TWD Season 7 Prepost: Is It Pee-Pee Pants City Yet?

 

3 Days.

3 Days until the TWD Season 7 premiere airs.

3 Days until that moment, the moment we in TWD fandom have been dreading, and anticipating…and dreading.

3 Days until we must bear witness to Negan savagely beating one (or more) members of our sweet gang to death with Lucille, a bat wrapped in barbed wire, a weapon created for the ¬†very specific purpose of ¬†shattering the skulls of certain, chosen members of a group, a community, while the others must kneel, and watch, and sob, and grieve, and accept the horror that is their lives now…a life of constant work, of constant worry, and of constant fear, a life of indentured servitude to a tyrant who seems devoid of compassion, of kindness, of reason.

As Robert Kirkman, said, so eloquently during AMC’s TWD retrospective special, “TWD: The Journey So Far,” the moment when Negan brings the bat down upon his victim is a moment that “changes absolutely everything, moving forward.”

3 Days, people, until that fateful moment. 

We’ve been waiting.

But are we ready?

 

I don’t know, gang. I thought I was ready.

And then, this happened:

 

And then, it was like…whoa, whoa, whoa….wait. ¬†What? What?¬†

What. The. Fuck. Is. That. Shit?

Like, in one moment in my life, I was completely and blissfully unaware of that¬†shit. And then,¬†my TWD buddies sent it to me, via group text (a.k.a.¬†our lifeline. ¬†Daryl Partners forevs!¬†‚̧ ‚̧ ).

I watched it, and I watched it again, and as I watched, my world started to come down hard, and fast, all around me, with a deafening roar, until my ears were ringing and my mind was racing and I didn’t know what was happening, or where I was, any more.

The streak of blood across Rick’s cheek. Negan’s talk about the right hand, the right hand man. And Simon handing Negan Rick’s hatchet, and Negan looking at Rick, that long look, before he drags Rick to the RV, holding Rick’s hatchet…what the fuck is he going to do with that hatchet? Is he going to cut our man Rick Grimes’ hand off with Rick’s own hatchet?

And then the slam of the RV door, behind Negan, dragging Rick, throwing him into the RV, and the horrible moment of silence, the horrible moment of not knowing what just happened, not knowing what is about to happen, inside that RV, that silence broken only by the soft sobbing in the background, male, and female.

And, as the camera pans down, we see, first, Daryl’s bloodied blanket on the ground, and as the camera continues down, the shot rests, just for a moment, on the bloody remains of what once was a living, breathing, beautiful, brilliant, beloved member of our sweet, sweet gang.

I cannot. I cannot. But, I must.  We must. 

As Glenn Rhee told Daryl Dixon, in TWD Episode 510, “We can make it together. But we can only make it together.” ¬†

(Long, ragged breath, here. Glenn.¬†¬†Glenn…I cannot. I cannot. But, I must.¬†We must.)

Because we must, darlings, in the spirit of a much-needed rallying cry, and in the spirit of the Law of the 7 P’s, I am going to take us through The¬†7 P’s of Surviving TWD Season 7, barnfullawalkers-style.

For those of you who haven’t learned the Law of the 7 P’s, it goes like this:

“Proper prior planning prevents piss-poor performance.”

Now, this saying may sound old-timey and lame AF to some, while others of you may be rolling your eyes to the back of your head and beyond¬†at this point, because you’ve heard your parents, and your grandparents, say it for¬†like¬†your whole freaking life,¬†¬†but I am telling you, kids, it wasn’t until I was in my mid-thirties until I first heard the Law of the 7 P’s, and frankly, I wish someone had told it to me sooner.

It may have saved me a lot of trouble over the years.

So, in the spirit of paying it forward to young humanity, I offer you my personal patented¬†system of The 7 P’s Of Surviving TWD Season 7¬†(additional “P” words may, and will, be added as addendums, i.e. add-ons, because we all know I can be loquacious AF when I get on a roll…)

  1. Partner(s) … (as in, Daryl Partner(s) ¬† ¬†‚̧ ¬†Now, darlings, back in the day, just before the TWD Season 4 mid-season premiere, I penned my first prepost, thus starting a time-honored tradition at barnfullawalkers (along with some of the best playlists I have made, yet…I don’t know why, but the prepost playlists are always extra awesome. Maybe because we’re all so stoked for the upcoming TWD season.) :

https://barnfullawalkers.com/2014/02/09/wd-season-4-episode-9-prepost-what-happens-after/

In this post, I came up with the idea of securing a “Daryl Partner,” a ride-or-die-fellow -TWD-fan-friend (s)¬†¬†who will be there to support you in these dire times, when a favorite TWD character meets his or her untimely, and tragic, demise.

We predicted this time long ago, my friends, this time when we are looking at the imminent death of one or more major, beloved character(s). And here we are, only days away, crying at stoplights when sentimental songs come on the radio, or when we see a certain post, or rewatch a certain TWD episode.

I know you all know what I am talking about, because we are all in it, people. ¬†We signed up for this crazy ride, and shit’s about to get real (even though, you know, it is only a show, but we TWD fans know it’s so much more than that. ¬†It kind of reminds me of that Harley-Davidson saying from back in the day, “If you have to ask, then you wouldn’t understand.”)

Whether in the IRL or online, your Daryl Partners are a vital lifeline for you right now. Keep the lines of communication open. Reach out, check in with each other. Give, and receive, the love. These are trying times.

Remember, we can make it together. But, we can only make it together.

(Blinking back tears, trying to compose myself, again.)

img_0198

As Andy Lincoln said so eloquently during the TWD retrospective special, “I think the audience needs to not watch the returning episode alone. ¬†Be with your loved ones, and hold hands, and make a nice meal. Really say nice things to each other, and tell them you love them, before embarking on this returning episode.”

Listen to the beautiful, wise man, loves. He knows.

2. Personal Coping Methodology/Pharmaecopia:   We all have our own ways of dealing with stress, loves, some more advisable than others. Nobody is here to judge, and if you are, well, then, you need to know that around these parts, we are all about love and acceptance.

Some years ago, I came up with a saying, “For every vice, adopt a virtue, and vice-versa.” And, in my life, ¬†I have held true to that, and it in the process, I have had lots of fun and¬†have managed to keep ¬†it relatively tight and tidy over the years.

I highly recommend it.

Personally, I like dabbling in a rock-n-roll lifestyle, and I also like taking care of body, mind, and spirit. It’s like having your cake and your kombucha, too.

So, my personal coping methodology may include a pot of green tea earlier, with  a shot of whiskey later. I may do my yoga to death metal. I may stay up way too late blogging, and need two or three strong cups of coffee with  that CoffeeMate Sweet Italian cream creamer stuff to get the kids to school on time (barely) and me to work by 8 am (again, barely). Or, on my off-day-weekdays, I may drop the kids off at school, come back home, and go back to bed, and ignore the piles of dirty dishes to be washed or piles of clean laundry to be folded.  (I really, really love those days.)

So, darlings, it’s time to stock your larder with lovely things to eat, maybe some chocolate for when those seratonin levels start dipping. Green tea, Sleepy Time tea, Bach’s Rescue Remedy, perhaps something a little stronger. Drink plenty of water. Take your supplements. Make your bed extra cozy, take a mental health day from work, and hide under the covers. ¬†Bingewatch Gilmore Girls. Hug your loved ones, cuddle your pets.

Keep in touch with your Daryl Partner(s).

Do what you gotta do, gang, whatever works for you to get through the day, as long as it doesn’t do undue harm to self or others.

3. Physical Exercise: ¬†Even if you are an avowed geek who reviles exercise, it would do your body good to step away from the screen and go for a walk, outside, with or without earbuds, for thirty minutes a day whenever possible. Physical exercise staves off depression, it keeps your heart and bones strong, and it keeps your lymphatic system moving, which bolsters your body’s immune system. If you break a sweat, that’s even better, as sweating helps the body to rid itself of toxins. Just remember to drink plenty of water. And wear your sunscreen.

Whatever exercise you like to do, it’s a great time, and great weather, to do it.

Biking. Treadmill. Gardening. Yoga. Dancing. Swimming. Stationary bike. Running. Laser tag. Pilates. A spirited bout of air hockey, pinball, or foosball, even. Go bowling with your Daryl Partners. Take your dog for a walk.

But, whatever you do, darlings, if you are out and about, please do not, I repeat, DO NOT, take any money, candy, or puppies from any shady clown, or clowns, you may see loitering about.

And please, do NOT ever follow said shady clowns into the woods, even if they say there’s a really awesome clown kegger going down there.

Nothing good can come from that, darlings.  Not a damn thing.

Unless, of course, you happen to be Norman Reedus. ‚̧ ūüėÄ

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#ifiseeaclown ‚öí #twd #rickgrimes

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4. Pampering/Panacea/Parasympathetic Nervous System: ¬†You might not even know what some these words even mean, but the basic message here is that you’ve got to let your body, mind, and spirit rest, relax, and recover whenever possible, especially now that TWD Season 7 is upon us.

See, kids, the parasympathetic nervous system¬†is the involuntary part of the central nervous system that recharges, repairs, and rebuilds our body’s structures, organs, and systems when we are resting, sleeping, or deeply relaxed. It works in conjunction with the sympathetic nervous system, the voluntary aspect of the central nervous system which is on high alert when we are in “fight or flight mode,” or in modern society-speak, ¬†the¬†“multitasking” or “getting it done”¬† parts of our daily lives.

To be able to tackle the challenges that we face throughout our days, and soon, throughout our Sunday nights, we need to pamper ourselves with relaxing activities like soothing baths, yoga, meditation, massage. Even putting your feet up with a cuppa something lovely and watching a favorite feel-good movie, or show, can help your body’s parasympathetic nervous system take over for a spell, and recharge your batteries.

Naps are good, too.

5. Posts, Pictures, Playlists, Procrastination, Prayer/Ritual, Predictions, Prognoses, Promises, and (Shameless Self) Promotions & Plugs:  As always, dear readers, I will continue to show my endless love and devotion to our favorite show with blog posts, which may include some, or all, of the following:

Pictures, playlists, prose, poetry, links to other pop-culture sites and media, and other forms of parody (as long as it’s hilarious).¬†

I cannot promise week after week of 10,000+ word epic recaps and deconstructions, a la my Season 5-style blog posts, because my life is too full, and too busy, these days. If an endeavor doesn’t contribute to raising my kids, making a paycheck, or keeping a home furnished, fed, and functioning, then any additional activity or hobby pretty much takes a back seat to what needs to be done in the moment. (And, as nobody has offered me a job yet doing this, then this blog is, out of necessity, filed under “hobby.”)

I do, however, promise you this:  Any and all offerings from barnfullawalkers will be 100% all about the love for TWD, our sweet gang, and my TWD family worldwide.

And, now, comes the Shameless Self-Promoting & Plugs part of the P’s:¬† If you like reading my blog, follow my @barnfullawalkers Instagram account, and you will be treated to my many postings about TWD, and my obsession with pop-culture in general.

Sometimes, I even post cool pictures of my garden, or the world around me, or even an occasional selfie. ¬†It’s like getting little morsels of the blog around the clock.

Show the love, people, not only to my IG account, but to any of the IG accounts featured in this post, if you’re not already. You’ll be glad you did!

https://www.instagram.com/barnfullawalkers/

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Happy Friday ‚̧ԳŹ #twd #meme #dwight #thewalkingdead

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In my own personal coping methodology, prayer and ritual are a big part of me getting in the zone. Building small shrines to Rick and the sweet gang, burning fires in the fire pit, working in my garden, burning candles, incense, and making cut flower arrangements, whimsical art, etch. are all rituals that I do to get myself focused to write, to post, to create. It is also my way of showing my undying love and devotion to TWD.

I am almost always listening to the barnfullawalkers musical playlists that are in varying stages of creation, or completion, as I am doing these rituals of mine, that help me stay connected to TWD and my personal creative offerings and edits.

Whatever your spiritual beliefs, or non-beliefs, may be, I highly recommend all TWD fans to engage in their own personal ritual when times get tough, to send out the love.

So, go ahead, light a candle, create a shrine, or find some creative way to show Rick and the sweet gang, and TWD, the love. I know, from many of the amazing offshoot projects that have blossomed from The Walking Dead comic and television series, that many TWD fans are already doing just that.

And it’s everything.

Prognoses and Predictions: Ok, here goes, gang.  I know I originally predicted that Glenn Rhee, and/or maybe Aaron to be my top guesses as to who Negan picked to get the bat.

I am amending this guess, after many compelling hours discussing, reviewing, and theorizing with my TWD b’s and online TWD family. ¬†I am now, along with many, many TWD fans, predicting that both Glenn Rhee and Abraham Ford are the unlucky victims who get beaten by Negan’s prized weapon, Lucille.

It is hard to say it, let alone imagine it, but I can only pray that if that is indeed the case, then hopefully both Steven Yeun and Michael Cudlitz are kept on in a directing/writing/production capacity, especially since any actors who were around for Season 6 had to, to some degree, continue to show up for work at TWD productions until the airing of the TWD S7 premiere episode, so as to not give anything away.

Whoever gets the bat, may TWD, Inc. make it worth their while in the end. I am sure that the airing of this premiere episode will be difficult and emotional for the cast and crew on many levels (as it certainly will be for the fans),  but I do imagine it will also bring a great deal of relief, especially to the actors that have had to keep this secret for many months, even from their closest family and friends.

I was going to go into other predictions, and theories, with this prepost, but I am thinking that maybe I will get into those thoughts later, and address them in future posts.  I have many thoughts about Rick, about Daryl, and about Dwight, whom I predict will play a major role in continuing to teach us about the inner workings of Negan, and the Saviors, and who will, I feel, play a key, probably tragic role in the uprising against Negan.

¬°Viva La Ricksistance!

6. Pacing, Prioritizing, Perserverance, Processing, and Purity of the Art Form:   As difficult as it may be to process the intensity, the plot twists, and the losses of beloved characters as the TWD story continues to unfold, we as fans must respect the purity of the art form and roll with what Kirkman, Gimple, Nicotero and Co. are dishing out.  They have a plan, they are super inspired, and we must have faith in that.

The fact that millions of people are feeling real grief over the anticipated death of one or more beloved fictional characters, and the potential maiming, trauma, heartbreak for other beloved fictional characters, proves that Kirkman, Gimple, Nicotero and Co. are doing, well, a smash-up, bash-up job.

Pace yourselves, darlings. Power off if you need to, go outside and be in nature. Make taking care of yourself, and the ones you love, the priority. We are in this for the long haul.

We must perservere.

And the final P?

7. Porn music.  Because porn music really does change everything.

I dedicate this post to my sister, Peg, who has been a diehard fan of the TWD television series since the beginning, and whose birthday is on Sunday, 10/23. I love you sweetie. Stay strong. I am with you, always. ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧

And to all the TWD fans out there, I love you guys. Stay strong, and remember:

“We can make it together. But, we can only make it together.”

Until Sunday, gang. Be well, and enjoy the playlist. ‚̧

 

Pee-Pee Pants City Playlist:

DJ Shadow (feat. Run the Jewels),¬†“Nobody Speak”

Zero 7, “In ¬†The Waiting Line”

Seapony, “Nobody Knows”

Banks & Steelz, “Giant”

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, “Red Right Hand”

Echo & The Bunnymen, “A Promise”

Led Zeppelin, “The Song Remains The Same”

Greenspan (feat. Tt the Artist), “Never Gon Die”

TWD’s VDay DDay: Season 6 Halftime Report

 

Before we¬†begin our 2016 TWD Season 6 Halftime Report, we at¬†barnfullawalkers¬†would like to come out swinging our trusty bats (wrapped in barbed-wire, of course) and show our dear readers the love¬†with this humble offering, the¬†My Bloody Valentine’s Day Playlist, featuring¬†18 songs¬†celebrating the many phases, stages, and rages of love.

Happy Valentines Day, and Happy TWD Season 6 Mid-Season Premiere Day, #TWDFamily!  You, and our post ZA family of Rick and the sweet gang, well, you all complete me.

So, thanks for that, and for that, I offer this:

‚̧ ‚̧ My Bloody Valentine’s Day Playlist ‚̧ ‚̧

alan rickman angel

 

Now that we’ve gotten our groove on, there are a few key points I’d like to address before we take a few last deep breaths before diving once again into The First Four Minutes of TWD’s Episode 609, “No Way Out.”

First off, I’d like to raise a cheers to the news that¬†barnfullawalkers¬†has officially upgraded and is now on the new, swanky “Premium plan,” which basically means, pictures are back!¬† Yes!

<whistles, cheers, catcalls, guitar solos, lighters held high in the air, stage-diving>

Also, I have been going back and editing previous posts, not so much for content (although there has been a little tidying up in that direction), but more for fixing errors, typos, and adjusting font and punctuation where, and when, indicated.

Editing is truly a humbling endeavor, and I am finding that it must happen on many levels if one is going to strive to make their work as seamless as possible.  What I try for when I write, and edit, is to make what I am saying sound as natural, organic, conversational as possible.

So, for those frequent readers who like to revisit past posts, and playlists, you may see some slight changes in the way the posts look, and hopefully, much improvement.  In addition, due to the swanky new premium plan, there are many more formats and options available to play with, so www.barnfullawalkers.com will most likely be getting a bit of a makeover in the writing interim.

At barnfullawalkers, we strive always for upward momentum, evolution, and maximum awesomeness as we ship our favorite show. ‚̧

____________________________________________

And now, dear readers, without further ado, let us revisit The First Four Minutes of TWD’s Episode 609, “No Way Out”:

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

At first, it all seemed to be going pretty well…

opening shot truck wheel

After managing to survive the ambush that separated them, and their respective adventures, Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham reunited, armed with a full fuel truck, a new grenade launcher, and some new duds for Abraham to go a’ courting in…

 

opening daryl shot

I am not sure exactly what Daryl is looking at in this opening shot, but it is not the first time I have wondered what he is thinking about…it looks like he is checking the side view mirror, maybe¬†looking for a glimpse of his stolen motorcycle and crossbow?¬†(Man, and he had just gotten that bike finished and tweaked out just the way he wanted it…poor guy!)¬†Fate¬†and fortune¬†can be treacherously fickle, Daryl Dixon…one minute they smile upon you, the next minute, they are crushing you under their stiletto heels and laughing.¬†

opening abraham sasha shot

Abraham and Sasha, riding shotgun, spot something up ahead on the road…

shot 3 bikes

Shit.¬†This is probably in the top ten worst possible scenarios to roll up on…

shot 4 come on out

…biker dicks armed to the teeth with guns and attitude, parked and waiting in formation, blocking the road. Daryl slows, stops the fuel truck about ten yards away from the gang. What else can he do? One well-aimed shot from one of their guns can blow up a fuel truck full of flammable gas. The front dick (who I nicknamed¬†Snidely until¬†a real name is assigned to him)¬†beckons with his hand, calls, “Whyontcha come on out? Join us in the road?”

shot 4 it's goin well right outta the gate

As Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl slowly file out of the truck, regarding the men warily, Snidely¬†taunts them, “That’s great…goin’ well right out of the gate.

shot 5 hand over your weapons

“Step 2,” Snidely instructs, beckoning again with his hand, “Hand over your weapons.”

 

shot 6 daryl looking fine and vibing

Shot of Daryl, looking majorly fine vibing Snidely and all his asshole flunkies.

shot 7 daryl why should we growly

“Why should we?” Daryl growls softly. (Man, I seriously love when Daryl gets all soft and growly like that. You tell ’em, Daryl Dixon!) ‚̧

“Well, they’re not yours,” replies Snidely, snidely.

shot 8 sasha  well they're not yours  whose are they

“Whose are they?” asks Sasha Fierce, soft and growly, with full wildcat ready 2 pounce attitude. ‚̧

 

shot 9 dude

Snidely cuts a look at Sasha Fierce...it seems he, and his ilk, do not enjoy uppity females as much as I do.

shot 10 your property now belongs to negan

Snidely takes a step closer towards Sasha, informs her, Abraham, and Daryl that, “Your property now belongs to Negan.

shot 11 pan out standoff

After a terse silence, Snidely adds, “If you can get your hands on a tanker, you’re people our person wants to know.”¬†

shot 13 so lets get those side arms shall we  lets go right now

Snidely then steps over to Daryl. “So, let’s get those side arms, shall we?” while we TWD fans get a super beautiful shot of Daryl’s side arms and triceps.

 

shot 14 daryl hot defiance

Daryl’s look says it all.

 

snidely clocking daryl

Snidely beckons with his fingers, again, prompts, “Right now.” As Daryl reaches back for his sidearms, we can see Snidely¬†checking him out, Dirty Joe-style. Man, these greasy bad guys really are super duper gay for Daryl!

shot 15 daryl holds up handgun

Daryl does not break his gaze from Snidely as he hands him his gun…

 

shot 16 dick takes the gun

Snidely quickly takes the handgun.

 

shot 17 head dick has a twinkle in his eye and a daryl boner

“Thank you,” says Snidely, brightly, a twinkle in his eye and a #DarylBoner in his dirty trousers.

shot 19 sashas turn

Next, it’s Sasha’s turn. Tapping Daryl’s handgun, Snidely steps up to Sasha Fierce, and she silently hands him her firearm. “Thank you,” he whispers, and Sasha lets out a small laugh, like, “Motherfucker, if I only could, your brains would be all over this asphalt right about now.”

shot 20.1 abraham side look

Next, Snidely steps up to Abraham, who continues to look away, not acknowledging Snidely at first…

shot 21 abraham is like fuck you

After a significant sigh from Snidely, Abraham finally slides his gaze down,¬†regards the man with a look that silently mirrors Daryl’s unspoken sentiment: Fuck you.

shot 22 dick looks up at abraham

shot 23 dick sez if u have to eat shit...

“If you have to eat shit, best not to nibble. Bite, chew, swallow, repeat. Goes quicker.” Sounds like this advice is coming straight from a man who knows.

shot 27 abraham takes dicks shit wisdom in

Abraham says nothing to this…

shot 28 abraham hand on gun

…and after a moment, reaches his hand down for his pistol…

shot 29 abraham slides gun out

…slowly slides it out of the holster…

shot 30 abraham hands over gun

…and silently hands his weapon over to Snidely.

shot 32 dick mouths thank you

Snidely’s lips curl as he mouths, “Thank you,” to Abraham.

shot 33 sasha who are you people

As Snidely saunters back to his bike with their weapons, Sasha Fierce crosses her arms and asks, “Who are you people?”

shot 34 i get the curiosity, but we have questions ourselves

“I get the curiosity,” Snidely replies, striding back to his bike and handing the weapons to one of his goons, “but we have questions ourselves…”

shot 35 and we'll be the ones asking them while we drive you home  take a gander at wherever you hang your hats

“…and we’ll be the ones asking them, while we drive you back to wherever it is you call home…take a gander at where you hang your hats.

shot 35 dick raises finger first, though

Snidely raises his finger, as if remembering something. “First, through,” he says…

shot 35.a your shit

“…your shit.” Snidely looks at Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham, his hand outstretched, waiting. “What have you got for us?”

shot 37 what have you got for us  yeah, you just took it daryl sez

“Yeah, you just took it,” Daryl replies.

shot 38 dick looks at daryl

Snidely looks at his man-crush a moment…

shot 39 dick smiles, looks down, shakes his head c'mon, can we not, ok

…before looking down, with a regretful smile, and shaking his head. He looks back at Daryl with a pained look. “C’mon, I mean, can we not? Ok?”

shot 40 theres more

“There’s more, continues Snidely.

shot 41 there is ALWAYS more

“There is always more.”

At the trio’s refusal to budge, Snidely gives one more mock-regretful sigh and turns to one of his goons.

shot 42 t, take our man to the back of the truck, work your way to the front bumper

T, take my man to the back of the truck, start inside of the back bumper, work your way to the front.” Snidely straddles his bike as the goon shoves Daryl towards the back of the truck.

shot 43 abraham and sasha are wanting to smash

Abraham’s gaze follows Daryl and the goon back as Sasha stretches her neck, trying to tamp down her rage at what is happening.

 

shot 44 bite chew swallow

“Bite, chew, swallow, repeat,” Snidely reminds them, snidely.

 

shot 45 abraham whos negan

In reply, Abraham demands, loudly, “Who’s Negan?” (Ha ha, yes, how I love you, Abraham. You rule so hard.)

shot 46 dick sez ding

And, in reply to that, Snidely cocks the handgun he is holding and points it at Abraham. “Ding, dong, hell’s bells,” he sings out. “You see, usually, we introduce ourselves by just popping one of you right off the bat, but you seem like reasonable people.”

shot 48 i mean, you're sportin dress blues, for chrissake

Snidely turns to Abraham, laughs, “I mean, you’re sportin’ dress blues, for chrissake.” (Ugh, I knew those bad guy dicks were going to mock Abraham’s outfit! Assholes!)

shot 49 you know how awkward it is carpooling w someone who's friend or friends you just killed

Snidely continues, “And like I said, we’re gonna drive you back to where you were, and do you know how awkward it is carpooling back with someone whose friend, or friends, you’ve just killed?”

shot 50 dick makes mock grimace

Snidely then rolls his eyes in a mock-grimace, as if remembering all those awkward carpools he had to suffer through in his shady past of being a murdering flunky.

shot 51 but i told you not to ask any questions, and then what does this ginger to

“But,” Snidely continues, narrowing his eyes and pointing the gun at Abraham, “I told you not to ask any questions.”

shot 52 abraham and sasha

“And what does this ginger do?”

shot 53 so that's that  I don't want u to get the wrong impression of me

“So,” concludes Snidely, “that’s that.” Snidely puts his hand to his chest and widens his eyes in mock-earnestness. “I don’t want you to get the wrong impression of me,” and with that, Snidely releases the safety and points the handgun, about to pull the trigger…

shot 54 wait!

“Wait!” calls Sasha, hurriedly, fearfully.

shot 55 abraham looks at sasha

Abraham turns to look at her. (Wow, maybe she does like you after all, bud!)

shot 56 sasha takes deep breath, says again, lower, wait

With all eyes on her, Sasha Fierce takes some deep breaths, composes herself. “Wait,” she says again, slowly, more forcefully.

shot 57 dick pauses, waits

Snidely waits.

shot 58 you don't have to do this  in reply, pulls out another pistol, points at sasha

“You don’t have to do this,” Sasha begins, and in response, Snidely narrows his eyes, reaches in his jacket, and pulls out another pistol, points it at Sasha.

shot 59 abraham says shut up

Keeping his eyes on Snidely, Abraham says, out of the side of his mouth, “Shut up.”

shot 60 sasha replies i am talking to the man

Sasha Fierce looks back at Abraham, completely annoyed, and whispers, “I am talking to the man.”

shot 61 dick sez no, you're not

“No,” Snidely disagrees…

shot 62 you're not

“…you’re not.

shot 63 sasha looks scared, abraham

And with those words, Snidely releases the safety on the second pistol…

shot 64 sasha prepares for death

…and Sasha and Abraham stand, bracing themselves…

shot 65 bear mccreary music swarms, builds, dick points guns

…as the Bear McCreary music swarms and builds.

Damn, only the first four minutes of Episode 609, and I am already majorly stressed out! I am seriously hoping Daryl Dixon is back there, choking ol’ T out behind the back bumper or some shit…Baby Jesus, send us a miracle!

And now, because we could all really use a laugh right about now, ladies and gentlemen, please enjoy the Halftime Report Halftime Show, brought to you by Bad Lip Reading:

_______________________________________________________________

Meanwhile, back at Alexandria, things aren’t going much better inside the breached walls…

rick carl porch 1 ep 609

Beslimed in walker blood and guts, Rick leads the way, holding Carl’s hand as he leads the group through the sea of walkers who keep streaming through the walls’ opening, swarming around the streets of Alexandria.

rick gang porch 1 ep 609

The group surveys the swarm of walkers they must walk through.

rick stay calm close up

We hear Rick’s voice as he begins to move through the walkers, from back inside the house when he was outlining the plan, coaching the others, “Stay calm.

michonne stay calm close up

We see a close up of Michonne, looking like a badass as she moves her way through the walkers.

sam close up ep 609

Close up shot of Sam, looking frightened, as Rick’s voice continues, “We can move right through ’em.”

jessie close up ep 609

We see a close up of Jessie, making her way past fearsome looking walkers as we hear Sam’s voice call to her, “Mom!”¬†We hear one of the walkers begin to snarl, agitated at the sound of the little boy’s voice.

walkers up close

VDay Walker be like, “Dude, I thought they said this was gonna be a kegger.”

sam close up 2 ep 609

We hear Rick’s voice-over, again, “We don’t draw attention,” as Sam’s face shows his growing panic as the group makes their way through the walkers. “Mom!” Sam calls again, more loudly.

rick looks back like wtf sam

Rick looks back, like, “What the shit?

Ugh, gang…I’ve got a bad feeling about this!

Gear up, people…if the interviews and the buzz surrounding the second half of TWD’s Season 6 are any indication, we are going to get our asses handed to us by Kirkman, Gimple, Nicotero and Co.¬†on a tarnished silver platter, piled high with fake blood and guts, with a smile and a few words of friendly advice:

“Bite, chew, swallow, repeat.”

Until Sunday, loves. Stock your coping larder, and get ready for a wild ride when The Walking Dead Season 6 mid-season premiere airs on Sunday night, February 14th at 9 p.m. Eastern.

Happy Bloody Valentine’s Day, and because we are all in this together, I leave you with some lovely pictures from the Entertainment Weekly TWD spread.

But first, A Message of Love for our sweet gang, and for TWD fans worldwide, from David Bowie and Lemmy Kilmister:

 

 

The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 11, “The Distance”

“The Distance”

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

When we left off with Rick and the gang last week, at the end of¬†Episode 510, “Them,”¬†many members of our favorite crew were catching the last few moments of a rare, long stretch of sleep in an abandoned barn, after riding out a harrowing night of violent storms, invading walker herds, and personality conflicts (not necessarily in that order, or order of importance).

As the sun rose on a new day, Daryl tried to settle down for a few moments of rest himself, after keeping night watch over the others (and good luck with that, Daryl Dixon), while Maggie and Sasha stepped out to catch the sunrise, and a few moments of soul-sister share time, before the others awoke.

Upon stepping out of the barn, Maggie and Sasha were met with an incredible sight…the raging storm of the night before had blown down many tall pine trees, which lay all around the barn, but somehow missed the barn completely.

While any one of the felled pines could have crushed the barn and killed the gang inside, the barn remained miraculously untouched, and unharmed, by the trees and the storm.

The felled pines did, however, serve to skewer and crush the reanimated, rotting walker horde that had charged the barn doors, the night before, as the storm raged. The gang was forced to rush the doors and work together, struggling mightily as they pushed back at the barn doors from the inside, keeping the walkers back, until the storm, and the trees, took care of the threat from the outside.

Seeing the trees, and the skewered, helpless walkers pinned underneath, seemed to awaken something deep within Maggie and Sasha...the realization, perhaps, that maybe there was hope, after all, even in these dark times. Maybe there was a benevolent force looking out for them, and maybe there really was something to believe in, to live for, in this crazy world.

As the young women sat, and watched the sunrise, sharing ruminations, resolve, and laughter, they were approached cautiously by a well-kempt, preppy stranger who greeted them, introducing himself as “Aaron.” ¬†

Looking down the barrels of Sasha and Maggie’s guns, Aaron, with hands raised, tried to reassure the girls that he was¬†“a friend” who bore tidings of “good news.” Aaron, inexplicably, seemed to know things about the group already, referring to Rick, “the leader,” by name, and asking to speak to him.

As the young women processed all this, holding Aaron at gunpoint, the broken music box¬†suddenly sprang to life… and as its tinkly music played, and the tiny plastic ballerina twirled, we TWD fans, along with Maggie and Sasha, were all thinking our own versions of, “Just what in the walker apocalypse is going on here?”

In the opening shot of The Walking Dead’s Episode 11, “The Distance,” we see members of the gang, awake now, sitting on the barn floor. Some of the gang, like Carol, Abraham, and Daryl, are checking, cleaning their weapons, while others, like Rick, and Gabriel, are sitting quietly, alone in their thoughts. ¬†Judith is playing quietly on the floor, while Carl is collecting boards, presumably to reinforce the barn, or make a bench, or something.

The barn door creaks open, and it’s Maggie. “Hey,” she calls to the others, as she pushes the door open a little wider, steps in, followed by…

hey everyone this is aaron

“Hey, everyone…”

hey everyone this is aaron 3

“…this is Aaron.”

The gang springs to life, drawing weapons as Daryl quickly goes to the barn door, peers out, then gives Aaron a rough patdown (lucky, Aaron!) as Maggie hurriedly explains, “We met him outside, he’s by himself…we took his weapons and his gear.”

gang ain't playin 1gang ain't playin 2gang ain't playin 3gang ain't playin 5gang ain't playin 6gang ain't playin 8

As the barn door is closed behind him, Aaron looks nervously, in thanks, towards Maggie, and then towards Rick and the group, who stand and face him silently, weapons drawn.

As the barn door is closed behind him, Aaron looks nervously, in quick thanks, towards Maggie, and then towards Rick and the group, who stand and face him silently, weapons drawn. “Hi,” he manages, and at the sound of a stranger’s voice, Judith begins to cry. Papi Grimes fixes Aaron with this withering look, before handing the baby over to Carl. Uh oh, Aaron, the baby doesn’t like you...and neither does Papi Grimes.¬† Not the most auspicious of beginnings for you so far, my friend.

Aaron nervously tries to step forward, towards Rick, with a “Nice to meet you,” only to be met, one step in, to the sound of weapons being cocked, and Daryl stepping up behind him. Aaron wisely stops in his tracks.

Rick, making no move to reply to Aaron's greeting, regards the stranger a moment more before asking, hoarsely,

Rick, making no move to reply to Aaron’s greeting, regards the stranger a moment more before asking Maggie, hoarsely, “You said he had a weapon?” As Aaron tries to not pee his pants (and I tried not to swoon over how hot Rick-In-Charge was being during this whole exchange),¬†Maggie steps forward and hands Rick Aaron’s handgun.

rick sniffs gun, vibes aaron

Rick checks the chamber of Aaron’s gun, then sniffs the weapon, to see if it had been fired recently…then fixes Aaron with this look…

ricks like, yeah this is happening

…before putting Aaron’s gun in the back waistband of his pants, not breaking his gaze from Aaron’s face, like,Yeah, bitch, this is happening…I’m taking your gun…what are you gonna do about it?”

Aaron, of course, does, says nothing about Rick's taking his gun. Rick asks Aaron, softly,

Aaron, of course does, and says, nothing about Rick’s taking his gun. Rick asks Aaron, softly, “There somethin’ you need?”

(And at this point in the watching, I was getting all Cheryl Tunt and shit, like):

“Oooo, yeah, even that little bit’s enough to get the engine revved up!”

sasha sez he has a camp nearby and they are auditioning for membership

Sasha speaks up, saying that Aaron says he has a camp, nearby, and they want them, Rick and the gang, to “audition” for membership…

aaron audition moment

Aaron looks over at Sasha with some alarm, as this pronouncement is going over about as well as can be expected with this seasoned band of warriors...not very.

aaron explains audition term

Backpedaling like a motherfucker, Aaron quickly adds, “I – I wish there were another word…“audition” makes it sound like we’re a dance troupe…that’s only on Friday nights.”

aaron explains audition term 2

Aaron’s smile dies as his attempt at a joke falls flat…

The gang is not amused, Aaron, but I, for one, was laughing my ass off watching this scene.

The gang is not amused, Aaron. (But I, for one, was laughing my ass off, by this point, watching this scene…like, “Oh, no you DID NOT, Aaron.”)

Aaron’s voice is pretty shaky as he explains that it’s not a camp, it’s a community, and he, Aaron, thinks that our fine gang would make, “valuable additions.” ¬†Aaron adds, quickly, that it’s not soley his “call,” that his job is to convince them to follow him back “home,” to his community…

As Rick glares at him, shifting his weight back and forth, one foot to the other, Aaron backpedals again…sounding like a rookie Alexandria Amway salesperson, Aaron tries the¬†up-until-now-foolproof “Seeing Is Believing” selling technique:I know…if I were you, I wouldn’t go either…not until I knew exactly what I was getting into.

And with this, Aaron turns to Sasha, asking her, “Sasha, would you hand Rick my pack?” and earning himself¬†this look¬†from Sasha….

...and another peal of laughter on my part, watching this. Aaron, Aaron, Aaron, you dumbass...you've been listening to this gang for two weeks (and btw, creepy, much?) and this is the best presentation you could come up with? Two words: Weak. Sauce.

…and another peal of laughter on my part, watching this. Aaron, Aaron, Aaron, you dumbass…you’ve been listening to this gang for the last¬†two weeks (and btw, creepy, much?) and this is the best presentation you could come up with? Two words: Weak. Sauce.

After a pregnant pause (ha ha, get it? Sonequa Martin-Green is pregnant at the filming of this episode), Sasha brings Rick Aaron’s backpack, and Aaron tells Rick to look in the front pocket.

As Rick pulls out an envelope, Aaron continues his “Seeing Is Believing” sales pitch, telling the group that while nothing he can say will convince them to follow him to his community, these (pictures) might…while Aaron apologizes for the poor picture quality, as they were taken with an old found camera, Daryl interjects, growling something to the effect of, “Words/Talk/Pictures/Cameras don’t mean/prove shit.” (Repeated playbacks yielded zero clarity on what¬†exactly¬†Daryl said, but it ended in something like¬†“prove shit,” and he sure wasn’t sounding impressed with Aaron at this point.)

Aaron looks back at Daryl, nervously agrees that,

Aaron looks back at Daryl, nervously acknowledges that, “You’re absolutely, 100% right” (about whatever it was that you said.)

Rick looks at the first blurry picture, of tall walls, reinforced with diagonal supports bracing the walls from the inside, making a solid-looking barrier.

picture of walls

As Rick looks at the first picture, Aaron says, “That’s the first picture I wanted to show you, because nothing I say about our community will matter unless you know you’ll be safe. If you join us, you will be.”

Aaron bring his sales pitch home, extolling on the walls’ impressive stats and dimensions: “Each panel (of the wall) is a 15 ft. high, 12 ft. wide slab of solid steel, framed by cold-rolled steel beams, and square tubing.”¬†

Aaron continues, the emotion building in his voice as he gets swept up in his own fervor, “Nothing, alive or dead, gets through that without our say-so.”

As Daryl, and the rest of the gang, listen, Aaron continues his spiel,

As Daryl, and the rest of the gang, listen, Aaron continues his spiel, “Like I said, security is obviously important…”

…in fact, there’s only one resource more critical to our community’s survival:¬†¬†the people.”

Together, we’re strong. You could make us even stronger.”

Aaron ends his sales pitch soliliquy with some big, velvet-painting puppy dog eyes. I mean, really, who doesn't want to believe him? But...doesn't this pitch seem a little, um, canned, practiced, like it's been used on other people? Does salvation really come in the form of...this guy?

Aaron ends his sales pitch soliloquy with some big, velvet-painting puppy-dog eyes. I mean, really, who doesn’t want to believe him? But…doesn’t this pitch seem a little, um,¬†canned,¬†practiced, like it’s been used on other people? Does salvation really come in the form of…this guy?

Ooooo...I think I see a familiar face...

OooooI think I see a familiar face…

Ummm...Rick Smash! don't think so.

Ummm, Aaron?¬†Rick Smash!¬†no likey your blurry pictures and your talky talk about big walls and impressive dimensions and all that shit…

Rick Smash! no likey.

It gives him a headache, and makes him see red and want to smash things…smash YOU.

And if Rick Smash! no likey, I no likey.

And, if Rick Smash! no likey, me no likey…

And I am, now and forever, riding in Rick Smash's! car...

…because I am, now and forever, riding in Rick Smash’s! car.

go rick smash go

ūüôā ‚̧

rick went smash and we likey

As the others run toward Aaron’s unconscious form, Rick Smash! shakes out his fist, and looks down at Aaron, like, “STOP. FUCKING. TALKING.

ricksmash one last look

I love this last look he gives Aaron before walking off.¬†TLA Rick Smash! ‚̧

A few thoughts, before we move on. ¬†Back at this early point in the watching, and even now, I remain utterly unclear about Aaron’s, and Alexandria’s, motives. ¬†While I do not get an initial hit that they’re totally bad, I don’t think they’re totally good, or harmless, either. Something stinks. This “audition” shit. ¬†And this sales pitch-style presentation. What’s up with that?

Rick and the gang didn’t need a whole presentation when they interviewed prospective candidates for the prison community. They just asked the three questions.

Simple. Straight up.  No Friday night song and dance routine, with blurry pictures and talk of walls and dimensions.

(And, speaking of the three questions, Aaron majorly fails the three questions when Michonne puts them to him in the back of Glenn’s Walker Massacremobile. And,¬†sometimes, the Bear McCreary music gets really dark and twisty when the focus is on Aaron. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that shit.)

Aaron’s spiel feels really contrived to me, like something is being misrepresented, or not presented, like there’s some catch, some important, major detail about the agreement that’s hidden somewhere in the fine print of the whole Alexandria¬†contract, and you only find out what it is once the gates close, and lock, behind you.¬† And by then, it’s too late. You’re in there.

As Aaron said, himself, “Nothing, alive or dead, gets through (those walls) without our say-so.”

Sounds to me like that shit goes both ways, that once you’re in those walls, you are not exactly free to come and go as you please. (Not like the beautiful prison days, when all were free to do as they wished, within reason, of course, and after their chores and culling-the-walkers-at-the-fence shift was done for the day.)

And what’s with the spying? ¬†For two weeks? ¬†How the fuck did Aaron and his gay boyfriend manage that, to track the gang and spy on them, for two weeks? ¬†And what would a community’s motivation be, to put that much effort into screening potential future citizens, in such sneaky and invasive fashion, for such a long period of time?

My only guesses at this point are: 1) they need to recruit soldiers, as they are in a war, conflict, or standoff with someone, some other established community, nearby; or, 2) they want to procreate and populate, and they just happened to find our smoking hot band of love warriors, and they want to get on that shit.

Either way, they have a major agenda, and while Aaron seems likeable enough (when he isn’t being shady), it seems pretty obvious he isn’t telling the whole story.

We all know, at this point, that something is amiss with Alexandria. There is never an offer of any kind of shelter, or respite, without its asking price, and what Alexandria’s asking price is, exactly, remains to be seen.

But, whatever the case, or the price, may be, it looks like Friday Night Dance Troupe just got a lot more interesting!

And,¬†dorky¬†and shady as Aaron may be, he does have some serious pros to put on the negotiation table…

First off, Friday Night Dance Troupe. I mean, obviously, right? If you remember, Aaron mentions the dance troupe right away, even before talking about the tall steel fences…that was no accident, people!

All I gotta say is, if Daryl and Carol had a Dirty Dancing moment at Friday Night Dance Troupe, I would like, die of happiness.

Next: ¬†Aaron’s appearance. He is obviously clean, manicured, well-fed, well-cared for. He’s rocking the sporty outerwear that’s lined on the inside.

Chris Hardwick joked on Talking Dead that Aaron looked like a “Land’s End” model…ha!

Not only does Aaron look like a sheltered, suburban preppy, he acts like one. Aaron is not exhausted, bereft, starving, stressed-out. He hasn’t been for a long time, so long, actually, that he seems to have forgotten what all that was like, back in the day, before he became¬†Fabulously Gay¬†Ambassador of Alexandria.

Aaron is so yuppified, living the vanilla dream behind Alexandria’s steel walls, that he even attempts a little joke about Friday Night Dance Troupe in an attempt to disarm the gang, to get in with them.

When his attempt is met with vacant looks, and glares, instead of laughter, smiles, or nods, Aaron gives a little shake of his head… it was like he was either really surprised that they didn’t like (or get) his joke, or he was honestly in a place so far removed from where the gang was at, in that moment, that he had to quickly rethink his approach.

Aaron lives in his own¬†house, for God’s sakes, and his backpack is filled with more canned goods than the gang has seen in a long time. ¬†Our gang is starving, literally. They are physically and emotionally exhausted. They are having to shoot, kill, and eat wild dogs for survival and sustenance. Poor Daryl is eating worms, and Aaron balks at having to take a spoonful of applesauce. What a baby.

By all appearances, Aaron seems to be living like a pampered housecat within the steel confines of Alexandria…that is, when he’s not being sent off for weeks at a time to spy on promising nomadic groups, assess their potential value to the community, approach them, try to sell them on Alexandria, and¬†bring them back¬†there¬†to “audition” for membership to the community.

Anyway, speaking of babies, we come to our next huge trump card in Aaron’s hand:¬†Baby Judith.¬†

Having Baby Judith in the gang changes the stakes, because¬†the longer that baby is out in the open, without shelter or proper nourishment, the greater the risk is that she will not survive these coming days, despite her father’s, and the gang’s, best efforts.

Alexandria, trap or not, seems to offer the best hope for Baby Judith’s, and the rest of the gang’s, immediate survival.

Alexandria is a big question, and a big risk, but the gang is fast running out of time, and out of options, these dire days, and offers like Aaron’s are rare indeed.

Rick Smash! may have beaten Aaron unconscious, for a moment, but the offer, with all its questions, remains…should the gang go with Aaron?

Is the promise of shelter, and protection, that Alexandria offers, with all its red flags and unknowns, worth the risk?

Many in the gang are thinking yes, and after Aaron’s burly beatdown,¬†Rick Smash! finds himself outnumbered by those who are of the opinion that Aaron may really be a good guy, after all, and maybe Rick Smash! shouldn’t have punched him.

I, of course, was still fanning myself from all the hotness of the Rick Smash! beatdown moment, but I could definitely relate to Michonne and the rest of the gang’s collective thought, that they are tired and hungry and sick of all this shit, out here, and maybe they do want to go see what Alexandria is all about.

Michonne is definitely in this latter category. As Carl and Judith’s Newmom, she has the children to think about. ¬†So, as Aaron lay unconscious on the barn floor, Michonne whisper-hisses to Rick, “So we’re clear, that look wasn’t a ‘let’s attack that man’ look, it was a ‘he seems like an ok guy to me’¬†look.”

michonne talks to rick 1

Ha ha, great early Richonne girlfriend-schools-the-new-boyfriend-on-the-communication-works moment. Those are bound to happen, especially when your new future boyfriend is prone to hulking out and becoming Rick Smash!

Rick basically looks at Michonne, unremorseful, and says, “We gotta secure,”¬†before ordering Carl to dump Aaron’s pack, saying,¬†“Let’s see who this guy really is.”

Michonne,¬†who is no ordinary woman, and who can hulk out pretty ferociously, herself, will not be deterred. She tries again, saying Rick’s name, but he is now in¬†full¬†Rick In Charge/Deputy On The Edge mode, striding around, ordering everyone to be on the alert. ” Everyone else, eyes and ears open. They’re coming for us…we might not know how, or when, but they are.”

Maggie, kneeling beside Aaron's unconscious form, turns and gently tries to chime in the voice of reason.

As Carol and Daryl bind Aaron’s hands behind his unconscious form, Maggie, kneeling, turns to Rick and gently tries to chime in, back up Michonne, be a voice of reason,¬†“Me and Sasha, we didn’t see him…if he wanted to hurt us, he could have.”

Rick-In-Charge does not respond to this, as he has a barn to secure. ¬†He loudly asks if anyone sees anything. Glenn peers out through the slats of the barn, reports, “Just a lot of places to hide.”

“Keep looking,”¬† barks¬†Rick In Charge,¬†and Glenn turns (a trifle wearily) back to his post.

Rick strides over to Carl, who has emptied the contents of Aaron’s backpack, and asks him what he found. ¬†Carl hands Rick an orange flare gun.

“I’ve never seen a gun like that before,” Carl says to Rick. Rick takes the gun, looks in the chamber, then up at Aaron, begins to stride over to him.

Aaron is beginning to come to, realizing where he is, and what is happening. He looks up at Maggie, who is trying to blot his bloody left ear, and then gives a small laugh, remembering. “That’s a hell of a right cross, there, Rick,” he says, loudly.

Wow, maybe Aaron isn't such a wuss, after all. Maybe he teaches the cardio kickboxing class at Alexandria on Thursday nights.

Wow, maybe Aaron isn’t such a wuss, after all. Maybe he teaches the cardio kickboxing class at Alexandria¬†on Thursday nights.

“Sit him up,” Rick orders. Maggie begins to suggest that maybe that’s not the best idea, but Aaron assures her he’s fine. Rick, who doesn’t care either way, says, “He’ll be fine, sit him up.” Michonne’s sitting there, thinking, “I am so annoyed with him right now…but this alpha male thing he’s got going is totally turning my crank right now…damn him!”

Michonne and Maggie help sit Aaron up, who begins to say, “You’re being cautious…I completely understand – …” when Rick interrupts him, asking, “How many of your people are out there?”¬†

When Aaron looks questioningly at Rick, not answering, Rick holds up the orange flare gun. “You have a flare gun, you have it to signal your people…how many of them are there?

aaron asks does it matter

For the first time since coming into the barn, Aaron’s demeanor closes down to something less than his open, easygoing manner of before.¬†Aaron looks worried, seems to be stalling. “Does it matter?” he asks Rick.

rick says it does matter

Rick’s manner, on the other hand, is pure Interrogation Room. “Yes,” he whispers, in answer to Aaron’s question….

yes it does

“…yes, it does.”

Aaron backpedals, conceding that, “Of course, it matters how many people are actually out there, but does it matter how many people I tell you are out there?”

aaron as aaron talks3 rick as aaron talks

Aaron continues,Because, I’m pretty sure that no matter how many people I tell you are out there…”

“…8…”

“…32…444…”

“…zero... No matter what I say, you’re not going to trust me.”

Rick looks down at Aaron, retorts,

Rick looks down at Aaron, retorts, “It’s hard to trust anyone who smiles after getting punched in the face.” Oooo, burn, Aaron!

Aaron, however, retorts in kind,

Aaron, however, retorts in kind, “How about a guy who leaves bottles of water for you in the road?”

Rick looks at Daryl, who turns to look at the bottles of water on the table, which are indeed the same brand as the bottled water on the road. Daryl whirls back on Aaron, steps towards him. “How long you people been followin’ us?” Daryl growls down at him.

Aaron answers immediately, with an incredulous laugh,

Aaron answers immediately, with an incredulous laugh, “Long enough to see that you practically ignore a pack of roamers on your trail…long enough to see that despite a lack of food, and water, you never turned on each other.”

Aaron looks around at the group, as if marveling at them. “You’re survivors, and you’re people… Like I said, and I hope you won’t punch me for saying this, again, but that is the most important resource in the world.”

This statement is true enough, and the gang exchanges looks, registering the import of these words. Rick steps towards Aaron and asks again, softly but menacingly, “How many others are out there?”

Aaron knows the stalling time is over. “One,” he answers. No reply, excepting a small shake of Rick’s head. Aaron continues, “I knew you wouldn’t believe me…if it’s not words, if it’s not pictures, what would it take to convince you that this is for real?”

Still no reply from the gang. Aaron has a thought,

Still no reply from the gang. Aaron has a thought, “What if I drove you to the community? All of you? If we leave now, we’d get there by lunch.”

Rick replies that he’s not sure how the 15 of them would all fit in the car that he, Aaron, and his one friend drove down here in. Aaron is quick to reply that they took separate cars, that they wanted to be able to bring an entire group back “home” if they found one.

“There is enough room for all of us,” Aaron tells them.

New Carol asks, skeptically,

New Carol asks, skeptically, “And you parked just a couple of miles away, right?

Aaron’s reply is immediate, “East on Ridge Road, just after Route 16…we wanted to get them closer, but then the storm came, blocked the road…we couldn’t clear it.” It does sound like Aaron is telling the truth about all this, as there is no hesitation in what he says, no guile in how he says it.

Rick, however, is not convinced. “Yeah, you really thought this through…”

“Rick,” Aaron protests, “If I wanted to ambush you, I would do it here…light the barn on fire, pick you off as you ran out the only exit…” Another good point by Aaron.

As Rick and Aaron regard each other, Aaron says, earnestly, looking into Rick's face,

As Rick and Aaron regard each other, Aaron says, earnestly, looking into Rick’s face, “You can trust me.”

can they trust him.

The gang stands around, looking down at Aaron. Of course they want to believe him, want to trust him…but can they?

michonne volunteers

Michonne turns to Rick, volunteers to go check out the cars.

“There aren’t any cars,” Rick replies. Michonne counters, voice soft, “There’s only one way to find out.”

“We don’t need to find out,” replies Rick.

Michonne counters,

Michonne counters, “We do. You know what you know…you’re sure of it. I’m not.” Rick regards Michonne, has no ready reply. (Watching this, I was thinking, “Man, she is so good for him!”¬†) Michonne is strong enough to stand up to Rick, but she’s cool enough to do it respectfully, and not make him feel like a dick for just wanting to protect his people. Richonne is some mad sexy when they butt heads! I kept wanting them to take it to the barn floor, and wrestle it out.

Maggie interrupts the sexual tension by siding with Michonne.

Maggie interrupts the sexual tension by siding with Michonne. “Me neither,” she says, simply, giving Rick a small, “I’m sorry, I love you, but I gotta go see for myself,” smile, with the barest shake of her head.

The days of the Ricktatorship are long gone...Rick looks down, knows he must give in.

The days of the Ricktatorship are long gone…¬†Rick looks down, and deep down, he knows he must give in. Still, so unwilling to risk any of his people, Rick tries to talk Michonne out of it…

...he says, hoarsely,

…he says, hoarsely, “Your way’s dangerous, mine isn’t.” Michonne responds, “Passing up a place where we can live? Where Judith can live?

That’s pretty dangerous.”

Michonne's face softens.

Michonne’s face softens. “We need to find out what this is,” she says, softly, looking into Rick’s face. Her voice is reassuring, “We can handle ourselves.”

Michonne's face, and manner, become firm, no-nonsense.

Michonne’s face, and manner become firm again. Her voice is no-nonsense. “So that’s what we’re gonna do.” ¬†It is settled. Rick, and everyone else, knows it. ¬†(OMG, I am loving Michonne so hard right now.)

Rick is bested, and he knows it. Top Mama has spoken. He shakes his head, then turns and calls to Abraham.

“Yeah,” Abraham agrees. “I’ll walk with them.” He draws up his rifle and walks over to the others.

“Rosita,” Rick calls next. Rosita nods, looks down a moment, then says, “Ok.”

Rick asks Glenn if they have enough firepower if there’s trouble. Glenn replies, “We got what we got.” As Daryl pulls Aaron up and leads him towards the back of the room, Rick tells Michonne and the other volunteers that the “walkies” are out of juice, so if they’re not back in 60 minutes, they will come after them. ¬†Michonne nods, looks at Rick a moment.

Michonne has got her game face on, looking like a total badass.

Michonne has got her game face on, looking like a total badass.

Rick says, as she’s about to go, “This might be just what they want…”

Mmmm, can’t help but get that last word, last dig in, huh, Rick?

Michonne's reaction to Rick's baiting comment is awesome...she narrows her eyes, says nothing, turns and walks out the door.

Michonne’s reaction to Rick’s baiting comment is awesome…she narrows her eyes, says nothing, turns and walks out the door. Gotta believe in your woman, Rick Grimes.

After the volunteer troupe leaves, Rick turns to the others, says that if they're all in the barn, they're a target. He orders them outside, in groups of twos, within eyeshot. Daryl tells him he's got the area covered. They file out, leaving Rick, Aaron, and Judith in the barn.

After the volunteer troupe leaves, Rick turns to the others, says that if they’re all in the barn, they’re a target. He orders them outside, in groups of twos, within eyeshot. Daryl tells him he’s got the area covered. They file out, leaving Rick, Aaron, and Judith in the barn.

As Rick peers out through a crack in the barn door, Aaron tells him that before the turn, he, Aaron, worked for an NGO, delivering food and medical supplies around Nigeria. Aaron says that he had guns pointed in his face by

As Rick peers out through a crack in the barn door, Aaron tells him that before the turn, he, Aaron, worked for an NGO, delivering food and medical supplies around the Niger River delta. Aaron says that he had guns pointed in his face by “bad people” every other week.

“You’re not bad people,” Aaron says to Rick. “You’re not going to kill us, and we are definitely not going to kill you.”

Still peering out, Rick replies,

Still peering out, Rick replies, “Just because we’re good people doesn’t mean we won’t kill you.”

Rick then turns, looks down at Aaron.

Rick then turns, looks down at Aaron. “If the five of them aren’t back in an hour, I’ll put a knife in the base of your skull.”

Meanwhile, Glenn-In-Charge is trying on the hardline approach, you know, just to see if it fits. “Eyes open, everybody. Weapons up. If you see anybody coming at us, you fire.

Abraham agrees, “Copy that,” while Maggie looks away. She makes it look like she’s scanning the horizon, but I feel like she’s more trying not to look embarrassed for her boyfriend right now, while letting him have his moment.

Michonne turns to look at Glenn, studies his face a moment before looking ahead once more, and asking, “So, if we see someone, we just shoot them?

Looking away, Maggie agrees,

Looking out to the side horizon, Maggie chimes in, “That’s a good question.”

“What if it’s someone like us?” Michonne asks Glenn.What if Aaron’s telling the truth? What if it’s someone who has nothing to do with this?”

“We’re five people walking with guns,” replies Glenn. “Nobody’s coming up to say hello.”

“But, that’s exactly what happened,” Michonne points out, reasonably.

“If it’s someone like us,” Glenn replies, “Then we should be afraid of them.” ¬†Ha!

Glenn continues, wondering aloud, if Aaron and his person/people were really watching them, then they saw what they did, yesterday. (What, eating the dogs? Killing the walkers? What was so bad about that? What the hell else were they supposed to do?)

Glenn continues, after seeing what they, the gang, are capable of doing, why would Aaron’s people want them, the gang, to come live with them in their community? (I am thinking back to my “soldiers for hire” theory in answer to this question, but of course, “hot babymaking potential” is still on the table of possibilities.)

Michonne muses, “People like us saved a priest…saved a girl who rolled up on the prison with the Governor.” Michonne smiles, shaking her head, adds, “Saved a crazy lady with a sword. He saw that.”

Glenn replies, grimly, “I don’t know what he saw.”

The shot pans out, until we see the open field, and the gang of volunteers are now far away. ¬†And we see, crouching behind a stilled tractor…

Someone's watching.

Someone’s watching…

Meanwhile, Baby Judith is hungry, and crying, as Rick tries to crush some acorns in a bowl, presumably to feed to her.

Yuck. I have read that while acorns are certainly edible, and can be crushed to make a meal, or a flour, that they are extremely bitter, and must be soaked in water for a long, long time to leach the bitterness out.

Yuck. I have read that while acorns are certainly edible, and can be crushed to make a meal, or a flour, that they are extremely bitter, and must be soaked in water for a long, long time to leach the bitterness out. Good luck feeding those to that baby, Rick Grimes. You will hear some real crying then.

Aaron looks nervously towards the barn door, then towards Rick, who is on one knee, holding the wailing baby, trying to crush the acorns in a bowl. “You did see the jar of applesauce in my bag, right?” Rick looks at him, says nothing, goes back to trying to crush acorns with one hand, while holding his crying baby daughter in the other.

Aaron says, “This isn’t a trick…this isn’t about trying to get you to like me. ¬†This is about self-preservation, because if the roamers hear her and come this way, I know I’ll be first to go.” ¬†Rick looks up, shifts his daughter to his other arm, and stands, goes to the table, where a sealed mason jar of applesauce sits.

Rick looks at Aaron a moment before turning his attention back to the task of opening the jar (one handed, parents learn to do everything one-handed when there’s baby-holding and baby-carrying going on), spooning up some applesauce, and walking over to where Aaron is sitting, on the barn floor, hands bound behind him, around a support beam. ¬†Rick wordlessly holds the spoonful of applesauce to Aaron. You first.

Aaron looks up at Rick, horrified.

Aaron looks up at Rick, horrified. “Do you think that I’m trying to poison your baby daughter?”

Aaron protests,

Aaron protests, “I’m tied up, and you’ve already expressed a desire to kill me by sticking a knife in my head, so how would cruelly killing your daughter help the situation?” Rick counters, a little crazily, that maybe she doesn’t die, maybe she just gets sick, and Aaron’s the only one who can save her, and then he, Rick, loses. Awww, you are a little crazy right now, Rick, and I can’t tell if your beard is real or fake, but I still love you, crazy-ass imaginings, fake-ass looking beard, and all.

Aaron replies that he is the only one who can help her, as he has the applesauce, and so they all win. Rick, undeterred, holds the spoonful of applesauce out to Aaron: Eat.

“I hate applesauce,” Aaron whispers miserably. He tells Rick his mom used to make him eat foods he disliked to make him more “manly.” That actually really sucks, and I do feel real bad for Aaron about that, but I can’t help but think, “You wanna try a real manly treat, Aaron? Try eating dog. Now, eat the fucking applesauce, and be done with it, so poor Baby Judith can eat her lunch!”

Aaron balks a moment more, until Rick reminds him that he, Aaron, will be first to go if Judith’s crying attracts “roamers.” Aaron opens up, and the applesauce goes in. ¬†Rick can’t resist tasting the spoon, after.

It made me think, when was the last time Rick, or any of them, tasted the sweetness of fruit, or had an apple? Probably a long time, like back at the prison. And here Aaron is, balking at taking a spoonful of applesauce.

As Rick turns away to begin feeding Judith, Aaron tries to tell him that at the community, they can find a place for Rick and his children to live that would be so big, that nobody would be able to hear her cry outside the walls. Rick looks at Aaron a moment, then says,

As Rick turns away to begin feeding Judith, Aaron tries to tell him that at the community, they can find a place for Rick and his children to live that would be so big, that nobody would be able to hear her cry outside the walls. Rick looks at Aaron a moment, then says, “You have 43 minutes.” Aaron’s like, “Gulp.”

Meanwhile, the volunteers have found something…

Michonne looks over at Glenn and Maggie.

Michonne looks over at Glenn and Maggie. “He was telling the truth,” she says.

rv and car

Well, he was telling the truth about that, anyway…

The volunteers hear a noise in the woods, and they draw their weapons. Glenn barks at whomever it is to put their hands in the air, come out where they can see them. After a moment’s more rustling, we see:

Mr. and Mrs. Walker.

Mr. and Mrs. Walker. “Honey, look, our brunch guests have arrived! Welcome to our woods…you’re just in time…I was just telling the wife, ‘Sure am getting hungry!’

Abraham says, “I got it,” and from behind, Rosita says, We got it.” They stride forward to take care of Mr. and Mrs. Walker.

Hi, I’m the missus! Boy howdy, you’re a big one...and aren’t you ¬†a real sight for sore eyes…and sore face…and sore everything else. I could just eat you up! In fact, I think I will…if you just hold still a sec…”

woods walker say hey

Hey, that’s my arm! Was my arm…you’re not exactly friendly, you know that?”

woods walker say hey no fair

Rosita finishes Mrs. Walker off with a bash to the head…

mr walker gets a spear to the head

…before going to town on Mr. Walker.

mr walker go bye bye

Um, I think I’ll just lie down here and take a little nap before brunch.”

Abraham turns towards Rosita.

Abraham turns towards Rosita. “Thanks,” he says, simply.

Abraham sneaks a look at her face, but Rosita does not turn to look at him. After a moment, she walks away.

Abraham sneaks a look at her face, but Rosita does not turn to look at him. After a moment, she walks away.

abraham and rostia clear the rv

Abraham and Rosita clear the RV, negotiating the the close space and the awkwardness between them.

abraham exclaims and pulls a can from cupboard

Then, Abraham pulls a can out of the cupboard, exclaims softly, “Gracious Ignacious.”

getti rings

S’Getti Rings¬†… were those the kind the Gov dumped out the window?

Abraham gives a little laugh, “Oh-ho, it has been a while.” Rosita, smiling, remembers, “I think I saw Rex eat three cans one night.”

“Four,” Abraham remembers. “Sonuvabitch knew if he didn’t toss ’em back, I’d a come for ’em.”

abraham looks down at the can remembering

Abraham looks down at the can, remembering Rex…

rosita is sad remembering

…and the happy memories turn into sad ones, as they think of Rex, and times past, and all the things, people they have lost.

Abraham approaches Rosita, asks her back at the fire truck, after Eugene…did she think he was going to hurt her?

“No.” Rosita’s reply is immediate.

“It’s not you,” she says. They both look away for a moment. (Well, that’s a little promising, right? Like maybe there’s a chance for reconciliation, or maybe a slow dance at Friday Night Dance Troupe?) I really like these two together!

Later, back at the barn…

back at the barn

You’re lucky you were telling the truth, Aaron.

ricks like if only we had a can opener

These cans of food are seriously bringing up some emotional memories for the gang.

Rick turns and informs Aaron that the cans of food, “These are ours now.” Aaron wearily concedes that there is more than enough. This recruitment run has been way tougher than Aaron bargained for…here he is, sitting on a barn floor with his hands tied behind his back, tethered to a barn pole. He probably really needs to pee.

Usually,at this point, Aaron’s probably basking in the thanks and adulation of the rescued survivors, driving the latest imports back to Alexandria, and regaling his captive, adoring audience with amusing tidbits about the latest Alexandria antics (real or fake, remains to be seen) while the survivors nod and exclaim and over-laugh at Aaron’s jokes, chowing down cold canned foods and chugging applesauce in the back seats.

Rick adds that the canned foods are theirs, the group’s, whether or not they decide to go back with Aaron…at this point, Carl interjects, asks his father incredulously, “What do you mean, why wouldn’t we go?

NewMom Michonne chimes in, backing Carl up, answering his question while addressing the group, “If he were lying, or wanted to hurt us, but he isn’t...and he doesn’t. We need this. So, we’re going, all of us. Somebody say something if they feel differently.”

rick has nothing to say

Nobody says anything. Rick doesn’t say anything.

daryl says this barn smells like horseshit

Addressing Rick, from the floor, Daryl says,I dunno, man…this barn smells like horseshit.”

michonne waits for rick's response

Michonne looks over, awaiting Rick’s response.

rick says yeah, were going

Yeah. We’re going,” Rick relents.

michonne is pleased

Michonne looks up like a satisfied queen. She is pleased.

Rick turns to Aaron and asks him where the camp is. ¬†Aaron, reading into the question, stammers that usually, when he brings recruits back, he is the one driving. ¬†Aaron assures the gang that he while he thinks they’re good people, in fact, he’d bet his life on it, he’s not willing to bet his friends’ lives…

Michonne steps forward, in a role reversal with Rick, who hangs back, and interrupts Aaron.

Michonne steps forward, in a role reversal with Rick, who now hangs back, and interrupts Aaron. “You’re not driving, she says. “So, if you wanna get home, you have to tell us how.”¬†Top Mama Michonne is kicking ass and taking names!

Aaron looks over at Rick, who is crouched down with pen and paper, ready to take notes...on directions to the camp, and on how hot his boss lady gf is when she's taking charge and getting it done!

Aaron looks over at Rick, who is crouched down with pen and paper, ready to take notes...on directions to the camp, and on how hot his boss lady gf is when she’s taking charge and getting it done!

Aaron nods, conceding, says to take Route 16 North, and then he’ll tell them more when they get there. Rick counters that they will take Route 23 North. ¬†(On Talking Dead, later that night, guest Paul Feig and Chris Hardwick poked some gentle fun at Rick Grimes for insisting on taking another route, but I do see where there could be ambush points set up along a preplanned route.)

Aaron protests that while Route 16 is cleared, Route 23 is not. Rick insists that they will take Route 23, and they will leave at sundown.

Sasha asks, in disbelief, “We’re doing this at night? Rick replies that he knows it’s dangerous, but they can’t come rolling up to the gates during the day…if it turns out not to be safe, they need to get gone before anybody knows they are there.

Aaron insists that nobody is going to hurt them. “You’re trying to protect your group, but you’re putting them in danger.”

Rick crouches down, looks right at Aaron.

Rick crouches down, looks right at Aaron. “Tell us where your camp is…we’ll leave right now.” Aaron looks around, then sadly shakes his head. He can’t.

Rick looks to the others, stands, tells them to eat up, as it’s gonna be a long night. Rest up. ¬†He walks out of the barn, and after a moment, Michonne follows him.

michonne out by car 1

Rick is crouched at the car, talking who-rides-with-whom logistics, then looks up, asks Michonne if she’s ok. (He really is scoring some major bf points in this episode.)

did you mean were going for real

Michonne asks Rick if back there, when he said they were going, was that for real, or was that just to find out where Aaron’s camp was?

rick stands says were going

Rick stands, tells Michonne they are going. For real.

rick asks michonne what did she hear

Rick then asks Michonne that back at the prison fence, when she first approached, what did she hear?

michonne answers that she heard nothing

Michonne replies that she heard nothing. “Terminus?” asks Rick. Again, Michonne answers, “Nothing.”

rick says he will need to decide

Rick nods. “Some time tonight, we’ll be outside his camp’s walls, and without seeing inside, I’m gonna have to decide whether to bring my family in. He (Aaron) asked me before what it would take for me to believe it was real. Truth is, I’m not sure anything could convince me to go in there. But, I’m gonna see.” Rick turns away, towards the car, and gives Michonne one last, sweet look. “I wanna see,”¬†he says to her. ‚̧

Later…

It's a tailights caravan on Rt 23 N.

It’s a tailights caravan on Rt 23 N.

Aaron looks like he's about to suggest a game of

Aaron looks like he’s about to suggest a game of “I Spy.”

...when Rick finds Aaron's license plate collection in the glove compartment. At Rick's questioning look towards Glenn, Aaron leans forward from the back seat.

…when Rick finds Aaron’s license plate collection in the glove compartment. At Rick’s questioning look towards Glenn, Aaron leans forward from the back seat. “Oh,” he explains, “I’m trying to collect all 50 states…”

“…and put them on a wall in my house.”

“You have your own house?”

Aaron looks over at Michonne, nods, gestures towards the envelope of photographs on his pack, invites her to “see for yourself.”

Michonne reaches for the envelope, looks at the pictures of a charming wrap-around porch that boasts a fabulous view of the wall and bracings.

Michonne reaches for the envelope, looks at the pictures of a charming wrap-around porch, which overlooks an enviable view of Alexandria’s walls and bracings…

Aaron allows himself a smile, looking on as Michonne flips through the pictures. Houses, buidlings, the wall...but something key is missing from all the pictures...

Aaron allows himself a smile, looking on as Michonne flips through the pictures. Houses, buildings, the wall…but a key element is missing from all the pictures…

Michonne, alarmed, looks up, asks Aaron why he doesn't have any pictures of his people?

Michonne, alarmed, looks up, asks Aaron why he doesn’t have any pictures of his people?

Aaron's self-satisfied smile of before quickly disappears, and he begins to stammer out some bullshit about how he tried to take a group picture, but the exposure, and then problems with the developing...he's clearly lying. But why? My first three guesses, right off the top of my head: 1) They were all shut inside the factory warehouse, mass-producing some product that Alexandria makes and sells to other outside communities, like...license plates, and they only get two 15-minute breaks every 12 hours; 2) Everyone in Alexandria is bound and gagged in their respective gimp closets, except for the dominants who keep watch over them; 3) Alexandria is actually a leprosy colony, and the inhabitants, while still techinically living, are losing flesh and limbs at a rate that rivals the decomposition of the walkers. What's your guess?

Aaron’s self-satisfied smile of before quickly disappears, and he begins to stammer out some bullshit about how he tried to take a group picture, but the exposure, and then problems with the developing…he’s clearly lying. But why? My first three guesses, right off the top of my head: 1) The people were all shut inside the factory warehouse, mass-producing some product that Alexandria makes and sells to other outside communities, like…license plates, and they only get two 15-minute breaks every 12 hours; 2) Everyone in Alexandria is bound and gagged in their respective gimp closets, except for the dominants who keep watch over them; 3) Alexandria is actually a leper colony, and the inhabitants, while still technically living, are losing flesh and limbs at a rate that rivals the decomposition of the walkers. What’s your guess?

Michonne knows immediately that Aaron is lying, and looks to the front seat, asks Rick,

Michonne knows immediately that Aaron is lying, and looks to the front seat, asks Rick, “Did you ask him the three questions?”

Everyone looks at Rick, who seems to be, like,

Everyone looks at Rick, who seems to be, like, Um, no, I did not…shit was going on, and I did kind of forget to ask the three questions…and, btw, there are 15 of us, and why is it always my job to ask the three questions? You motherfuckers know the three questions, and aside from Baby Judith, who can’t talk, maybe one of you could have thought of that shit, and asked...I was all sleuthing the flare gun and shitdoes it always have to be me, asking the three questions?

Rick does not give voice to his internal monologue, simply answers, “No.”

So, Michonne turns to Aaron, and asks the first of the three questions, “How many walkers have you killed?”

how many walkers have you killed

Aaron feigns ignorance, or confusion, at the direct question. “I’m sorry, what? Michonne repeats the question. “How many?”

aaron plays dumb

As Glenn listens, and waits, for Aaron to answer...

As Glenn listens, and waits, for Aaron to answer…

Rick, looking ahead at the road, awaits Aaron's answer...he hems and haws before answering, a trifle defensively,

Rick, looking ahead at the road, listens, and waits for, Aaron’s answer, as well. Aaron gapes at Michonne, indignant, hems and haws before answering, a trifle defensively, I don’t know…a lot.”

Michonne continues to the second question: “How many people?”

This time, Aaron's reply is more immediate.

This time, Aaron’s reply is more immediate. “Two,” he answers. “Why?” MIchonne asks the third question, looking at Aaron. Without missing a beat, Aaron replies, “Because they tried to kill me.”

Look what Rick's found...

Look what Rick’s found…“Hey, Aaron, are you starting a collection of parabolic microphones from all 50 states as well?”

Glenn, who is driving, looks back at Aaron, shocked. ¬†“You were listening to us?”

Aaron actually manages to sound a little testy at being asked this question, says something like, Yes, yes, I told you I was watching you…listening is a part of watching, duh…what part of, ‘I was spying on you’ do you people not understand?”

Rick says, quickly, that the others in Aaron’s group probably have mic’s like these, and they probably heard the gang’s plans. “This isn’t safe,” cries Rick, and then those words ring especially true, as Rick and Glenn brace themselves for the oncoming threat in the road…

rick and glenn brace

Look out…!

night hiker walkers

…for the horde of NightHiker Walkers!

walker guts on the windshield

As Glenn plows through the rotting walkers, their blood and guts smear the windshield, making it impossible to see out…

rick in shotgun walker slime

Rick’s first thought is of the RV behind them, but Glenn tells him to stay in the car, that the RV would have seen what was happening and are either behind them, or they were able to get away…

aaron and michonne freaking

In the back seat, Aaron is freaking while Michonne braces herself…

glenn plowing some walkers

Have I mentioned how much Glenn rules in this episode?

the massacremobile

Aaron’s classic old car has become a Walker Massacremobile.

The car finally clears a space from the walkers, and skids to a stop.  Rick jumps out, and sees no sign of the RV.  It seems they must have turned around, and Rick tells Glenn they will double back and meet the RV back up the road.

Glenn quickly tries to wipe the windshield clean before jumping back in the car...

Glenn quickly tries to wipe the windshield clean before jumping back in the car…

...and of course, the car won't start.

…and of course, the car won’t start.

And, here come the walkers.

And, here come the walkers.

Aaron is freaking the fuck out, of course. Michonne volunteers to go out and see what she can see, and goes out to the front hood, pulling walker guts and limbs from out of the hood and grille.

michonne pulls walker parts out of the car's hood

As the walkers near, Aaron, panicked, cries out that they are closing in. Rick turns to him and grinds out that they know that. Glenn frantically keeps trying to start the car, to no avail, of course…and then, Glenn sees something light up the sky. “Look!”

Someone has shot a flare up, obviously to signal Aaron. But, who?

Someone has shot a flare up, obviously to signal Aaron. But, who?

Aaron, upon seeing the flare go up, really starts to freak out. ¬†He keeps saying, “This is over, I’ve gotta get out of here.

Rick turns and watches Aaron freaking out.

Rick turns and watches Aaron freaking out. “What’s going on?” he demands, but Aaron is in full bail mode. With hands still tied behind his back, Aaron kicks open the back door of the car, sending Michonne flying, and charges out into the night. Holy crap, dude.

Michonne starts to go after Aaron, and when Rick tries to call her back, she replies that the way to find the others is to go after Aaron. ¬†They abandon the car and run into the woods, in the direction that Aaron went, and must engage in some serious walker slaughter. ¬†As Michonne slices and dices with her katana, Rick fires upon the walkers, calling to Glenn to clear the way for them (I think that’s what he said).

night walkers glenn tries to clear a path out

Good shot, Glenn.

Good shot, Glenn.

Oh, no, Glenn, look out behind you!

Oh, no, Glenn, look out behind you!

Glenn narrowly avoids getting bitten.

Glenn narrowly avoids getting bitten.

Glenn smashes Look Out Behind You's undead brains in against a rock.

Glenn smashes Look Out Behind You Walker’s¬†undead brains in against a rock.

Glenn hears a struggle nearby, finds…

Aaron, hands still tied behind his back, braced against a tree trunk, kicking at a walker.

Aaron, hands still tied behind his back, braced against a tree trunk, kicking at a walker.

Glenn thinks about it a minute, then, with a shake of his head, he goes to help Aaron, rekilling the walker and cutting Aaron’s hands free. ¬†“Run if you want, “ Glenn tells Aaron, “I’ve got other things to worry about.” As Glenn turns to leave, Aaron quotes Glenn’s words to Daryl, the day before, back to him:

We can make it, but we can only make it together.”

“You said that,” ¬†Aaron tells Glenn. “I was listening.” Creepy! What the hell is the deal with these people?

Meanwhile, Richonne is calling for Glenn, and fighting off some mad walkers in their neck of the woods. Rick’s gun runs out of bullets, and the walkers keep coming, so he pulls out the flare gun and aims it for one walker’s head, creating my new walker obsession, affectionately named on Talking Dead as Rick’s Little Bit of Flare Walker:

rick fires at the walker flare walker 1 flare walker 2 flare walker 3flare walker 4

How I love him. <3

How I love him. ‚̧

Now officially out of firepower, Richonne must do The Dance of the Double Katana on the oncoming walkers…

richonne's dance of the double katana

Then, a hail of bullets comes from behind the walker horde, felling them in their shuffling tracks. ¬†Rick and Michonne see, once the smoke clears…

Glenn and Aaron have come to save the day. Aaron holds up his hands, offers for Rick to tie him up again, if he needs to, but please hurry...methinks Aaron secretly is beginning to enjoy this!

Glenn and Aaron have come to save the day. Aaron holds up his hands, offers for Rick to tie him up again, if he needs to, but please hurry…methinks Aaron secretly is beginning to enjoy this getting tied up business!

Rick Grimes says,

Rick Grimes says, “Pass.”

As they emerge onto the open road, Rick turns to Aaron and asks where their people are. Aaron replies that he doesn’t know. ¬†Rick tells Aaron that if this all is a trick to get their gang where Aaron’s people wants them, “Your people are gonna die tonight.” (Whew, another Cheryl Tunt shiver just went through me…so delicious, Deputy Smash!)

They reach an abandoned looking industrial park...Rick whistles his singsong whistle, and Daryl, who has been outside, keeping watch, waves to them and pounds on the door, signaling the others, inside.

They reach an abandoned looking industrial park. Rick whistles his singsong whistle, and Daryl, who has been outside, keeping watch, waves to them and pounds on the door, signaling the others, inside.

The gang reunites... Yay!

The gang reunites…Yay!

Aaron begins calling for Eric.¬†He rushes inside, and when he hears a voice, he runs into a room, and finds…

eric

His totes adorbs bf, Eric.

eric says he likes maggie

Poor Eric’s ankle is injured. He likens it to a Volleyball injury.¬†Maggie¬†thinks it might be brokenI like her,” Eric tells Aaron.¬†(Lucky, Maggie…you found a fabulous gay bestie, which I keep asking Santa for, ¬†for Christmas, and have yet to get…I am lime green jelly!)

eric tells aaron it's not a big deal

Aaron is so upset seeing his love’s injury...Eric playfully chides Aaron, saying it’s “your fault” he got injured, as he loves Aaron so much that it makes him worry about him and do stupid things, like getting a tractor tire rolled over his ankle.

man make out sesh

Aaron rushes to Eric and pastes one on him, which made me cheer out loud. Man make-out sesh on prime time television…thank you, TWD!

eric found another license plate

Eric pulls out a gift for Aaron…a license plate from a state he does not yet have. ¬†Aaron cannot bring himself to tell Eric the truth, but Eric figures it out. “You lost the license plates,” he guesses. ¬†Aaron deadpans, “I lost the car.”

rick interrupts the mens giggle

Their giggle is interrupted by Rick, who has come in the room and is watching their interaction. “Hi, I’m Eric!” says Eric brightly. Aaron excuses himself and goes outside with Rick.

Aaron thanks the group for saving Eric.  He tells them he is indebted to them, and he will make sure he repays his debt to them when they get to their new community, Alexandria. Aaron tries to excuse himself to go back and be with his partner, but Rick tries to put the kibosh on that, telling Aaron he is going to sleep out there, with them, where Rick can keep an eye on him.

Aaron looks Rick square in the eye and tells him the only way he, Rick, his going to keep him, Aaron, away from Eric is to shoot him.  Glenn intervenes, and pulls Rick aside, telling Rick that Aaron told them where his camp was, that he was telling the truth about there being only one other person with him (Eric), and that both men are unarmed, one with a broken ankle.

“I want us to be safe too…I can’t give up everything else. I know what I said, but, it does matter.” Maggie, listening to this, is probably falling in love with Glenn all over again, in this moment.

Rick nods. ¬†“All right,” he says. The voice of reason has spoken.

And so, the next morning, the gang is Hauling Ass To Alexandria (Isn't that the name of the country western song?).

And so, the next morning, the gang is Hauling Ass To Alexandria (Isn’t that the name of the country western song?).

In the back of the RV, while Eric sleeps, Aaron watches over him. Noah comes in with a bottle of water and a bottle of pills. Aaron says he wants to let Eric sleep, but Noah says the pills are for Aaron, as he knows that his hands must be hurting.

In the back of the RV, while Eric sleeps, Aaron watches over him. Noah comes in with a bottle of water and a bottle of pills. Aaron says he wants to let Eric sleep, but Noah says the pills are for Aaron, as he knows that his hands must be hurting.

As Noah turns to leave, Aaron asks him about his leg. Noah tells Aaron that he hurt it in a car accident with his dad, and he did get medical attention, so he feels lucky he can walk at all. Aaron tells Noah that they have a surgeon, Pete, who is gifted and who Aaron has seen

As Noah turns to leave, Aaron asks him about his leg. Noah tells Aaron that he hurt it in a car accident with his dad, and he did get medical attention, so he feels lucky he can walk at all. Aaron tells Noah that they have a surgeon, Pete, who is gifted and who Aaron has seen “do wonders” with others. Noah takes this in, asks, “Yeah?” Aaron nods, and Noah walks away, hopeful for the first time in a long time.

In the front of the RV, Eugene is teaching the rules to Seven Card Stud. Tara, I think, asks him a

In the front of the RV, Eugene is teaching the rules to Seven Card Stud. Tara, I think, asks¬†“Seriously?” to one of the finer points of the game, and Eugene replies, “Serious as two copulatin’ dogs.” Ha!

Rosita, riding shotgun, points out the Washington Monument, which is visible in the horizon.

Rosita, riding shotgun, points out the Washington Monument, which is visible in the horizon. Abraham, look!”

Abraham, who is driving this RV, looks over and takes in the sight of something he has been striving to see, firsthand, for so long...

Abraham, who is driving this RV, looks over and takes in the sight of something he has been striving to see, firsthand, for so long…

He looks over at Rosita, who jokes,

He looks over at Rosita, who jokes, “Eyes on the road!”

Rosita is happy, though, you can tell.

Rosita is happy, though, you can tell.

Abraham looks down at the console. The battery light is on. ¬†He asks Rosita how long they’ve got, and she says they are halfway there. ¬†Abraham smiles, says they are going to make it…

A ways down the road, however...broken down again.

A ways down the road, however…broken down again.

Abraham's bummed (

Abraham’s bummed (“Might as well paint it red and put a ladder on it”), but Glenn says all it needs is another battery. Abraham asks him where they’re supposed to get one of those. Glenn brings him around to the other side of the RV, and shows him…

...a backup battery. Abraham asks Glenn how he knew it was there, and Glenn smiles in a silent homage to Dale. <3

…a backup battery. Abraham asks Glenn how he knew it was there, and Glenn smiles in a silent homage to Dale. ‚̧

Meanwhile, sitting on the hood of the back car, Michonne looks over at Rick, tells him the fight's over...it's time to let it go. Michonne, Michonne, Michonne, the fight is never over, or there wouldn't be a show...but maybe everyone can get some rest, and some food, and a chance to party naked for a while.

Meanwhile, sitting on the hood of the back car, Michonne looks over at Rick, tells him the fight’s over…it’s time to let it go. Michonne, Michonne, Michonne, the fight is never over, or there wouldn’t be a show, would there? ¬†But, maybe everyone can get some rest, and some food, and a chance for some consenting adults to party naked, for a little while, anyway.

“I know it’s hard, after it’s kept you warm, and alive, and fed…but the fight, it turns on you. You gotta let it go.” Michonne speaks from a place of knowing, and Rick listens to her, looking tortured, and hot, and majorly hairy.

I think, judging from the recent pictures of Andrew Lincoln, and the recent interviews, that a clean shave is in Rick Grimes' not-too-distant-future...and if it's Michonne who does the shaving, well, I would pretty much die of happiness at that scene, as well.

I think, judging from the recent pictures of Andrew Lincoln, and the recent interviews, that a clean shave is in Rick Grimes’ not-too-distant-future…and if it’s Michonne who does the shaving, well, I would pretty much die of happiness at that scene, as well, especially if she uses her katana’s blade.

Rick tells Michonne that Bob was telling him the same thing, when to give up the fight, and let the world and others in again. ¬†Rick tells Michonne he needs a moment, then goes off and, from what I gathered, stashes Aaron’s handgun in a plastic blender...just in case.

And then, they arrive at the gates of Alexandria.

they pull up to the gates

Rick looks at the gate.

Rick looks at the gate.

at the gate 4 children playing

Then Rick hears the one sound that could convince him to enter those gates...the sound of children playing inside the gates.

at the gate 5 rick looks at michonne

As the happy sounds wash over them, Michonne gives Rick a sweet smile. When is the last time anybody heard that beautiful noise, the sound of children playing? Too long.

at the gate 6 hand on hand

Michonne puts her hand on Rick’s a moment, then turns to him, asks him if he’s ready. After a moment, Rick tells her he is. He takes his hands off the steering wheel, puts the car in park, and gets out of the car to get Judith from the back seat.

at the gate 7 at the gate 8 baby and rick lock eyes at the gate 8 get that baby

at the gate 10 rick and judith love look

The only thing hotter to me than Rick Smash! is Papi Grimes, loving on his children with infinite love and tenderness.

at the gate 11

Well, darlings, of course this week’s Deadie goes to Andrew Lincoln, and Rick Grimes, for being such a beautiful badass, a loving father to his children, his new gf, and his chosen family, and for choosing to believe…and for stashing that handgun in the plastic blender…just in case.

Live long and prosper, my WD darlings. <3 Spock forever!

Live long and prosper, my WD darlings. ‚̧

Until next week, and enjoy the playlist.

Playlist:

Cake, “The Distance”

Mudhoney, “Halloween”

Plague Vendor, “Black Sap Scriptures”

The Knife, “Heartbeats” (for Abraham and Rosita

Love Battery, “Float”

Yeah Yeah Yeahs,¬†“Runaway”

Land of Talk, “Yuppy Flu”

The Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 11 “Claimed”

“Claimed”

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

I have to admit, people, when I saw the title for The Walking Dead, Episode 11, “Claimed,” I was like, “Claimed? What the hell does that mean? ¬†It was kind of ominous sounding, like some shit was going to go down, in a big way. Was someone going to get kidnapped, killed…claimed? ¬†I was nervous.

Episode 11, “Claimed,” definitely delivered plenty to thrills, chills, and nailbiting moments…and laughs! ¬†(Thank you, Abraham!)

Abraham…that guy rules. He’s not afraid to mess up some walkers, and he’s not afraid to bring the funny. ¬†And I think we could all use a little of that right about now with this show of ours. We’ve hung in, and shit’s been hard, and then now we’ve got Abraham, flanked on one side by his hot woman-comrade, Rosita

(Ok, yes, Rosita happens to be¬†my new girl crush…what of it?)

On Abraham’s other side stands Eugene, of the epic mullet (“The Eugene”) ¬†and the (supposed) walker cure. (And,¬†yes,¬†in that order of importance:¬†epic mullet first, walker cure second.¬†See, in my world, an epic mullet is a huge achievement and a gift to humankind…to all beings, really…another post for another time.)

Abraham doesn’t have a mullet, but he does have a handlebar, and he’s not afraid to back that shit up while making it super fun to watch. Episode 11¬†opens with a great shot of a street sign reading:

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Tied to the sign is a colorful blue and red balloon (Spiderman?), a sign of past good times and children’s birthday parties…the balloon floats and bobs in the breeze, as three rapt walkers hiss and paw at it, trying to get it…it’s all red and shiny, and they like that!

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Arrrghhhh!

As Abraham’s massive vehicle cruises by, the walkers immediately abandon the balloon and begin to lurch down the road after the truck.

Riding in the back of the truck, with Glenn lying unconscious beside her, Tara copies down the name of “Crook Rd.” ¬†into her palm, ¬†in black Sharpie marker, adding it to the list of directions she has already written on the back of her hand.

Tara’s all right…she’s got Glenn’s back by keeping track of where they are until he wakes up and decides what he wants to do. The truck stops, coming up to a line of cars, stopped in the road, and Tara is alarmed to see the trio of balloon walkers coming towards the back of the truck, and her.

As the walkers paw at the back of Abraham’s truck, Tara grabs up her assault rifle and prepares to fire upon them, only to be ordered down by Abraham: ¬†“Do not fire that weapon!”

Abraham then climbs out of the truck, and regards the sad walker trio.  His face softens in a mixture of amusement and mock-pity:

Laughs,

Laughs, “Oh, ho, ho, ho, shit! Look at what we got here!”

And then, wielding a crowbar, Abraham steps to the walker trio and proceeds to go to town on them, slashing the first walker across the head with the curved, pointy end of the crowbar, then stabbing the long end into the second walker’s skull:

Gnarly!

When the particularly tore-up female walker approaches Abraham, he laughs at her, “Awww, honey, look at you…you’re a damn mess.”

Who you callin' a mess, asshole?

Who you callin’ a mess?

Tore-Up She-Walker¬†doesn’t quite go down as easily as Abraham had counted on, to his surprise and annoyance. ¬†He tries to spear her in the head, but aims a little too low, merely impaling her onto the truck…

Ha ha, missed my brains...who's the mess now, dick?

Ha ha, missed my brains, missed my brains…who’s the mess now, dick?

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In a great TWD moment, he turns to Tara and motions for her assault rife. “Lemme borrow that for a minute, would ya?” Tara tosses it to him.¬†“Thanks.” Abraham takes the butt end of the rifle and smashes it into Tore-Up She Walker’s skull, spewing her brains all over the truck.

Abraham then turns to the first walker, who is starting to move on the ground. ¬†“And I’m not leaving you out,” he says, and the shot is from the ground walker’s perspective as Abraham smashes the butt end into the walker’s skull, rekilling it, before tossing the goopy gun back to Tara. ¬†He then yanks the crowbar from the female walker’s skull, freeing her body from the truck and causing it to slump in a wet, gory heap on the ground.

Abraham looks totally comfortable doing all this, like a man completely in his element.

When Abraham looks up from his ministrations and sees Tara regarding him, he asks her, “What? What?

“I’ve never seen that before,” replies Tara. ¬†Abraham is confused, looks down at the body of the walkers, then back at Tara. He is puzzled, says, “I’ve seen you do the same thing,” meaning, of course, killing the walkers with the butt end of a rifle, or killing them, period.

“You smiled,” says Tara. “You were smiling.” ¬†Abraham takes a moment to register this, then says, Well,¬†I’m the…luckiest guy in the world.” ¬†And after a brief moment, he says, “Now, why don’t you help me with one of these cars? We’ve got some miles to go.”

Back at the Rick, Carl, and Michonne house, Carl and Michonne are pouring bowls of cereal, which they then eat dry with their fingers while joking about milk.

Michonne asks Carl if he ever tried soy milk. Carl says he tried soy milk once, and almost barfed…he then slips and almost says he’d rather drink Judith’s formula than drink soy milk. Carl stops himself, upset, and gets up from the table, leaves the room.

Rick is in the kitchen when Michonne comes in. He thanks her for making Carl laugh.¬†“I’d almost forgotten what that sounded like,” Rick says. “I can’t be his father and his best friend…he needs you.

Rick motions to Michonne, adds, “I know that’s a lot to throw at you, so let me know if you need a break.”

“I’m done taking breaks,” answers Michonne, quickly, and inside, I was like, Yes!

Michonne then asks Rick what the deal is: Is this house home, are they moving on, what?  Rick suggests they just stay at the house while they figure it out.  He is looking pretty messed up still, leaning on his good leg, facing Michonne in the kitchen.

Michonne looks at Rick, then agrees, saying they will need more supplies, and she and Carl will go out for some.

Rick offers to go with them, and Michonne puts the kibosh on that, says he should stay put and rest another day….if only the poor man could! ¬†Not knowing how short his rest is about to be, Rick agrees with a nod.

I love how out on the porch, as they say their goodbyes for now, Rick picks up on Carl’s sadness, and he asks Carl if everything is ok. ¬†Carl tells Rick he is just tired. Rick is a good dad, attentive and in tune with his son’s moods, his cues. He checks in often. ¬†I like that, and many¬†other things, about Rick Grimes, especially in this episode.

After Rick said his goodbyes, went upstairs, and got into bed, I got a bad foreboding feeling about it all…

I actually typed, Why am I so scared for Rick right now? ¬†Surely there couldn’t be any walkers in any of the rooms… I did have a bad feeling about it all, though. ¬†I typed, What is going to happen?

Meanwhile, walking along, Michonne is trying to draw Carl out. She offers a can of crazy cheese that still has the seal on it. (This episode, of course, sent crazy cheese trending worldwide by the time Talking Dead came on.) ¬†When Carl refuses the delicacy, Michonne checks in with Carl, tells him he doesn’t seem fine when he tries to tell her he is.

Carl tells Michonne what he told Rick, that he is just tired.

Then, Michonne does a hilarious imitation of a walker, squirting her mouth full of crazy cheese and letting it gob out of her mouth, while making walker sounds.  This does not elicit any laughter from Carl, which amazed me, because that shit was funny:

IMG_3081

When Michonne looks questioningly at Carl, he dryly tells her that he was laughing on the inside. ¬†Michonne looks at him archly, then tells him that she had a three-year-old son, and that he found her to be extremely funny. ¬†This of course shocks Carl into silence, and I thought, Man,¬†she is so brave and beautiful…she actually smiles when she says it, too.

Carl of course is full of questions about her son, and her life, before…they have found a house to check for supplies, and Michonne tells Carl that she will answer one question at a time, one room at a time, and only after they’ve cleared it.

Before the commercial break, a shot or Rick, sleeping in the bed, his hands folded over a book on his chest. We begin to hear the rough sounds of men’s voices echoing up the stairwell…Rick is sleeping so soundly at first, he doesn’t stir, but the voices grow louder, escalate.

Then a crash, followed by a raucous cheer, jolts Rick awake, and he realizes in an instant that he is not alone in the house, and that he is in danger.

IMG_3231

On a Talking Dead interview, Andrew Lincoln talked about this scene, and of course I transcribed every word:

“What I loved about this episode is that you see a man that’s very, very scared…It’s kind of my (Rick’s) Mission Impossible, or Escape From Alcatraz…It’s about a man waking up and realizing he’s in extreme danger and very vunerable, and it’s about a man trying to escape from bad people.”

“This is a year and a half into the apocalypse, and we’re beginning to realize that the only people who are scavenging, and left moving, and not in civilization, have to be pretty ruthless, uncompromising human beings…people that would be surviving in this world…murderers, pillagers, vandals, rapists, and he (Rick) realizes instantly that he is in grave danger...There is no safety, out here, any more.”

This scene is so damn scary, I was gulping down chardonnay, and it still wasn’t making it any easier to watch. ¬†What did make it some easier, and completely riveting, was to watch Deputy Rick Grimes once again assess the situation at hand, get himself to a safe place and buy himself some time, and begin the “Mission Impossible” of getting himself out of that house, and intercept Michonne and Carl, before they too walk into certain danger.

In this case, Rick wakes, listens, checks Carol’s watch, and quickly and quietly gets himself under the bed when he hears one of the men coming up the stairs. Rick even has the presence of mind to bring the watch, book and his water bottle under the bed with him (of course, probably to hide the evidence that someone else had been there, but you know, it could be a while, and those things would be good to have if you were going to be there for a long time!)

It is a taut, nervewracking scene when Rick is hiding under the bed, sweating, watching the boots of one of the Downstairs Thug Boys¬†pacing around the bed he is hiding under. We see the tip of the DTB’s rifle, his boots stopping, then pacing around…he checks the closet…under the bed, Rick presses his palm over the ticking watch face in his hand to muffle the sound.

Around the bed, boots pace, pause. Then, the mattress above Rick sinks down almost upon him, pressing him a little further down into the floor, as the DTB climbs into the bed. (Apparently, being a loud douchebag in the zombie apocalypse is hard work, and someone needs a nap.) 

OMG,¬†Rick is probably really missing his nap right about now…

Back at the supplies house, Carl is pressing Michonne, asks her son’s name, pointing out that the room they are in is actually two separate rooms, and they had already cleared the other one. Michonne hesitates, then answers, “Andre. ¬†His name was Andre Anthony.” Her voice is a little tight as she says it, and I realized that it was probably the first time she said her baby’s name aloud in a long time, if maybe ever, since losing him.

Ugh, the mom in me gets so upset with this stuff...it’s the worst thing imaginable.

Michonne tries to lighten the moment by telling Carl to make sure there isn’t a box of cookies under the whatever, and wanders out of the room. ¬†Carl follows her in the hallway, asks her how long it’s been…Michonne tells him it happened “after everything happened.” Michonne tells Carl that she has never told anyone, until just now.

Carl is so sweet when he replies, “Your secret’s safe with me.”

“It’s not really a secret,” says Michonne.

Carl smiles, says, “It’s still safe with me.”¬† (Cute! I really love these two as buds.)

Then the sweet scene turned into a pink nightmare…the mom that had to shoot her four kids, then herself, in the heads to escape from the nightmare that the world had become. Let’s just scan through the pictures of that one and move on, shall we?

Michonne sees the scary painting, foreshadowing the horrible scene she is about to witness...

Michonne sees the scary painting, foreshadowing the horrible scene she is about to witness…

She enters Mae Mae's room and once again must bear witness to tragedy...

She enters Mae Mae’s room and once again must bear witness to tragedy…

“Shhhh…Mae Mae is sleeping!”

Two sons, I think...so awful

Two sons, I think, or maybe a son and the dad…so awful.

And finally, the poor mom, who turned the gun on herself last...

And finally, the poor mom, who turned the gun on herself last..

Ugggh. Another artistically amazing scene, complete with haunting music by Bear McCreary, that messed me up for a bit.

I think about those kinds of scenes too much, dwell on them, like, “Maybe they were sleeping when she did it, but how could she shoot all four of them before they woke up? Maybe she drugged them, or poisoned them…ugh, she was probably crying when she did it.” I have an overactive imagination, people, and it doesn’t matter that it isn’t real…I still obsess.

Kendall-Jackson, take me away!

Michonne closes the door of the Pink Room of Horrors behind her and presses her back to it, blocking Carl from seeing this heartbreaking scene. ¬†Once again, Michonne does exactly what needs to be done, as Carl says, “There’s a baby in there…” and quickly, Michonne says, “It’s a dog.”¬† Carl seems satisfied with this answer.

As they turn to go, Carl shyly ventures to Michonne that maybe Judith and Andre are together, somewhere. ¬†Michonne smiles at this thought, says, “C’mon, it’s time to go.”

Meanwhile, back under the bed, the shit is getting even more fucked up and surreal as one of the other DTB’s¬†strides into the bedroom and announces his rights to the bed that the other dude is napping in. ¬†The current occupant of the bed replies that this bed is “claimed,” solving the mystery of the episode’s title.

A scuffle ensues, ending with one guy choking the other guy on the floor, who stares wide-eyed at Rick as Rick watches him, head cocked to the side, as the guy loses conciousness:

IMG_3127

I love this look on his face as he watches the dude fade out

I love this look on his face as he watches the dude fade out.

I am not sure if the dude passes out or dies, but that seems like a bad call, choking your compadre to death, leaving his body on the floor, and taking a nap while he reanimates and chomps you in your sleep. Anyway, it is clear that these guys are total dicks. The other dude, the Mattress Victor, collapses into the bed, sinking the boxspring even deeper into poor Rick’s back. Christ!

Meanwhile, three hours away and counting, as Abraham’s truck hauls ass down the road, Glenn is freaking out. ¬†Tara has just told him that they passed the bus three hours back, and everyone around it was dead. ¬†Glenn is getting farther and farther away from Maggie, and he needs to get back. ¬†He bangs on the back windshield of the truck, yelling for Abraham to stop. When that fails, Glenn takes the butt end of the rifle he is holding and rams it into the windshield…that gets Abraham’s attention.

The truck stops and Glenn gathers his things, begins to walk away from Abraham and Co., down the road.  Tara follows him, tells him she has written the directions on her hand and can get him back to the bus.

Tara is awesome, but I think her motivation more than anything is to try to make things right as much as she can, as she did play an active role in getting them so fucked up as they are now. She is having a hard time forgiving herself.

Abraham tries to impart some of his epic Abrahamisms on Glenn, to get him to abort his mission to find Maggie and help them with theirs. Abraham presents Eugene, the scientist who supposedly knows how the zombie mess all got started, and who is bringing the cure to Washington D.C., or at least his insights, anyway.

Until recently, Eugene and Abraham had been keeping contact with “the muckety-mucks” in Washington, but now, when they try to call the nation’s capitol, nobody is picking up. ¬†Not a great sign.

Glenn is digesting this all, including Eugene’s telling him the walker cause/cure information is “confidential” when Glenn asks about it.¬†It’s like, everything is just getting weirder and weirder all the time, and it’s like Glenn can’t really fight it anymore, so he’s just going with it. ¬†

He tries to be cool, like, “Ok, well good luck with that, gotta go try to get back to my wife,” and Abraham turns on the hard-sell, some shit like, “It’s tough to watch the ones you love kick it, ¬†but you don’t gotta go out like that. ¬†Come save the world and do something with your life.”

And Glenn takes off his packs, turns to face Abraham:

IMG_3140IMG_3149

And coldcocks Abraham! I love when Glenn goes off. Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) said on TD that the element of surprise got Glenn one good shot on a man who was much bigger than him.

And coldcocks Abraham! I love when Glenn goes off. Michael Cudlitz (Abraham) said on TD that the element of surprise got Glenn one good shot on a man who was much bigger than him.

Of course, Abraham does not let such acts go unchallenged.  He tackles Glenn, and is clearly winning the fight when Eugene calls to them that they have company:

Ummm, guys? Hello...!

“Ummm, guys? Hello…!”

Enter Walkers of the Corn!

Enter Walkers of the Corn!

Eugene tries to take matters into his own hands, fumbling with his assault rifle and basically shooting everything up around him except the walkers, including the gas tank of Abraham’s truck. D‘oh!

The gunfire alerts the gang, who abandon the fistfight and begin to join forces, shooting up the walkers together…they all look like badass warriors, except maybe Eugene…his mullet’s still pretty epic, though.

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Once all the walkers are dead, Abraham sees their other problem:

“Son of a dick!”¬†(Best line ever!)

Meanwhile, back at the DTB house, Rick has managed to slide quietly out from under the bed and creep into another room, the kid’s room that Carl had checked out in Episode 9, when they first got to the house. ¬†Rick ducks into a small side room when one of the douchier, louder DTB’s comes into the room and stands just on the other side of Rick, bouncing a tennis ball between two windows…again, and again, and again.

Ugh, douchebag. ¬†I mean, why? Why do that?¬† It’s fucking annoying, and I am not even really in the room.

Or…am I?

While that guy is working on claiming the title of¬†The Douchiest Man Alive,¬†Rick Grimes is claiming the title of The¬†Hottest Man Alive¬†as he waits…and listens…and monitors...and improvises.

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Once again, Rick-In-Charge brings it, people. ¬†Undetected by the ball-bouncing DMA,¬†Rick stealths his way to the bathroom, and finds some big ol’¬†Downstairs Thug Boy¬†sitting on the toilet seat, reading a comic or some shit.

I was thanking Baby Jesus that the toilet guy wasn’t getting down to some serious business in there, with his pants down, or the following scenes would have been super awkward:

Awww, dude...wrong place, wrong time, wrong man to be on the wrong side of...sux 4 u!

Awww, dudewrong place, wrong time, wrong man to be on the wrong side ofsux 4 u!

Here comes the beat down...

Here comes the beat down…

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Rick doing what needs to be done.

As Rick grabs the man's gun and prepares to go out the bathroom window, he goes back to crack the door of the bathroom open, to set a

As Rick grabs the man’s gun and prepares to go out the bathroom window, he goes back to crack the door of the bathroom open, to set a “walker time bomb” onto the Downstairs Thug Boys once the dead guy reanimates…tactical genius, Rick Grimes-style!

Rick manages to get out onto the roof, with a shoulder pack and a gun…

So pimp, Deputy Grimes!

So pimp, Deputy Grimes!

(Doing his own stunts, Andrew Lincoln lowered himself from the roof in that scene, dropping onto the porch below…later, he said in an interview that the most distracting thing about shooting that scene was Norman Reedus mooning him ¬†from below…those wacky hot guys!)

Rick ends up crouching beside the porch, with that loud douchey guy above him eating the crap outta some can of food. He’s so annoying, he’s even doing that loudly…rattling the damn fork against the sides of the can.¬†(Baby Jesus, please make it stop!)¬†¬†Rick peers around the corner and sees Carl and Michonne, walking up towards the house.

They are still some way away, so the loud DMA guy doesn’t see them, yet… Rick knows it’s now or never, grips his gun and reaches up, gripping the corner of the house, about to pull himself up and make his move when a scream comes from inside the house…it seems Rick’s “walker time bomb” has reanimated and make its presence known and is going nucking futs in the house…yes! ¬†

Thank you, Baby Jesus!

The DMA guy drops his can and runs into the house, and Rick runs towards Carl and Michonne, tells them to run, which they do, away from the house.

Rick has done it, gotten away from the bad guys against almost impossible odds, and now he, Carl, and Michonne are able to haul ass out of there.

Let’s all give it up for Rick Grimes, ladies and gentlemen!

Meanwhile, hours north on the lonely road, flanked now by a dead truck on one side and dead corn walkers on the other, Abraham has just asked Eugene how the hell did he manage to kill his truck?

Eugene looks away, mumbles something about not quite being familiar with the weaponry…he’s lucky he has Abraham buying his story and serving as a burly-chested, fire-haired bodyguard.

Abraham even takes the barb as Eugene tells him, “Trust me, I’m smarter than you.”

Not when it comes to firing an assault rifle, you’re not, Eugene!

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Rosita says, “Fuck this. I’m going with the young, hot people and follows Glenn and Tara.

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Hey…wait for us!

I couldn't tell if there was a ghost of a secret smile on Eugene's face as they begin to follow Glenn and the gang...what's that guy up to? (I miss Milton!)

I couldn’t tell if there was a ghost of a secret smile on Eugene’s face as they begin to follow Glenn and the gang…what’s that guy up to? (P.S. I miss Milton!)

As they follow Glenn, Abraham goes along with it, ¬†but does bitch to Tara about how they could be saving the world right now, instead of trying to find some guy’s wife. ¬†She basically calls him out, tells him his bullshit won’t work on her. ¬†Ha! I sense fun interactions ahead with these two.

Rick, Carl and Michonne are walking on the train tracks…they spot the banner for Sanctuary draped on a train car. ¬†The banner boasts its trademark claim: “All who arrive survive.”

Michonne looks questioningly at Rick, who says immediately, “Let’s go.”

Man, it looks like on next week’s previews that Daryl and Beth are encountering some shit on their journey…if I think of it now, they seem to have headed in the opposite direction of the way to Sanctuarygulp!

Until next week, and enjoy the playlist:

Playlist:

Wax Tailor, ¬†“Que sera”

Eddie Vedder, “Rise” (for Rick, and all the prison peeps)

Social Distortion, “So Far Away” (for Glenn and Maggie)

The Walking Dead, Season 4, Episode 10, “Inmates”

“Inmates”

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

Those of you who actually read my recent pre-season post, “What Happens After”?¬†¬†may remember my telling you about The Law of Kirkman,¬†which basically states that Kirkman will do as Kirkman pleases, and¬†Kirkman and Co. can, and will, play with our emotions.

Nothing personal; it’s just¬†how he do…well, he and Gimple and the rest of the WD gang, anyway.

I have wondered lately about how the whole Kirkman and Gimple relationship works…are they like Batman and Robin, or are they more like The Tick and Arthur? Maybe they really complement each other and are actually more like¬†The Wonder Twins,¬†with special rings and shit…I don’t know, but what I do know that they are pretty much kicking my ass right about now.

Back after mid-season finale, when Chris Hardwick asked Robert Kirkman on that night’s¬†Talking Dead about the possibility of Baby Judith still being alive, I really thought Kirkman was scoffing and laughing at us sentimental fools: “There was a lot of blood in that car seat!” ¬†I thought, “Oh, man, poor Baby Judith’s a goner for sure…” My WD¬†buddy’s friend, Neil (the originator of¬†The Crazy Carol Theory)¬†even read some interview where somebody from the show said that it was “unrealistic” for the story line to keep her alive.

Now I know that what Kirkman and Co. were really doing was bluffing… and playing with our emotions. ¬†Now I know why Chris Hardwick yells, “Kirkman!!”

Yesss, Precious, the Kirkman is tricksy, yes it is….it tricks and teases us, yessss it does, Precious….

(Despite my mock protests, I am loving every minute of Kirkman and Co. slapping us up like the baby bitches that we are.)

In¬†Season 4,¬†Episode 10,¬†“Inmates,”¬†¬†Kirkman and Co. proved once again that they are masters of their domain by throwing down five game-changing plot developments in a single episode…Baby Judith is alive, whabam!¬† ¬†Carol is back, whabam!¬† ¬†Glenn wakes up at the freaking prison,¬†and after indulging himself in a brief tearful moment in his old cell, looking at a polaroid of Maggie, he squares his shoulders, gathers supplies, suits up in riot gear to make his escape through the horde of prison walkers, and finds Tara¬†having an existential crisis moment in the fenced garden area..whabam!

And to top it all off like two crazy cherries, Lizzy is a major psycho (as we all suspected), and at the episode’s end, a catalytic and iconic character from the WD comic series, Sgt.¬†Abraham Ford,¬†enters the arena with the line (to Tara), “You got a damn mouth on you, you know that? ¬†What else you got?”

All I can think of to say is, “Thank you, Kirkman, may I have another?”

Inmates”¬† opens in a haunting sequence showing Beth and Daryl running for their lives through the woods, pursued by a large group of walkers. ¬†Beth’s voice comes over the slow-motion, dream-like sequence, reading aloud a diary entry from their early days of the prison, when Lori was still alive and expecting her baby any day…Beth addresses the diary like an old friend:

“Hey… I know it’s been awhile…I gotta be honest. I forgot about you. After the farm, we were always moving. But something happened…something good…finally. ¬†We found a prison…Daddy thinks we can make it into a home. He says we can grow crops in the field, find pigs and chickens, stop running, stop scavenging…Lori’s baby’s just about due…she’ll need a safe place when it comes…the rest of us, we just need a safe place to¬†be.”

Still running through the woods, Beth is surprised by a walker…She points her pistol and tries to shoot, but is out of bullets. Daryl is there, shooting an arrow through the walker’s head, bashing another walker’s head open with the swift upswing of his crossbow, and planting his foot into the third walker’s belly and shoving it down to the ground. This gives just enough time for him to do a quick touch-check with Beth, grab his arrow from the walker’s skull, and then they must run, run from the walkers, who seem to keep coming and coming.

Beth’s voice-over continues, “I woke up in my own bed yesterday…my own bed…in my own room. ¬†I’ve been keeping¬†my bag packed, keeping my gun close…I’ve been afraid to get my hopes up…that we can actually stay here. ¬†The thing is, I’ve been starting to get afraid that it’s easier just to be afraid. But this morning, Daddy said something…”If you don’t have hope, what’s the point of living?” So, I unpacked my bag….and I found you. So I’m going to start writing in you again.”

Finally free of the walkers, hidden in the underbrush, Beth and Daryl collapse onto the ground, exhausted and winded. ¬†They have been running since the prison’s collapse, and the shot pans in closer to them, as Beth’s voice-over continues:

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“And I’m going to write this down now, because you should write down wishes to make them come true…we can live here. ¬†We can live ¬†here for the rest of our lives…”

Early next morning, before sunrise. Beth and Daryl are sitting on opposite sides of a tiny fire. ¬†Daryl’s face is stony, and it feels like he may be shutting down inside, retreating back into his former persona of a lone tracker/hunter. Beth sits forward, looks at Daryl.

“We should do something,” she says. ¬†No response from Daryl, so Beth says it again. “We should do something.” Daryl just looks up at her, says nothing.¬†“We aren’t ¬†the only survivors…we can’t be….they could be out here…You’re a tracker, you can track…..c’mon, the sun will be up soon…if we head out now…” ¬†Beth stands above Daryl, waiting for him to answer. In response, Daryl does nothing, says nothing.

Beth has had enough. ¬†She snatches up her knife, says, “Fine. ¬†If you won’t track, I will.” She stalks off, and of course, after a moment’s hesitation, ¬†Daryl must get up and follow her.

While I was initially resistant to the possibility of Daryl and Beth getting together, seeing how they interact in these scenes made me realize that I actually like them together. Beth has a brave honesty about her, and she not afraid to speak her mind and call someone out if need be. ¬†But Beth is also young, with an artist’s sensitivity, and I think both her fire and her vulnerability would help to draw Daryl out a little.

Daryl has always had a youthful, childlike way about him, and I could see him being able to relate to Beth as a girlfriend…she is a good combination for him…she has a sweet innocence and openness about her, but she’s definitely seen some shit and has the strength and smarts to have survived this long. ¬†In that way, Beth and Daryl have a lot in common.

And, honestly, while there are many of us out there who consider Daryl Dixon our pretend boyfriend (or, one of our favorite pretend boyfriends), we can’t bogart the Daryl, people. The way I see it, the only thing worse than Daryl having a cute young girlfriend is Daryl not having anybody to love at all…he is way too hot for that. ¬†Daryl deserves love, something sweet to keep him going. ¬†At the very least, Daryl needs a hobby, and saving Beth from walkers seems to be becoming a full-time job for him. Beth is good for him, and if I’m right, I think love is blossoming already between the two. I smell lovers.

I really liked the scene when they find some signs of others, and Beth tells Daryl to have a little faith, and Daryl responds with some shitty remark, “Faith…faith ain’t done shit for us, and it sure as hell didn’t do nothin’ for your father…”

It’s too mean, and they both know it. Beth gapes at him, while he looks shamefacedly back at her. She blinks back tears, turns away from Daryl with the pretext of gathering grapes for the others, who will probably be “hungry” when they find them. Daryl gets this sweet, regretful (totally hot) look:

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Then, in a gesture that is both tender and totally manly, he pulls a clean bandanna from his back pocket, shakes it out, and holds it out to Beth, who is still turned away from him. He gently nudges her arm with the bandanna, and after a moment, Beth slowly turns and takes the bandanna from him, and begins to put the grapes she is gathering into it.

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I texted my WD buddy, I officially approve of Beth as Daryl’s girlfriend,¬†to which she replied, in emoji, a thumb’s up, followed by two hearts. ¬†It’s official:¬† We approve.

A few moments later,  Beth and Daryl work seamlessly together to kill Pop Walker, who reanimated after getting chomped by the rails. In the times of post-zombie apocalypse (PZA), killing a walker together is like PZA foreplay. Beth and Daryl go down to the railroad tracks to find more walkers, crouched and eating human remains. Daryl makes quick work of the walkers, who are intent on their grisly feast.

Owwww...my head!

Owwww…that hurts!

When Beth surveys the carnage, she a child’s shoe that resembles the shoes Mika was wearing. Beth breaks down in tears. ¬†More shots of Daryl, looking super fine in his sleeveless vest, walking along the tracks, then looking back at Beth, at a loss for how to comfort her:

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Daryl was looking so fine in this scene that I paused the dvr and went to find my husband for a quick

Daryl was looking so fine in this scene that I paused the dvr and went to find my husband for a quick “writing break…” sorry for the TMI,¬†but that man is just damn inspiring.

That night, as Beth and Daryl sit across each other at a small fire, Beth rips pages from her diary and throws them into the flames. We hear her voice-over, reading the last of her diary’s entry:

“We’re not going to die…none of us…I believe now…I believe for Daddy, if this doesn’t work, I don’t know how I can keep going…”

Unbeknownst to Daryl and Beth, the sites and areas they have been tracking were the ones traversed only hours before by Tyrese, Mika, and Lizzy…carrying an unexpected surprise survivor:

Somebody get that man an Ergo baby carrier!

Somebody get that man an Ergo baby carrier…

Baby Judith! ¬†I was alternately relieved and completely freaked out by the realization that Baby Judith was alive…it was like, “Oh, yay!” and “This sucks!” all wrapped up into one. My WD buddy¬†texted, ¬†I am so over worrying about Baby Judith,¬†and then she was gone, for like 10 minutes. I was a little worried at first, but I know how we are about this show…she needed to go process for a little bit. ¬†Been there, done that.

She texted me, once she recovered, ¬†It was so much better for me thinking she was dead. ¬†¬†I get it, I really do. ¬†My WD buddy and I are both moms, and worrying about Baby Judith’s survival brings it all a little too close to home.

I basically decided in that moment that it was time to start drinking in earnest, so I poured myself another glass of pinot noir…I am glad I did, because it was right at the scene where it’s night, and Baby Judith is crying (and teething up a storm, it looks like), and Tyrese is trying to calm the baby…Mika is fearful that the crying will alert walkers, and Lizzy looks down at the log she is sitting on and discovers:

Bunnies!

Bunnies!

And in a silent and horrifying sequence, Lizzy pulls out her knife and goes to town on the bunnies, while the camera holds the shot on her face as she makes quick work of them with her knife:

What the hell, Lizzy?

What the hell, Lizzy??

Well, it seems pretty apparent to me at this point that it was probably Lizzy who was creating the fucked-up rabbit dissection art and feeding rats to the walkers, back at the prison. A couple of my Walking Dead-Obsessed friends have been pretty certain that it was Lizzy who killed Karen and David. ¬†They think that Carol discovered what she did, dragged out and burned the bodies, and tried to cover up for Lizzy, getting banished by Rick in the process…fascinating, right? That would morph The Crazy Carol Theory into a whole new theory, The¬†Crazy Lizzy Formulation. ¬†We all know that Lizzy is crazy…the question is, just how crazy is she?

Pretty freaking crazy, it turns out, as she and Mika are left by Tyrese to stand back-to-back in the woods, Lizzy holding Judith and Mika holding a gun, to defend themselves against potential walkers while Tyrese goes to help whomever is screaming, someone presumably under walker attack.

Poor Judith begins to cry, and Mika pleads with Lizzy to please try to keep the baby quiet. ¬†Lizzy puts her hand over Judith’s nose and mouth, and she starts to get that intent, crazy look as she continues to press down, beginning to suffocate poor Baby Judith. ¬†Meanwhile, a couple of walkers approach Mika and Lizzy, snarling and hissing. Mika’s eyes grow wide with terror and she points the gun up towards the walkers, shaking…

While watching this scene the first time, I actually typed the line, “Oh fuck, Lizzy, don’t kill the baby!”¬† I would like to take this moment ¬†to nominate Brighton Sharbiro, the beautiful young actress who plays Lizzy, for a “Deadie” for a great performance in this episode, and, in general, for taking on such an intense and complex role as Lizzy.

Down by the railroad tracks, battling walkers, Tyrese hears the gun shot, and when he turns, he is surprised by yet another unexpected survivor:

Carol!

Carol!

I have to tell you, I don’t know if I have ever been so glad to see someone as I was to see Carol in that moment, holding Baby Judith (who looked super-relieved to be away from Lizzy, I might add). ¬†Carol looked a bit nervous when Tyrese rushed up to give her a big hug, but recovered herself quickly enough to lie about her whereabouts when the shit went down between the Gov and the prison peeps.

After the lies and the pleasantries are exchanged, Carol and Tyrese approach the poor bitten father, who is crying over the body of his son, who was bitten and killed by the walkers.

This scene definitely messed me up a bit, as the walkers definitely are scoring some mad kills and general scariness points so far in these mid-season episodes. ¬†The poor young son fought valiantly, but those damn walkers and their singular, undead purpose (to chomp the living) just keep coming and coming…the poor dad tells them to follow the tracks, that there is a safe place there to take the children…they leave him crying over the dead body of his son…he will soon die himself, and reanimate in a few hours as Pop Walker,¬†and get rekilled by Beth and Daryl.

Carol, Tyrese, Judith, and the girls take Pop Walker’s advice and walk along the tracks for a bit, Lizzy and Mika walking ahead, holding hands. Lizzy spots a sign, and they read:

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Lizzy looks at Tyrese and Carol, who give a smile back, but seem hesitant to believe what seems too good to be true.

Meanwhile, Bob is loving being alive, chilling with two fine babes, Sasha and Maggie, getting his shoulder wound cleaned and bandaged up by Sasha while Maggie morosely carves into a large rock and looks at the engagement/wedding rings on her ring finger. Bob allows himself a smile, which Sasha sees. “It’s ok, smile if you want to…I get it, you’re alive…” ¬†It’s actually nice to see Bob lighten up for a change.

Maggie is not giving a fuck about anything right now…she wants to go find Glenn. She tries a, “Nice spot, see ya, going to find Glenn now, and we’ll come back for you.” Sasha and Bob try to talk her out of it, but she will not be swerved from this plan. ¬†She is going to find the bus, and Glenn. ¬†Sasha tries to tell her, “We can’t split up!” as Maggie walks away. ¬†Bob gets up and begins to follow Maggie, and at Sasha’s “WTF?” look, he shrugs and cheerfully echos, “We can’t split up!”

Bob and Sasha have a little back and forth as they walk behind Maggie, and Bob says that he is done with just surviving…he seems to want to embrace truly living for a change. Maggie spots the bus, which has run off the road, and of course, is full of walkers. ¬†(Ha, it’s a busfullawalkers! Drink one if you got one!)

After stopping Maggie from charging right into the back of the bus to see if Glenn is on it, Bob and Sasha help her come up with a system to let the walkers out, one at a time…easier to manage, and less cleanup that way!

Maggie squares off with each walker as they emerge from the bus, one by one, looking majorly beautiful and badass in that fierce Lauren Cohan way she has…

My buddy says Lauren Cohan comes into his coffee shop in Atlanta, and that  she is just as beautiful in real life...even on the run from zombies and grief-stricken, Maggie is gorgeous.

My buddy says Lauren Cohan comes into his coffee shop in Atlanta, and that she is just as beautiful in real life…even on the run from zombies and grief-stricken, Maggie is gorgeous.

One by one, the walkers come out, and one by one, Maggie takes them down:

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The press of the walkers becomes too much, and Sasha and Bob cannot hold them…the walkers come flying out in a rush, and Maggie goes in some inner slo-mo moment as one walker comes lurching towards her. ¬†Bob takes it out with a single shot to the head, jolting Maggie out of her reverie. ¬†She then seems to take all her pent-up emotions out on the walkers, bashing one walker’s head into the bus again and again…

I called this walker Bitch Slap Walker at first, but Talking Dead's name for her, Headbanger Walker, is so much better!

I called this walker Bitch Slap Walker at first, but Talking Dead’s name for her, Headbanger Walker, is so much better!

Maggie still has to know if Glenn is in the bus…so she goes in. The bus seats are covered in blood and gore, and flies are buzzing. ¬†I always try to imagine how it must smell…must be godawful. ¬†There is one male walker at the far front of the bus, hard to see, but with dark hair…Maggie fears it may be Glenn, and upon discovering it isn’t, slumps into a seat and dissolves into a mixture of helpless tears and relieved laughter. Poor Maggie!

And poor Glenn, who wakes¬†to find himself¬†at the prison!¬†My¬†WD¬†buddy texted me,¬†Wasn’t expecting that!

Me neither.

Damn!

Damn!

Glenn gets himself to his old cell/room, and takes a moment to process this…the interior of the prison actually looks pretty solid, making me wonder if it really was such a lost cause after all…it seems a lot better than the prison gang fending for themselves out in the wild. ¬†But, I guess the walls are probably breached somewhere, and the fences are surely shot to shit, so I guess it is time to move on.

Glenn seems to decide this as well…after taking a moment to process it all, he seems to invoke his inner badass, collecting supplies from around the prison (including the makings for a molotov cocktail, thanks to Bob’s bottle of liquor and a working lighter).

I love when Glenn invokes his inner badass…remember the interrogation room battle with the walker, then the battle with Merle, then the escape for himself and Maggie he orchestrated? I am a big fan of Glenn when he goes off.

I also love this part, when Glenn suits up in the riot gear and emerges to fight his way through the walkers and escape the prison:

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Riot Glenn!

Enter Riot Glenn!

After charging the first line of walkers, Glenn finds Tara getting meta in the garden. She is hating herself, mourning the loss of her sister, niece, and girlfriend…she cannot forgive herself for believing the Governor’s lies and blindly following in what turned out to be a suicide mission. ¬†Glenn isn’t having it, tells her he needs her help. ¬†He fashions a molotov cocktail with Bob’s bottle of liquor and buys them a clear line out of the prison.

Once they reach the road (a sign, riddled with bullet holes, warns motorists that hitchikers may be escaped inmates from the prison), Tara wonders how Glenn can trust her, and he basically tells her that he needs her to find his “wife,” Maggie. ¬†They are rushed by walkers, and Glenn manages to kill one but is struggling to fight off the others in his weakened state. ¬†Tara rushes forward and stabs one walker, then bashes another’s head open with repeated blows with the butt end of Glenn’s assault rifle. ¬†In the midst of this carnage, a super-style military Hummer-type truck pulls up…Tara looks up in alarm, and tries to cover her fear with mock bravado: “Hope you enjoyed the show, assholes!”

Leading with his massive chest, assault rifle in hand, Sgt. Abraham Ford steps around to the front of his massive vehicle, flanked by a man and a woman:

Enter Abraham and Co.!

Enter Abraham and Co.!

“You got a damn mouth on you, you know that?” he asks Tara. And then, with a smile at his own private joke, he asks, “What else you got?”

Aw, shit…it’s Abraham!¬†

Until next week, gang….

Playlist: 

West Indian Girl,¬†“What Are You Afraid Of?”

Of Monsters and Men,¬†“Dirty Paws”

Coldplay,¬†“Clocks”