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

“Spend”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gabriel looks over and spies...

Gabriel then looks over and spies…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gabriel continues tearing pages out of the bible.

Gabriel continues ripping page after page out of the bible.

gabriel losing it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, as the gates of Alexandria roll open…

Yes...

Yes…

...yes...

…yes… 

...YES!

YES!

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

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

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

Reg jokes to Noah,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Reg regards him, Noah continues,

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

Reg stares at the young man before him.

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

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

reg notebook 1

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Abraham stands at the bathroom mirror...

Meanwhile, Abraham stands at the bathroom mirror…

...while his lovely lady sleeps in.

…while his lovely lady sleeps in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aiden kisses his mom and bids his father farewell.

Aiden kisses his mom and bids his father farewell.

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

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

Glenn and Maggie kiss goodbye.

Glenn and Maggie kiss goodbye.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Meanwhile, in another garage across town…

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

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

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

Jessie says stuff like this never happens around here…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eugene makes his case.

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

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

Tara, however, is like, um, no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noah replies that target practice has helped...

Noah replies that target practice has helped…

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

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

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

Glenn mutters,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are a lot of walkers.

There are a lot of walkers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...and tells him,

…and tells him, “You’re up.”

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

eugene finds the microinverter

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

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

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

Swat Walker!

S.W.A.T. Walker!

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

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

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

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

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

...and the Swat Walker keeps coming.

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

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

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

glenn sees SWAT walker

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

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

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

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

SWAT walker's grenade

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

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

Aiden fires the fatal shot...

Aiden fires the fatal shot…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“…walker!”

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

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

Terrified, Eugene backs away from the advancing walker…

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

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

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

…Eugene gets grabbed from behind by Sneaky, Snappy Walker

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

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

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

Noah is a badass.

Noah is a badass. 

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

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

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

Glenn is a total badass.

Meanwhile, back in Alexandria…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Meanwhile…

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

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

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

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

To this, Eugene looks up, replies,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aiden is alive

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

“He’s still alive?” Glenn asks.

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

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

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

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

You’re up, Eugene.

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

Eugene looks up at them.

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

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

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

Glenn-In-Charge thinks fast.

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

Glenn tells Nicholas,

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

Glenn tells Noah,

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

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

flare shot

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

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

 Meanwhile, back at the construction site…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...except when it does.

…except when it does. Like now.

Enter Stage Right, the Job Site Walkers!

Enter the Job Site Walkers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abraham rushes forward, alone, to help Francine.

Abraham rushes forward, alone, to help Francine.

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

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

...before grabbing up Francine...

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

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

Abraham gets Francine inside the safety of the truck…

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Job Site Walkers begin to swarm the truck…

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

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

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

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

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

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

...rekilling them.

…rekilling them.

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

...while he

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

Abraham taunts,

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

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

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

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

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

 Back in Alexandria…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McBeaty says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“We’ve lost things, “ muses McBeaty, nodding and looking off, somewhere.

McBeaty looks at Rick.

McBeaty looks back at Rick. “Other things, we’re fighting like hell to hold onto.” Whatever, McBeaty. Nobody cares. I do think, however, that Rick Grimes is feeling more and more justified in his “end justifies the means” imaginings right about now.

McBeaty continues on his soap box, telling Rick that he doesn't know if Rick and his people, after everything  they've been through, can see that...

McBeaty continues on his soap box, telling Rick that he doesn’t know if Rick and his people, after everything they’ve been through, can see the plight of the Alexandrians, or McBeaty in particular…

“We do,” says Rick, with the barest of a smile. Oh, he sees it, all right, McBeaty. Rick Grimes sees everything.

Somewhat mollified, McBeaty takes a swig of his beer.

Somewhat mollified, McBeaty takes a swig of his beer.

He's barely swallowed the beer when he utters another classic McBeaty non-sequitar, urging Rick to

McBeaty’s barely swallowed his mouthful of beer when he utters another classic McBeaty non sequitar, urging Rick to “Bring your kids in for a check-up…they were out there a long time, right?”

Rick Grimes smiles a secret smile in response to this, bounces back and forth a bit lightly between his feet, like, 'Yeah, right, asshole, so you can either drunkenly molest my kids or mismanage their care in the throes of a violent hangover...I don't fucking think so.'

Rick Grimes smiles a secret smile in response to this, bounces back and forth a bit lightly between his feet, like, ‘Yeah, right, asshole, so you can either drunkenly molest my kids or mismanage their care in the throes of a violent hangover? I don’t fucking think so.’

Instead of voicing his real thoughts, Rick politely agrees and thanks Pete for the offer while motioning with his head towards the door, like, ok, dude, time to go. All falls silent again for another moment of pure awkwardness between the two men.

Once again oblivious of nonverbal cues, Pete lurches forward until he comes face to face with Rick.

McBeaty leans in conspiratorially to Rick.

McBeaty leans in conspiratorially to Rick. “Let’s be friends, man,” he says.

McBeaty continues,

McBeaty continues, “We kind of have to be, right?”

Looking right into McBeaty's eyes, Rick smiles and agrees,

Looking right into McBeaty’s eyes, Rick smiles and agrees, “Yeah, we do.” Notice how McBeaty has dropped his gaze, does not meet Rick’s eyes. Universal sign of submission to an alpha.

“So we will,” says McBeaty, grabbing Rick’s hand for another fake, gripping handshake that is a little too hard, and a little too much like arm wrestling to be fooling anybody.

After the handshake/arm-wrestle, McBeaty slaps a couple of hard ones on Rick's shoulder as he luches out.

After the handshake/wrestle, McBeaty slaps a couple of hard ones on Rick’s shoulder as he lurches out. “See you, Rick.” Rick shoots McBeaty this look over his shoulder as McBeaty beats a hasty retreat.

Watching McBeaty's retreating form, Rick thinks a moment.

Watching McBeaty’s retreating form, Rick thinks a moment, then looks down at his left hand…

Then he reaches down and twists his wedding ring...is it time to take it off?

Rick reaches down and twists his wedding ring…is it time to take it off?

 Meanwhile, back at the warehouse…

Eugene's going all

Eugene’s going all “empty chair therapy” on Tara as she lay unconscious…

“I take no responsibility for this…I told you what I was. You should have listened.

“All of you…you should have listened.”

Looking down at Tara's still form, Eugene seems to know what he must do.  The sounds of the walkers have died down, and there are none around the office...they are surely being diverted by the others.  Eugene stands to his full height...

Looking down at Tara’s still form, Eugene knows what he must do. The sounds of the walkers have died down, and there are none around the office…they are surely being diverted by the others. Eugene stands to his full height…

...and the next shot we see is of Eugene, peering fearfully out the office door...

…and the next shot we see is of Eugene, peering fearfully out the office door…

...and then, Eugene is carrying Tara over his shoulder, making his way down the hallway.  He hears a walker approach...

…and then, Eugene is carrying Tara over his shoulder, making his way down the hallway. He hears a walker approach…

Eugene fires at the walker...

Eugene fires at the walker…

Yes, Eugene!

Yes, Eugene!

You can do it!

You can do it!

Eugene busts a cap in another walker's leg, dropping it.  The door is right there...

Eugene busts a cap in another walker’s leg, dropping it. The door is right there…

 Alas, things are not looking as hopeful for poor Aiden…

It's not good.

It’s not good.

Glenn tries to reassure Aiden.

Glenn tries to reassure Aiden. “Aiden, it’s gonna be ok…we’re gonna get you out of here…it’s gonna be ok. I just need you to stay quiet…”

Aiden nodds, dazed and shocked.

Aiden nodds, dazed and shocked.

But, it's so not good...

But, it’s so not good…

As Glenn and Nicholas attempt to pull Aiden off the metal bars he is impaled upon, Aiden screams in pain. Noah turns and tells them the flare is burning out.

Aiden begins to panic. Glenn says, “Again!” Nicholas, being ever-fucking helpful, says querulously that, “We’re never gonna make it.”

What a total whiner! Way to inspire confidence and calm in your poor friend who is gravely wounded, impaled on metal bars, and who is currently freaking the fuck out, Nicholas. 

Nicholas, after this episode, we TWD fans hereby ban you to the Land of Suck. (Of course, I am sure the actor who plays Nicholas is a lovely person in real life…just hating on the character, not the man. 🙂 )

Nicholas may suck ass, but Glenn needs him. He pulls Nicholas close and tells him, yes, they can, but he needs his help.

Nicholas may suck ass, but Glenn needs him. He pulls Nicholas close and tells him, yes, they can, but he needs his help. “You can do this!” urges Glenn.

Aiden pleads to his friend, “Don’t leave me.” Nicholas looks at him, nods, but it’s not in his eyes.  The sound of walkers approaching gets louder, closer.

Nicholas and Glenn try to pull Aiden off, again. The sounds of Noah’s shots piercing the oncoming walkers ring through the air…Nicholas winces with each shot like the bullets are piercing his body, and he seems to be more vested in reacting to his own growing panic than helping pull Aiden off the jagged metal bars that are impaling him in two places…one bar is up by the left shoulder, where Nicholas is, and one bar down by the right lower belly, where Glenn is.

Instead of grabbing his friend and pulling, hard, Nicholas lay his hands on the metal spike, on his friend’s chest, wincing. Nicholas looks at Aiden.

Nicholas leans in, tells Aiden, in his ear,

Nicholas leans in, tells Aiden, in his ear, “You left them…we both did. That’s who we are.”

“I’m sorry,” says Nicholas, repeating it as he backs away, then hurries off, leaving them. Glenn turns to Aiden, and begins trying in earnest to singlehandedly pull the young man free. Noah warns, “They’re coming,” and continues firing on the walkers.

Aiden confesses to Glenn,

Aiden confesses to Glenn, “It was us…the others before…”

“…they didn’t panic. We did.”

Glenn takes a brief second to register this sad confession, then pulls in earnest one more time…“No,” Aiden says, then Noah is there, pulling Glenn away, “They’re here!”

As Noah pulls Glenn away, just in time, Glenn looks at Aiden, anguished. Poor Glenn!

As Noah pulls Glenn away, just in time, Glenn looks at Aiden, anguished. Poor Glenn in this episode…

And then, it becomes...awful.

And then, it becomes…awful.

Poor Aiden! :(

Poor Aiden! 😦

I know I was mocking Aiden before, in Episode 512,

I know I was mocking Aiden before, in Episode 512, “Remember,” calling him a “budussy” and joking about him getting chomped…

...but I assure you, I get no pleasure from this. I see Aiden now as just a young man, full of brash and swagger, who had shelter and priveledge on his side for a long time...

…but I assure you, I get no pleasure from this. I see Aiden now as just a young man, full of brash and swagger, who had shelter and privelege on his side for a long time…

...who fell into, or volunteered for, a role in this new world order that he wasn't fully equipped for...

…who fell into, or volunteered for, a role in this new world order that he wasn’t fully equipped for…

...but who was basically just a young man, on the verge of adulthood, who just wanted to stay alive, and who now must suffer a painful, lonely, horrific death. RIP Aiden :( <3 Sorry I was a dick.

…but who was basically a good person, a young man on the verge of adulthood, who just wanted to stay alive, and who now must suffer a painful, lonely, horrific death. RIP Aiden 😦

It’s not even noon, but it’s Spring Break, and the kids are at the grandparents’, and so I am cracking open a Beck’s…to raise a toast to poor Aiden, and to an incredible acting job by Daniel Bonjour, who supposedly interrupted his honeymoon for the chance to play Aiden on The Walking Dead; and to Glenn, who tried so hard, and was getting it done, and to Noah, who stayed true and solid, and to Eugene, who stepped up…and to Michael Traynor, who plays Nicholas. Cheers to all!

And so, we continue…and you know what’s coming. So, I drink again, and onward we go…

Back at the job site, Abraham shoves Tobin, gives him The Biz.

Back at the job site, Abraham shoves Tobin, gives him The Biz.

“Is that how it works with you?” demands Abraham. “You leave people behind to die?”

Tobin stammers, indignantly, “We have a system…tell him, Francine!”

Francine rushes up and tells Tobin with a surprise right hook to the jaw...ow, this is not a good day for you, Tobin!

In reply, Francine rushes up and tells Tobin with a surprise right hook to the jaw…ow, this is not a good day for you, Tobin!

Abraham looks down at Tobin, slumped against the truck, as Francine mutters,

Abraham looks down at Tobin, slumped against the truck. Francine mutters, “Asshole!”

F2C guy tries to interject that all this noise will attract more, and maybe they need to just call it a day…Abraham has other ideas, however.  They still got daylight…it’s time to get back to work. Abraham turns to Francine, asks her if she’s ok to continue on…

Francine replies yeah, they got three hours of daylight left.

Francine replies yeah, they got three hours of daylight left.

Tobin, doubled over, and F2C guy look at Francine, disbelieving, as Abraham starts calling for two lookouts, one in the bucket, and one at the trucks, to see if any more come along after the Bash and Pop.

Tobin, doubled over, and F2C guy look at Francine, disbelieving, as Abraham starts calling for two lookouts, one in the bucket, and one at the trucks, to see if any more come along after the Bash and Pop…he actually calls his one-man walker massacre the “Bash and Pop”… ha!

“Now pull the cobwebs outta your asses and MOVE!” 

Abraham looks back at Tobin, F2C guy, nods. “We have a wall to build.” (Yes! Totally drinking to Abraham..and for bravery. <3)

Meanwhile, the shit is majorly going down at the warehouse. We see Nicholas making a run for the front exit, where Glenn and Noah saw the swarm of walkers milling about earlier. He runs for the revolving doors. “You’ll never make it!” Glenn tries to call after him.

Nicholas is going to try, but he doesn't really have the fortitude or hand-to-hand skills to even have a fighting chance.

Nicholas is going to try, but he doesn’t really have the fortitude or hand-to-hand skills to even have a fighting chance.

It's a tough one, even for seasoned warriors like Glenn and Noah.

It’s a tough one, even for seasoned warriors like Glenn and Noah.

glenn and noah after nicholas 2

Nicholas quickly gets overrun by the swarm outside, and Noah, Glenn are out of bullets and out of time, inside. Nicholas runs in, as Noah and Glenn run out, and the three men take refuge in the only space available to them, the revolving doors.

In the center sections, Nicholas braces himself, alone, in one enclosed middle section, while Noah and Glenn are together in the opposite enclosed middle section, with swarms of walkers on both sides, outside and in.

On one side, Nicholas braces himself, alone, in one enclosed middle section, while Noah and Glenn are together in the opposite enclosed middle section, with swarms of walkers on both sides, outside and inside the building.

revolving doors 2 revolving doors 3 revolving doors 4

Back in Alexandria, in Deanna’s office…

Tobin has come to talk about the events of the day with Deanna and Reg...Maggie, as Deanna's aide, is present for this conversation as well.

Tobin has come to talk about the events of the day with Deanna and Reg…Maggie, as Deanna’s aide, is present for this conversation as well.

“I’m sorry to lose you, Tobin,” Deanna is saying, leaning in to the man who sits beside her on the couch, looking down at his hands. “Are you sure?”

“Absolutely,” Tobin replies. He continues, saying if Abraham had followed his orders, Francine would be dead. Reg chimes in, points out that while somebody saving another person’s life certainly makes them a hero, it doesn’t qualify them to run a construction company.

Tobin looks at Reg.

Tobin looks at Reg. “He’s out there, still working, the whole team. And he’s leading them…”

“…better than I ever could.”

Deanna and Reg exchange a look, then Deanna turns to Tobin. “It’s settled, then.” She stands, tells Tobin that she will speak to Abraham upon his return and make it official.  Tobin has resigned his post, and Abraham will now be put in charge of Alexandria’s construction team.

Being a good, honest man who takes the high road, Tobin tells Deanna,

Being a good, honorable man, Tobin tells Deanna, “The thing is, I know you won’t regret it.”

Reg walks Tobin out, and as the door closes behind them, Deanna leans against the corner, thinking. Maggie quietly says, “He’s right, you know…Abraham is more than qualified.”

Deanna looks over at Maggie, gives a little laugh.

Deanna looks over at Maggie, gives a little laugh. “I put another one of your people in a position of power, you vouch for them…it’s becoming a pattern.”

Maggie quietly asserts, “We know what we’re doing. That’s why you wanted us here. That’s why Aaron and Daryl are out there, looking for more people.”

Maggie looks at Deanna, says,

Maggie looks at Deanna, says, “You wanted a future…you need us for that.”

With a little smile, Deanna agrees, “That’s right,” but her voice sounds less than convinced.  Maggie smiles and excuses herself, saying that she’ll go down and get to work on those field plans. Deanna tells Maggie she’ll be down to join her in a minute.

Meanwhile, a playful knock raps on another door in town:

Carol opens the door to a grinning Sam.

Carol opens the door to a grinning Sam…

...who wags a ziplock baggie containing the chocolate contraband up at Carol.

…who wags a ziplock baggie containing the chocolate contraband up at Carol.

Carol yanks the bag from his hand and pulls the child inside.  As she turns on the oven, Carol grouses to the young boy that this is the last time she’s helping him, and after this, he is not to come over or bother her again. Sam agrees, when pressed by Carol, who then goes on to tell him that he had better not be thinking that he’s getting more than half the batch of cookies, as he did barely half the work…

As Carol does her best to try to be mean and run the young boy off, Sam just looks off sadly in the kitchen.  It seems like he is used to people being mean around him.

As Carol does her best to try to be mean and run the young boy off, Sam just looks off sadly in the kitchen. It seems like he is used to people being mean around him.

Sam looks at Carol, asks her,

Sam looks at Carol, asks her, “Were you always a good cook?”

Carol tries to shut this down. “Sam, we’re not talking.” She instructs the boy to wipe the counter, and while doing so, Sam tries again to ask Carol about cooking, if she likes it…Carol turns to Sam, admonishes him again.

“We don’t have to be friends,” says Sam, looking down at the counter he is wiping. “It just doesn’t have to be quiet.”

Carol gives in. “I was good at it, it distracted me, it made me forget when I was sad,” she offers. Sam tells her when he gets sad, he breaks stuff.  Carol looks at him, asks him what kind of stuff. Sam shrugs, and Carol puts two and two together.

Carol knows kids. Looking right at Sam, Carol asks him,

Carol knows kids. Looking right at Sam, Carol asks him, “You told me someone broke your owl statue. Did you break it?”

Sam looks down, nods.  Carol asks him, “Why?” Sam does not answer. “Why are you here?” Carol asks him.

Sam looks at Carol.

Sam looks at Carol. “Why did you steal the guns?” he asks, looking down and wiping at the counter.

Carol drops the tough act.

Carol drops the tough act. “Because sometimes you need to protect yourself,” she tells him.

As Carol looks down at the boy, Sam stops wiping, looks up at her.

“Can I have a gun?” Sam asks Carol.

Carol asks Sam why he wants one.

Carol asks Sam why he wants one. “It’s not for me,” Sam says.

Carol asks Sam who the gun is for. He doesn't answer.

Carol asks Sam who the gun is for. He doesn’t answer. “Who is it for, Sam?” Carol asks again.

At this, Sam turns and runs off, as Carol looks after him, realizing what the little boy was really trying to tell her.

At this, Sam turns and runs off, as Carol looks after him, realizing what the little boy was really trying to tell her. She calls after him, “Sam!”

Meanwhile…

Trapped in a section of revolving door, walkers on all sides, Nicholas is buggin', hard.

Trapped in a section of revolving door, walkers on all sides, Nicholas is buggin’, hard.

Nicholas calls to Glenn and Noah, suggests they can blast their way out...they have the guns. But, as Glenn points out, Nicholas has the ammo.

Nicholas calls to Glenn and Noah, suggests they can blast their way out…they have the guns. But, as Glenn points out, Nicholas has the ammo. “We gotta do something,” Nicholas laments. “We’re gonna die in here.”

Bracing himself, sweating, Noah says there has to be another way, there has to be a way...

Bracing himself, sweating, Noah says there has to be another way, there has to be a way…

Glenn tries to think of a way as the walkers paw and push,  trying to get at them.

Glenn tries to think of a way as the walkers paw and push, trying to get at them.

Suddenly, the sound of a honking horn and the driving beats of Dubstep fill the air. Glenn whirls around, and they see…

Eugene, who has gotten Tara to the van and who pulls up, slapping the door and calling the walkers away,

Eugene, who has gotten Tara to the van and who pulls up, slapping the door and calling the walkers away, “Hey, over here! Come get me!”

Eugene leads the walkers outside away from the doors.

Eugene leads the walkers outside away from the doors.

Noah and Glenn share a laugh of relief, and disbelief, as the walkers begin to abandon the doors and follow the Eugene and the van as it slowly leads them away, blasting techno beats. Outside clear, but inside, there is still a press of walkers. Trying to escape through the front on either end would push the other person/people into the inside swarm of walkers. Glenn thinks, and comes up with a plan.

Calling to Nicholas, Glenn tells both he and Noah to hold the doors steady, while Glenn uses the butt end of his rifle to break the glass on his and Noah’s side…once the glass shatters and they are free, Nicholas can push himself out and grab the rifle. Nicholas nods, agrees.

Glenn rams the butt end of his rifle into the glass of the revolving door again and again, but is unable to break the glass.

Glenn rams the butt end of his rifle into the glass of the revolving door again and again, but is unable to break the glass.

Nicholas is having a hard time holding his side of the door steady, and panicked, yells for Glenn to stop, that it's not safe...

Nicholas is having a hard time holding his side of the door steady, and panicked, yells for Glenn to stop, that it’s not safe…

Nicholas begins to shake his head, saying that the glass is not going to break...

Nicholas begins to shake his head, saying that the glass is not going to break…

Glenn and Noah look at Nicholas, urge him to hold the door steady...they know he is about to bail, and this only works if everyone does his part, keeps the doors steady...if Nicholas bolts for it, pushing the doors to escape outside, he presses them into the walkers inside...Glenn tries to talk Nicholas down,

Glenn and Noah look at Nicholas, urge him to hold the door steady…they know he is about to bail, and this only works if everyone does his part, keeps the doors steady…if Nicholas bolts for it, pushing the doors to escape outside, he presses them into the walkers inside…Glenn tries to talk Nicholas down, “Trust me, count to three, ok? At three…”

“One…two…three,” but as Glenn gets to “three,” Nicholas pushes the door pane before him forward, hard…

...and pushes his foot through the opening of the door...

…and pushes his foot through the opening of the door…and we know how revolving doors work…an opening here creates another opening, diagnonally across, to the inside…

As Glenn and Noah frantically try to hold the walkers back, and push back, Glenn pleads with Nicholas to stop, to not do this…

Not heeding Glenn, Nicholas squeezes an arm through, trying to press through and free himself at any cost.

Not heeding Glenn, Nicholas squeezes an arm through, trying to press through and free himself at any cost…

...at any cost.  :( :( :( :(

…at any cost. 😦 😦 😦 😦

Uncaring, frantic to save himself, Nicholas pushes his bag, then himself out, hits the ground, outside, thus sealing poor Noah's fate...

Uncaring, frantic to save himself, Nicholas pushes his bag, then himself out, hits the ground, outside, thus sealing poor Noah’s fate…

noah 2

The walkers grab Noah’s leg once the doorway opens enough for them to get a hold of him…and they don’t let go. 😦

Noah looks at Glenn, who clings to him...

Noah looks at Glenn, who clings to him…

“Don’t let go,” Noah tells Glenn, before getting dragged inside by the walkers. On Talking Dead, Tyler James Williams (Noah) and Steven Yeun (Glenn) said that they talked about that line a lot during shooting, and they took it to mean that Noah is telling Glenn not to let go of his hope, and his humanity, and the dream of building Alexandria into a future for them all. Sadly, there is no hope for Noah, now, and they both know it.

It is horrible to watch Noah get dragged away from Glenn, into the swarm of savage walkers.

It is horrible to watch Noah get dragged away from Glenn, into the swarm of savage walkers.

noah 6

glenn watches 1

Trapped in the glass doors, Glenn must watch his friend’s painful and tragic demise.

Noah gets thrown up on the glass of the door by the walkers. The expression on his face as he looks at Glenn is agonizing to watch.

Noah gets thrown up on the glass of the door by the walkers. The expression on his face as he looks at Glenn is agonizing to watch.

glenn watches 4

glenn watches 3

The walkers begin to bite into poor Noah's flesh as he screams in agony.

The walkers begin to bite into poor Noah’s flesh as he screams in agony.

glenn watches 6 glenn watches 7

Shut inside the glass doors, Glenn must watch Noah's savage demise.

glenn watches 9.5glenn watches 10

glenn watches 11glenn watches 12

glenn watches 13glenn watches 14

It takes a while, and poor Glenn must bear witness to it all, the sights, the sounds, the sorrow of his friend and comrade being torn apart, and eaten, before his very eyes.

It takes a while, and poor Glenn must bear witness to it all, the sights, the sounds, the horror of his friend and comrade being torn apart, and eaten, before his very eyes.

It is hard to imagine anyone, even someone as strong as Glenn, coming back from this.

It is hard to imagine anyone, even someone as strong as Glenn, coming back from something as unspeakable as this.

Meanwhile, Nicholas chases down the van, orders Eugene to “Move over, we’re leaving!”

Eugene looks at Nicholas, turns off the engine, and begins to step out of the van, despite Nicholas's orders to get back in.

Eugene looks at Nicholas, turns off the engine, and begins to step out of the van, despite Nicholas’s orders to get back in.

Eugene faces Nicholas, not backing down.

Eugene faces Nicholas, not backing down. “Not until you tell me where they are,” he says. Nicholas looks down a moment…

...before telling Eugene that he, Eugene, can go with him, Nicholas, now, or he can stay and

…before telling Eugene that he, Eugene, can go with him, Nicholas, now, or he can stay and “die with your friends…your choice.”

Eugene fumbles for his gun, and Nicholas throws him to the ground, grabs the keys and jumps in the van, but before he can start it…

Glenn runs up and grabs Nicholas out of the van...

Glenn runs up and grabs Nicholas out of the van…

...Glenn throws Nicholas down and pounds him into the pavement until he's out, cold.

…Glenn throws Nicholas down and pounds him into the pavement until he’s out, cold.

glenn looks down at nicholas

As Glenn stands over Nicholas’s unconscious form, Eugene comes forward and looks questioningly at Glenn. Glenn tells Eugene, miserably, to help him get Nicholas in the back.

“Where’s Noah?” Eugene asks him.

Glenn looks at Eugene, too distraught to answer. His look, and his red, swollen eyes say it all. He walks away.

Glenn looks at Eugene, too distraught to answer. His look, and his red, swollen eyes say it all. Glenn turns and walks away.

 Back in Alexandria…

We see Carol knocking on someone's door...and after a moment, Dr. Petey McBeaty answers it, forgets, then remembers, her name, and asks if she needs something...is she sick?

We see Carol knocking on someone’s door…and after a moment, Dr. Petey McBeaty answers it, forgets, then remembers, her name, and asks if she needs something…is she sick?

Trying to peer past him, into the house, Carol hedges, then says she was just with Sam...is he ok?

Trying to peer past him, into the house, Carol hedges, then says she was just with Sam…is he ok?

McBeaty leans in closer to Carol, shutting the door a little tighter around him, blocking her view, asks, peevishly,

McBeaty leans in closer to Carol, shutting the door a little tighter around him, blocking her view, asks, peevishly, “Why wouldn’t he be?”

Carol puts on a smile, asks if she can talk to Jessie.  “Not a good time,” whispers McBeaty, before closing the door in Carol’s face.

mcbeaty shuts the door on carol

Glenn drives home, silent. The daylight is beginning to wane.

Glenn drives home, silent. The daylight is beginning to wane.

Holding the gun, in case Nicholas wakes up, Eugene first looks towards Nicholas, then at Tara...

Holding the gun, in case Nicholas wakes up, Eugene first looks towards Nicholas, then at Tara…

...and finally, at Noah's first, and last, journal entry,

…and finally, at Noah’s first, and last, journal entry: This is the beginning

Meanwhile, there is a knock at Deanna Monroe’s door…it is Gabriel, asking to speak with Deanna privately.

Gabriel gets right to it.

Gabriel gets right to it. “Satan,” he begins, “disguises himself as the angel of light.”

Deanna Monroe's like,

Deanna Monroe’s like, “Say what?”

Gabriel continues,

Gabriel continues, “I’m afraid that false light is here, inside these walls.”

Gabriel tells Deanna, “Your community, you say it’s not a paradise, but it is. I’m grateful to be here, I am…”

“…but you made a mistake letting in the others.”

“How so?” asks Deanna, as Maggie creeps up the staircase, from working downstairs, and listens.

As Maggie listens, Gabriel says, conspiritorially,

As Maggie listens, Gabriel says, conspiritorially, “Rick, his group, they’re not good people.”

(I am not sure how, or why, Maggie stays silent throughout this exchange, but she does, continues to listen to Gabriel talk some mad shit to Deanna Monroe about Rick and the gang…I would have been all busting up those stairs, like, “YOU LITTLE BITCH! Why don’t you ask him what happened to his last congregation, Deanna? Right, Gabriel? You wanna tell Deanna here what happened to them? Why don’t you tell her what happened to them, Gabriel, you cowardly, shit-talking, little bitch?)

I am sure Maggie has her reasons, and I am certainly not always known for my impulse control, so perhaps Maggie is showing good judgement, and caution, in staying still and listening to Gabriel’s whole spiel to Deanna Monroe:

“They’ve done things…they’ve done unspeakable things…”

And we see a shot of Rick, looking out the window, fiddling with the wedding ring on his left hand…he turns, and Carol comes in the house, looks at Rick.

Carol tells Rick,

Carol tells Rick, “Pete’s hitting Jessie, maybe Sam, too.”

Rick's all like,

Rick Smash! is all like, “Grrrr…”

We see a shot of Deanna, as she tries to placate Gabriel,

We see a shot of Deanna, as she tries to placate Gabriel, “To make it out there as long as they did, they had to have done things…Rick said as much. They survived…that’s what makes them assets.”

Gabriel Snitch, the Little Bitch whispers,

Gabriel Snitch, The Little Bitch whispers, “You’re wrong.”

“They can’t be trusted.”

Gabriel continues, “They’re dangerous. You may believe that they did what they had to do, that they were afraid…but the day will come when they put their own lives before yours, and everyone elses, and they will destroy everything you have here, and everything you are trying so hard to build.”

Shots of Abraham, at sunset, praising the crew for a good job that day, advising them to call it an early night, as they are sure to have another long day of work tomorrow.

We see a shot of Rick, asking Carol she knows this...how? Did Sam tell her?

We see a shot of Rick, asking Carol she knows this…how? Did Sam tell her? Carol looks at Rick, tells him, “He didn’t have to.”

We hear Deanna’s voice asking Gabriel, “Why are you just now coming to me with this?”

Gabriel says, again,

Gabriel says, again, “Satan…disguises himself…as the angel of light. His disciples are the false apostles of righteousness…”

Gabriel whispers,

Gabriel whispers, “They don’t deserve this…they don’t deserve paradise!”

Deanna thanks Gabriel, tells him she has a lot to think about...

Deanna thanks Gabriel, tells him she has a lot to think about…

...and as Deanna holds the door open for him to leave, Gabriel stops, leans in, tells Deanna that he wishes he had come to her sooner.

…and as Deanna holds the door open for him to leave, Gabriel stops, leans in, tells Deanna that he wishes he had come to her sooner. “I just hope it isn’t too late,” he tells her.

Hidden in the stairwell, Maggie listens to all this, troubled.

Hidden in the stairwell, Maggie listens to all this, troubled.

Deanna closes the door, processing this, as we hear the van pull up, and somebody starts screaming for help...

Deanna closes the door, processing this, as we hear the van pull up, and somebody starts screaming for help…

And Rick, pacing, thinking…from behind him, Carol tells him that she knows how this is going to go down, with Pete…there’s only one way it can go…

carol says to rick your gonna have to kill him

“You’re gonna have to kill him,” Carol tells Rick.

Well, like I said before, shit’s getting cray in Alexandria.

I apologize again for getting behind in the posting, dear readers. Life, and all that. I, along with you all, will be watching Sunday night’s 90-minute finale episode, and I will be sending the love to all of you in the TWD family. Get your coping mechanisms, your Daryl Partner, your tissues ready. Don’t be afraid to call in to work on Monday if you can pull it off without getting fired. Be strong, my darlings.

I will probably hold off and publish the posts for Episode 515, “Try”, and the WD Season 5 finale episode, Episode 516, at the same time.  I have thought about it, and it makes more sense for me to do it like that.

It is ideal for me to post before the next week’s episode airs, but this time around, posting for the Season 5 2.0 episodes didn’t quite go like that. It is what it is. But, I promise when the posts do come out, they will be full of the love, with epic playlists. And, it’s gonna be a long summer…lots of time to read, recap, reminisce about the wild ride WD Season 5 has been for us all.

Episode 514 Deadies go to: Tyler Jesse Williams, and the character he plays, Noah. Amazing performance, this episode and all around, especially during Noah’s harrowing death scene. Tyler Jesse Williams is one smooth, classy young dude, a consummate actor who really brought the character Noah to life, as a young man who joined the crew later on in the game, but who stepped up and became family, a solid team member, and a great friend. #RIPNoah

Deadie #2 goes to: Steven Yeun, and the character he plays, Glenn Rhee. Steven Yeun delivered an incredible performance once again, and with this episode, set the bar even higher than he has before.  As a character, Glenn displayed incredible leadership abilities in this episode: unparalleled heroics, quick-thinking, bravery, heart, compassion.  I am worried about Glenn on many levels in this moment, and I am thinking that he has become one of my very favorite TWD characters, ever. Much love, Glenn Rhee.

Deadie #3 goes to Josh McDermitt, and the character he plays, Eugene Porter. Amazing throwdown performance in this episode by Josh McDermitt, who manages again and again to blend comic genius with real heart and depth in his portrayal of Eugene Porter. Eugene, you finally did it. You stepped up, you got Tara out of there, and you stood up to Nicholas. You even killed a walker! Good job, buddy! ❤

Deadie #4 goes to Seth Gilliam, who plays Father Gabriel, a.k.a. Gabriel Snitch, The Little Bitch. I saw on Talking Dead that Seth Gilliam even rented a place far away from the rest of the TWD cast, to keep a separation between himself and the others, and to stay in character, more or less, in his portrayal of the odd priest. That is some dedication, because I would want to be all up in whatever fun those beautiful, inspiring cast members are having at any given moment!

And Gabriel, as far as you are concerned, you better watch out…as @therickygrimes account posted on Instagram:

IMG_0747

Deadie #5 goes to Daniel Bonjour, the young actor who plays Aiden Monroe. Cheers on a job well done, and once again, sorry I was a dick before, Aiden. #RIPAiden

Deadie #6 goes to Michael Cudlitz, and the character he plays, Abraham Ford, for once again being a total badass, and for the line, “Mother dick!”

And, last but never least, lucky Deadie #7 goes to the inimitable Bear McCreary, for composing one of the most haunting, disturbing, exceptionally beautiful soundtracks I have ever heard for the second half of WD Season 5. Don’t think I haven’t noticed, Bear McCreary! Mad props to a true genius. ❤

Much love, my WDO darlings, stay strong, end enjoy the playlist.

#NoahForever 

Playlist:

Jimi Hendrix, “Castles Made Of Sand”

TV On The Radio, “Crying”

Jackson 5, “I’ll Be There”

Panda Bear, “Bros”

The Spinners, “I’ll Be Around”

Mos Def, “Hip Hop”

Radiohead, “Knives Out”

Nick Drake, ” ‘Cello Song”

The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 8, “Coda”

“Coda”

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

Well, loves, if you watched the The Walking Dead’s Season 5 mid-season finale, “Coda,”  last night, you probably know how I am feeling this morning. Devastated. Deflated. Melancholy. Haunted. And a little hungover, truth be told.

My WD buddy, after driving a hellishly long end-of-Thanksgiving-weekend commute in back-to-back traffic, came armed with champagne for us to watch the mid-season finale together.  After many Coronas, and re-ups of champagne, and OMG’s, and Holy Fuck’s, and hand holding, and tears, we watched TWD, then TD, then bid each other farewell and went our separate ways, come midnight, to brave the night’s sleep (all six and a half hours of it), and wake up to get the kids to school, ourselves to work, and to start the new week.

(This morning, my WD buddy texted me that she called in sick to work. Good call, friend! I wish I could, too, but there is a post to write, and work to do, and appointments to keep, and so, life must go on…but in honor of Beth, I am wearing black under my work attire. Nobody will see it on the outside, but I will know it is there.)

My night’s sleep was filled with dreams of Beth, and Emily Kinney.  I have been wondering how Emily Kinney is doing right now, checking on her via social media.

While I know, ultimately, that Emily Kinney will be just fine (being a young, supremely talented and beautiful It Girl on the rise), it was really hard to watch her try not to cry, to keep it together, on Talking Dead last night,. She said she only found out about the Beth story line for the midseason finale when filming Episode 7, “Crossed.”

Even Kirkman, who was also a guest on TD, looked like he was feeling super guilty, and near tears himself, as Emily Kinney was talking.

Kirkman said that it’s the hardest part of being in the WD writers’ room, having to decide who, and when, a beloved character gets killed on the show.  He said that with writing the WD comic series, it was just a matter of telling Charlie Adlard, the incredible artist who took the helm after The Walking Dead, Issue #7, “not to draw the lines” of the deceased character anymore. But, with the show, the actors become incredibly bonded with one another, with the writing and production team, and the crew…and with the fans.

I find it challenging enough to write a blog about a show. I cannot imagine the challenges writers like Robert Kirkman and Scott M. Gimple must face to keep such a powerful, intricate, complex story going, staying focused and true to their creative vision while navigating the storm of fan response, social media ebb and flow, and the vast scope of production such an endeavor requires.

Much love, kudos, and Deadies all around to Kirkman (Dad), Gimple (NewDad), and Nicotero (Crazy Uncle Greg…the fun uncle!). Thanks, guys.  Thanks for bringing the pain, and levelling the playing field. We Prime Time Pollyannas needed to toughen up and get us some street cred with the Comic Book Set.

And.speaking up mad props, and much love…it’s time to start talking about this beautiful lady: ❤BETH

IMG_9064

Emily Kinney posted this amazing drawing a young fan sent her on her Instagram account @emmykinney

Beth Greene, beautiful badass, speaker of truth, bringer of light, and song, with the voice of an angel.  It has been amazing to watch the transformation of Beth, especially from the second part of Season 4, on, as she came into her own as a strong, sensitive young woman whose pure, artistic spirit, and clear, beautiful voice carried the message of truth, love, and justice in a world grown dark, grim, and seemingly devoid of such light, purity and hope.

Despite the dire circumstances she found herself in, Beth’s fire never dimmed, and despite the brutality of the world around her, Beth’s wild spirit refused to be cowed by it.

On Talking Dead, in the Dead Notes section, it said that Beth represented purity and honesty to Daryl.  My WD buddy and I have discussed this subject at length,  and while she thinks that Daryl thought of Beth as more of a little sister, I personally think that Daryl felt romantic love for Beth, as well, to some degree.

While Daryl was certainly older than Beth, there did seem to be a real and powerful attraction between them, whether or not that connection would have ever manifested itself into a romantic relationship.

Daryl had a very childlike and innocent, unexplored way about himself, especially in the beginning of the series. His painful, abusive childhood and teen years never seemed to let him truly experience, or explore, the rites and rituals of coming of age, and from those experiences, fully develop into manhood. So, instead, poor Daryl became closed off, distrustful of others, for his very survival, until he got free of his older brother, Merle, and was able to find his own identity among the good, loving people of the prison group.

The way I see it, Beth’s pure and honest expression, her openness and innocence, and her ability to accept Daryl unconditionally for exactly who, and where he was in the moment, allowed Daryl to feel safe enough to really open himself emotionally to her.  I think, with Beth, Daryl was able to have the experience of young love that he never got to have growing up.

In the short time they were together, Beth taught Daryl to open his heart, to be sweet, and allow himself to feel, and to show tenderness and love to another person.  In turn, Daryl taught Beth to be strong, and resourceful, to listen to her instincts, to fight if she needed to…to survive. Daryl and Beth were firey, kindred spirits, and I think if they had remained together longer, just the two of them, that something sweet and romantic would have blossomed between them.

Saying this, I feel that Daryl and Carol also have a deep, undeniable love connection between them. Carol and Daryl have a lot in common. They both suffered abuse in their pasts, and they both got to free themselves of their former personas, their former lives, and start afresh, be who they were “always meant to be”, in Carol’s words, in the apocalypse. They connected early in the series, when Daryl kept hope alive and tirelessly searched for Carol’s missing daughter, Sophia.  There was always a chemistry between them, and as Carol is a grown woman, and a consenting adult, she and Daryl were able to explore a physical relationship back in the days at the prison (while that has never been confirmed outright, I think, especially after watching “Consumed,” that it’s safe to say that Daryl and Carol had a romantic relationship of some kind back at the prison).

I think that Daryl fell in love, on different levels, and in different ways, with both Carol, and Beth.  In doing so, Daryl got to explore, and develop, crucial aspects of himself with both relationships. I think Daryl needed both Carol and Beth, and sharing love with these two catalytic, amazing women, Daryl was able to finally fully develop into a man, and tap into the emotional depth, sensitivity, and sweetness that he always had.

I really do hope that Daryl can heal his heart, and come to terms with the loss of Beth in the second part of Season 5. I really hope the entire group can. I also really hope that Daryl’s grief doesn’t drive a wedge between the new level of connection that he and Carol established with one another in “Consumed.”

I think, as the group has needed to remember Hershel’s wisdom, and teachings, as they navigate through these dark times, they will also need to invoke Beth’s spirit, and keep a small part of her purity and light within themselves, so they can keep love, hope, and faith alive in the times ahead.

I would like to take this moment to award Beth Green, and Emily Kinney, with a Deadie of the highest honor:  MVP of the first part of The Walking Dead, Season 5.

Emily Kinney’s amazing portrayal of Beth Greene has catapulted Beth’s character to, I predict, legendary icon status.  I can see many incarnations of Beth and Daryl fan fiction in the future of pop culture…maybe even in the anime genre?

Please, please, oh please, somebody do it, and send me a link if, and when, you do!

As for Emily Kinney, while she may need a moment to process this loss (keep.showing her the love on social media, people!), once she recovers, I do believe this beautiful, talented, and multifaceted young actress, songwriter/musician, and model has a bright future ahead of her.

One of Emily Kinney’s hot upcoming projects is being the new face of the Nikki Rich Spring 2015 collection, the haute, music-and-art inspired clothing line collaboration of designers Nikki Lund and Richie Sambora.

Check her out:

emily kinney green pool emily kinney nikki rich 2015

Images used are from the Nikki Rich Spring 2015 collection.

(Images used are from the Nikki Rich Spring 2015 collection.)

Young, hot, and on fire…not such a bad takeaway for being on a hit show that has become a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. Something tells me that Emmy Kinney’s star is on the rise, and that she will be just fine, thank you very much!

Much love, mad props, and life eternal, Beth Greene. You are a true badass.

Beth Forever! 

_______________________________________

“Coda”

In the opening sequence of “Coda,” we see a pair of (fine-ass) lean legs, clad in black jeans and boots, running fast on the concrete…

We soon recognize the fine getaway sticks as belonging to Rick Grimes.

We soon recognize these fine getaway sticks as belonging to Deputy Rick Grimes.

Next, we see a pair of hands, bound behind the back by a zip tie, trying frantically to cut the tie against the edge of a Grady Memorial police car’s front bumper…

Going somewhere, Lamson?

Going somewhere, Lamson?

Meanwhile, the Stoner Trio Walkers lurch aimlessly around...just another day in the parking lot…

“What are we gonna do today?” I dunno...what do you guys wanna do?” I dunno…what do you wanna do?” “I dunno…”

“Hey, look, there’s a dude over there!” “Awesome! Hey, I know…let’s go eat that dude!” “Righteous idea, bro…let us, like, totally go forth, and eat that dude!

Meanwhile, quick as a blur, Deputy Grimes speeds by, and disembowels, Spill Yer Guts Walker…

<Slice!> “S’cuse me, just passing through…”

Hey, man…”

“…those were my guts and shit...what the hell, buddy?!”

Rick finds the cop car, gets in quickly, and begins speeding towards Lamson.  We see a picture framed on the dashboard of the squad car, of Lamson in better days, arm around a woman and smiling happily. In a crazy twist of fate, the tables are turned, and now Lamson is on the lam, son, running as fast as he can away from his own squad car, which is now tailing him, about 30 yards back.

Deputy Rick Smash! grabs the microphone and commands Lamson’s retreating form, “Stop!”

Lamson does not comply, however, and Deputy Smash! barks into the microphone, “Stop right now!”

deputy smash says stop

When Deputy Smash tells you to stop two times, you should do as he says, Lamson...

When Deputy Smash! tells you to stop two times, you should do as he says, Lamson…

...because you get three strikes...

…because you get three strikes…

...you're out.

...third strike, You’re Out!

Ouch! That's an insane stunt...

Ouch! That’s gotta hurt…what an insane stunt!

“Crazy…” Lamson manages. “I think you broke my back!” Rick stands over him, says, “It didn’t have to be like this.” The beautiful man’s got a point, Lamson.

Lamson tries to get Rick to take him

Lamson tries to get Rick to take himBack…take me back to the hospital.”

Deputy Smash! echoes Gareth's words to Bob back at Terminus,

Deputy Smash! echoes Gareth’s words to Bob back at Terminus, “Can’t go back, Bob.”

As walkers approach, Bob tells Rick that, “You’ve been out here too long…you’re gonna die…you’re all gonna die.” Rick Smash! pulls the trigger, silencing Bob Lamson with a bullet to the brain.  “Shut up,” Rick Smash! growls, looking down at Lamson’s lifeless form.

A couple of thoughts on this scene…being a little deafened by years of blasting rock n’ roll, I didn’t quite get what Lamson was mumbling to Rick as he lay, broken and bloody on the pavement.  If Lamson gave any clues as to why he knocked out Sasha and ran, instead of letting himself get traded back to Grady Memorial, and, in his words, “sleeping in my own bed tonight,” my half-deaf ass didn’t catch it….the only reason I can think of as to why he made his ill-fated escape attempt was pure pride.

I think that Lamson, once a real cop, (and a sergeant, no less) could not abide the thought of being marched back to Dawn Lerner, hands zip-tied behind his back, in a disgraced hostage situation, especially if he was being groomed to take over as head cop of Grady Memorial once the others “took care” of Dawn Lerner.

I can see where Dawn Lerner, with her acid tongue, and predilection for belittling and humiliating others, would have had a field day with Lamson, both during and after the trade-off. Maybe death, to him,  was preferable to her mockery.

Pride indeed goeth before a fall, Lamson.

Anyway, my WD buddy and I of course enjoyed many champagne toasts to Rick Grimes throughout this opening scene, once again blown away by the man.  How did he know not to leave right away, to hang back and see if Sasha was ok, and if Lamson was for real?

As my WD buddy and I have asked, many times, Why does anybody question Rick Grimes any more?

The man is just a chiseled, lethal brand of pure dreamy, people, and btw, he is looking really good in those black jeans of his.

Gael Anderson, Andrew Lincoln’s wife, and daughter of Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, is one lucky woman, and rock royalty, no less.  She also has really cool hair, and she looks all lean and stealth, like she could scale silently up the side of a building, knife in her teeth, and quickly dispatch an entire enemy camp in their sleep, ninja-style. 

Another beautiful, badass woman, who I really do not want to piss off.

(Gael Anderson, if you ever read this, I mean no disrespect, ever…while I admittedly have been giving your man the “hungry eyes” on the tv screen, for years, now, if there is such a thing as respectful ogling, then that’s what I, and my WD buddy, have been doing when we go on and on about how beautiful and hot your husband is. We, like you, are happily married women, who love our husbands, but who do like to sneak a look now and again at our pretend boyfriends, like Rick Grimes and Daryl Dixon, to file away in our fantasty rolodexes, for later.  You are married…you know what I’m talking about, I think...but maybe, in retrospect, you don’t!)

Anyway, respect, Gael Anderson, much love, and P.S., Congratulations!

Now, speaking of rock royalty,  I have a very special announcement…today, at the time of this writing, it’s Ozzy’s Birthday!  Whoooo hoooo!  Happy Birthday, and much love, Ozzy Osbourne!  

All hail the Dark Prince of Metal…and smoke ’em if you got ’em, bitches.

Ahhh, the pause that refreshes…

I must say that I am very glad that Rick, Daryl, and Tyrese came back to check in on Sasha, and she’s safe, for the time being, anyway. For a moment there, last week, I really did imagine that they may return to that warehouse and find her dead, and reanimated into a walker.

Shudder!

Meanwhile, back in the woods, the Schoolhouse Walkers, still locked inside the schoolhouse, are seething, snarling, and pawing at the glass of the school doors, trying to get to Gabriel, who is outside, poking around the former campsite of Gareth and the Terminans.  

Exactly why he is there, and what the hell he is doing, I do not know, children. If I knew, I would tell you.  My guess is as good as yours, and aside from moving along the plotline in a more “walker mayhem” direction, there is no earthly reason I can think of for that man to be there, sleuthing around like some misguided Matlock, instead of being holed up, safe, inside the church.

Boggles the mind, truly it does.

As Gabriel pokes around outside, the walkers in the school get more and more agitated...

As Gabriel pokes around outside, the walkers in the school get more and more agitated…

...and as they continue to bang against the glass, we see the window starting to crack...

…and as they continue to bang against the door, we see the glass is starting to crack…

Outside, Gabriel finds a couple of pages of either a school event flyer, a yearbook page, or a couple of missing person flyers, a pack of cards, and a student’s backpack with a bible inside.  As Gabriel thumbs through the bible, he sees a girl’s name written on the inside cover, with a little heart over the “i.” His face shows his distress at this, until he lowers the bible and sees something else truly distressing, and awful to behold…

Bob's charred leg, on the Terminans' makeshift grille, with maggots crawling over it.

Bob’s charred leg, on the Terminans’ makeshift grille, with maggots crawling over it.

Horrified, Gabriel stares at the leg, then, with a cry, he upends the grille and throws it aside. (Guessed while watching this that Gabriel was probably not in cahoots with the Terms after all, but I definitely still thought he was a major dumbass for busting out of that church, for no good reason, immediately stepping on a big-ass nail, and hobbling, unarmed, right to the worst possible place he could have chosen to go…the overrun schoolhouse, where a band of cannibals had recently set up camp…I mean, really, Gabriel? Really?)

Then, of course, this happens:

The Schoolhouse Walkers bust through the glass doors and start pursuing Gabriel...

The Schoolhouse Walkers bust through the glass doors and start pursuing Gabriel…

...who, hobbling and tripping along the way, leads the walkers through the woods...

…who, hobbling and tripping along the way, leads the walkers through the woods…

...right to the church. Way to blow it, dude.

…right to the church. Thanks, dude. Really, thanks for that.

Once again, a cruel, karmic twist of fate plays its fickle hand as the priest, who barred the doors of his church to his parishioners, leaving them outside to be torn to pieces by the undead, finds himself now barred from his own church, begging and pleading to be let inside as the horde of walkers close in on him.

Inside the church, Carl and Michonne, who is holding Baby Judith, are shocked to hear Gabriel screaming for help outside the church.

Inside the church, Carl and Michonne, who is holding Baby Judith, are shocked to hear Gabriel screaming for help outside the church.

Thankfully for Gabriel, the Morgan-style spikes that Daryl and Tyrese fashioned from the organ pipes hold the walkers off, buying him a couple of minutes' worth of time...

Thankfully for Gabriel, the Morgan-style spikes that Daryl and Tyrese fashioned from the organ pipes hold the walkers off, buying him a couple of minutes’ worth of time…

Wearing Baby Judith on her back, Michonne looks like the most badass momma ever, chopping at the boarded up church doors with an axe...babywearing, zombie-apocalypse style!

Wearing Baby Judith on her back, Michonne looks like the most badass momma ever, chopping at the boarded up church doors with an axe...babywearing, zombie-apocalypse style!

Doors chopped open, Gabriel makes it into the church, while Michonne, still toting that baby on her back, holds the walkers off.

(Now, not to be a dick here, but that baby on Michonne’s back looked totally like a doll, stiff and unyielding, as Michonne did her badass momma walker kills and katana flourishes.  Maybe next time, the effects crew could fashion a softer, jelly-filled doll that would move and flow a little more like a real baby would, as of course a live stunt baby is not an option.)

I officially declare Michonne as being beautiful and badass enough to be Rick Grimes' girlfriend...

I officially declare Michonne as being beautiful and badass enough to be Rick Grimes’ girlfriend…and Carl and Judith’s NewMom.

...just casting my vote, for the record.

Just casting my vote, here,  for the record.

The church, however, gets overrun with the walker horde, who push through the doors’ opening…

There are too many to fight off, and Gabriel calls to them to get to the rectory, his room in the back of the church.

There are too many to fight off, and Gabriel calls to them to get to the rectory, his room in the back of the church.

Gabriel finally steps up, bravely barring the door to allow Carl, Judith, and Michonne to escape through the crawlspace under the church.

Gabriel finally steps up, bravely barring the door to allow Carl, Judith, and Michonne to escape through the crawlspace under the church.

And as Gabriel dives for the crawlspace hole in the floor, Machete Walker falls through the door, towards Gabriel...

And as Gabriel dives for the crawlspace hole in the floor, Machete Walker falls through the door, lunging towards Gabriel…

...and Gabriel's machete makes its first kill, as Machete Walker falls right into the sharp blade, slicing her head in two. (Bravo, Nicotero & Co.!)

…and Gabriel’s machete makes its first kill, as Machete Walker falls right into the sharp blade, slicing her head in two. (Bravo, Nicotero & Co.!)

Once outside the church, Michonne quickly closes the doors on the walkers, boarding them closed...and fickle fate once again plays her cruel hand, as the walkers are now locked inside the church, unable to get out.

Once outside the church, Michonne quickly closes the doors on the walkers, boarding them closed…and fickle fate once again plays her cruel hand, as the walkers are now locked inside the church, unable to get out.

Meanwhile, back at the warehouse…

Sasha's feeling pretty dumb right about now...don't take it too hard, girl...not the first time a righteous sister's been taken in by a smooth-talking man with an agenda.

Sasha’s feeling pretty dumb right about now…don’t take it too hard, girl…not the first time a righteous sister’s been taken in by a smooth-talking man with an agenda.

Rick returns, as they see, alone.

Rick pulls Daryl aside.

Rick pulls Daryl aside. “He wouldn’t stop,” Rick says, simply. They must think quickly, come up with a new plan, as this development changes things.

As they turn back to their kneeling hostages, Officer Shepherd doesn’t need much time or encouragement to flip the script on the Lamson situation.

Shepherd is quick on the uptake of the situation.

Shepherd is quick on the uptake of the situation. “He was a good man,” she intones, as if eulogizing Lamson. “He was attacked by rotters. I saw it go down.” Rick Grimes sizes her up, remarks snidely, “You’re a damn good liar.” Shepherd replies, “We’re hanging by a thread, herehe was attacked by rotters.”

Daryl steps forward, asks Shepherd that she initially thought the trade was a bad idea, so what changed? Shepherd replies that Lamson was their shot, and now that he’s off the table, it’s either say he got attacked by rotters, or go in guns blazing. Rick turns to the other cop, Licari, who says that Dawn won’t want to look weak in front of the other officers, and she’ll think that the trade is a rip-off if she thinks that Rick and them took out Lamson, so, “It’s a good thing that he (Lamson) was attacked by rotters.”

Rick looks at Daryl, who nods back at him.

Back at Grady Memorial…

As she tidies Dawn Lerner's office, Beth overhears Dawn try to radio Lamson, Licari...to no reply, of course.

As she tidies Dawn Lerner’s office, Beth overhears Dawn try to radio Lamson, Licari...to no reply, of course.

Dawn swears softly, and Beth asks her, with false concern, if something is wrong. Dawn tells her that the officers out on runs don’t always radio back, which drives her, Dawn, crazy.

As Beth goes to put the framed picture of Dawn and her mentor, Hanson, on the desk, Dawn (being totally OCD) tells Beth that no, the picture goes up there, by the badges.

When Beth asks her if that's Hanson in the picture, Dawn Lerner looks down as she pedals the stationary bike, and asks Beth if someone said something about him, Hanson, to her.

When Beth asks her if that’s Hanson in the picture, Dawn Lerner looks down, as she pedals the stationary bike, and asks Beth if someone said something about him, Hanson, to her.

Beth replies innocently that she just heard that Hanson used to be in charge. Dawn Lerner replies that Beth will probably hear stories about him, about her, Dawn, and what Dawn did…

Beth looks down, digesting this new piece of information...seems like Dawn took out Hanson at some point to take control of the hospital.

Beth looks down, digesting this new piece of information...seems like Dawn took out Hanson at some point to take control of the hospital.

Dawn finishes her cardio, and as she towels the sweat off her face, she tells Beth that Hanson was her mentor, her friend…she looks at Beth, says, “I miss him.  That’s the part the stories leave out.”

Beth asks her what happened to him. Dawn walks over to where Beth stands, looks at the framed picture.  She tells Beth that every time the officers go out, they risk their lives, so the runs have to be for a good reason, have to be worth it.  Dawn says that Hanson lost sight of that, and so, “He lost them,” meaning, Hanson lost the officers’ fealty and respect.

Dawn looks right at Beth, then, and tells her that in this job, not everyone is going to like whoever is in charge, but they need to respect that person.

Dawn looks right at Beth, then, and tells her that in this job, not everyone is going to like whomever is in charge, but they need to respect that person. “Lose that (respect), and everyone goes down.” Dawn looks at Beth, tells her, “Hanson lost his way.”

This scene is very telling, as it explains, later, why Dawn Lerner makes the choices she makes, especially at the end of the episode…she knows her position as leader is in jeopardy, already, and she is terrified of losing face with her fellow officers, and ending up like Hanson did.

Back in the woods, outside the church…

As Gabriel takes a rest, Michonne touches Juith's sleeping head (and that, my readers, is all a stunt baby should be expected to do...look adorable, and take a nap!).

As Gabriel takes a rest, Michonne touches Juith’s sleeping head (and that, my readers, is all a stunt baby should be expected to do…look adorable, and take a nap!).

Michonne then turns to Gabriel, asks him where he went.

Gabriel replies that he went to the school, because he had to see it for himself, had to know. (Whatever, dude.)

Gabriel replies that he went to the school, because he had to see it for himself, had to know. (Whatever, dude.)

The walkers, however, are pretty much over being inside of the church, and they begin to break away at the barred doors keeping them inside.

Hey, you out there! This place blows…there’s nothing to eat, and you fuckers drank all the damn wine!  We’re busting down these freakin’ doors, then, ZOMBIES OUT!”

As the walkers begin to break down the doors, Gabriel, Michonne, and Carl back up...Carl asks,

As the walkers begin to break through the doors, Gabriel, Michonne, and Carl back away in fear and alarm. Carl asks, “Where do we go?” Michonne looks around, trying to come up with a plan, when…

...a perfectly timed fire truck smashes through, barring the doors and saving the day!

…a perfectly timed fire truck smashes through, barring the doors and saving the day! Yay!

The gang reunites, and Michonne, smiling, tells Maggie that Beth is alive, in a hospital in Atlanta, and the others have gone to go get her back.

The gang reunites, and Glenn breaks the bad news about Eugene lying, and D.C. being a bust, before asking where everyone else is. Michonne, smiling, tells Maggie that Beth is alive, in a hospital in Atlanta, and the others have gone to go get her back.

Maggie, overjoyed at hearing this news, grabs up Glenn in a hug, while Tara says,

Maggie, overjoyed at hearing this news, grabs up Glenn in a hug, while Tara says, “Let’s blow this joint and go save your sister!” (Ugh, feeling like I am about to cry, and vomit, rewatching this scene.)

Meanwhile, at the Grady Memorial Hospital from Hell, Beth has turned a corner to find Officer O’Donnell bullying poor Percy in the hallway, chewing the poor elder gentleman out for forgetting to sew the hole in Officer O’Donnell’s shirt.

Poor Percy, the fine man who faked a coughing attack for Beth in exchange for strawberries, dares not look Officer OD in the face as he stammers an apology...

Poor Percy, the fine man who faked a coughing attack for Beth in exchange for strawberries, dares not look Officer OD in the face as he stammers an apology…

...to no avail, as Officer OD mocks and shoves the elder gentleman to the floor, then sees Beth watching...

…to no avail, as Officer OD mocks, then shoves the elder gentleman to the floor, then looks up to see Beth watching…

Officer OD challenges Beth,

Officer OD, looking down the hall at Beth, challenges her, “What about you? Are you any good with needle and thread?” Dawn Lerner walks by, says nothing about the pushing, as she briefly regards poor Percy, lying on the floor. Seems Dawn Lerner picks her battles, and this isn’t one of them.

Beth stares, frozen, unable to reply right away as Dawn quickly cuts in, telling Officer OD,

Beth stares, frozen, unable to reply right away as Dawn quickly cuts in, telling Officer OD, “I need her..sorry.. we have a lot of work to do. Come on, Beth.” It seems Dawn Lerner is taking Beth under her wing, making her Dawn’s new ward. I can see how Dawn Lerner had this relationship with Noah, protecting him, confiding in him, but still abusing him like all others if she deemed it necessary…probably worse. Being Dawn’s ward would have both its benefits and steep cost.

(Now, before I go on, I must say my piece about this.  I am one crazy Irish mutha, and the blood of O’Donnell flows through my veins.  O’Donnell is my maiden name, the name of my birth, and as such, I hold it very dear to my heart.  It pains me greatly to see the name of my kin, and my ancestors, be represented in such bunk fashion by this shrill, bullying a-hole. I am sure that the actor who plays Officer O’Donnell is a wonderful human being, but the character of Officer O’Donnell can eat a bag of dicks.

I think I speak for all O’Donnells when I say, “This character in no way, shape, or form represents the true spirit of O’Donnell.”  

Because he sucks, Officer O’Donnell shall be demoted from O’Donnell status and referred to henceforth in this post as Officer OD.)

As Beth sits at the elevator shaft, legs dangling, and daydreams about escape, Dawn Lerner comes in, interrupting Beth's quiet time. When Dawn tells Beth that Percy is going to be ok, Beth replies,

Later, as Beth sits at the elevator shaft, legs dangling, and daydreams about escape, Dawn Lerner comes in, interrupting Beth’s quiet time. When Dawn tells Beth that Percy is going to be ok, Beth replies, “Nothing’s ok.”

In reply, Dawn asks Beth, with mock gravity, “Are you gonna jump?” Beth rolls her eyes at this, tells Dawn, “I wanted to be alone…you left your elevator key where it was.” Dawn replies that at least she knows Beth isn’t going anywhere.

Beth replies,

Beth replies, “Neither are you.” She turns to face Dawn, tells her that “you keep telling yourself you’re going to do whatever it takes until this is all over…but it isn’t over. This is it. This is who you are, and what this place is, until the end.”

Dawn Lerner isn’t having it.  This place saved you.  I saved you…twice. The others don’t know what you did…they think Joan was just trying to get back at me.”  Dawn tells Beth that she, Dawn, saw the smashed jar, and closed up the office before the others could figure out what really happened, what Beth did to Gorman in Dawn’s office.

Dawn looks at Beth, tells her, “You’re a cop killer.” Beth protests that she would never kill anybody, to which Dawn replies, “But you did.” Dawn asks Beth what she thinks the others would do if they found out what Beth did…Dawn continues, telling Beth she protected her, she helped save that woman in Room 2, not because she had to, but because she, Dawn Lerner, wanted to. “But there’s a way that things have to happen around here…don’t you get that?

A noise from down the hallway startles Beth and Dawn...they turn to find Officer OD standing there. It seems he has been there a while, and has overheard all the dirty deets.

A noise from down the hallway startles Beth and Dawn…they turn to find Officer OD standing there. It seems he has been there a while, and has overheard all the dirty deets.

Dawn asks Officer OD, hands held loosely at her sides, but ready to reach for her guns if need be, “What are you gonna do?” Officer OD fires back, “No, Dawn, what are you gonna do? Starting with her?” He motions to Beth.  “She’s my ward,” Dawn replies. I’ll handle it.”

Officer OD steps closer, tells Dawn that he thinks the other officers should know who they’re working for, “So are you gonna tell them, or should I?”

Dawn narrows her eyes, begins to step closer to Officer OD. You don’t get to threaten me, she says, dangerously.  “This isn’t a threat,” replies Officer OD. “These are the factsyou look like shitthe guys are talking, they think you’re cracking. This is Hanson all over again.”

Officer OD turns to the door with the parting shot, “It’s time to make a change.”

(Now, don’t get me wrong.  I am all about Officer OD, and the other officers, ousting Dawn Lerner as the head chief if it were about her being crooked, and they were wanting to make a clean slate and some much-needed changes.  But, if Dawn Lerner is the only tenuous thread holding them back from going full rampage on the female wards of the hospital, or abusing the weaker ones like Percy, then Officer OD and the other male cops who are rapists and bullies are just as shitty, if not more shitty, than Dawn Lerner.  The whole place sucks, really, when it comes right down to it.)

The click of a gun behind him stops Officer OD in his tracks. Dawn Lerner has pulled out her pistol, cocked it, tells him that he’s wrong, that she’s nothing like Hanson…she killed Hanson, remember?

Dawn Lerner's getting the Crazy Eyes.

“I was the only one who could go through with it.” Watch out, Dawn Lerner’s getting the crazy eyes!

Officer OD turns to face Dawn. “Lower your weapon, Dawn,” he says. “All I have to do is shout.” Dawn replies that all she has to do is say that he came at her.  She orders Beth, who is behind her, to get out of the way.  Beth complies, moves to the other side of the hallway. Dawn then orders Officer OD towards the elevator shaft opening. “Don’t do this,” he tells her.

“Don’t make me,” Dawn replies.

As he walks slowly towards the elevator shaft, Officer OD reminds Dawn that they were rookie cops together, that she had cigars with him and the other officers in the parking lot of this very hospital when his son was born. (It’s crazy to think how these hospital cops were once good people, with lives, and families, who were on the police force, wanting to help others in the community…and now, they are reduced to this…enslaving people against their will, raping and abusing them because they are in control of them, and can.)

These remembrances seem to be rattling Dawn even more than she already is. She tells Officer OD to stop, that the man he was, once, is gone.

“Look at you,” Dawn tells Officer OD. “You’re pushing the old man, you’re laughing with the others about that poor girl getting raped...that’s who you are now.”

Officer OD steps forward, asks Dawn, “So who the hell are you?”  Dawn Lerner replies, “Someone who isn’t going to let it happen anymore.”

“That’s not what this is about,” replies Officer OD. “It’s about holding on to what you have.”

Dawn asks, incredulously, What the hell do I have?”

Officer OD distracts Dawn with some mindfuck shit about Hanson, then ambushes Dawn, tackling her into the wall. A super burly beatdown ensues between Dawn Lerner and Officer OD…it happened too fast for me to get any good pictures of it, but Dawn was holding her own pretty well against an enraged male cop who was also trained in hand-to-hand combat.

Officer OD does get the best of Dawn, clamping his hand around her throat in a chokehold and lifting her up high against the wall.

“You think you’re better than us?” he asks through clenched teeth. Beth tries to pull Officer OD off Dawn, and he knocks Beth to the floor. “Stay in your lane, bitch!” he screams at Beth. This gives Dawn Lerner the opening she needs…she punches Officer OD hard in the throat, then side kicks him, sending him towards the opening of the elevator shaft.

I did get this shot...watching this, I was thinking,

I did get this shot…watching this, I was thinking, “Why can’t Dawn Lerner be one of the good guys?” She definitely has some mad fighting skills, and some leadership & other smarts to offer a group…such a waste for her to be so twisted at this point.

Before Officer OD can get his bearings, Dawn Lerner screams, “Beth!” and with one hard shove, Beth pushes Officer OD off the edge of the elevator shaft and sends him flying down the steep blackness, until we hear his body crash down below…then the sounds of the walkers descending upon him.

That scene is a hard one to watch…we get glimpses of who Dawn Lerner and Officer OD were before the change: idealistic, rookie cops, with families, and normal lives. We see what they have been reduced to, exchanging words, accusations, then pulling guns and coming to blows, all in the quest for top slot at Grady Memorial.

We see glimpses of Beth, what she has had to do in the short time at Grady Memorial, (things that she never would have thought she would do) like killing someone, just to survive in this hellish place.  And now, she has just pushed a cop down an elevator shaft, and helped Dawn Lerner stay in power, which I guess was the preferable option than letting Officer OD and his goon squad have full reign of power…but either option is hardly ideal.

Poor Beth.

Poor Beth.

Later, we see Beth, dozing against the wall of Carol’s room, sitting on the floor, looking so sad and lonely there.  Carol is Beth’s only friend there, and she is still unconscious. Beth has nobody to turn to, to talk to, and she is just a young girl.  She has been through so much, and had to be so strong throughout all the horrible shit that has gone down at this hospital.

One moment, she was sitting at a table, exchanging a sweet, loving moment with Daryl, and now, she is here, in a living, daily hell in a hospital prison.

Wake up, Carol!

Wake up, Carol!

I am so sad for Beth in this scene.

I am so sad for Beth in this scene.

Dawn Lerner comes into the room, a little loud and sloppy, carrying a flask and a glass. She’s drunk, you can tell. She tells Beth that it’s ok to cry.

Beth states, with a young defiance, that she doesn’t cry anymore…

“I do,” says Dawn, pouring herself a drink

Dawn offers the cup to Beth, who turns away, refusing the offering.  Dawn places the cup on the edge of the sink. “It’s from my own stash, no strings, “ Dawn tells her.  She goes over and sits on the end of Carol’s bed, and takes a long pull from her flask.

I have thought about the character of Dawn Lerner a lot since watching this episode...definitely felt some sympathy for her during moments like this, while still knowing what she is capable of.

I have thought about the character of Dawn Lerner a lot since watching this episode…definitely felt some sympathy for her during moments like this, while still knowing what harm she is capable of doing, and how quickly she can turn on others.

Beth tells Dawn that she knows why Dawn covered for her…she was actually covering for herself.  Gorman, Jeffries, and O’Donnell were problems for Dawn, and now they are gone, and Dawn didn’t have to do the dirty work.  “That’s how things get done around here,” Beth says. “Everyone uses people to get what they want.  You aren’t the ones who have to remember.”

Dawn peers down at Beth’s face.  “Is that what happened with Edwards and Trevitt? He used you?” (Dawn is astute, I’ll definitely give her that.)

Beth says then, “I’m getting out…just like Noah.”  Dawn tells her that Noah will be back. “He’s going home, “ Beth tells her. Dawn tells her that they always come back, that they don’t make it far…for one thing, they can’t, but, also, they really don’t want to.

Beth leans forward, tells Dawn angrily that Noah is going home.

Dawn smiles a little smile at Beth, tells her that she, Dawn, was like Beth, once. “Nobody could tell me anything.” Dawn tells Beth that she isn’t stupid…she motions towards Carol with her head, says, “You know her…and somehow, you both ended up here. Maybe that means something.”

Dawn goes on to tell Beth that they, Beth and her friend, can be a part of “this thing,” what they have going at the hospital, and that it may be the most important thing she, Beth, has ever done.  Beth cuts a look at Dawn as she says this, but says nothing.

Dawn continues, “And what you did back there…” and with this, Dawn puts a hand to her throat, remembering O’Donnell’s hand clamped down on it. She tells Beth, after a moment, that Gorman and O’Donnell hurt people…the world didn’t lose anything when they died. Dawn then tells Beth that she’s wrong about her, Dawn.

“I didn’t use you,” Dawn says.  “And I will remember.”  As Dawn sits, lost in her thoughts, Carol, unnoticed, turns her head slightly on the pillow.

Meanwhile, on the top of a building in downtown Atlanta…

At their sniper station, Tyrese is telling Sasha to stop beating herself up for not rekilling Bob.

At their sniper station, Tyrese is telling Sasha to stop beating herself up for not rekilling Bob.

As Daryl leads the hostage cops to their waiting places on the roof, Tyrese goes on to tell Sasha about Martin, the one she killed at the church.  He tells Sasha that he was left with Martin, and how he maybe should have killed him, but didn’t, even though he said he had.  Tyrese muses that maybe they haven’t changed so much, after all, from the way they used to be, and maybe that’s good.

Sasha looks at her brother, tells him that he hasn’t changed from who he was, and that is good. But she, Sasha, can’t go back to who she was, before…

Sasha peers through the rifle scope, refocusing on the task at hand.

Sasha peers through the rifle scope, refocusing on the task at hand. “Not anymore,” she says, as she takes aim at the target below.

As Daryl and Sasha see the cop car approaching, Daryl signals Tyrese to radio as much to Rick.

As Daryl and Sasha see the cop car approaching, Daryl signals Tyrese to radio as much to Rick.

We see Rick get himself in the zone of Negotiation Mode, then we see a shot of the red flag they’ve erected to mark the meeting point, blowing in the wind, as Rick raises his arms and begins to walk towards the cop car that slowly approaches.

I love the homage to old cowboy movies in this episode...so many shots, like this one, and the hallway scene between Dawn Lerner and O'Donnell...

I love the homage to old cowboy movies in this episode…so many shots, like this one, and the hallway scene between Dawn Lerner and O’Donnell…

...look like they were taken from right from the old western classics. Love it.

…look like they were taken from right from the old western classics. Love it.

As the cops get out of the car, guns raised and levelled at Rick, he addresses them both by name.

“Officer Franco, Officer McGuinley…I’m Rick Grimes.” (Mmmm hmmm, he sure is.)

Rick tells them that he was a deputy at the Kent County’s Sheriff’s office, that he’s here to make a proposal.  The officers, taken aback by this approach and familiarity, exchange looks. One officer tells Rick to lay his weapon on the ground. Rick agrees, moves slowly, complies.  Daryl and Sasha hold their aim, have the cops’ heads in their sights.

As they move closer to Rick, the other cop asks Rick what his proposal is. “You have two of our people, we have two of yours. We want to make an even exchange, then we walk away…no one gets hurt.”

The officers ask Rick who they have. Rick replies they have Officers Shepherd and Licari. Rick then tells the cops that they have two of their people: Beth, and another woman who was hit by one of their cars and brought in yesterday.

The cops exchange looks at this, and the one cop asks if Noah is with them.  “Yes, he is,” says Rick.  As a walker approaches, one of the cops asks where Rick’s people are.

In reply, a perfectly placed shot by Sasha, sniper style, takes out the walker behind them.

In reply, a perfectly placed shot by Sasha, sniper style, takes out the walker behind them.

“They’re close,” Rick replies, nonchalantly.  The cops looks around, spooked.  Rick takes a step back. “Radio your lieutenant, I’ll wait,” he tells them.

And then, it has become time to make the exchange.  We see Rick’s group, with Rick and Daryl marching Sheppard and Licari in front of them, at gunpoint, walking through the maze of hallways and stairwells in the hospital, led and flanked by the cops at the negotiation, towards the meeting place.

rick marching shepherd to exchange point

We then see Beth, getting ready to go, with the bloodstained yellow shirt she got back at the country club, the Pine Vista, where she and Daryl went in search of her first drink…as Beth gathers her things, she thinks a moment, then reaches under her mattress and gets the scissors she took from Doc Edwards’ office.

We watch as Beth slips the scissors into her cast, just in case...

We watch as Beth slips the scissors into her cast, just in case…

We see Beth wheeling Carol down the hall in a wheelchair, with Doc Edwards behind them.

We see Beth wheeling Carol down the hall in a wheelchair, with Doc Edwards walking behind them.

They approach the group of Dawn and her officers, and wait.

They approach the group of Dawn and her officers, and wait.

As Officers McGuinley and Franco rejoin Dawn Lerner's group, Rick tells Dawn the the officers in their keeping haven't been harmed.

As Officers McGuinley and Franco rejoin Dawn Lerner’s group, Rick tells Dawn the officers in their keeping haven’t been harmed.

Dawn immediately asks where Lamson is.

Dawn immediately asks where Lamson is.

Shepherd says, a little too quickly, that

Shepherd says, a little too quickly, that “rotters got him.” Licari adds that they “saw it go down.”

Dawn Lerner isn’t buying it. She narrows her eyes, nods, says, “Oh…I’m sorry to hear that…he was one of the good guys.

Dawn then tells Rick, “One of ours for one of yours.” Rick nods to Daryl, who releases Licari forward, and one of Dawn’s cops wheels Carol forward to Rick’s group.

Then, Dawn marches Beth forward, herself, and Rick follows suit, bringing Shepherd forward.  The exchange is made, and Rick reaches out and touches Beth’s head, tenderly, while looking at her face and checking in with her for a brief and wordless moment.

I love how tender he is with her...she is so close...so hard to rewatch this scene.

I love how tender he is with her…she is so close…so hard to rewatch this scene.

As Rick and the gang turn to leave, Dawn says to their retreating backs,

As Rick and the gang turn to leave, Dawn says to their retreating backs, “I’m glad we could work something out.” Rick turns to look at her. “Yeah,” he replies, hoarsely and with barely concealed contempt.

Dawn glances back at her officers, afraid to look like she is losing face in this deal...

Dawn glances back at her officers, afraid to look like she is losing face in this deal…

...and with a slight shake in her voice, Dawn says, loudly,

…and with a slight shake in her voice, Dawn says, loudly, “And now, I just need Noah.”

At Dawn's words, Rick stops in his tracks. He turns to Dawn, walks back towards her,

At Dawn’s words, Rick stops in his tracks. He turns to Dawn, walks back towards her, “That wasn’t part of the deal.”

Dawn replies that Beth was her ward, and now she's lost a ward...and she, Dawn, lost good men who were killed looking for Noah, so she needs a new ward, and she needs Noah.

Dawn replies that Beth was her ward, and now she’s lost a ward…and she, Dawn, lost good men who were killed looking for Noah, so she needs a new ward, and she needs Noah.

Daryl steps foward, says Noah isn't going back to Dawn. Rick says the boy wants to go home, and that Dawn doesn't have any claim to him.

Daryl steps forward, says Noah isn’t going back to Dawn. Rick says the boy wants to go home, and that Dawn doesn’t have any claim to him.

Dawn says,

Dawn says, “Then we don’t have a deal.” Rick protests, rightly so,  that the deal was done.

Noah steps forward,

Noah steps forward, “It’s ok,” he says. Rick tries to hold him back, but he looks at Rick, tells him that it has to be done. Otherwise, it’s war.  He hands his gun to Rick. From behind, Beth’s voice is clear, shaking, “It’s not ok.”

As Noah limps forward, Dawn Lerner says, with satisfaction, “It’s settled, then.”

“Wait!” Beth rushes forward and hugs Noah, hard, not wanting to let go.

Noah tries to reassure Beth that it's ok, while Dawn Lerner cannot bring herself to watch. Even she knows how wrong this is.

Noah tries to reassure Beth that it’s ok, while Dawn Lerner cannot bring herself to watch. Even she knows how wrong this is. But then, she recovers herself, turns to Noah….

...and says, softly, smugly,

…and says, softly, smugly, “I knew you’d be back.”

Beth looks at Dawn with pure hatred.

Beth looks at Dawn with pure hatred.

She walks up to Dawn, looks her in the eye, says,

She walks up to Dawn, looks her in the eye, says, “I get it now.”

In one quick instant, Beth stabs Dawn Lerner with the scissors...

In one quick instant, Beth stabs Dawn Lerner with the scissors…

beth stabs dawn 2

And, in a moment of pure reflex, Dawn Lerner shoots Beth through the head, killing her instantly.

And, in a moment of pure reflex, Dawn Lerner shoots Beth through the head, killing her instantly.

rick disbelief noah disbelief

sasha disbelief

Dawn Lerner shakes her head in disbelief, and fright, mouths that she didn't mean to...

Dawn Lerner shakes her head in disbelief, and fright, mouths that she didn’t mean to…

In fury and grief, Daryl steps forward and shoots Dawn Lerner through the skull.

In fury and grief, Daryl steps forward and shoots Dawn Lerner through the skull.

dawn falls back shot

As the officers draw their weapons, Shepherd tells them to hold their fire...

As the officers draw their weapons, Shepherd tells them to hold their fire…“It was just about her (Beth), “ she says. “It’s over. Stand down!

Poor Daryl! :(

Poor Daryl! 😦

poor daryl2

tyrese crying

Officer Shepherd offers for the gang to stay, if they like.  One of the men pipes up, says that they are surviving here, that it’s better than “out there.”

Rick, dazed, stricken, shakes his head. “No,” he disagrees, refusing.  He says that anybody who wants to go, is coming with them…but only Noah comes forward.

Outside, Abraham pulls the fire truck into the hospital parking lot…the gang steps out, takes care of stray walkers as they approach, walking toward the hospital.  As they get closer, Maggie allows herself an excited, happy smile at the thought of seeing her sister again. Rick and the others file out, Rick giving a little shake of his head.

Maggie allows herself a hopeful smile, and then they see...

Maggie allows herself a hopeful smile, and then they see…

The image that has seared itself into the hearts of all WD fans worldwide...Daryl carrying Beth's body. So heartbreaking, the worst ever.

The image that has seared itself into the hearts of all WD fans worldwide…Daryl carrying Beth’s body. So heartbreaking, the worst ever.

Upon seeing Beth, Maggie screams, collapses on the ground.

Upon seeing Beth, Maggie screams, collapses on the ground.

IMG_9048

:(

😦

The final shot of the Season 5 midseason finale...

The final shot of the Season 5 midseason finale…

Wow. I don’t even know what to say, even now.  Watching it again, finishing this post, I feel really overcome. TearsBeth!  We love you, girl.

So many of my friends are saying that there is no hope, that The Walking Dead is just going to keep getting more and more bleak, that nothing in the world that is being portrayed in the show is going to get any better.  I do hope that’s not true, but as I said before, the comic series doesn’t exactly lead to chocolates and roses.

Kirkman, Gimple, be kind.  It’s all I ask.

A couple of things, before I sign off for a while…I would like to thank all those who have found me, and my crazy tweaker blog, and who have given me encouragement, posted comments, shared with friends.  I am gaining new readership all the time, at unprecedented rate.  Thanks, gang.  I appreciate your showing the love.

One reader, Brooks, asked me in a comment a couple of months back if I would ever consider having a guest writer post on my blog.

I am sorry that I did not directly answer your question in my reply to you, at the time, Brooks.  I was honestly taken aback, as I had never even thought about it before.  I was so surprised to be asked.

But, I have thought about that question you asked me ever since, and this is what I came up with…during the midseason break, while I take a much needed rest, I would like to open up barnfullawalkers to be a forum for writers, artists, WD fans to contribute their talents, if they wish.  I will not be posting, so there is opportunity to get your talents showcased if you want to play along.

As this is a blog about The Walking Dead (more or less, sometimes more, sometimes less), I would ask that any contributions be centered around The Walking Dead as a central theme.  If you have fan fiction, poetry, drawings, art, photographs, essays, commentaries, Season 5 thoughts, synopses, that you would like to submit, or any other correspondence that you would like to send along, please send it to: barnfullawalkers@gmail.com

This is totally a new thing, and I’m not quite sure how it’s all going to work as of yet, but I promise that any submissions will be treated with the upmost respect, and if I choose to post it, I will contact you, and we will take it from there.

On a funny note, as always, the midseason and season finale episodes of WD seem to result in especially memorable Talking Dead episodes, and last week was no exception.

As Robert Kirkman, the creator of both The Walking Dead comic and television series, was a featured guest on TD,  fans were invited to Skype in questions for him, and we got a few new additions to the Kooky WD Fan Hall of Fame:

We got to meet:

Brendan and Suzanne, the wacky swinger couple whose

Brendan and Suzanne, the wacky swinger or “free pass”  couple whose “kids” wanted to know if their dad could kiss Maggie. Ol’ Brendan said it was up to his wife, but if she was down with it, so was he…and then they both gave this “thumbs-up” sign, so, I guess everyone’s ok with it, even the kids!

Christie (sp?)...she was cute, with a sweet smile and a normal question for Kirkman that I can't remember at the moment.

Christie (sp?)…she was cute, with a sweet smile and a normal question for Kirkman that I can’t remember at the moment.

Then we met Scott, who asked Kirkman if Daryl ever got to have a

Then, we met Scott, who asked Kirkman if Daryl ever got to have a “booty call” or if he was just saving himself for one special person….got my fingers crossed for you, Scott, buddy…here’s hoping!

Then we met the bespectacled girl with the quirky style who dolled herself and her little dog in fancy bow ties.

Then we met the bespectacled girl with the quirky style who dolled herself and her little dog in fancy bow ties. She asked some question about Shane, I think.

And finally, there was Gig Guy, sporting a fox pelt hat and screaming at the camera as he channeled Rick Grimes tellling off all those who doubted his leadership abilities.

And finally, there was Gig Guy, sporting a fox pelt hat and screaming at the camera as he channeled Rick Grimes telling off all those who doubted his leadership abilities.

Ah, humanity! 🙂

Have a lovely holiday, my WDO darling readers, and drop me a comment, or if you are shy, drop me an email at barnfullawalkers@gmail.com

Until Feb.8, and enjoy Beth’s playlist:

Beautiful. And devastating. <3

Playlist:  (Seven-song playlist to take Beth up to Level 7Beth Forever! )

Goat, “Goatslaves”

Lamb, “Angelica”

Jose Gonzalez, “Storm”

Purity Ring, “Obedear”

Moondog, “Bird’s Lament”

Tori Amos, “Cornflake Girl”

Guns n Roses, “Sweet Child of Mine”

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

“Consumed”

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

The opening scene of The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 6“Consumed”  takes us back to Season 4’s “Indifference,” in the moments right after Rick banishes Carol from the prison community for her decision to preemptively kill Karen and David, who were sick with the Explodey Flu (which bore frightening similarities to Ebola hemorrhagic fever) in a misguided, one-woman effort of staunch the spread of the disease throughout the prison community. We see a close up of Carol’s shell-shocked face, as she starts the car, a parting gift that Rick has given her, and begins to drive off, alone.

Carol driving, shellshocked

Rick watches Carol drive off

While Carol does not look Rick’s way as she drives past him, Rick stands and watches her drive away, his hand working at his side, seemingly conflicted.

Set to the haunting “Bad Blood,” by Alison Mosshart & Erick Arjes, the sequence shows us the final banishment scene from Carol’s perspective.  We see, for the first time, Carol’s isolation and anguish at being cast out of her community, and it is truly wrenching to watch. We WD fans have gotten so used to seeing Carol the way she is around others, fronting tough and rarely letting anybody see her cry, or lose her composure. But alone, in the car, when she gets far enough down the road, away from Rick, Carol pulls the car over and dissolves into tears.

While I was initally totally creeped out by Carol's killing spree back in Season 4, it was clear to me, watching this scene, that she was really feeling the pain and regret of her actions.

While I was initally totally creeped out by Carol’s killing spree back in Season 4, it was clear to me, watching this scene, that she was really feeling the pain and regret of her actions.

Poor Carol!

Poor Carol!

Carol's much needed cry is soon rudely interrupted by Snoopy Walker, who snarls and flails at the car window, trying to get to her.  She screams at Snoopy Walker to leave her alone, before peeling off down the road.

Carol’s much-needed cry is soon rudely interrupted by Smack It Up Walker, who snarls, flails, and smacks its arm at the car window, trying to get to her. She screams at the walker to leave her alone, before peeling off down the road, leaving Smack It Up Walker to lurch and weave crookedly down the road, in her dust.

We see Carol pull up in front of a law office building that looks secure, windows intact.

Next, we see Carol pull up in front of a law office building that looks secure, windows intact.

After Carol clears the office and sets up camp inside, she beds down for the night on a couch in the office.

After Carol clears the office and sets up camp inside, she beds down for the night on a couch in the office.

But Carol cannot get right to sleep, and we see her thinking, processing in the darkness.

But Carol cannot get right to sleep, and we see her thinking, eyes open, processing in the darkness.

The next day, as Carol assembles a rain catcher out the window, she sees a black plume of smoke  in the horizon...it is coming from the direction of the prison.  After a moment's hesitation, Carol rushes out of  the office...

The next day, as Carol assembles a rain catcher out the window, she sees a black plume of smoke in the horizon…it is coming from the direction of the prison. After a moment’s hesitation, Carol rushes out of the office…

...and the final image, before the opening title sequence, shows Carol staring in openmouthed horror as the prison goes up in flames.

…and the final image, before the opening title sequence, shows Carol staring in openmouthed horror as the prison goes up in flames.

During the commercial break, my WD buddy and I topped off our mimosas with some more champagne and shared our thoughts on this opening.  We agreed that neither of us really expected, as the viewer, to be taken back that far, to see firsthand, flashes of Carol’s experience and process.  We also agreed that it was a fitting, powerful, and effective way to begin this episode.

I personally needed to see, and feel, things from Carol’s side…we all did, I think..  I love that this episode, “Consumed,” delves more deeply into both Carol and Daryl’s psyche…they both have developed their tough exteriors and their game faces, but it’s time for us to get a deeper insight into both of these two beloved and iconic characters.

In the next scene, it’s night.  We see a lone woman walker on the side of the road. and at the sight of headlights approaching, the walker walks into the road, just as one of the black cars from Grady Memorial speeds past, clipping the walker and sending her face down into the asphalt.

road kill walker

“Hey, watch where you’re going, asshole!”

We hear Carol’s voice, asking Daryl, “So it was just you and Beth, after?”

“Yeah,” replies Daryl.

“You saved her?” Carol asks him.

“She’s tough…she saved herself,” Daryl says. He continues, “We were out there for a while…we were cornered…she got out in front of me…and, I dunno, she’s gone.” Daryl tells Carol about how he saw a black car, with a cross painted in the back window, pull away at the moment of Beth’s disappearance. “Just like that one,” Carol says, referring to the black car they are currently following in Carol’s almost-getaway car, the one she found on the side of the road.   Before they jumped in and began tailing the black car, Daryl quickly smashed the headlights of the Carol car, so they are hanging back, and travelling in darkness, and remaining undetected by the car from Grady Memorial as it speeds along the road.

As they talk, Daryl mows down the walker in the road, not slowing down, flattening the walker’s head into the asphalt.

Road Kill Walker, another hit-and-run casualty.

Road Kill Walker, just another hit-and-run casualty.

Excellent to see you again, fine sir.

Excellent to see you again, fine sir…

New Carol riding shotgun.

…with New Carol riding shotgun.

Daryl remarks that the others are going to wonder where they’re at, and the tank’s getting low…New Carol’s take on it is pretty awesome, in my opinion…she suggests they “end it quick, just run them off the road.”  Daryl replies that they’ll be good for a bit, and New Carol replies that they can find out where Beth is, just “get it out of the driver.” Ha!  In the end, they go with Daryl’s plan, but man, would I have loved to see New Carol’s method for “getting it out of” two members of Dawn Lerner’s Douchesquad.

(And, in retrospect, maybe they should have gone with New Carol’s idea…but then, they may not have run into Noah…and, love him or hate him at this point, I believe Noah is going to be a significant part of whatever comes down the line.)

Daryl, however, has a good take as well…the driver may not talk, and right now, they have the advantage, as the black car does not know they are being followed. Daryl suggests they see who these people are, see if they’re a group, scope it out, and figure out what they’ll need to do to get Beth back.  Carol sees that the black car is going north, on I-85…

...towards Atlanta.

…towards Atlanta.

Daryl and Carol follow the black car into the city, and on a lonely street, the black car stops…and Daryl and Carol kill the engine, a block behind…and wait.

Daryl and Carol pull up behind black car

After a long moment, they see a figure emerge from the shotgun side.

After a long moment, they see a figure emerge from the shotgun side. “There are two of them, ” Daryl says, and then, upon closer inspection, “Is that a cop?” The cop turns to look in their direction for a moment before disappearing down a side street.

As they watch, and wait, Carol and Daryl are surprised by an unexpected, and unwelcome, visitor...

As they watch, and wait, Carol and Daryl are surprised by an unexpected, and unwelcome, visitor…Lemme At ‘Em Walker.

The cop returns to the black car, after dragging a couple of bodies, seemingly, out of the road, clearing the black car’s way.  He turns and looks over at Daryl and Carol’s car, as Lemme At ‘Em Walker paws and hisses as the car’s window…after a moment, the cop gets back into the black car, and it starts, makes a right turn down the side road.  Daryl tries to start their car, but the tank’s out of gas..At the sound of more walkers approaching, Daryl says they need to get out of there and find a place to hole up…Carol tells him she knows a place just a couple of blocks away, that they can make it there.

Carol rolls down the car windwo and easily dispatches Lemme At 'Em Walker.

Carol rolls down the car window and easily dispatches Lemme At ‘Em Walker.

Carol stands watch, rekilling walkers as they approach the two, as Daryl jimmies the lock of the back gate, leading into the rear entrance of the law firm.

At the office building’s rear entrance, Carol stands watch, rekilling walkers as they approach , as Daryl jimmies the lock of the back gate.

As Carol steps up to take care of

As Carol steps up to take care of “two more,” Daryl gets the lock open, and just in time…

...as the street begins to fill with a swarm of ATL Walkers of the Night.

…as the street begins to fill with a swarm of ATL Street Walkers. Daryl and Carol duck behind the tall wooden door, closing it quickly before being seen by the savage, hissing swarm.

Once inside the building, Daryl takes a ring of keys from the dead janitor’s belt and opens the door to the office.  He asks Carol, “You used to work here or somethin’?”

“Something…” Carol replies. As they move through the rooms, unlocking doors as they go from the janitor’s key ring, they come to a small room that has bunk beds, and a desk, with a large book resting on top of it…

Treating Survivors of Childhood Abuse

Daryl follows Carol into the room, shining the flashlight around, taking it all in.  “What is this place?” he asks.  “Temporary housing,” replies Carol.

Daryl looks down at the book, asks Carol, with a hitch in his voice,

Daryl looks down at the book, asks Carol, with a hitch in his voice, “You came here?”

“We didn’t stay,” replies Carol. As Daryl shucks off his crossbow, bag, and jacket (Yes! Take it off! Take it off!), Carol goes over the bunk beds, tells Daryl she’ll take the top bunk, as the bottom bunk seems “more your style.”  As she moves over to the window, she tells Daryl to get some sleep, that she’ll take “first watch.” Daryl points out that the place is locked up pretty tight…

Carol, girl, if you really must keep this

Carol, girl, if you really must keep this “hard to get” thing going, then you had better stay turned around and keep your eyes out that window, because if you did turn and take a look at what’s going on behind you, right now, you would not be able to resist it…I mean, damn.

Daryl looks at Carol’s back, says, “I’m good, then…” leaves it open, a little question at the end…(Me and my WD buddy were perched on the edge of our seats, gulping mimosas at this point…I mean, OMG, weren’t you just dying, watching this?)

Carol does turn, for a moment, sneaks a peek (right, Carol, what did I tell you? He’s putting it out there, so now all you gotta do is put one boot in front of the other, walk over to him, and get it, girl! You know you want to!)

After sneaking a peek, Carol’s voice falters a bit as she assures him she’s ok, she’ll take first watch, it’s fine.

“Suit yourself,” Daryl says

Goddamn, Carol, if that's the way you're going to be about it, then I, for one, am going to suit myself and take a nice long look at the view...and I'm not talking about whatever's going on outside that window...

Goddamn, Carol, if that’s the way you’re going to be about it, then I, for one, am going to suit myself and take a nice long look at the view…and I’m not talking about whatever sad shit’s going on outside that window…

daryl love bunk 2

Mmmm hmmm…

daryl love bunk 3

…yep.

Sigh.

So, uh, how’s the view out that window, Carol?

Carol’s resolve begins to weaken…

Without taking her eyes off the window, Carol asks Daryl,

Without taking her eyes off the window, Carol asks Daryl, “So…we get to start over?” echoing his words to her at the car, before…

Daryl says, softly,

Daryl says, softly, “Yeah,” and Carol finally turns, looks at him. “Did you?” she asks him, meaning, I think, did you start over, when you were with Beth? Daryl looks away for a moment, then replies…

“I’m tryin’.”

At this point in the watching, my WD buddy and I were freaking the fuck out (quietly, you know, so as not to wake the children), guzzling mimosas.to quench our suddenly parched throats…was it getting super hot in here, or what?

As Carol weighs all this, still at the window, Daryl says,

As Carol weighs all this, still at the window, Daryl says, “Just say what’s really on your mind.”

Carol tells Daryl that, “I don’t think we get to save people anymore.” After a moment, Daryl asks her, “Why are you here?”

Carol turns to Daryl, tells him,

Carol turns to Daryl, echoes his own words back to him, “I’m trying.”

Carol (finally!) goes over to the bunk, lies down next to Daryl.

Finally, Carol goes over to the bunk, lies down next to Daryl…

But before Daryl lies back and joins her, he has a question to ask...back at the car, if he hadn't come, what would have happened...the unfinished question hangs in the air...would she have left?

But before Daryl lies back and joins her, he has a question of his own…back at the car, if he hadn’t come, what would have happened? The unfinished question hangs in the air…would she have left?

Carol truthfully admits that she still doesn't know...Daryl lies back next to her, and they look up at the top bunk, not touching, not speaking...it's like Pee Wee Herman said,

Carol truthfully admits that she still doesn’t know…Daryl lies back next to her, and they each look up at the top bunk, not touching, not speaking...it’s like Pee Wee Herman said, “Everyone I know has a big ‘but’…”

Suddenly, a loud thud interrupts their reverie...Carol and Daryl jump up, grab their weapons, and stealth down the hallway...

Suddenly, a loud thud interrupts their reverie…Carol and Daryl jump up, grab their weapons, and stealth down the hallway…

...and see a heartbreaking sight...in one of the temporary housing units, a mother and child, both now walkers, bang and paw at the glass...Walkers Interruptus.

…and what they find is heartbreaking…in one of the temporary housing units, a mother and child, both now walkers, bang and paw at the glass…Walkers Interruptus.

Daryl and Carol silently register the import of this awful sight. (Cried every time I watched this scene...this shit is why I drink, people.)

Daryl and Carol silently register the import of this awful sight. (Cried every time I watched this scene…this shit is why I drink, people.)

Carol automatically goes to the door, so used to having to be the one to take care of things like this, these days...Daryl stops her, tells her she doesn't have to do this...

Carol automatically goes to the door, so used to having to be the one to take care of things like this, these days…Daryl stops her, tells her she doesn’t have to do this…

Carol turns and heads back to the little room with the bunk beds, troubled, and finally gets some sleep.

Carol turns and heads back to the little room with the bunk beds, looking beautiful as she processes all this,  and finally falls into a troubled sleep.

The next morning, Carol awakes, sees smoke billowing outside the window.  She goes to the window, and what she sees brings her to tears...

The next morning, Carol awakes, sees smoke billowing outside the window. She goes to the window, and what she sees brings her to tears…

...Daryl has built a funeral pyre and is carrying the child's shrouded body to the fire...

…Daryl has built a funeral pyre and is carrying the child’s shrouded body to the fire…

Carol comes and stands beside Daryl.  They watch the bodies of the mother and child burn for a moment, then Carol turns to Daryl and says,

Carol comes and stands beside Daryl. They watch the bodies of the mother and child burn for a moment, then Carol turns to Daryl and says, “Thank you.”

So, while we WD fans didn’t quite get the Daryl/Carol night we were hoping for in the bottom bunk, we got something else…something a little more real, a little more gut-wrenching, a little more poignant and beautiful…to paraphrase a Tweet that one WD fan sent to Talking Dead, later, who knew that burning bodies could be such a romantic gesture?  Daryl Dixon, such a beautiful, sweet, tough and tender man…how we love him!

Heart of gold, that one.

Later, Carol is having a flashback of she and Tyrese burying the bodies of Lizzy and Mika, as she and Daryl pack up their things.  Daryl says that it looked like the black car was headed downtown, and that they should get high up in one of the tall buildings, get a good look around, see what they see.  Carol agrees, saying that if they stay close to the buildings, stay quiet, and wait, it will be just a matter of time before they see something that will give them some more information, or a location.

Daryl and Carol keep close to the sides of the buildings, running quietly through the streets of Atlanta.  Hug the shadows, hug the shadows, Daryl and Carol!

Daryl and Carol keep close to the sides of the buildings, running quietly through the streets of Atlanta. Hug the shadows, Daryl and Carol!

Daryls sees a promising building that has a bridge walkway leading into it...between them and the buidling, however, is a street full of milling walkers.

Daryl sees a promising building that has a bridge walkway leading into it…between them and the building, however, is a street full of milling walkers.

Ever handy, ever resourceful, Daryl sets a legal pad on fire and tosses it out into the street...

Ever handy, ever resourceful, Daryl sets a legal pad on fire and tosses it out into the street…

As the walkers lurch over to the flame, Daryl and Carol sneak past them, into a parking garage, where Daryl easily takes down a stray walker.  Otherwise, all clear...except, as Daryl and Carol slip through the door to the walkway bridge, we see a brief glimpse of a dark, quickly moving figure in the background of the parking garage.

As the walkers lurch over to the flame, Daryl and Carol sneak past them, into a parking garage, where Daryl easily takes down a stray walker. Otherwise, all clear…except, as Daryl and Carol slip through the door to the walkway bridge, we see a brief glimpse of a dark, quickly moving figure in the background of the parking garage.

Upon entering the walkway bridge, Daryl and Carol see a rather confounding sight…writhing, reanimated bodies shrouded in sleeping bags, and walkers pawing from inside zipped up tents…people who had been taking shelter in the walkway, camping in there, seemingly killed as they slept in their sleeping bags and tents..how did they die?.

Later, on Talking Dead, Chris Hardwick and guests CM Punk, Yvette Nicole Brown (who was armed with her own legal pad of copious, highlighted notes from her viewing of Episode 506, which I, and the entire TD audience, loved…the audience broke into applause every time she referred down to it…girl’s a WD tweaker on a level all her own…definitely my kind of woman!) and Tyler James Williams speculated on what happened to the people in the walkway, killing them and turning them into the Urban Camper Walkers.  Yvette Nicole Brown’s guess mirrored my own thoughts, that maybe when Atlanta was bombed & napalmed, that maybe poisonous gases from the bombing killed the urban campers in their sleep.

As they rekill the Urban Camper Walkers, Daryl remarks, “Some days, I don’t know what to think.” For a man of few words, Daryl Dixon really has a knack for summing it all up in these crazy times.

daryl and carol see camping walkers daryl rekills camping walker

Daryl and Carol make their way gingerly past the writhing tents, rekilling the walkers bound up in the sleeping bags as they cross to the other side of the walkway…they squeeze through the small opening of a set of double doors that have been chained and padlocked closed, but not all the way.  Carol pushes the rifles through the opening, then squeezes through, followed by Daryl, whose larger frame makes it harder to get through the small opening. He jokes that it’s a good thing they skipped breakfast..

Daryl and Carol enter through another set of doors, and find themselves in a clean, upscale office, with modern paintings, water cooler, and large windows, overlooking what was once an impressive view of downtown Atlanta.  As Carol and Daryl approach the window and take in the grim, blasted skyline, Carol asks, “How did we get here?”  Daryl replies that he doesn’t know..they just did.

As Daryl and Carol look over the ruined city of Atlanta, Carol remarks that he never asked her what happened after she got up with Tyrese and the girls...Daryl replies that he knows what happened, as the girls aren't here any longer...

As Daryl and Carol look over the ruined city of Atlanta, Carol remarks that he never asked her what happened after she got up with Tyrese and the girls…Daryl replies that he knows what happened, as the girls aren’t here any longer.

“It was worse than that,” Carol says.

Daryl tells her that’s why they need to start over, “because we gotta,”  to the way things were, before. “Yeah…” says Carol, doubtfully. So much has happened…can they really go back?

Daryl spots something, grabs the rifle with the scope, peers through, and se