On Saturday, as I was cleaning up the dishes from Saturday Second Breakfast, I got a text from my WD buddy: Dude, I’m so worried we are gonna lose Carol.
Upon reading these words, I felt my breakfast twist into a hard lump inside my stomach…it was like a ball of hot pain, a sick, sick feeling…I texted my WD buddy: I just got a sick feeling in my stomach, reading this.
She texted back: I can’t stop thinking about it.
Try as I might, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, either. While I was riding the high of such an incredible episode as last week’s “Consumed,” I couldn’t shake the horrible, nagging feeling that it had pretty much all the elements of a Carol Swan Song to it, and that the possibility was real that we may lose Carol, or Beth, or other beloved characters, come the mid-season finale of Season 5.
Now, I don’t know what’s coming, people. I merely abide by the Law of Kirkman: We cannot control the Mind of Kirkman…Kirkman does as Kirkman wants, and Kirkman can, and will, play with our emotions. It’s nothing personal…it’s how he do.
I can only speculate…and ruminate (for hours, days)…and obsess. I, like you all, am merely a puppet on Kirkman’s strings. Kirkman is the Puppet Master, and we are his puppets, and Gimple, Nicotero, and the WD cast and crew are like Kirkman’s Army, with each general, officer, technical wizard and soldier carefully chosen, trained, and armed to kick our TWD loving asses in a way that we will never, ever forget, no matter how long we live on this earth.
I, like you, can only do so much to try to prepare for the inevitable, the point where we start to lose people in our core group as The Walking Dead’s Season5, and the storyline beyond Season 5, progress.
My personal survival methodology includes (but is not limited to) the following: spending 8-12 + hours writing each week’s insane tweaker blog post; keeping my pharmacopeia of coping mechanisms stocked, cocked, and ready (within arm’s reach, whenever possible); and establishing a loyal, true, and similarly Walking Dead Obsessed friend to be my Daryl Partner (my WD buddy, of course…she solemnly swore to be my Daryl Partner, and I solemnly swore to be hers, and so we are bonded for life).
(For more on Daryl Partners, please refer to my Season 4, mid-season prepost, “What Happens ‘After?'”, which can be found in the archives section, February 2014.)
One other thing I know is that Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Sasha, is pregnant, 8months along at the time of this writing. I first discovered this on Instagram, when Lauren Cohan posted a picture of Sonequa Martin-Green holding up a onesie that said something like, “Zombies, please…my Mommy’s got this!”
Doesn’t exactly look great for Sasha’s longevity prospects as a character on The Walking Dead, unless they are able to work around it, and she gives birth during the filming break, and is ready to get back to work ASAP…they did such a good job hiding her pregnancy during Season 5 so far, who knows? It seems that with the TWD cast and crew, anything’s possible!
(BTW, Sonequa Martin-Green was one of the guests on Talking Dead after the airing of “Crossed,” looking very glowing and happy, beautiful and healthy, so whatever happens to Sasha with the mid-season finale, I think this beautiful mom-to-be is going to be just fine with the outcome!)
Norman Reedus said in an interview that he had to go off and have a good cry for about an hour before he was able to film the mid-season finale…sounds pretty intense. We are going to lose at least one, or more people in the mid-season finale, so I would recommend that you get yourself a Daryl Partner, get some coping mechanisms ready, and keep reminding yourself that while the shit may go down on our favorite show, and while we may lose some beloved characters as the storyline progresses, we all must remember that this is a show. It’s not real, as much as some of us out there say they wish it were. I am not one of them. I enjoy warmth, and creature comforts, and being alive, thanks.
So, while our show does feel so real to us WD obsessed fans (because we love it, and our gang, so much), and while some of our beloved characters may get killed off, the actors who play them will remain alive, well, and rich off the royalties that The Walking Dead will generate for the rest of their lives…and I say amen, and hallelujah, to that!
(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)
To me, watching “Crossed” was like watching a beloved football team go in to play one of the biggest games of the season, the one with the highest stakes, and watching them lose it all, with one big epic fail after another…bad calls, false starts, fumbles, interceptions, dropping balls in the end zone, and in the end, a missed field goal to seal the win for the opposing team. A crushing defeat, really hard to watch.
I can’t be mad at them, our team, our gang, for losing this round. They have been through so much, all on little to no sleep, food, or respite or any kind…they got, like, one night’s rest in a creepy priest’s cursed church after hacking the enemy camp to bits on the altar. Imean, damn. But, while I can’t be mad, I also can’t get my heart into recapping the whole mess, play by play, and reliving it all over again.
I just…cannot. Besides, it’s Thanksgiving week in this part of the world, and the kids are off of school all week, and we are travelling to visit family. So due to time constraints, and due to the fact that there are just some things I cannot bring myself to do, I am going to get right to the heart of the matter, here. I am going to center this post around Three Burning Questions, and Two Statements that are searing a hole in my heart after watching, “Crossed.”
(P.S. Of course, I said all this, and then recapped the shit out of “Crossed” anyway…apparently,it’s a compulsion.)
Burning Question #1: Why does anyone question Rick Grimes anymore?
The man had a diagram, people. He had a plan.“At sundown, we fire a shot into the air…get two of them out on patrol. Then, once it’s dark enough that the rooftop spotter won’t see us, we go…cut the locks to one of the stairways, take it to the fifth floor,,,I open the door, Daryl takes one of the guards out…”
At Tyrese’s question, “How?”Rick has a ready answer. “He slits his throat. This is all about us doing this quiet, keeping the upper hand…from there, we fan out, knives and silenced weapons. We need to be fast.”
Rick continues, marking the diagram he has scratched with chalk into the ground, assigning Tyrese, Sasha, Daryl to their areas, while he, Rick, takes out Dawn Lerner.
Rick adds, “If they’re smart, they’ll give up,” as the gang will outnumber them then, five on three, six on three, once Beth gets a gun.
Noah adds that their numbers would go up to 12 on3 once the wards got wind of what was going down. They want out, and as Noah says, with confidence, “They will help.”
Um, sounds good to me!
Tyrese, however, has doubts. “That’s best case scenario…what’s worst case? All it takes is one of those cops going down the hall at the wrong time, then it’s not quiet…all hands on deck…you’re talking about a lot of bullets flying around.”
Sasha, who is in the throes of grief, and who couldn’t really give a fuck, says, “If that’s what it takes…”
Tyrese disagrees, says it isn’t, and proposes The Worst Plan B, Ever…if the gang gets two of Dawn Lerner’s cops, then the gang can wrangle an even trade, the two cops for Beth and Carol, “theirs for ours.”
Oh, yeah, that always works, especially in these times… Did Terminus teach you nothing,people? People are super fucked up now, and they don’t play by the rules…the only rule that seems to apply, in these dire times, is kill or be killed.
In these times, the ones that have the upper hand, and the element of surprise, win the battle. And a battle is all it takes, in this scenario: get rid of the threat, get your people, get a working vehicle, and get the fuck out of Atlanta, grab up Michonne and the kids at the church, then go north, and find the rest of the crew.
Rick, however, is being a good leader, and a hot leader, as always, and deferring to his people, giving props and recognition where they are due.
He acknowledges that while Tyrese’s plan could work, his plan, with the element of surprise, and eliminating most of the threat, will work.
Rick Grimes was a deputy, and he’s done this before, professionally, before any of this zombie apocalypse shit started going down, and he, Rick Grimes, is a huge reason why many of them are still alive, this day, standing around and making this plan...just sayin’!
And this is Beth and Carol we are talking about…the stakes are too high to fuck this one up. Rick owes Carol big time, and these are Daryl’s special ladies. Do we really want to leave it all up to the generosity of Dawn Lerner and her Douchesquad,their willingness to negotiate a trade?
And, are we really naive enough to think that Dawn and her Douchesquad are going to just let the gang go, to let them drive off with Beth (their prize virginal blond ward, who happens tobe Dawn’s pet nemesis) and Carol without as much as a post-apocalyptic police chase through the decaying city of Atlanta?
They have cars, they know the terrain like the back of their hands, and they could give chase, shoot out the tires of the gang’s getaway truck, injure or kill peeps in a bloody shootout. Any of these dire scenarios would certainly attract walkers to the scene and incite a real and added threat to an already cagey situation.
So. the way I see it, Tyrese’sPlan B is not the better plan, as it has way more sketchy variables than the chance of a stray cop in a hallway where he/she isn’t supposed to be. Rick Grimes’ plan of slitting some throats and taking out some crooked cops on the DL, then overtaking the hospital, is the way better plan, overall.
But, then Daryl speaks up…and sides with Tyrese.
“Nah, it’ll work, too,” Daryl says of Tyrese’sPlan B, to Rick’s shock and stupefaction (and mine, quite frankly).
Daryl maintains that if they take two of Dawn’s cops away, then what does she have? He thinks Tyrese’s plan will work.
Rick’s look says it all, and the bottom of my stomach fell out at this. Right from the start, it sounded like The Worst Plan B, Ever. And, as it turns out, it was The. Worst. Plan B. Ever.
Et tu, Daryl?
Even Tyrese looks over at Rick, like, “Uh oh…”
Rick in Charge seems to be thinking, “Well, if that’s the way it’s gonna be…I was gonna ask you if you wanted to be blood brothers, Daryl Dixon, but now, fuck that.“
Operation Plan B: Epic Fail all goes down like this:
At first, it was all going pretty well. Shepherd and Lamson, the two officers of Dawn Lerner’s Douchesquad assigned to investigate the gunshot, come speeding up in one of the Grady Memorialmobiles to some industrial looking building…at the sound of another gunshot, they find Noah, who is acting as bait, making a show of trying to limp away, but they swerve the car around, lightly clipping him and knocking him to the ground.
As Lamson, the dude cop, zip ties Noah’s hands behind him, he gently tells Noah to tell him if the zip tie’s too tight, then looks around, asks where the “rotters” are that Noah was shooting at. A whistle sings out, and the cops look up and find themselves surrounded, at gunpoint, by Rick, Daryl, Tyrese, and Sasha.
Looking majorly fine, Deputy Rick Grimes talks the cops down, telling them weapons down, hands up, “we don’t want to hurt you.”
After a moment, Lamson says “Ok,” puts his hands up, and soon, both cops are kneeling. Rick tells them, softly, that they need to talk…offers them water, food if they need it.
Lamson addresses Rick, “Mind if I ask you something?”
“The way you talk…the way you carry yourself...you a cop? Believe it or not, I was too…”
Lamson, Lamson, Lamson… you may be a glorified Grady Memorial Mall Cop…
…but Deputy Rick Grimes is a beautiful hero. No comparison, Lame-son.
Noah murmurs to Rick that Lamson looked out for him and the wards. “He’s one of the good ones,” Noah tells Rick.
It seems Lamson’s shameless cop-stroking buys the crooked cops a moment of distraction, because right at that moment…
…another GM CreepMobilecomes speeding up on the scene…
Daryl looking majorly fine firing at the GM CreepMobile…but not getting much done to stop that car.
Rick Blast! stands right in the car’s path, firing at it…unfortunately, the windows seem to be bulletproof, and the gang must scramble out of the way, take cover behind a dumpster.
Tyrese manages to shoot out a side window of the car, and an exchange of bullets ensues. The two captive cops manage to dive into the car, and their buddy, Officer Baldy, is firing back at Rick and the gang as the car speeds around a corner. The car almost gets away, but not before Sasha puts a well-aimed bullet into one of the car’s tires.
Yeah, Sasha, that’s what I’m talking about!
The gang chases the car around the corner of the building…they see the GM CreepMobile stopped in its tracks, a walker’s arm twisted up in the front wheel. Above them, spray painted on a water tower, is the message “Evac Here,” and a blasted out FEMA trailer is alongside it. On the ground, melted and seared into the asphalt, are the Napalm Walkers…
The Napalm Walkers are all that remain of the poor people who had not yet made it out of Atlanta before it was bombed, napalmed…
…and this is where they have been, reanimated, melted into the asphalt, stuck and snapping, the whole time since the bombing. Gruesomely goretastic genius from Crazy Uncle Greg Nicotero & Co.
As the others pursue Lamson and Shepherd, who are on the lam, Daryl stays back and sleuths out where Officer Baldy is hiding.
Hmmm. not in the stalled CreepMobile, not in the FEMA trailer…
Oooff!Officer Baldy tackles Daryl…
…and it’s a close call for Daryl, a couple of times, as Officer Baldy tries to shove him into the snapping Naplam Walkers…
In a moment of goretastic ingenuity, Daryl grabs a walker’s skull like a bowling ball and smashes it against Officer Baldy’s head.
A click of a gun, and Officer Baldy looks up to see Rick Smash! holding a gun to his head…cue the Rick Smash! Bear McCreary theme music, dark and pulsing… Rick Smash! wants to SMASH!
Daryl knows that look…says “No smash, smash bad, Rick Smash!”
“Rick…three’s better than two.” (Damn, good point, Daryl, but I think I speak for all of us on Team Rick when I say, “Let Rick Smash! SMASH!“)
The gang brings the cops into a large room inside the industrial building, and Shepherd, the female cop, tries to tell them that their plan to trade would work if they had different cops to trade.
Shepherd, Lamson, and Officer Baldy are on Dawn Lerner’s shitlist, supposedly, as she knows that they want to replace her, Dawn Lerner, with Lamson, and have him be in charge. Shepherd suggests that they let the cops go, who will deal with Dawn Lerner themselves, and then will let their people go.
Lamson interrupts this, saying that they’re not going to do that…he proposes that Rick and the gang let him, Lamson, talk to Dawn, as he has known her for eight years, and knows how to talk to her. Lamson seems to be taking a page from Deputy Rick Grimes’ book of copspeak when he says, softly, reasonably, “Let me help you.”
A little later, after Tyrese and Sasha share a brother/sister moment among the Napalm Walkers…
…Lamson is cop-stroking Rick, hard, tells him that while Dawn Lerner says she won’t negotiate or compromise, she will, she always does. “Just know who you’re talking to.” (Good advice, Rick Grimes, straight from the devil’s mouth.)
My WD buddy is so cute, she sent me this email after rewatching this episode:
I just watched the episode again and I just want to reiterate how Rick Grimes would have known that cop was full of shit. He wouldn’t have trusted him like that. The writers did not do him justice with that. And they are wrong.
Ha! How cute is that? I replied:
I fully agree! But, they are tired, been through a lot, and that cop was Cop-Stroking Rick…been awhile since someone recognized, and the group wasn’t giving him the love he deserved, so he was susceptible to flattery!
(See what happens when you hold back the love, people? Don’t hold back the love! It messes your people up!)
Rick, who is love-starved in the moment, and who was not allowed to smash, earlier, isn’t thinking straight, so he even tells Lamson the full timetable, that they’re going to leave in about 10 minutes, offering him whatever he needs, before they go.
Rick even does Lamson a solid and thanks him, refers to him as “Sergeant Lamson,” telling Lamson, “You’re still a cop.” Lamson can’t bring himself to agree, saying, “Naw, the real ones are all gone.”
You are so wrong about that one, Lamson, and about many things...there is one real cop, a real hot cop, and his name is Deputy Rick Grimes. ❤
Lamson adds that his name is “Bob,” which sends Sasha’s head whirling around. Rick nods to her, and stands up to leave.
Which brings me to Burning Question #2: What the hell, Sasha?
Sasha, who is love-starved, and messed up, herself, is not her usual saavy sister self in the moment, and she plays into Lamson’s theatrics like a total rookie…like a Gabriel.
At his sighed, “Dammit,” she comes over to him, looks down questioningly. He tells her he’ll be ok, and she replies, “So will I.”
Uh, oh. Bonding with the enemy. Bad. Very bad.
Lamson, who knows he’s in at this point, lays it on thick about how he recognized one of the “rotters” out there, napalmed to the asphalt…a fellow officer, Tyler, who was on the team to evacuate survivors out of the hospital before the bombing, and who got assigned by Dawn Lerner at the last minute to drive the last van of survivors out of the city, replacing Lamson as the driver.
As Sasha pulls up a concrete block and sits beside Lamson, she practically cuts his zip ties and hands him her assault rifle. Sasha, girl, you’re killing me here.
Lamson tells Sasha that Dawn Lerner made the change because she wanted “someone she could really trust” to do the job, and Lamson says that seeing Tyler out there, stuck to the asphalt like “an endless joke,” made him realize that it could have been him, and feel helpless, because “there’s nothing I can do.”
Wah, wah,cry me a river of crocodile tears, Lame-son.
“Let me help you,” Sasha offers, and that line is a recurring one through this episode…there are people in these times who will say it to trick you, and people who will say it sincerely, in a real offer of help.
(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)
First, came the First Four Minutes…
AMC released The First Four Minutes of The Walking Dead’s Season 5 premiere episode, “No Sanctuary,” earlier in the day on Sunday, October 12, 2014 on AMC’s official website and Facebook pages. My WD buddy texted me in the late morning: Did you watch the first four minutes of tonight’s show they released? Intense. I’m stoked.
I had not, yet. I was still in the midst of Sunday chores. It wasn’t until later that afternoon that I had a chance to sneak away with the laptop, find a quiet place, crack open a Miller Lite(for courage, and because, you know, it was time to start celebrating), and watch.
Four minutes and some later, it was a little hard for me to catch my breath. I was glad I had brought the Miller Lite.
Hours later, my WD buddy came over, bearing champagne, to watch the Season 5premiere episode together. It was such a treat for me to have her there. We toasted Rick, Daryl, and the gang, and when 9 o’clock came, we rewatched the First Four Minutes:
First, we see a black screen, bearing one word:
The opening shot of “No Sanctuary” shows us the figures of about six young men and women, huddled miserably in a dark train car, sitting braced against the car’s walls, or in the center of the tiny, cramped space. Each person has his/her knees drawn up towards their chests in a self-protective measure. As the camera pans over the huddled figures, we hear a woman’s agonized screams pierce through the walls and the darkness. All falls silent for a brief moment before the terrified screaming starts up again.
We can see how each scream resonates, and registers, through the body of each person who sits in the small, dark box, as he/she awaits his/her terrible, unknown fate.
As the poor woman’s screams stop, then start afresh, one young man’s head sinks lower, and lower, into his arms, crossed at his knees. Another young woman sits quiet and still, and stares listlessly down at her hands in the brief, dark silence…then. a fresh wave of screaming begins again.
One bearded young man, huddled in the darkness, laments, in a shaking voice, “We should have never put up those signs…What the hell did we think was gonna happen?” Screams fill the silence that follows his words.
The camera pans to the profile of the young man speaking…we recognize him as Alex, the bearded, squirrely sidekick who met his fateful demise in the Season 4 finale, “A,” in the first moments of the standoff between Rick and the Train Car Superstarsand the Terminans of the Sanctuary Cannibal Co-op.
Alex concludes his lament, saying simply, miserably, “We brought ’em here.”
Across from Alex, his brother, Gareth,leans forward from the darkness. Gareth’s voice shakes too, with earnestness and conviction, as he whispers back to Alex, “We were trying to do something good…”
At this, Alex laughs, softly and bitterly, shaking his head at his brother in disbelief.
Gareth leans forward until he is face to face with Alex, asserts, “We were being human beings.”
In this first glimpse of Gareth, we see how he was before, with a softness and compassion still in his eyes. Gareth Before…
Alex laughs thinly at this, hisses back, “What are we now, Gareth?”
Gareth says nothing. He closes his eyes for a long moment…
And when he opens them again, we see:
We hear Abraham’s voice as we watch images of our gang’s hands, as each member creates and modifies his/her own makeshift weaponry from whatever items are on his/her person:
“They seemed nice enough, but I was ready to go. We had just got here, but, damn. It was time to go. When I told them about D.C., a wink and a nod from the head asshole in charge, they pulled their guns, and it was right back to our regularly scheduled shitstorm.”
Abrahamis sharpening something metal down, on the floor, as he talks, Rosita is wrapping her belt around her hand, wrist, and arm…she has taken her earrings, perhaps, and has fashioned them into sharp spines that stick out from the belt she has wrapped over her knuckles. Glennstomps on a belt, breaking off the top rounded part of the buckle, laces his fingers through the metal spines so they protrude from a closed fist, and proceeds to wrap the belt around his hand.
Michonne’s hands are testing the strength of a leather lace, snapping it taut, as we hear Sasha’s voice ask, “Before they put you in here, you didn’t see…Tyrese?”
Michonne’s voice answers, “No.”
“Good,” Sasha sighs.
We hear Daryl’s voice next, talking about Beth’s abduction, “Black car, with a white cross painted on it. I tried to follow it, I tried…” (We know you did, Daryl Dixon, you beautiful, sweet man.)
Maggie’s voice asks, “But she’s alive?”
“She’s alive,” Daryl answers. We hear Maggie and Daryl’s whispered exchange of smiles, sighs, and laughter at this news.
Rick is using the chain of Hershel’s pocket watch to saw at a corner of a wooden support beam, fashioning himself a sharp blade.
Outside, the voices of Creepy Comrades escalate, barking orders and telling poor, protesting people to “shut up” as they begin another horrific roundup. Daryl peers out a crack in the door. “Alright,” he says, “There are four of them pricks, comin’ our way.” He looks up, his eyes meet Rick’s.
It’s go time.
Rick tears the blade he has fashioned from the wooden beam, reminds the group that “You allknow what to do…go for their eyes first, then their throats.” Outside, a Teminanbarks out the order for our gang in the train car to, “Put your backs to the wall at either end of the car…NOW!”
Rick looks back at the gang, nods silently as they crouch in ready stances, facing the door…but nobody comes through there. The gang then hears a noise from above, looks up as a light shines down from an opening above them. A canister drops down onto the floor.
Abraham yells, “Move!” and shoves the others back as the canister erupts in a cloud of noxious gas. Enter, stage left, The Dicks With Gas Masks.
The following sequence is a nightmarish series of images and events, seen from Rick’spoint of view as he is dragged across a large concrete floor. The piercing shriek of a chainsaw screams, then lulls, and winds through the black, sinister hum of the Bear McCrearyscore that simmers and pulses as if it were alive, breathing…
Rick’s head slams on the concrete…
He looks up, dazed, before a Creepy Comradesmashes his boot down on poor Rick’s face.
All goes black…and then we see:
We knew they were cannibals! #thoseterminalbastards
First Rick, then Daryl,,and Glenn are dragged to the large metal sink, bound with zip ties at the wrists and ankles, gagged, and forced to kneel, along with others, at the long, gleaming trough. Bob is brought last, and forced onto his knees to Rick’s right side. To the left of Glenn, there are four other men, bound, gagged, kneeling.
One of the butchers, clad in respirator, baseball cap turned backwards, goggles, and bloody plastic apron, calls, “Hold up,” to his comrade. He pulls out a fresh knife, then proceeds to sharpen the long, shiny blade in loud, scraping strokes. The other butcher, a tall, strong fellow with gleaming shaved head, clad in bloodstained plastic apron, grips his bat and begins to warm up his swings a couple of feet behind the kneeling men’s heads.
At the trough, Ricksees his refection in the shine of the metal sink, probably the last image the poor victims of the Sanctuary Cannibal Co-opsee of themselves before their heads are bashed in from behind with the butcher’s bat.
One by one, struggle or not, a line of men are bound and kneeling, gagged, at the long trough.
It is a truly terrifying scene, watching the butchers warming up their swings and sharpening their butchers’ knives, while the bound, kneeling men try to manage their growing panic as the horrible realization of what is happening sets in.
As the camera pans down the long line of bound, kneeling men, we see a young blond man at the end…He looks familiar. ..his eyes connect with Rick’s…
OMG…it’s Sam, of Sam and Anna, the cute hippie couple Rick and Carol found, and lost, back in Season 4.
At first, Rick looks back at Sam…
…but then must look away.
From behind Rick, there is a signal to proceed…
The Terminal butchers stride to the end of the line, where poor Sam is first on the chopping block. The First Four Minutes end with Sam’spanicked last moment before his head gets bashed in from behind by the bat-wielding butcher.
The blow from the bat sends poor Sam forward into the trough, then the knife-wielding butcher steps forward, grabs Sam’s head back, and slices his throat in one quick stroke, then releases Sam’s body back forward into the trough just in time to catch the first gush of blood as it sprays from Sam’s throat into the gleaming metal sink. This ritual is repeated with the next young man, as the bound, gagged men who are next in line begin to scream and plead into their gags, all the while trying vainly, desperately to free themselves, to flee what is happening. But they cannot.
Greg Nicotero has outdone himself once again, directing this episode (the most epic WD episode thus far, am I right?)and setting the bar once again with unprecedented effects, like this amazingly realistic scene.
As the butchers move down the line…bash, pull back, slice, release, next, Glenn watches the dark blood drain closer and closer towards him…the butchers are now at the man to Glenn’s left…once they finish with him, Glenn is next in line.
Rick eases his shiv out of his pants leg, grips it, and waits.
As the butchers step behind the man next to Glenn, Garethstrides into the room with a ledger book and pen. As usual, his manner is an interesting blend of testy officiousness and casual indifference as he flips open his ledger book, clicks his pen, and asks the goons in the bloody aprons, without looking up from his calculations, “Hey guys? What were your shot counts?”
It is some dark humor being wielded like the bald goon’s bat as the goon winds back, bashes the man next to Glenn’s head in, and answers easily, “38.” This guy obviously knows the routine, knows to count the bullets as he corralls the panicked human cattle or mows down walkers. Gareth makes a note of this number in his ledger as the other butcher releases the freshly slit man’s body into the trough. The man’s life’s blood sloshes into the catch sink and gurgles down the drain.
Once again, the Terminal Batmanwinds back, and Glenn clenches his teeth, anticipating the blow, but before the Terminal BM can connect with Glenn’s head, Gareth interrupts…“Hey!” At the goons’ questioning looks, Gareth looks pointedly at the new guy, who didn’t answer the question. Gareth’s pissy. his hand turned up in a silent rebuke. “Your shot count?”
The new guy squirms under Gareth’s withering look. “Crap, man, I’m sorry. It’s my first roundup.” It is some weak sauce, and they all know it. Even Daryl knows it. Look at his face. The other goon’s body language at this admission slumps, like, Dude, what, you didn’t take the shot count? Sheesh, fuckin’ new guys.
Gareth doesn’t really have time for this shit. His Testy Level is at like 11 right now. He exhales, and as if explaining to a particularly stupid child, he instructs the new guy, “After you’re done here, go back to your point and count the shells. Ok? We won’t be gathering them until tomorrow.” As Gareth goes back to writing, Bob begins to call out to Gareth through his gag, managing to convey that he wants, needs Gareth to “Lemme talk to you!”
Gareth tries to ignore Bob, counting the slumped bodies and confirming with the goons, “Four from A, four from D?” At the goons’ affirmative noises, Gareth notes this too in his book. Bob continues frantically calling out to Gareth through his gag.
Annoyed, Gareth walks over and yanks the gag off Bob’s mouth. “What?”
Bob doesn’t have much time. He makes it count. He fixes his gaze on Gareth, unwavering. “Don’t do this,” he begins. “We can fix this.”
“No, we can’t,” Gareth replies. He goes to pull Bob’s gag back up over this mouth. But Bob is quick. “You don’t have to do this!”he yells, surging forward and taking Gareth back a step. Bob looks up at Gareth earnestly, continues, “We told you there’s a way out of all this. You just have to take that chance!” Gareth, unmoved, goes back to his ledger, continues his calculations.
“We have a man who knows how to stop it. He has a cure. We just have to get him to Washington…you don’t have to do this, man! We can put the world back to how it was!”
Gareth’s Testy Level is inching up to 12 now,as he regards Bob with no small amount of annoyance. This day is really shaping up to be one for the crap books. He steps forward, ready to shut it down. “Can’t go back, Bob,”he says easily, pulling the gag back over Bob’s protests. Bob tries another moment, then falls silent. Mad props to Bob for trying, though…he really gave it everything he had.
Gareth steps over to Rick, kneels down, and pulls Rick’s gag from his mouth. He and Rick regard each other for a moment. “Saw you go into the woods with a bag,” Gareth informs Rick, “and come out without it. I had to pull my spotters back before they went to look for it.” (So they did know Rick and the gang were coming! Those crafty, creepy people-eaters!)
Gareth looks away as he says this, then looks back at Rick. “So, what was in it?” he asks Rick. Rick says nothing. “You hid it, right? In case things went bad?” Gareth looks at Daryl, then back at Rick. “Smart,” he nods briefly, then shrugs. “Still, we’ll find it…but…it’s too dangerous to go out there right now.” Gareth pulls out a knife, pulls Bob’s head towards him across the trough, and holds the pointed blade to Bob’s eye.
He turns back to Rick. “What was in it? I’m curious…and, it was a big bag.” Rick just looks at him, and a touch of Gareth’s former annoyance returns. “You really gonna let me to do this?” he asks Rick, motioning with his blade towards Bob. Rick’s voice is hoarse as he replies, “Why don’t you let me take you out there?” Rick leans back, looks at Gareth. “I’ll show you.” Rick’s eyes shine with pleasure at the thought. Ha, how about it, motherfucker?
Gareth shakes his head. “Not gonna happen.” He pulls Bob’s face closer to the point of his knife. “This might.”
Rick speaks up quickly, “There’s guns in it. AK-47, 44-Magnum…automatic weapons, night scope.” Rick looks up, as if doing the inventory in his head. “There was a compound bow in it, and….a machete with a red…red handle.” Rick looks at right at Gareth, now, as he says, pleasantly, “That’s what I’m going to use to kill you.”
Gareth is surprised, then laughs, sheaths his knife, and pulls the gag back up over Rick’s mouth. He gives Rick’s shoulders a couple of quick pats, mocking, says, “Thanks,” before standing back up.
Gareth turns his attention back to his butchering flunkies, informs them, with pointed finger and arch tones, “You have two hours to get them on the dryer…I want to go back to ‘public face.’ Now’s the time we can get messy, but I want to dial it all in before sundown.” The goons “gotcha’ and “yes’sir” Gareth, and as he turns to go, his departure is interrupted by the sound of gunshots. He pulls out a 2-way handset and tries to reach “Chuck” as the Terminal BM winds back, once again ready to brain Glenn, when another gunshot pings off something metal outside,stopping him mid-swing. Strike Two. Again, dark hilarity ensues.
The gunshots are followed by a huge explosion, which sends the standing men flying and shakes the rafters of the warehouse, sending bits of plaster and ceiling raining down upon them all.
I transcribed, and deconstructed this scene in great detail because, one, I love it so; and because, two, I feel many key elements and questions were answered in that first nine minutes.
We see the origins of Sanctuary, that once Mary and her sons, Gareth and Alex, (wrong about other predictions but nailed the Gareth-Mary son/mom connection…yes!) and their community did start out as peaceful, idealistic folk who seemed to have established a good thing, and wanted to share it with others, and got preyed upon and brutalized for their efforts.
In the blink of an eye, locked in a darkened train car, Gareth seemed to reach inward and invoke a deeper, darker side of himself….and with that, the transformation of Sanctuary began, led by Gareth, to becoming a cold, predatory, brutally efficient system that lures vulnerable outsiders into its lair with the promise of safety and sanctuary, only to imprison them, dehumanize them, and harvest everything that can be gotten from them, right down to the flesh on their bones.
We see the scope of Sanctuary…they are placed in a ideal location, Terminus Station, where all the rail lines around Atlanta converge. They are large in number, and they are well-armed, well fortified…well-fed. They are brutal, ruthless. The only way for their system to work is to decide quickly if there are newcomers who may be of value to them, and who could perhaps be persuaded to subscribe to the Terminal Method.
For those who do not rate, they must be stripped down, locked up, and harvested, quickly. I can only imagine that most people who cross the Terminal Gates are put in this latter category, and not regarded as potential members by the Terms (Scott M. Gimple’s and Greg Nicotero’s name for the Terminans, which I really love).Sadly, those who do not make the cut, get cut…and it doesn’t matter if they are men, women, children, elders…as the creepy slogans on the walls say, “We first, always.”
We get a glimpse of Gareth as a leader. He is pissy (and can probably hold a grudgefor about a thousand years), but he is smart, and meticulous. Everything is accounted for, down to the very last shotgun shell used in roundups or for defense. It has to be, as Gareth is running a veritable human processing factory, open 24/7.
Sanctuary has its weaknesses, too, as we see in this episode. As Rick and the gang see Sanctuary’s weaknesses unfold, they exploit them as the opportunities arise (Hello, New Carol!).
While Sanctuary has the numbers, the arms, and the technology on their side, Rick Grimes and the Train Car Superstars & Co. have three game-changing elements on their side: Love, Luck, and Loyalty. And a shit-ton of sex appeal. So, suck it, Terminans.
Outside the false Sanctuary, somewhere down the tracks, Tyrese, Carol, and Judithare following the railway lines to Terminus. Carol tells Tyrese they are close, and she’ll make sure that he and Judith get there safely, but that she is not going to stay. Tyrese looks at her, and kind of nods in agreement, but says nothing. A walker (who looks so much like the Tore-Up She Walker Abraham impaled into his truck last season in “Claimed”… could it be?) makes her way up to the tracks and spots them, hissing. Poor Judith begins to cry, and Tyrese turns and takes the baby, telling Carol that he “can’t, not yet.”
Carol gives Tyrese a long look, saying, “Soon, you’ll have to be able to,” and rushes forward to kill Tore-Up She Walker 2.0.Carol hears hissing in the woods to her right, turns, and sees that they have another problem…
The horde of walkers are making their way straight for where Carol, Tyrese, and Judithare crouched, hiding…until the gunfire from the Rick Standoffrings out through the forest…the walkers turn to follow the noise, shuffling down the tracks.
After the horde clears, Carol and Tyrese, holding Judith, step out onto the tracks. Tyrese wonders if the gunfire came from Terminus, and Carol muses that either someone was attacking them….or they were attacking somebody. When Tyrese asks Carol if they want to find out what is going on at Terminus, Carol’s answer is clear and immediate: Yes. She suggests an alternate route that will get them to Terminus.
“We’ll be real careful,” she assures Tyrese. “We’re gonna get answers.”
Now, I have had my doubts about Carol in the past, but make no mistake…I am a big fan of New Carol, especially since Season 4’s“The Grove.” New Carol is kicking ass, taking names, and getting it done, all day, every day. Much love, and mad props, New Carol.
It is especially awesome when Carol and Tyrese stealth up to the crappy little Half-Term, Martin, who is setting up explosives around a cabin (to detonate and divert the walkers who will surely be attracted by the sound of gunfire from Terminus).
As he sets up the explosives, Martin indulges in some back-and-forth shit-talking with some woman comrade on his 2-way radio. Martin disses Alex for not recognizing that “the chick with thesword was bad news…bitch was like a weapon with a weapon.”The woman comrade agrees that Alex was always a “sloppy-ass motherfucker.”
Laughing, Martin then says he told “Albert” that he called dibs on “the kid’s hat, afterthey bleed him out.”
Nice. Martin realizes he has been stone-cold busted uttering this shitty, callous comment when he feels New Carol’sgun behind his ear.
Carol tells Martin to keep his finger off the radio’s button and drop it. Martin complies, tries some of his Sanctuary welcome-wagon sloganage on Tyrese and New Carol, but Tyrese tells him to shut it. Martin wisely abides.
New Carol informs Martin, “We’re friends with the chick with the sword and the kid in thehat.” First New Carol zinger of this epic episode…drink one if you got one!
Martin, you dumbass.
Inside the cabin, Martin is trying to lie his way out of the mess he’s gotten himself into, but New Carol isn’t buying his line of shit. After Carol finds Martin’s bag of flares, explosives, and weapons, she informs him that a herd of walkers is heading towards Terminus, which works nicely with her plan to head there too, armed with Martin’s weapons, and get her people out.
Martin tells her she’ll never make it. Tyrese asks her how she’s going to do this…Carol looks right at Tyrese and informs him that she’s “gonna kill people.”
New Carol zinger #2, people…toss it back!
As Tyrese is left to babysit two babies back at the cabin, Carol goos herself up with walker blood, guts, and even a little mud mixed in, giving herself a nice walker-guts & mud facial…all natural ingredients, and very exfoliating!
Back at the cabin, Martinn is trying to get into Tyrese’s head. He asks Judith’s name, asks if she’s his daughter. Tyrese replies that she’s a friend. Martin muses aloud at the now-alien concept of friends. “I don’t have any friends,” Martin admits. He says the people he lives with are “assholes that I stay alive with.” When Martin asks Tyrese if the lady who left was a friend, Tyrese looks at him, then down, like he doesn’t really know how to answer that question.
Martin continues, saying he used to have friends…he used to do a lot of things…watch football, go to church. I found it hard to focus on that Martin was saying at first, because I noticed he was chewing gum as he said it, and who the hell has luxuries like gum these days? Terminans do, but at the cost of their souls, it seems. Martin then muses that it’s hard to tell how much time has gone by, as horrible shit just seems to stack up, day after day, in these times.
“You get used to it,” sighs Martin. Tyrese looks up at him, replies, “I haven’t gotten used to it.” “Of course you haven’t,” Martin says. “You’re the kind of guy that saves babies…kind of like saving an anchor when you’re stuck without a boat in the middle of the ocean.”
Martin continues to size up Tyrese, guessing that he’s been behind walls for a while, and hasn’t had to get his hands dirty yet. “I can tell,” Martin says. When Tyrese retorts that Martin doesn’t know the things he’s done, Martin stands firm on his take. “You’re a good guy,” Martin says. “That’s why you’re gonna die today…that’s why the baby’s gonna die.”
Tyrese stands up to his full height at this jibe, prompting Martin to quickly offer Plan B: Or, take the car, take the baby, and go, keep on being lucky. Tyrese growls out, “You think you’re gonna kill me?” In response, Martin asks Tyrese, point-blank, with a bemused smile, “Why haven’t you killed me? How does having me alive help you? Why are you even talking to me?” Tyrese has no answer for this, and Martin urges him once again to get the baby, get in the car, and go.
“I don’t want to do this today,” Martin says.
I have to give it up for Chris Coy, the young actor who plays Martin, the Half-Term, for a standout performance in this episode. I call Martin the Half-Term because even though he has definitely lost much of his former moral code, he is still just a young man, one who has survived the horror of the walker apocalypse this long by adopting the brutality of the Terminal Method. Still, he grapples with these choices, remembering better days. Martin is on the fence, it seems, about it all. It seems to piss him off to see Tyrese holding onto his humanity this long, having friends, saving babies. It makes Martin mean, and say, and do, shitty things.
Meanwhile, Walker Stalker Carol, slimed in walker goo, approaches the outskirts of Terminus. She hears the Terminal Goon ordering the gang to get upagainst the walls of the train car, and then we hear the canister go off inside the car. Carol peers through the fence to see a group of Terms dragging Rick to the processing house.
With Martin’s duffel bag full of ammo, Carol stealths around the perimeters of the fence. Using the scope on her rifle, she spies two Terminal Bitchesculling walkers at the fence… then she spies:
…a big ass propane tank. Pay dirt!
As Carol continues to scope around, she sees the Terminal Bitches running from their culling posts at the fence, calling out in alarm. She turns and sees the Hungry Herd, coming en masse, towards the Terminus compound.
Here comes the Hungry Herd,just in time for dinner!
New Carol knows the time to act is now.
Carol loads up a large firecracker and aims it at the propane tank, props it against the fence…
…then Carol aims her gun at the tank. The first two shots, which we heard in the processing room, don’t pierce the tank. The third shot, which interrupted Terminal Batman’slethal swing at Glenn’s head, connects with a loud “ping.”
The walkers are drawn to the movement and hiss of the escaping gas.
Carol shoots the firecracker towards the propane tank and covers her ears…
New Carol is going full-fucking Rambo on Terminus.
Walkers go BOOM
The walkers who survive the blast are ready to party at Terminus, and show the CreepyComrades what cannibal is all about…
Back at the cabin, Tyrese and Martin hear the explosion. Tyrese peers out the window and sees the black cloud rising over the trees. Martin, still bound and sitting, asks Tyrese if that’s Terminus. Tyrese tells him it is. Martin takes a moment to process this. He muses that maybe Tyrese and his people are going to win today, or maybe..maybe the woman who left was the one who got capped. Martin continues, saying maybe it’s him that’s gonna get capped when she, the lady, friend, whatever, comes back.
Still looking out the window, Tyrese says that nobody’s gotta die today. Martin snorts out a derisive laugh at this idealistic sentiment. “Man, if you really believe that,” Martin tells Tyrese, “then it’s definitely gonna be you and the kid…even if that place is burning to the ground.”
The scene shifts to back inside the processing rooms, where the butcher goons are starting to rouse themselves after Rambo Carol’s blast. We can hear a voice on Gareth’s handset radio asking, “Man, what the hell was that?”
Gareth is losing it, ordering the goons to stay back with Rick and the others. When the bald guy questions this, Gareth screams at him to stay put while he finds out what is happening.
This is the opportunity Rick has been waiting for, and he continues to slice away at his zip-tie binds at his wrists.
The scene shifts outside to show Mary, who too has been knocked down by the explosion (no doubt while getting the front grill area all cleaned up and ready for “PublicFace” later). Mary looks up in horror to see burning walkers streaming through the hole that was one of their fences. “Oh, shit!” she says. Yeah, Mary. “Oh, shit” is right.
Didn’t you know, Mary…
… that karma’s a bitch…
…a bitch that will eat your face?
While Walker Stalker Carol strides into the Terminal Blast Hole with the rest of the Hungry Herd, New Guy is freaking the hell out. He’s trying to radio for Gareth, to no avail. “Don’t you smell the smoke?” he asks Terminal BM. “The whole place couldbegoing up!”
Terminal BM blathers on about “protocol,” how their job is here, not there, spouting forth a bunch of bureaucratic blah blah blah.
When this compelling spiel fails to derail New Guy’s freakout, Terminal BM tries out some of the new management skills he learned last weekend at the Mary’s Sanctuary Effective Management seminar. (LessonThree:Use the Voice of Authority, even when utilizing The Personal Approach, which is discussed in full detail in Lesson One. For more on Lesson One, please refer back to page three of your course outline.)
Terminal BM tries a combination of Lesson Three and Lesson One on NewGuy : “Hey…look at me!”New Guy turns to look at Terminal BM, just in time to see Rick Grimes teach Terminal BM a lesson of his own…
This lesson’s called Eat My Shiv, bitch!
Here, let me show you close up. Buh bye, New Guy.
Before going to cut Daryl, Glenn and Bob loose, Rick sees Alex’s body laid out on the metal processing table. Way to keep it in the family, Gareth, you sick bastard.
Meanwhile, back inside Train Car “A”…
Abraham is chomping at the bit, wondering what the hell is going on out there, and Eugene isn’t exactly inspiring confidence in his mental acumen, or anything else, in the moment. Sasha gets it, says that it sounds like “somebody hit them,” and maybe “our people got free.”
Carl comes forward, flanked by Maggie, and reminds everyone that his dad, Rick, said that they would be back, so they will be back. Maggie backs him up, adding that they just need to wait, stay ready to fight, when the time comes. Maggie then looks at her father’s pocket watch, thinking, no doubt, of Glenn…and Hershel. She kneels and resumes using the chain, as Rick did, to saw a wooden blade for herself.
Michonne peers out the crack in the door, sees walkers roaming through the compound. A walker’s hand grabs at her through the crack, but of course cannot get at her.
Karma is slapping Terminus up like the bitches they are. It is truly satisfying to see the Creepy Comrades of the Sanctuary Cannibal Co-op get feasted on by the undead:
Doesn’t feel so good to be other side, does it, Terminal Bitches?
Carol takes in the scene, hidden among the walkers.
When Carol hears gunshots, she ducks around a corner and peers through her scope. She sees a Terminan shooting walkers with an assault rifle, so Rambo Carol takes him out, sniper style. Her gunshots attract the attention of a couple of nearby walkers, and she ducks behind a heavy door and shuts herself away from them.
Back in the processing area, Rick cuts the righteous dudes loose, and as they gather knives and whatever other weapons they can find, while taking in Alex’s dead body and the carnage around them. Daryl goes to rekill one of the dead butchers. He is stopped by Rick, who tells Daryl to, “Let him turn.”
The men wander into the “dryer” room, where sections of human carcasses hang from meat hooks.
As Daryl, Glenn, Bob, and Rick take in the horror of the grisly room, Rick instructs them, “Cross any of these people, you kill them. Don’t hesitate. They won’t.”
I love when Rick Grimesgoes all Lieutenant Deputy.
After arming themselves with knives, cleavers, and other butchering apparatus, the dudes peer out to see a group of walkers pawing at a locked train car as the poor people locked inside cry out. Rick suggests that they can run by, as the walkers are distracted, but Glenn says that they need to free the people in the train car.
At Rick’s questioning look, Glenn says, “That’s still who we are…it’s gotta be.”
So, the good guys go and battle the walkers, and their heroics are rewarded with one wild, hairy dude running out, laughing maniacally and exclaiming, “I’m saved! I’M SAVED!”
Ragin’ Face-Tat Tweaker paws at Rick like a sloppy drunk pawing a cop at an Insane Clown Posse show. Rick shoves him off, and Ragin’ Face promptly gets tackled, and chomped, by Juggalo Walker. Freedom’s a fleeting thing at times, Ragin’ Face.
Judging from the grimly hilarious moments that run throughout this episode, it seems that Kirkman & Co. had a blast filming “No Sanctuary”.
Meanwhile, Stealth Carol finds the goods room, with items fleeced from the victims of the Sanctuary Cannibal Co-op. She first sees Rick’s watch, the one he gave to Sam…
And then Carol sees Daryl’s crossbow…
After Carol takes the watch, and Daryl’scrossbow, and turns to leave, she sees the heartbreaking sight of stuffed animals and children’s toys piled up on a table…each toy represents a child that was butchered by the Terminans.
Meanwhile, Glenn, Rick, Bob, and Daryl outside in the mayhem, stuck between a train car and a hard place. Trying to go forward, there are countless walkers and Terminans, armed with assault rifles, systematically mowing the invading walkers down. Rick tells them to wait there, and runs low to crouch behind an abandoned car. He monitors the oncoming Terminan shooters through a rear view mirror on the ground:
Once again, so pimp, Deputy Grimes!
Daryl saves the day by spearing a walker that sneaks up behind Rick, after following Rick to the car. So hot, and then this happened…
After watching the wave of shooters cross his threshold, Rick jumps out and nabs the last shooter around the neck…
…and grabs the shooter’s gun…mmm hmmm,that’s right, Rick Grimes.
I thought before it was some enemy peeps on a bridge, but it’s Terminans that Rick Blast! is mowing down.
And that just makes it so much hotter…
Sigh…the goosebumps on my goosebumps have goosebumps ❤
With the shooters out of the way, the Terminal Walkers are free to go nucking futs on Terminus...
Meanwhile, Carol has found Mary’s creepy candlelit ritual room, the one with the SCC slogans painted on the walls (“Never trust,” “We first, always,” “Neveragain”). As Carol takes all this in, there is a click behind her, and Mary’s querulous voice telling Carol to drop her weapons, and turn around.
“I want to see your face,”Mary says.
Carol spies the shadows of walkers underneath at a closed door. At Carol’s hesitation, Mary screams, “Now!”Carol’s wheels are turning in her head as she slowly shrugs off her bag, and Daryl’s crossbow. Carol still, however, has the assault rifle under her poncho, and she whirls and fires on Mary, getting a shot into her and forcing Mary to drop her gun.
Mary drops to the floor, wounded, then in a burst of matriarchal fury, tackles Carol. They scrap hard, throwing each other into ornate candelabras and basically trashing the place in an epic Top Mama Tapout Beatdown(“Who’s Top Mama? I’m Top Mama! Say it, SAY MY NAME…TOP MAMA!”)
Carol, of course, is clearly Top Mama, and soon has Mary looking down the barrel of her gun. Mary looks around, her eyes tearing, and tells Carol that the signs were real, that it was a real Sanctuary…but then people came and took this place, and they raped, and they killed…Carol tries to shut her off, and find out where her people are, but Mary needs to unburden herself, and so Carol lets her keep talking. The abuse happened over a period of weeks, but they, the original Sanctuarians, fought back and reclaimed their home, by hearing the message:“You’re the butcher, or you’re the cattle.”
Mary is super into her moment, but Carol has other things on her mind. “The men you pulled from that train car, where are they?” she demands. Mary doesn’t answer, so New Carol busts a cap in her leg, dropping Mary to the floor.
Mary, who still refuses to answer New Carol’s question, lay panting on the floor, then orders Carol to point the gun at her head. Oh, you think so, Mary?
Now Mary’s just going on all crazy, lying wounded on the floor, telling Carol that she “could have been one of us…you could have listened to what the world was telling you!”New Carol don’t think so, Mary.
“You lead people here, and take what they have, and kill them? Is that what this place is?” she asks Mary, still pointing the gun at her. Mary tells her not at first, but that’s the way it had to be, and they’re still here because of it. Carol looks at Mary a moment, then says,“You’re not here…and neither am I.”
And with that, Carol lets the walkers in to go cannibal on Mary.
Back at the cabin, Tyrese watches the black plume of smoke continue to burn. He hears, then sees, a handful of walkers coming toward the cabin. Tyrese rushes from one window, to the other, taking his eyes off Judith. Martin seizes this opportunity to run to Judith’s makeshift crib and grab her, one hand on her head, the other near her neck. One twist, and she’s gone. He warns Tyrese to back off, orders him to put his weapons down, and as the walkers outside paw at the windows, Martin orders Tyrese outside, where the walkers are.
Don’t you hurt that baby, you Terminal A-hole!
Tyrese begs Martin not to hurt Judith…Martin yells back, “Don’t make me! It’s one twist, man! Go outside!“
Tyrese must do as Martin says…and the scene ends with Tyrese charging out the door, right into a press of walkers. After the commercial break, we see Martin trying to radio Cynthia, his 2-way buddy, but Cynthia does not copy. From outside, it looks like there is some serious mayhem happening, crashing indentations into the cabin’s thin walls.
It would be easy to assume that the walkers were having the upper hand on one lone man, but then Martin hears a bellow, and two quick, crashing blows. The hissing and slavering of the walkers stops for a moment.
Martin steps forward, then looks at Judith, pulls his knife. But before he can do anything else, Tyrese charges him through the door:
You may have watched football, Martin, but Tyrese probably played football.
You keep poking a grizzly bear with a stick, you’re going to get mauled, Martin.
Back in train car “A”, our gang is putting the finishing touches on their makeshift weapons. Michonne’s weapon is particularly badass, a double-bladed katana with dual wooden blades. Sasha asks Eugene point-blank what the cure is. Eugene immediately answers that it’s classified. While Abraham tries to shoo the ladies away from Eugene, the sisters aren’t about to be dissuaded. They want the deets.
Eugene spouts off some mumbly jumbo that sounds like a bunch of bullcrap, ending with the fact that if he goes “red rain,”the cure dies with him. Abraham is placating, telling Eugene that he won’t let that happen. Eugene is uncertain, saying again that he isn’t one to be able to negotiate the physical threats of walkers and bullets if they do get outside. Michonne answers that while he cannot, they can. Sasha adds that they just want to hear it, the cure. Rosita pipes in, telling Eugene that he “doesn’t have to” tell them (why are Abraham and Rosita enabling Eugene so hard?).
Pressed, Eugene stands, and tells them that he was part of a ten-person team with the Human Genome Project that created human pathogenic diseases to fight human pathogenic diseases…biological warfare. Eugene tells them that he personally knows the delivery mechanisms to unleash disease that could kill every person on the planet…he tells them that he believes “with a little tweaking on the terminals in Washington” that he can “flip the script” on the walker epidemic, and “take out every last dead one of them.”
Sasha looks wordlessly at Eugene. Maggie steps up and prompts them to get back to work. It sounds like both a plausible explanation for the walker epidemic and a reasonable scenario for a hope of a way to combat this thing…biological warfare. But can we believe Eugene? I want to, I really do. Eugene is a likeable enough guy, and I am obsessed with his mullet, which is looking really full and amazing in this episode.
I just don’t know, people.
Just then, the door to the train car opens, and it’s Rick and the dudes, holding off walkers and getting the rest of the team out of there. It’s a great scene, with our gang going to town, in their inimitable Rick Grimes and the Train Car Superstar-style. I just love our gang, people. They are such total badasses.
Rick hold off walkers, first, then Gareth and goons, shooting Gareth in the leg? shoulder? while the rest of the gang goes over the fence.
In the woods, outside of the fences, Daryl leads them back to the place where Rick and he buried the weapons. Abraham wonders loudly why they are still hanging around these woods. Rick’s going a little Rick Smash! at this moment…he is instructing the others to set up posts at the fences. He still wants to fight.
At Abraham’s, “Um, what?,”Rick turns to look up from his digging, tells Abraham, “They don’t get to live.”
Bob, Glenn, and the rest of the gang are like, ummm….maybe we go now? Rick?
The gang voices their dissent, and desire to go…Rick insists that it’s “not over until they’re all dead.” I do understand his point, and I feel certain that we will be seeing Gareth and the Terminans later on…Gareth does know now where the gang is headed, and like I said, that guy isn’t one to let go of a grudge anytime soon.
As we we see in the end, when “No Sanctuary” comes full circle, back to Then, when Gareth and Alex’s mother, Mary, gets thrown back in the train car after being raped and brutalized, and another poor woman gets chosen, and pulled away, we see that how Gareth and his people suffered at the hands of brutal degenerates. It took much strength, and resolve, to fight back, take back their home, and survive, even if the methods employed to do so were unspeakable and evil.
Gareth isn’t going to let this one go, and he’s not dead. If if were up to Rick, they would stay, fight, and make sure he was. But it’s not just up to Rick, not anymore.
But enough of that, because coming through the woods is…
Rick approaches next, smiling, tearing up, being cautious, respectful, asks Carol, “Did you do this?” meaning of course, killingTerminus. Carol is crying, smiling, nodding, and Rick gives her a big hug as well.
Now, remember this moment, you two…you are friends, remember that!
Carol tells Rick and the others, “You have to come with me.” And so Carol leads them back to the cabin, where Tyrese is waiting for them, holding Baby Judith.
Rick sees his baby girl and rushes to her.
Sasha reunites with her big brother, Tyrese.
Top Mamas ❤
Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita watch as the gang is reunited. Rick says it’s time to go. “To where?” asks Daryl. “Far away from here,” answers Rick. Rosita looks at Abraham significantly, and he assures her quietly that he’ll “talk to him, not now, whenthe time is right.” They follow the gang, and before Rick slips off with the rest into the woods, he makes a change to the Sanctuary sign:
After the credits, we see another traveller, who has found Rick’s modified “NoSanctuary” sign. He regards it for a moment, then pulls his hood, face mask off…
Morgan! I’ve been waiting a long time for you, bud…most awesome to see you again!
Before the epic playlist, I would like to award this week’s Deadie to Carol, MVP of Season 5, Episode 1,“No Sanctuary.”And in honor of Sam, who came up with awesome names for walkers, and who was a sweet soul, I included a little love offering for you all this week, to bring the funny, like Sam did.
They call him Carl Poppa, bitches. ❤
Until next week, and enjoy the playlist.
Led Zeppelin “Battle of Evermore”
Bad Brains “I“
Wipers “Just a Dream Away”
Motorcycle “As the Rush Comes” (Gabriel & Dresden Chillout Mix)
(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead, unless otherwise specified.)
Well, people, we have much to discuss, don’t we, with TheWalking Dead’sSeason 4,Episode 14, “The Grove.” For those WD fans who have been touched with a bit of the ennui regarding the last couple of weeks’ storylines. we got a bracing slap-up with this latest installment, written by Scott M. Gimple and artfully directed by Michael Satrazemis.
The opening scene of “The Grove” is a spare, haunting one. It opens with a close shot of a copper tea kettle on the stove, a gas flame burning under it…at first, it made me think it was a flashback of days past, at the beginning of the turn, perhaps…
The shot pans left to the open window, where a clean white curtain dances in a gentle breeze. We hear the sounds of girl’s laughter outside, and we see through the window’s pane what appears to be Lizzy running playfully around a tree. We lose the figure for brief moments, as she disappears behind the tree or the window frame, then reappears…and then we see, through the window, that there is another figure, but this figure does not run and dance like a young girl…this figure lurches and grabs at the young girl, who evades her easily, laughing.
“C’mon, Griselda!” we hear Lizzy’s voice beckon, when the walker stops at one point, having lost dim sight or sound of the girl…at the sound of Lizzy’s voice, the walker woman lurches again towards her, getting closer and closer, as Lizzy laughs, dances around the walker…the tea kettle on the stove starts to whistle, piercing through the dreamy, surreal quality of the old timey song that plays somewhere in the house, and the grotesque dance that is happening outside the window, in a sunny grove surrounded by pecan trees.
Cue the Bear McCreary opening title sequence…
In the next scene, it is night on the train tracks, near an overpass. Carol sits, holding Baby Judith while Lizzysits beside her. Mika and Tyrese are curled up on the tracks, sleeping. Carol smiles at Lizzy and tells her it’s ok, Lizzy can go sleep. Lizzy replies that if something happens, she can take Judith. “I can help,” says Lizzy, looking straight at Carol.
Carol smiles wryly. “You really think you can help me?”
“I know I can, m’aam,” Lizzy replies.
Lizzy then tells Carol how she saved Tyrese by shooting two people, a man and a woman, who were coming for Tyrese in the final prison battle. In remembering this, Lizzy looks down, regretful, “I didn’t mean to shoot her (Alicia) in the head.”
Aside from the opening shot, this statement by Lizzy is the first suggestion in “The Grove” as to how deeply Lizzy’s sympathetic feelings for the walkers really go, as shooting Alicia in the head would prevent her from reanimating into a walker…and for Lizzy, this is a bad thing.
By this point in the watching, it was like, seven minutes into the total episode, and I had already experienced two or three “Holy crap!” moments…is this what it feels like to be Gimple-slapped?I think so!
Lizzy asks Carol if she had a kid…Carol tells her about Sophia, how Sophia “didn’t have a mean bone in her body.”
“Is that why she isn’t here now?” asks Lizzy, astutely. Carol regards her, nods, “Yes.” Lizzy asks Carol if she misses her daughter. “Every day, “ Carol replies. Lizzy asks if Carol would miss her. “I won’t need to,” Carol answers, then tries to send Lizzy to bed again. Lizzy is quick, however, and she sneaks in a goodnight hug before Carol can protest or raise her defenses again:
In his sleep, on the tracks, Tyrese whimpers, in the grip of a bad dream…
The next morning, Carol is tending to Tyrese’s wound. Lizzy has found some type of pine sap, which Carol collects with the blade of her knife and applies to Tyrese’s wound to fight infection and bring down fever. Tyrese asks Carol how far she thinks they are from the Terminus station, the site of the supposed Sanctuary…three days out, four? Carol is not sure…Tyrese then comments on how tough Lizzy is.
“Yeah,” says Carol, “when it comes to people.” When Tyrese asks her what she means by that, Carol tells him that Lizzy is confused about the walkers, that she doesn’t see them for the threat they are…she just sees them as being different.
Tyrese looks over at Mika, who is holding Baby Judith, and asks Carol if she, Mika, is the same way. “No,” replies Carol. “She’s worse…she doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.” It is what she said about Sophia, before, and why Sophia didn’t survive.
Later, as they walk along the tracks, the girls and Carol pass the time talking about the adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. Mika asks if the story had a happy ending. At first, Mika likens herself to Huck Finn, but Lizzy interjects that she feels Mika is more like Tom Sawyer.
“Yeah,” Mika agrees easily, “You are way more like Huck Finn...you aren’t even grossed out by dead rabbits!” Lizzy shoots a look at Mika, makes the “zip it” sign with her mouth. Mika’s spilling Lizzy’s crazy deets, but the adults don’t notice.
A little ways down the tracks, Carol and Tyrese smell a fire, smoke…it smells like a big one. (Could it be the house fire that Daryl and Beth set? On Talking Dead, ChrisHardwick and the guests speculated on this possibility…I really do think the fire and smoke plume in this episode is from the cabin that Daryl and Beth torched. It seems like the kind of detail that Kirkman, Gimple, and Co. would add to an episode already rich with layers of meaning, nuance, and surrealism.)
Back at the tracks, Carol volunteers herself and Mika to go on a water run, suggesting that Tyrese stay back with Judith and Lizzy. Tyrese takes Carol’s advice and hangs back at the tracks, playing “I Spy” with Lizzy…there’s not much to see, besides trees and weeds, until it’s Tyrese’s turn, and he spies…a walker, some ways down the tracks, but lurching towards them.
Tyrese hands Judith to Lizzy and grips his hammer, striding down the tracks towards the walker, ready to take care of it…the walker falls through a weak part of the track and is stuck…Tyrese approaches it, ready to finish it off, when Lizzy rushes up to him, carrying Judith, and stops him. “Sometimes we need to kill them, but not always, “ says Lizzy. Judith begins to cry, and Tyrese looks down at the stuck walker, and relents to Lizzy’s wishes:
Don’t kill him, Tyrese…he’s my little friend! Look how cute he is!
On the outing, Mikapoints out that Lizzy would be able to carry more water, and Caroladmits to her that she wanted to take the opportunity to talk to Mika. When Mika asks her why, Carol tells Mika that she’s little and she’s sweet, “And those are two things thatcan get you killed.” Carol goes on to say that while Mika can’t change her small size, she can start to “toughen up” and adapt to the ways of the new world order.
Mika disagrees, saying that she doesn’t need to toughen up, that she can run, and she’s good at running. Carol stops, grips Mika’s arm. “No,” Carol says, “My daughter ran, and it wasn’t enough…that’s why I taught the kids at the prison to do more than that.”
(Now, I knew on many levels that this was why Carol was being so weird about teaching the prison kids the art of the knife kill, back in the day, but in this episode, we WD fans got many lingering questions answered, and after the watching, I felt a lot clearer about Carol and why she was being so weird and crazy then.
And, btw, in WD time, “back in the day”, when Carol was teaching knifery to the prison kids, that was maybe only like a week ago, right? Maybe not even a week? Ten days, tops?
Honestly, this whole crazy fourth season has taken place in about a week’s time, if I am calculating correctly, excluding the detour episode into the Gov’s story…please send me a line if I am wrong about this, but am I?
Let’s see…the explodey flu hit, then Patrick died and became Patrick Walker, led a walker riot at the prison…peeps died, peeps became infected with flu, Daryl and the crew made the Vet School Meds Run, while Rick sleuthed Carol’s double-homicide, led her away on the pretext of a goods run, and banished her from the prison with a lovely parting gift, a fully stocked car with a full tank of gas…Rick came back solo (with a lovely parting gift of his own, Carol’s watch), broke the411 to Maggie, then Hershel, before the prison broke out into another round of walker mayhem.
Then, Rick and Carl shared a father-son walker mow-down moment while Hershel, Maggie, and the at home peeps held down the prison and goodness prevailed, for a moment, anyway…Daryl and the gang returned from their road trip, delivered the meds, and started getting them into sick peeps’ bloodstreams stat while Hershel and Michonne got themselves into an unwanted and much-hated hostage situation with the Gov.
Rick had the dreaded Daryl Conversation, and was about to have the even more dreaded Tyrese Conversation, when they were rudely interrupted by the Gov’s tank blasting a hole into the prison walls…war broke out, the prison got ruined, and everyone who didn’t get killed, scattered…now everyone’s having their own story, with most trying to get to Terminus...and this all happened in about 5 – 7 days’ time, if I am figuring correctly.
Am I right or wrong about this? Chime in, people…inquiring minds want to know!
If I am right, that is pretty much The Shittiest Week Ever, maybe taking second place to the first week of the zombie apocalypse, where everyone’s lives they had before, and many of their loved ones, were lost forever.)
Anyway, Carol is giving Mika her life-or-death “toughen up” speech, while Mika is holding her own and making a strong case for her belief system, which is falling somewhere in the realm of pacifism and vegetarianism, which I totally respect…but do not fully practice, myself.
Mika explains her position. “I can kill walkers…I mean, I’ve tried. I’m not like my sister…I’m not messed up. I know what they are. But I can’t kill people…I could never do that.” Mika goes on to tell Carol about how the bad people at the prison were right in front of her and Lizzy, and how she, Mika, held up her gun…but couldn’t pull the trigger.
“Killing people is wrong,” asserts Mika. She brings up Karen and David,how somebody killed them…and they were nice.Carol’s mouth, at this, (the first of several in-your-face,Carol, moments in this episode) sets in a tight line as she asks, “What about people who try to kill you?”
“I don’t even wish I could (kill them),” Mika replies. Carol bends down to get on Mika’s eye level. “People came in and killed our friends,”she says to Mika, emphasizing every word, looking Mika right in the eye.
Mika’slook back is unwavering, her reply immediate, ” And I feel sorry for them.”
Carol’s brow furrows at this. “Why?”she whispers, genuinely puzzled.
“Because they probably weren’t like that before,”replies Mika. She turns and continues down the wooded path.
As she follows Mika, Carol keeps on. “Sooner or later, you’ll have to do it…you’ll have to do it, or you’ll die….you have to change, everyone does now. Things don’t just work out.”
And at this very moment, the two turn a slight right and walk right into the opening of a stately old pecan grove, with a quiet country home nestled in the center. It looks peaceful and immediately inviting. “Look!”exclaims Mika. She turns to Carol, beaming. “My mom used to say, everything turns out like it’s supposed to.”
I really love Mika in this episode…in Star Wars,she would have been a padawan, a young Jediin Yoda’s training…Lizzy, on the other hand, would have def gone to the Dark Side and been one of the Emperor’s disciples
As they all approach the home, walking through the peaceful pecan grove, Carol pulls back a spare, but sturdy, barbed wire half-fence that surrounds the house and yard. “Maybe we can catch our breath here,” suggests Carol. Lizzy asks if they are still going to Terminus, and Carol replies that maybe they can stay a day or two before moving on. It seems like an ideal plan, as there is a well full of water, fences, deer that can be hunted, and pecans…as Tyrese says, “You can eat your fill, and then some!”
Mika seems very stoked on this. “I love pecans!” she exclaims, which is a good thing, as nuts are a key protein source for vegetarians.
Lizzy, of course, being a disciple of the Dark Side, spots the large black plume of smoke coming up from the distance, over the tree line…it is a foreshadowing of trouble to come, a course of events unwittingly set into motion, most likely by two wild young people on the run, and falling in love...ouch, Carol, I feel that arrow to the heart for you, girl, but that little killing episode was a total dealbreaker…sorry…sux 4 u.
Carol suggests they leave the hole in the fence for the deer to come through and, “play it really safe here.” It’s a good plan, and I am giving Carol mad props for mentally multitasking like a motherfucker right about now. She’s got the goods. The NewCarol would have kicked Ed’s ass good, and busted a cap in his mean mug, before he ever got a chance to lay another hand on her. That thought gives me a lot of satisfaction.
Carol and Tyrese approach the door to begin the process of “clearing” the house…they order the girls to stay outside, where they are sitting, Lizzy holding the baby and Mika holding the gun. Carol has deliberately put Mika in charge of this, to force her to shoot to protect if necessary, and desensitize her from all that pacifistic nonsense.
As they rap on the door and go inside, Lizzy begins to look more and more distressed, which Mika notices. She tries to reassure Lizzy that Carol and Tyrese will be fine, but Lizzy isn’t worried about Carol and Tyrese…she’s worried about the walkers that will surely get killed if found inside.
Mika and Lizzy get into it, Mika starting to lose her patience and yell at Lizzy that the walkers are not people, when Ol’ Farmer Walkercomes lurching out of the house and pitches over the porch railing, landing him right in front of the girls and the baby. He begins to claw his way towards them, and Lizzy falls while trying to back away, clutching Judith and screaming in terror while poor Judith wails helplessly.
I’m sure at one time, he was a very nice man, living a quiet living on his pecan grove, in his lovely home…
…but nowadays, Ol’ Farmer Walker be scary!
Mika fires upon Ol’ Farmer Walker, but it is Carol and Tyrese that finish him off. This sets Lizzy into a real fit of despair, which Carol cannot understand and is growing impatient with, as she keeps asking Lizzy what is wrong.
Lizzyresponds that she doesn’t want to say, and turns away. Mika fixes Carol a look, like, “What are you, new?” before going after Lizzy.
With the practiced air of someone who has done it many times before, Mika first apologizes to Lizzy for yelling at her, then puts her arm around Lizzy’s shoulders, quietly urging Lizzy to look at the flowers, focus on the flowers, and count, and breathe.
A troubled Tyrese and Carol look on, as Lizzy and Mika breathe and count together, and Lizzy begins to calm, while the Bear McCrearymusic twists and turns in the background like the unraveling of Lizzy’s young mind…
Just look at the flowers, like you’re supposed to…
Later, in the evening, Carol and Lizzyare sitting at the kitchen table, shelling pecans. Carol asks Lizzy if she is still upset, and Lizzy tells her that sometimes she doesn’t understand (why the walkers must be killed), “but I am trying to, m’aam, I really am.”Mika runs up to them, beaming and clutching a sweet rag doll with long red yarn ponytails. “Look what I found!” Mika exclaims, showing them the doll. “I’m going to name her Griselda Gunderson!“
And with that pronouncement, Mika flounces onto the living room rug to play with her new doll. There is a cozy fire burning in the fireplace, and Tyrese cannot seem to comprehend this long-forgotten feeling of home, and hearth, and comfort. He remarks on this as he looks around, dazed at the coziness and warmth and feeling of family in the room.
Whoa…I forgot what this is like…
Mika, ever the sage, tells Tyrese to chillax, stay awhile…
And then Mika plants the seed in Tyrese’s head by suggesting, “We should live here!”So, Tyrese abides.
The peaceful family feeling is short-lived, because the next scene is daylight, through the kitchen window, with the whistling copper kettle and the macabre game of Walker Tagbetween Lizzyand her new bestie, Griselda Walker,which Carol spies, disbelieving, through the window. She rushes out, ordering Lizzy away from her grisly version of a newfound doll, Griselda Walker:
No, no, Carol, Griselda’s cool…really! We’re new besties!
“Get away from that walker this instant, young lady!” “Noooo, Carol, noooo, don’t hurt my BFF Griselda! Griselda’s cool, it’s cool, she’s cool!”
Carol, of course, must lay down the tough love, and the blade, into Griselda Walker’s skull, inciting a full-on-fucking-freakoutby you-know-who…
“Noooooo! You killed Griselda!”
“She was my BEST FRIEND, and YOU KILLED HER!What if I killed you, huh? What if I KILLED YOU?“
As Carol, and Tyrese(who looks on from the window) process Lizzy’s full-on wack-attack, it’s pretty apparent that Lizzy is Cuckoo for CocoaPuffs…and Carolsuddenly has a splitting headache.
Later, Carol and Mika go out together, Mika carrying a shotgun. They see the black plume of smoke over the treetops, and Mika says black smoke means the fire is still burning…she learned that in science class. “I miss science class,” she sighs, excepting when they made the students cut up planeria worms. What an adorable little nerd she is!
Caroltries to work the “toughen up” angle again with Mika,saying that these days, she’ll have to do a lot worse than cut up planeria worms. “I don’t gotta,”Mika replies. (Pretty much one of my favorite lines, ever.) Carol tells her that while Lizzy is bigger and stronger, Mika is smarter about things, that she understands about the walkers while Lizzy doesn’t. “Look out for her,” pleads Carol. Carol then spies a young deer in the glenn.
“Go on,” she urges Mika, trying to get her to bring down the deer. “Just like I showed you.” Mika raises the rifle and aims…
…and then lowers the gun…
“Nah, can’t do it.”
She then gives Carol this sweet look and says, “We have peaches!”
Later, Tyrese is pumping well water into a bucket, with Carol. He’s been thinking, tells Carol that maybe they don’t need to go to Terminus, that maybe they can make a life here, at this house. Tyrese is thinking maybe they should stay there.
“I know Lizzy and Mika…I know Judith…I know you, I trust you,”Tyrese says to Carol, who looks down for a moment at these words. Tyrese continues, “I don’t know if I can get that anywhere else.”
Tyresecontinues to look at Carolwith a sweet, open look. “We can stay here…we can live here.”
Meanwhile, back at the house, Mika is calling for Lizzy. She sees Lizzy slip off in the back, towards the stables. She follows Lizzy to the railroad tracks, walks up just after Lizzy pulls a mouse from a box and, holding it by the tail, hand-feeds it to the stuck railroad walker.
Yum, yum!On Talking Dead,they said the WDeffects crew made an edible prop mouse for the walker actor to actually eat, grape jelly in a gelatin casing.
On the tracks, poor little Mika really tries to reason with her crazy sister, telling her straight up that the walkers are bad, that they want to kill her, that it’s time to stop pretending things aren’t as bad as they really are. Lizzy continues to tell her sister that nobody understands, that the walkers are talking to her, and she thinks they want her to be like them.
“Maybe I should become like them,” Lizzy muses as she holds her hand out to the stuck walker, who tries to chomp at her fingers. “I can make you all understand.”
Then, the rustle of nearby bushes heralds the coming of…The Char Walkers.
The latest gift to WDfans from Nicotero & Co., the Char Walkers look like black, smoking demon aliens from some heavy metal planet in the farthest reaches of the universe…
The Char Walkerscome lurching down the tracks after the girls, who make it to the barbed-wire fence, screaming for Carol and Tyrese…Lizzygets through, while poor Mika gets stuck in the wire. To her credit, Lizzy pulls Mika to safety after a close call with a particularly grabby walker.
The girls scramble to get their guns and help Tyrese and Carol shoot The Char Walkersin a great walker kill scene that had Jon Sanders, a WD effects specialist, grinning from ear to ear as he recounted the fun they creating the effects of the walker’s brains and bodies getting blown away in a pyrotechnic display of flaming bits of brain and brawn:
That night, as Tyrese dozes in the cozy armchair in front of the fireplace, Carol and Lizzy once again sit at the kitchen table together while Mika plays with her rag doll, Griselda Gunderson.
Lizzy is staring morosely, and breathing kind of funny, and Carol asks her gently if she is still upset. Lizzy chooses her words carefully, saying that she knows she needed to help with the walkers earlier. It seems Lizzy is upset about killing the walkers, but she also seems like she may be getting it, finally. It seems that way, anyhow…
Carol asks her if she understands now what they really are. Once again, Lizzy chooses her words carefully, saying that she knows now what she must do. Carol, of course, interprets this as Lizzy finally getting it, that the walkers are a threat and need to be dealt with as such, but Lizzy’s true meaning is much more sinister than that. Mika pipes up, saying she doesn’t want to kill, she doesn’t want to be mean…Lizzy turns to her sister and looks at her significantly, and says that you only need to be mean sometimes…nobody of course guesses the true import and meaning of her words.
In his armchair, Tyrese tosses and mumbles, in the grip of another bad dream.
The next morning, Carol and Tyrese are walking together. Carol turns to Tyrese, tells him that she’s on board with staying at the farm, of setting up a life there. Tyrese seems glad to hear this. He says that maybe someday they can continue on, to Terminus, but right now…right now, he is not sure he can be around other people, around strangers.
As he says this, Tyrese leans heavily on a tree…and begins to talk about Karen. He dreams about her every night, and even though the dreams change (in some they are just talking, and in some he actually sees someone kill her, some stranger.)Tyresewakes, each time, with the feeling like he’s just lost her all over again.
Poor Carol’s face, as he talks! Melissa McBridedelivers another amazing performance, as Carol’s face shows her conflict, and regret, and sorrow, at Tyrese’s words. At one point, she even turns to Tyrese, about to confess…but, thankfully, she cannot bring herself to do it.
My WDbuddy said later, of this scene, that it was good that Carol waited to confess to Tyrese…we both agreed that the outcome would have been way different if she had told him then, in the grove.
Instead, sweet Tyrese tells Carol she shouldn’t be ashamed about who she is, and gives her a hug…damn, you know she’s feeling like shit right about now.
And then, it becomes…awful. Carol and Tyrese come back to the house to find Lizzy in the front yard, her hands covered in blood, holding a knife. Mika lay dead behind her, while Judith is having some tummy time on a blanket beside Mika’s body.
As Carol approaches, and reaches for the knife, Lizzy tells them to wait, she’ll change, that she, Lizzy, didn’t hurt Mika’s head or her brain.“Just wait, you’ll see, she’llchange,” Lizzy insists. This is what she has decided must be done to have them see, finally, what she sees about the walkers. When Carol reaches again, Lizzy pulls out her gun, to hold them off and give Mika a chance to “change.”
When Carol suggests to Lizzy that Tyrese take her and Judith inside, as being out there wouldn’t be safe for Judith, Lizzy tells them that she was about to…take care of Judith, so she could change, too.
“She can’t even walk yet,” points out Carol, who is somehow able to keep calm and talk quietly, and reasonably, to Lizzy without being too confrontational in this moment. Lizzy nods, understands, has an, “Ok, I’ll wait until she’s older”air about her.
Lizzy agrees to go inside with Tyrese and Judith only after Carol convinces her that she will stay outside to tie Mika up, you know, so she won’t go anywhere. “I’ll use her shoelaces,” suggests Carol, putting on a brave, bright smile and blinking back her tears.
A shaken Tyrese leads the girls inside, and Carol breaks down, crying over little Mika’s body. She pulls her knife out, tears running down her face.
Later, Carolsits at the kitchen table, staring ahead, while Tyrese tells her that he fed Lizzy and cleared her room of any knives or weapons. He found a box of mice in her room, and learned that she was the one feeding rats to the walkers at the prison, and that she was also the one that opened up the rabbit’s body and nailed it to the board. She told him was “having fun” with it.
Tyrese, who is looking majorly shell-shocked and creeped out at this point, wonders aloud if it was her that killed Karen and David…but how could she drag the bodies out?
Carol stares down at the table. “She would have let them turn,” she says. “It wasn’ther.” It’s like Carol really doesn’t even give a shit about that crap right now…she’s got other, more pressing things to worry about in the moment.
Carol tells Tyrese that Lizzy was like this before, that it was already there…she blames herself for not seeing it sooner. She offers to take Lizzy, herself, to keep her away from others. Carol says she won’t be able to sleep with Lizzy and Judith under the same roof. Lizzy is clearly a threat to Judith.
Tyrese tells Carol they’d never make it…he offers to take Judith, but Carol tells him the same thing, they’d never make it…they look at each other. Carol says, slowly and deliberately, “She can’t be around other people.”She looks at Tyrese, who looks back at her, pained. Carol wipes away tears.
There is nothing more to say.
Later, as Tyrese looks on, out the window, Carol and Lizzy walk together in the grove, away from the house. Lizzy looks happy and at ease, taking big, high steps over the wildflowers and looking up at Carol fondly. Carol is keeping it together, saying that they should pick wildflowers for Mika, for when she comes back. Lizzy agrees that Mika would love that. Carol soon after begins to break down, and Lizzy becomes upset, distressed at the thought of Carol being mad at her. Crying quietly, Carol tells Lizzy to “look at the flowers,”that she, Carol loves her.
And as Lizzy looks at the yellow flowers at her feet, crying, Carol, crying, lifts the gun and pulls the trigger.
As Carol walks back to the house, she sees a deer in the glenn. She looks at it for a moment, before continuing on to the house. The next shot is of Carol digging, with Tyrese carrying Lizzy’s shrouded body and placing it gently on the ground, beside the newly dug grave.
Later, sitting at the table with Tyrese,Carol has had enough. She confesses to Tyrese, “I killed Karen and David…it wasn’t Lizzy, it wasn’t a stranger…it was me.” She continues to tell a shellshocked Tyrese that he can do what he needs to, but she was only trying to stop the spread of the disease to the others at the prison. It takes Tyrese a moment to recover himself…
But, after he is assured that Karen didn’t know what was happening, or feel pain, or fear, he tells Carol he forgives her…he will never forget, but he does forgive, as he knows what she did is something she feels, and is a part of her, as it is a part of him. “I forgive you,” he says, and Carol quietly thanks him.
Tyrese says they can’t stay, not now. The parting shots of Episode 14 show the empty house, the kettle, the armchair, the ragdoll lying at the edge of the cold, ashened fireplace…Tyrese and Carol, with Judith on Tyrese’s back, walk through the grove, away from the home and life that seemed so promising, and down the tracks towards Terminus, as the voice over is of Carol and Lizzy’s conversation, back at the prison:
Lizzy:“I am not afraid to kill…I am just afraid.”
Carol:“You can’t be.”
Carol:“You fight it…you don’t give up, and then one day, you change…we all change.”
It’s been a crazy episode, and a crazy week, all around…so, for this week’s playlist, it seems fitting to feature songwriters who say it, and play it, in a way that nobody else can…enjoy!