TWD, Season 7, Episode 6, “Swear”

While I loved this episode so very much, this post will be so much more about the magic, and the vibe, and the playlist, which sprang to life today in a burst of sunlight, serendipity, song & sequence.

Negan and the Saviors are the most horrible dicks, ever. I mean, all boys over 10 years of age? That’s some evil shit, right there. I know Jeffrey Dean Morgan has to be all bonded with his character and all, but when he takes Negan’s side and talks about Rick and his people killing the 30+ Saviors at the satellite station, and blowing up Little Timmy and his band of biker dicks, and Carol shooting up Hiro and his crew, and Daryl, Abraham, and Rosita killing some of Dwight’s “dead friends” after Dwight killed Doctor Denise, I just have to say, “Nope.”

Sorry, but Rick Grimes and his people would never grift other communities after terrorizing them, forcing them into indentured servitude after beating one of their loved ones to death with a bat wrapped in barbed wire while the other community members were forced to kneel and watch.

Nope.

Rick Grimes would never have his people line up a row of men and boys from a community and gun them down, and then force the surviving, grieving women of the community to “produce” for him and his people.

Nope.

Sorry, Jeffrey Dean, love ya love and hate Negan, but Rick Grimes was just doing what he felt he needed to do, under pain, duress, and the need to feed his people, when he went on his stealth mission to the Savior outpost. All those other Savior slaughters were in self-defense.

Nope, sorry, no comparison.

Anyway, love seeing Tara again, love Cindy (“Our new Glenn!” says my WD buddy, to which I sing, “Hollah!”) and I find myself being very sympathetic to the women of the Oceanside, and generally approving of the Oceanside’s methods, even though they try to waste Tara on many occasions, which, at the end, was exceedingly uncool of them.

I do imagine that the Oceanside, with their impressive arsenal and tribal-style warfare, will show up again in our Season 7 in the near future. While I do hope they manage to stay hidden from Negan and the Saviors, the way Season 7 has been going, peeple, I am not betting on any peaceful seaside scenario playing out.

My guess? We will be seeing Cindy, and others of the Oceanside, soon enough, and my wish is that they will be joining the ranks of the Ricksistance.

¡Viva la Ricksistance!

There were many great moments in this episode, and I must leave it to you all this week to capture them, and post them, for me.

This week, I let Alanna Masterson, aka @lucytwobows on Instagram, provide the images for me.

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see you soon, talking dead. ✌🏼

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Sand dudes. 👊🏼

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You crushed it. @heysydneypark (you too @houseofvenskus)

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Pinky Swear Deadie goes to Tara, for keeping her word to Cindy. ❤

(And, Heath, I really hope you are ok, man.)

Much love, dear readers, and enjoy the Pinky Swear Playlist, a dreamy, sundrenched, salt-air breezy mix featuring some old favorites, as well as some hot newcomers (The Lemon Twigs, Munro Fox, and Amy Syed), splashed with with a double-dash of former favorites (Grimes’ “Kill V Maim” and ODESZA’s “Sun Models”), then topped off with double-shot of Led Zeppelin.

(I gotta say, gang, any TWD ep where I can kick off the playlist with Physical Graffiti’s iconic “Down By The Seaside” is a total win-win, in my book.)

❤ <3<3<3

Pinky Swear Playlist:

Led Zeppelin, “Down By The Seaside”

The Lemon Twigs, “These Words”

Munro Fox, “Hush”

Retrocity, “Games Without Frontiers”   (Was originally wanting to include Peter Gabriel’s original version of this classic song, but could not find on Spotify. I did, however, happen upon this amazing a capella version of the song by Retrocity, which I fell immediately in deep, hot love with. I think Peter Gabriel would approve.) ❤

ODESZA, “Sun Models” (feat. Madelyn Grant)

M.I.A., “Sunshowers”

Led Zeppelin, “The Crunge” (It’s all about the bridge, man.)

Goat, “I Sing In Silence”

Grimes, “Kill V. Maim”

Amy Syed, “Lonely Love”

 

The Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 5, “Now”

“Now”

I must admit, gang, it was with some trepidation that I sat down to watch this past week’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Now.”  

It seems pretty safe for me to speak on behalf of the entire TWD fanosphere when I say that Season 6, at this point, has been royally kicking our collective asses up and down the bloodstained streets of Alexandria (and beyond).

While I have been predicting this grim inevitablility for some time now, citing the Law of Kirkman like a mantra (“Kirkman does as Kirkman wants, and Kirkman can, and will, play with our emotions…it’s nothing personal, it’s how he do.”) while discussing coping mechanisms and Daryl Partners at great length and detail, I still have found myself as lost, heartbroken, and haunted as the next TWD fan by the soul-shattering plot twists, murderous mayhem, and freefall cliffhangers that Season 6 has served us thus far.

So, it was a truly a pleasant surprise to emerge from the watching of TWD Episode 605 happy, relieved, and relatively unscathed…plus, I had a nice buzz on from the couple of “coping mechanism coldies” I enjoyed during the watching.

While Glenn’s fate remained a mystery, there were no significant casualties (excepting: Deanna’s will to live, along her term as Alexandria’s leader; Spencer’s sobriety; some crappy Wolf Walker who was reanimating under somebody’s porch; Alexandria’s walker cherry; and, finally, the one poor suicide bride that Jessie had to rekill, employing Andrea’s invaluable “Here’s a knife in your eye” technique before turning and informing her horrified Alexandrian viewing audience, “This is what life looks like now...you fight, or you die.).

It made me downright gleeful to see Rick Grimes sprinting like an Olympian back to the gates in those first moments of Episode 605, killing himself a swath of undead along the way, remaining intact, uninfected, and hotter than ever. And then, in true Rick-In-Charge fashion, our man immediately began the business of sexy multitasking, getting in done in his inimitable style, and even stealing a long-awaited kiss from Jessie in the garage at the episode’s end (which has pretty much become their love den at this point.)

And, speaking of lip-locks, I, for one, was cheering aloud when Denise unburdened herself of her fears, self-doubts, and overall paralysis and came out of the medical supplies closet, finally opening up her medical book, getting some doctoring going, and bravely pasting one on Tara in a “It’s the end of the world!” moment of abandon.

Did not see that one coming, and all I have to say is, “You go, Denise!”

Episode 605 also served us up with a highly entertaining round of Teen Tap Out between Carl “I Stole Your Girlfriend” Grimes and Ron McSlappy (the accursed hellspawn of Petey McBeaty, and heir apparent, apparently, of his father’s rage issues and general sliminess. I hope Rick gets his usual on-target read on that kid, whom I trust about as far as I could throw him, right over the wall, and into the horde of Hangry, Hangry Walkers.)

Now, darlings, while this tantilizing teen shove-match did serve us many peals of hilarity (both in the happening, and in countless social media postings afterward) I will say that unless a young person has been studying some form of marital arts in his/her formative years, a first real fight is sure to be awkward as all get-go, and will not win any style points.

I remember my first real fight, aside from scrapping with older siblings…I was old enough to know better, but young enough not to care.  It was many years ago, at a late night afterparty I was at with my boyfriend at the time.  As I remember, I was on call for work, and had an actual pager clipped to my purse (yes, darlings, I realize that I am really dating myself with this statement). Some drunk kid sporting greasy blond dreadlocks and unfortunate facial tattoos came lurching up to the group I was with and fell into my little boyfriend, knocking him to the ground.

I turned to the red-haired girl the drunk kid was with and told her to take her drunk-ass friend home, and she and I immediately launched into a she-match shit-talk exchange of profanity-laden threats and insults. As she turned to leave, the red-haired girl tossed a “Fuck you, bitch, over her shoulder along with her lit cigarette, which landed bullseye on my cheek, the hot cherry of it searing a burn about an inch or so under my right eye.

What happened next goes into the annals of “Defining Moments of A Life,” namely, my life.  I am sure you have heard, and read, the line many times where someone was so angry, so incensed, that they “saw red.” Well, darlings, for the first and only time, thus far, in my life, in that moment, when I felt the double burn of Hot Cherry’s last-word diss and the firey end of her cigarette burning a hole in my cheek, I saw red.

Like, for real. A hot, red, slo-mo, Rick Smash!-style murderous haze enveloped me as I stood in shock, watching Hot Cherry toss her long red ponytail and saunter away, my cheek burning, my mind spinning, as I realized, That bitch just fucking flicked her cigarette at me, and it landed on my cheek, and it FUCKING BURNED MY FACE!” 

And so, dear readers, in my slo-mo, red, murderous haze, with an Altoid-sized circular burn beginning to blister my right cheek and a primal scream of fury roaring rampant inside my brain, I strode up behind Hot Cherry’s retreating form, reached out, and yanked back her head by her long, red ponytail. As I yanked her head back, her wide-eyed shock and surprise was pretty great to see (she definitely did not see that coming!). As Hot Cherry looked up at me, and I looked down at her, I realized that I was gripping a fistful of her ponytail with my right hand…and I am right-handed.

Well, darlings, as I said, aside from going battle royale with my older siblings as we were growing up, this was my first real fistfight.  I had no idea how to throw a punch (even though I fronted tough and had thrown countless on-point punches in my rich imaginary world, where I had the starring role of sexy warrior goddess in the realm of Motoko Kusanagi, Xena Warrior Princess, and Buffy The Vampire Slayer). In real life, I had no idea how to throw a punch, and I certainly did not know how to throw a punch with my left, non-dominant hand.

So, in a moment of dawning realization that felt like it lasted an entire year, I looked at Hot Cherry, and she looked at me, her long red ponytail gripped tightly in my right hand, and with a feline growl, Hot Cherry lunged at me, and we began grappling in a girly, hair-pulling, mid-90’s version of Carl and Ron’s sissy slap-fight.

It all felt so surreal, and slow motion, as Hot Cherry and I hissed and slapped and pulled at one another. I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, I’m really going to get my ass kicked,” because I really had no earthy idea how to fight anyone, and there I was, in the beginning throes of a full-party brawl that I had pretty much started.

While I had gotten some good ones in on my sisters, back in the day, it had been years, and in all that time, I effectively had fronted so tough, and kept myself in good shape, so nobody really ever tried me. Until now.

Now, as time slowed down and the world closed in, Hot Cherry and I pulled each other to the ground, scrapping and mewing and rolling around in the grass (the dudes at the party must have been like, “Yes!”).  I remember looking up and seeing the entire party pile in above us, like some sort of fight tsunami. All around us, above us, fists were flying, kids were scrapping, punching, shoving, knocking each other down, kicking at each other.

Thanks to me, and my burned cheek, and my murderous haze, the party had become one mass brawl.

Hot Cherry must have gotten pulled away by a friend, because I lost her in the crush of people who descended upon us. I kept expecting to get my ass kicked, my face punched, tackled, slapped, but surprisingly, no blows landed on me as I crouched down under the fray that raged all around me. A moment later, the sea of bodies parted, and I resurfaced for a brief moment, coming to standing, and facing, of all people, the greasy blond drunk kid with facial tattoos who had knocked into my little boyfriend, starting the whole mess in the first place.

As the party fight raged under us, the drunk kid with the greasy blond dreads and facial tattoos regarded me, swaying, with glassy eyes, and I regarded him, and before his impaired reflexes could react, I clenched my right hand into a fist, wound back, and punched that drunk kid square in the nose, and he went down, ladies and gentlemen. That. Bitch. Went. Down.

Between you and me, that kid was super drunk, barely able to stand in the first place. One way or another, he was going down, anyway, but when my fist connected with his face, dropping him, I tell you, dear readers, that shit was a rush like none other.

My inner celebration was short lived, because I promptly got pulled back into the fray, and the fight once again closed in on top of me, until I felt a strong pair of arms circle around my waist and pull me out of the melee…it was my friend, Erik, who got me safely away and chided me for getting myself into the whole mess in the first place.

Later, my buddy Bryan recounted my shining knock-out moment to my boyfriend (who was not amused, was pretty pissed, actually, and blamed me for ruining the whole night with my Fight Club antics…needless to say, we broke up soon after), saying, “Katie punched that dude right in the face, and he went down like a friggin’ bowling pin!  It was awesome!

And so, the next morning, as I walked home across town from pissed-off boyfriend’s apartment, sporting a good-sized hangover and an Altoid-sized circular burn on my right cheek, I felt like I had crossed over into another realm of my life, like I had gained entry into another tier of existence: Welcome to Badass Country.

My head hurt, my cheek burned, but damn, it felt good to be a gangsta.

Deadie this week goes to Lauren Cohan, and her character, the lovely and beloved Maggie Greene, for being so beautiful, and brave, and who is embarking on the journey of new motherhood.  Much love to Maggie Greene, and to Lauren Cohan, for an amazing performance, and for being one of the most beautiful criers I have ever seen.

If Glenn does not return, it is some small consolation that Maggie will be under the loving care and dotage of Aaron and Eric, the cutest gay uncles any baby or beautiful young single mom could ask for.

And, dear fans and readers, as you know, the buzz about the TWD world community is that the role of Negan has been cast, and it’s none other than the super-tasty Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who is really a perfect choice to play the brutal, charismatic sociopath. If this news is indeed true (and it seems confirmed by a tweet from Robert Kirkman himself), then I am alternately experiencing total excitement, total elation, and total dread…a dizzying, heady, strangely thrilling combination.

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Email: barnfullawalkers@gmail.com

Until next week, darlings.  Stay safe, stay strong, and enjoy the playlist, which is at times brooding, loungy, lovelorn, and full of new resolve.

Playlist:

Perfume Genius, “Queen”

Thomas Newman, “Any Other Name”

Zero 7, “Destiny”

Moby, “Porcelain”

Bravery, “Believe”

Joywave, “Now”

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

“Spend”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gabriel looks over and spies...

Gabriel then looks over and spies…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gabriel continues tearing pages out of the bible.

Gabriel continues ripping page after page out of the bible.

gabriel losing it

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, as the gates of Alexandria roll open…

Yes...

Yes…

...yes...

…yes… 

...YES!

YES!

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

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

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

Reg jokes to Noah,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Reg regards him, Noah continues,

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

Reg stares at the young man before him.

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

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

reg notebook 1

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Abraham stands at the bathroom mirror...

Meanwhile, Abraham stands at the bathroom mirror…

...while his lovely lady sleeps in.

…while his lovely lady sleeps in.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Aiden kisses his mom and bids his father farewell.

Aiden kisses his mom and bids his father farewell.

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

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

Glenn and Maggie kiss goodbye.

Glenn and Maggie kiss goodbye.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Meanwhile, in another garage across town…

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

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

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

Jessie says stuff like this never happens around here…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eugene makes his case.

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

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

Tara, however, is like, um, no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Noah replies that target practice has helped...

Noah replies that target practice has helped…

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

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

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

Glenn mutters,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There are a lot of walkers.

There are a lot of walkers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...and tells him,

…and tells him, “You’re up.”

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

eugene finds the microinverter

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

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

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

Swat Walker!

S.W.A.T. Walker!

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

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

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

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

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

...and the Swat Walker keeps coming.

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

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

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

glenn sees SWAT walker

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

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

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

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

SWAT walker's grenade

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

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

Aiden fires the fatal shot...

Aiden fires the fatal shot…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“…walker!”

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

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

Terrified, Eugene backs away from the advancing walker…

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

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

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

…Eugene gets grabbed from behind by Sneaky, Snappy Walker

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

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

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

Noah is a badass.

Noah is a badass. 

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

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

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

Glenn is a total badass.

Meanwhile, back in Alexandria…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Meanwhile…

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

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

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

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

To this, Eugene looks up, replies,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

aiden is alive

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

“He’s still alive?” Glenn asks.

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

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

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

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

You’re up, Eugene.

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

Eugene looks up at them.

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

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

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

Glenn-In-Charge thinks fast.

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

Glenn tells Nicholas,

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

Glenn tells Noah,

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

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

flare shot

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

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

 Meanwhile, back at the construction site…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

...except when it does.

…except when it does. Like now.

Enter Stage Right, the Job Site Walkers!

Enter the Job Site Walkers!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abraham rushes forward, alone, to help Francine.

Abraham rushes forward, alone, to help Francine.

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

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

...before grabbing up Francine...

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

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

Abraham gets Francine inside the safety of the truck…

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Job Site Walkers begin to swarm the truck…

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

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

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

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

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

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

...rekilling them.

…rekilling them.

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

...while he

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

Abraham taunts,

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

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

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

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

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

 Back in Alexandria…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McBeaty says,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McBeaty looks at Rick.

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

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

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

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

Somewhat mollified, McBeaty takes a swig of his beer.

Somewhat mollified, McBeaty takes a swig of his beer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

McBeaty leans in conspiratorially to Rick.

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

McBeaty continues,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Meanwhile, back at the warehouse…

Eugene's going all

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

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

“All of you…you should have listened.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eugene fires at the walker...

Eugene fires at the walker…

Yes, Eugene!

Yes, Eugene!

You can do it!

You can do it!

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

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

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

It's not good.

It’s not good.

Glenn tries to reassure Aiden.

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

Aiden nodds, dazed and shocked.

Aiden nodds, dazed and shocked.

But, it's so not good...

But, it’s so not good…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nicholas leans in, tells Aiden, in his ear,

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

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

Aiden confesses to Glenn,

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

“…they didn’t panic. We did.”

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

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

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

And then, it becomes...awful.

And then, it becomes…awful.

Poor Aiden! :(

Poor Aiden! 😦

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

glenn and noah after nicholas 2

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

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

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

revolving doors 2 revolving doors 3 revolving doors 4

Back in Alexandria, in Deanna’s office…

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

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

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

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

Tobin looks at Reg.

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

“…better than I ever could.”

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

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

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

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

Deanna looks over at Maggie, gives a little laugh.

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

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

Maggie looks at Deanna, says,

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

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

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

Carol opens the door to a grinning Sam.

Carol opens the door to a grinning Sam…

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

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

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

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

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

Sam looks at Carol, asks her,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sam looks at Carol.

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

Carol drops the tough act.

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

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

“Can I have a gun?” Sam asks Carol.

Carol asks Sam why he wants one.

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eugene leads the walkers outside away from the doors.

Eugene leads the walkers outside away from the doors.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

…at any cost. 😦 😦 😦 😦

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

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

noah 2

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

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

Noah looks at Glenn, who clings to him…

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

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

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

noah 6

glenn watches 1

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

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

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

glenn watches 4

glenn watches 3

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

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

glenn watches 6 glenn watches 7

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

glenn watches 9.5glenn watches 10

glenn watches 11glenn watches 12

glenn watches 13glenn watches 14

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eugene faces Nicholas, not backing down.

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

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

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

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

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

Glenn runs up and grabs Nicholas out of the van…

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

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

glenn looks down at nicholas

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

“Where’s Noah?” Eugene asks him.

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

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

 Back in Alexandria…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mcbeaty shuts the door on carol

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gabriel gets right to it.

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

Deanna Monroe's like,

Deanna Monroe’s like, “Say what?”

Gabriel continues,

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

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

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

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

As Maggie listens, Gabriel says, conspiritorially,

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

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

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

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

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

Carol tells Rick,

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

Rick's all like,

Rick Smash! is all like, “Grrrr…”

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

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

Gabriel Snitch, the Little Bitch whispers,

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

“They can’t be trusted.”

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

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

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

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

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

Gabriel says, again,

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

Gabriel whispers,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

carol says to rick your gonna have to kill him

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IMG_0747

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

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

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

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

#NoahForever 

Playlist:

Jimi Hendrix, “Castles Made Of Sand”

TV On The Radio, “Crying”

Jackson 5, “I’ll Be There”

Panda Bear, “Bros”

The Spinners, “I’ll Be Around”

Mos Def, “Hip Hop”

Radiohead, “Knives Out”

Nick Drake, ” ‘Cello Song”

The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 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 5, “Self Help”

“Self Help”

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

The Walking Dead’s Season 5, Episode 5, “Self Help” begins with a shot of the white church shortbus from Father Gabriel’s church, chugging noisily (and somewhat unevenly) down a quiet country road.  The sound of gospel music pours out the bus windows.

Seems like, these days, a vehicle with a working CD player, and some CD's, would be one of the few opportunities to rock out to some tunes...sad times, these!

Seems like, these days, a vehicle with a working CD player, and some CD’s, would be one of the few opportunities to rock out to some tunes…sad times, these!

We see Abraham’s hands on the steering wheel.

It's pretty clear who's driving this bus...

It’s pretty clear who’s driving this bus…

Abraham practically purrs while Rosita plays with his hair, remarking,

Abraham practically purrs while Rosita plays with his hair…she remarks, “It’s getting a little messy, for you.” Abraham smiles, says, “I’m getting ready for retirement, relaxing the grooming standards,” while Eugene looks on, seeming very ill at ease, from the back of the bus.

Abraham continues that maybe he’ll become a “plumber, sheep herder, something like that,” causing Rosita to chime in, “We ain’t herding sheep now, Abraham, eyes on the prize.” This sweet affirmation of their lasting union, a brighter future for Rosita and Abraham, together, makes Abraham’s smile deepen and his eyes twinkle.

He nods, “Damn right…that’s my girl.”  Abraham smiles a moment at the road, then adds, to Rosita, “Maybe I’ll let you shave me down, all over…dolphin smooth!”

dolphin smooth

This hilarious Abrahamism had #dolphinsmooth trending worldwide by the time Talking Dead ended. Rosita laughs, tells Abraham she’ll “cut it for you tonight.” “Yes ma’am!” Abraham replies, with a knowing smile.

Tara turns to Eugene, quips, “Hey, uh, maybe Rosita can give you a trim while she’s at it…party’s getting a little long in the back.

Ha!  There is definitely some fun banter bouncing around in that short bus, already; and then, Tara goes and ups the funny by officially calling Open Season on Eugene’s Mullet.

When Eugene doesn’t respond, Tara adds, “Unless it’s your source of power!

The Source of Power

the Source of Power

Now, before we go further into this recap, I would like to take a moment to address this whole Eugene Mullet situation. Eugene’s mullet has taken pop culture by storm, and attention must be paid.

I, like all of you, am obsessed with Eugene’s mullet, have been ever since I first laid eyes on it, and as many of you know, I have made several mentions of it in my posts. I even named it “The Eugene.”  I contemplated writing sonnets in its honor, but honestly, who has time?

Last night, after watching “Self Help,” I dreamed about Eugene and his mullet. No lie. I really did.  Fleeting moments and recurring images of Eugene and his mullet were interwoven throughout my entire night’s sleep.  By the time I woke up, I felt kind of haunted by Eugene and his mullet…and it all felt so weird, and so right, somehow.

In my first-ever post for barnfullawalkers, my “Introduction” post, I took readers back 10 years, to 2004, when I walked into a comic book store, and walked out with the first two issues of “The Walking Dead” comic series, which had just hit the shelves and was taking the comic book/graphic novel world by storm. On that fateful day,10 years ago, “The Walking Dead” came into my life, and my life has never been the same since.

Now, let us rewind 10 years before that, to 1994, to the day when the mullet came into my life…and my life has never been the same, since.

The story goes something like this:  I was hanging out with my then-boyfriend at his apartment, sharing a laugh over a hilarious article in his latest issue of Grand Royal, the Beastie Boys’ brief and brilliant foray into the magazine world. This particular issue, I believe, boasted a cover photo of Lee Perry, smoking a big ol’ j, against a bright orange background::

I think this was the one...I can't believe that was 20 years ago! Grand Royal was awesome.

I think this was the issue…I can’t believe that was 20 years ago! Grand Royal was awesome.

The Grand Royal article we were laughing at featured the many different examples and incarnations of the “mullet,” Grand Royal’s name for the hairstyle that was shorter on the top, longer in the back, and strangely ubiquitous in all corners of the United States, and probably the world (although I do not profess to be an expert on overseas mullets, aside from a good British Invasion/ Eastern European punk, mod, or techno Euromull …if anyone is knowledgeable about International Mullets, send pictures, won’t you? Enlighten me, please. This inquiring mind wants to know!).

Anyway, back to “94, and the Grand Royal article..the mullet was a hairstyle I recognized, of course, and had definitely seen, many times, on many different kinds of people…kids, rednecks, older ladies (a “femullet” is what Grand Royal termed a mullet on a woman), younger ladies, aging hipsters, young hipsters. The mullet took on many forms, transcended social and economic barriers, but all in all, a mullet was defined by its sheer dimensions…if a hairstyle was shorter in the front, and longer in the back, it was a mullet.  Period.

And that, to me, was the strange beauty of it.

That day, and that article, opened up a whole new chapter in my life.  From that day on, from that issue of Grand Royal on, I, and many others, became obsessed with mullets.  It started out, for me, at first, as mullet-watching (much like people-watching, except you are watching people with mullets).  

My friends and I were keeping an endless tally of them. If we were standing in line in the grocery store, or waiting to buy movie tickets, and if the person in front of us, or behind us, had a mullet, we’d nudge each other, surreptitiously point, nod, or make some other gesture indicating a mullet sighting, and we’d exchange knowing looks, nods, faces, giggles. Sometimes, you’d see an entire family, and they all would have mullets. That was like a triple thousand bonus score…the endorphin rush from a family mullet sighting could last for hours.

(Remember, darlings, this was the mid-90’s…we didn’t have internet, or social media, yet…We had to amuse ourselves somehow!)

Anyhow, our mullet-watching antics expanded into the naming and classification of mullets, a practice shared by only a few…you had to be pretty obsessed with mullets to take it to this level. You would sight a mullet, either in real life, or in a picture, or in a music video, TV show, or movie…and as quickly as you were able, you would name it.  I think I loved naming and classifying mullets more than just about anyone. If I could have gotten a doctorate in the study and classification of mullets, I probably would have.  I found them endlessly fascinating.

And talk about an endorphin rush…to me, finding the perfect name for a mullet, or a mullet-moment, was a rush like none other.  When I would nail it, that was like, the total tits. The El Dorado, Ladies’ Choice, the Skywalker, the Han Molo, the Darth Mullinator, the ABBA, Salt & Pepper are examples of some of my more memorable mullet monikers (except maybe the Han Molo …my friend may have come up with that one).. My naming and classification of mullets was a source of great personal pleasure, and a practice that carried over into the new millennium.  At some point, I stopped, probably because nobody cared that much anymore. Nobody except me, that is!

Through it all, however, mullets have endured, as omnipresent as they ever were, and 20 years later after that now-classic Grand Royal article gave the “business in the front, party in the back” hairstyle its official title, the term “mullet” is a household name. Nowadays, everyone knows what a mullet is…we just haven’t been talking about them much, to my quiet and constant inner dismay.

Until now!

Earlier this year, in the glow and blossom of new spring, we WD fans got our first glimpse of Eugene Porter, in all his mulltastic glory, flanking his protector, Abraham Ford, on one side, with the lovely Rosita on the other, and  with that moment, Kirkman, Gimple & Co., and their poster boy, Eugene Porter, singlehandedly brought mullets back to the forefront of pop culture.

Hallelujah!

To celebrate Eugene, and his mullet, I am going to spice up this post for WD’s Season 5, Episode 5, “Self Help” by inserting pictures of Eugene, in various iconic poses, moods, and mullet moments, and I will come up with the best name for the mullet in each picture that I can think of, as the caption. 

Many of the mullet names will come straight from the Mouth of Eugene.

And if you like,dear readers, please play along..send me your Eugene pictures, and your names for the different Eugene mullet moments...I will probably be playing this game on my Twitter account as well:

https://twitter.com/barnfullawalkrs  #NameTheMullet

Eugene’s mullet…it’s bigger than all of us, people.

So, thanks for going along with that, and now, back to our story:  as the Team Eugene short bus chugs down the lonely road, Tara has just openly and hilariously mocked Eugene’s mullet, but Eugene does not respond to her jibes right away..he looks ahead, troubled, pensive.

Mullin' It Over

Mullin’ It Over

At Tara’s good-natured “source of power” dig, Eugene spouts off some incomprehensible response….I usually try to pay attention to this stuff, but this time, after a couple of playbacks, I just couldn’t do it…something about “the jawbone of an ass.”  Whatever.  What I was hearing loud and clear was that Eugene’s story was starting to play itself out…I thought, “This line of Eugene’s is sounding weaker and weaker.”

It felt like when you’re listening to someone you know is a big liar overtell an elaborate story full of way too many details…it’s too many words that don’t mean anything. I have been smelling bullshit with Eugene lately, especially after he seemed way too concerned for his own safety, back in train car “A,” and less and less convincing in his concern to “get to D.C. and save the world.” 

Tara, though, is humoring Eugene…she’s really sweet, and she is trying to connect with this odd but likeable dude with an egregious mullet. “Oh, so you’ll just settle on saving the world, right?”

Without looking at her, still looking ahead, Eugene replies, “Yeahhh…”

Tara notices Eugene’s Mullet of Discontent, leans forward a bit towards him, asks him, “What’s up…last night?” (Referring, of course, to the church massacre of Gareth and the other Terms, just the night before.)

“Nope…yes, that, and tomorrow…and I’m thinkin’ about that preacher, what he did.”

Thinkin' About That Preacher

Thinkin’ About That Preacher

What He Did

Me No Likey

Tara purses her lips, unsure of how to respond to this. In the seat in front of Eugene, Maggie seems pretty troubled herself, looking out the window, watching the miles blur past as the bus carries them further and further away from their people. Glenn watches Maggie, concerned for her, and surely, feeling the same worry as she is about Rick and their gang.

Maggie turns to Glenn, says,

Maggie turns to Glenn, says, “Maybe they’re just behind us…maybe Daryl and Carol came back…maybe they took the map, found some cars, and they’re just down the road.” Glenn plays along, says, “Yeah…they’ll catch us…we’re clearing the way for them.” Maggie smiles at Glenn, a little smile like, “That’s why I love you.”

From his seat behind them, Eugene watches this sweet exchange with a sad look…..

Heartbreak Hotel

Heartbreak Hotel

After sharing a moment with Glenn,  Maggie turns to Eugene, asks him, “How long will it be, after you get on that terminal and do what you have to do?” meaning, of course, how long will it take to get the world back to normal, or semi-normal…or just a little bit better than how it is now?

Eugene replies that “de-pends” on a lot of factors, like what the density of the infected undead would be around each of the world’s target sites.  This response prompts Glenn to ask, “Target sites…you talking about missles?”

And to this, Eugene replies…

“That’s Classified”

“I thought we were over that,” Glenn says, exasperated.  “What if we all live?” Eugene asks.  “Secrets won’t matter then?” suggests Glenn.  “They might,”  Eugene replies, and then goes off on another long spiel on the factors that may dictate the rate which things begin to “normalize,” like weather patterns, hydrocarbons in the air, blah, blah, blah, causing Glenn to abruptly change the subject, asking Eugene, point-blank, “Why the hair?”

Because I Like It

Because I Like It

“And nobody’s taking scissor or clipper to it anytime soon..you hear me, Miss Espinoza?” “Yes,” Rosita laughs, “loud and clear.” As the young people, excepting Eugene (and how old is Eugene, anyway?) share a laugh, Abraham peers out at the road ahead…

abraham peers down the road

...all looks clear, so far.

…all looks clear, then Abraham sees something up ahead…figures moving towards the road from the woods…

Meanwhile, in the back of the bus, Eugene is telling the giggling others to “talk and laugh all you want to…the smartest man I ever met happened to love my hair.. my boss, T. Brooks Ellis, the director of the Human Genome Project.  He said my hair made me look like, and I quote, ‘A fun guy’…which I am.”

The T. Brooks Ellis mullet is about confidence...it's about believing in yourself.

The T. Brooks Ellis mullet is about confidence…it’s about believing in yourself.

As Eugene recites this story, and self-affirmation, Abraham looks towards the side of the road at a group of about 12-15+ walkers they are passing…

road walkers

Abraham watches them as he passes them until they begin to disappear, one by one, from the rear view mirror...

Abraham watches the Hitchiker Walkers as he passes them, until they begin to disappear, one by one, from the rear view mirror…

…and as Eugene concludes his speech with something about “Samson”...

...there is a loud

…there is a loud “BANG!” as the bus veers out of control…

bus blows 2

...then, the front driver's side wheel flips up over an abandoned car in the road, sending the bus flying and landing hard, screeching and smoking, on its right side...

…then, the front driver’s side wheel flips up over an abandoned car in the road, sending the bus flying and landing hard, screeching, sparks flying,  on its right side…

...and here come the walkers.

…and here come the walkers.

As the Bear McCreary title sequence began, and the opening credits unfolded, my WD buddy and I texted simultaneously, Dang it!!  Holy Fuck! Did they blow a tire?  We agreed that the tire scenario was the most likely reason the bus crashed…little did we know!

This is sad, my WD buddy texted.  It really is, isn’t it?  Every time the gang starts to relax, let their guard down, share a laugh, something like this crazy shit happens to fuck it all up. Every time.

After the commercial break, we see a flashback of a man straddling another man who is lying, almost unconscious, on the floor…we see a massively muscled arm, that we recognize as Abraham’s, clutching a soup can, punching it mercilessly, again and again, into somebody’s face…

soup can beat down 3 soup can beat down 4 soup can beat down 1 soup can beat down 2

Abraham stands, drops the bloodied can to the floor by the man's twitching, rasping body...

Abraham stands, drops the bloodied can to the floor by the man’s twitching, rasping body…

soup can beat down 6 foot at throat

…then steps his boot down on the man’s throat to finish him off…

soup can beatdown 7 abraham face

The camera focuses on Abraham’s face as he twists his foot hard on the man’s neck, breaking it, finishing the job, brutally and methodically. Survival at its most primal.

soup can beat down 8 last one down

Then, Abraham turns, spent and exhausted, and numbly look over the bodies of the men he just killed with his bare hands, bootshod feet, and canned goods…berzerker-style.

Abrham stops, realizes, calls for

Abraham stops, realizing something, then calls for someone named Ellen. Ellen…Ellen!” he rasps out as he lurches off, leaving the scattered bodies of the slain men in his wake.

Abraham wakes up in the crashed bus, on its side, calling for, “Eugene…Eugene!

Abraham wakes up in the crashed, smoking bus, on it's side...and begins calling for Eugene...

Abraham wakes up in the crashed, smoking bus, on its side…and begins calling for Eugene…

“Eugene!”

Abraham doesn't check on Rosita, or ask after anybody else...

Abraham doesn’t check on Rosita, or ask after anybody else…

“Eugene!” Rosita joins in, calling for Eugene, who is unable to answer…

i think its broken

I Think It’s Broken…

glenn abraham bus

Glenn and Abraham hear Eugene mumbling about the “preacher.”  Seems like Eugene is really identifying with Father Gabriel, who did harm to people who were counting on him…

Our gang has more problems mounting…walkers are outside the back bus windows, not having found the busted windows on the side, yet… Rosita tells them they need to get out of the bus, quick….the engine’s on fire.

Glenn, as always, thinks quickly and makes a plan.  Abraham and he will rush the walkers, kicking open the rear emergency exit door and shoving them back, creating an opening for the rest to get out of the bus.  Abraham agrees, instructing Tara to cover Eugene.  Then, Abraham swings and kicks the rear exit door open with both feet, pushing it into the walkers.

busting out of the bus

Damn! They just got banged up bad in a bus crash, and now they have to leap out and battle walkers!

Damn! They just got banged up bad in a bus crash, and now they have to leap out and battle walkers!

Maggie ain't skeerd.

Maggie ain’t skeerd.

Eugene is, though.  Tara turns to see him cowering in a back corner as a lone walker, speared on the jagged glass of a broken side window, paws helplessly, hissing at them. Tara beckons him out, telling she knows it sucks, and it’s scary, but it’s time to be brave…

Sac Up Lil Buckaroo

It’s Not Voluntary

Tara hands him a knife, basically tells him it’s time to Walk Like A Man…

Wield The Blade Of Glory

 Wield The Blade Of Glory!

Tara urges Eugene forward, telling him, “I’m right behind you.”

As Eugene steps uncertainly out of the bus, knife held in front of him…

Ready As I'll Ever Be

Ready As I’ll Ever Be

…he sees the others battling walkers, each with his or her own unique rekilling style.

...while Maggie goes it bayonet-style...

Maggie goes it bayonet-style…

...Rosita goes for the throat.

Rosita goes for the throat.

abraham looks to next target as he rekills

Abraham is on to number next…

glenn rekills bus walker

…while Glenn does a smash-n-stab upside the temple.

Tara rekills two or three walkers, including one that Eugene can’t bring himself to take care of, and is finishing one off when a stray woman walker almost gets one up on her, almost catching Tara from behind, but then, a surprising save…

First Blood

First Blood

Rekill Buddies Forevs

Sharing & Caring 

After the gang is done battling the walkers, Abraham orders someone to go check Eugene over, despite Eugene’s protests that he’s fine.

As Rosita stalks over to do Abraham’s bidding, Eugene asks Abraham, “Is that your blood?” when he spies a bleeding  cut on Abraham’s left hand that has opened again. Abraham looks down at his hand, covered in blood, replies it is his, that the cuts on his hand, while small, are “big bleeders” and keep opening up.  Maggie turns towards the bus to get the first aid kit, just as…

The bus, and all their stuff in it, explodes into flames.

…the bus, and all their stuff in it, explode into flames.

As the gang watches in silent horror as all their meager earthly possessions, and their ride, go up in flames, Abraham seems to be grappling with his own shellshock, looking at the disaster in front of him.

It was all going so well, and in the blink of an eye, it wasn't.

It was all going so well, and in the blink of an eye, it wasn’t.

Abraham collects himself, and his pack, after a brief moment, telling the gang that they’re going to keep moving, find another vehicle down the road, that the mission is still on.  Eugene ventures an alternate option…

Devil's Advocate, Nothin' More

Devil’s Advocate, Nothin’ More

…but, you know, the church is 15 miles back, that way. Abraham shouts this down, saying that this is war, and going back means retreat, and retreat means lose.

“We’ll get through this because we have to! Every direction is a question!” Abraham yells in Eugene’s face.

“We don’t go back!”

Glenn steps up, and checks in with Abraham…

“Hey, are you ok?” asks Glenn. “I am fit as a damn fiddle,” replies Abraham stoutly.

“We are going with you,” Glenn assures Abraham. “You are calling this thing…I just need to make sure you’re ok.”

This calm, reasonable manner of Glenn’s, which has been so invaluable to Rick and the core group, time and time again, works its magic on Abraham, who begins to settle…Abraham says that “This is how things stop, and I can’t afford that right now…the world can’t afford it.”

And the camera pans to a shot of Eugene, looking seriously bummed right about now…

Buyer's Remorse

Buyer’s Remorse

In classic Abraham style, he then tells Glenn:

I took a pretty hard shot to the sac with that crash…I am stressed and depressed to see that ride die, but if you say we’re rolling on, I’m good.”

Glenn, taken aback at this role-reversal, looks to Maggie, then back to Abraham. He nods, says, “We’re rolling on.” Abraham looks relieved at this, says in that case, he’s gonna “rub some dirt on it and walk it off.”  Rosita chimes in that they’ll find more supplies on the way, “like we always have.” Maggie agrees, smiling, but says she’s not “rubbing dirt on anything.”

Tara dryly suggests that maybe they can get some bikes, as “bikes don’t burn.”

Abraham takes all this in, this sweet, unconditional support from the nice young people…Rick, Michonne, Sasha would certainly have a different take on things. Carol would have been scanning the horizon on the DL for the nearest getaway car, planning her Plan B escape (even if only in her head), while Daryl would have hung back and observed all this, without saying anything, until asked…or until the time to speak presented itself.

Eugene, looking a little Stressed and Depressed himself, turns and sees the dead walker he helped take down with Tara.  He walks over to it and crouches down, studying it a moment.  “Eugene,” calls Rosita behind him, “what are you doing?”

“Nothing,” replies Eugene, not taking his eyes off the dead walker’s still form.

Eugene forms a gob of spit in his mouth, and  unleashes his spit upon his first ever walker kill.

Eugene forms a gob of spit in his mouth, and unleashes his spit upon his first ever walker kill.

I Spit On Your Grave

I Spit On Your Grave

“Well, then, come on!” bosses Rosita, and Eugene stands up, and follows the line of Team Eugene as they trudge down the side of the road on foot, leaving the burning wreckage of the bus, and the slew of dead walkers, in their wake.

In the next scene, we are taken back to the Abraham dream sequence, as Abraham, splattered with blood, is striding towards what looks like the back offices of the store where he killed those men…as he calls for “Ellen,”: he gets no response, until…

E

“Ellen! El..!”

Silently, fearfully, Abraham's wife, Ellen, and their son (who looks like a mini Abraham) and daugher come out from under the desk where they were crouched, hiding...they look at Abraham as if they are terrified of him.

Silently, fearfully, Abraham’s wife, Ellen, and their son (who looks like a mini Abraham), and daughter come out from under the desk where they were crouched, hiding…they turn to face Abraham, look at him as if they are terrified of him.

The scene switches abruptly to present day, with the gang clearing an abandoned book store that looks like pretty solid quarters.  The gang begins to set up camp, with Tara collecting water from the back tank of a toilet, Glenn and Abraham covering windows, rolling tall, wheeled bookshelves around to block the windows, barricade and reinforce their temporary living quarters, Eugene quickly gets a small flame burning on a piece of paper and tosses it into a small metal trashcan, getting a small fire going.

Fire Starter

Fire Starter

There are plenty of pages to tear out of books for burning, and Maggie does this while Tara crisscrosses two metal hangers over the rim of the trashcan fire pit, then places a large can of soup, or perhaps the water from the toilet, to cook on top of the makeshift cooking rack.

Maggie gently pulls a string from the binding of a book, handing it to Rosita, who pulls it taut, testing it…strong, and good.  Rosita uses this to stitch up Abraham’s hand wound, smiling a sweet smile at him as she does so.  When the wound is stitched up, Abraham touches Rosita tenderly on the cheek, in a gesture of thanks, tells her that he’s going to “take a sweep.”

As Abraham looks out from the solid bookstore window into the moonlit dark, Glenn approaches. Abraham holds a hand up, silently motioning Glenn to be still, quiet. A walker walks right up to the glass, leading with its mouth, and bangs against the glass two or three times, testing it, before shuffling along with the other Moonlight Walkers.

After the men exchange greetings, Abraham turns and thanks Glenn.  “For what?” asks Glenn.  “For showing up,” replies Abraham.  He tells Glenn that he sees, “plain as potatoes, you get it,” and that he knows that Glenn could have made a case to turn back after the bus crashed & burned, but he didn’t… Glenn replies that he made a deal, and Abraham says quickly that Glenn could have backed out of that deal, but didn’t.

Glenn motions to the knife Abraham is holding, asks him if he’s “gonna put that thing away” for the night.  Abraham looks down at it, as if he hadn’t really considered that possibility…

abraham's knife

Abraham looks at the knife, turning it idly, before sheathing it.

Glenn then asks Abraham if he’s gong to wrap the wound on his hand, and Abraham tells him no, he’s going to let it air out…he adds that he cut it “pretty ugly last night, at the church.”  Glenn nods, says “Yup,” looks away as the indirect reference to the previous night’s massacre at the church hangs heavily in the darkness.

Abraham looks at Glenn, then out the window as he quietly addresses the bloody elephant in the room…he tells Glenn that by now, anybody alive in these times is strong…if they are strong and can help you, you help them…or, they’re strong, and they can kill you, so then you have to kill them

Abraham repeats, “You have to kill them, and…” then falters, leaning his head into his forearm, pressed against the window. Glenn waits, looks down towards a point on the window, takes the message in. After a brief moment,  Abraham continues, telling Glenn that he wishes that he could say that killing others wasn’t ever easy, but, “that’s not the truth.”

Killing, these days…

“It’s the easiest thing in the world now.”

The men look at each other a moment, then look out the window. Glenn asks Abraham, “World’s gonna change, right?”

“Damn right it’s gonna,” Abraham replies.  Glenn tells Abraham that he better turn in then, as he’s got late watch.  Abraham nods, gathers up his things, and as he turns to go, he looks at Glenn, says, “I really need some ass first.”

Glenn looks after him, then turns back to the window, saying, to himself, “Didn’t need to know that, but…cool.”  

Ha!

So, Abraham goes and gets him some…

But while they're at it, Rosita tells Abraham,

But while they’re at it, Rosita tells Abraham, “He’s watching again.”

Abraham and Rosita turn to look, and Rosita says,

Abraham and Rosita turn to look, and Rosita says, “There, in the self-help section.” They burst into giggles before resuming their tussle.

Catching An Eyeful

Catching An Eyeful

“Dude…”  Eugene, the Self Help Lurker, whirls around and sees Tara, who has stone-cold busted him peeping at Rosita and Abraham’s loveplay.

Cards On The Table

Cards On The Table

Eugene offers a ready explanation, and rationalization, for his peeping antics, but Tara really just wanted to come and thank him for saving her life earlier that day, flustering Eugene a bit. Tara tells Eugene that while he may not have before, he’s got the goods now, and she believes that she believes in him, that he’s “got this.”

When she gets no response from Eugene, Tara prods him, “Hey, did you hear what I just said?”  Looking down, Eugene replies hoarsely that, “The bus crashed because of me.”

True Confession

 True Confession

Tara laughs this off at first, saying, “No you didn’t,” but Eugene tells her that he put crushed glass in the fuel line, with some light bulbs he found at the church.  Tara, dumbfounded, says that he could have killed them,  but Eugene insists that things weren’t supposed to go down like that…

Not Hardly, Not Half

Not Hardly, Not Half

…that the bus wasn’t even supposed to get as far as the road.

“What the hell?” Tara asks.  When Eugene tries to walk past Tara without answering when she asks him why he did that, she grabs his arm, asks again. “Eugene, why did you do that?”  Eugene replies that he cannot survive alone in these times, and if he doesn’t save the world, if he can’t, then he has no value, and the others in the group would not have him, would not share resources or protect him if he had no worth.

“So you killed the bus?” Tara asks, incredulous.  After telling Eugene that she would keep his secret, and to never do anything like that again, Tara tells him that they are all stuck with each other, and they look out for each other, because they are friends, and that’s what friends do.

Eugene, looking pretty shellshocked, says, “I don’t know why I told you.”  “I do,” Tara replies, shrugging.  She holds out her fist to Eugene, who has probably never done a fist bump with anyone before.

Welcome To The Human Race, Asshole

After Tara urges Eugene to go get some rest, she cannot help but sneak a little peek at Rosita and Abraham going at it. Tara sighs, turns away, and heads to bed herself.

Things aren’t as hot and heavy with Maggie and Glenn. Her face looks troubled, and Glenn seems to know that this isn’t really the best time to ask for some sex. He asks her, instead, if she’s thinking of “them,” meaning Rick and the others.  She is, of course.

Glenn jokes gently that maybe, sometimes, they get to have little “vacations on book store floors,” with no car, drinking toilet water.  They share a smile, and Maggie says that it does feel good to have this, and have it be about the future, and not about what it has been, like “last night.” 

Maggie frowns as she says this, remembers the savagery from the night before. Glenn tells her not to feel guilty for heading towards something new. Maggie’s face softens, and she smiles as she burrows a little deeper into Glenn, savoring this safe, quiet time together.

Back at the window stands Abraham, leaning against the pane with a crooked arm, holding his knife, watching as a lone walker shuffles by.

abraham stands guard

After the break, we are taken back to Abraham’s nightmarish flashback sequence.

Covered in blood splatter, Abraham finds, and faces, his wife, Ellen, and their children...

Covered in blood splatter, Abraham finds, and faces, his wife, Ellen, and their children…”You’re safe now,” he tells them.

...who stare at him, covered in blood, like they don't know who he is.

Ellen and the children stare at Abraham, covered in blood, like they don’t know who he is.

ellen scared

Abraham's children cower behind their mom, afraid of him.

Abraham looks down at his bloody hands, whispers,

Abraham looks down at his bloody hands, whispers, “It’s ok…it’s gonna be ok.”

The next shot shifts us back to the present, with Abraham's hand being tended to by Rosita.

The next shot shifts us back to the present, with Abraham’s hand being tended to by Rosita.

Rosita suggests they stay another day.

Rosita suggests they stay another day. “No, “ Abraham says, quickly, then adds, “You got some readin’ you need to catch up on?”

“We got lucky yesterday,” Rosita points out. She is right, they should stay, rest, restock, recharge, but Abraham is being rigid, unyielding…unreasonable.

It is an argument that they have had countless times before, and despite the gang chiming in the good idea to stay, sweep, rest, restock, Rosita echoes Abrham's wishes

It is an argument that they have had countless times before, and despite the gang chiming in the good idea to stay, sweep, rest, restock, Rosita echoes Abraham’s wishes, “We’ll sweep as we go…we’ve been doing it since Houston.” Abraham looks at the others. “You heard the lady…we’re takin’ it North.”

Besides, Abraham has seen their new ride across the street…a hose truck parked at the fire station.

The fire truck starts, and moves about 10 feet before it dies, releasing the door to the fire station to swing open...

The fire truck starts, and moves about 10 feet before it dies, releasing the door to the fire station to swing open…

Cursing, Abraham gets out of the truck...

Cursing, Abraham gets out of the truck…

...a tire rolls out of the open fire station doorway, followed by a stream of walkers.  The gang must get to rekilling...

…a tire rolls out of the open fire station doorway, followed by a stream of walkers. The gang must get to rekilling…

fire station walker battle 2 fire station walker battle 3

Suddenly, a strong sprauy of water takes down the walker horde...

Suddenly, a strong spray of water takes down the walker horde…

Eugene is The Supreme Hoser

Eugene is The Supreme Hoser

 Just a Simple Hose Wrangler, Is All

Just a Lone Hose Wrangler, Is All

When Glenn suggests they hit the nearby Goodwill for dry clothes, and supplies, Abraham nixes this sensible idea, saying that once he pulls the guts out of the air intake, the truck, and they, will get to air out…they move onward.

Then Abraham spies a message spraypainted on the ground, starts laughing.

Abraham looks back at the gang, as they watch him laugh at this...

Abraham looks back at the gang, as they watch him laugh at this…”What? The shit’s just screwed up!

Still  giggling, Abraham begins to pull the zombie innards out of the air intake.

Still giggling, Abraham begins to pull the zombie innards out of the air intake.

A little while later, down the road a bit…

Fire truck's dead again...while Abraham tries to fix it, the gang is either on lookout, or finding other ways to pass the time...

Fire truck’s dead again…while Abraham tries to fix it, the gang is either on lookout, or finding other ways to pass the time…

The Shape Of Things To Come

The Shape Of Things To Come

Maggie approaches Eugene, tells him she knows why he has the mullet hairstyle…

You're Not Like Everyone Else

“You’re Not Like Everyone Else”

Maggie basically tells Eugene her own version of what Tara was trying to tell him, that he is stronger than he thinks, that he didn’t give up, that he started this, inspiring people to try to make the world better.  She also tells him that he is not like Samson, who was “kind of a mess.”

Glenn interrupts her story by exclaiming, “What is that?”  After a moment, the rest of the gang smell it too…a foul smell being carried in the wind.  Abraham replies that whatever is causing that smell, it can’t be good.

the gang walks down the road a ways, see what looks like a huge cattle ranch, with probably a slaughterhouse, which, judging from the sounds of it, has attracted thousands of walkers.  Trying to go through that would be a suicide mission.

Welcome to Slaughterhouse Ranch.

Welcome to Slaughterhouse Ranch.

As the others turn away, and beckon Abraham, he mutters to himself, cannot seem to turn back, or even consider taking another route.

As the others turn away, and beckon Abraham, he mutters to himself, cannot seem to turn back, or even consider taking another route.

When Rosita backs up the gang, telling Abraham, “They’re right,” Abraham turns, snatches up Eugene by the arm…I am not sure what he is doing, but I think he is really trying to get the fire engine started, and push through.  The gang protests, leading to a shoving match between Glenn and Abraham, knocking even Rosita down, until Eugene starts yelling something that stops Abraham, and the rest, in their tracks…

I'm Not A Scientist (I Just Play One On TV)

I’m Not A Scientist! (I Just Play One On TV)

As the gang stares at him, stupefied, Eugene admits in his Big Reveal that he is not a scientist, he doesn’t have the cure…while he knows that he is smarter than other people, he is not a scientist, and does not possess the cure.  He knew he was a good liar, and he needed to get to D.C.  He just…knows things.

The gang reacts to this pronouncement with a mixture of tears...

The gang reacts to this pronouncement with a mixture of tears…

...anger...

…anger…

...and disbelief.

…and disbelief.

Voice shaking, Rosita tells Eugene that people died for him, believing he had the cure…sorrowfully, Eugene acknowledges this, beginning to recite the long list of names of the people who died between Houston and Georgia…

Say My Name

Say My Name

And, in an ill-advised move, Eugene turns to Abraham, who is crouching, digesting all this, and tells him that he, Eugene, is smarter than him, Abraham…and that’s All She Wrote, as Abraham leaps up and begins pounding on Eugene, as the others frantically try to pull him  off.

abraham clocks eugene abraham clocks eugene 2abraham goes awol

Out For The Count

Out For The Count…

As Abraham steps to Eugene's fallen form, Rosita steps in between him and Eugene, her hand on her gun, if needed.  Abraham looks down a this bloody hand...

As Abraham steps to Eugene’s fallen form, Rosita steps in between him and Eugene, her hand on her gun, if needed. Abraham looks down a this bloody hand…

Dead Or Alive?

Dead Or Alive?

Abraham walks away, down the road a bit, sinks to his knees...

Abraham walks away, down the road a bit, sinks to his knees…

…as the horrible rest of the flashback, the story of what happened to Abraham’s family, plays out to its entirety…after Abraham massacred the dangerous men at the store, he had come back to find his family gone, with only a note from Ellen, telling him not to follow them…Abraham does, of course, and finds the bodies of Ellen, and the children, who have been attacked and killed by walkers…

Unable to bear his grief, Abraham tears his dog tags from his neck, pulls out his pistor and puts it in his mouth, ready to end it all...

Unable to bear his grief, Abraham tears his dog tags from his neck, pulls out his pistor and puts it in his mouth, ready to end it all…

the kids dead abraham pistol in mouth

...until he hears a cry for help...Eugene is mincing away from a small gang of three walkers, a Man Damsel In Distress

…until he hears a cry for help…Eugene is mincing away from a small gang of three walkers, a Man-Damsel In Distress

After easily dispatching the Sorry Walker Trio, Abraham turns to go…Eugene calls him back, yells for him to “Stop!”  Abraham, without stopping, or turning, asks, “Why?”

I Have A Very Important Mission

“I Have A Very Important Mission”

At these words, Abraham turns, regards Eugene...he now has a mission, a reason to go on.  A reason to live.

At these words, Abraham turns, regards Eugene…he now has a mission, a reason to go on. A reason to live.

Well, people, there you have it.  The Comic Book Set, being so much smarter than us Prime Time Pollyanna tv-series-only WD fans, knew for a long time that Eugene didn’t really have the cure…but he does have the mullet, boy howdy, does he ever.

Let’s go back to a classic shot, in better days, when Eugene, after sabotaging yet another working, running vehicle in his stunted effort to buy himself, and his lie, a little more time, shot up the gas tank of Abraham’s truck, earning himself one of the best mullet names, ever…

IMG_3165

“Son Of A Dick!”

Of course, I once again have multiple Deadies to award: Deadie #1 goes to Abraham Ford, and Michael Cudlitz…for being a total beast, but so sweet in the inside, and loyal, and funny, and fun.  And for being a soldier, a true soldier, and for believing, and for trying so hard, and for losing so much…and for having the hottest girlfriend, Rosita (who, btw, gets Deadie #2, for all the obvious reasons).

And, now, Deadie #3...a No-Brainer (which is an incredible name for a mullet, and I can pretty much guarantee that each and every person who reads this will come across some unfortunate, and highly comedic, someone who will bear the mullet, and the name, No Brainer And if you do, darling readers, be compassionate, be kind…because No Brainer cannot help it, for whatever reason.)

Deadie #3 goes to Eugene Porter, for being brave, finally, and for coming clean, finally…and of course, to Josh McDermitt, the talented actor, and comic genius, who plays Eugene.  I  do hope you survived The Big Punchout That Was Coming To You, Eugene, because I think I may just believe in you, after all.  If anybody can figure out a way to cure this walker cure epidemic thing by fighting fire with Righteous Mullet Fire, it’s you…especially if the cure is such that can be deployed by gamer-style handsets, or fire hose.  You rock at those, Eugene!

Let’s give it up for our man, Dr. Mull, aka Eugene Porter, a man, who, in his own words, is a. “a son of the South, who has successfully negotiated the travails and vagaries of journeys, both real and virtual.”

To Eugene! (if there were a heart icon with a mullet on top, I would totally put it right here.)

They call me

They call me Dr. Mull.

I dedicate this playlist, in its entirety, to Abraham Ford, first and foremost, and to the gang.  Don’t stop believin’, guys!

Just one more, for the road:

Fire With Fire ❤

Playlist:

Iron Maiden, “The Trooper”

Goat, “Run to Your Mama”

Alice In Chains, “Rotten Apple”

Melvins, “Honey Bucket” 

Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin'” (featuring one of my favorite rock mullets of all time, the Steve Perry) 

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