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

“Try”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, inside the walls of the sustainable community…

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

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

deanna pushes play

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

spencer winces reg listens

deanna listens

And, in the kitchen of another palatial Alexandria home…

An oven preheats...

…an oven preheats…

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

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

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

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

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

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

tuna casserole 4 tuna casserole 5

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

Carol pauses above the blank notecard...

Carol’s pen is poised above the blank notecard…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sasha grabs for gun 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

...but immediately breaks down again.

Sasha dissolves into tears.

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

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

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

...and lurches towards the gates of Alexandria.

…lurching towards the gates of Alexandria.

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

Tears in his eyes, Reg quietly says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking down, Deanna sees Carol’s condolence casserole.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Someone is,” Daryl says quietly.

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

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

daryl says someone is

Cue the Bear McCreary opening title sequence...

Cue the Bear McCreary opening title sequence…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn's voice is hoarse, soft.

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

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

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

Nicholas looks off again, shaking his head.

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

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

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

glenn's account 4

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

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

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

Glenn looks sorrowfully at his listener.

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

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

“Noah…I had him. I had his hand…”

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

glenn's account 7

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

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

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

Nicholas looks right at the camera.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We hear Deanna's recorded reply to this:

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

Meanwhile, Glenn confesses to Rick,

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

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

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

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

Glenn isn't giving up on Alexandria so easily.

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

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

Glenn, however, is not seeing the appeal…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rick pauses a moment, weighing his options...

Rick pauses a moment, weighing his options…

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

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

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

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

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

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

McBeaty kind of gapes at Rick, asks,

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

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

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

Ladies and gentlemen, Rick. Fucking. Grimes!

Rick. Fucking. Grimes! <3<3<3<3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…and Noah’s t-shirt on top.

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

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

noah's shirt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rosita tells Michonne,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Badass warrior women. <3

Badass warrior women who can bring it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michonne whirls and faces Rosita at this.

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

Michonne continues,

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

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

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

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

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

Rosita points out,

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

Meanwhile, back in Alexandria…

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

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

Rick approaches her.

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

“I’m not,” Deanna replies.

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

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

Deanna looks down regretfully, says,

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

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

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

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

Rick Smash! is all like,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rick looks at Deanna.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To this, Rick replies,

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

Rick Smash! continues, asking,

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

Struggling to keep her composure, Deanna yells,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

walker dead back of the head

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

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

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

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

“She’s hunting them,” Michonne says.

Meanwhile, in another part of the woods…

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

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

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

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

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

Enid emerges from behind a tree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enid and Carl watch the walker a moment...

Enid and Carl watch the walker a moment…

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

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

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

As the walker approaches the ringing timer on the ground…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nicholas emerges from the van, faces Glenn.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn menaces closer to Nicholas.

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

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

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

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

Ooooo, burn, Nicholas!

Ooooo, burn, Nicholas!

Meanwhile, back at the frolicsome forest…

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

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

Looking out into the woods, Enid says,

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

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

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

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

“I do, too,” Enid says, quietly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

carl and enid in the tree 2

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

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

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

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

There are a good number of them.

There are a good number of them.

Carl and Enid turn to face one another...

Carl and Enid turn to face one another…

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

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

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

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

She leans forward, whispers...

She leans forward, whispers…

“Cool…you’re afraid of me, too.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Another group of walkers shuffles through the forest...

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

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

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

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

…our favorite crazy lady with a gun…

Sasha!

Sasha!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

sasha tells ladies she's sick of playing defense2

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

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

Sasha nods.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

michonne flashback 4 w walker pets michonne flashback michonne flashback 2

michonne flashback 2.5

michonne flashback 3

michonne remembering

michonne and her walker pets 2

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

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

michonne nails walker

Rosita joins the #walkerkillinparty

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

rosita got her killinface on

#Rosita got her #killinface on…

michonne killinface

#Michonne #killinface

sasha killinface

#Sasha #killinface

michonne killinface 2

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

Rosita! Rosita! Rosita!

Rosita! Rosita! Rosita!

Rosita goes it #hand2hand style...

Rosita goes it #hand2hand style…

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

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

Awwww, #thatsgottahurt !

Awwww, #thatsgottahurt

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

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

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

Enter White Walker, stage left...

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

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

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

...Sasha's outta bullets.

…  D’oh!  Sasha’s outta bullets…

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

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

michonne has sasha's back 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

sasha says I had it

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

archer

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

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

Sasha glares at Michonne.

Sasha glares at Michonne.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sasha looks miserably at Michonne.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Daryl takes it all in, says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aaron and Daryl take in this awful sight.

Aaron and Daryl take in this awful sight.

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

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

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

Aaron turns to Daryl.

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

“Yeah,” Daryl says, softly.

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

There is a fresh

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Back in Alexandria…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rick watches Jessie, says hoarsely,

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

“He’s hurting you…” Rick continues.

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

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

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

Jessie tells Rick,

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

Rick shakes his head at this.

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

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

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

Jessie looks at Rick, asks,

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

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

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

Jessie searches Rick's face, presses,

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

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

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

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

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

Now, back to our story…

Jessie narrows her eyes at Rick.

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

Jessie looks at Rick, exasperated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you don’t fight, you die.”

Rick's face is soft as he concludes,

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

Jessie hears that sweet message loud and clear.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stone. Cold. Busted.

Stone. Cold. Busted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is Jessie who speaks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McBeaty squares off with Rick, face to face.

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

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

Rick Smash! grinds out,

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

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

mcbeaty beatdown begins

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

mcbeaty beatdown 2

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

mcbeaty beatdown 3

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

jessie screams stop

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

mcbeaty beatdown 4 mcbeaty beatdown 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mcbeaty beatdown 8 double chokehold

The men have each other in a double chokehold.

Reg screams for Deanna, who comes running.

Reg screams for Deanna, who comes running.

At first, Rick is above McBeaty...

At first, Rick is above McBeaty…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...and Rick ends up back on top.

…and Rick ends up back on top.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rick asks, sounding super crazy,

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

Deanna tries to reason with Rick,

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

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

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

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

walkers at the wall sasha targetswall walker crosshairs

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

sasha targets 2

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

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

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

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

w walker expodes

Rick looks at Deanna, says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jessie, however, is all like,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bloody Rick looks up at these words...

Bloody Rick looks up at these words…

Me? Me?”

Bloody Rick laughs at this.

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

Bloody Rick gets serious, tells Deanna,

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

“…it’s already gotten people killed…”

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

“If you don’t fight, you die.”

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

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

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

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

Stop. Fucking. Talking.

Stop. Fucking. Talking.

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

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

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

Sweet dreams, Bloody Rick. 

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

The Jam, “Town Called Malice”

The English Beat, “I Confess”

Love and Rockets, “No New Tale To Tell”

Go Go’s, “This Town”

Duran Duran, “Hungry Like The Wolf”

The Smiths, “Bigmouth Strikes Again”

Siouxsie and the Banchees, “Arabian Knights”

Sex Pistols, “Problems”

Van Halen, “Everybody Wants Some”

Scorpions, “No One Like You”

Romeo Void, “Never Say Never”

Pretenders, “Bad Boys Get Spanked”

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

Big Audio Dynamite, “The Bottom Line”

The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 14, “Spend”

“Spend”

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

As The Walking Dead’s Episode 514, “Spend,” opens, we see shots of another day dawning in Alexandria…the sun rises over the stately homes. The birds are singing.  All is quiet and peaceful within the steel walls of the enclosed community, hearkening to days gone bye.

We see Father Gabriel step into a garage that has been converted into a church.

We see Father Gabriel step into the opening of a garage that has been converted into a little chapel. He stands there, hesitating, before entering with an air of one who is resigned, and who is going through the motions.

Gabriel makes his way up to the front of the room, which has been decorated with care. Sunlight streams through the windows, and a pane of stained glass has been hung behind the altar to catch the light. Chairs are arranged in rows, and a brightly colored throw rug has been carefully placed before the makeshift altar. A bible is opened on the altar, surrounded by candles.

Gabrielsteps up to his place at the altar, and begins to leaf through the pages of the bible which is placed, open and waiting, for Alexandria's new priest.

Gabriel steps up to his place at the altar, and carefully places a wrinkled piece of tracing type paper in the pages, which are open, and ready, for Alexandria’s new spiritual leader’s use.  It is easy to imagine that the citizens of Alexandria are excited to resume worship, and eager for some spiritual comfort and guidance from their new priest, in these times.

Gabriel looks over and spies...

Gabriel then looks over and spies…

...a bowl of fresh strawberries, and a sweet note welcoming the new priest.

…a bowl of fresh strawberries, and a sweet note welcoming the new priest.

This sweet offering to Gabriel from a member of his new congregation seems to be bringing up some painful memories and self-loathing for Gabriel.  Seth Gilliam once again delivers a powerful performance as the tortured priest who cannot forgive himself for the sins of his past.

This offering to Gabriel from a member of his new congregation seems to be bringing up some painful memories, and self-loathing, for Gabriel. Seth Gilliam once again delivers a powerful performance as the tortured priest who cannot forgive himself for the sins of his past…when he kept his church doors locked and refused his parishioners the safety inside the church walls, leaving them outside to be torn apart by walkers.

Gabriel turns back to the altar, and the bible before him.  The top page has a tiny tear at the top of it, and Gabriel slowly tears the page out of the bible, and tosses it aside.

Gabriel turns back to the altar, and the bible before him. The top page has a tiny tear at the top of it, and Gabriel slowly tears the page out of the bible, and tosses it aside.

Gabriel continues tearing pages out of the bible.

Gabriel continues ripping page after page out of the bible.

gabriel losing it

Faster and faster, Gabriel rips out the bible's pages...

Faster and faster, Gabriel tears out the bible’s pages…

...until he has torn away all the pages, leaving the spine and back cover of the bible.

…until he has torn away half the bible, leaving the spine, back cover bare. He slams the bible shut.

After he destroys the bible, Gabriel looks over, once again, at the note and strawberries. His face shows the torment inside.

After he destroys the bible, Gabriel looks over, once again, at the note and strawberries. His jaw clenches, and his face shows the torment inside as he looks at the sweet offering.

Gabriel then lifts his gaze towards the heavens with the manner of one who does not feel worthy of divine forgiveness, or salvation, for his mistakes and misdeeds.

Gabriel then lifts his gaze towards the heavens with the manner of one who does not feel worthy of divine forgiveness, or salvation, for the sins of his past.

Meanwhile, as the gates of Alexandria roll open…

Yes...

Yes…

...yes...

…yes… 

...YES!

YES!

Daryl and Aaron head out on their first recruiting run together as Alexandria's Dynamic Duo.

Daryl and Aaron head out on their first recruiting run together as Alexandria’s Dynamic Duo.

Across town, in a gazebo, Reg apologizes to a waiting Noah for being late…the power’s out again.

Reg jokes to Noah,

Reg jokes to Noah, “How is it that you’re the one who called this extremely early morning meeting, yet I’m the one bringing breakfast?”

As Noah takes the cup of steel cut oatmeal that Reg offers, he jokes back,

As Noah takes the cup of steel cut oatmeal that Reg offers, he jokes back, “Because you’re a good guy?”

After the banter back and forth, Noah asks Reg if they can start meeting in the mornings, so Reg can teach him “how to build things.” Reg asks him if he wants to be an architect, and Noah replies, “I wanna make sure those walls stay up.”

Reg, surprised, asks Noah if he thinks the walls could fall. Noah looks around, replies:

“I think they could get knocked in.” Surely, Noah is thinking of his family, and what happened to the Shirewilt Estates.

Noah softens this train of thought at Reg’s alarmed reaction, saying it could happen years from now, and then tells Reg, “It wouldn’t hurt if I knew some of what you knew.”

As Reg regards him, Noah continues,

As Reg regards him, Noah continues, “The walls, the houses, some new buildings…”

Reg stares at the young man before him.

Reg stares at the young man before him. “So, you’re in it for the long haul?”

Noah looks down, shyly, says that he is. Reg pulls out a black journal notebook, opens it, and begins writing in it.

reg notebook 1

Noah asks Reg what he’s writing, and Reg replies that he writes everything down, everything of note, that is.  When Reg looks up, he sees the young man watching him, so he takes his notes out of the notebook and hands it to Noah.

“Now you should,” Reg says, handing the notebook to Noah. “There’s going to be a lot to remember.”

Reg continues, “This is the beginning of this place.” He motions with his head towards the notebook, prompting Noah, “You should record all that…along with everything I’m going to teach you about building things.” At Noah’s look of surprise, Reg smiles, begins to dig into his oatmeal. Noah smiles, shyly looks down and begins writing in his new notebook.

Meanwhile, Abraham stands at the bathroom mirror...

Meanwhile, Abraham stands at the bathroom mirror…

...while his lovely lady sleeps in.

…while his lovely lady sleeps in.

Abraham's face is grim as he peers at his reflection in the mirror.

Abraham’s face is grim as he peers at his reflection in the mirror.

Later, as they prepare to go out on a run for a new micro-inverter for the solar grid, Noah holds out a gun for Eugene to take.  Eugene tries to decline the offer.

Later, as the Run Crew prepares to go out on a goods run for a new micro-inverter for the solar grid, Noah holds out a gun for Eugene to take. Eugene tries to decline the offer. “Oh, no thank you.”

Nicholas, walking by, laughingly says, “Just take it.” “C’mon,” says Noah, “you gotta protect yourself.”

“Not if I don’t go,” replies Eugene. The one thing Eugene is not afraid of, it seems, is owning up to his cowardice.

Aiden walks up, informs Eugene that he’s not driving all that way to come back with the wrong shit…Eugene tries to tell them that there are at least a dozen different options of this “shit”, clearly-marked and available through a variety of manufacturers, and “the shit will be right,” and he, of course, will be available to “install said shit” once they return, and the solar grid will once again be operational…

In reply, Noah presses the gun to Eugene's chest. No backing out, dude. You're the only one who knows what to look for...you're going.

In reply, Noah presses the gun to Eugene’s chest. His unspoken message is clear. No backing out, dude. You’re the only one who knows what the hell we’re looking for…you’re going.

Eugene reluctantly takes the gun, looks down at it with dismay.

Eugene reluctantly takes the gun, looks down at it with dismay.

As they load up the van, Tara says to Noah, “Heard you talking to Holly last night…what’s her story?” Noah plays dumb. “Why do you ask?”

They are so young and cute and full of life...am drowning my serious sorrow right now with Modelos.

They are so young and cute and full of life…am drowning some serious sorrow right now with Modelos as I rewatch this scene. Damn you back to the hell that spawned you, zombie apocalypse!

As Noah turns away, smiling, Tara calls after him,

As Noah turns away, smiling, Tara calls after him, “What? It was an innocent question…don’t make me hurt you!”

Aiden, meahwhile, says goodbye to his parents.  He assures them that everything's set, and the mission is a straightforward one. They'll be fine.

Aiden, meanwhile, says goodbye to his parents. He assures them that everything’s set, and the mission is a straightforward one. Aiden assures his parents, “We’ll be fine.”

His father, Reg, protests lightly that he's a worrier...that's how that wall over there got built.

His father, Reg, protests lightly that he’s a worrier…that’s how that wall over there got built.

Aiden kisses his mom and bids his father farewell.

Aiden kisses his mom and bids his father farewell.

Now, it's time for Glenn and Maggie to say their goodbyes.  Maggie assures Glenn that he's got this...he always does. Although her words inspire confidence, her face shows her worry. Every  run has its risk.

Now, it’s time for Glenn and Maggie to say their goodbyes. Maggie assures Glenn that he’s got this…he always does. Although her words inspire confidence, her face shows her worry. Every run is a risk.

Glenn and Maggie kiss goodbye.

Glenn and Maggie kiss goodbye.

As Glenn and the gang turn to go, Deanna makes a point of thanking Glenn again.

As Glenn and the gang turn to go, Deanna makes a point of thanking Glenn once again.

As they load into the van, Tara tries to ask Noah about Holly once again when the loud techno beats of Dubstep flood the van.

As they load into the van, Tara tries to ask Noah about Holly once again when the loud techno beats of Dubstep flood the van.

“Oh, great, another mix,” mock enthuses Noah.

As Noah and Tara make funny faces at each other in silent commentary about the ridiculous music, the song's lyrics announce,

As Noah and Tara make funny shrugs and faces at each other in silent commentary about the ridiculous music, the song’s lyrics announce, “Now, you’re going to die.”

As Glenn, Tara, and Noah prepare to suffer the long drive with bad 90's techno blasting in their ears, Glenn tries to look on the bright side...

As Glenn, Tara, and Noah prepare to suffer the long drive with bad 90’s techno blasting in their ears, Glenn tries to look on the bright side, “At least it lures them (the walkers) away.” From the community and the fences, he means, but his words unknowingly foretell events that will to come later in the episode.

As the van drives away, Gabriel emerges, looks at Reg and Deanna significantly. Reg raises his hand in greeting. Gabriel seems to be thinking, already, coming to some conclusions, decisions about his course of action.

As the van drives away, Gabriel emerges, looks at Reg and Deanna significantly. Reg raises his hand in greeting. Gabriel seems to be thinking, already, coming to some conclusions, decisions about his future course of action. As I have said before, Seth Gilliam is killing it in this episode…at this point, he has not spoken yet in Episode 514, but has already communicated so much with just his eyes and facial expressions. After a moment, Gabriel turns away and goes back into his garage chapel (perhaps to try and tape the pages of the bible back together…can’t exactly ask for another copy, can he?)

 Meanwhile, in another garage across town…

Rick stops by and sees Jessie in her garage, picking up pieces of owl sculpture...it seems someone finished the owl demolition job that Rick accidentally started when he crashed into the sculpture during his wack attack a couple of episodes back...

Rick stops by and sees Jessie in her garage, picking up pieces of the wrecked owl sculpture…it seems someone finished the owl demolition job that Rick accidentally started when he crashed into the sculpture during his wack attack a couple of episodes back, in “Remember.”

Jessie says stuff like this never happens around here...

Jessie says stuff like this never happens around here…

Constable Grimes has a caper to solve...the case of the Villianous Owl Vandal.

Constable Grimes has a caper to solve…the case of the Villianous Owl Vandal. (“Did the owl have any enemies that you know of?”)

Rick and Jessie share a joke and a laugh about the situation...any opportunity to flirt and smile at each other, they'll take it!

Rick and Jessie share a joke and a laugh about the situation…any opportunity to flirt and smile at each other, they’ll take it!

Rick tells Jessie about the Broken Window Theory...keep the windows intact, keep the society intact.  Besides, he adds with a smile, he's gotta do something today...

Rick tells Jessie about the Broken Window Theory…keep the windows intact, keep the society intact. Besides, he adds with a smile, he’s gotta do something today…

Rick gives Jessie one more hot look before walking away. I must cop to being a total jealous B about Jessie at first...my WD buddy and I agree that we really like her, and it's super cute how Rick acts with her. Alexandra Breckenridge, who plays Jessie, imparts a realness and sweetness to her character that makes her really endearing and easy to relate to.

Rick gives Jessie one more hot look before walking away. I must cop to being a total jealous B about Jessie at first…my WD buddy and I agree that we really like her, and it’s super cute how Rick acts with her. Alexandra Breckenridge, who plays Jessie, imparts a realness and sweetness to her character that makes Jessie really endearing and easy to relate to, like in this shot, as she processes her smoking hot crush on Rick Grimes.

Meanwhile, the young crew in the van has made it to the warehouse, where they hope to find a new micro-inverter for the solar grid.  A micro inverter converts direct current (DC) generated by solar modules to alternating current (AC), which is then fed back into the electrical grid.

Meanwhile, the young crew in the van has made it to the warehouse, where they hope to find a new micro-inverter for the solar grid. A micro inverter converts direct current (DC) generated by solar modules to alternating current (AC), which is then fed back into the electrical grid.

After taking a quick survey of the outside of the building, Aiden remarks that the one door visible to them “is the fastest way in and out.”

Glenn points out that they should know all the exits before going in,

Glenn points out that they should know all the exits before going in, “so there’s a plan if things go south.” He’s right, of course.

But Nicholas, being, well, Nicholas, chimes in with,

But Nicholas, being, well, Nicholas, chimes in with, “I already got one…it’s called ‘going out the front.’” Even Aiden is looking at Nicholas like, “Dude, you’re kind of being a huge douche right now.”

Tara alerts Noah to an approaching walker, and Noah aims his gun, drops it with one shot. Aiden commends Noah on his aim, then turns to Nicholas and voices his agreement with Glenn’s plan, to do a perimeter check of all the exits before entering the building.

I definitely was railing on Aiden before, but I have seen how he seems to be able to roll with the reality and accept, on some level, that Glenn and his people do have the goods to back up what they are talking about. Glenn nods at Aiden’s plan.

Nicholas, however, shoots Aiden a sour look before shrugging on his backpack and glumly going about the business of splitting up into pairs and checking the exits.

Eugene and Tara pair up, and after Tara rekills a walker by plunging her knife into its skull, Eugene feels the need to “go on the record” as saying:

“Just so you know, I’m on record as stating that I should not be here. You will know that I am not combat ready or even for that matter, combat inclined.”

Tara replies, wisely, “You never are ’til you are.” She then tells Eugenge, “You gotta start pulling your weight…you know, I did.” 

In response, Eugene stops, looks at Tara. She stops, looks at him. “What?” she asks.

Eugene makes his case.

Eugene makes his case. “All things being equal, I do believe my weight’s been pulled. I got you all to D.C., which is, in this man’s opinion, is damn near close to nirvana, judging by current standards.”

I do feel he has somewhat of a point, here…they certainly would not have lucked out with being recruited for Alexandria if Eugene hadn’t brought D.C. into the collective consciousness, even if it was based on a total lie…

Tara, however, is like, um, no.

Tara, however, is like, um, no. “Except you didn’t get us here…we got you here.” Ouch, Eugene, truth hurts!

Eugene continues to plead his case. “If it were not for me and my mention of this city’s potential for home and hearth, not a one of you would have had the vision to come here, let along the cojones to travail such a fraught and punishing pilgrimage.” 

“That, sister, is a fact,” concludes Eugene. “That’s as cold and hard as they come.”

Tara shakes her head at this. “God, you’re really that much of a coward,” she marvels. Eugene once again slows his step, looks at Tara.

“Yes, I am,” Eugene states, baldly. “I told you I was.”

Tara has no response to this, merely shakes her head and walks away. After a moment, and a nervous look around, Eugene takes off after her.

Meahwhile, Glenn and Noah are paired up, walking together. Glenn commends Noah’s aim back there, with the walker.

Noah replies that target practice has helped...

Noah replies that target practice has helped…

...and then laughingly admits that last week, he was pretty close to doing some

…and then laughingly admits that last week, he was pretty close to doing some “target practice on Aiden.” Glenn joins the laughter at this statement.

Glenn and Noah reach the front left corner of the building, and what they see beyond the tall chain link fence enclosing the property makes them stop in in their tracks.

Glenn mutters,

In front of the building, there is a large group of walkers, milling about. Glenn mutters, “Well, we’re not getting out the front.”

The gang enters the warehouse cautiously, led by Glenn, who bangs his hand on the door to draw any walkers inside the buiding to them. But all is quiet.

The gang enters the warehouse cautiously, led by Glenn, who bangs his hand on the door to draw any walkers inside the buiding to them. But all is quiet.

Glenn motions for them to wait a moment more, then Aiden speaks up, suggesting they get a move on...they go in, be careful, get it done. Glenn agrees, pulls out his gun.

Glenn motions for them to wait a moment more, then Aiden speaks up, suggesting they get a move on…they go in, be careful, get it done. Glenn agrees, pulls out his gun before entering the building.

Holding guns steady, shining flashlights into the darkness, the gang slowly and carefully begins to make their way into the warehouse, where they split up (Tara and Eugene in one aisle, Glenn, Noah, Aiden and Nicholas in another), moving cautiously through the aisles, looking for boxes marked with the name, brand, serial number of the micro-inverter they came for.

Glenn hears the faint sound of walkers, somewhere in the building. He motions to  the rest to be quiet, listens.

Glenn hears the sounds of walkers, somewhere in the building. He shushes, motions to the rest to be quiet, listens. “They’re stuck behind something,” he says. “How do you know?” Aiden asks. “I don’t…but they aren’t here.”

Glenn moves the gang forward, and as they turn a corner, they see:

A sizeable group of walkers, locked behind chainlink gated doors. The walkers begin to get loud and agitated as they see, and smell, the living.

A sizeable group of walkers, locked behind chainlink gated doors. The walkers begin to get loud and agitated as they see, and smell, the living.

There are a lot of walkers.

There are a lot of walkers.

It is probably one of the few opportunities someone like Aiden has had to really observe the walkers, close up...he looks really freaked.

It is probably one of the few opportunities someone like Aiden has had to really observe the walkers, close up…Aiden looks really freaked…

...especially when his eyes lock with the vacant, hungry stare of one of the walkers.

…especially when his eyes lock with the vacant, hungry stare of one of the walkers.

Aiden, rattled, says to Glenn, “You know your stuff.” Tara tells him that they were out there a long time.

Tara then turns and shines her flashlight on Eugene, who gapes in fear and horror at the trapped walkers...

Tara then turns and shines her flashlight on Eugene, who gapes in fear and horror at the trapped walkers…

...and tells him,

…and tells him, “You’re up.”

A little ways down one of the aisles, Eugene and Tara find the box marked with the information for the micro-inverter they are looking for.

eugene finds the microinverter

It is indeed the type of micro-inverter they are looking for. As Tara digs them out of the packing, Glenn gives props,

It is indeed the type of micro-inverter they are looking for. As Tara digs them out of the packing, Glenn gives props to Eugene, “All right, Eugene!”

While the gang, and their mission, seem like they are in the clear, the happy moment is short-lived, for behind Aiden, who is stealthing along another aisle, weapon held high, comes an unwelcome visitor…

Swat Walker!

S.W.A.T. Walker!

It takes Aiden a bit to hear the walker, whose riot gear face shield may have muffled the walker’s hissing and slavering. Aiden finally whirls around and sees the walker coming towards him.

The walker is encased in military-issue full-protective gear, including helmet and face shield.

The walker is encased in military-issue full-protective gear, including helmet and face shield.

Aiden faces the Swat Walker, and begins firing upon it, but the walker's protective gear makes it hard to get the head shot...

Aiden faces the S.W.A.T. Walker, and begins firing upon it, but the walker’s protective gear makes it hard to get the head shot…

...and the Swat Walker keeps coming.

…and the S.W.A.T. Walker keeps coming.

Hearing shots, Glenn shines his flashlight over the shelving and sees the armored walker approaching Aiden. Glenn advises Aiden to let the armored walker get closer before trying to rekill it.

Hearing shots, Glenn shines his flashlight over the shelving and sees the armored walker approaching Aiden. Glenn advises Aiden to let the armored walker get closer before trying to rekill it.

glenn sees SWAT walker

Aiden says he's got it, busts a cap into the walker's knee, dropping it.

Aiden says he’s got it, busts a cap into the walker’s knee, dropping it.

But, instead of going forward and rekilling the walker by hand at this point, Aiden keeps on firing bullets into the walker.  Glenn, who has come forward, peers more closely at the downed walker, who is writhing and hissing on the floor, and sees…

The S.W.A.T. walker's armor has a grenade clipped to its shoulder, and Aiden continues to shoot at the walker.

SWAT walker's grenade

The S.W.A.T. Walker’s armor has a grenade clipped to its shoulder, and Aiden continues to shoot at the walker.

Glenn cries out to Aiden not to shoot, to stop shooting, but Aiden either does not hear, or heed, these warnings, takes a few more shots at the walker…

Aiden fires the fatal shot...

Aiden fires the fatal shot…

…and we hear Glenn’s cries, warnings, before the blinding explosion of Aiden’s bullet connecting with the S.W.A.T. Walker’s grenade rocks the warehouse.

After a much-needed commercial/bathroom/beverage re-up break, we are taken back to the warehouse, as the smoke and dust begins to clear from the blast. We hear the sounds of the walkers, louder now, and we see figures lurching forward in the haze. Glenn shines his flashlight, calling for, “Noah, Tara, Eugene..!”

As Glenn calls for the others, we see the shadowy figures of the walkers in the background, coming closer.

As Glenn calls for the others, we see the shadowy figures of the walkers in the background, coming closer.

Noah emerges, dazed...Glenn tells him the cage is open. Noah turns and sees the walkers, freely moving about.

Noah emerges, dazed…Glenn tells him the cage is open. Noah turns and sees the walkers, freely moving about.

Glenn and Noah hear Eugene’s voice, and they rush over and peer over the shelving, to the next aisle…Eugene is there, looking frightened, pale, sweaty…they shine their flashlights down and see Tara, lying unconscious on the floor,with a pool of blood at her head.

Glenn asks if she is breathing...Eugene replies that he doesn't know, he can't tell from where he is...then Eugene starts saying, over and over, with growing alarm,

Glenn asks if she is breathing…Eugene replies that he doesn’t know, he can’t tell from where he is…then Eugene starts saying, over and over, with growing alarm, “Walker…”

“…walker!”

From the next aisle, unable to get to Eugene right away, Glenn coaches him, “Eugene, it’s yours, take it out.” 

Terrified, Eugene backs away from the advancing walker...

Terrified, Eugene backs away from the advancing walker…

...and raises his gun with shaking hands. But, before Eugene can pull the trigger...

…and raises his gun with shaking hands. But, before Eugene can pull the trigger…

...Eugene gets grabbed from behind by Sneaky, Snappy Walker...

…Eugene gets grabbed from behind by Sneaky, Snappy Walker

...who ends up on top of Eugene, snapping at his face as poor Eugene turns his face away, unable to get himself free.

…who ends up on top of Eugene, snapping at his face as poor Eugene tries to turn away, unable to get himself free.

Glenn leaps through the shelving and manages to pull Sneaky, Snappy Walker off of Eugene, and Noah comes through and throws down the death blow, smashing the butt end of his rifle into Sneaky, Snappy Walker’s slimy, squishy skull.

Noah is a badass.

Noah is a badass. 

Glenn blasts another oncoming walker's brains all over the lens.

Glenn blasts another oncoming walker’s brains all over the floor, and the lens.

Noah pulls Eugene up, and Glenn orders them to get to the office, and he’ll get Tara. “Go!” Glenn barks, before leaping over the boxes to get to Tara.

Glenn is a total badass.

Meanwhile, back in Alexandria…

Carol hears a rustling noise downstairs...she pads lightly, quickly down the stairs...

Carol hears a rustling noise downstairs…she pads lightly, quickly down the stairs…

...and opens the cupboard door, quickly, and finds Sam inside.

…and opens the cupboard door, quickly, and finds Sam inside.

Carol pulls Sam out of the cupboard, asks him angrily what he's doing there...Sam cheerfully informs her that he didn't tell anybody about the guns. That kid sure doesn't scare easy!

Carol pulls Sam out of the cupboard, asks him angrily what he’s doing there…Sam cheerfully informs her that he didn’t tell anybody about the guns. That kid sure doesn’t scare easy!

Carol growls out, “Answer the question!” Sam pauses a moment, then asks Carol if she has any more cookies.

Personally, I am amazed by both Sam's bravery and the fact that he still likes cookies, after that Creepy Carol Cookie encounter the other night!

Personally, I am amazed by both Sam’s bravery and the fact that he still likes cookies, after that Creepy Carol Threats & Cookies encounter the other night.

Carol tells him the cookies are gone, while turning him around and trying to march him to the door. “Go home,” Carol tells him. Sam protests that his house doesn’t have any power, and he wanted to paint his owl sculpture, but somebody broke it…

Carol narrows her eyes at Sam, tells him these aren't problems, and besides, she doesn't care...she tries once again to march him to the door.

Carol narrows her eyes at Sam, tells him these aren’t problems, and besides, she doesn’t care…she tries once again to march him to the door. Sam asks her if she can make more cookies…she tells him no, and when he asks why, she tells him that she doesn’t want to.

Carol shoves Sam out the door and is about to close it in his face when he suggests that if she shows him how to make cookies, maybe he won't have to ask her for them all the time...kid's letting loose a hail mary pass at the last second runs down on the clock...

Carol shoves Sam out the door and is about to close it in his face when he suggests that if she shows him how to make cookies, maybe he can make them himself…kid’s letting loose a Hail Mary pass as the last second runs down on the clock…anything not to have to go back home, it seems.

Corrosion of Conformity Carol narrows her eyes again, asks Sam if he wants cookies. He nods enthusiastically. COC Carol tells Sam if he wants cookies, he'll have to steal the chocolate from Olivia, and he is to get an extra bar, for her...and if he gets caught, and tells anyone why he is stealing, he's not going to like what happens next...

Corrosion of Conformity Carol narrows her eyes again, asks Sam if he wants cookies. He nods enthusiastically. COC Carol tells Sam if he wants cookies, he’ll have to steal the chocolate from Olivia, and he is to get an extra bar, for her…and if he gets caught, and tells anyone why he is stealing, he’s not going to like what happens next…

“Now, go,” orders Carol, shoving Sam out the doorway. Easy there, sister…but poor Sam, who is probably used to getting shoved around, simply turns and runs off to do Corrosion of Conformity Carol’s bidding.

 Meanwhile…

We see Tara, unconscious on a table, blood still seeping out of her head wound.

We see Tara, unconscious on a table, blood still seeping out of her head wound.

Glenn comes over, asks how she’s doing…Eugene replies that she’s suffered serious head trauma and is losing blood fast.  We can see and hear the walkers, hissing, slavering, and batting at the outside of the office door and windows that overlook the inner warehouse space.

Noah asks how they can stop the bleeding. Nicholas replies that there’s a meds kit in Aiden’s bag, which got blown to hell…Glenn says there’s one in the van.

To this, Eugene looks up, replies,

To this, Eugene looks up, replies, “She’s on her way out…”

Eugene looks over at the door, the walkers pawing at the windows, trying to get at them.

Eugene looks over at the door, the walkers pawing at the windows, trying to get at them. “We need to get her there,” Eugene says, meaning they need to get Tara out of that warehouse, to the van, to the meds kit, then back to Alexandria asap.

“All right, we’ll get her there,” Glenn assures Eugene and the others.  I have to give Glenn mad props on being a solid, capable leader, especially in this mission, where everything is starting to go wrong at every turn…and then, right on cue, there is a loud, agonized cry from across the warehouse…Aiden!

Glenn stops at this sound, horrified to realize that Aiden is still alive.

Glenn stops at this sound, horrified to realize that Aiden is still alive.

At Aiden's cry, Nicholas whirls around and looks out the windows.

At Aiden’s cry, Nicholas whirls around and looks out the windows. “Oh, Jesus,” he laments.

aiden is alive

Aiden’s head moves, but the rest of him looks immobilized as he starts to come to. He is impaled on something, probably thrown back onto it from the grenade’s blast.

“He’s still alive?” Glenn asks.

“I checked him, I thought, I…I…” Nicholas stammers to a stop. You were saying, Nicholas? ‘I…I…I am a total dumbass who can’t be relied on to do anything except fuck it up worse for everyone else?’ Yes, we fully agree, Nicholas. You are.

Glenn-In-Charge looks out at Aiden, assesses the situation quickly. “It’s gonna take at least three of us,” he says. Noah, his second, turns to Eugene. “Do we have that kind of time?” he asks him.

Nicholas offers his attempt at a cowardly out, probably, regrettably, something he and Aiden would have come to, together, when faced with a highly dangerous rescue scenario of a trapped or wounded comrade, in times before…he offers that lifting Aiden off of whatever he’s impaled onto could kill him…

Noah whirls on Nicholas, asking, “Are you saying we leave him?”

You’re up, Eugene.

“Go. Save. Him,” Eugene tells them, his hands on Tara’s head, keeping pressure on her bleeding wound. “She’d do it, I know she would. “

Eugene looks up at them.

Eugene looks up at them. “I’ll stay with her. I’ll keep her safe, I assure you. I will.”

After Eugene's proclamation, Noah and Nicholas turn to Glenn, who must channel Rick-In-Charge in this moment. What would Rick do now?

After Eugene’s proclamation, Noah and Nicholas turn to Glenn, who must channel Rick-In-Charge in this moment. What would Rick do now?

Glenn-In-Charge thinks fast.

Glenn-In-Charge thinks fast. “All right, we’ll knock ’em back…you still have that flare?” Nicholas says he does.

Glenn tells Nicholas,

Glenn tells Nicholas, “You fire the flare over the shelves.” Glenn walks quickly to the office door. “I’ll draw some of them over.”

Glenn tells Noah,

Glenn turns now to Noah, “We’re going to hit the rest hand-to-hand.” Glenn turns to Nicholas. “You ready?” Nicholas says he is. Glenn prepares to open the door into total walker mayhem as the others brace themselves.

Glenn counts to three, then he and Noah shove the door open, hard, knocking the walkers back. Nicholas points and shoots the flare gun into the far corner of the warehouse aisles and shelving.

flare shot

Glenn-In-Charge leaps into action, spearheading the Against All Odds Aiden Mission.

Glenn-In-Charge leaps into action, spearheading the Against All Odds Aiden Rescue Mission.

 Meanwhile, back at the construction site…

It seems Abraham is working with a team led by Tobin, gathering materials from the abandoned mall construction site...

It seems Abraham is working with a team led by Tobin, gathering materials from the abandoned mall construction site, to bolster a compromised section of Alexandria’s protective wall…

...the men load the materials, to bolster a compromised section of the wall, while a woman stands watch high in an excavator bucket.

…the men load the materials, while a woman stands watch high in an excavator bucket.

Abrahmam asks another guy if Tobin really thinks the job will take four weeks. The guy shrugs, says that last time, the job took twice that.  Abraham's look says, 'Not on my watch, it wouldn't.'

Abrahmam asks another guy if Tobin really thinks the job will take four weeks. The guy shrugs, says that last time, the job took twice that. Abraham’s look says, ‘Not on my watch, it wouldn’t.’

After a moment, the guy checks in with Abraham, makes sure he's ok to hold it all down here...the guy then excuses himself to go

After a moment, the guy checks in with Abraham, makes sure he’s ok to hold it all down here…the guy then excuses himself to go “send a fax to Cleveland,” waving some papers and walking off.

I don't understand what that was all about either, Abraham.

I really don’t understand what the hell that guy was talking about, either, Abraham…is that code for poop?

As Abraham watches over the site, a group of birds startle somewhere deeper in the woods and fly quickly away, over the trees, over the site. Abraham watches them fly overhead, gripping the edge of the flatbed where his gun lay. He breathes deeply, readying and steadying himself.

Watching this, I feel like this is a coping mechanism that Abraham must have relied on before, being a soldier returning from duty overseas back to home and family.

Watching this, I feel like this is a coping mechanism that Abraham must have relied on even before the turn, being a soldier returning from duty overseas, back to home and family.

Breathing, and steadying oneself. Not every startle means emergency, crisis...

Breathing, and steadying oneself. Not every startle means emergency, crisis…

...except when it does.

…except when it does. Like now.

Enter Stage Right, the Job Site Walkers!

Enter the Job Site Walkers!

Abraham rushes forward to help Tobin and the others fire upon the oncoming walkers.

Abraham rushes forward to help Tobin and the others fire upon the oncoming walkers.

Unfortunately, a stray bullet from Tobin's rifle hits a piston on the excavator's workings, releasing the dumper and sending poor Francine to the ground, hard...

Unfortunately, a stray bullet from Tobin’s rifle hits a piston on the excavator’s workings, releasing the bucket and sending poor Francine to the ground, hard…

...far out into the path of the oncoming walkers, who begin to close in around her.  Tobin orders everyone back, to take shelter in the trucks.

…far out into the path of the oncoming walkers, who begin to close in around her. Tobin orders everyone back, to take shelter in the trucks.

Abraham turns to Tobin. “What about Francine?” he asks. Tobin looks at Abraham helplessly, shakes his head.

Abraham rushes forward, alone, to help Francine.

Abraham rushes forward, alone, to help Francine.

Abraham nails two of the I Wanna Eat Francine Walkers in the heads, rekilling them...

Abraham nails two of the I Wanna Eat Francine Walkers in the heads, rekilling them…

...before grabbing up Francine...

…before grabbing up Francine. The walkers are beginning to swarm in from all sides…

Abraham gets Francine inside the safety of the truck...

Abraham gets Francine inside the safety of the truck…

...before turning and facing the swarm of walkers. Abraham's surrounded, but does he look scared? Hell, no.

…before turning and facing the swarm of walkers. Abraham’s surrounded, but does he look scared? Hell, no.

Facing the press of walkers closing in on him, Abraham marvels, with a laugh,

Facing the press of walkers closing in on him, Abraham marvels, with a laugh and a shake of his head, “Mother dick!”

 Ladies and gentlemen, another instant classic from the mouth of Abraham Ford. 

The Job Site Walkers begin to swarm the truck...

The Job Site Walkers begin to swarm the truck…

...while Abraham quickly slides under truck, taking momentary cover there...

…while Abraham quickly slides under truck, taking momentary cover there…

...and drawing the walkers under the truck, after him.

…and drawing the walkers under the truck as they come after him.

Abraham begins blowing the Under The Truck Walkers away by firing into their heads...

Abraham begins blowing the Under The Truck Walkers away by firing into their heads…

...rekilling them.

…rekilling them.

Francine offers Abraham her hand, wanting to pull him up into the truck with her, but he tosses her his rifle instead, instructing her to take care of the rear end…

...while he

…while he “takes care of the uglies in the front,” hand-to-hand style.

Abraham taunts,

Abraham taunts, “C’mon, don’t be shy,” and throws in another “Mother dick!”  when he loses the ball and chain part of the mace thing he’d been using to bludgeon the oncoming walkers. Abraham continues going to town on them with just the metal pole part. Francine seems take brief moments to stare in disbelief at Abraham’s berzerker style before turning the rifle once again on the Bringing Up The Rear Walkers.

Abraham's heroics seem to inspire the others...the

Abraham’s heroics seem to inspire the others…the Fax 2 Cleveland guy inches forward, aiming his rifle at the swarming walkers. “Son of a bitch is still alive,” he marvels, watching Abraham brain the walkers who come at him. As the F2C guy continues to make his way towards the mayhem, Tobin calls out, with alarm, “What are you doing?” “Making sure he stays that way!” answers the F2C guy, before rushing forward in a burst of bravery.

Abraham continues to singlehandedly massacre the oncoming walkers, armed with only a wrench-sized metal stick.

Abraham continues to singlehandedly massacre the oncoming walkers, armed with only a wrench-sized metal stick.

 Back in Alexandria…

Dr. Petey McBeaty has been catching a daybuzz, it seems, and he's come knocking on Rick's door with a beer offering. He greets Rick but does not look him in the eye as he steps inside.

Dr. Petey McBeaty has been catching a daybuzz, it seems, and he’s come knocking on Rick’s door with a beer offering “for helping my wife earlier today.” McBeaty does not look Rick in the eye as he steps inside the home.

Rick puts on a smile and politely declines the beer. You can tell by the look on his face that he really hates this guy.

Rick puts on a smile and politely declines the beer. You can tell by the look on his face that he really hates this guy and wants to smash him.

“Don’t tell me you’re still on duty,” presses McBeaty. Rick replies, politely, that he kind of always is.

“Not at Deanna’s party…I saw you,” says McBeaty, his voice sounding careless and slurry as he leans against a support beam, facing Rick.

Rick faces McBeaty, standing loose and casual, but definitely always at the ready. He waits. McBeaty raises the beer bottles in his hands, says, “You had some, right?”

Rick Grimes is like, Yeah, bitch, I had some.

Rick Grimes is like, Yeah, bitch, I had some.

Rick looks down, takes the high road, says that he wished that he could have done more, today…he asked around, but nobody seemed to see or hear anything like someone going to town on an owl sculpture.

McBeaty says,

McBeaty says, “Well, it was just an owl…in the grand scheme of things, I think we’ll live.”

Rick Smash! seems to be thinking, 'In my grand scheme, McBeaty, you may not...live, that is.'

Rick Smash! seems to be thinking, “In my grand scheme, McBeaty, you just might not.”

An awkward silence follows, and then McBeaty ups the awkward a few thousand notches by saying, loudly, “I’m sorry…I heard you lost your wife.”

McBeaty, McBeaty, McBeaty...I don't know how Alexandria managed to keep the vast amounts of beer and booze on hand to feed your alcoholism these past two years, but I don' think they did you or your family any favors by enabling your addiction or your stupidity. Can't you read the non-verbal cues the man in front of you is giving, that he wants to kill your stupid  ass, hard, right now?

McBeaty, McBeaty, McBeaty...I don’t know how Alexandria managed to keep the vast amounts of beer and booze on hand to feed your alcoholism these past two years, but I don’t think they did you or your family any favors by enabling your addiction or your stupidity. Can’t you read the non-verbal cues the man in front of you is giving you, right now, that he wants to kill your stupid ass, hard?

Between head shakes, nods, sighs, and belches, McBeaty goes on some sodden soapbox soliloquy about how “I’m sure it looks like we haven’t lost much, but we have…”

“We’ve lost things, “ muses McBeaty, nodding and looking off, somewhere.

McBeaty looks at Rick.

McBeaty looks back at Rick. “Other things, we’re fighting like hell to hold onto.” Whatever, McBeaty. Nobody cares. I do think, however, that Rick Grimes is feeling more and more justified in his “end justifies the means” imaginings right about now.

McBeaty continues on his soap box, telling Rick that he doesn't know if Rick and his people, after everything  they've been through, can see that...

McBeaty continues on his soap box, telling Rick that he doesn’t know if Rick and his people, after everything they’ve been through, can see the plight of the Alexandrians, or McBeaty in particular…

“We do,” says Rick, with the barest of a smile. Oh, he sees it, all right, McBeaty. Rick Grimes sees everything.

Somewhat mollified, McBeaty takes a swig of his beer.

Somewhat mollified, McBeaty takes a swig of his beer.

He's barely swallowed the beer when he utters another classic McBeaty non-sequitar, urging Rick to

McBeaty’s barely swallowed his mouthful of beer when he utters another classic McBeaty non sequitar, urging Rick to “Bring your kids in for a check-up…they were out there a long time, right?”