why?”

Maggie speaks up, tells Deanna that Sasha's

Maggie speaks up, tells Deanna that Sasha’sone of our best shots…she can do it.” Deanna nods, but says while she will consider putting Sasha as primary lookout, that she’ll be putting her son, Spencer, on lookout today. It seems Deanna is throwing the new constables and Rick’s gang a soiree at her house, tonight, and she wants them all to come, including Sasha.

Now, it's Sasha's turn to look spooked...

Now, it’s Sasha’s turn to look spooked…

Meanwhile, the Alexandria Junior Leaguers are talking party menu.

Meanwhile, the Alexandria Junior Leaguers are talking party menu. Mashed lima beans, cocoa powder, sweetener…it’s protein, and the one Junior Leaguer swears, “I would have eaten it, before all this.”

Junior League Carol beams, exclaims,

Junior League Carol beams, exclaims, “Sounds delicious!”

Carol excuses herself, seeing Rick, telling the other JL ladies that she needs to ask him for his help with the party.  As they walk together, Rick and Carol agree that tonight would be the night to break into the armory, as everyone will be at the party.

Carol excuses herself, seeing Rick, telling the other JL ladies that she needs to ask him for his help with the party. As they walk together, Rick and Carol agree that tonight would be the night to break into the armory, as everyone will be at the party.

Rick volunteers himself for the job, but Carol points out that his absence would be noticed. Rick adds that Daryl is out, as they are watching every move he makes, these days.  That leaves Carol, who smiles and says that the good thing about this place is that

Rick volunteers himself to back Carol up, but Carol points out that his absence would be noticed. Rick adds that Daryl is out, as they are watching every move he makes, these days. That leaves Carol flying Han Solo on this mission. Carol smiles and says that the good thing about this place is that, “I can be invisible again.”

Meanwhile, as Daryl and Aaron make their way through the woods, Daryl hears the soft nicker of a horse.

Meanwhile, as Daryl and Aaron make their way through the woods, Daryl hears the soft nicker of a horse.

Aaron says he has been trying to get the horse, named

Aaron says he has been trying to get the horse, named “Buttons” by a child in Alexandria, for months, to bring him inside the safety of the walls, but the horse would spook whenever Aaron or Eric would try to approach it.

Daryl watches the horse a moment, then reaches for Aaron's rope.

Daryl watches the horse a moment, then reaches for Aaron’s rope. “Have you done this before?” asks Aaron.

Daryl replies that his group did, before, with a horses that hadn't been out for such a long time.

Daryl replies that his group did, before, with horses that hadn’t been out for such a long time. “The longer they’re out, the more they become who they really are,” Daryl tells him.

Daryl begins to approach Buttons cautiously, talking softly to the horse.

Daryl begins to approach Buttons cautiously, talking softly to the horse.

“Yeah, you used to be somebody’s, huh? Now you’re just yours. Daryl almost gets close enough to put the rope over the horse’s neck, but the horse gets spooked by the telltale hiss of…

...walkers, coming to ruin another beautiful moment  between the living.

walkers, coming to ruin another beautiful moment between the living.

Instead of enjoying a loving moment with a fellow equine survivor, Daryl must employ his invaluable

Instead of enjoying a loving moment with a fellow equine survivor, Daryl must employ his invaluable “crossbow upside the walker’s head technique” as Buttons rears up, then gallops away.

Go, Aaron! (I am really loving Aaron, and Eric, more and more, especially after this episode.)

Go, Aaron! (I am really loving Aaron, and Eric, more and more, especially after this episode.)

daryl stabs walker

“I was talking to my new horse, and you fucking interrupted our conversation, you undead prick!”

Take that, Cockblocker Walkers!

Take that, Cockblocker Walkers! After killing all the walkers, Daryl and Aaron set off after Buttons.

Back in town, JL Carol is following Olivia into the storeroom. Olivia expresses amazement at JL Carol's revelation that applesauce can be used in lieu of eggs in a cookie recipe...surely, Alexandria must have some yard chickens, somewhere, but eggs are probably still in short supply.  Carol asks Olivia if she can keep the applesauce thing between them, as it's the

Back in town, JL Carol is following Olivia into the storeroom. Olivia expresses amazement at JL Carol’s revelation that applesauce can be used in lieu of eggs in a cookie recipe. Surely, Alexandria must have some yard chickens, somewhere, but eggs are probably still in short supply. Carol asks Olivia if she can keep the applesauce thing between them, as it’s the “secret” of these cookies. Ha! So much for sharing & caring between community citizens…

At Olivia's surprise, JL Carol laughs, saying that a girl's gotta leave herself some secrets...

At Olivia’s surprise, JL Carol laughs, saying that a girl’s gotta leave herself some secrets…

Olivia assures Carol that her applesauce secret

Olivia assures Carol that her applesauce secret “will die with me.” (Oooo, just got a bad foreboding feeling for Olivia and the other “not quite battle-savvy” citizens of Alexandria.) Olivia breaks it to JL Carol that the “chocolate’s gonna be a problem.”  She can only give JL Carol a quarter of a bar…JL Carol assures Olivia that she’ll “make it work.”

Just then,

Just then, Tobin comes in, tells Olivia he and his workmate have to make a “withdrawl” from the gun lending library, as “the boss lady” wants them to check a segment of the wall before the party. Olivia invites Carol to take what she needs, and follows the men to the back of the storeroom, where the armory is.

Carol helps herself to an entire bar of chocolate fro the freezer and then follows the others to the back.  As she stands at the window, Tobin asks her if she's afraid of guns...JL Carol delivers another riveting performance as she says that she carried a handgun while with the group, but knows nothing about the bigger guns, like the one Tobin is now holding.

Carol helps herself to an entire bar of chocolate from the freezer, then follows the others to the back. As she stands at the window, Tobin asks her if she’s afraid of guns…JL Carol delivers another riveting performance as she says that she carried a handgun while with the group, but says, with a coy little laugh, that she knows nothing about the bigger guns, like the one Tobin is now holding, before her.

Tobin smiles at Carol, introduces himself, and offers to teach Carol to shoot, any time. Better safe than sorry.

Tobin smiles at Carol, introduces himself, and offers to teach Carol to shoot, any time. Better safe than sorry.

JL Carol gives Tobin a sweet smile, and thanks him for the kind offer.

JL Carol beams at Tobin, and thanks him for the kind offer.

As everyone files out of the storeroom, we see that Carol has opened the window's latch.

As everyone files out of the storeroom, we see that Carol has opened the window’s latch.

Meanwhile, as they make their way through the woods, Aaron asks Daryl if he ever rode...Aaron's talking about horses, but Daryl replies that he used to ride bikes.  Aaron jokes that he's assuming that Daryl isn't talking about 10-speeds...

Meanwhile, as they make their way through the woods, Aaron asks Daryl if he ever rode…Aaron’s talking about horses, but Daryl replies that he used to ride bikes. Aaron jokes that he’s assuming that Daryl isn’t talking about 10-speeds…

Aaron tells Daryl that they are both viewed as outsiders by the residents of Alexandria.  Aaron says that he and Eric, being gay, have had to endure countless well-meaning but highly ignorant remarks from otherwise nice people.

Aaron tells Daryl that they are both viewed as outsiders by the residents of Alexandria. Aaron says that he and Eric, being gay, have had to endure countless well-meaning but highly ignorant remarks from otherwise nice people.

Aaron tells Daryl that people are afraid of what they don't know, so Daryl should let the others in Alexandria get to know him a little better.

Aaron tells Daryl that people are afraid of what they don’t know, so Daryl should let the others in Alexandria get to know him a little better. “You should come to Deanna’s party tonight,” Aaron encourages Daryl.

Daryl tells Aaron that he doesn't have anything to prove. He tells Aaron that he's met a lot of bad people, out here, and has seen, experienced a lot of bad things, and those people

Daryl tells Aaron that he doesn’t have anything to prove. He tells Aaron that he’s met a lot of bad people, out here, and has seen, experienced a lot of bad things, and those people “weren’t afraid of nothin’.” Aaron walks behind Daryl, considering this. “Oh, yeah they were,” he replies.

And then, it's party time. Carol, Carl, and Rick, holding Judith, file into Deanna's home.

And then, it’s party time. Carol, Carl, and Rick, holding Judith, file into Deanna’s home.

It is truly surreal to see people holding glasses of wine, milling and mingling, a table stocked with assorted beverages and brightly colored plastic party cups.  Deanna spies them across the room, and, delighted, makes her way across the party to greet them.

It is truly surreal to see people holding glasses of wine, milling and mingling, a table stocked with assorted beverages and brightly colored plastic party cups. Deanna spies them across the room, delighted. She makes her way across the party to greet them.

Junior League Carol's puts on her party face.

Junior League Carol puts on her party face.

Rick Grimes' party face is more smoldery than sunny.

Rick Grimes’ party face is more smoldery than sunny.

Abraham and Rosita come next...Rosita's body language immediately pronounces the party as

Abraham and Rosita come next…Rosita’s body language immediately pronounces the party as    L-A-M-E.

Abraham looks around doubtfully, wonders aloud if he can do this...

Abraham looks around doubtfully, wonders aloud if he can do this. “There’s beer,” points out Rosita, and Abraham immediately says, “I’ll try,” and heads over to the beverage selection. Rosita follows suit, enjoying a silent laugh at her big, crazy, flame-haired bf.

Deanna presents her prize constable, Rick, to her husband, Reg, builder of the wall.

Deanna presents her prize constable, Rick, to her husband, Reg, builder of the wall.

Reg tells Rick that he watched all the tapes of the interviews, and he heard what 14 people said about how Rick saved them, kept them alive, together for this long, out there...

Reg tells Rick that he watched all the tapes of the interviews, and he heard what 14 people said about how Rick saved them, kept them alive, together for this long, out there…

Rick asks Reg, diplomatically, didn't Reg build that wall out there?  Reg says he did, with lots of help, and while that is an achievement, compared to keeping 14 people alive, safe, and together, in these times, well...

Rick asks Reg, diplomatically, didn’t he, Reg, build that wall out there? Reg says he did, with lots of help, and while that is an achievement, compared to keeping 14 people alive, safe, and together, in these times, well…

Reg says to Rick,

Reg says to Rick, “I think you have me beat.” (It really is just one big pissing contest with dudes, isn’t it?)

Rick smiles, diplomatically, and you know he's thinking,

Rick smiles, diplomatically, employing his invaluable “smiling, nodding, and politicking” maneuver from times past…you know he’s thinking, “Yeah, motherfucker, it’s pretty much no contest.” Deanna laughingly strokes her hubby’s ego, pronounces it “a tie.”

Reg graciously offers Rick a drink, and Rick, after a moment's hesitation, and some good ol' fashioned peer pressure from Reg, accepts. The men clink glasses and drink...

Reg graciously offers Rick a drink, and Rick, after a moment’s hesitation, and some good ol’ fashioned peer pressure from Reg, accepts. The men clink glasses and drink…

...when the McBeaty family makes their entrance to the party.

…when the McBeaty family makes their entrance to the party.

Rick sees Jessie and her family make their entrance...

Rick sees Jessie and her family make their entrance…

...and he takes a drink...

…and he takes a drink…

...all the while clocking Jessie with hungry eyes.

…all the while clocking Jessie with hungry eyes.

Meanwhile, Daryl and Aaron find Buttons, penned in with a group of walkers.  They must act fast.

Meanwhile, Daryl and Aaron find Buttons, penned in with a group of walkers. They must act fast.

Daryl spears a walker's head and rushes in. Aaron follows suit...

Daryl spears a walker’s head and rushes in. Aaron follows suit…

...but Aaron gets tripped up by a grabby walker.

…but Aaron gets tripped up by a grabby walker.

Aaron chops the walker's hand away, and Daryl comes forward and stomps the walker's head.

Aaron chops the walker’s hand away, and Daryl comes forward and stomps the walker’s head.

Daryl grabs another walkers and smashes its head into the other smashed walker.

Daryl grabs another walkers and smashes its head into the other smashed walker.

Aaron returns the favor by blowing another walker's head away when it comes up on Daryl.  Daryl thanks Aaron, and they turn to save Buttons, but, tragically, they are too late...

Aaron returns the favor by blowing another walker’s head away when it comes up on Daryl. Daryl thanks Aaron, and they turn to save Buttons, but, tragically, they are too late…

Poor Buttons. :(

Poor Buttons. 😦

Before the men can act, the walkers surround the horse and savagely attack it as it whinnies helplessly.

Before the men can act, the walkers surround the horse and savagely attack it as it whinnies helplessly.

poor buttons 3 poor buttons 4 poor buttons 5

Poor Aaron and Daryl must watch as poor Buttons gets taken down.

Poor Aaron and Daryl must watch as poor Buttons gets taken down.

poor daryl watches buttons go down

Daryl prepares to go in, and after a moment, Aaron follows him. It is the code with Daryl and his people that they will go in, even to ease a poor animal's suffering, as opposed to Alexandrian code, as we will see, which is pretty much,

Daryl prepares to go in, and after a moment, Aaron follows him. It is the code with Daryl and his people that they will go in, and battle walkers, even if just to ease a poor animal’s suffering, as opposed to Alexandrian code, as we will see, which seems to be, pretty much, “Save yourselves!”

Daryl rekills the last walker feeding on the disembowled horse, which is horribly still alive.

Daryl rekills the last walker feeding on the disembowled horse, which is horribly still alive.

He turns away, tells Aaron to

He turns away, tells Aaron to “go ahead.”

Aaron shoots Buttons in the head, ending the animal's misery.

Aaron shoots Buttons in the head, ending the poor animal’s misery.

Aaron says, miserably,

Aaron says, miserably, “He always ran away.” Daryl looks on a moment, then says, “You were trying to help him.” Daryl turns away, and Aaron turns to follow him out of the penned area, back to the forest.