The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 13, “Forget”

“Forget”

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

Ladies and gentlemen, in the spirit of brevity, levity, freedom, and frolic, may I present…TWD, Episode 513, IG-Style:

WD Ep 513 opens before the sun rises another day in Alexandria: Vanilla Dream.  In the predawn darkness, we see framed pics of white people arm in arm, or trying to look casual and unscripted while posturing themselves in wacky antics for the camera.

WD Ep 513 opens before the sun rises upon Alexandria: Vanilla Dream. In the predawn darkness, we see framed pics of some unknown white people arm in arm, smiling, laughing, trying to look casual and unscripted while posturing themselves in various wacky antics for the camera.

Those wacky white people...they really know how to throw down! Just look at those smiles!

Those white people are crazy fun…they really know how to throw down!  Just look at those smiles…good times, good times.

And here's one of Mom and Muppet.

And here’s one of Mom holding Muppet, her beloved little dog.

sasha looks away into dark

Sasha lay awake in the darkness,  staring around at the frozen smiles of dead people, in better times.

Sasha's had enough of trying to sleep surrounded by the captured frozen smiles of dead people in better times. She sits up, gets dressed.

Finally, after lying there a while, Sasha’s had enough of trying to sleep, She sits up, gets dressed.

Good Morning, Alexandria!

Good Morning, Alexandria!

We see Sasha walking into the Alexandria Storeroom and Gun Lending Library, followed by Olivia, who's like,

We see Sasha walking into the Alexandria Storeroom and Gun Lending Library, followed by Olivia, who’s like, “Oh, yeah, it’s cool that you came and woke me up before the dawn…I used to work in a coffee shop, so, you know, no problem.

Sasha gets what she came for.

Sasha gets what she came for…hello, lover.

As Sasha checks over her rifle, Olivia has a special request...

As Sasha checks over her rifle, Olivia has a special request…

“Hey, if you bag a boar, can I have a leg?”

Sasha's like,

Sasha’s like, “Say what?”

Olivia explains that she used to cure meat in her basement, even before the turn (...) and she's asking, you know, for proscuitto.

Olivia explains that she used to cure meat in her basement, even before the turn (…) and she’s asking, you know, so she can make prosciutto. As Sasha processes this, Olivia begins to wax nostalgic for the prosciutto and “those pickles” she used to make. (Put blond hair on Olivia, and a bottle of something in her hand, and she would be the real-life embodiment of Pam on Archer.)

Sasha's like,

Sasha’s like, “Ok, got it, Olivia,” while probably thinking, <“Bob, Ty…why the hell’d you go off and die, and leave me all alone in this neo-suburban nightmare, surrounded all these crazy people?”>

Sasha thanks the gate  keeper as she walks out of Alexandria into the world outside the gates.

Sasha thanks the gate keeper as she walks out of Alexandria into the world outside the gates.

We see Sasha begin to set up the framed pictures, one by one.

We see Sasha begin to set up the framed pictures, one by one.

sasha sets up frames 2 sasha sets up frames 3

Sasha takes aim...

Sasha takes aim…

...and finally gets a reprieve from her constant, crushing grief and inner torment  when she can put it all aside, for one brief second, and focus on the target in her scope, pull the trigger.

…and finally gets a reprieve from her constant, crushing grief and inner torment, for that one brief second when she can put it all aside, and focus on the target in her scope, on pulling the trigger and watching her bullet explode the target into bits.

Sasha nails the first frame with a single bullet.

Sasha nails the first frame with a single bullet.

After the first frame goes down, Sasha looks around, seeing if anything, or anyone approaches, attracted by the sound of the gunfire.  But all is quiet...

After the first frame goes down, Sasha looks around, seeing if anything, or anyone approaches, attracted by the sound of the gunfire. But all is quiet…

...so Sasha sets her sights on the next target.

…so Sasha sets her sights on the next target.

sasha scopes 4 frame shatters 2 frame shatters 3frame shatters 4sasha listens 1

Sasha listens, but aside from the loud caws of ravens nearby, all is quiet in the woods.

Sasha listens, but aside from the loud caws of ravens nearby, all is quiet in the woods.

Sasha's eyes are wild, and her manner is looking more and more agitated as she raises her rifle again, and begins picking off all the framed pictures, one by one. Each shot is perfectly aimed, not a bullet wasted...

Sasha’s eyes are wild, and her manner is more and more agitated as she raises her rifle again, and begins picking off all the framed pictures, one by one. Each shot is perfectly aimed, not a bullet wasted…

sasha shooting and buggin 2 frame shatters 6

Sasha pauses, waits, nothing comes....

Sasha pauses, waits, but nothing comes….

...so Sasha raises her gun and methodically, one by one, blasts the rest of the framed pictures into bits.

Buh bye, Mom and Muppet.

Bye, bye, Mom and Muppet.

After all the pictures are gone, Sasha walks over to a large tree stump, sets her rifle beside her, and waits...

After all the pictures are shattered and lying on the ground, Sasha walks over to the large tree stump, sets her rifle beside her, and waits…

“Come and get me,” she says.

After the Bear McCreary opening title sequence and the McConaughey

After the Bear McCreary opening title sequence and the McConaughey “it’s not about huggin’ trees” car commercial, we see this opening shot of two walkers, both dropped by a bullet to the brain…I’m assuming they were Rick’s bullets that rekilled these walkers.

We see Rick, in his constable's uniform, Carol, in her Junior League uniform, and Daryl in his Daryl Dixon uniform, vest and greasy hair.  Brother has still not taken a shower yet...that's some willpower. I would have taken like 25 showers by now, and brushed my teeth like 100 times.

We see Rick, in his constable’s uniform, Carol, in her Junior League uniform, and Daryl in his Daryl Dixon uniform, angel-wing leather vest and greasy hair. Brother has still not taken a shower yet…that’s some willpower. I would have taken like 25 showers by now, and brushed my teeth about 100 times already.

The Porch Council has convened outside the abandoned little house in the woods where Rick had stashed his handgun in the plastic blender... there is a walker nearby, but Daryl says it's only one, rejoins the council.

The Porch Council has reconvened, this time outside the abandoned little house in the woods where Rick had stashed his handgun in the plastic blender… they can hear the hiss and slaver of a walker nearby. Daryl returns, says he can’t see the walker, but it’s close. Rick says they’ll be quick, and asks them both, “So what do you think?”

“We go in when it’s empty,” Carol offers. “How’s that?” Rick asks. “It’s locked at night.” Carol replies that the window just has a latch, and she’ll leave it open. It seems they are planning on sneaking into Alexandria’s storeroom and stealing some guns that are stored away there.

Rick takes this in...

Rick takes this in…

“A latch?” he asks, incredulously. Having a mere latch on a window be one of the only things keeping someone out of a storeroom that holds valuable food, supplies, and guns must seem laughably naive to ones who have seen, and experienced, the horrors of the world outside the walls.

Daryl chimes in.

Daryl chimes in,“What if one of those pricks shuts it?”

Carol suggests quickly that she can wait a couple of days, then leave the latch open again.

Carol thinks quickly, suggests if that happens, she can wait a couple of days, then leave the latch open again.

Rick replies that they need to do it, to break in and get the guns, sooner than later, while they are not being watched or monitored, whether or not they'll actually end up needing the guns. Carol is quick to reply that however it turns out, they'll need the guns.

Rick replies that they need to do it sooner than later, while they are not being watched or monitored…whether or not they’ll actually end up needing the guns that they are planning on taking from the storeroom. Carol is quick to reply that however it all turns out, they’ll need the guns.

Rick shakes his head, says the Alexandrians are

Rick shakes his head, says the Alexandrians are “the luckiest damn people I’ve ever met…and they just keep getting luckier.” “How’s that?” Daryl asks. “We’re here now,” Rick replies.

Daryl considers this statement, nods.

Daryl considers this statement, nods.

Carol turns to Rick, tells him that

Carol turns to Rick, tells him that the storeroom has footlockers filled with 9 mm’s, auto’s, Kel-tech’s, all just sitting there, unused. Carol says the guns will never be noticed, or missed.

In his usual matter-of-fact style, Daryl turns to the trash heap, with the empty plastic blender, and remarks that

In his usual matter-of-fact style, Daryl turns to the trash heap, with the empty plastic blender, and remarks that “someone’s got one now, right?” (When rewatching last week’s episode, Episode 512“Remember,” I wondered if maybe Enid saw Rick stash the gun, and she took it, or if she may be working, or spying for someone else, maybe one of the exiles, who saw Rick stash the gun, and took it…I thought maybe Enid was sent to infiltrate Alexandria by some bad guys who have the upper hand on her, like someone she loves is being held captive by them…and with that thought, The Enid Theory sprang out of my head like the goddess Athena sprung out of Zeus’s.)

Rick turns to Carol and Daryl, says that they should keep their doubts, suspicions, plans about Alexandria to themselves, that they want the others in their group

Rick turns to Carol and Daryl, says that they should keep their doubts, suspicions, plans about Alexandria to themselves, that they want the others in their group “to try” with Alexandria.

Carol turns to Daryl at this, adds,

Carol turns to Daryl at this, adds, “You, too.” Rick nods at something past their shoulders, tells Daryl, “There it is,” as the walker from the woods has entered the clearing and is coming towards them.

Carol, however, motions to the men...she's got this.  She points her gun and starts shooting at the approaching walker.

Carol, however, motions to the men…she’s got this. She points her gun and starts shooting at the approaching walker.

w marks the spot walker

Carol keeps firing bullets into the walker's chest, and finally drops it with a shot to the head.  At Rick's questioning look, Carol explains that they said they were going shooting, and she couldn't very well come back with a full mag...

Carol keeps firing bullets into the walker’s chest, and finally drops it with a shot to the head. At Rick’s questioning look, Carol explains that they said they were going shooting, and she couldn’t very well come back with a full mag…

Daryl sees something on the walker's forehead, bends over for a closer look.

Daryl sees something on the walker’s forehead, bends over for a closer look. “What’s this,” he asks, “A ‘W’?”

The others bend over and see the

The others bend over and see the “W” clearly marked on the walker’s forehead.

Rick kneels over the walker, studies it a long moment...surely he must remember those walker heads and upper torsos that fell on the van's hood back at the Shirewilt Estates, 100 miles away...those walkers' foreheads, too, were clearly marked with

Rick kneels over the walker, studies it a long moment…surely he must remember those walker heads and upper torsos that fell on the van’s hood back at the Shirewilt Estates, 100 miles away…those walkers’ foreheads, too, were clearly marked with “W’s” carved into them.

Rick looks troubled, but says nothing to Carol and Daryl about this.  I wonder why, but I am thinking that Rick is not one to say something, in a moment, if he feels it is too soon, or not time.  Seems like he remembers those other

Rick looks troubled, but says nothing to Carol and Daryl about this. I wonder why, but I am thinking that Rick is not one to say something if he feels it is too soon, or not time. Seems like he remembers those other “W” walkers, though…his face looks like he does, and is trying to figure this out.

Seeing this marked type of walker twice now, first 100 miles back, at the scene of a community cruelly ravaged and destroyed by an unknown foe, and now, here, suggests that big, bad trouble is coming for Alexandria. I feel Rick knows this, on some level, and will keep it to himself, for now...but he will be thinking, and watching, and planning.

Seeing this marked type of walker twice now, first time 100 miles back, at the scene of a community cruelly ravaged and destroyed by an unknown foe, and now, here, suggests that some big, bad trouble is coming for Alexandria. I feel Rick knows this, on some level, and will keep it to himself, for now…but he will be thinking, and planning. Watching, and waiting.

Meanwhile, Michonne models her new constable's uniform in the mirror.

Meanwhile, Michonne models her new constable’s uniform in the mirror.

I am def loving the lace up in the back of the jacket...would love a black leather jacket, with a lighter colored lace up situation in the back of it like that...super styley.

I am def loving the lace-up in the back of the jacket…would love a black leather jacket, with a lighter colored lace-up situation in the back like that…super styley.

Michonne pulls out the katana and customizes one of the laces that is too long to be functional.

Michonne pulls out the katana and customizes one of the laces that is too long to be functional.

Michonne looks at the katana...she seems to be wondering,

Michonne looks at the katana…she seems to be wondering, “Does katana go with ‘constable’?” Seems like she’s leaning towards “no.”

Rick comes up, looks at her new getup. He wonders aloud, “I don’t know if this is some kind of play, handing authority over to strangers.”

Michonne quips, “The authority to break up fistfights.” Rick banters back that if breaking up fistfights was all this was for, they should have given one of these uniforms to Daryl.

Michonne appreciates the funny mental pic of Constable Dixon meting out his own special brand of justice in Alexandria.

Michonne appreciates the funny mental pic of Constable Dixon meting out his own special brand of justice in Alexandria. That shit would be awesome.

Richonne, Richonne, Richonne...

Richonne, Richonne, Richonne…

...you two, together, as a sexy crimefighting superteam would have been the total tits, my fave ever. But, Rick Smash!'s brain stem, and his donkey kong, have spoken, and Richonne is not to be, in the romantic sense. He wants Jessie.  So, it's Ressie, which is pretty much as dumb as it sounds...but, I did say, recently, that I was, now and forever, riding in Rick Smash!'s car, so I will support his choice in mate, even if it wouldn't be my choice. I gotta throw down the unconditional w my man, Rick Smash!

…you two, together, as a sexy crimefighting superteam would have been the total tits, my fave ever. But, alas, Rick Smash!’s brain stem, and his donkey kong, have spoken, and Richonne is not to be, in the romantic sense. He wants Jessie. So, it’s Ressie, which is pretty much as dumb as it sounds…but, I did say, recently, that I was, now and forever, riding in Rick Smash!’s car, so I will support his choice in mate (even if it wouldn’t be my choice). I gotta throw down the unconditional  for my man, Rick Smash! and put up with his questionable taste in women. Can’t be helped, gotta move on.

Richonne replies, after a moment, that she doesn't know

Michonne replies, after a moment, that she doesn’t know “if it’s for us, or for them,” but if Deanna wanted to get rid of “us” and “them,” and put the jackets on Michonne and Rick, to show to everyone that they are all equal citizens of the same community, then in Michonne’s opinion, that “play” would be “smart.” It would be ideal, for sure. Michonne adds that Deanna “seems smart.”

“Smart for then, or smart for now?” wonders Rick. Michonne replies, firmly, that “This is now.”

Meanwhile, as Daryl prowls through the woods, crossbow in hand, he hears and noise, whirls.

Meanwhile, as Daryl prowls through the woods, crossbow in hand, he hears and noise, whirls. “Come out, now!” Aaron emerges from the trees, hands raised.

Aaron is pretty amazed.

Aaron is pretty amazed. “You can tell the difference between walkers and humans by sound? It’s interesting that Aaron uses the gang’s terminology for the undead with Daryl. Daryl doesn’t answer, just looks super hot silently vibing Aaron.

Aaron asks, over Daryl's silence,

Aaron asks, over Daryl’s silence, “Can you tell the difference between a good guy and a bad guy?” Aaron adds that Rick seems to be having trouble telling the two apart. Daryl growls, “Ain’t much of a difference no more.” 

“Is that how you feel about your people?” asks Aaron. (He is definitely braver than I initially gave him credit for!) Daryl menaces closer to Aaron, demands, “Why are you followin’ me?”

Aaron replies, bemused,

Aaron replies, bemused, “I didn’t know I was,” and, in what I hope is a homage to Bugs Bunny/Elmer Fudd, Aaron adds that he just came out to “hunt rabbits.”

“I know why you’re out here,” Aaron adds. “Mind if I join you?” (Aaron really is one super ballsy dude, with impeccable manners to boot.)

Daryl vibes Aaron a moment more, then turns, ordering Aaron to

Daryl vibes Aaron a moment more, then turns, ordering Aaron to “Keep up…keep quiet!” Way to go, Aaron…you’re in!  Now, try not to blow it.

Meanwhile, Deanna is outlining Rick and Michonne's duties as co-constables.

Meanwhile, Deanna is outlining Rick and Michonne’s duties as co-constables. “You protect and serve…you patrol, walk the wall, protect the kids.”

Deanna does not mention guarding or maintaining a watch beyond the walls for any outside threats to the community as a whole.

Deanna does not mention guarding or maintaining a watch beyond the walls for any outside threats to the community as a whole.

Deanna says that the people of Alexandria believe in Rick and Michonne's authority, so it's official...with jackets, even, from a former police officer who used to live in the community.

Deanna says that the people of Alexandria believe in Rick and Michonne’s authority, so it’s official…with jackets, even, from a former police officer who used to live in the community.

Deanna continues to outline her long-term plans for her community...government, commerce.  She says that's why she wants Maggie working with her.

Deanna continues to outline her long-term plans for her community…government, industry, commerce. She says that’s why she wants Maggie working with her. “It may be just horses and mills (at first), but-“ Deanna stops, looks at Rick’s face. “What?” she asks him. “Does that sound like pie in the sky?”

Maggie looks at Deanna.

Maggie looks at Deanna. “No,” she answers. Deanna then looks at Michonne. “No,” replies Michonne. Deanna finally looks up at Rick. “No,” he says, after a brief pause. He then looks at Deanna. “Can we talk security?”

Rick brings Deanna outside, points out that the walls need to be partrolled always, not just checking for damage, but also for any activity or signs that they had been breached. Rick also points out that someone could move right up the supports on the outside of the walls.

Rick brings Deanna outside, points out that the walls need to be patrolled always, not just checking for damage, but also for any activity or signs that they had been breached. Rick also points out that someone could move right up the supports on the outside of the walls. “That’s what I’d do,” he says. Rick looks at Deanna. People are the real threat now.” Yes, exactly.

Sasha approaches, volunteers to take lookout in the clock tower. Deanna replies that they don't have lookouts in the clock tower...

Sasha approaches, volunteers to take lookout in the clock tower. Deanna replies that they don’t have lookouts in the clock tower…

Constable Grimes be like,

Constable Grimes be like, “Say what?”

We see a small glimpse of Constable Smash! as Rick grinds out,

We see a small glimpse of Constable Smash! as Rick grinds out, “We need a lookout in that clock tower right now, 24/7.”

Michonne adds that it's the only way they'll be able to see if someone's coming at them.

Michonne adds that it’s the only way they’ll be able to see if someone’s coming at them.

Sasha immediately volunteers to take as many lookout shifts as possible... Deanna is looking a little spooked by Sasha, and the entire conversation. She looks at Sasha, asks,

Sasha immediately volunteers to take as many lookout shifts as possible… Deanna is looking a little spooked by Sasha, and the entire conversation. She looks at Sasha, asks, “Why?”

Maggie speaks up, tells Deanna that Sasha's

Maggie speaks up, tells Deanna that Sasha’sone of our best shots…she can do it.” Deanna nods, but says while she will consider putting Sasha as primary lookout, that she’ll be putting her son, Spencer, on lookout today. It seems Deanna is throwing the new constables and Rick’s gang a soiree at her house, tonight, and she wants them all to come, including Sasha.

Now, it's Sasha's turn to look spooked...

Now, it’s Sasha’s turn to look spooked…

Meanwhile, the Alexandria Junior Leaguers are talking party menu.

Meanwhile, the Alexandria Junior Leaguers are talking party menu. Mashed lima beans, cocoa powder, sweetener…it’s protein, and the one Junior Leaguer swears, “I would have eaten it, before all this.”

Junior League Carol beams, exclaims,

Junior League Carol beams, exclaims, “Sounds delicious!”

Carol excuses herself, seeing Rick, telling the other JL ladies that she needs to ask him for his help with the party.  As they walk together, Rick and Carol agree that tonight would be the night to break into the armory, as everyone will be at the party.

Carol excuses herself, seeing Rick, telling the other JL ladies that she needs to ask him for his help with the party. As they walk together, Rick and Carol agree that tonight would be the night to break into the armory, as everyone will be at the party.

Rick volunteers himself for the job, but Carol points out that his absence would be noticed. Rick adds that Daryl is out, as they are watching every move he makes, these days.  That leaves Carol, who smiles and says that the good thing about this place is that

Rick volunteers himself to back Carol up, but Carol points out that his absence would be noticed. Rick adds that Daryl is out, as they are watching every move he makes, these days. That leaves Carol flying Han Solo on this mission. Carol smiles and says that the good thing about this place is that, “I can be invisible again.”

Meanwhile, as Daryl and Aaron make their way through the woods, Daryl hears the soft nicker of a horse.

Meanwhile, as Daryl and Aaron make their way through the woods, Daryl hears the soft nicker of a horse.

Aaron says he has been trying to get the horse, named

Aaron says he has been trying to get the horse, named “Buttons” by a child in Alexandria, for months, to bring him inside the safety of the walls, but the horse would spook whenever Aaron or Eric would try to approach it.

Daryl watches the horse a moment, then reaches for Aaron's rope.

Daryl watches the horse a moment, then reaches for Aaron’s rope. “Have you done this before?” asks Aaron.

Daryl replies that his group did, before, with a horses that hadn't been out for such a long time.

Daryl replies that his group did, before, with horses that hadn’t been out for such a long time. “The longer they’re out, the more they become who they really are,” Daryl tells him.

Daryl begins to approach Buttons cautiously, talking softly to the horse.

Daryl begins to approach Buttons cautiously, talking softly to the horse.

“Yeah, you used to be somebody’s, huh? Now you’re just yours. Daryl almost gets close enough to put the rope over the horse’s neck, but the horse gets spooked by the telltale hiss of…

...walkers, coming to ruin another beautiful moment  between the living.

walkers, coming to ruin another beautiful moment between the living.

Instead of enjoying a loving moment with a fellow equine survivor, Daryl must employ his invaluable

Instead of enjoying a loving moment with a fellow equine survivor, Daryl must employ his invaluable “crossbow upside the walker’s head technique” as Buttons rears up, then gallops away.

Go, Aaron! (I am really loving Aaron, and Eric, more and more, especially after this episode.)

Go, Aaron! (I am really loving Aaron, and Eric, more and more, especially after this episode.)

daryl stabs walker

“I was talking to my new horse, and you fucking interrupted our conversation, you undead prick!”

Take that, Cockblocker Walkers!

Take that, Cockblocker Walkers! After killing all the walkers, Daryl and Aaron set off after Buttons.

Back in town, JL Carol is following Olivia into the storeroom. Olivia expresses amazement at JL Carol's revelation that applesauce can be used in lieu of eggs in a cookie recipe...surely, Alexandria must have some yard chickens, somewhere, but eggs are probably still in short supply.  Carol asks Olivia if she can keep the applesauce thing between them, as it's the

Back in town, JL Carol is following Olivia into the storeroom. Olivia expresses amazement at JL Carol’s revelation that applesauce can be used in lieu of eggs in a cookie recipe. Surely, Alexandria must have some yard chickens, somewhere, but eggs are probably still in short supply. Carol asks Olivia if she can keep the applesauce thing between them, as it’s the “secret” of these cookies. Ha! So much for sharing & caring between community citizens…

At Olivia's surprise, JL Carol laughs, saying that a girl's gotta leave herself some secrets...

At Olivia’s surprise, JL Carol laughs, saying that a girl’s gotta leave herself some secrets…

Olivia assures Carol that her applesauce secret

Olivia assures Carol that her applesauce secret “will die with me.” (Oooo, just got a bad foreboding feeling for Olivia and the other “not quite battle-savvy” citizens of Alexandria.) Olivia breaks it to JL Carol that the “chocolate’s gonna be a problem.”  She can only give JL Carol a quarter of a bar…JL Carol assures Olivia that she’ll “make it work.”

Just then,

Just then, Tobin comes in, tells Olivia he and his workmate have to make a “withdrawl” from the gun lending library, as “the boss lady” wants them to check a segment of the wall before the party. Olivia invites Carol to take what she needs, and follows the men to the back of the storeroom, where the armory is.

Carol helps herself to an entire bar of chocolate fro the freezer and then follows the others to the back.  As she stands at the window, Tobin asks her if she's afraid of guns...JL Carol delivers another riveting performance as she says that she carried a handgun while with the group, but knows nothing about the bigger guns, like the one Tobin is now holding.

Carol helps herself to an entire bar of chocolate from the freezer, then follows the others to the back. As she stands at the window, Tobin asks her if she’s afraid of guns…JL Carol delivers another riveting performance as she says that she carried a handgun while with the group, but says, with a coy little laugh, that she knows nothing about the bigger guns, like the one Tobin is now holding, before her.

Tobin smiles at Carol, introduces himself, and offers to teach Carol to shoot, any time. Better safe than sorry.

Tobin smiles at Carol, introduces himself, and offers to teach Carol to shoot, any time. Better safe than sorry.

JL Carol gives Tobin a sweet smile, and thanks him for the kind offer.

JL Carol beams at Tobin, and thanks him for the kind offer.

As everyone files out of the storeroom, we see that Carol has opened the window's latch.

As everyone files out of the storeroom, we see that Carol has opened the window’s latch.

Meanwhile, as they make their way through the woods, Aaron asks Daryl if he ever rode...Aaron's talking about horses, but Daryl replies that he used to ride bikes.  Aaron jokes that he's assuming that Daryl isn't talking about 10-speeds...

Meanwhile, as they make their way through the woods, Aaron asks Daryl if he ever rode…Aaron’s talking about horses, but Daryl replies that he used to ride bikes. Aaron jokes that he’s assuming that Daryl isn’t talking about 10-speeds…

Aaron tells Daryl that they are both viewed as outsiders by the residents of Alexandria.  Aaron says that he and Eric, being gay, have had to endure countless well-meaning but highly ignorant remarks from otherwise nice people.

Aaron tells Daryl that they are both viewed as outsiders by the residents of Alexandria. Aaron says that he and Eric, being gay, have had to endure countless well-meaning but highly ignorant remarks from otherwise nice people.

Aaron tells Daryl that people are afraid of what they don't know, so Daryl should let the others in Alexandria get to know him a little better.

Aaron tells Daryl that people are afraid of what they don’t know, so Daryl should let the others in Alexandria get to know him a little better. “You should come to Deanna’s party tonight,” Aaron encourages Daryl.

Daryl tells Aaron that he doesn't have anything to prove. He tells Aaron that he's met a lot of bad people, out here, and has seen, experienced a lot of bad things, and those people

Daryl tells Aaron that he doesn’t have anything to prove. He tells Aaron that he’s met a lot of bad people, out here, and has seen, experienced a lot of bad things, and those people “weren’t afraid of nothin’.” Aaron walks behind Daryl, considering this. “Oh, yeah they were,” he replies.

And then, it's party time. Carol, Carl, and Rick, holding Judith, file into Deanna's home.

And then, it’s party time. Carol, Carl, and Rick, holding Judith, file into Deanna’s home.

It is truly surreal to see people holding glasses of wine, milling and mingling, a table stocked with assorted beverages and brightly colored plastic party cups.  Deanna spies them across the room, and, delighted, makes her way across the party to greet them.

It is truly surreal to see people holding glasses of wine, milling and mingling, a table stocked with assorted beverages and brightly colored plastic party cups. Deanna spies them across the room, delighted. She makes her way across the party to greet them.

Junior League Carol's puts on her party face.

Junior League Carol puts on her party face.

Rick Grimes' party face is more smoldery than sunny.

Rick Grimes’ party face is more smoldery than sunny.

Abraham and Rosita come next...Rosita's body language immediately pronounces the party as

Abraham and Rosita come next…Rosita’s body language immediately pronounces the party as    L-A-M-E.

Abraham looks around doubtfully, wonders aloud if he can do this...

Abraham looks around doubtfully, wonders aloud if he can do this. “There’s beer,” points out Rosita, and Abraham immediately says, “I’ll try,” and heads over to the beverage selection. Rosita follows suit, enjoying a silent laugh at her big, crazy, flame-haired bf.

Deanna presents her prize constable, Rick, to her husband, Reg, builder of the wall.

Deanna presents her prize constable, Rick, to her husband, Reg, builder of the wall.

Reg tells Rick that he watched all the tapes of the interviews, and he heard what 14 people said about how Rick saved them, kept them alive, together for this long, out there...

Reg tells Rick that he watched all the tapes of the interviews, and he heard what 14 people said about how Rick saved them, kept them alive, together for this long, out there…

Rick asks Reg, diplomatically, didn't Reg build that wall out there?  Reg says he did, with lots of help, and while that is an achievement, compared to keeping 14 people alive, safe, and together, in these times, well...

Rick asks Reg, diplomatically, didn’t he, Reg, build that wall out there? Reg says he did, with lots of help, and while that is an achievement, compared to keeping 14 people alive, safe, and together, in these times, well…

Reg says to Rick,

Reg says to Rick, “I think you have me beat.” (It really is just one big pissing contest with dudes, isn’t it?)

Rick smiles, diplomatically, and you know he's thinking,

Rick smiles, diplomatically, employing his invaluable “smiling, nodding, and politicking” maneuver from times past…you know he’s thinking, “Yeah, motherfucker, it’s pretty much no contest.” Deanna laughingly strokes her hubby’s ego, pronounces it “a tie.”

Reg graciously offers Rick a drink, and Rick, after a moment's hesitation, and some good ol' fashioned peer pressure from Reg, accepts. The men clink glasses and drink...

Reg graciously offers Rick a drink, and Rick, after a moment’s hesitation, and some good ol’ fashioned peer pressure from Reg, accepts. The men clink glasses and drink…

...when the McBeaty family makes their entrance to the party.

…when the McBeaty family makes their entrance to the party.

Rick sees Jessie and her family make their entrance...

Rick sees Jessie and her family make their entrance…

...and he takes a drink...

…and he takes a drink…

...all the while clocking Jessie with hungry eyes.

…all the while clocking Jessie with hungry eyes.

Meanwhile, Daryl and Aaron find Buttons, penned in with a group of walkers.  They must act fast.

Meanwhile, Daryl and Aaron find Buttons, penned in with a group of walkers. They must act fast.

Daryl spears a walker's head and rushes in. Aaron follows suit...

Daryl spears a walker’s head and rushes in. Aaron follows suit…

...but Aaron gets tripped up by a grabby walker.

…but Aaron gets tripped up by a grabby walker.

Aaron chops the walker's hand away, and Daryl comes forward and stomps the walker's head.

Aaron chops the walker’s hand away, and Daryl comes forward and stomps the walker’s head.

Daryl grabs another walkers and smashes its head into the other smashed walker.

Daryl grabs another walkers and smashes its head into the other smashed walker.

Aaron returns the favor by blowing another walker's head away when it comes up on Daryl.  Daryl thanks Aaron, and they turn to save Buttons, but, tragically, they are too late...

Aaron returns the favor by blowing another walker’s head away when it comes up on Daryl. Daryl thanks Aaron, and they turn to save Buttons, but, tragically, they are too late…

Poor Buttons. :(

Poor Buttons. 😦

Before the men can act, the walkers surround the horse and savagely attack it as it whinnies helplessly.

Before the men can act, the walkers surround the horse and savagely attack it as it whinnies helplessly.

poor buttons 3 poor buttons 4 poor buttons 5

Poor Aaron and Daryl must watch as poor Buttons gets taken down.

Poor Aaron and Daryl must watch as poor Buttons gets taken down.

poor daryl watches buttons go down

Daryl prepares to go in, and after a moment, Aaron follows him. It is the code with Daryl and his people that they will go in, even to ease a poor animal's suffering, as opposed to Alexandrian code, as we will see, which is pretty much,

Daryl prepares to go in, and after a moment, Aaron follows him. It is the code with Daryl and his people that they will go in, and battle walkers, even if just to ease a poor animal’s suffering, as opposed to Alexandrian code, as we will see, which seems to be, pretty much, “Save yourselves!”

Daryl rekills the last walker feeding on the disembowled horse, which is horribly still alive.

Daryl rekills the last walker feeding on the disembowled horse, which is horribly still alive.

He turns away, tells Aaron to

He turns away, tells Aaron to “go ahead.”

Aaron shoots Buttons in the head, ending the animal's misery.

Aaron shoots Buttons in the head, ending the poor animal’s misery.

Aaron says, miserably,

Aaron says, miserably, “He always ran away.” Daryl looks on a moment, then says, “You were trying to help him.” Daryl turns away, and Aaron turns to follow him out of the penned area, back to the forest.

#RIPButtons  :(

#RIPButtons  ❤

Later, it's nightfall, and the party's in full swing. Noah, however, is looking pretty uncomfortable, trying to blend into the wall.

Later, it’s nightfall, and the party’s in full swing. Noah, however, is looking pretty uncomfortable, trying to blend into the wall.

Glenn and Maggie approach Noah, and Glenn asks him if everything's ok.  Noah says yeah, this just isn't really his thing, and he tells them he's gonna head out.

Glenn and Maggie approach Noah, and Glenn asks him if everything’s ok. Noah says yeah, this just isn’t really his thing, and he tells them he’s gonna head out.

“No, no, no, you’re not bailing!” jokes Glenn. “We’re in this together!” Maggie tells Noah that he’s with them. “You’re here with family, now,” she tells Noah. He smiles and agrees to stay.

Meanwhile, there is an adorably shy party lurker outside, dressed up in a collared shirt (under his leather vest, of course), hiding in the shadows.  What a perfect moment to sneak out of the party with a bottle of something, and a pack of smokes, and see that beautiful man...it would be like,

Meanwhile, there is an adorably shy party lurker outside, dressed up in a collared shirt (under his leather vest, of course), hiding in the shadows. What a perfect moment to sneak out of the party with a bottle of something, and a pack of smokes, and see that beautiful man, standing there…it would be like, “Hey, let’s go drink some of this, and smoke some of these, and shoot the shit under the moonlight…later for this party!”

Daryl turns to leave, and Aaron comes out and sees Daryl walking away, calls to him.

Daryl turns to leave, and Aaron comes out and sees Daryl walking away, calls to him.

“Why aren’t you at the party?” Daryl asks Aaron.

Aaron pretty much says that he was never planning on going...boyfriend with broken ankle = perfect out.

Aaron pretty much says that he was never planning on going…boyfriend with broken ankle = perfect out.

Daryl asks, with his usual bluntness,

Daryl asks, with his usual bluntness, “Why the hell’d you tell me to go, then?”

Aaron replies that he suggested that Daryl try to go, and Daryl did, so it's a

Aaron replies that he suggested that Daryl try to go, and Daryl did, so it’s a “thought that counts type of thing.” Daryl’s like, “Yeah, ok,” and prepares to walk away, but Aaron calls him back, invites him to stay for dinner.

Daryl considers Aaron's offer.

Daryl considers Aaron’s offer, looking extra cute, like a feral cat that won’t let you come near it. “C’mon, man…it’s some serious spaghetti,” Aaron says, and that seems to do the trick. When is the last time anybody in the gang had spaghetti dinner?

Meanwhile, Rick and Carol try to act natural at the party. They watch Olivia arrive, and that means the storeroom and armory are unguarded at the moment.  Rick once again offers to back Carol up, but once again, she tells him to stay put...Rick watches her leave, says,

Meanwhile, Rick and Carol try to act natural at the party. They watch Olivia arrive, and that means the storeroom and armory are unguarded at the moment. Rick once again offers to back Carol up, but once again, she tells him to stay put, because, you know…Rick watches her leave, says, “That’s right, you’re invisible.” They are such co-conspirators these days…am kind of totally loving it, even though they are enabling each other’s crazy big-time.

As Carol leaves, Jessie does the socially correct thing and introduces Rick to her husband, Dr. Petey McBeaty.  The men exchange a boisterous handshake.

As Carol leaves, Jessie does the socially correct thing and introduces Rick to her husband, Dr. Petey McBeaty. The men exchange a boisterous handshake.

Petey McBeaty's like,

Petey McBeaty’s like, “So, did I mention that I’m a doctor?”

Rick Grimes is like,

Rick Grimes is like, “So, did I mention that I’ll be sticking it to your wife soon enough?”

Dr. Petey McB is all like,

Dr. Petey McB is all like, “Ha ha, you’re quite the card, constable…now, does anyone else need to get totally wasted right now? Let me fill yours up there, buddy, and I’ll stay at the bar and do a couple of shots, while everyone around pretends not to notice, and then I’ll fill up both our glasses nice and high, and I’ll be right back atcha…ok, then,” and Petey McBeaty heads off, but not before being a total dick to his wife, who is trying, once again, to save Dr. P from himself, and  who, once again, cannot… and, of course, Rick Grimes notices all of this.

As her D-bag husband walks away, Jessie turns to Rick, arms crossed in front of her, asks,

As her D-bag husband walks away, Jessie turns to Rick, arms crossed in front of her, asks, “So, you having fun?” They do look pretty adorable being all awkward and shy with each other.

After some stops and starts in the conversation, Rick being so primal and new at this and all, Jessie points out that there's a pretty

After some stops and starts in the conversation, Rick being so primal and new at this and all, Jessie points out that there’s a pretty “great view.” Rick is slow on the uptake with this playful statement, so Jessie points his attention to his people, across the party.  “Take a look,” she says.

Rick first looks at Jessie, who really is quite lovely to look at, and then his attention is pulled away, finally, to...

Rick first looks at Jessie, who really is quite lovely to look at, and then his attention is pulled away, finally, to…

...the sweet peeps, finally able to relax and share a laugh with each other. It really is a beautiful sight.

…the sweet peeps, finally able to relax and share a laugh with each other. It really is a beautiful sight.

Rick then sees Carl joking and laughing with Rowan and Mikey like real teenage boys are supposed to.

Rick then sees Carl joking and laughing with Rowan and Mikey like real teenage boys are supposed to.

Jessie says something really interesting to Rick...basically that while many good things were lost in the turn, a lot of bullshit went with them, as well.

Jessie says something really interesting to Rick…basically that while many good things were lost in the turn, a lot of bullshit went with them, as well.

Jessie says, basically, that

Jessie says, basically, that “we all lost something, but we all got something back, in return.” Rick looks at her as she says this…seems like some truth of this is resonating with him. Really resonating, like new love and shit.

Just then, Jessie's son Sam comes running up, and God bless him, he says there's no more cookies...

Just then, Jessie’s son Sam comes running up, and God help him, he says there’s no more cookies…

And Rick, feeling expansive and buzzed and wanting to impress Jessie and make a good impression on her kid, kneels down and says that he is a

And Rick, feeling expansive and buzzed and wanting to impress Jessie and make a good impression on her kid, kneels down and says that he is a “good friend” with the cookie maker, and that he’ll try to get her to make Sam a batch of cookies all his own…unknowingly setting a super-creepy series of events into motion with that statement.

Sam then notices that Rick doesn't have

Sam then notices that Rick doesn’t have “a stamp” on his hand…Rick of course says yes, I want one, lay it on me, your mom’s watching and shit, and I want to look like the complete opposite of your D-bag dad, who is probably pounding whiskey at the bar and pontificating loudly and aggressively about some shit nobody cares about.

Ok, is it just me or does that stamp look just like the

Ok, is it just me or does that stamp look just like the “A” in Terminus train car “A”? (Just saying, probably a homage to past craziness, not suggesting it is alluding to the ETTCT or anything like that…remember the good old days, when all we were speculating about the possibility of potential future Terminans, while getting our asses majorly kicked by everyone, and everything else, on this show? Ah, good times, good times.)

“See, now you’re officially one of us!”

Sam runs off, and Jessie tries to reign him in, to no avail, while Rick is completely and utterly captivated by her.

Sam runs off, and Jessie tries to rein him in, to no avail, while Rick stares, completely and utterly captivated by her.

Jessie does the proper thing, at that moment, and excuses herself, and as she walks away, they both have smiles on their faces.

Jessie does the proper thing, at that moment, and excuses herself, and as she walks away, they both have smiles on their faces.

When watching this, my WD buddy and I turned to each other and said,

When watching this, my WD buddy and I turned to each other and said, “Rick never looked at Michonne that way,” and it’s true, and I know it, and we all know it, and I say good for you, Rick Grimes…you are looking a little relieved, and sweaty, because you just successfully flirted with someone you really like, and we approve. We have your back. Good job, bud…you did it!

Meanwhile, Sasha has been stone-cold busted trying to ring and run at the party by Deanna's son, Spencer.  That's how he identifies himself, as Deanna's son. Two words, Spencer. Turn-off.

Meanwhile, Sasha has been stone-cold busted trying to ring and run at the party by Deanna’s son, Spencer. That’s how he identifies himself, as Deanna’s son. Three words, Spencer: Major turn-off.

Deanna may have had visions and hopes for Sasha and Spencer, but while he seems kind of cute, kind of clever, kind of fun, it's like the complete opposite of the chemistry that Rick and Jessie are sharing...

Deanna may have had visions and hopes for Sasha and Spencer hitting it off, but while he seems kind of cute, kind of clever, kind of fun, it’s like the complete opposite of the chemistry that Rick and Jessie are sharing…

...and the complete opposite of the total and unexpected love that Sasha shared with Bob. Sorry Spencer, your cocktail party quips about Mrs. Neidermeyer and her incessant talk about wanting a pasta maker isn't going to cut it with this woman.  Sasha excuses herself with a pained look and hurries off.

…and the complete opposite of the total and unexpected love that Sasha shared with Bob. Sorry Spencer, your cocktail party quips about Mrs. Neidermeyer and her incessant talk about wanting a pasta maker isn’t going to cut it with this woman. Sasha excuses herself, with a pained look, and hurries off.

Speaking of pained looks, back at Aaron and Eric's, Daryl is shoveling spaghetti into his mouth, slurping the noodles noisily...

Speaking of pained looks, back at Aaron and Eric’s dinner table, Daryl is shoveling spaghetti into his mouth, slurping the noodles noisily…

...as Aaron and Eric struggle to keep straight faces, trying not to laugh.

…as Aaron and Eric struggle to keep straight faces, trying not to laugh.

aaron tries not laugh 2 eric tries not to laugh

Daryl slurps up the last of the noodles on his plate...

Daryl slurps up the last of the noodles on his plate…

...and, wiping his mouth on his sleeve, thanks Aaron and Eric for dinner. Poor guy...where was he going to learn proper table manners, being raised by a drunk mom, who then became a dead mom, a drunk abusive dad, and a shitty older brother?

…and, wiping his mouth on his sleeve, thanks Aaron and Eric for dinner. Poor guy…where was he going to learn proper table manners, being raised by a drunk mom (who then became a dead mom), a drunk abusive dad, and a shitty older brother? Aaron and Eric, who are being very sweet, seem to know this, on some level.

Eric then turns to Daryl, and asks him, when out on his

Eric then turns to Daryl, and asks him, when out on his “travels,” if he came across a store with a pasta maker, that would be great, because Mrs. Neidermeyer will not stop talking about wanting one, even though they have “crates of dried pasta” in Alexandria…

Daryl listens politely, drinking his wine, looking blankly at Eric. It is clear that what Eric is saying doesn't register, and Eric looks questioningly at Aaron, who looks back at him significantly.

Daryl listens politely, drinking his wine, looking blankly at Eric. It is clear that what Eric is saying doesn’t register, and Eric looks questioningly at Aaron, who looks back at him significantly.

Eric guesses,

Eric guesses, “You haven’t asked him yet,” and Aaron gives a small shake of his head. Nope. Not yet.

Daryl looks at Aaron.

Daryl looks at Aaron. “Ask me what?”

In reply, Aaron brings Daryl to the garage, which is stocked with tools, a motorcycle frame, and many, many parts.  Aaron explains that the frame and the tools were there already, that whoever lived here, before, must have built bikes.

In reply, Aaron brings Daryl to the garage, which is stocked with tools, a motorcycle frame, and many, many parts. Aaron explains that the frame and the tools were there already, that whoever lived here, before, must have built bikes.

Daryl comments that there are a lot of parts here for just one bike...Aaron says that he started collecting parts when he was out on recruiting runs.

Daryl comments that there are a lot of parts here for just one bike…Aaron says that he started collecting parts when he was out on recruiting runs.

Aaron continues, telling Daryl that while he, Aaron,  always wanted to teach himself how to work on, and build, the motorcycle, he has a feeling that Daryl already knows how to do this.

Aaron continues, telling Daryl that while he, Aaron, always wanted to teach himself how to work on, and build, the motorcycle, he has a feeling that Daryl already knows how to do this.

“And you’re going to need a bike,” Aaron tells him. Daryl looks at Aaron questioningly, and Aaron tells Daryl that he told Deanna not to give Daryl a job because he, Aaron, had a job for him…

“I want you to be the other recruiter for Alexandria,” says Aaron. Aaron tells Daryl that he doesn’t want Eric out there, risking his life, any longer. “Oh, so you want me to risk mine?” asks Daryl. “Yeah,” replies Aaron, “because you know what you’re doing.” Aaron continues, tells Daryl that while Daryl is really good out there, and needs to be out there, sometimes, as does Aaron, Daryl doesn’t belong out there. Despite the awkwardness of letting new people get to know him, Aaron tells Daryl he belongs here, in Alexandria.

Aaron tells Daryl that another key part of him wanting Daryl to be a recruiter is that he knows that Daryl

Aaron tells Daryl that another key part of him wanting Daryl to be a recruiter is that he knows that Daryl “can tell the difference between a good person and a bad person.”

Daryl takes this all in, then says, finally, that he doesn't have anything else to do, so ok...and after a moment, he gives Aaron this sweet look, and says, quietly,

Daryl takes this all in, then says, finally, that he doesn’t have anything else to do, so, ok…and after a moment, he gives Aaron this sweet look, and says, quietly, “Thanks.” (Daryl is totally my muse for this post…so many great shots of him in this episode!)

Meanwhile, back at the party, Michonne is getting meta out on the veranda.

Meanwhile, back at the party, Michonne is getting meta out on the veranda…

She studies the plastic cocktail sword in her hand.

…as she studies the plastic cocktail sword in her hand.

Abraham comes up behind her, quips,

Abraham comes up behind her, quips, “Packing a new kind of steel nowadays?” Michonne laughs, appreciating the wit, answers dryly, “Yeah…”

Sounding like a drunken oracle, Abraham muses,

Sounding like a drunken oracle, Abraham muses, “You live by it, you die by it…you protect your posse by it.  Pray to God you don’t have to use it again, pray to God you don’t get used to not using it again.”

pray to god you don't get used to not using it again

Looking out into the night, Abraham muses,

Looking out into the night, Abraham muses, “It’s on your back, even when it’s off your back.” I really felt when watching this episode that it spoke to the experience of soldiers, who have come back from the unspeakable horrors of war, and the trouble they have trying to reinsert themselves into “normal” life in society.

Michonne turns to Abraham, asks him,

Michonne turns to Abraham, asks him, “How much have you had to drink?” Abraham laughingly replies that he is a large man, and he’s had many beers to make up for that, and in doing so, has realized that things have worked out pretty damn well for him. He turns to Michonne, asks her, “What have you done?” Michonne thinks. “I put on this dress,” she offers. Abraham smiles at her. “Try again,” he says.

And here we have Carol, climbing through the window of the storeroom and armory to help herself to some of Alexandria's gun surplus. I had a bad feeling the whole time with this plan, like Carol was going to get caught...

And here we have Carol, climbing through the window of the storeroom and armory to help herself to some of Alexandria’s gun surplus. I had a bad feeling the whole time with this plan, like Carol was going to get caught…

Before going into the armory, Carol opens the freezer and helps herself to another bar of chocolate...Carol, Carol, Carol, Olivia may not notice a few missing handguns, but I have a feeling she sure as hell will notice missing bars of chocolate!

Before going into the armory, Carol opens the freezer and helps herself to another bar of chocolate…Carol, Carol, Carol…Olivia may not notice a few missing handguns, but I have a feeling she sure as hell will notice missing bars of chocolate!

And, of course, as Carol begins to load up her grinchbag full of handguns, a little voice behind her asks,

And, of course, as Carol begins to load up her grinchbag full of handguns, a little voice behind her asks, “What are you doing?” Carol turns, and sees Alexandria’s version of Little Cindy-Lou Who: Sam, who is standing there, watching her. “Santy Claus, why are you taking our guns?”

Carol recovers herself quickly, asks Sam what he's doing there. Sam replies that he was hoping she was making more cookies, but... Carol puts on a sunny smile, offers to make Sam a whole batch of cookies, just for him, but he can't tell anybody he saw her there.

Carol recovers herself quickly, asks Sam what he’s doing there. Sam replies that he was hoping she was making more cookies, but… Carol puts on a sunny smile, offers to make Sam a whole batch of cookies, just for him, but he can’t tell anybody he saw her there.

Sam replies that he has to tell his mom...he tells her everything.

Sam replies that he has to tell his mom…he tells her everything.

Carol's face loses its smile.

Carol’s face loses its smile. “You can never tell anyone,” she says quietly. “Especially your mom.”

“Because if you do,” continues Creepy Carol, stepping towards Sam, who instinctively backs away a step, “One morning, you’ll wake up, and you won’t be in your bed.” “Where will I be?” asks Sam, stepping back another step, away from Creepy Carol, until he is pressed up against the wall, unable to back up any more.

“You’ll be outside the walls,” says Creepy Carol, looking regretfully down at the little boy. “Far, far away, tied to a tree…and you’ll scream, and scream, because you’ll be so afraid.”

“And no one will come to help, because no one will hear you…well, some thing will hear you. The monsters will come…the ones out there. And you won’t be able to run away when they come for you.”

“And they will tear you apart and eat you up all while you are still alive, all while you can still feel it. And then afterwards, no one will ever know what happened to you.”

“Or, you can promise never to tell anyone what you saw here, and then nothing will happen. And you’ll get cookies.” Creepy Carol’s eyebrows raise. “Lots of cookies.”

Creepy Carol smiles at the child before her, who is shaking with fright.

Creepy Carol smiles at the child before her, who is shaking with fright. “I know what I think you should do.” Damn, why you gotta be so creepy, Creepy Carol?

Poor Sam's mom, Jessie, is going to wonder why Sam has suddenly started wetting the bed and has developed a serious aversion to cookies....

Poor Sam! His mom, Jessie, is going to wonder why Sam has suddenly started wetting the bed and has developed a serious, sudden aversion to cookies….

Meanwhile, at Deanna's party, Rick Grimes is tanking the whiskey. I mean, when in Alexandria, right?

Meanwhile, at Deanna’s party, Rick Grimes is tanking the whiskey. I mean, when in Alexandria, right?

And like a moth to the flame, here comes Jessie, holding Judith.

And like a moth to the flame, here comes Jessie, holding Judith.

Rick looks at Jessie, says,

Rick looks at Jessie, says that Carl and Judith, they are why he’s still here. “I get what you been telling me…here, now’s not so bad.” Judith begins to fuss, and Jesse asks him if he wants his baby back. He smiles, says he does.

As she hands the baby over, Jessie's eyes meet Rick's.

As she hands the baby over, Jessie’s eyes meet Rick’s. They are both feeling it.

As he takes the baby from her, Rick sneaks a kiss on Jessie's cheek.

As he takes the baby from her, Rick sneaks a kiss on Jessie’s cheek.

Jessie hesitates a moment, processing this...

Jessie hesitates a moment, processing this…

...and then smiles at Rick.

…and then smiles at Rick.

She liked it, Rick Grimes! Grimes in, McBeaty OUT.

She liked it, Rick Grimes! Grimes in, McBeaty OUT!

Damn, Rick Grimes...you'se a pimp!

Damn, Rick Grimes…you’s a mad player!

Sasha, meanwhile, is not having as much fun at the party as Rick Grimes...at Deanna's behest, she tries to mingle, but she starts to bug out at the cocktail party gossip and chatter going on all around her.

Sasha, meanwhile, is not having as much fun at the party as Rick Grimes…at Deanna’s behest, she tries to mingle, but she starts to bug out at the cocktail party gossip and chatter going on all around her.

As the Alexandria a-holes snipe, snark, and simper about a whole lot of nothing and nonsense...

As the Alexandria a-holes snipe, snark, and simper about a whole lot of nothing and nonsense…

...Sasha starts to have flashback moments of the gang, with Bob and Tyreese, at Gabriel's church.

…Sasha starts to have flashback moments of the gang, with Bob and Tyreese, at Gabriel’s church.

And as the Alexandrian party guests nosh on the party spread, Sasha imagines the Terminans eating chunks of meat from Bob's leg...

And as the Alexandrian party guests nosh on the party spread, Sasha imagines the Terminans eating chunks of meat from Bob’s leg…

...and poor Tyreese's dead body being covered with a sheet.

…and poor Tyreese’s dead body being covered with a sheet.

Some nice lady approaches Sasha, asks her what her favorite meal is...the nice lady wants to cook one for each of the new arrivals, and she is worried that she'll cook something Sasha will hate...

Some nice lady approaches Sasha, asks her what her favorite meal is…the nice lady wants to cook one for each of the new arrivals, and she is worried that she’ll cook something Sasha will hate…

Sasha can't take it any more...she yells at the woman,

Sasha can’t take it any more…she yells at the woman, “You’re worried? That’s what you’re worried about??” As the party guests gape and stare, Sasha hurries off. Well, those guests certainly have something to talk about, now, don’t they?

The next morning, Deanna meets Sasha at the gate, tries to ask Sasha what is it? Sasha tells her,

The next morning, Deanna meets Sasha at the gate, tries to ask Sasha, what is it? Sasha tells her, “All this…it isn’t real.”

Deanna calls bullshit on Sasha and lets her out the gate with a box of bullets and her gun.

Deanna calls bullshit on Sasha and lets her out the gate with a box of bullets and her gun.

And as Michonne hangs up her katana, for now...

And as Michonne hangs up her katana, for now…

As Carol tries to hand out her ill-gotten handguns, Daryl takes a pass...he tells them if the shit goes down, they won't need them, and he's good, now. He's going to try it here. Carol's all like,

…Carol tries to hand out her ill-gotten handguns. Daryl takes a pass…he tells Carol and Rick if the shit goes down, they won’t need these. He tells them, “I’m good.” He’s going to try it here. Carol’s all looking at him, like, “Hey, buddy, I threatened a child for these!”

After a moment's hesitation, Rick takes a gun.

After a moment’s hesitation, Rick takes a gun.

As Rick, Daryl and Carol are let back into the gates, Rick sees Jessie walking with her husband, McBeaty. Jessie flashes Rick her scarlet

As Rick, Daryl and Carol are let back into the gates, Rick sees Jessie walking with her husband, McBeaty. Jessie flashes Rick her scarlet “A” on her hand…

...and Rick flashes his scarlet letter back to her. He watches McBeaty put a protective arm around his wife as they walk away...

…and Rick flashes his scarlet letter back to her. He watches McBeaty put a protective arm around his wife as they walk away…

...and we see a glimpse of our favorite madman, Rick Smash!  He no likey seeing another man's arm around his woman...

…and we see a glimpse of our favorite madman, Rick Smash! He no likey seeing another man’s arm around his woman…

...and we see Rick Smash!'s hand reach for the gun he took from Carol. (I think this is more a symbolic gesture, not literal, in this moment...another moment, soon, perhaps.)

…and we see Rick Smash!’s hand reach for the gun he took from Carol. (I think this is more a symbolic gesture, in this moment…another moment, soon, perhaps, Rick Smash!)

We see Rick walking past

We see Rick walking past Morgan Street. (I am so hoping Daryl and Aaron find Morgan out there and recruit him!)

Rick Smash! hears a familiar sound, beyond the wall.  He rushes forward, and Rick and a walker on the other side of the wall share a Romeo and Juliet

Rick Smash! hears a familiar sound, beyond the wall. He rushes forward, and Rick and a walker on the other side of the wall share a Romeo and Juliet “but for these walls, we could touch, kiss” moment.

One thing's for sure...shit's gettin' cray in Alexandria!

One thing’s for sure…shit’s gettin’ cray in Alexandria!

Masterful performances by all, especially my muse, Norman Reedus, as Daryl, and Ross Marquand, as Aaron…but I’m giving this week’s Deadie to:

Buttons  <3

Buttons

Enjoy the playlist, darlings.  Tomorrow, I begin to tackle Episode 514, “Spend.” Wish me luck with that one!

Playlist:

Goat, “Golden Dawn”

Deathcab For Cutie, “Black Sun”

Jack White, “Lazaretto”

Courtney Barnett, “Pedestrian at Best”

Radiohead, “Like Spinning Plates”

Converge, “Hell To Pay”

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 7, “Crossed”

Prologue

On Saturday, as I was cleaning up the dishes from Saturday Second Breakfast, I got a text from my WD buddy: Dude, I’m so worried we are gonna lose Carol.

Upon reading these words, I felt my breakfast twist into a hard lump inside my stomach…it was like a ball of hot pain, a sick, sick feeling…I texted my WD buddy: I just got a sick feeling in my stomach, reading this.

She texted back: I can’t stop thinking about it.

Try as I might, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, either.  While I was riding the high of such an incredible episode as last week’s “Consumed,” I couldn’t shake the horrible, nagging feeling that it had pretty much all the elements of a Carol Swan Song to it, and that the possibility was real that we may lose Carol, or Beth, or other beloved characters, come the mid-season finale of Season 5. 

Now, I don’t know what’s coming, people. I merely abide by the Law of Kirkman:  We cannot control the Mind of KirkmanKirkman does as Kirkman wants, and Kirkman can, and will, play with our emotions.  It’s nothing personal…it’s how he do. 

I can only speculate…and ruminate (for hours, days)…and obsess.  I, like you all, am merely a puppet on Kirkman’s strings.  Kirkman is the Puppet Master, and we are his puppets, and Gimple, Nicotero, and the WD cast and crew are like Kirkman’s Army, with each general, officer, technical wizard and soldier carefully chosen, trained, and armed to kick our TWD loving asses in a way that we will never, ever forget, no matter how long we live on this earth.

I, like you, can only do so much to try to prepare for the inevitable, the point where we start to lose people in our core group as The Walking Dead’s Season 5, and the storyline beyond Season 5, progress.

My personal survival methodology includes (but is not limited to) the following:  spending 8-12 + hours writing each week’s insane tweaker blog post; keeping my pharmacopeia of coping mechanisms stocked, cocked, and ready (within arm’s reach, whenever possible); and establishing a loyal, true, and similarly Walking Dead Obsessed friend to be my Daryl Partner (my WD buddy, of course…she solemnly swore to be my Daryl Partner, and I solemnly swore to be hers, and so we are bonded for life).

(For more on Daryl Partners, please refer to my Season 4, mid-season prepost, “What Happens ‘After?'”, which can be found in the archives section, February 2014.)

One other thing I know is that Sonequa Martin-Green, who plays Sasha, is pregnant, 8 months along at the time of this writing.  I first discovered this on Instagram, when Lauren Cohan posted a picture of Sonequa Martin-Green holding up a onesie that said something like, “Zombies, please…my Mommy’s got this!” 

Doesn’t exactly look great for Sasha’s longevity prospects as a character on The Walking Dead, unless they are able to work around it, and she gives birth during the filming break, and is ready to get back to work ASAP…they did such a good job hiding her pregnancy during Season 5 so far, who knows?  It seems that with the TWD cast and crew, anything’s possible!

(BTWSonequa Martin-Green was one of the guests on Talking Dead after the airing of “Crossed,”  looking very glowing and happy, beautiful and healthy, so whatever happens to Sasha with the mid-season finale, I think this beautiful mom-to-be is going to be just fine with the outcome!)

Norman Reedus said in an interview that he had to go off and have a good cry for about an hour before he was able to film the mid-season finale…sounds pretty intense.  We are going to lose at least one, or more people in the mid-season finale, so I would recommend that you get yourself a Daryl Partner, get some coping mechanisms ready, and keep reminding yourself that while the shit may go down on our favorite show, and while we may lose some beloved characters as the storyline progresses, we all must remember that this is a show. It’s not real, as much as some of us out there say they wish it were.  I am not one of them. I enjoy warmth, and creature comforts, and being alive, thanks.

So, while our show does feel so real to us WD obsessed fans (because we love it, and our gang, so much), and while some of our beloved characters may get killed off, the actors who play them will remain alive, well, and rich off the royalties that The Walking Dead will generate for the rest of their lives…and I say amen, and hallelujah, to that!

______________________________________________

“Crossed”

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

To me, watching “Crossed” was like watching a beloved football team go in to play one of the biggest games of the season, the one with the highest stakes, and watching them lose it all, with one big epic fail after another…bad calls, false starts, fumbles, interceptions, dropping balls in the end zone, and in the end, a missed field goal to seal the win for the opposing team.  A crushing defeat, really hard to watch.

I can’t be mad at them, our team, our gang, for losing this round. They have been through so much, all on little to no sleep, food, or respite or any kind…they got, like, one night’s rest in a creepy priest’s cursed church after hacking the enemy camp to bits on the altar. I mean, damn. But, while I can’t be mad, I also can’t get my heart into recapping the whole mess, play by play, and reliving it all over again.

I just…cannot.  Besides, it’s Thanksgiving week in this part of the world, and the kids are off of school all week, and we are travelling to visit family. So due to time constraints, and due to the fact that there are just some things I cannot bring myself to do, I am going to get right to the heart of the matter, here.  I am going to center this post around Three Burning Questions, and Two Statements that are searing a hole in my heart after watching, “Crossed.”

(P.S.  Of course, I said all this, and then recapped the shit out of “Crossed” anyway…apparently, it’s a compulsion.)

Burning Question #1:  Why does anyone question Rick Grimes anymore?

The man had a diagram, people. He had a plan. “At sundown, we fire a shot into the air…get two of them out on patrol.  Then, once it’s dark enough that the rooftop spotter won’t see us, we go…cut the locks to one of the stairways, take it to the fifth floor,,,I open the door, Daryl takes one of the guards out…”

At Tyrese’s question, “How?”  Rick has a ready answer. “He slits his throat. This is all about us doing this quiet, keeping the upper hand…from there, we fan out, knives and silenced weapons. We need to be fast.”

Rick continues, marking the diagram he has scratched with chalk into the ground, assigning Tyrese, Sasha, Daryl to their areas, while he, Rick, takes out Dawn Lerner.

Rick adds, “If they’re smart, they’ll give up,”  as the gang will outnumber them then, five on three, six on three, once Beth gets a gun.  

Noah adds that their numbers would go up to 12 on 3 once the wards got wind of what was going down. They want out, and as Noah says, with confidence, “They will help.”

Um, sounds good to me!

Tyrese, however, has doubts. “That’s best case scenario…what’s worst case? All it takes is one of those cops going down the hall at the wrong time, then it’s not quiet…all hands on deck…you’re talking about a lot of bullets flying around.”

Sasha, who is in the throes of grief, and who couldn’t really give a fuck, says, “If that’s what it takes…”

Tyrese disagrees, says it isn’t, and proposes The Worst Plan B, Ever…if the gang gets two of Dawn Lerner’s cops, then the gang can wrangle an even trade, the two cops for Beth and Carol, “theirs for ours.”

Oh, yeah, that always works, especially in these times… Did Terminus teach you nothing, people? People are super fucked up now, and they don’t play by the rules…the only rule that seems to apply, in these dire times, is kill or be killed.

In these times, the ones that have the upper hand, and the element of surprise, win the battle.  And a battle is all it takes, in this scenario: get rid of the threat, get your people, get a working vehicle, and get the fuck out of Atlanta, grab up Michonne and the kids at the church, then go north, and find the rest of the crew.

Rick, however, is being a good leader, and a hot leader, as always, and deferring to his people, giving props and recognition where they are due.

He acknowledges that while Tyrese’s plan could work, his plan, with the element of surprise, and eliminating most of the threat, will work.

Rick Grimes was a deputy, and he’s done this before, professionally, before any of this zombie apocalypse shit started going down, and he, Rick Grimes, is a huge reason why many of them are still alive, this day, standing around and making this plan...just sayin’!

And this is Beth and Carol we are talking about…the stakes are too high to fuck this one up. Rick owes Carol big time, and these are Daryl’s special ladies. Do we really want to leave it all up to the generosity of Dawn Lerner and her Douchesquad, their willingness to negotiate a trade?

And, are we really naive enough to think that Dawn and her Douchesquad are going to just let the gang go, to let them drive off with Beth (their prize virginal blond ward, who happens to be Dawn’s pet nemesis) and Carol without as much as a post-apocalyptic police chase through the decaying city of Atlanta?

They have cars, they know the terrain like the back of their hands, and they could give chase, shoot out the tires of the gang’s getaway truck, injure or kill peeps in a bloody shootout. Any of these dire scenarios would certainly attract walkers to the scene and incite a real and added threat to an already cagey situation.

So. the way I see it, Tyrese’s Plan B is not the better plan, as it has way more sketchy variables than the chance of a stray cop in a hallway where he/she isn’t supposed to be. Rick Grimes’ plan of slitting some throats and taking out some crooked cops on the DL, then overtaking the hospital, is the way better plan, overall.

But, then Daryl speaks up…and sides with Tyrese.

Nah, it’ll work, too,” Daryl says of Tyrese’s Plan B, to Rick’s shock and stupefaction (and mine, quite frankly).

Daryl maintains that if they take two of Dawn’s cops away, then what does she have? He thinks Tyrese’s plan will work.

Rick’s look says it all, and the bottom of my stomach fell out at this. Right from the start, it sounded like The Worst Plan B, Ever.  And, as it turns out, it was The. Worst. Plan B. Ever.

Et tu, Daryl?

Et tu, Daryl?

Even Tyrese is like,

Even Tyrese looks over at Rick, like, “Uh oh…”

Rick in Charge is like,

Rick in Charge seems to be thinking, “Well, if that’s the way it’s gonna be…I was gonna ask you if you wanted to be blood brothers, Daryl Dixon, but now, fuck that.

Operation Plan B: Epic Fail all goes down like this:

At first, it was all going pretty well. Shepherd and Lamson, the two officers of Dawn Lerner’s Douchesquad assigned to investigate the gunshot, come speeding up in one of the Grady Memorialmobiles to some industrial looking building…at the sound of another gunshot, they find Noah, who is acting as bait, making a show of trying to limp away, but they swerve the car around, lightly clipping him and knocking him to the ground.

As Lamson, the dude cop, zip ties Noah’s hands behind him, he gently tells Noah to tell him if the zip tie’s too tight, then looks around, asks where the “rotters” are that Noah was shooting at. A whistle sings out, and the cops look up and find themselves surrounded, at gunpoint, by Rick, Daryl, Tyrese, and Sasha.

Looking majorly fine, Deputy Rick Grimes talks the cops down, telling them weapons down, hands up,

rick talks bad cops down

Looking majorly fine, Deputy Rick Grimes talks the cops down, telling them weapons down, hands up, “we don’t want to hurt you.”

After a moment, Lamson says “Ok,” puts his hands up, and soon, both cops are kneeling. Rick tells them, softly, that they need to talk…offers them water, food if they need it.

Lamson addresses Rick, “Mind if I ask you something?”

“The way you talk…the way you carry yourself...you a cop? Believe it or not, I was too…”

Lawson, you may be a glorified Grady Memorial Mall Cop...

Lamson, Lamson, Lamson… you may be a glorified Grady Memorial Mall Cop…

...but Deputy Rick Grimes is a beautiful hero. No comparison, son.

…but Deputy Rick Grimes is a beautiful hero. No comparison, Lame-son.

Noah murmurs to Rick that Lamson looked out for him and the wards. “He’s one of the good ones,” Noah tells Rick.

It seems Lamson’s shameless cop-stroking buys the crooked cops a moment of distraction, because right at that moment…

...another GM CreepMobile comes speeding up on the scene.

…another GM CreepMobile comes speeding up on the scene…

Daryl looking fine firing at the GM CreepMobile...

Daryl looking majorly fine firing at the GM CreepMobile…but not getting much done to stop that car.

Rick Blast! stands right in the car's path, firing at it...unfortunately, the windows seem to be bulletproof, and the gang must scramble out of the way, hide behind a dumpster.

Rick Blast! stands right in the car’s path, firing at it…unfortunately, the windows seem to be bulletproof, and the gang must scramble out of the way, take cover behind a dumpster.

Tyrese manages to shoot out a side window of the car, and an exchange of bullets ensues. The two captive cops manage to dive into the car, and their buddy, Officer Baldy, is firing back at Rick and the gang as the car speeds around a corner. The car almost gets away, but not before Sasha puts a well-aimed bullet into one of the car’s tires.

Yeah, Sasha, that’s what I’m talking about!

The gang chases the car around the corner of the building…they see the GM CreepMobile stopped in its tracks, a walker’s arm twisted up in the front wheel.  Above them, spray painted on a water tower, is the message “Evac Here,” and a blasted out FEMA trailer is alongside it.  On the ground, melted and seared into the asphalt, are the Napalm Walkers…

The Napalm Walkers are  all that remain of the poor people who had not yet made it out of Atlanta before it was bombed, napalmed...

The Napalm Walkers are all that remain of the poor people who had not yet made it out of Atlanta before it was bombed, napalmed…

...and this is where they have been, reanimated, melted into the asphalt, stuck and snapping, the whole time since the bombing.

…and this is where they have been, reanimated, melted into the asphalt, stuck and snapping, the whole time since the bombing. Gruesomely goretastic genius from Crazy Uncle Greg Nicotero & Co.

As the others pursue Lamson and Shepherd, who are on the lam, Daryl stays back and sleuths out where Officer Baldy is hiding.

Hmmm. not in the stalled CreepMobile, not in the FEMA trailer…

Oooff! Officer Baldy tackles Daryl...

Oooff! Officer Baldy tackles Daryl

...and it's a close call for Daryl, a couple of times, as Officer Baldy tries to shove him into the snapping Naplam Walkers...

…and it’s a close call for Daryl, a couple of times, as Officer Baldy tries to shove him into the snapping Naplam Walkers

In a moment of goretastic ingenuity, Daryl grabs a walker's skull like a bowling ball and smashes it against Officer Baldy's head.

In a moment of goretastic ingenuity, Daryl grabs a walker’s skull like a bowling ball and smashes it against Officer Baldy’s head.

A click of a gun, and Officer Baldy looks up to see Rick Smash! holding a gun to his head...cue the Rick Smash! Bear McCreary theme music, dark and pulsing...Rick Smash! wants to SMASH!

A click of a gun, and Officer Baldy looks up to see Rick Smash! holding a gun to his head…cue the Rick Smash! Bear McCreary theme music, dark and pulsing… Rick Smash! wants to SMASH!

Daryl knows that look...says No Smash, Smash bad, Rick Smash!

Daryl knows that look…says “No smash, smash bad, Rick Smash!”

Rick…three’s better than two.”  (Damn, good point, Daryl, but I think I speak for all of us on Team Rick when I say, Let Rick Smash! SMASH!“)

The gang brings the cops into a large room inside the industrial building, and Shepherd, the female cop, tries to tell them that their plan to trade would work if they had different cops to trade.

Shepherd, Lamson, and Officer Baldy are on Dawn Lerner’s shitlist, supposedly, as she knows that they want to replace her, Dawn Lerner, with Lamson, and have him be in charge.  Shepherd suggests that they let the cops go, who will deal with Dawn Lerner themselves, and then will let their people go.

Lamson interrupts this, saying that they’re not going to do that…he proposes that Rick and the gang let him, Lamson, talk to Dawn, as he has known her for eight years, and knows how to talk to her.  Lamson seems to be taking a page from Deputy Rick Grimes’ book of copspeak when he says, softly, reasonably, “Let me help you.”

A little later, after Tyrese and Sasha share a brother/sister moment among the Napalm Walkers...

A little later, after Tyrese and Sasha share a brother/sister moment among the Napalm Walkers…

...Lamson is cop-stroking Rick, hard, tells him that while Dawn Lerner says she won't negotiate or compromise, she will, she always does.

Lamson is cop-stroking Rick, hard, tells him that while Dawn Lerner says she won’t negotiate or compromise, she will, she always does. “Just know who you’re talking to.” (Good advice, Rick Grimes, straight from the devil’s mouth.)

My WD buddy is so cute, she sent me this email after rewatching this episode:

I just watched the episode again and I just want to reiterate how Rick Grimes would have known that cop was full of shit. He wouldn’t have trusted him like that.  The writers did not do him justice with that. And they are wrong. 

Ha! How cute is that?  I replied:

I fully agree! But, they are tired, been through a lot, and that cop was Cop-Stroking Rick…been awhile since someone recognized, and the group wasn’t giving him the love he deserved, so he was susceptible to flattery!

(See what happens when you hold back the love, people?  Don’t hold back the love!  It messes your people up!)

Rick, who is love-starved in the moment, and who was not allowed to smash, earlier, isn’t thinking straight, so he even tells Lamson the full timetable, that they’re going to leave in about 10 minutes, offering him whatever he needs, before they go.

Rick even does Lamson a solid and thanks him, refers to him as “Sergeant Lamson,” telling Lamson, “You’re still a cop.”  Lamson can’t bring himself to agree, saying, “Naw, the real ones are all gone.”

You are so wrong about that one, Lamson...there is one real cop, a real hot cop, and his name is Deputy Rick Grimes.

You are so wrong about that one, Lamson, and about many things...there is one real cop, a real hot cop, and his name is Deputy Rick Grimes. ❤

Lamson adds that his name is “Bob,” which sends Sasha’s head whirling around. Rick nods to her, and stands up to leave.

Which brings me to Burning Question #2: What the hell, Sasha?

Sasha, who is love-starved, and messed up, herself, is not her usual saavy sister self in the moment, and she plays into Lamson’s theatrics like a total rookie…like a Gabriel.

At his sighed, “Dammit,” she comes over to him, looks down questioningly.  He tells her he’ll be ok, and she replies, “So will I.”  

Uh, oh. Bonding with the enemy. Bad. Very bad.

Lamson, who knows he’s in at this point, lays it on thick about how he recognized one of the “rotters” out there, napalmed to the asphalt…a fellow officer, Tyler, who was on the team to evacuate survivors out of the hospital before the bombing, and who got assigned by Dawn Lerner at the last minute to drive the last van of survivors out of the city, replacing Lamson as the driver.

As Sasha pulls up a concrete block and sits beside Lamson, she practically cuts his zip ties and hands him her assault rifle.

As Sasha pulls up a concrete block and sits beside Lamson, she practically cuts his zip ties and hands him her assault rifle. Sasha, girl, you’re killing me here.

Lamson tells Sasha that Dawn Lerner made the change because she wanted “someone she could really trust” to do the job, and Lamson says that seeing Tyler out there, stuck to the asphalt like “an endless joke,” made him realize that it could have been him, and feel helpless, because “there’s nothing I can do.”  

Wah, wah, cry me a river of crocodile tears, Lame-son.

“Let me help you,” Sasha offers, and that line is a recurring one through this episode…there are people in these times who will say it to trick you, and people who will say it sincerely, in a real offer of help.

How can one know who to trust, in these times? Continue reading

The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 3, “Four Walls and a Roof”

“Four Walls and a Roof”

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

Well, my WDO darlings, we have much to talk about with The Walking Dead’s Season 5, Episode 3, “Four Walls and a Roof,” do we not?  While many questions were answered within this episode, we WD fans were left with a couple of lingering questions, and a few new ones, by the episode’s end…as Alice in Wonderland said, “Curiouser and curiouser!”

“Four Walls and a Roof’ opens with a grisly montage, layering close-up images of Terminal Mouths biting into, tearing, and chewing greasy chunks of meat from Bob’s leg, as a group of walkers watch them through a window, hissing and pawing at the glass.

terminans eating bob

On Talking Dead, Chris Hardwick referred to the Terminans as “Hungry, Hungry Hipsters.” Ha!

hungry window walkers

Hey, give us some!

terminans eating bob 2

As we watch this gross series of images, intertwined with Bear McCreary’s sinister background music, we hear Gareth’s voice, speculating, “It’s probably pretty stupid to be here…dangerous…I don’t know, maybe not…you can see the threat…that’s something. Looking at them (the walkers) makes me feel better about things. My mom used to say, every day above ground was a win…doesn’t really apply any more, but…you can still get some perspective.”

While Gareth speaks, Bob sits against a metal pole, looking towards the window, at the pawing walkers on the other side of the glass. Around him, Terminans (including Shitty Martin) are intent on chewing their ill-gotten meat, which, watching them eat, looks like it’s really chewy.  Gross.  The walkers appear to be inside a brick building, like a school, while the Terminans are camped outside in an area surrounded by tall, chain-link fencing.

Gareth goes over to the window, puts his hand up on the glass, watches the walkers for a moment. “The glass is gonna break,” he says, “Sooner or later…Nothing lasts too long anymore.”

Gareth then turns to the group… he seems a little nostalgic, whimsical, talking mainly to Bob. Gareth says that he and the others in his group “marked” their way there so they could find their way back, after… Gareth shakes his head at this. “So stupid, right…I mean, back to what?”

Gareth moves closer to where Bob sits, crouches down beside him.  “It wasn’t just a trap, it was going to be a choice, ‘ You join us, or feed us.’

join us or feed us

Gareth continues on this, saying that, in the wild, if a bear is starving, they will eat their cubs…if the bear starves, the cub will die anyway, but if the bear lives, they can always have another cub.  Gareth looks away for a moment, then down towards the ground, purses his lips.  “That was part of the pitch,” he admits.

Gareth continues, saying that Greg and Mike came “this close” to catching the “grey-haired queen bitch” who killed his mother, Mary. (That’s New Carol, to you, Gareth, you peevish little people-eating bitch, and btw, Mary deserved it.)

Gareth continues, conspiratorially, “She drove away with the archerGreg saw them pull away.” Gareth looks off into the distance, muses, “I can’t wait to try her.” He then goes on to tell Bob that he likes (eating) women better, and that his brother, Alex (whom Gareth adds, is “also, currently dead, because of Rick”) had a theory that women tasted better because they have an extra layer of fat, for childbearing.

Pretending to ignore Bob’s pained look, Gareth continues that even the skinny women have that extra layer…like that pretty one…what was her name? Sasha?

bob looks at gareth

Gareth goes on to tell Bob that “pretty people taste better.”

(Hearing all this, I must say that it must have majorly sucked living at Terminus. Aside from all the horrible shit that any Terminan Citizen had to do to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies, it seems that all the people who lived there were total social misfits.  If any of the Creepy Comrades had any redeeming qualities at one point in their former lives, the brutality of the Terminal Code, “join us or feed us,” would have obliterated any last vestiges of humanity, or any capacity to feel love, joy, hope, compassion…take those things away from a person, and what do you have left?

Even Shitty Martin called his fellow Terminans, “assholes that I survive with.” There they sit, chewing and chewing and chewing meat from Bob’s leg, staring off into their own twisted thoughts, not talking.  What is there to talk about, aside from making evil, shitty jokes speculating, or remarking, on how someone tastes? I call gross, and lame, and totally unsexy. They probably had the worst parties, ever.)

Anyway, it seems that the only thrill to be had for Gareth at this point is to be cruel, and he works that angle for all its worth.  He pauses, letting the dig about Sasha marinate for a moment, tearing a piece of meat with his teeth, and thoughtfully chewing for a moment, before informing Bob that he, Gareth, and his people are “going to get all of them,” but for now, Bob will do them just fine.

As Gareth continues to give himself and his people props for the “good job” they did on Bob’s leg, Bob starts to make sounds like he is sobbing, Gareth, testy at being interrupted, rebukes Bob for this outburst, telling Bob that he was being a human being, talking to Bob, and that Bob should get some “perspective”, being that he is “above ground” and in a better place than “them” (a.k.a. the walkers pawing at the window).

Bob is not sobbing…he is laughing, laughing more and more, causing the Terminans to rise up from their seats and move in.  Seems like they have seen this before, a victim becoming unravelled, and unpredictable  One guy says, “He’s lost it,” while the woman comrade snidely remarks that he “lasted longer” than she thought he would.  Bob continues to laugh, calling them “idiots”

...then Bob shows Gareth and the others the walker bite on his shoulder.

…then Bob shows Gareth and the others the walker bite on his shoulder. “I”ve been bitten, you stupid pricks…I’m tainted meat!

On Talking Dead, Andrew J. West, who plays Gareth, wondered about what the ramifications of the Terminans eating Bob’s infected flesh would really be, as everyone is already infected. “Can you get more infected?” he wondered.

Who knows, but  it is pretty damn satisfying to see the Hungry, Hungry Hipsters jump up at this, dropping their meat in alarm and revulsion. Terminal Bitch starts pulling the chewed up bits of meat, still in her mouth, off her tongue, while Terminal Albert starts hurling.

You tell ’em, Nelson…

As the Creepy Comrades start freaking the fuck out and playing the blame game with each other (“We may as well be eating one of them!” “Why didn’t you check him?” “What’s gonna happen…are we going to turn?” “No, we cooked him!”), Bob cackles and taunts the Tainted Scenesters with the cry, “tainted meat!” until Gareth kicks him unconscious.

I must give mad props to the forward-thinkers who sleuthed the possibility of Bob being bitten, mirroring the comic series story line of Dale getting bitten, going off away from the group to die, and getting captured by The Hunters (the comic series version of the Terminans), and eventually taunting them as they feast on his infected flesh.

Once I read the online speculation, after Episode 2, “Strangers,” aired, I watched the episode again, but did not come away with any conclusive evidence that Bob had been bitten, save his drunken crying jag, slumped against a tree, before being clocked, and dropped, by a Terminal Hood (probably Shitty Martin, who was wearing a black hoodie like the perp’s). I thought Bob maybe just had been through a lot, and had had too much to drink, and just needed to take a moment and let it all out.

Now we know, and wow.  Bob, I’m so sorry man, but even though you were taken down by Halloween Store Skeleton Walker (who only got you because it had the elements of surprise, and murky water, on its side), and then captured, hacked into, and eaten, while being mocked, by Gareth and the Terminans,  (who had the elements of surprise, and dark night, going on their side) you definitely got the Last Laugh on those cannibal a-holes.

Poor Sahsa, meanwhile, is out looking for Bob, whisper-calling for him, armed with rifle and night scope.  She looks so worried, stops and takes a couple of deep, cleansing breaths, before turning and spying the mark on the tree, the one we saw when Bob was taken…

.sasha looks for bob sasha sees the mark

Upon hearing a noise, Sasha whirls and aims, sees a white figure disappear quickly into the woods through the night scope...

Upon hearing a noise, Sasha whirls and aims, sees a white figure disappear quickly into the woods through the night scope…

...and then, she sees...

…and then, she sees…

...Night Scope Walker! Agh!

…Night Scope Walker! Agh!

Sasha smashes Night Scope Walker’s undead brains into the ground, then must shoot another walker who is coming for her, before Tyrese clamps his hand over her mouth from behind, just for a second, before releasing her. telling her, “It’s me.” Rick is there as well, shining a flashlight into the woods as Sasha tells them that someone was just there, watching them.

“Someone was watching us!” Terminan, or Morgan?

Sasha wants to go in the woods after them, as Bob is missing, but Tyrese holds her back, saying that if they try to go in those woods, now, someone isn’t coming back. As he scans the woods, Rick adds that Bob isn’t the only one missing…Daryl and Carol are missing as well.

Inside the candlelit church, Maggie is sitting in one of the pews, regarding a stack of hymnals doubtfully before moving them aside. Carl sits forward, thinking in the flickering darkness, before the creak of the door alerts them, and Rick, Tyrese, and Sasha come in.  Sasha walks up the aisle, toward the front altar, where Gabriel stands. She faces him, as Rick and Tyrese flank her from behind.

“Stop,” Sasha orders Gabriel, who pauses, surprised and fearful at the menace in Sasha’s stance, and voice. Sasha continues, somewhere between a whisper and a growl, “What are you doing? What…are…you doing? This is all connected…you show up, someone is watching us, and now, three of us are gone!”

Gabriel looks around fearfully, protests that he doesn’t know what Sasha is talking about, that he has nothing to do with any of this. Sasha has no time, or patience, to play around, and she unsheaths her machete, advancing on Gabriel, demanding, “Where are our people? Where are our people??!” Gabriel is majorly freaked, but insists that he has nothing to do with all this.

Rick steps forward for the Tag-Team Interrogation, looking majorly Sexy Detective as he peppers Gabriel with questions. Why did he bring them there? Is he working with someone?  When Gabriel insists that he’s alone, he’s always been alone, Rick brings up the woman walker at the food bank….“What did you do to her, Gabriel? ‘You will burn?’ Why will you burn, Gabriel? What did you do?” 

In classic interrogation room-style, Rick grabs Gabriel’s shirt and shoves him up against the altar, before releasing the shaken priest abruptly.

Gabriel breaks,

Gabriel breaks, “I locked the doors…at night. I always locked the doors at night…I always locked the doors…at night.”

Gabriel tells them that after the turn, after Atlanta was bombed, terrified parishioners, and their families, came to the church for refuge…but. they came, in the early hours of the morning, and instead of opening the doors to let them in, Gabriel stayed where he was, keeping the doors locked…and the parishioners outside.  As the people cried out to him, the noise attracted walkers, who attacked the vulnerable parishioners. Locked inside the church, Gabriel heard the agonizing screams and cries as men, women, and children got torn apart. He heard the dying people to beg him for mercy, then curse him, and damn him to Hell.

Rick and the gang listen in silent horror to Gabriel's confession..

Rick and the gang listen in silent horror to Gabriel’s confession. “It was my choice (to keep the doors locked).”

Gabriel sinks down, in misery and self-condemnation...

Gabriel sinks down, in misery and self-condemnation, sobbing…”The Lord says you’re here to finally punish me.  I’m danned…I was damned before…I always locked he doors...I always locked the doors.”

Mad props to Seth Gilliam (from The Wire), who plays Father Gabriel, for an amazing performance, all around, but especially for this heartbreaking, harrowing scene…when a tortured man of the cloth confesses how he abandoned his people, in a moment of weakness and cowardice, when they needed him most…when their very lives depended on him doing right by them, opening the doors of the church, and letting them take refuge within the safety of its walls.

A noise outside…Glenn sees someone outside, lying in the grass…the gang runs outside, and finds…

Bob!

Bob!

Sasha, crying, gets Tara to help her carry Bob inside, while the others rekill the walkers that are approaching.  Rick hears a gunshot, which misses Rick, dropping the walker next to him instead. Rick fires back in the direction it came, from the woods, while ordering everyone inside. As he follows suit, we see the Terminans have marked the outside of the church…

“A” for train car A, the holding car for Rick and the gang…some mind-messing mental warfare going on here, Terminal Style.

At this point in the watching, my WD buddy turned to me and said, “This is the scariest story line, ever.”  We agreed, too, that so far, in many ways, Season 5 is the best WD season yet.

Kudos to Dad, NewDad, Crazy Uncle Greg, and the entire WD cast and crew, for bringing the thrills, chills, and blood spills like none other, yet again.

Back in the church, Bob has come to, and is sharing the details of his harrowing ordeal at the hands of the Terminans…he was in the graveyard, and somebody knocked him out…he woke up at some place that looked like a school.  Bob tells the gang, “It was that guy, Gareth,” and we see a shot of Rick, and we know what he’s thinking…

bob tells sad tale

i knew we should have killed gareth

“I knew we should have stayed and killed them!”

Bob continues, saying that it was Gareth, “and five other ones…they were eating my leg, right in front of me, like it was nothin’…all proud, like they had it all figured out.” (Ugh, it is so awful, sounds so awful, to say it…poor Bob, and the poor gang, poor Sasha, who must listen to this awful tale, and process that this happened to one of their own, just in the past hours, when all seemed so right, everyone all together again, feeling hopeful for the first time in a long while. And, now this…O how I hate thee, Terminal Buzzkills!)

Rick asks Bob gently, softly, if they had Daryl and Carol.  Bob thinks a moment, says that Gareth said they drove off.  The gang exchanges quick looks, like, what? Then, they turn their attention back to Bob.  He seems like he’s in real pain, and Sasha asks if they have anything for him. Rosita does, but Bob stops her, to Sasha’s confusion…and Bob knows that now is the time he must tell her.

:(

😦

Bob pulls his shirt away, showing Sasha, and the gang, the walker bite on his shoulder.

Bob pulls his shirt away, showing Sasha, and the gang, the walker bite on his shoulder. He looks at Sasha, tells her, “It happened at the food bank.”

Poor Sasha!

Poor Sasha! She does manage a brave smile for Bob, after a long moment of shock…

Once again, nobody does tragic hot like Rick...

Once again, nobody does tragic hot like Rick…

...as the gang must face losing another beloved member...

…as the gang must face losing another beloved member…

...of their chosen family.

…of their chosen family.

Gabriel steos up and thoughtfully offers the sofa in his office...

Gabriel steps up and thoughtfully offers the sofa in his office…

...and Sasha recognizes, and thanks him for, the kind and compassionate offer.

…and Sasha recognizes, and thanks him, for the kind and compassionate offer.

As Tyrese carries Bob to the office, Rick asks Gabriel if he know where the school is, the one Bob was talking about.  After some hesitation, and prodding from Rick, Gabriel says that there is an elementary school close by, about a 10-minute walk through the woods.  You can see the wheels in Rick’s head turning.

Baby Judith starts to cry, and Carl takes her to the back.  Rick asks Maggie if Bob has the fever…Maggie says he’s just warm.  Glenn adds that Jim lasted two days before they left him.  Our gang is doing what they do, putting all the information out there, so they can make a decision about how to proceed, armed with all the facts and factors.

Abraham steps forward on this moment with a “reality check”…it’s time to pack up and leave for D.C., now, as there is a clear threat to Eugene, and they must “extract his ass” from said threat immediately, before things “get any uglier.” Rick replies that Daryl and Carol aren’t back yet, and they aren’t going anywhere until they return.

Abraham replies that he respects that, then tries a “so, if you aren’t coming with us, guess this is goodbye,” and turns with Rosita to leave, when Rick ups the ante on the “Just who is top dog around here anyway?” question, asking Abraham’s retreating back, “You going (to D.C.) on foot?” meaning, of course, “Hope you don’t think you’re taking that bus you found in the back, because that bus belongs to RICK GRIMES & CO., bitch.”

Oh, yes he did!  (And I like it.)

This clear challenge stops Abraham, and Rosita, mid-stride. Abraham turns, reminds Rick that they fixed that damn bus themselves, while Rick strides forward, saying, “There are a lot more of us,”  to which Abraham replies, “You wanna keep it that way? You should come!”  

Rick reminds Abraham that “Carol saved your life, we saved your life,” and Abraham yells, “And I’m trying to save yours!”  Rick and Abraham go back and forth, Rick saying they aren’t leaving without their people, and their people will be right back. Abraham yells, “To what? Picked over bones?”

Rick and Abraham begin to shove one another as their exchange escalates, until Glenn steps between them, yelling at them to, “Stop right now!”  Glenn asks Abraham to stay one more day, and Tara throws in another offer…if Abraham and Co. will stay and help, one more day, she will go with them to D.C,, no matter what. Abraham throws in that he wants Glenn and Maggie as well, to which Rick In Charge says, No way.

Abraham turns to leave, ordering Eugene to come along, like a dad…when Eugene refuses at first, “I don’t want to,” like a teenager, Abraham grinds out, “NOW.”

“Ok,” Eugene says softly, getting up and walking towards the door, without looking at anybody. (Holy dysfunctional relationship, Batman!)

As Abraham turns to leave with Eugene and Rosita, Rick says, again, “You’re not taking the bus.” Abraham turns halfway to Rick, says, “Stop me.” After a long moment, Rick begins to stride towards Abraham, who hands his gun to Rosita, preparing to exchange blows.  But Glenn once again gets between them, telling Abraham that if he stays, and helps them, then he and Maggie will go with them to D.C.

At this, Rick says, again, “No,” and Glenn turns to him, reminds Rick that, “It’s not your call.”  After that, Rick says nothing, and Glenn repeats the offer to Abraham, who gives Glenn half the next day. “Come high noon, we’re taillights,” says Abraham. “I’m not waiting for the other damn shoe to drop.” Maggie agrees, so Abraham agrees. He will give them 12 hours.

Meanwhile, in Gabriel’s office, Sasha is wiping Bob’s forehead down with a cool, wet cloth, while Bob is trying to revive their former game of Pros and Cons, Good and Bad. He tells Sasha the one good thing about getting kicked in the face was that it made him forget the pain in his leg.

“We’re not playing that game any more,” replies Sasha, wringing out the cloth and wiping Bob’s forehead. Bob smiles, replies that he thought at least she would try to humor him a little bit…but Sasha doesn’t. She can’t. She asks Bob why he didn’t tell her, when it happened, that he had gotten bit.

Bob tells her he knew once he told her, it would be “all about the end…and I really liked the middle.”  This, of course, makes Sasha turn away, and blink back her tears. She then lay her head gently on Bob’s shoulder.

So sweet and sad.

So sweet, and sad.

Meanwhile, Rick and the gang are talking strategy…Rick and Glenn agree that Gareth and the Terms aren’t going to expect them to attack first, that they won’t think that Rick Grimes and the Train Car Superstars will be thinking straight.

Rosita pipes up, “Are we?” and at Rick’s look, she says, simply, that it’s a pretty risky plan.  Nobody says anything.  Rick turns to Tyrese, asks him if he’s up for this, but before Tyrese (who is sitting, looking down at the floor, and not looking like he’s up for much of anything) can answer, Sasha comes into the room, tells the gang that she’s in. She wants to go.

#SashaWantsToKickSomeTerminalAss

#SashaWantsToKickSomeTerminalAss

Tyrese tells Sasha that she should stay back, stay with Bob. Sasha tells him no, she’s going. Tyrese follows her into the office.

sasha tyrese bob

Tyrese tells Sasha that she should make the most of her time with Bob, that he never got to say goodbye to Karen. Sasha reminds Tyrese of the anger he felt, his desire to avenge Karen's death.

Tyrese tells Sasha that she should make the most of her time with Bob, that he never got to say goodbye to Karen. Sasha reminds Tyrese of the anger he felt, his desire to avenge Karen’s death.

When Tyrese tries to counsel forgiveness, and letting go, Sasha whirls on her brother.

When Tyrese tries to counsel forgiveness, and letting go, Sasha whirls on her brother. “You want me to forgive them? What the hell is wrong with you?”

Sasha continues, “You think we have a choice?” to which Tyrese replies, “Not all of us, just you.” Tyrese continues by saying that the only thing Bob will want to see, when he wakes up, is Sasha’s face.  In response, Sasha stands up, unsheaths her knife, and hands it to Tyrese.

Sasha holds out the knife to Tyrese.

Sasha holds out the knife to Tyrese.

She says, Take it.

She says, Take it…

...and if Bob stops breathing, you take this knife and put it in his temple...that's what Bob would want.

…and if Bob stops breathing, you take this knife and put it in his temple…that’s what Bob would want.

Next, we see a shot of Rick and the Stealth Squad, leaving the church at night, Gabriel peers out after them a moment, before closing and locking the door.

rick and the gang leave the church

Rick, Michonne, Sasha, Glenn, Abraham and Maggie file out of the church….

Then, one of the coolest things I've seen on televsion...a full minute-long shot of the church sign, nothing else happening, real time. Watch, wait...watch, wait...suspense builds...it's like we are there, and the viewer wonders for a moment if the screen froze, but no...wait, watch...and we see...

Then, one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen on televsion…a full minute-long shot of the church sign, nothing else happening, real time. Watch, wait…watch, wait…suspense builds…it’s like we are there, and the viewer wonders for a moment if the screen froze, but no…wait, watch…and then, finally, we see, coming out of the bushes, once all is clear…

Terminans!

Terminans!

As they approach the church, Gareth silently hand-signals his group, and Shitty Martin steps forward, and easily jacks the lock of the church’s front door (if only he had been there, before becoming a Terminan, to let all those poor families into the church, on that early morning, so long ago!). 

One by one, the Terminans file into the church.

Carl, hearing the breach of the door, lifts his gun and holds it steady towards the door.

carl raises gun in gabriels office

Gabriel clutches his rosary and prays.

Gabriel clutches his rosary and prays.

The following scene was so damn scary to watch, my WD buddy and I were guzzling champagne, hard.  We finished the good bottle and moved on to the cheap one. Thank God for orange juice, makes it so you can’t tell the difference…until the next morning, that is…

Gareth, emerging from the darkness, announces, “Well, I guess you know we’re here…

“…and we know you’re here.” 

Gareth continues, as he and his fellow Terms step silently forward through the church, closer and closer to Gabriel’s office, where our gang is hiding.  Gareth informs them that they are armed, so there’s no point in hiding…when this fails to bring them forward, Gareth continues, saying, “We’ve been watching you.” He says that he knows who is there…there’s Bob, unless they went ahead and put him out of his misery, already…then, there’s Eugene, and Rosita, and “Martin’s good friend, Tyrese”…

tyrese eugene rosita bob

Gareth continues naming: “Carl, Judith.”  Gareth  then tells them that he knows Rick and the others left, with a lot of their guns…

As he talks, Gareth motions his people, all armed, forward, until they are at the two office doors.  A Terminal Goon tries the door of Gabriel’s office, finds it locked. Carl and Rosita hold their guns steady towards the door.

Gareth informs them that he knows they are behind one of those two doors, and that they have enough fire power to blast both doors down. “I don’t imagine that’s what you want,” he says.

One of the things I find so scary about Gareth is that he can sound so reasonable, calm. I could imagine how people would have thought he was a man that could be reasoned, or bargained with, but Gareth’s calm belies a ruthlessness, and probably comes from a deep lack of giving a shit about anything other than his personal agenda. Gareth can sound super calm, and reasonable...while he’s sawing off your leg, or roasting it over the fire, and eating it, right in front of you.

Still no response, so Gareth tries a new ploy, appealing to Father Gabriel, telling

Still no response, so Gareth tries a new ploy, appealing to Father Gabriel, telling “the priest” that if he lets them in, he can take the baby and walk out the door, and leave unharmed.  Yeah, right.

At Judith’s cry, Gareth turns from the door he was in front of, the wrong door, and heads towards the other door, the right door, saying, “I don’t know, maybe we’ll keep the kid…I’m starting to like this girl.” Bastard!

Gareth gives them one more chance to come out…Shitty Martin turns to him, asks, “Are we done?” Gareth instructs them to aim for the door hinges, and just as they are about to do so, a silencer sounds two quiet shots, dropping two Terminal Goons, their blood splattering the church walls.

We hear a soft voice growl out from the back pews, “Put your guns on the floor.” And even though we can’t see him, yet, we know he’s looking hot, and sounding like the most badass cowboy this side of Clint EastwoodRick In Charge! Yes! He’s back to save the day…or, rather, the night.

Gareth starts talking fast, some shrill shit directed at Rick, pointing his left index and middle fingers like a gun at the office door, and we hear the silencer go off again. Gareth drops forward, and when he comes back up to standing, we see that Rick has shot the two fingers clean off at the mid knuckle.

gareth gets shot

Yes! Take that, Gareth!

Oh, Gareth. meet Rick In Charge...p.s. he's a sharpshooter.

Oh, Gareth, meet Rick In Charge…p.s. he’s a sharpshooter.

 Cue Nelson…

As Gareth tries not to cry, curled up on the floor, we see, emerging from the darkness…

Rick .In. Charge.

Rick. In. Charge.

Rick orders them to put their guns down…two goons do, but Shitty Martin does not. Still knifed over in pain on the floor, Gareth tells Martin to do as he says, that there’s no choice any more.  Shitty Martin disagrees.

“Oh, yeah there is.” It seems that this is Martin’s Last Stand.

Abraham would beg to differ, moving up from the side aisle, assault rifle aimed at Shitty Martin.  “You wanna bet?”  Martin puts his gun down, gets on his knees.

Gareth, meanwhile, is trying to compose himself, despite the searing pain he is in. #karma

Managing to straighten up enough to look Rick in the face, Gareth asks, lightly, “Guess there’s no point in begging, right?”

Rick In Charge is not amused, says one word.

Rick In Charge is not amused, says one word. “No.”

Gareth asks Rick why they didn’t kill them right away, before, and Rick replies, “We didn’t want to waste the bullets.”

Ah, remember the good old days of shot count, Gareth?

Gareth is not very good at being on the other side of all this, and besides, his hand really hurts.  He tries at first to appeal to Rick’s sympathies, telling him that they used to help people, at Sanctuary, before they were taken advantage of, and brutalized. When this fails, Gareth tries the ol’, “I can tell you’ve been out there, but you don’t know what it’s like to be hungry!”

Rick In Charge just cocks his head at this, observing Gareth like a bird of prey would regard a future morsel, not saying anything.  Gareth then tries to bargain with Rick, saying that he, Rick, can just “let them go” and their paths would never cross again.

Rick cocks his head to the other side, points out that Gareth would cross paths with someone else…right?  And they would do this (i.e., capturing and eating a person) to anyone, right? Rick is quoting Gareth’s jibes to Bob back to him now.

“Besides,” Rick tells Gareth, “I made you a promise, before…”

Oh, Gareth, meet Rick Smash!  P.S. He's got anger issues.

Gareth, meet Rick Smash!p.s. he’s got anger issues.

I love the look on the Snide Terminal Bitch's face, like, oooh, don't hurt me!

I love the look on the Snide Terminal Bitch’s face, like, oooh, don’t hurt me!

Abraham goes to town on his Term.

Abraham goes to town on his Term.

Sasha takes care of Shitty Martin.

Sasha takes care of Shitty Martin.