TWD, Season 6, Episode 9, “No Way Out”

“No Way Out”

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

Well, that was fun!

Sad…yes.  Dark, yes.  Haunting…god, yes.

Admittedly, it is with some real trepidation, and assorted beverages, that I set out to craft this post, and face, at some point, the inevitable moment when I must revisit the harrowing scene where Sam, Jessie, Ron, and Carl each meet their respective, tragic fates amidst the swarm of savage walkers invading the streets of Alexandria.

I know that in the rewatchings, there will be many moments, and images, from that scene that will cling to me like burrs, imbed themselves into the depths of my psyche, and stay there for a long while.

This episode’s definitely going to leave a mark or two to remember it by.

Since Episode 609’s airing, there has been a constant stream of social media postings celebrating many of the key moments of “No Way Out” as we in TWD fandom strive to process the constantly-unfolding “new classic” moments of this iconic episode. We, the obsessed fans, show our devotion to the TWD creators, cast, and crew by shipping our favorite show, (and the characters we love so well) with the unparalleled devotion they deserve, in the form of screenshots, memes, videos, blogs, fan fiction, interviews, articles, etc.

This, of course, is as it should be.

Lucky for us, dear readers, great love, lasting love, is reciprocal. Real love, when it’s got the flows, is a mutual, symbiotic exchange, an ever-evolving dance of give and take between two (or more) parties.  That, people, is how real love do.

And, lucky for us, dear readers, Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple, and Greg Nicotero know this.

They are worldly men, with big hearts & mad skills.

They know when to bring the love, and with TWD‘s Season 6’s action-packed, chock-full of spills, thrills, and cold, ghostly chills (OMG, the Sam chomp scene…and then, Jessie…and Michonne skewering Ron…and Carl’s eye….and Rick…and Michonne…and OMG, Richonne!..and that Rick and Carl scene…and Daryl…and Glenn and Maggie…and Carol and Morgan….and Denise and The Wolf…and the epic Battle For Alexandria…and Rick Smash! taking on all the walkers, berzerker-style… I cannot…but I must, and I will, dammit, I will!) mid-season premiere, Episode 609, “No Way Out,”  Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple, and Greg Nicotero gave everyone in TWD fandom a big, red heart-shaped box, tied with a pink satin ribbon, like:

Here you go, guys. Happy VDay.

And we TWD fans receive this love offering joyfully, grateful for the respite, because we know that as we celebrate the victories and post the memes, trouble is brewing, and hard times are coming for Rick and the gang.

We know soon enough, dear readers, that we are going to get our asses kicked, but good, and we’re ok with that.

It is, of course, as it should be.

So, let us seize the day and celebrate some of the highlight scenes and pivotal moments from The Walking Dead’s Episode 609, “No Way Out.”

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“No Way Out”

When we left Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham in the first four minutes of “No Way Out,” Daryl had just been roughly escorted to the back of the fuel truck, at Snidely’s orders, by one of Negan’s biker goons, “T,” while Sasha and Abraham were looking down the barrels of their own handguns as they were held at gunpoint by Snidely, who had just informed them that he was basically done talking…

snidely gunpoint 1

snidely drops the weapons

Then, suddenly, Snidely brings the weapons down, by his sides, slumping into his bike’s seat, looks down, as if reconsidering...

snidely looks up 2

Snidely looks up at Sasha and Abraham with a sheepish grin…

snidely looks up 3

…then rolls his eyes upward…

snidely sez i'm not gonna kill you

“I’m not gonna kill you,” he tells Sasha and Abraham in a joking, friendly manner.

sasha looks relieved

Sasha looks at Snidely, nods, unsure of how to interpret this…

sasha looks at abraham

…and turns to Abraham, questioningly, like, “Is this a sick joke, or what?”

abraham looks at snidely

Abraham seems to be wondering the same thing, does not take his eyes off Snidely.

snidely reconsiders 1

“Wait,” Snidely says, as if reconsidering…again.

snidely says wait, wait

“…wait…”

snidely says you know what, yes i am

Snidely looks up at Abraham and Sasha. “You know what? Yes, I am,” and with that shitty statement, Snidely starts to lift the handguns, ready to shoot Abraham and Sahsa…

blast 1

We hear a hissing noise, and then a huge explosion engulfs Snidely and his crew of biker dicks in a huge fireball.

blast 2

Later, dicks.

blast 3

Hey Snidely, did anyone ever tell you that you have quite the combustible personality?

blast 4

Well, rather, you had quite the combustible personality…

blast 5

…because you, and your shitty crew, and your snide comments are in the past tense, now…

daryl and missle launcher 1

…thanks to our man, Daryl Dixon.

daryl and missle launcher 2

Holding the smoking rocket launcher, Daryl surveys the burning remains of Snidely and his charred posse.

daryl and missle launcher 3

Daryl’s like, “Whoa!”

daryl and missle launcher 4

He looks down at the smoking weapon as Sasha and Abraham ease their way back to standing from where they dove for cover.

sasha covering ear gets up

Coughing, sputtering, ears sure to be ringing, Sasha and Abraham survey the burning, blackened remains of the men who, just one minute before, almost killed them.

sasha abraham daryl 1

I love this look on Sasha’s face as she steps towards Daryl. She’s beaming at Daryl, and nodding, and dazed, and so stoked, like, “Well, how about that?  Hell yeah, Daryl Dixon!

daryl bleeding 1

Daryl turns away, says, “Sonuvabitch was tougher than he looked,” (which is pretty funny, because that guy, T, looked pretty tough). As he walks away, we see that Daryl has a bleeding stab wound on his left shoulder, leaving a bloodstain on his left angel wing. This image really saddened me, on many levels, one of them being how it seems to symbolize all of the wounds Daryl has taken right to the heart in his life. ❤ We love you forever, Daryl Dixon, and we are with you, always, every step of the way.

daryl bleeding 2

“Did he cut you?” Sasha asks. “A little,” Daryl replies.

daryl bleeding what a bunch of assholes

Daryl turns, and classic Daryl Dixon style, says, “What a bunch of assholes!”

daryl bleeding sasah lets get you fixed up at home

Sasha laughs, delighted, lays her hands on Daryl’s shoulder, causing him to wince slighty, probably both from the shoulder being tender and Daryl’s general cageyness about letting others touch him. Sasha, however, is family, and this is the first time we have seen her smile like this since, well, Boband certainly since Tyreese. “C’mon, let’s get you fixed up at home,” Sasha says, getting to play the role of bossy, loving, sassy sister once again. ❤

daryl sasha yes ma'am

“Yes ma’am,” Daryl agrees. Still beaming, Sasha follows Daryl as they take one last look at dead-ass T and climb into the truck.

abraham nibble on that

Abraham turns to take one last look at the blown up bikers and in classic Abraham-style, tosses out the last word:

 

later snidely u dick

“Nibble on that.”

Standing ovation, cheers all around to that incredible scene, especially to our man, Daryl Dixon, for proving his constancy and resourcefulness by saving the day, and the peeps, once again.

Deadie of highest order, The MVP Award, to our man, Daryl Dixon, and to the fine, fine actor who plays him, Norman Reedus.

How we love thee, Daryl Dixon/Norman Reedus!

There will be more star players awarded by the end of this post, but we have to take a moment to show the love, “right out of the gate.”

We can only imagine the awesomeness of Daryl’s silent, stealth takedown of T behind Patty the fuel truck’s back bumper. God love him, because we sure do! Five or six minutes into the S6 mid-season premiere, and we are already awarding our man mad props and highest accolades.

I am also loving seeing Sasha blossoming once again, jolted back to life after her and Abraham’s brush with death. That beaming smile…so great to see that again!  The banter back and forth between her and Abraham spoke to a deepening connection between the two. Very interested to see how this all plays out.

And, while we rejoice, I do feel the need to point out that there are speculations online about this scene, about the sight of a far-off car way down the road behind Snidely and his fellow “chodes on choppers” as he goes through his comedy routine of, “I’m not gonna kill ya, oh, wait, yeah I am.” 

My WD buddy sent the following link to myself and our new team member, The Rookie. (Very cute and fabulous and fun, loves to research TWD, loves The Reeduswelcome to the fold, Rookie! <3):

http://hellogiggles.com/walking-dead-daryl-oh-no/

When I rewatched, I kept watching back in that corner, and I did see something that gleamed like a faraway car appear in the distance. As the article in the link says, there is speculation that the car may be Negan himself, or perhaps one of Negan’s scouts, who speeds off as the explosion happens.

It’s a compelling theory, and there is definitely a car back there if you watch the link’s video footage. At the first watching, I had wondered about their leaving the burnt remains of Snidely and the biker gang behind, seeing that the road where Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha meet up with Snidely’s road block was probably a well-known and well-utilized road & route for Negan and his operation, and that sooner or later, somebody was going to come up on the charred remains of the biker gang and report back to Negan, who would start sleuthing who the perp(s) were and get to plotting his revenge.

Because it just seems like Negan isn’t the kind of guy who lets such insults slide. Negan feels like he might just be the reigning Godfather of the PZAand if he is that guy, then I don’t think that guy lets shit like blowing up his motorcycle scouts slide.

oh no they di

Negan be like, “Oh, no they didn’t!

<Sipping Stella, trying not to have a bad-boy crush on Negan.>

IMG_8883

Replace.There, that’s better. In this post, I am going to feature some of my favorite recent offerings from various TWD-loving IG accounts. ❤ Enjoy, and if you aren’t already, give them a follow!

Meanwhile, back at Alexandria:

walker walk rick 1

walker walk ron 2

walker walk sweet carl 3

walker walk sweet carl 4

walker walk jesse 6

walker walk gabriel 7

walker walk michonne 8

walker walk vday walker 9

walker walk passin thru 10

walker walk passin thru 11

walker walk sam 12

walker walk sam 13

walker walk rick and carl 14

walker walk rick leads gang 15

walker walk jesse 15

walker walk new plan 16

When the gang is able to break away from the walker herd, they duck behind a bush for a brief rest. Rick turns to the others and outlines a new plan: there are too many walkers, too spread out, for the few weapons and flares in the armory to take care of. Rick lays out a plan to head out to the quarry and recover the vehicles there, come back, and I guess, lead the walkers away from Alexandria. As Michonne watches out (looking majorly badass while doing so), Rick tells the group that they need as many drivers as possible.

walker walk jesse but judith 17

Jessie, after a moment’s hesitation, agrees with Rick’s plan…Rick sees the hesitation, waits, then listens as Jessie voices her concerns about Judith’s safety if they set off for the quarry. As always, excellent boyfriend behavior exhibited by our man, Rick Grimes, and good looking out once again by Jessie. Props. <3<3

gabriel steps up 1

Rick turns, thinking, and we see that Gabriel has overheard this conversation, and a light has turned on inside him…this is his chance to step up, to redeem himself. Gabriel recognizes the opportunity immediately, says:

gabriel steps up 2

I’ll take her…keep her safe in my church until you all lead the walkers away.”

gabriel steps up 3

Rick looks into Gabriel’s eyes, measuring this. I looked into Gabriel’s eyes as well, and after a brief wave of creepiness and trepidation, I did believe Gabriel would keep his word and do his best to protect Judith…and as we’ve seen in previous episodes, Gabriel def has some walker killing skillstime to put that shit to good use, son!

gabriel steps up 4 michonne can u do this

Mama Michonne is not taking any chances. “Can you do this?” she asks softly, like, ‘I will fuck you up if you fuck this up, got me?’ Gabriel gets her, says, I’m supposed to…I have to.”

gabriel steps up 5 i will

Gabriel turns to Rick. “I will, he vows. (Well, alrighty then, Gabriel. Don’t fucking blow it…or else.)

gabriel steps up 6 baby judith pass off

Carl passes Baby Judith to Gabriel…what a horrible, scary world to be a sweet little baby in! 😦

gabriel steps up 7 gabriel shush

gabriel steps up 8

Jessie and Rick look on as Gabriel gathers up the baby, covers her in his cloak slimed with walker gutsone of the things that really worked for me with Jessie and Rick’s connection was that they both knew what it was really like to be a parent, and could understand/support each other in that. Jessie would have been a good mom figure to Judith and Carl. 😦 ❤

gabriel steps up 9 take sam

As Gabriel turns to go, Jessie has, voices the idea, “Take Sam.” Sam protests, and despite Jessie’s insistence that he would be safer in the church, with Gabriel…

gabriel steps up 10 sam i'm not leaving you

Sam insists on staying with her, continuing on to the quarry. “I’m not leaving you,” Sam tells his mother.

gabriel steps up 11 jessie gives in

After Sam’s repeated assurances that he will be ok, that he wants to continue on, Jessie, God help her, relents to her son’s wishes (despite not looking too convinced…the shot pans around to the others, and they are not looking too convinced either)…

gabriel steps up 12 rick jessie

…but, Jessie gives in to Sam, thus sealing her fate, and her sons’, as well. 😦

gabriel steps up 13 I'm going to keep her safe

Gabriel turns to Rick, vows, “I’m going to keep her safe.”

gabriel steps up 14 rick says thank u

Rick looks at Gabriel, says simply, humbly, “Thank you.” (One of the first things that I fell in love with about Rick Grimes was his impeccable good manners when someone did him a solid. The man is just solid gold, always. <3)

gabriel steps up 15 michonne stink eye

As Gabriel begins towards the church, Michonne shoots him a final stink eye, like,I’m watching you, got that?”

gabriel steps up 16

They all watch as Gabriel walks away with Judith concealed under his cloak, making his way quietly, evenly, into the throng of walkers. He is doing well, not calling attention to himself.

gabriel steps up 17 rick

Awwwww…. <3<3

gabriel steps up 18 jessie

Jessie looks Rick in the eye, tells him earnestly, Hey, he’s going to make it, ok? Jessie gives Rick’s hand an extra squeeze. “I know it.”

After a moment, Rick takes Sam’s hand, and one by one, they begin to make their way back into the flow of walkers. Carl looks towards Ron, who hangs back, hesitating, and offers Ron his hand…

gabriel steps up 19 carl reaches for ron's hand

gabriel steps up 20 ron

Again, Ron hesitates, looks down at Carl’s proferred hand a moment…

gabriel steps up 21 ron grabs carl's hand

…before taking it in a rather dickish and aggressive fashion (I thought, anyway). (Ugh, you’re such a chip off your dickhead dad, McSlappy!)

Meanwhile, in another part of Alexandria, Tara is peering through the barred window of the home that she, Rosita, Eugene, Carol and Morgan is safely encased in…you can tell she is peering out for any sign of poor Denise, who was taken against her will by the dark-haired young Wolf.

Outside, countless walkers pass, some lurching along in a slow, plodding fashion, others zigzagging in a shuffling sidestep, heads jerking discordantly as long-dead nerves fire intermittently in the most basic arc. a mere brain-stem connection.

There are so many walkers pouring past the barred window.

tara sez we gotta save denise

Tara turns from the window, says, “We have to try. (Man, poor Tara is having some pretty horrible luck dating women in these postapocalyptic times!)

rosita sez no way, there are too many of them

Rosita, who is ever-so-hot, and ever-so-wise, sez no way, there are too many of them.

The girls go back and forth, Tara saying that the Wolf will kill Denise, and Rosita countering that they won’t even be able to get to her (through all those walkers). 

“She needs us!” Tara pleads. “We’ll die, Rosita says, flatly.

rosita is hot lady boss

Like a boss, Rosita lays it down, hard truth delivered firmly, but with love: They have one gun, and there are too many of “those things” out there. The Wolf needs Denise, as he’s sick, and she’s a doctor. (I hadn’t really thought about that angle of it, but that does make sense…he would have a vested interest in making sure Denise made it with him through the walkers.) Rosita points out that the Wolf knows how to survive out there, and that she, Tara, and Eugene need to stay back and make sure Carol and Morgan are ok…when they wake up, then they can make a plan.

“We can’t just go,” Rosita says, quietly, firmly. Tara nods tearfully, agrees.

A noise from the other room startles them, and they go in to see Eugene helping Carol come to standing. She’s pretty jacked, you can tell, after Morgan threw her down on that concrete floor  (thereby earning himself quite the drop in approval ratings from my corner of the universe).

Like, I empathize and all, and I have love for Morgan. I know that he is trying to apply Eastman’s style of kung fu quite literally to his own life, to help him have a code to live by, but Eastman’s methods apply way more in theory than in actual practice around these parts.

Eastman had indulged his deep bloodlust desire for vengeance to the max, building a prison cage inside his mountain home to imprison the man who killed his family, and destroyed Eastman’s life, and exacting his vengeance by watching the man starve to death in that cage, Eastman keeping him alive enough to prolong the man’s suffering while watching it, 24/7 if he wanted to…like bingewatching your revenge.

I have thought about that Eastman storyline,  and I tried to imagine what that would have been like, how long it would have taken, what kind of interactions he and the man had while the man starved to death, day after day without food, and Eastman had total access to watch the whole horrific day-to-day process unfold.

Basically, people, like I’ve said before, I know it isn’t real, but I still obsess, and I have formed a personal theory that Eastman was able to indulge his darkness, his obsessive desire for revenge, fully, and come out the other side, perhaps sobered and sickened by the reality of what he did to the man who killed his family. Dude, starving someone to death who is imprisoned in a cage that is basically right in your living room, where most people’s tv’s would be, is some pretty burly shit.

So, Eastman indulged his darkness, fully, and was living in isolation, so he had time, space, and distance to then immerse himself in his quest for peace and quietude: reading, meditating, practicing with his staff, working in his garden, practicing nonviolence, vegetarianism, embracing life as something precious.  Those lofty ideals that Eastman espoused were much easier to practice safely removed from others, especially in the days after a zombie apocalypse.

The way I see it, Morgan’s path is vastly different from Eastman’s. Every time Morgan hesitates in killing someone, or something, who is clearly a threat and who will remain a threat, well, that hesitation seems to come back and bite him, or someone close to him, in the ass. Little Duane was killed, in a horrible twist of irony, by his undead mother, Jenny, who Morgan remained unable, or unwilling, to rekill, though he had many opportunities to do so, and knowing, deep down, that he needed to.

The Wolf boys who Morgan refused to kill found Aaron’s man purse, and came and slaughtered many residents of Alexandria, and then, those selfsame Wolf boys that Morgan continued to spare tried to ambush and kill Rick Grimes in the RV, and now, one has taken Doctor Denise as a hostage and is trying to cross the sea of walkers to scramble up and over the fence…to do something, I’m not sure what, but I’m pretty sure it involves making Denise a walker, herself, at some point. (Honestly, I am still not sure what these freaking Wolves actually believe in…for a sect of humanity that seems to devalue life so much, that dark-haired Wolfboy sure didn’t seem to be in any hurry to become a walker himself, am I right? Like, hypocrite much?)

Anyhow, not sure how all this rant got started, but basically, I think Morgan is full of crazy beans and needs to get over it, like yesterday, or he can just go free-agent or some shit and get traded to another community, because I do not think the chemistry is there if he continues on this foolhardy crusade of his.

carol wakes up

Carol seems mos def in my camp, as she looks down at Morgan’s unconscious form, asking Rosita if she can borrow her gun, so she can take a sweep around the brownstone and see if there are “any other surprises” waiting for them in there.

morgan wakes up

And then, Morgan wakes up, looks around…

morgan wakes up 2 where is he

…asks, “Where is he?”

morgan wakes up 3 where's denise  he took her

Nobody has the heart to answer right away. Morgan then asks, “Where’s Denise?” to which Carol guesses, immediately, “He took her,” (while actually managing to hold herself back from adding, “You fucking idiot,” to Morgan).  I thought this omission showed some real restraint on Carol’s part. Props, New Carol.

Didn’t he?” New Carol presses Rosita, who answers without words, slowly coming to standing, looking at Carol and nodding, then pulling out her handgun, silently handing it to Carol, who stalks off angrily to take a sweep of the rest of the house.

Morgan’s eyes register his dismay as he realizes the truth of what has happened, while Eugene, no stranger to fucking shit up royally for others, gently encourages Morgan to stand, and offers his assistance in helping Morgan up off the floor.

While that hot drama unfolds in the brownstone, we see an ariel shot of two figures, fleet of foot and nimble of mind, dart across the expanse between the fence and the church in short, well-timed dashes, ducking behind bushes, signs, undetected by the milling walkers, until they are able to scramble up the church steps and get inside safely.

glenn and enid 1

We recognize these figures, with their speed and savvy, as Glenn and Enid. #superteam

…while outside, in another part of town…

denise and the wolf 2

The young Wolf looks over as Denise bravely tries to keep her calm, and composure, as they hunker down and wait for an opening in the steady stream of walkers, just an iron railing away, while taking momentary refuge in the downstairs bricked-in porch/patio of one of Alexandria’s brownstones. The Wolf narrows his eyes and smiles at this, touches his gun to Denise’s back, says, softly, “Easy.”

Meanwhile, once safely inside, Glenn bars the church doors and instructs Enid to look for anything that may have been stashed or hidden, even inside torn-out pages of a bible. As Enid looks up at a proverb painted on the church’s wall, Glenn continues, instructing Enid to look for any cloths or robes, curtains that could be tied together for Maggie to climb down off the platform she is trapped up on, while a swarm of walkers press and paw at her from below.

enid looks up 1

Honestly, at the first watching, I was kind of bored with Enid’s process…sorry, but I was like, “C’mon, Enid, didn’t we do this already, like in that town, in that apartment, then out in the bushes, outside the wall, in the tree, climbing up to the wall? “ Like, I don’t know, didn’t versions of this conversation happen like ten times already, or am I being very creative with my memory (again)?  I was like, “Boring.” My friends were more tolerant with Enid’s process, so I shut up and sipped champagne and tried to emulate their good example. And they were right. Sorry, Enid. I have a shot attention span. I know you are a young girl and Glenn had an important message to impart. I’s a dick.

enid looks up 2

“Faith without works is dead.”

Meanwhile, crouched outside the brownstone as countless walkers stream past, just above their heads, Denise has her eyes closed, breathing through bursts of fear, and panic, that bubble up. The Wolf regards her closely.

wolf and denise 1 how things turn

wolf and denise 2 how things turn

“How things turn,” muses the Wolf, watching Denise like a movie.

glenn like wtf enid

Glenn finally turns around and is like, “WTF Enid?” and Enid’s all like, staring and mopey and like, “When I wanted to run, you said that’s how you lose people…” and then it was all like, wah, wah, wah, blah, blah, blah,  my parents died, everybody dies, what’s the point? and Glenn was like, “You do it because you’re here, they’re not, and so you do it for them,” and Enid was like, “Ohhhh…” (and I was like, “Come on, already!”) and Enid’s all like, “Who were your people ?”

And Glenn’s like…

glenns like who are my people

Who are my people? Girl, I’ll tell you who my people are…”

 

IMG_8885

And then, Enid finally fucking got it, and I was like, “OMG, finally!” and Enid was like, “Oh, look, I found a gun in the bible!” and Glenn was like, “Good job,” and I was all like…

wolf and denise 3 crouched side look

“Oh, YAY, Enid. You go, girl. Now, can we please move the fuck along to the other storylines? Thanks!

So, moving right along, to other storylines…

when theres an opening 1

The Wolf begins to prepare Denise for the next step of the plan, “When there’s an opening…”

when theres and opening 2 well make a break for that tower

“…we’ll make a break for that tower, over there.” Denise tries to convince the Wolf to leave her: “No, I’ll just slow you down…”

denise youre here with me

Poor Denise is not to be let off the hook that easily, however. The Wolf leans in to her. “Denise? You’re here…with me.”

denise you're here with me 2

“I need you.”

denise youre here with me 3 maybe i want u to say bc i'm enjoying your company so much

The Wolf pauses, then smiles horridly, “Maybe I want you to stay…because I’m enjoying your company so much.

Enid, meanwhile, flips the script on Glenn when he tries to order her to stay behind in the church while he goes to rescue Maggie…

enid pulls a glenn

Back in the church, Enid basically pulls a classic Glenn Rhee manuever on Glenn and tells him, “You were right, and I’m here now, so I’m going out there, and I’m helping you!” Enid then hatches a pretty brilliant plan involving Glenn distracting the walkers while she helps Maggie, who is injured and needs help, over the wall. “We do it together,” Enid says. Then she laughs, shakes her head with a shrug. “I’m just going to follow you anyway.” Glenn looks at her like he’s looking in the mirror. (Well, alrighty then, Enid! I like you so much better when you’re not being totally annoying.)

wolf makes chitchat

Meanwhile, the Wolf continues to chat up Denise. “I liked what you said before,” he says, by way of opener.

“That I wasn’t born this way?” the Wolf continues. “You’re right…I changed.

wolf makes chitchat 2

The Wolf looks at Denise intently. “And now, I want to help you change.” (Oh, fuck, it’s some bad, bad fucking news when the dude with reanimated torsos hanging from meat hooks in the truck trailer says that line!)

The Wolf continues, telling Denise that she’s being given “a gift.” The young Wolf looks upward, muses aloud that, maybe, one day, Denise will realize that…or maybe she won’t.

denise be like that breath dude, seriously

Denise be like, “Well, I don’t know about all that, but I do know one thing…your breath smells like a walker ate a dead, decomposing skunk,  and then shit it into your mouth. Seriously, dude, keep fucking breathing on me like that, and I’m gonna jump up and run screaming into that sea of walkers out there, just to get the fuck away from those mossy-ass teeth and that Breath of Death of yours.”

and then night was falling

In the next scene, night is falling, and the walkers continue to swarm the streets of Alexandria. Their hissing and snarling fill the air.

rick leads the gang 1

Rick leading the way, the gang makes their way carefully through the savage walkers.

rick leads the gang 2

carl 1

carl 2 ron

sam 1

At first, Sam is holding it together pretty well, until some particularly messed-up walkers come snarling close by…

sam 2

Butterface Walkers be like, Yo, young homie, looking good, son! Looking fresh.

sam 3

And then, Creepy Carol’s lilting voice begins to fill poor young Sam’s head, reciting the fairy tale that is both a promise and a curse:

the monsters will come 1

“The monsters will come…”

the monsters will come 2

“…and you won’t be able to run away…”

the monsters will come 3

“…when they come for you.”

the monsters will come 4

These images seem like they are straight from the nightmares poor Sam must have started having that very night after Creepy Carol terrorized him into keeping her secret about stealing guns from the armory…

the monsters will come 5

(Damn, Creepy Carol, did  you have to get so jiggy with your scary tale? That poor kid never had a chance…all he wanted was the cookies, Creepy Carol.  All the poor kid wanted was the cookies!)

the monsters will come 8

Creepy Carol’s voice over continues, “The ones out there, and they will tear you apart…”

the monsters will tear you apart and eat you up

“…and eat you up…”

the monsters will tear you apart

“…all while you’re still alive.”

white walker close up

And with those words, the curse was cast upon the doomed young Sam…

sam is a goner 1

…for once the words fell from Creepy Carol’s lips, they imbedded themselves into Sam’s fertile young mind, and black vines of terror and foreboding began on grow wild…

sam is a goner 2 young walker

…until they choked out the light inside the young boy, leaving only darkness within.

sam is a goner 3 jessie sees his terror

Sam stops short, staring at the walker child, and when Jessie looks into her son’s eyes, she sees his terror, his paralysis…and the fear in her eyes grows because she’s seen this before with him…she knows this is bad.

sam is a goner 4 jessie tries to coax him

As Carl looks out, alarmed, Jessie tries to coax her son, “Sam? Come oncome on. Sweetheart? Sam…”

sam is a goner 5 sweetheart, sam

But Sam does not, cannot, heed his mother’s quiet urging...he is frozen with terror.

sam is a goner 6 jessie close up

Jessie pulls at her son’s hand, but Sam does not respond, does not budge, will not move…

sam is a goner 7 sam sam

Rick joins in, and we hear his voice, Jessie’s voice, softly calling to Sam in alarmed whispers… “Sam? Sam! Come on, honey, come with me.” But poor Sam is in the grip of his worst nightmare come to life…

 

sam is a goner 8 ron

To his credit (which is limited at best), Ron tries to encourage his brother, “Sam! You can do it! Sams, look at Mom! But Sam shakes his head, becoming more and more upset, agitated, starts to cry…his heart pounding, body temperature rising, blood surging to the skin’s surface and to extremities to be ready to fight, or flee…and predators, like the walkers, can sense, smell, prey in distress…

sam is a goner 9 jessie

Jessie kneels down to Sam’s eye-level, says more firmly for Sam to come now, come with her…

sam is a goner 10 whimpers

Poor Sam, paralyzed by his fear, whimpers, “I want to.”

sam resigned

This shot really gets me…it felt to me like Sam had already resigned himself to his unspeakable fate in the moment before the walkers’ attack

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And then…oh, God! OH, GOD, oh, God, oh God.

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OMFG.

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Like, seriously, people…

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…I may need to go on antidepressants after rewatching this scene. OMFG, is that a chunk out of Sam’s shoulder in Take A Bite Outta Sam Walker’s mouth? Jesus Christ…

 

sam chomp 5

At this point, I usually insert a technical factoid to distance myself from the horror of what is happening in a scene, so here goes: On Talking Dead, Greg Nicotero explained how the special effects crew designed special dentures for the walker actors in this scene. The dentures contained fake blood capsules that burst when the actor bit down on them, creating the effect of the blood streaming from poor Sam’s head as the walker bites down on it.

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As the walkers engulf the little boy, poor Sam unleashes a blood curdling scream that has haunted my dreams, as well as some of my waking hours, since…

And, of course, the horror is just beginning…

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Poor Jessie… 😦

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…ughhh…

jesse chomp 4 hands

I…cannot. (Honestly, of all the gnarly and heartbreaking screenshots I have ever posted on this site, I think this shot, of Jessie holding her son’s hand as he gets eaten alive by walkers, has gutted me more than any other image I have posted. I am so glad this shit isn’t real, that Major Dodson and Alexandra Breckenridge are alive and well. (And p.s., Robert Kirkman, Scott M. Gimple, and Greg Nicotero, I will be sending you three the bill for all the therapy I am going to need after watching, and rewatching this scene in the writing process. Bravo, sirs…well played, well played.)

jesse chomp 6 ron and michonne

Ron looks on in disbelief as Michonne’s eyes register the horror and gravity of their situation.

jesse chomp 7 walker

And, when a walker looks up a moment, tearing away a bleeding piece of her son’s flesh, muscle…

jesse chomp 8 jesse scream

…Jessie unleashes a primal scream of a mother’s anguish as Rick, in shock at the sudden, horrific turn of events, looks helplessly on…

jesse chomp 9 walker

This scream, of course, gets the attention of nearby walkers…

jesse chomp 10 carl ron jesse

…as Carl (whose hand Jessie still grips) and Ron realize, with growing alarm, what is surely about to happen…we her Rick’s voice, sounding so far away through her echoing screams, “Jessie...Jessie!

As her son’s hand slackens in her grip, Jessie’s gaze deadens as she stares, fixated, at the grisly sight before her, of a group of walkers feasting on her youngest son, tearing him apart before her very eyes.

jesse chomp 11 carl

Carl, pale, panicked, sweaty, calls to Jessie in a frantic whisper, tries to pull her away, but she cannot, does not, heed him…

 

jesse chomp 12 you have to come

“You have to come!” Carl begs her. Jessie pulls back, in shock, seems unable to process this horror, this nightmare.

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The walkers pounce on Jessie so quickly…

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…it takes Jessie a moment to register what is happening to her.

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By the time she realizes, it is already too late. The walkers descend on poor Jessie.

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“No,” Rick keeps muttering, in dull shock and grief, watching the lovely, good woman who he cared so deeply for suffer such an angonizing, cruel fate…

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Carl’s voice cuts through Rick’s reverie: “Dad…Dad!” Rick looks over, dazed, to see Carl’s hand still held fast in Jessie’s death grip…

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As if in a dream, Rick lifts the axe he is holding, and after the barest hesitation, brings it down on Jessie’s arm…

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…and begins to hack away at it to save his son.

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With a final swing of the axe, Rick severs poor Jessie’s arm through, freeing Carl. The walkers pile savagely on Jessie, pulling her down to the ground in frenzy of feeding.

Through all this, a handgun (I forget whose gun this is…anyone?) falls into the grass, unheeded by Rick, Carl…but someone, someone who has now lost everyone closest to him, and who blames Rick Grimes for this, notices the gun, lying there.

rick axe 9 ron gun click

Carl whirls at the sound of the handgun’s safety being released, sees Ron, who is clutching the gun, pointing it at Rick, behind Carl. “You…” Ron grinds out, staring at Rick with unbridled hatred.

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“You!” Ron says, again, pointing the gun at Rick.

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Rick says nothing, does not try to defend himself, or talk Ron down.

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Before Ron can fire the gun at Rick, Michonne comes from behind, and in one quick upward thrust…

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…and skewers the shit out of Ron McSlappy, son of an abusive a-hole, bearer of a legit grudge against Rick Grimes, but…we can’t have you killing our main man, McSlappy. Michonne no likey when some dicknuts is trying to kill her man, Rick Grimes…remember that time when the Gov was beating Rick almost to death at the Battle Royale for the prison?

 

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Then, suddenly, Snidely brings the weapons down, by his sides, slumping into his bike’s seat, looks down, as if reconsidering…

Ron, in his dying throes and jerks, does manage to squeeze off one shot, involuntarily, as he goes down. Michonne pulls her blade back quickly, silently, as Rick nods his thanks to her and walkers fall upon Ron’s dying body.

carl eye 1 dad

Rick then turns to his son…and sees…

carl eye 2 dad

“Dad?”

carl eye 3 rick

“Carl!” Rick gasps, stricken at the sight of his son, blood pouring out of the hole where Carl’s right eye used to be.

carl eye 4 carl ground

Carl collapses to the ground. Rick rushes to his unconscious son and quickly scoops him up into his arms.

carl eye 5 michonne rick carl

Wild with anguish, Michonne hacks a clear path through the swarm of walkers as Rick runs behind her, Carl bleeding out in his arms.

Holy crap, gang, I tell you…there isn’t enough wine in the world to make that shit go away anytime soon.

(Side note, I was still working on this scene when TWD’s Episode 609 aired this Sunday.  It did my soul good to watch the next episode, and celebrate the classic Rick/Daryl hotness, as well as the new man talent (I ❤ Jesus), but it definitely was surreal to have to go back, after the watching of that frolicsome episode, and taking part in the Richonne celebration, and reimmerse myself into recounting this dark scene.

Honestly, t kind of messed me up, and I actually woke up the next day exhausted, run-down, fighting off a cold, and asking myself, for the umpteenth time, “Why the hell am I putting myself through this?”

I know why, loves…I think I do, anyway. It’s inexplicable, but it’s something bigger than me. It’s like some kind of Field of Weird Dreams:  “If you write it, it will come.”

What will come, I have no idea, but this crazy project has been a life-changing endeavor, as it keeps me writing, and creating, and the readership is ever-increasing, at an unprecendented rate, with views from all over the world.

And, thanks for that, gang. Thanks for reading my crazy-ass blog. 

It means the world…it really does. ❤ <3<3<3

________________________________________

Now, where were we? Ah, yes, having survived the Jessie/Sam/Ron/Carl scene portrayal, let us step back and enjoy a couple of related IG postings:

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This post features the amazing makeup and technical effects that went into creating the illusion of Carl’s eye wound.The makeup effects team created an incredibly realistic dummy in Chandler Riggs’ likeness, complete with eye wound, which was used in certain scenes, like the scene where Rick is running, carrying his wounded, unconscious son through the walker horde. An image of the eye wound was also digitally superimposed onto Chandler Riggs’ face (shown in the last panel)  in the final edits of the scene where Carl looks up Rick, immediately after getting shot by Ron.

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And this post (by the always-hilarious @therickygrimes ) is one of my personal favorites in regards to the character of poor, doomed Sam.

And, mad props, and a round of Deadies to:

1) Alexandra Breckenridge, the lovely and talented actress who plays Jessie Anderson. 

Jessie, girl, despite my initial resistance to your coming on the scene, I did grow to have love for you. Respect.  You did not deserve what you had to endure, both in your life, and in your death. I am glad you got to kiss Rick Grimes, and hopefully, you were able to knock out a quick one with him in that garage before all the shit went down.

RIP Jessie Anderson

2) Major Dodson, who plays Sam Anderson, the sweet, doomed boy who went in search of cookies, and found himself a world of shit, instead…sorry, little buddy. That’s some rough breaks, right there. I love me some cookies, as well, and I could see myself getting into some similar trouble in the PZA in my endless quest for tasty night snacks.

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Chris Hardwick posted this hilarious IG posting comparing a childhood picture of himself next to the talented young actor, Major Dodson, with the hashtag #IAmSam

RIP Sam Anderson

And, finally:

3) A very special Deadie to Austin Abrams, the handsome and talented young actor who plays the complex character of Ron Anderson (a.k.a. Ron McSlappy).

Austin, it is not an easy thing to play a character who is generally disliked by an overprotective, somewhat obsessive fan base, but you really did an amazing job. Baller, truly. 

May your young star continue to rise…you’ve def got the goods, son.

And, Ron, well, you started out sweet, then downward-spiraled pretty quickly into becoming a bitter young D-bag.

Carl said it best, when he told you, straight up, that “Your dad was an asshole.”

He was, and for that, I am so sorry. And, your beef with Rick Grimes was definitely understandable, but we can’t have you shooting at the man, Ron, and we certainly cannot have you shooting out Carl’s eye.

That aggression simply will not stand, Ron McSlappy.

(I think, once again, Talking Dead’s In Memoriam said it best):

RIP Ron McSlappy

____________________________________

Meanwhile, back at the brownstone:

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As Tara tirelessly keeps watch out the window for any sign of Denise…

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…and Morgan mopes…

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…Eugene ponders the machete he holds in his hands.

eugene machete 2 game face and front lines mullet

Sporting both a game face and the Front Lines mullet, Eugene looks up at Rosita, who is watching him with narrowed eyes.

eugene machete 3 rosita

“Sooner or later, we’re fightin’ our way out of here,” Eugene says. Rosita regards Eugene a moment more, says nothing, then turns her gaze away.

“I am fully aware that you know that we will,” Eugene continues, in classic #EugeneSpeak.

eugene machete 4 i know that you're fully aware that we will  yeah

Rosita looks back at him. “Yeah,” she confirms, arms crossed, “We will.”  Rosita then narrows her eyes at Eugene. “Not you,“she says, somewhat bitterly, and begins to move past him. 

Eugene protests, “Well, by my reckon…”  Rosita cuts him off with a sharp hiss. “Eugene!” she says, arms crossed and eyes shooting daggers down at him. “Come on!” Rosita stalks off angrily…

eugene machete 5 by my reckon

…leaving Eugene sitting there, holding the machete and rocking the Butt-Hurt mullet. She’s right…how many times did she, Abraham, and so many others fight off walkers to protect him in the past, while he faked having the key to curing the walker epidemic? (Gotta say, really loving this shot of Eugene.)

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Meanwhile, the dark Wolf peers through the railing at the walkers moving away, en masse. “They’re moving towards the gunfire,” he says, then muses, “I suppose someone thought they  could put up a fight…I guess you all thought that.

wolf 2 denise

“We did put up a fight,” Denise replies. “That’s why your friends are dead.” (Oh SNAP, Doctor Denise! You throw some shade at that bad man, girl! )

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Denise cuts a sideways look as the Wolf agrees easily,Yeah…we should have waited, and watched a little longer. I was selfish.” The Wolf smiles, remembering, as he moves behind Denise to her left side, watching the flow of the walkers. “But, if I hadn’t been so selfish, I wouldn’t have gotten that I.V.”

Clocking the walkers, the Wolf tells Denise, “We’re gonna find a gap, and GO…up that guard tower, and over the wall.”

wolf 5 looks at denise

The young Wolf then turns to Denise, looks at her intently, grabs her arm.

wolf 6 and denise looks back at him

Denise turns to look at him, afraid.

“You don’t need to be afraid,” the Wolf tells her. Denise turns her eyes back to the steady flow of walkers in front of them, turns back to look the Wolf in the eye.

wolf 7 go to hell

“Go to hell,” Denise tells him.

wolf 8 you need to know, it's safer out there than it is in here

The Wolf replies, “You need to know, it’s safer out there than it is in here.” Denise does not reply. “Start moving,” the Wolf commands her, “Start moving.” Denise is left no choice but to nod, wordlessly, and starts moving towards the stairs, the Wolf right behind her.

As they slowly make their way up the steps, the Wolf instructs Denise, “Straight up the guard post, and do not stop…go!

wolf 9 run for it

Using Denise as a human shield, the Wolf pushes her forward as they begin to dash across an opening in the stream of walkers.

wolf 10 walker blocking them

They zigzag past the walkers, but see that there is one walker blocking their way to the ladder, and another walker or two turning towards them…

wolf 11 post blocker walker

Post Blocker Walker be like, “Hey, y’all know where the dang all-you-can-eat dinner buffet is? I been lookin’ all over the place for it, and I cain’t find it anywhere!”

wolf 12 stabs walker

Owww! Goddam, now that hurts like a sonuvabitch! Y’all young people nowadays got shit for manners, you know that?”

wolf 13 early bird special walker

Early Bird Special Walker grabs Denise and starts shaking her. “You gonna tell me where that damn all-you-can eat buffet is, you hear?

wolf 14 i wore my purdy dress

“I got all dolled up for the fancy party, wore my purtiest dress, got my hair did and everything! Now, I’m a gonna get me somma that all-you-can-eat buffet, so you better just start talking,  missy!”

After killing Post Blocker Walker, the young Wolf turns around, looking for Denise, and sees her trying to fend off Early Bird Special Walker. Now, the Wolf has a clear path to the ladder, is right there, but he rushes back to help Denise, stabbing Early Bird Special Walker in her rotting skull, rekilling her.

wolf 15 stabs ebs walker

Aaaahhhh! That ain’t no way to treat a lady, no sir! Lookit what you gone and done…you done ruined my fancy hairdo!”

wolf 16 you had it comin walker

As soon as the she-walker slumps down, dead for good, You Had This Coming Walker takes a bite out of the Wolf’s left arm.

wolf 17 chunk outta arm

Gnarly! As You Had This Coming tears a huge chunk out of the Wolf’s arm, the young man howls with pain and rage and rekills the walker with a downward stab to the head.

As the young man’s arm begins bleeding out, Denise stares down in momentary shock, then she looks up at the Wolf. “You get me to the infirmary,” she tells him, “and I’ll save your life.” He looks at her in shock. “I’ll save your life,” she says, again.

wolf 18 denise says u get me to the infirmary, i'll save your life

The Wolf and Denise begin to run back towards the infirmary...

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Meanwhile, Carol has done a sweep of the brownstone, and looks out the window, upstairs, down at the streets filled with walkers. She sits down heavily, her head in her hand. She looks so over it.

carol 2 morgan

Carol hears a noise, jumps up, gun raised, sees it is Morgan, who approaches slowly, looking somewhat shamefaced.

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Carol’s face, as she registers who it is, shows her anger. She lowers the gun, turns back to the window. Morgan comes into the room cautiously, towards Carol, not taking his eyes from her.

carol 4 morgan guesses you had a child

“You had a child…right? Morgan guesses, astutely.

carol 5 looks out window

Carol does not reply. “A husband?” Morgan guesses, again, and Carol’s eyes close a moment at that. “I didn’t want to hurt you,” Morgan explains, by way of apology. “I had to stop you.”

carol 6

Carol calls Morgan out, her voice shaking with anger.. “You saved him for you, not us.”

carol 7 if it was for us, you would have...

“If it was for us, Carol continues, “you would have-…” and she lets the thought trail off, unsaid.

carol 8 i should have killed you

“I should have killed you,” Carol says, looking a little shaken at this realization. “I should have…”

carol 9 you can't

“You can’t, Morgan replies, before turning and walking out of the room.

Meanwhile, Denise and the Wolf duck into an office. The Wolf stares ahead in shock as Denise unbuckles his belt to make a tourniquet for his bitten arm.

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“The infirmary is right across the alley,” she tells the dazed Wolf.

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“We need to get you there, now.

The Wolf continues to look dazed with shock. “Hey!” Denise says, trying to bring him back to the present. The Wolf looks at her, then looks away, his brow furrowing with confusion. “The ladder was clear,” he says, wonderingly. “We could have made it.”

doc denise 3

“You turned back for me,” Denise reminds him, tightening the tourniquet around his arm. The Wolf turns to look at her, remembering. “Maybe it was because you needed a doctor,” Denise says, looking at the Wolf significantly..

doc denise 4

“Or, maybe you changed.” The Wolf looks at her, stunned at this. Denise turns to go, then turns back to the Wolf. “You ready?” she asks him, and after a moment, he follows her out of the office.

Once outside, the pair must start fighting off many walkers. The Wolf is able to shove a few nearby walkers away and clear a path, but one walker makes straight for Denise.

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Sub Pop Walker be flyin’ the flannel and the ferocity.

The Wolf pulls the walker away from Denise, just in time, and calls to her to “Come on!” when a couple of pops sound out from above…

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The Wolf is hit by one bullet, then another, as Denise stops and stares, in shock, first at the Wolf, then up where Carol is standing above them, on an upstairs balcony, pointing a gun at the Wolf. “Go!” screams Carol to Denise.

Denise hesitates, and Sub Pop Walker lurches forward for another go at her. The Wolf clasps his arms around the walker from behind, dragging it down with him as he echoes Carol’s command, yelling for Denise to “Go!”. Denise looks back at him a moment more, as walker upon walker descend upon the young Wolf, before turning and running.

doc denise 8

Carol watches the young Wolf, whom she had wanted to kill, and who just so clearly intervened to save Denise’s life, get taken down by walkers. Carol’s face shows her conflict, and her sadness as she watches this. A very special Lupine Deadie goes to Austrailian actor Benedict Samuel, who plays the dark haired Wolf, and who, thankfully, is as handsome and delightful as he is talented. Well done, mate!

heath 1

Denise rushes into the infirmary as Heath and Aaron quickly bar the door behind her. (And, where the hell has Heath been this whole time? I haven’t seen that dude since before the Wolves attacked Alexandria. Heath’s all like, “Whoa, man, I was totally bingewatching Gilmore Girls dvds, and then I musta fallen asleep, because next thing I know, this crazy noise wakes me up, and I look out the window, and there’s like a shit-ton of walkers everywhere!”)

Aaron peers out the infirmary window, whispers, “Oh my God!” at what he sees outside…the others peer out and see:

aaron sees rick and michonne

Rick and Michonne running, Rick carrying his unconscious, bleeding son in his arms, as Michonne hacks a path through the walkers to clear the way. They are hauling ass to the infirmary.

“It’s the kid,” says Heath. “Is he bit?”

aaron sees rick and michonne 2

Denise closes her eyes, takes a few deep breaths to steady herself, then replies, “No.” She then starts to order the men to gather the needed supplies, meds, IV, gurney. They rush to do her bidding. Doctor Denise is in the house!

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Denise opens the door and points Rick towards the waiting gurney. He rushes through the doorway, Michonne behind him, both looking frantic with worry for Carl.

 

rick brings carl 2 please save him

Denise immediately begins assessing the situation. “Gun shot wound?” she asks. “Handgun, close-range,” Michonne replies. As Denise gets to work, Rick pleads, softly, humbly, “Please save him…”

rick brings carl 3 eye wound

“Please! (And how about those eye wound effects? So super duper gnarltastic!)

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Denise’s voice, and the others’ voices, begin to drone out, sound further and further away as it all begins to close in on poor Rick:  His son is gravely wounded, eye shot out, he just watched his girlfriend and her son get eaten alive by walkers, and to add insult to injury, Rick had to hack off his doomed gf’s arm with an axe to free his son…and then, poor Carl took a bullet in the eye that was meant for Rick, and now, he’s watching a capable woman, who is an untrained doctor, begin the procedures to try to save his son. #shittiestdayever

 

rick dad 2 michonne takes off walker cloak

My WD buddies and I loved this tender gesture on Michonne’s part, taking the walker guts cloak off Rick for him. ❤

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Rick turns away, head in hand, then turns back as Denise begins to operate on Carl, ordering Michonne to apply pressure to Carl’s head, above the eye, to try to keep him steady during the procedure, and to limit blood loss…

rick dad 4

Rick peers out the window, and as feared, the light that Denise is using for surgery is indeed drawing the attention of nearby walkers, who are shuffling en masse towards the infirmary.

rick dad 5 axe drawn

Rick Smash! has some serious rage that he needs to work out, and so our man pulls out his trusty hatchet, goes to the door, and begins to open it.

rick dad 6 axe ready

Time to get to work, Rick Smash! (P.S. I love you. <3)

rick dad 7 rick what are you doing

As he saunters out the door, ready to fuck shit up, we can hear Michonne’s voice calling after him, “Rick! What are you doing? Rick…Rick!” Rick Smash! does not hesitate as he out the door and closes it behind him. <3<3<3<3

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Rick Smash! is not fucking around.

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Our main man is all about the business of fucking some walkers UP.

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Rick Smash! be like, “I am most ill and I’m axin’ and slayin!'”

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(On a side note, my hubby’s been teaching me how to split logs, and I’ve been wielding the axe a lot lately, chopping a lot of wood. I have a long way to go with my building my strength and skillz, but I have been thinking that the axe might be my signature weapon in a zombie apocalypse. Just a lil FYI.)

rick smash 4

As Rick Smash! kicks Why Don’t You Ax Him? Walker‘s rekilled ass away, Phil Side Walker looks on in dismay all the harshness going down, like right in front of him.. He’s all like, “Hey, man! Hey, man, that’s not cool! That’s not cool, bro…so not cool!!”

rick smash 5 phil side walker

Phil Side Walker continues his conscientious objections: “Dude, your agro is totally harshing the collective mellow…don’t you know, like, it’s all connected, bro? We are all one with the universe, man!”

 

rick smash 6

But, of course, Rick Smash! doesn’t care about any of that shit. He just wants to smash him some of these undead fuckers that keep ruining his life and fucking everything up for everyone he loves. And so, he does, looking completely sexy and baller while doing so.

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He gets jiggy with that shit, and we likey. 

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At this point, Phil Side Walker feels it is his karmic duty to call out, “Dude, bro, violence is never the answer!”

rick smash 13

rick smash 14

❤ The Rick Smash! angels in my head are singing, “Hallelujah!” ❤

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Back inside, Michonne keeps looking towards the door, getting frantic. “Rick’s out there,” she says, in a rush.. “Hold on,” says Doc Denise, calmly, stitching Carl’s wound.

 

michonne rick 2 he's out there, he needs my help

“He needs my help!” Michonne presses. “Just one more suture,” Doc Denise replies, steadily working. “He’s out there! Michonne cries.(OMFG, were you fellow Richonners out there just loving the shit out of this, or what? I was sooo dying! ❤ )

michonne rick 3 one more suture

Doc Denise is all like, “Girl, I know you gotta get out there to your bf and all, but first things first…”

michonne rick 4 this is his son, one more second

Doc Denise says calmly, firmly, This is his son. Give me a second.” Really becoming a major fan of Doc Denise, and busting out a love offering right here, right now by awarding Doc Denise both a barnfullawalkers Weird Science Deadie Doctorate and naming her as one of the three MVP‘s of TWD Episode 609Daryl Dixon, Doc Dense, and our third  MVP will be named soon enough, loves, and I am sure you know who it is already. 🙂 ❤

michonne rick 5 yes doctor

Even Michonne, in her panic, is like, “Yes, Doctor.” Behind her, Aaron marvels, “He’s taking them all on…we have to go get him.

michonne rick 6

Spencer’s like, “Say what?” (Yeah, that means you. too, pretty boy, so grow a pair, arm yourself, and get out there and get to rekilling STAT.)

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Heath (who is well-rested and reinspired after his long nap and Gilmore Girls marathon) turns to Spencer, agrees with Aaron. “We have to.” Heath turns to the others, taking deep breaths, readying himself for battle. “This is it.”

michonne rick 7 kisses carl

Doc Denise announces, “Got it,” and Michonne bends down to give Carl a quick kiss on his forehead…

…then grabs her katana, rushing out the door, with Heath, Aaron, and after a moment’s hesitation, Spencer, following right behind her.

 

calvary 2 walkers

The walkers are coming full force towards Rick, who is still hacking away at them, berzerker style.

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calvary 4 rick

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The others, Michonne, Aaron, Heath, and Spencer, join Rick, and the gang forms a kill circle, back to back, facing the oncoming walkers head on…

calvary 6 f2c guy

…as other residents of Alexandria look out from the safety of indoors, and see the small circle of warriors battling for their town… (I think this is Fax 2 Cleveland guy from the Abraham/Francine walker attack construction site. Go, F2C guy, go on with your bad self and help Rick Grimes take back this town!)

calvary 7 olivia

Go, Olivia!

calvary 8 eric

Go, Eric! You can do it!

calvary 9 heath rekill

Heath got some mad rekill skillz…

calvary 10 heath skillz

calvary 11 rick knock em away drive em down  and sees

Rick-In-Charge orders his band of warriors: “Knock “em away, drive ’em down.” He then turns to see…

calvary 12 second string eric and olivia

…the second string, machetes in hand, running down the steps to join the fight! Yahoo!

calvary 13 eric and aaron

Couples who rekill together, stay together!

calvary 14 rick and spencer

Spencer’s starting to get the hang of this…

calvary 15 rick we can beat em

“We can beat ’em!” Rick exhorts his troops.

calvary 16 aerial shot

Aerial view, as the Battle For Alexandria rages on.

 

gabriel 1

From inside his church, Father Gabriel peers out the window at Rick and the others fighting. We can hear Rick shouting orders, encouragement from outside.

gabriel 2

Judith begins to fuss, and Gabriel takes her over to a female parishioner, asks her to take the baby.

gabriel 3

gabriel 4 tobin gabriel, what are you doing

Gabriel then walks over, picks up a bloodstained machete, and walks over to the door. Tobin follows him, asks, “Gabriel, what are you doing?”

gabriel 5 we've been praying, praying together, for god to save our town

Gabriel turns to the his parishioners. “We have been praying, together, praying that God will save our town…”

gabriel 6 well our prayers have been answered

“Well, our prayers have been answered. God will save Alexandria…”

gabriel 7

“…because God has given us the courage to save ourselves.” (Can I hear a “Praise the Lord!”?)

berzerkers 1

As Rick Grimes and his merry band of Badass Berzerkers go to town on the walker herd…

berzerkers 2

berzerkers 3 carol rick's making a stand we need to get out there

Tara tells the others, in the brownstone, that the walkers outside are starting to thin out…Carol comes in and informs them that Rick, along with Michonne and some others, is making a stand against the walkers. “We need to get out there,” Carol says, heading for the door.

Carol tells Tara that Denise made it back to the infirmary safely, then tells the others that she’s going to help Rick.

berzerkers 4 morgan

Morgan chimes in, says that he is going, too. The others, one by one, voice their support. They are all in, even Eugene.

berzerkers 5 rosita eugene you don't have to

Rosita turns to Eugene. “Eugene, you don’t have to,” she tells him.

berzerkers 6 eugene

“That’s incorrect, I do, Eugene replies. “Nobody gets to clock out today. And, hell, this is a story that people are gonna tell.

battle 1

And so, the story of the Battle of Alexandria continues, as the invading walkers stream towards the fight…

battle 2

Rosita and Eugene leading the way, the others join the seige.

battle 3 wolf walker

The first blow Morgan delivers with his staff sends a walker to the ground, and as it rears back up, snarling, Morgan sees it is the young dark-haired Wolf.

battle 4 morgan i'm sorry

Morgan looks down at the Wolf Walker. “I’m sorry,” he says, before swiftly delivering the fatal blow.

maggie rescue 1

Meanwhile, Operation Rescue Maggie is underway, with Glenn and Enid sprinting past walkers…

maggie rescue 2

…to the lookout post Maggie is trapped up on. To Glenn’s horror, the walker horde is charging the posts, and the makeshift wooden structure is rocking as Maggie hangs desperately on. It will not hold much longer.

Glenn orders Enid to “Go get her,” and when Enid hesitates, Glenn barks out the order again. Go get her!

As Enid rushes forward towards Maggie, and the swarming walkers…

maggie rescue 3

…Glenn begins firing his handgun, screaming to the walkers, “Over here! Over here!

maggie rescue 4 maggie sees glenn

Hearing Glenn’s voice, Maggie looks up to see her man for the first time since before he set out to redirect the quarry walkers and was feared dead.

maggie rescue 5 maggie yells glenn

Maggie immediately sees the danger Glenn is putting himself in. “Glenn!” she cries.

maggie rescue maggie glenn!

“Glenn!” Unbeknownst to Maggie, Enid is scaling up the side of the tower to help her. Glenn continues shooting, calling to the walkers, to draw them away from Maggie, going hand-to-hand with the ones that get too close to him. “Over here! Hey! Over here!

maggie rescue 6 maggie enid

Maggie helps pull Enid up, and they both watch helplessly as the horde of walkers begin to stream over to Glenn, who continues shooting, yelling, fighting them off.

maggie rescue 7 glenn and walkers

The walkers continue to swarm around Glenn, backing him up against a wall. He continues to fight, and that this point in the inital watching, TWD fans’ cortisol levels were rising…

maggie rescue 8 maggie gun

Maggie raises her gun, aims, and pulls the trigger, but the telltale click signals that the gun is out of ammo. “Shit!” she swears, then in a last-ditch effort, she bangs the gun against the railing, trying to draw their attention away from Glenn, to no avail.

maggie rescue 9 glenn getting closed in

Glenn Rhee continues to fight, to the very end if he has to…

maggie rescue 10 glenn closed in on

…and the walkers continue to close in on him.

maggie rescue 11 maggie watches

Maggie watches, helpless and distraught, as Enid takes advantage of the clearing to tie her makeshift rope to the railing. It is what Glenn would want her to do, and she knows it.

maggie rescue 12 glenn!

Maggie cries, frantic, watching the walkers close in and around Glenn.

Suddenly, the sound of shots pepper the air, and the walkers closest to Glenn go down, one by one.

glenn drops for cover

Glenn drops for cover as the walkers around him go down, one by one, in a spray of undead blood and guts.

glenn drops for cover 2

It’s the sexy sharpshooters, Abraham and Sasha, come to save the day!

As Glenn looks up dazed, he sees Abraham looking down at him.

abraham

“Can you get the gate?” Abraham jokingly calls to Glenn. “Appreciate it, pal!” And with a laugh, Abraham returns to one of his favorite pasttimes…

abraham 2

…blowing away some walkers.

abraham 3

Later, fuglies.

end 1

As Abraham, Sasha, and Enid help Maggie down onto Patty the fuel tanker…

end 2 daryl and glenn

…Glenn climbs into the shotgun seat,. Daryl asks him, “What the hell happened?” Glenn replies that he doesn’t know, he just got back there, himself. It’s crazy to think of all that has happened to each of them since they first set off for the quarry, to lead the walkers away from Alexandria.

Glenn voices the idea of leading the walkers away, but Daryl has a better plan. He bangs on the ceiling of the truck, signaling the others on top.

end 3 eric sporty style

Meanwhile, in another part of town, Rick and the others continue to go hand-to-hand with the walkers. (I found myself admiring Eric’s sporty style of walker killing…those Alexandria cardio kickboxing classes have really paid off!)

However fearsome and badass each warrior is in holding his/her own, the walkers’ sheer numbers continue to give them the advantage as they press onward towards the living.

end 4 daryl backs patty up to the pond

Meanwhile, Daryl backs the fuel truck up to Alexandria’s mini lake in the center of town…

end 5 daryl unleashes gas into water

…and while Glenn, Sasha, and Abraham fight off walkers, Daryl opens the hose and unleashes a large spray of gasoline into the lake.

end 6

The warriors of Alexandria continue to face off with the press of walkers…

end 7

…who keep backing them up…

end 8

…until they are nearly up against the walls.

lake of fire 1lake of fire 2lake of fire 3lake of fire 4lake of fire 5lake of fire 6lake of fire 8lake of fire 9lake of fire 10 walkers see firelake of fire 11 walkers firelake of fire 12 walkers close uplake of fire 13 walker killslake of fire 14 walkers lake 1lake of fire 15 daryllake of fire 16 walkers on firelake of fire 17 fire walkerslake of fire 18 fire walkerslake of fire 19 fire walkerslake of fire 20 rick

The next day…

next day 1next day 2next day 3next day 4next day 5next day 6next day 7

carl rick 1

carl rick 2 i was wrong

“I was wrong.”

carl rick 3 i thought after living behind these walls for so long that...

“I thought after living behind these walls for so long…”

carl rick 4 maybe they couldn't learn

“…that maybe they couldn’t learn.”

carl rick 5 but today

“But, today…”

carl rick 6 today i saw what they could do...what we could do

“Today, I saw what they could do…what we could do…”

carl rick 7 if we work together

“…if we work together.”

carl rick 8 we'll rebuild the walls, we'll expand the walls

“We’ll rebuild the walls…we’ll expand the walls.”

carl rick 9 there will be more, there's gotta be more

“There will be more; there’s gotta be more.

carl rick 10 everything that deanna was talking about

“Everything that Deanna was talking about…”

carl rick 11 is possible, it's all possible, I see that now

“…is possible. It’s all possible. I see that, now.

carl rick 12 when I was out there with them, when I knew it was over, I had this feeling

“When I was out there, with them, when I knew it was over, I had this feeling…”

carl rick 13 it took me a while to remember what it was

“It took me a while to remember what it was…”

carl rick 14 because I hadn't felt it since before I woke up in that hospital bed

“…because I hadn’t felt it since before I woke up in that hospital bed.”

carl rick 15

carl rick 16 i want to show you the new world, carl  i want to make it a reality for you please, please carl, let me show you

“I want to show you the new world, Carl. I want to make it a reality for you. Please, please, Carl…let me show you.”

carl rick 17 carls hand closes over ricks

In response, Carl’s fingers close gently over his father’s hand.

carl rick 18 rick lookscarl rick 19 rick looks

carl rick 20 rick looks at carl

Ladies and gentlemen, our third and final MVP for Episdoe 609: Rick Grimes.<3 ❤ <3<3

Well, kids, there it is. I wanted to pay homage to this incredible episode and reconnect with my fave show with a super tweaktastic post.  I hope you enjoyed it, and I hope you enjoy the playlist as well. Next couple of posts will def be breezier, more scaled-down, but def showing the love and celebrating TWD.

Until next week, loves, and enjoy the playlist.

IMG_9017

Playlist:

Aerosmith, “Back In The Saddle”

Judas Priest, “You Got Another Thing Comin'”

Van Halen, “On Fire”

Misfits, “Last Caress”

The Smiths, “This Night Has Opened My Eyes”

Mob Deep (Nas, Raekwon), “Eye For And Eye (Your Beef Is Mines)”

Smith & Mighty, “Walk On”

Meat Puppets, “Backwater”

Nirvana, “Oh Me”

Nirvana, “Lake of Fire”

Nirvana, “About A Girl”

PJ Harvey, “The Wheel”

The Night Before The Walking Dead, Season 6 Premiere

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Tonight. 9 p.m. Eastern. Season 6 is finally here.

What can I say, at this point, that hasn’t already been said?

I, like you all, am feeling the love, the anxiety, the excitement. I am so nervous about what dangers are coming, and I am so worried for our gang. I love them all so much, and I don’t want to lose a single one of them…but I know that’s not really how this all works.

I know it’s not real, people, but I still obsess. It’s how I do. And if you have found this blog, and actually read my tweaker posts, then I guess that’s how you do, too!

Welcome aboard the Crazy Train.

I have come to refer to this time, when the TWD television series is about to resume, and kick all our asses, as “blog season.” Ever since the fall of 2013, when TWD’s Season 4 began, I have been writing about each new episode of The Walking Dead television series, and aside from some questionable font choices, and typos (which I still find), I can pretty much say that I stand by my crazy product.

I have read, and reread, each post I have written so many times by now that I cannot even face them…this phase will pass, and I will return to them, one day, and reread, and do some much-needed editing.

One day, when I have time…

Time. Time is something that I am constantly negotiating, on many levels, in my life.  As a mom, a wife, and a grown-up who works two jobs for my paycheck (unfortunately, this writing gig is not one of those jobs that pay…yet.). But, I am hopeful. Momentum is building. I am pleased.

This blog is something I started doing`for myself, something soley for myself, that had nothing to do with anybody else. This was my joint.  While I had dabbled in writing, before, and had some aptitude for it, I had never fully committed myself to writing any kind of cohesive project, writing for long hours at a time, until the self-consciousness and inner constraints fell away from sheer exhaustion, and a strong voice I didn’t even know I had began pouring out, and glimmers of inspired magic began to appear on the screen.

The concept of this blog started forming itself in my head, and in my heart, years ago, when I, an exhausted, nursing mom, would read over the hilarious text exchanges between myself and my WD buddy as we watched The Walking Dead tv series together, in our separate homes, after our kids went to bed.  I really have no idea where exactly this idea came from, but once it took root, it was like a, “Build it, and they will come” kind of thing.

So, I lined up a trade with a technical wizard friend, and he helped me set up a WordPress account, helped me load in my artwork for the banner, and showed me how to insert playlist widget embeds into my posts. And so, when TWD Season 4 began, I began writing.

My writing style asserted itself from the beginning as a kind of “live blogging” style, letting my personal responses to what I was watching lead the narrative.  I wanted what I wrote to have the same organic, conversational feel as my text exchanges with my friend.

When I first started writing my posts, I was not on any kind of social media at all. Not even Facebook. Truly. In the beginning days of www.barnfullawalkers.com, I would send a mass text to my circle of friends every time I completed a post.

Now, two years later, I am a big social media ho (or as much of one as I could, or should, be, being a mom and someone who is old enough to know better). I try to keep my usage of social media as a fun, creative way to promote my blog and explore whatever element of pop culture I am obsessed with in the moment. While I do, at times, get political on my social media accounts, being a “citizen of the world” and all, I usually try to keep it light, tight, and deliciously superficial.

Speaking of keeping it tight, I have been thinking about the evolution of my writing style, and what I want for myself, the blog, and my readers as TWD Season 6 unfolds.

Look, I know that nobody asked me to basically write a 10,000+ word dissertation on every new episode of The Walking Dead. The highly-detailed synopsis-parody-deconstruction style I offer is self-imposed, tweakeresque, and inexplicable, really. I really have no idea what exactly I am trying to achieve with any of this.

After each episode’s breezy 400-word recaps have come and gone, there I am, long after everyone else has moved on, wading around the fake blood, guts, and gore in my mucking boots, pulling key items of interest out of the mire and holding them up for others to see, “Hey, guys, look what I found!” 

I’m like a TWD episode archeologist or some shit, and the funny thing is, I think it’s filling a need out there, because my readership is growing at unprecedented rate. I’m still small-time, for sure, but just to give you some specifics: Last year, over Thanksgiving weekend, barnfullawalkers hit a milestone of 3,000 total views. At the time of this writing, not even a year later, barnfullawalkers is fast approaching 10,000 views, from different countries, all over the world.

That’s a 200% increase in less than a year’s time, if I’m doing the math right.

At the very least, my detailed synopses and my crazy rantings seem to be adding something to the conversation surrounding the TWD phenomenon, and that makes me smile. I am pleased. I know many readers started tuning in with my Season 5 posts, with all the fun screenshots, crazy captions, and epic playlists.

I love what I achieved with my Season 5 postings…it was such an incredible season, and I am proud of have honored it in the way I did.  But, it cost me. It left a mark.

To post in that high-media style, taking, loading, naming, and uploading all those pictures, takes a lot of time and energy. I committed myself to it, then, but for someone in my position, who is raising children, working, running a household, and trying to stay married, it is not sustainable to devote that much time to a recreational endeavor that does not bring in a paycheck.

When you are a parent, you begin to think of things in a “needs before wants” framework. You have to. The needs must be met before the wants can be considered. In my Season 5 posting style, I was able to achieve a lot of great things, stylistically, and I feel like the blog grew, and evolved, in a way I never thought possible. But, personally, it was a constant struggle to try to make it happen.

You can’t create time where there is none, and so, time-wise, I robbed Peter to pay Paul, as the saying goes.  I pulled all-nighters, worked all day on weekends to make those posts happen. There were fights, there were tears. It was kind of crazy, and by the end of it, I was completely fried. I still don’t know if I’ve completely recovered, honestly. Probably never will, and that’s why man discovered how to make alcohol.

If I could get a paying job doing what I do with my blog, with my social media accounts, I would consider it the best job in the world. And I think I would totally kick ass at it. When I look at what I can achieve doing it on the side, I think, “Imagine what I could do if someone actually paid me to do this!”

I personally think I would be a great social media marketer…Robert Kirkman, drop me a line if you think you could use me. For instance, I feel like I could singlehandedly raise the hype on your new spinoff series, Fear The Walking Dead, which I was posting about before I was beset by technical difficulties. I got what your new show was trying to do, and I felt like the shots I got, the moments I highlighted really captured the feel, the nuances of that show. Plus, amazing L.A. based playlists! 

Think about it, Robert Kirkman.  I would work my ass off for you!

Anyhow, shameless self-promoting aside, while my Season 5 style contained lots of glitz and glamour, I did miss my grassroots Season 4 writing style, where I paddled out, until I caught a wave, and rode the swells and breaks of prose. Some of my personal favorite posts are from that time: “The Grove,” “Claimed,” “Still,” “Alone,” “Us,” are all from that period, TWD Season 4.

Is it weird of me to kind of think of them as “classics” in my crazy world of barnfullawalkers?

To me, the feel of the writing is more organic in the Season 4 posts, and when I read back on them, I can see how the direction of the writing took its shape and form. I really found myself missing the purity and innocence of that time, that style, and while the Season 5 posts shine in their own high-media glam style, I am gravitating towards combining my Season 4 and Season 5 writing styles for my upcoming postings on TWD Season 6.

I’m going to open it up, dear readers, and not hold myself chained to any one style, or set of self-imposed expectations. There may be fewer pictures, less blow-by-blow in some posts, while, in other posts, we may hearken back to the Instagram-style postings for TWD Season 5’s “Forget,” and my brief posting foray into Fear The Walking Dead, a show which I really loved, by the way. (Had an epic post in the works for FTWD finale episode, “The Good Man,” with amazing sweet 16 song L.A. playlist, in the works, but I ran out of time, so I had to abandon it…it’s saved, so one day, I will try to put it out there. If I find the time. 🙂 )

So, don’t worry darlings. It all gets better and better. I wanted to keep you up on what is really happening, and while there will be a shift in how I do things this season, I imagine it will still be chock full of all the fun and crazy you have grown to know and love with www.barnfullawalkers.com !

I promise.  In many ways, dear readers, I feel like things are just getting started. And I am pleased. 🙂 ❤

I predict TWD Season 6 will be about evolution…Rick and his gang must evolve, Morgan must evolve, as do Deanna and the Alexandrians (um, band name alert!), and we must all learn to evolve alongside them.

We may gain some, we may lose some, but one thing will always be true:  We are family.   #TWDfamily XO

Much love, dear readers, and raise a glass with me tonight, when the first strains of the iconic Bear McCreary opening title sequence begin to play, and let us toast to Rick and the gang.

To Rick Grimes, and to our sweet gang, and to you all, dear readers.  Cheers! 

Enjoy the playlist, which features some sweet selections from my epic L.A. FTWD finale playlist.

Playlist:

Foals, “Mountain At My Gate”

The Delicate Cycle, “Promises and Plans”

Bad Religion, “Suffer”

Los Lobos, “Mas Y Mas”

Open Mike Eagle, “Ziggy Starfish (Anxiety Rap)”

Deepakalypse, “I Got A Vibe”

Trouble in Paradise: Deconstructing The Walking Dead SDCC Season 6 Promo Poster

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So many thoughts about this picture…

Hello again, and much love, dear readers.  We at barnfullawalkers hope that you all are having a lovely summer, full of fun, frolic, naps, and shenanigans.  May there be lots and lots of shenanigans.

Speaking of shenanigans, if you are among the lucky folk who are en route to San Diego, as I write this, for this week’s #SDCC2015, congratulations!  A few years back, I was able to go to the SDCC, and it was the funnest, ever. As soon as I walked into the San Diego Convention Center, I felt like I had finally found my natural habitat, and immediately got to the business of having one of the best long weekends of my life (thus far).  

Memories include: riding in an elevator with Gene Simmons (my friend said he checked me out); seeing Mix Master Mike spin at a club on the beach (and skinny-dipping in the Pacific ocean, afterwards); going to the “Marvel Party” with a friend who had done artwork for a few issues of different Marvel comics; walking behind David Cross and a girl that I think was Amber Tamblyn (not sure if they were together yet) and eavesdropping on their adorable fake-argument-debate; setting off on foot across the city in search of the Buffalo Exchange with my adventurous friend, Amy…we had only a vague idea of where we were going, and we shared stories along the way, browsed in stores, stopped at coffee shops and cafes, climbed trees and meandered for many hours (and about 80+ blocks) until we found the store we were looking for.  After an epic shopping spree, we treated ourselves to a bus ride back to the convention center (which took all of about 25 minutes) as the fellow passengers, upon learning of our day’s journey, exclaimed over us for being crazy enough to actually walk that far, anywhere.  

I also tried my first, and last, Bikram yoga class on that trip, after a night of hard partying…an ill-advised move, dear readers. I do not recommend anyone doing that, ever, unless one is both a seasoned partier and a seasoned Bikram yogi.

While, sadly, I will not be in attendance at the SDCC this year, I will bask in the memories, and I will be there in spirit. For those who are going, have a blast, be safe, and blow a kiss to the TWD and the FTWD panels for me. ❤ ❤

One day, SDCC, I’ll be back, and the adventures will be many, and epic, indeed. 

While I do entertain fantasies of being on a plane bound for San Diego, I am, in reality, exactly where I belong…at home, with the kids finally asleep, sitting in front of the laptop, drinking wine, simultaneously texting my WD buddy some mad gossip and getting ready to hash it with you all about just what the hell is going on with Rick, Morgan, our gang and the Alexandrians in this first image of TWD Season 6, the #TheWalkingDeadSDCC Seasonpromotional poster.

Like, seriously, people…we need to talk about what is going on in this picture.

Let us begin our discussion with our two favorite frenemies in the forefront, locked in a terse moment of exquisite manly tension…Rick and Morgan.

When we last left Rick and Morgan, in the final moments of the TWD Season 5 finale episode, “Conquer,” Morgan’s journey to find Rick Grimes ended in a most unexpected fashion, when, in yet another classic TWD moment, the brains-and-blood-spray hit the proverbial fan…

Rick was all like...

Rick Smash! was all, like, BANG! and McBeaty’s face, head, and brains were all like, SPLAT! all over Deanna Monroe’s fancy courtyard.

And then, Bloody Rick looked up, and saw his old friend, Morgan, standing there, and Morgan was all, like,

hello morgan

“Rick?!”

And, stone-cold busted, Rick was all, like, ….

D'oh!

<D’oh!> 

The way I imagine it, later that night, Daryl set out in search of a missing Rick, and found him drunk, in Alexandria’s soundproofed recreation center, taking long pulls from a handle of bourbon, stumbling around, and singing karaoke to:

I mean, right? Honestly, people, watching that ending scene just reinforced for me the inescapable, irrefutable truth that timing is everything. It really is. Sometimes, timing works out, and it’s all like, “Oh, what perfect timing!” and shit’s all beautiful, and everything just seems to fall into place. Those are good, good times.

Savor those moments, people, because other times, timing is not your friend. Other times, timing will kick your ass, hard.

The “Bloody Rick looks up from blowing McBeaty’s brains into the bricks, and sees Morgan standing there, looking horrified” moment would, in my humble estimation, fall into the latter category.

Now, the way I see it, Morgan has been out there, in the feral open, for quite some time, and has most certainly seen some shit go down these past two years since the inception of the walker apocalypse. (I am, of course, hoping that Season 6 will give us TWD fans some Morgan backstory, a la Season 4’s “Live Bait,” which caught us up with the Governor’s whereabouts, and gave us one of our most beloved TWD characters, Tara.)  

 So, I have a couple of questions, here:  We have Morgan, flanked by Daryl and Aaron, coming up on a scenario where he sees, on one end, a man bleeding out from a gash in his throat, dying, as his sobbing wife holds him…over on the other end, Morgan sees Rick, who is dressed in a cop’s uniform (and yes, is covered in blood, I know, but it’s walker blood, and these are some crazy times, so you never really know what you are going to see when you turn a corner) standing over another man who has been wrestled to the ground…then, Morgan sees Rick shoot said man, wrestled to the ground, in the head…and, while it’s all a bit startling, I ask you, dear readers, is it really that shocking, in these times, to come up on a scene like that? 

And, upon taking in the whole scene, is it really that hard for Morgan to put the pieces together and realize what events may have transpired to lead up to McBeaty’s brains being splattered all over Deanna’s nice courtyard?

Seems pretty simple to me: Domestic abuser goes all crazy, slashes an innocent man’s throat, has to get put down like a rabid dog…seems to me that that shit goes into the “crazy fucker had it coming” category. 

All I’m saying is, while this strange reunion may lead to some awkward moments when Rick and Morgan run into each other at the commissary, is this fateful first encounter, with its clash of idealogies, really going to be a friendship dealbreaker for Rick and Morgan?

I certainly hope not, especially since we know what’s coming for Alexandria…the Wolfboys, flanked by their Walker Army! 

They found Aaron’s man-purse, they’ve seen the pictures, and they are coming, people

As we study this first #TWDSDCC promotional poster image, we see Rick, standing close to Morgan, looking intensely at him, as if imparting crucial information to Morgan, or awaiting Morgan’s response to said information.  We see Morgan’s gaze is fixed outward, towards the horizon, as if he is studying the walls surrounding Alexandria, and considering the threat that is coming from the outside.

(Um, yeah, Morgan, about that…remember those wacky, weirdo wolfboys sporting W’s on their foreheads? The ones that tried to kill you? The ones that basically told you, straight up, that they find and kill innocent people they come across, or they trap them, or they run through their camps and communities, massacring the innocents, turning them into walkers, and bringing them back, somewhere, in their new, “not exactly alive” state?  Remember those guys, the ones you didn’t kill? That mean, nasty shit they do, and bragged to you about, is like their fucked-up hobby, their life’s purpose.

And after those wolfboys woke up from their kung-fu coma nap in the back seat of that abandoned car you so kindly tucked them away in, they found their way back to the trap you rescued Daryl and Aaron from, “walkerized” some poor dude in a red poncho, fashioning themselves another member for their undead army, and then, they found Aaron’s man purse, pulled out pictures of your new community, and now, they are coming to your new home, Morgan. They are coming, with their walker army, to kill people and fuck shit up, and I ask you, my friend…do you think that maybe, in retrospect, that some lives are a little more precious than others?

Sorry for the diatribe, but that shit needed to be said, and btw, I am also saying. right here, right now, that I just know that Kirkman, Gimple, and Nicotero are going to have a scene where we (and most likely, Daryl and Aaron) see that red poncho guy, who will now be Red Poncho Walker, sporting a W on his decomposing forehead, snapping and slavering amongst his fellow troops in the undead infantry…mark my words, dear readers. That shit is coming, to a walled community near you.)

Anyway, back to the poster…Morgan really does seem to be listening, thinking, processing what Rick is trying to tell him, which, judging from the grim expressions on both men’s faces, seems to be a matter of great importance. 

Life, death, walker army…that kind of shit.

We see the others behind Rick and Morgan, divided, which is interesting, but not really so surprising, you know? A lot of shit has gone down in a short time in Alexandria, and everyone’s still trying to get their bearings. Everyone’s expressions are so serious, grim. (Which really did bum me out, when I first saw this poster. I was like, “Wait, what about the fun playdates at the Grimes’ house? What about Friday Night Dance Troupe?” Tragic, all this unrealized potential for fun, flirting, and frolic. Such a waste of hot, sexy talent.  As we have said before in this blog, Damn you back to the hell that spawned you, cruel, cockblocking walker apocalypse!)

In the poster image, we see Rick’s gang, with Daryl and Michonne in the forefront, lined up behind Rick, standing at the ready, as if anticipating battle.  Behind Morgan, the key members of the Alexandrian community stand together, including Deanna Monroe, and her surviving son, Spencer (who I think got cut off at the edge there in my reproduction for this post..sorry about that…was impossible to get a full-sized screenshot of the entire poster image). We see Aaron  looking worried, behind Deanna, and, lurking in the background, looking tragic as usual, we see Father Gabriel. 

Jessie, while on the side of the Alexandrians, has gaze turned towards Rick, while her body is turned halfway between Rick and his people, and her fellow Alexandrian citizens. I feel that Jessie’s placement, and posturing, in this image suggests that she is caught somewhere in the middle, between the two camps, Team Rick, and Team Alexandria.

I feel that we TWD viewers will see the a fuller scope of Jessie’s strength and character as Season 6 unfolds, as she negotiates the complex and vital role as translator/mediator between Rick’s group, Morgan, and Deanna’s group. She would be able to be more objective, and see the strengths of each side’s approach on how to navigate both survival in this new world, while trying to retain some of the humanitarian and moral codes of the world left behind.  

The way I see it, Rick, Morgan, Deanna, and the others have enough challenges to face in the season ahead, as they try to come to some sort of accord, and find a way to coexist, flourish, and explore the rare opportunity to actually live a life worth living, however brief it may be, within the relative safety behind Alexandria’s walls. It is a tall order, especially with the ever-present threat that looms just beyond (and, sometimes, inside) the steel walls of Alexandria…the predatory world of both undead, and living, foes alike want nothing better than to breach those walls and prey upon those living within them. 

War is coming to Alexandria, people, and as we study this poster, it is easy to surmise that each and every individual in this picture knows it. Daryl, Michonne, and the rest of the righteous gang look poised and ready, their battle faces on. Deanna’s face looks grim, and stormy, and her people, who are not so battle-savvy (yet) look worried.  

Nobody’s fucking around, least of all Kirkman, Gimple, and Nicotero. And our man, Rick Grimes, ain’t playing. But, never fear, darlings. The TWD panel will convene at #SDCC this Friday at noon Pacific, and they will debut the Season 6 trailer, and it will all be good, I promise.  And, of course, with that trailer, another tweaker blog post from barnfullawalkers will be forthcoming, and once again, all will be right in the world.

Until then, enjoy the playlist, darlings.  With all this strife and discord in the air of Alexandria, I figured we needed a “rudey, ‘tudey, crass and crudey” punk rock playlist, with a triple scoop of Transplants, to help sort it all out. To Rick and the gang, and to TWD, and to the San Diego Comic Con…cheers to all!

Playlist:

Elvis Costello, “(What’s So Funny Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding?”

Transplants, “Something’s Different”

Dead Kennedys, “Holiday In Cambodia”

Fugazi, “Sieve Fisted Find”

Balkans, “I Can’t Compete”

Billy Bragg, “To Have And To Have Not”

Bad Brains, “I And I Survive”

Transplants, “Diamonds And Guns”

FIDLAR, “No Ass” (Seriously, everyone in Alexandria needs to just settle down with all this internal fighting, seize the day, and get them some serious loving before the Wolfboys and their walker army come knocking…just sayin’!)

Liam Lynch, “United States of Whatever”

Transplants, “Tall Cans In The Air”  (Tall cans in the air for Rick Grimes and our gang of hot, sexy, battle-savvy transplants. Alexandria hasn’t been this exciting since, well…ever!)

The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 16, “Conquer”

“Conquer”

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

Hello, loves…it has been far too long. While I have been immersed in the rich layers of life in the IRL, my thoughts have been, quite often, with my fave show, and my #TWDFamily, all over the world.

This is the moment I have been waiting for, when I finally get to sit, focus, and endeavor to conquer “Conquer.”

We have much to discuss with The Walking Dead’s Season 5 finale, Episode 516, but before we do, dear readers, let us take a moment to look back on TWD’s Season 5, and honor those we have lost...family, friends, foes, both living and undead (and even an inanimate object or two), while we raise our glasses, our bottles, our mugs, and serenade our dearly departed with a classic by Neutral Milk Hotel, “In The Aeroplane Over the Sea”:

(At this point, before, I would have inserted this classic song, via the beloved Grooveshark widget embed, into this post; but alas, loves, Grooveshark is no more… I grieve, as we had some good jams, and Grooveshark made the music available to many, for free.  I did know that Grooveshark was embroiled in some legal trouble, as free music sharing does raise the issue of compensation for the artists… I knew that one day, Grooveshark may be gone. And, like so many of our beloved TWD characters, gone it is. 

R.I.P. Grooveshark…we had some good jams.

And now, (drum solo, please), dearest readers, may I present: Neutral Milk Hotel’s, “In The Aeroplane Over The Sea,” via the new tunes tech: Spotify 

So pimp, right? At this point, I am not sure if playlists will be available for immediate listen if the reader doesn’t have an account with Spotify.  If not, hopefully you can create a free account, and access the playlists, perhaps with some advertisements thrown in. If you are on the Spotify premium plan, you can listen to my shit uninterrupted.  I do apologize for any inconvenience this change of events may cause. Change happens, and once I recovered from my shock at having my existing playlists be wiped from existence…

the scream

… I realized the opportunity was there for a serious upgrade. And so, upgrade I did.

One of the many perks of “said upgrade” is that my playlists will now be available on mobile devices for those who have the Spotify app, so now, those readers may enjoy the playlists on their phones, tablets, etc., which they could not do before, with the previous tunes tech.   

And so, dear readers, if you will, cue the music, and raise a beverage for:

The WD Season 5 Hall of Fame Neutral Milk Memorial    R.I.P. and cheers, and much love to: 

Grooveshark  

Beth Greene 

noah and beth escape beth is a badass

Tyreese  

Tyrese still

Bob Stookey  

bob smiling

Noah 

noah sez what

Noah’s mom 

noah bends over his dead mom

Noah’s Lil Bros  

lil bros tyreese looks

Lil Bro Walker 

noah rekills lil bro walker

Aiden 😦

aidan 1

Rick’s Beard 

shave 1

Bob’s Leg 😦

bobs leg on the grill

Gareth 

IMG_8708

Mary

mary is shocked

Alex (Technically a Season 4 casualty, but Alex did enjoy a brief posthumous cameo in Season 5, so we include him here.)

dead alex

Shitty Martin

martin asks tyreese question about gareth

Terminus

later terminus

Sam

poor sam is first on the block

Friends With Benefits Walker 

Joan Walker 

joan walker about to go awol

Dawn Lerner

dawn takes a pull from her flask

Gorman

gorman so gross

Mr./Dr. Trevitt 

bye bye mr trevor

Sgt. Lamson

deputy smash is coming

Officer O’Donnell

officer OD challenges beth as dawn walks past percy

The Van

van fall 2

The Bus 

bus blows 3

The Mission to D.C. 😦

im not a scientist

Ragin’ Face

face tat tweaker rager

Walkers Interruptus   ❤

mom and child walkers interruptus

Hey, Where’s The Party At? Walker 

IMG_8438

I Died In A Barn Walker

i died in a barn walker

Rick’s Little Bit Of Flare Walker 

flare walker 5

Buttons

poor buttons

Wild Dog Pack  😦

wild dogs

The Owl Sculpture

rick crashes the owl

Grabby Walker

walker grab leg

I Wanna Eat Francine Walkers

abraham takes out the uglies in the front

White Walker 

white walker go buh bye

Poor Girl Tied To A Tree Walker 

daryl does her a solid rekill

Hostage Walker 

maggie finds kidnapped walker

Reg

reg says u have me beat

McBeaty

rick meets petey mcbeaty

Leonard Nimoy  

live long and prosper

The Walking Dead’s Episode 516 opens with a shot of a car, hood smashed in, abandoned in the woods.  The sun is low on the trees, suggesting either the dawning, or the darkening, of another day.

crashed car

Inside the car, we see Morgan (yay! <3 ) sleeping.

Inside the car, we see Morgan sleeping.

Morgan awakes...

Morgan awakes…

...and sits up, smiles...

.. sits up, smiles…

...as he looks up and sees his lucky rabbit's foot has kept him safe again.  I am assuming that this rabbit's foot belonged to Morgan's  son, Duane, who was bitten by the walker his mother became after dying from a walker bite and ensuing fever.  I imagined, watching this scene, that Morgan started every day by taking a moment to remember his son. The rabbit's foot was an item that he lay on the altar back at Gabriel's church, right before finding the map to D.C. with Abraham's note to Rick written on it, as he knelt in prayer at the altar.

…as he looks up, sees his rabbit’s foot, hanging from the rearview mirror…it seems to have kept him safe for another night. I am assuming that this rabbit’s foot belonged to Morgan’s son, Duane, who was bitten by his mother-turned-walker, Jenny Walker. While watching this scene, I imagined that Morgan started every day by taking a moment to remember his son, his wife, his family. The rabbit’s foot was an item that Morgan lay on the altar back at Gabriel’s church (right before finding the map to D.C. with Abraham’s note to Rick written on it) as he knelt in prayer at the altar. It seems here, from Morgan’s serene countenance, that he has found some peace within himself since Rick, Carl, and Michonne last encountered him in Season 3’s “Clear.”

In the next shot, we see a small campfire, surrounded by rocks, with a small metal grate placed over the flame, and a metal cup placed on top, presumably to heat water.

hot cup of something

Morgan takes the cup from the fire, rips open a packet of instant soup or something, and pours the contents in the cup. As he stirs his breakfast, the shot pans out...

Morgan takes the cup from the fire, rips open a packet of instant soup or something, and pours the contents in the cup. As he stirs his breakfast, the shot pans out…

...and we see another figure approach, a young man with dark hair, who steps forwards, across from where Morgan sits, balancing playfully on a rock a moment before stepping down. Morgan says nothing, does not acknowledge the young man's presence.

…and we see another figure approach, a young man with dark hair, who steps forward upon a rock, across from where Morgan sits. The young man balances playfully on the rock a moment before stepping down. He appears to be pointing a handgun at Morgan. Morgan says nothing, does not acknowledge the young man’s presence.

The young man leans forward slightly towards Morgan. “Looks good,” he says, sitting on the rock across from Morgan, still pointing the pistol at him.

“Hi,” says the young man. He peers closely at Morgan, waiting for a reaction.

Morgan does not respond right away, looks over his shoulder, casually, in both directions, checking to see if anyone else is there. He looks back at the young man.

“Hello,” Morgan says. He motions to the gun the young man points at him. “You may want to lower that,” he suggests, mildly. The young man does not respond, nor does he lower the gun. The two men regard each other in silence over the campfire.

“What’s the “W” for?” Morgan asks the young man, who bears a “W” mark on his forehead.

In response, the young man narrows his eyes at Morgan.  His mouth sets to the side, somewhere between a smile and a grimace. He cocks the pistol he is pointing at Morgan, who does not seem afraid of the young man or his gun.

young man narrows his eyes

“You know the first settlers here? They put bounties on wolves’ heads,” the young man begins.

(Editor’s note: Putting a bounty on wolves’ heads is a practice that has actually resurfaced, in the United States, in recent years. In the U.S., federal protections for wolves are being systematically stripped away, state by state, across the country, leaving hunters and poachers free to kill wolves and wolf pups on sight alone, without provocation, with the intention to decimate the species. Congress is considering passing a bill, at the time of this writing, to delist the gray wolf as an endangered species. Google this issue, visit the Defenders of Wildlife online site http://www.defenders.org/the-war-on-wolves/delisting-disaster, and write to your elected officials if you want to protect the future of this iconic species, and tell them in reinstate federal protections for wolves.) #SaveTheWolf

The young man continues, telling Morgan, “(The settlers) brought the natives into it, made them hunt (the wolves)…didn’t take them too long to kill them all.”

The young man then points to his forehead.

The young man then taps the “W” on his forehead. “They’re back, now,” he informs Morgan.

Morgan regards the young man, and his posturing, with amusement.

Morgan regards the young man, and all his posturing, with amusement.

He looks down, biting back his laughter...

He looks down, biting back his laughter…

...and as Morgan looks away, composing himself (and rechecking his periphery), the young man prompts,

…and as Morgan looks away, composing himself (and rechecking his periphery), the young man prompts, “Thoughts?”

In reply, Morgan turns his attention back to the young man, looks at him a moment before answering.

“Every thing gets a return,” Morgan replies.

The young man sits back and processes this a moment, then smiles, uncertainly. “Are you shittin’ me?” he asks Morgan.

Morgan shakes his head earnestly.

Morgan shakes his head earnestly. “No, I shit you not,” he assures the young man. The two men share a laugh at this.

Still laughing, the young man sits back, regards Morgan.

Still laughing, the young man sits back, regards Morgan. “I like this…just talkin’,” he says. Then his face becomes somber again. “I don’t get to meet new people very often,” he tells Morgan, figuring, “Maybe, once every two weeks.”

“That’s a lot,” Morgan exclaims softly. The young man nods. “I work at it,” he says, amends, “We do…sometimes we find camps, run through them. We have traps, too.” The young man pauses, muses, “It’s different…it’s not like meeting like this…as equals.”

As he tells Morgan this, the young man’s manner is very matter-of-fact, conversational, reporting the information simply and truthfully, like a child would. The young man seems like he is no older than a post-teen, early twenties tops.

In response, Morgan looks casually over his other shoulder, checking again to see if anyone else is coming up on him. He looks back at the young man, regards him.

The young man continues, musing,

The young man continues, musing, “Little chats in front of the fire, with a stranger…that’s the closest thing to movies, now.” Morgan keeps his eyes on the young man, nods warily.

“I miss movies,” the young man muses. “I used to–put that down,” he orders Morgan, who has lifted his mug to take a drink of his soup.

Morgan's hand pauses, the mug stops mid-sip. He lowers the mug.

Morgan’s hand pauses, the mug stops mid-sip. He lowers the mug. “Why?” he asks the young man, puzzled, free hand turned up in question.

“Because I want it,” the young man replies, frowning. He blinks slowly, then says to Morgan:

I want everything you have…every last drop.”

“Can I keep a little of it?” Morgan asks, testing the young man. “Just to get me through a day or two, you know, just to keep me alive?” I feel like Morgan is testing the young man, to see how much of a danger he really is, testing if the young man has any empathy or compassion left inside him at this point.

The young man looks at Morgan. His eyes are devoid of any feeling or compassion.

The young man looks at Morgan. His eyes are devoid of any feeling or compassion. “I’m taking you, too…” the young man says, slowly.

“…and you won’t exactly be alive,”

Morgan looks at the young man, says nothing, and slowly, deliberately puts his mug down. When he returns his attention to the young man across from him, Morgan’s look has changed…his smile, and friendly manner of before, are gone.

morgan looks back at the young man 2

The young man resumes talking, “Some of the tribes, around here, they thought that the first people were wolves, transformed into men…and, now, well, you know‘Everything gets a return,’ right?

(The implication here, I think, is that the men, the people, once they die and reanimate (as walkers), are then transformed back into an incarnation of wolves…savage, wild, predatory creatures who hunt the living in packs.)

Morgan smiles, slightly, and nods, slightly, at the young man, looks at him a moment.

“You can have my supplies. You can have everything,” Morgan offers the young man.

“There doesn’t need to be any ugliness,” Morgan continues, “but I can’t allow you to take me away.”

“I will not allow that,” Morgan says, gently, firmly.

Morgan reaches down for his staff, only to be stopped by the sound of the safetly being released on the young man's gun.

Morgan reaches down for his wooden staff, only to be stopped by the sound of the safety being released on the young man’s gun.

“Don’t move,” the young man commands, and Morgan’s hand freezes mid-air, above the staff.

Morgan turns back towards the young man, his hands raised in a gesture of surrender.

Morgan turns back towards the young man, his hands raised in a gesture of surrender.

The young man motions Morgan back, while pointing the gun at Morgan.

The young man motions Morgan back, still pointing the gun at Morgan.

Just…be still,” the young man says to Morgan. Then the young man’s eyes harden a bit, and a small smile returns to his face. He says it again…

“Just…be…still.”

Morgan knows the attack from behind is coming, and he is quick to evade the young blond man who leaps at Morgan from the bushes behind him, swinging a curved scythe down at the spot where Morgan was sitting.  The pointy end of the scythe strikes only rock as Morgan whirls aside, grabbing his staff in one deft motion…and with that, the #MorganStyle kung fu beatdown begins…

After Morgan leaps away from the young assailant's  first strike, he grabs his staff and whirls around, delivering a swift blow to the dark haired young man, knocking him to the ground.

After Morgan leaps away from the young assailant’s first strike, he grabs his staff and whirls around, delivering a swift blow to the dark haired young man, knocking him to the ground.

morgan kung fu 2

Morgan ducks low to evade another wild swing from the blond wboy's scythe, and the young man's balance is thrown off again...a swift strike from Morgan's staff into the young man's lower spine sends him toppling forward into the dirt.

Morgan ducks low to evade another wild swing from the blond wolfboy’s scythe, and the young man’s balance is thrown off again…

morgan kung fu 3

A swift strike from Morgan’s staff into the young man’s lower spine sends him toppling forward into the dirt.

Morgan then brings his staff end down, so it rests in one hand, standing tall beside him, like a shepherd’s staff. It is a posture of peace, and power, an unspoken message of, “Run along now, wolfboys, and don’t make me kick your ass again.”

As the young men come to a shaky stand, the dark-haired one regards Morgan with a new respect, and fear.

As the young men come to a shaky stand, the dark-haired one regards Morgan with a new respect, and fear.

The blond one menaces forward, glaring at Morgan.

The blond one menaces forward, glaring at Morgan. “You should just go,” Morgan warns them. “Now.” The blond young man growls, “No,” and lunges for Morgan again.

Morgan sidesteps the young man’s attack, and brings his staff down, blocking the scythe’s blade, then delivers a series of quick strikes upside the blond wolfboy’s, well, everything, and then sends blond one’s dark-haired little bastard compadre back into the dirt with two fierce blows, one with the staff, followed by one downward blow with his gloved fist.

It is truly satisfying to watch Morgan kick some wolfie ass, #kungfupimp style.

It is truly satisfying to watch Morgan kick some wolf-poser ass, with style, grace, and restraint, in the way of the master. #kungfupimp

morgan kung fu 8

#MorganIsMySifu

Morgan whirls with a pimp flourish, twirling his staff expertly as he changes direction, readies his stance. His young opponents struggle to come to another shaky stand... they flank Morgan, pause, wait for their opportunity to strike again. This next time, they will probably both rush him, and Morgan knows this, waits.

Morgan then whirls with pimp flourish, twirling his staff expertly as he changes direction, readies his stance. His young opponents struggle to come to another shaky stand… they flank Morgan, pause, wait for their opportunity to strike again. This next time, they will both rush him at once, and Morgan knows this, waits for the attack.

“Just go,” Morgan says again. The young men, of course, do not listen.

The young dark haired one draws his knife. You can tell the two wolfboys aren't used to having to work this hard to subdue other victims...

The young dark haired one draws his knife. It seems the two wolfboys aren’t used to having to work this hard to subdue other victims…

...as they crouch, reading Morgan, readying for the next attack.

…as they crouch, reading Morgan, readying for the next attack. The blond one seethes as he looks at Morgan.  This time, it’s personal.

Morgan softens his gaze downward, as if at a focal point in front of him. It reminded me of young Luke Skywalker with the eyeshield on, learning to tap into the Force without relying soley on his sense of vision. Morgan uses the point in front of him to access his peripheral vision equally on both sides, to be able to feel and read sudden movement from either end, and respond accordingly.

Morgan softens his gaze downward, as if at a focal point in front of him. Watching this scene, I was reminded of young Luke Skywalker, wearing eyeshields, learning to tap into The Force and block an attack with his lightsaber, without relying soley on his sense of vision to guide him.  Morgan seems to use the point in front of him to access his peripheral vision equally on both sides, to be able to feel and read sudden movement from either end, and respond accordingly. “Please,” he asks, once more. His unspoken message is clear: Go now, young wolf posers…don’t make me do this.

Suddenly, the dark haired one screams,“Now!” and both young adversaries rush Morgan at once, from opposite sides.

morgan kung fu 13

It’s time to shut it down. Morgan sends the dark haired boy into the dirt, unconscious, with one or two swift high strikes to the head…

morgan kung fu 15

…Morgan whirls to the other young man and sends him out with a high, then low, strike, from each end of his staff, bam bam! There is no more movement from either of the young men. #knockedthefuckout

Morgan bends and picks up the handgun, hears a walker approaching. He points the gun at the walker and pulls the trigger repeatedly, gets only clicks.

gun is empty

The damn gun was empty the whole time?

The damn gun was empty the whole time?

Nothing to be done but sully the staff with some walker brains...Morgan takes a cloth and wipes his staff clean of the undead mess on his chosen weapon.

Nothing to be done but sully the staff with some walker brains…Morgan pulls a cloth from his coat pocket and wipes his staff clean of the undead mess on his chosen weapon.

In the next shot, we see Morgan carefully lay the unconscious blond man on top of his dark haired counterpart in the back seat of the abandoned car he had spent the previous night in. Enjoy your nap, douchebags, and btw, those

In the next shot, we see Morgan carefully lay the unconscious blond man on top of his dark haired counterpart in the back seat of the abandoned car he himself had spent the previous night in. (Enjoy your nap, wolf-posers, and btw, those “W’s” you drew on your foreheads look really fucking stupid. Wearing a “W” on your forehead doesn’t make you a wolf, or a primal tribesman, or anything remotely cool like that. It just makes you look really dumb, like you’re fronting wolf  while acting like sadistic, demented assholes.) “W” clearly stands for “wack” and “Whatever, weirdos.”

Morgan shuts the young feral felons into the back seat, and then he leans across the front seat of the car, honking the horn 2 or 3 times, ostensibly to alert their

Morgan shuts the young feral felons into the back seat, and then leans across the front seat of the car, honking the horn 2 or 3 times, ostensibly to alert their “tribe” to come look for them. We see that Morgan’s way of dealing with the men is very different from the way Rick Grimes would have handled them. Morgan could easily have killed his young assailants, or left them to be killed by walkers, but didn’t…he seems to value their lives to the degree that he took the time and effort to move them to an enclosed, protected place, where they wouldn’t be prey to walkers as they lay unconscious. Morgan  then looks up at Duane’s rabbit’s foot, hanging from the rearview, and smiles at it once again before tearing the lucky charm from the mirror, taking a quick look around, and slipping off into the forest, in search of Rick Grimes.

Before we move on, kudos and Deadies to the following mavericks (I am giving out mad Deadies this post because it’s the WD Season 5 finale, people, and attention must be paid, props must be given, and the love must be shown!)

First Deadie goes to Greg Nicotero, directorial and special effects prodigy, who directed the TWD Episode 516, “Conquer,” as well as other groundbreaking episodes in Season 5: “No Sanctuary,” “What Happened and What’s Going On,” (just to name a couple of my personal favorites).

Standing ovation, Greg Nicotero. You really brought TWD Season 5 to a whole new level, and set an unprecendented standard of excellence to television as a whole.

Suck on that, Emmy snubbers.

There are many who say that Season 5 is, hands down, the best season yet of The Walking Dead television series. In many respects, I fully agree. I personally feel Greg Nicotero is a huge reason for this season’s artistic excellence on all levels, and I imagine anyone working directly with the project knows this to be fact.

Much love, many thanks to Crazy Uncle Greg from us at barnfullawalkers. Thank you, Crazy Uncle Greg, for bringing the love, and the pain, and for being so beautifully twisted, genius, and spectacular. You are bringing it like Bukowski.  

Next Deadie goes to our man, Lennie James, who plays Morgan Jones, kung fu badass who walks the way of the peaceful warrior. I do not know if Lennie James has been studying martial arts for a long time, or if he had to immerse himself in a quick study for this role, but damn, that man is pure poetry in motion. Style. Speed. Grace. Power. Poise.

And, impeccable acting, time and time again, in every project I have ever seen him in, and especially as Morgan Jones in The Walking Dead.

(I was a huge Morgan-and-Duane fan from the first moment I met them in the TWD pilot episode, Season 1’s “Days Gone Bye,” when Duane clocked Rick in the back of the head with a shovel, and he woke up, bound, in Morgan and Duane’s house.

As I watched WD Season 1, I kept asking Rick, on the screen, “Rick, have you tried to radio Morgan yet today? Call Morgan and Duane! They need to know where you are so they can meet up with you!”

Look, people, I knew Rick was super busy in Season 1, reuniting with his wife and kid, getting cuckolded, road tripping back and forth to Atlanta, trying to get to the CDC, but I was always super worried about Morgan and Duane.

I never stopped thinking about them, and I was kind of mad at Rick for dropping the ball on keeping in touch with Morgan like he said he would.  I got over it, of course. I can’t stay mad at Rick Grimes for long, and who would want to? That’s just crazy talk, people!

I must tell you, however, when I watched Season 3’s “Clear,” when Rick, Carl, and Michonne found Morgan, and we found out what happened to Duane, it messed me up, hard…I won’t go into the sordid deets, but suffice it to say that the entire rest of that night was awash in bourbon and tears. I was haunted. I wore a black armband for days after under my work attire. It wasn’t pretty.

But, as hard as “Clear” was for me, I was mesmerized by Lennie James’ performance in that pivotal episode.

I remember hearing an interview with Andrew Lincoln on Talking Dead, and Andrew Lincoln said that he and Lennie James filmed the Morgan-to-Rick soliloquy scene in “Clear” on Andrew Lincoln’s birthday. In the TD interview, Andrew Lincoln said that the way that Lennie James delivered that monologue was the best birthday present he could have asked for.

For me, personally, Duane being alive and well would have been the best present I could have asked for, but alas, that was not to be…Kirkman said no, so I abide.)

R.I.P. Duane. 

duane

So, much love, Lennie James, and mad props. You are an amazing actor, a talented martial artist, a total master, and a total pimp.

And, the last of the First Round of Deadies goes to genius composer, Bear McCreary, who delivered another incredible score, bringing the Morgan kung fu asskicking scene in the woods to new heights. Pure perfection, really. Once again, kudos, Bear McCreary.

Speaking of kudos, and sheer awesomeness, let us now return to Episode 516, where we see another beloved character, doing one of the things he loves best, being a beautiful badass on a bike…

Daryl Dixon.

Daryl Dixon.  

Behind Daryl, Aaron follows in a car that has seen better days.  Daryl, then Aaron, pull over on an abandoned dirt road, shut off their vehicles, and gather their belongings. After a quick look-around, the two men slip into the woods.

daryl and aaron dip into the woods

Meanwhile, back in the Alexandria Juvenile Detention Center…

Rick Grimes wakes up in lockdown...

Rick Grimes wakes up in lockdown.

Rick blinks awake, peers around at the darkened room. There are rays of sunlight pouring through some small opening, or window, and Rick tries to sit up, painfully. He laughs a little, softly, to himself, shaking his head before giving it up. Shielding his eyes, he starts to lie back on the cot, when he is surprised by a voice in the room.

“What’s so funny?” we hear Michonne’s voice ask.

Shielding his eyes, caught unawares, Rick looks up at her.

Shielding his eyes, caught unawares, Rick looks up at her.

Girlfriend is not pleased.

Girlfriend is not looking pleased.

“You were here the whole time?” Rick asks her, hoarsely.

“All night,” Michonne answers, succinctly. She asks again, “What’s so funny?”

“This,” Rick replies, sitting up with some effort, motioning to the room around him, “is like the train car. After the whole thing…I’m still there.

“Deanna wanted you in here,” Michonne replies. “Calm things down.” Her manner is terse, annoyed. “Rosita patched you up, Carl came by for a while, sent him home.”

Michonne’s tone and manner with Rick right now seems to be like: “Hey, remember your kids? Your people? Or did you forget about all that while you went off chasing after your own little drama story of, ‘Let me get all up in Jessie’s biz and fuck it all up for everyone else?'”

Then, Michonne stands, brings her chair a few steps closer to Rick’s bed, sits down again, looks at Rick. Classic interrogation room style.

“Rick,” Michonne asks, “what are you doing?” Rick shakes his head slightly, does not reply, rubs the back of his head.

Oh, does your head hurt sooo bad that you can't answer the question? I love the man, but Rick Grimes is being a total drama guy right now.

Oh, Rick, does your head suddenly hurt sooo bad that you can’t answer the question? I love the man, but Rick Grimes is kind of being a total drama king right now.

Michonne knows this, looks away, rolls her eyes, takes a deep breath. “They put Pete in another house,” she informs Rick. (And yes, they should have done that way sooner…but who exactly was going to enforce that, before Rick Grimes came along?)

“You could have told me what was happening,” Michonne tells Rick.

Rick turns the baby blues up to Michonne.

Rick turns the baby blues up to max volume, looks at Michonne.It moved fast…and then, Noah,” he says, by way of explanation.  (Whatever, dude. That’s code for, “I was seeing everything through my one-eyed monster, and now, here I am…here we are.”)

Michonne ain't buying it, and neither am I.

Michonne ain’t buying it, and, really, neither am I.

“I couldn’t tell you about the gun,” Rick continues.

Michonne fixes him a look, replies, “Nooo, you couldn’t…” Her tone quietly calls bullshit on Rick. I tend to agree. The gang is a tribe, a family, and after all they’ve been through, true family shouldn’t keep big secrets like that from each other. Go down in folly, whatever, but go down together, get checked before you wreck it for everyone.

“You wanted this place,” Rick says.

Michonne narrows her eyes at him. “We needed to stop being out there.”

Rick looks around the room. “Well, we’re here,” he says, stretching his leg out on his prison cot.

(Like I said, people, I love the man, and we all know that Alexandria is rife with bullshit on many levels, and I do love when Rick Smash! comes out to play and fuck shit up, but I find myself siding with Michonne on this one.

The gang needed to get to a safe place, and change is something that happens slowly, not all at once. Rick and Carol have been enabling each other’s drama and crazy, big time, which is, of course, completely delicious on many levels…but once it was clear that Deanna Monroe and her people were not malevolent, merely clueless, perhaps Rick and Carol could have dialed it down a little, and given it some time, let things play out.

I know the storyline here is all about Rick Smash! having a hard time readjusting to society, but is plotting a hostile takeover within the first week of being at the choice new digs really necessary? Dude, you’re a dad…when was the last time you cuddled your baby girl, or have you been too busy being all up in Jessie’s grill to even think about your own family?

In my opinion, Rick is being pretty self-obsessed, all about his own drama, and he is being a bit of a brat right now. While I love Rick, this isn’t all about him, and his actions are having a direct, negative effect on the rest of the righteous gang.

Talk to me, people…I would love to get readers’ thoughts on this one.)

In response to Rick's drama king

In response to Rick’s drama king “Well, we’re here comment, Michonne regards him coolly, replies, Well, you just said you weren’t.” Rick looks at her like, “D’oh!”  Oooo, burn, Rick Grimes!

The door opens then, and Glenn, Carol, and Abraham file into the room.

As Glenn, Carol, and Abraham stand, watching, we hear Michonne's voice ask Rick,

As Glenn, Carol, and Abraham stand, watching, we hear Michonne’s voice ask Rick, “Where’d you get the gun?”

Befre Rick can answer, we hear Carol's voice chime in, quickly,

Before Rick can answer, we hear Carol’s voice chime in, quickly, ” You took it, right?” (And thus begins the Carol’s Gonna Save Her Own Ass part of this program…)

“From the armory?” Carol prompts, looking hard at Rick, like, <“Um, I ain’t getting exiled along with you, dude…just sayin’.”>

Carol continues her award-winning performance. “That was stupid,” she admonishes Rick. “Why’d you do it?”