The Walking Dead : Knots Untie

I initially thought of Jesus as a rather funny character, this episode remakes him in my mind as someone more sober. He seems to be thee diplomatic glue holding Hilltop, and assorted isolated communities, together. It sure isn’t Gregory, who is something of a milquetoast. He’s not a villain but he’s unwilling to make some very harsh decisions, although he is willing to be an ass. He’s certainly  unwilling to make the kind of decisions Rick made in this episode.

We pick up the story almost where we left off. Jesus is amusing himself in Rick’s house when he’s interrupted by Carl. When he tells Carl he’s waiting on his Mom and Dad to get dressed, the look on Carl’s face is priceless. Later, Rick has a n awkward conversation where he attempts to explain to Carl what happened, which is totally adorbs, but Carl’s cool about it. Ricks new (old) dynamic with Michonne doesn’t bother him. Why would it? They’ve been living in each other’s backpockets for months now.

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Jesus explains that he’s from a community called Hilltop, which actually is on a hill, and used to be some kind of historic recreation, and that his job is to seek out new communities for trade. It really is a whole new world for the Alexandrians.  He’s taken inventory of their community and thinks there’s something to work with. He turns out to be a good guy after all, despite my dread that he might not be. Later, he tells Rick he likes them, thinks they’re good people, and that he took their truck full of supplies because they looked like bad guys. he’s right. Rick and crew aren’t evil but they’re not good for the communities they have disagreements with.

There’s a lot of Abraham in this episode with shots of him wistfully longing for Sasha, while sleeping with Rosita, and asking Glenn awkward questions involving pancake batter. (You have to watch the episode to understand that.) Later, at Hilltop,  Abraham almost gets killed. I wonder what will be the outcome of that event, especially after he told Rosita she was “almost perfect”. (Yeah, she is but  not as perfect as Sasha, apparently).

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Jesus takes them to Hilltop, after being derailed by a car crash. Rick and the others save the survivors from zombies because they can’t fight worth a darn, (which explains their behavior towards Negan and his crew). There’s a standoff with the gatekeepers, but Jesus diffuses the situation (not for the first time) by letting the Alexandrians keep their guns and informing Rick and the others that the Hilltoppers don’t even have any ammo. The Alexandrians have so little to trade  that I wonder what exactly Jesus had in mind when bringing them to the  community.

Rick throws Maggie in the deep end when he appoints her to be their liaison to Gregory, the leader of Hilltop. Her negotiations with Greg are the highlight of the episode. I love a good negotiation scene. She initially gets knocked for a loop but she gets back up and comes in swinging. Gregory, believing he’s got the upper hand, suggests the Alexandrians  work for the community, in trade for supplies, (while implying that he wants to get in Maggie’s pants) Maggie cuts his shit short about that, when she tells him to remember what her name is, and stop calling her Baby.

Maggie figures out that he’s not the only one with leverage after one of his community members stabs him in the stomach at Negan’s behest.The Hilltop is unable to protect itself from people like Negan, so they offer trade instead, but creatures like Negan are greedy things. If you give them an inch, they will take a yard. They’ve been sending supplies to Negan on a regular basis, but he’s been asking for more. At some point they’re going to have nothing to offer. Its the oldest scam in the book. “Give me your lunch money and I wont kick your ass.”

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One of Gregory’s deliveries gets derailed when Negan kidnaps the brother of one of the deliverers and sends the brother back with a very painful message for Gregory, Rick kills the man when he attacks him and his crew. (Watch Michonne step in to protect her man, although Rick can and does take care of himself, she’s always had his back.) The man Rick killed would never have been  trusted again anyway, as long as Negan holds his family. Negan would never have  been satisfied with  just assassinating Gregory. He would’ve asked for more because that’s just how he rolls.

Once again Rick walks into an ostensibly peaceful situation, and  nonchalantly walks out of it, covered in someone else’s blood. Does anyone else think of Rick and the Murder Crew as the nuclear option of the zombie apocalypse? Just drop them anywhere in or near a settlement and they’ll have it gift-wrapped for you in a week or two. They’ve been weapons of mass destruction since season one and have this shit down to an art form.

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Knowing this about Negan, gives Maggie the leverage she needs, to procure half of the Hilltopper’s supplies. She reasons that Negan would have to be killed, at some point, as someone like him  will never be satisfied with appeasement. Also, sooner or later, Negan is going to run into the people who turned his henchman into pavement stew and they’re gonna have to nuke him, anyway.

Maggie and Glenn, using the first rate medical facilities of Hilltop, get their first ultrasound  look at their baby, because conveniently, one of the people they saved earlier was once an obstetrician.

For those of you who have read the books, you have some idea  why every time Glenn and Maggie discuss their future and their baby, I feel a deep sense of dread and  everything that comes out of their mouths feels like a punch in the gut. For those of you who haven’t read the books “DON’T GOOGLE ANYTHING! YOU WILL NOT LIKE IT!”

Rick takes his proposal to the rest of the group and they reach a consensus. I feel pretty awful about the decision they’re making because, as a general rule, Rick and his crew don’t actually look for fights. The fights usually come to them as they seek to protect each other. But this is different. Rick isn’t wrong. Sooner or later, they will have to fight Negan, (probably as a result  of what Daryl did to his henchmen), which means somebody’s gonna die.

I think sometimes the best we can hope for in this show is that its not everybody.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Walking Dead : The Next World

Well, this is certainly a new world we have entered this week. It was also a very enjoyable episode as it was one of the more lighthearted episodes of…ever. When do we ever get to see these characters just be silly sometimes?

Well, tonight we get a Butch and Sundance road trip between Rick and Daryl. They make a pretty good team, most of the time, but these two cannot be allowed to be together too much as they can’t seem to stop one another from exhibiting some of their worst habits. This is not necessarily a bad thing but it did result in some amount of tragedy for Denise’s snacks.

So, Denise and Tara are living together and Tara talks in her sleep. That’s very interesting. I think they’re relationship is one of the most adorable on this show. It’s not one of those great, grand, romances for the ages, like Glenn and Maggie.They’re not a power couple ,like Rick and Michonne. It’s just something the two of them quietly took care of in the background and I like that.

Learning that Rick and Daryl are going on a supply run, Denise is all kinds of  adoracute, when she gives Daryl her list. Michonne, who has an obsession with her teeth, just wants toothpaste, and Eugene, wearing his butt shorts,  requires they bring back  sorghum, (the super grain), after which everything will be just hunky-dunky. He gives his list to Daryl and you can just see Daryl rolling  his eyes “because why is everyone giving ME their list? And what the Hell does hunky-dunky mean?

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We spend most of the day with Rick and Daryl , listening to horrible country music, and driving too fast. They manage to find Eugene’s sorghum at a place conveniently called Sorghum. At a gas station they run into Jesus, who continues to vex them at every opportunity. He keeps showing up out of nowhere, the sneaky little ninja, and manages to get the best of Daryl and Rick when the two of them let their tempers get out of control.

Having found a huge cache of junk food (Denise’s special request) and other supplies, they bicker with Jesus, who wants it for himself. He’s an interesting character. At no point does he try to kill or verbally threaten the two of them, he appears to be unarmed, and has a somewhat Trickster sense of humor.

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Funniest moment of the episode is Daryl and Rick chasing Jesus around a grassy field, when they most certainly didn’t have to do that. They could’ve just let it go, but didn’t, and as a result, lose the cache of supplies in a small lake. Jesus is injured and they reluctantly  take him with them to Alexandria.

Most touching moment is Michonne finding out that Spencer has been going into the forest every day searching for the resurrected Deanna. The last time he spoke to his mom they had a falling out. Carl and Enid encountered her first, but Carl made the decision not to put her down, believing that someone who loved her should have the honor. (It’s  been a couple weeks after the zombie horde and Carl is looking all mature and shit. All he needs is an eyepatch. Those bandages just ain’t cool. ) Michonne doesn’t understand this until Carl explains that he would do the same for her, because they’re family.

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Michonne, Rick, Carl and Judith have all been living like a family anyway, and later Rick and Michonne make it official, which is a pleasant and unsurprising surprise, as this is a relationship that’s been building for a while now, to the great glee of fans of the show. (Hell, I thought they were already sleeping together and we just weren’t seeing it.) I’m always just a tiny bit surprised at who ends up with who, sometimes.

I think Sasha and Abraham make a good couple but I know some fans are going to react badly to having her black boyfriend killed off a season ago for her to be dating a White man later. And that’s if Rosita doesn’t kill Abraham first, because he’s already in a relationship with her and she may not take it well. I’m kind of scared for her now, because killing her off is one way to eliminate that problem.

Now if only Daryl and Carol would show their love. Not that everyone needs a hookup. It would just be nice if he had someone, although Carol may be wrapped too tight right now to be in a relationship with anyone. (Since Daryl is a completely original character, not in the books, he can be shipped with anybody.)

The next morning, Rick and Michonne wake to find Jesus into heir bedroom. How the Hell did that happen because they left him tied up and unconscious in one of the empty houses. with Daryl as a guard, the other evening?

WOW!

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Love at the end of the world as we know it.

And it’s just fine…

 

On A Personal Note: 

I wasn’t sure how to feel about the Official  Richonne relationship at first, but now I’m reluctantly on board and willing to see where it goes. Part of me is elated (YIPPEEE!) and the other part of me felt dread (OH NO!) for Michonne, because whenever characters hook up, one of them dies.

Please creators,  let this awesome Power Couple of the Apocalypse, live forever!

The Walking Dead: No Way Out

Wow!

That is definitely a Big Bang  opening to the middle of the season!

I loved this episode for its action and it’s message, which is basically, “Get off your ass and do something!”

This episode picks up exactly where it left off, with the introduction of Negan’s cronies. If you’ve read the books, then you know this is the name of this, and possibly next season’s, Big Bad, and yeah, his followers are a right bunch of assholes. This is why I stood and applauded when Daryl showed off why he is the total badass we all love,  by blowing ’em to Hell and back, with Abe’s pet bazooka.

I can’t stop smiling about that!

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So Sam’s big mouth didn’t cost the team their lives yet, but Denise is stuck with the Wolf, who may or may not kill her and she is shaking with terror, and Glenn is stuck with Enid, who is now determined to help him save Maggie. Father Gabriel takes Judith to safety at his church, while Rick and the others decide to go for vehicles instead of the armory. Enid finds a gun hidden in the church that she and Glenn have invaded. They try to come up with a plan to save Maggie.

If that Wolf shoots Denise, it will attract the Walkers right to him, but he’s pretty deranged so I’m not sure he’s thinking that clearly. Carol and Morgan are up and about and have to deal with Denise’s kidnapping. The two of them have unfinished business, though. Tara is desperate to save Denise but is talked out of acting foolish by Rosita. Rosita tells Eugene he doesn’t have to fight. She knows how scared he is but he gets some gumption from somewhere. He tells her no one gets to sit it out, including him.

It’s night, and Rick, Jessie, Sam and the others seem to have been wandering among the dead for hours, when Sam starts to panic. Apparently his panic sets off something in the Walkers and they attack him. I’m sure everyone saw that coming. Jessie, distraught and screaming, quickly follows and Ron, with what is once again perfect timing, decides that now is the time to take revenge on Rick and Carl. It’s pointless anyway because if he fires his gun, he’ll be eaten. Michonne takes him out but not before he shoots Carl.

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I’m still having  trouble processing this scene. I keep thinking maybe it’s some elaborate dream sequence in Rick’s  mind.

The Wolf gets bitten while he and Denise attempt to make it to one of the guard towers. She tells him, if they  make it to the infirmary, she’ll save his life. He stopped to save her when the tower was right there. He could have left her. I think he liked being around her, and she and Morgan are probably the first normal persons he’s ever had any prolonged contact with.

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Morgan and Carol talk. From Carol’s  point of view, Morgan’s reverence for life is a selfish gesture, to make him feel good about himself. Carol  sees Denise and the Wolf running  to the infirmary and shoots the Wolf.

Rick runs into the infirmary with Carl, and Denise tries to save his life, but the Walkers have been attracted,  and someone needs to distract them. Rick goes outside with his machete. The others join him. Even Father Gabriel finally grows some nuts, I guess, as he joins in the fight, echoing the sentiments on a sign that Enid read earlier in a church,  and one of the prime components of the Christian belief system,

“Faith without works is dead. What does it prophet, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?”

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In other words, “God helps those who help themselves.” They can’t just sit and pray.

Enid and Glenn manage to save Maggie from her precarious perch on one of the guard towers. Glenn gets bogged down in Walkers just  before the cavalry of Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham, show up with machine guns.

Talk about a Deus Ex Machina, huh?

Most of Alexandria’s heavy hitters are all mixed in and fighting among the Walkers, but the cavalry has a plan. They set fire to the pond, using the fuel from the tanker, and the Walkers, attracted to the blaze, head into it.

There’s an awesome montage of all the Alexandrians fighting the zombies.

The next day, Rick sits at Carl’s bedside, while all the other injured get taped and sewn shut. He tells a comatose Carl that he’s impressed with the Alexandrian’s survival instincts and of his dreams for Carl’s future. Carl responds by squeezing his hand. This is the second time Carl’s been accidentally shot and I have no idea what to think about that. Carl does lose an eye in the comics, so it’s surprising and unsurprising.

Sometimes I don’t have anything philosophical to share, just  sheer wonder that we’ve been graced with six seasons of one of the most awesome horror series on TV.

This episode was mad shit tonight.

I love this show!

 

 

The Walking Dead: Start To Finish

Who said, “Things  couldn’t possibly get worse!”? Whoever said  that, needs to shut up, especially when it comes to this show. The writers delight in causing  tension for its viewers. I spent more than a few moments actually on the edge of my seat or screaming at my TV. That’s how good this show is. Mostly at any scenes that involved children.

I read somewhere that children exist, in movies and TV shows, to give  adults a reason to have drama, or to create tension by putting them in danger. They rarely have their own plots and backstories. If that’s the case, then tonight is Sam’s (Jessie’s son) time to shine because there is no more annoying character  this episode. First up,  the blatant metaphor of having an ant invasion in his room, paralleling the Walker invasion outside.

Sam has spent the past couple of days holed up in his room trying to avoid the dangers of the world, like zombies and Wolves. He just wants to be safe. I get that. I think the message here is that you can’t hide because the danger will only come for you later.

Another recurring theme of this season is how different children are coping with the zombie apocalypse. Enid, in JSS, gives up on living in favor of simply surviving. Her argument is to just let everything go,run away, not deal with it or get close to people. This is her way of psychologically checking out.

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Ron’s method of coping is to become deeply myopic. Instead of focusing on the larger dangers, he has winnowed his attention down to  the most immediate problems, which are the loss of his father and then his girlfriend by the Grimes’ family.

Of all of them, Carl seems to be handling the apocalypse the best. Part of it is that Carl is reasonably intelligent and has  a great supporting cast of his father’s friends and followers. He’s been taught by Rick since he was very young. He’s also  able to see the best and worst of Rick, in play, and  then weed out the worst behavior by paying close attention to how his father’s  friends react. So Carl, unlike the other kids, is stepping up to the idea of a being a capable protector and a fighter, with an eye on issues beyond his own needs. Ron, Sam and Enid, were never taught these things. We’ve seen him show his ability to make command decisions a couple of times this season.

We pick up  where we left off, last week, when the watchtower, which had been damaged in the attack from the Wolves, finally gave   up, and fell into the compound. This destroyed part of the wall, allowing the Walker horde to invade Alexandria.

Once again, you have to remember that all of these episodes are happening almost simultaneously or at least within the same couple of  days. Earlier that morning the heavy hitters were out herding walkers, when the Wolves attacked the town and everyone scrambled to get home. During their scramble, everyone is separated. Rick has a near death experience, so do Glenn and Daryl. Enid runs away but is found the next day by Glenn.

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On the second day, Morgan has an intervention with Rick and the others, and is discovered to be holding one of the Wolves hostage. Spencer makes reckless decisions which lead to a falling out with his mother. Maggie confesses she’s pregnant to Aaron, who finds out that it was  his recruitment photos that  led the Wolves to Alexandria’s doorstep.

This same day, Maggie has a near death moment herself and just barely makes it to safety, as the Walkers head to the heart of the town. Everyone runs for safety. Rosita, Tara and Eugene are trapped in a garage, but later, escape. Deanna and Rick hole up in Jessie’s home with Judith, Michonne and Carl. Morgan and Carol, find an abandoned house.

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Deanna, severely injured in their run for safety discovers that she’s also been bitten. She has a lot of advice to impart to Michonne, as she is one of the few people who believes in Deanna’s vision for the town. Deanna tasks her to think about what she wants for Alexandria and for herself. It’s interesting that she didn’t say these things to Maggie, who will be busy with her own issues, soon enough.

Carol, also injured, manages to escape Morgan’s attention for thirty seconds and runs off to kill his captive. Morgan reaches her just in time while Denise, and the Wolf, look on with interest. The Wolf keeps encouraging Carol to kill him, while Morgan tries to talk her out of it.  Carol threatens to kill him too and the two of them duke it out, until Morgan, exasperatedly slams her to the floor, knocking her unconscious.

 

 

 

I love both of these characters, understand both their viewpoints, and see this as an example of Fight Philosophy, where a fight isn’t just two people hitting each other. Its a contest between  competing philosophies, Morgan’s philosophy of Compassion and Carol’s philosophy of Pragmatism. Each one of these ideas has a price. For Carol the price for doing what needs to be done is her soul or sense of self. This is simply not who she is or should be and Morgan can sense that she is headed down a wrong path. Morgan, however,  gets to keep his soul, but because he won’t kill, the price may be his life.

This is made evident when the Wolf, taking advantage of the situation, attacks Morgan, takes Denise hostage and escapes.

Outside the walls, Glenn  and Enid try to figure out a way to get inside and help their friends and family.

At Jessie’s house Sam has a panic attack when he realizes the town has been invaded by zombies. He has to be talked down by Jessie, who tells him to pretend he is a brave person.  The house itself is invaded when Ron, with his usual incredible timing, decides now would be a good time, to hash out his problems with Carl. When Carl finds him in the garage, he tries to shoot him and the two of them wrestle for the gun, shooting out the garage windows, which allow the zombies to get into the house. Later, Carl lies to Rick, about how this happened.

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Rick and the others come to the rescue but are too late to stop the tide of zombies. Short on time, Rick’s risky plan is one I like to call The Zombie Guts Maneuver, first introduced by Glenn, I believe. Once again Sam panics and has to be talked into it by his mother. I don’t think Jessie is going to teach him to be strong enough, fast enough, for him to survive. He’s had a very coddled existence, and is simply not equipped, for this kind of thing, on such short notice.

Unfortunately, they have to leave Deanna behind. Rick gives her a gun, which I think she’s supposed to use on herself, but she goes out in grand (but painful) style, when she elects to use the bullets on the invading Walkers.

The group successfully makes its way through the Walker horde in the house, and outdoors, where their mission is jeopardized by Sam who, utilizing some of  Ron’s incredible timing techniques, (this must run in the family) decides right then would be a good time for him and Jessie to have a heart to heart talk. So yeah, if someone doesn’t do something soon, little Sammy is going to get eaten.

 

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EPILOGUE:

Sasha, Abraham and Daryl are still on their way back to Alexandria, when their vehicle is  commandeered by a gang of men on bikes. Men who say they’re from Negan. Incidentally these are the same guys that ambushed the group earlier, and chased after the trio that captured Daryl, in the episode Always Accountable.

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<SIGH!>

Who said things can’t get any worse?

The Walking Dead : Always Accountable

Keep in mind, that although for us, the viewers, it’s been five or six weeks, it’s really only been about a couple of days for the characters. A lot of the episodes we’ve seen are meant to happen simultaneously with other episodes.

Last week, there was not a lot of action, as the characters dealt with the aftermath of the attack on Alexandria. Many of them coming to grips with understanding that this is what the world is like and how they will have to live, especially Deanna and Spencer. There were some minor revelations, some hookups between unexpected characters and one major revelation from Maggie. We still don’t know whether or not Glenn is gone (I’m inclined to believe he’s dead,) which  is made all the more tragic  on finding out that Maggie is pregnant, when she makes the decision NOT to go look for him. Tara finds love with the town doctor and Rick gets to kiss his favorite damsel, Jessie. Those are the highlights.

Tonight, we find out what’s been going on with another subset of the group. All our heaviest hitters were out corralling zombies during all of the other mayhem. So, Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha, have no idea what’s been happening, and have been dealing with their own problems.

I’m guessing this is sometime  on the same day as the attack on Alexandria. Sasha and Abe are driving, with Daryl in the lead on his motorbike. They are ambushed by people in cars. I dont think this is the Wolves because they seem much too organized  and the Wolves act like they don’t believe in modern technology, like guns, so why would they use cars? Daryl gets separated from Abe and Sasha, who use their big guns to shoot out a couple  of the vehicles.

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Daryl, exhausted, injured, lost , and surrounded by zombies, falls out  in some burnt out woods. Hearing noises, he encounters what appears to be two lost girls, but they have a male partner who, while holding Daryl at gunpoint, make the mistake of  stealing his crossbow and taking him hostage. Yeah, that’s not a good idea and they’re going to want to give him back at some point.

Who were the people in the cars? Were they from Negan’s  compound or another group of people entirely?

Daryl’s captors confess that they are the ones who burned down the woods, to kill the zombies but   I  definitely think they’re fleeing something other than zombies.

At a trucking depot, of some kind, Daryl’s  captors are distracted and that’s when  he makes a break for it. He makes off with the bag containing his crossbow, he hurriedly unpacks it to kill a zombie and discovers an insulin container. Because Daryl isn’t a total monster yet, he decides to give it back to them.

Abe and Sasha try to reach Daryl  on their walkies, but can’t. Deciding  to look for him, they wonder about the ambush. They  leave Daryl’s name wherever they go,  so he can track them.

Sasha beds down in an abandoned office about four feet away from a trapped zombie. I just know that she and Abe are about to have some deeply sensitive conversations, after Sasha can’t sleep after all. I wouldn’t be able to sleep either. That zombie is  like two inches  away, behind some glass and a locked door, but it doesn’t sleep or stop moving and who can sleep through that? Sasha questions why Abe came with her. She also questions his self control as much as he does hers. She talks about how people are always accountable for their choices, no matter what the rest of the world is doing.

- The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 6 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
– The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

After Daryl returns to his captors, a truck shows up and  some guy named Wade wants the trio to come back and pay for what they took, but they refuse. Daryl witnesses this exchange.  All of  them run off into the woods. Daryl gives the male back his gun

One of the members of the group of  chasers is bitten, gets his arm amputated by Wade and they all decide to go back home. Daryl and his captors hear Wade call off the chase. His captors wonder why Daryl  returned to them. I’d also like to point out, at least one time, that Daryl’s arms are very distracting.I’m not talking about his knife or his crossbow.

Abe is still getting overwhelming urges to kill every zombie he sees, no matter how harmless. Out wandering, he finds a cache of guns and cigars in a truck.He finds a trapped zombie dangling from a pole, and decides he wants its rocket launcher. He wrestles it hand to hand before realizing what he’s doing is crazy. (Abe’s got issues.) Eventually the zombie falls apart leaving its weapon behind, anyway.

Abe goes back to the office and puts the moves on Sasha, who you can see is seriously giving his proposal the consideration it deserves. That’s one I didn’t see coming. I thought he was with Rosita. He better sort himself out before he hooks up with Sasha, who seems amenable to the idea. Not sure how I feel about that. I think they work well together but as a couple, I’m more than a bit dubious.

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Daryl and company come to a burned out house. The trio Find dead bodies of their friends under some melted blankets, and one of them is promptly bitten, when she apparently decides its a good time for a nap, and falls down on top of them. No, really! It just looks like she decides to just lie down between the two bodies. I’m going to chalk it up to some kind of sugar dementia, because she is a diabetic. (I’m diabetic too, but I hope I check out, before I reach that stage.)

Daryl, seeing a good opportunity, asks the three questions : How many walkers, how many people and why?  He tells  the last two captors about Alexandria, then decides to go look for Sasha and Abe. At the last second, because Daryl has got it going on like that, he  expects his captors ambush  from behind, but too late to stop the little fuckers from stealing his bike!  I suspect they won’t get far. How much gas do they have? That bike isn’t very quiet, it will attract zombies . Where are Wade and the others?

Luckily, Daryl finds an abandoned fuel truck  in the woods.

At the office, Abe finds a military jacket. Why is that funny to me? Daryl shows up and offers them a ride home.

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Even though not much happened this episode, it was kind of fun and I liked it. It was acutely Dayl-centric and that’s never a  bad thing. Daryl’s captors were not three of the brightest people… although I guess they can’t be too dumb, as they’ve managed to survive, so far.

As the last credits begin to roll, Daryl receives a call for help on the walkie. Is it Glen? The Wolves? Somebody new? We’ll find out next week.

The Walking Dead : Thank You

Michonne, Glenn, Heath, Annie, David, Nicholas, and a couple of others, spend most of this episode running and fighting for their lives and mostly not succeeding.

I’m not reviewing tonight’s episode. There’s no point. If you haven’t seen it, then it doesn’t matter. If you have, then you already know what I would talk about.

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“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Walking Dead : JSS

Last nights episode of The Walking Dead was  almost entirely action, yet still had enough depth to be unpleasantly satisfying. JSS is short for Enid’s motto, “Just Survive Somehow”, and the episode picks up the narrative in two places; how Enid, a young woman of Carl’s acquaintance, came to Alexandria, and where we left off last episode, with an alarm blaring out of Alexandria, attracting the zombies the townspeople were trying to herd out of the area.

We’re shown Enid getting in full touch with her survival instincts, hiding from Walkers and eating a tortoise, after her parents were killed by zombies, on the road. After several days of Just Surviving Somehow, she arrives at Alexandria. Like most people in this world, she is severely damaged and finds it difficult to emotionally commit to the people, or  the town. She really  has one foot in Alexandria and one foot out in the world. I don’t blame her. I would find it incredibly difficult to come close to people, after such an event, and not just for safety reasons. She is willing to set foot near Alexandria solely because her chances of survival might be better there. After the events of tonight’s episode, she has changed her mind and finally decides to leave.

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Deanna and Maggie talk about Deanna’s responsibilities and Petes wife, Jessie, tries to talk to her oldest son, Ron, who is mostly known for moping around Alexandria, pining for his late, abusive father. Tara and Eugene meet the new doctor, Denise, who is super under-confident about her new position, because she has panic attacks. Well, today is going to really test her competency and her nerves. Eugene’s advice is not helping and he should shut up now.

Father Gabriel tries to talk to Carl about helping the town. I guess it’s better if he talks to Carl, rather than Rick, as Rick will just ignore him, maybe. Carl agrees to teach him how to use a machete. Carol plans to fix a casserole. She admonishes her neighbor, Ms. Neudermeyer(?), that she should stop smoking because there’s enough ways to die, in this world, without adding smoking. Ms. Neudermeyer gives her the stink eye, but Carol’s words are prophetic, as Neudermeyer is one of the first people killed, when The Wolves, taking advantage of the absence of the town’s top dogs, decide to attack. Carol watches while she is macheted by a strange man, who blitzkriegs her, on her front lawn.

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Maggie and Deanna watch as the wall is struck by Molotov cocktails, burning some people, alive. Jessie and her youngest son hide in a closet, when someone breaks into the house. Enid comes to visit Carl before she leaves. Carl convinces her to stay for a while longer, so he can protect her and Judith. Enid was always ready to run at any time. JSS!

Various townsfolk are shown being chased down and stabbed or bludgeoned to death. One of the reasons this episode is so intense is because the Wolves are so thoroughly  unhinged. They stab and hack and chop at their victims long after they have expired. I guess to keep them from rising as zombies. I guess it hasn’t dawned on them that a blow to the skull would do the trick. It’s more brutal than just about anything we’ve seen on the show, because they don’t have guns. Carol, seeing one of her neighbor’s attacked, kills the attacker, and finishes off the neighbor after she dies in her arms. Carol dons the attacker’s clothes and, masquerading as a Wolf named Aphid, proceeds to kill every Wolf she encounters.

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The alarm that was heard was a truck horn, that got stuck in the on position, when the Wolves tried to ram a truck through the walls. The driver was shot by Deanna’s surviving son, Spencer, and the driver resurrected in the cab of the truck. Spencer hesitates to kill the Walker but Morgan does not. Morgan tells him to hide while he goes inside. He comes across a Wolf hacking at one of the townspeople and tries to talk him into leaving, but Carol, disguised as Aphid,  kills him first. They argue about killing the Wolves but Carol wants to get to the armory before the Wolves do and needs his help. It’s interesting to watch her because she seems so utterly fearless, at far remove from the timid creature we knew, in season one. All the fear has been burnt out of her, but people like Eugene and Spencer seem to have an endless capacity for it.

Denise’s first patient is Holly, brought in by Eugene, and Rosita and Aaron. Denise tries desperately to save Holly’s life, while Aaron runs off to help protect the town, and Eugene, who is of course, not a fighter, decides to stay in the infirmary. Denise is afraid to to do surgery on Holly but Eugene wisely states, don’t start off being a coward, as it becomes a bad habit. Deanna decides to stay outside the wall because she can’t fight and will only become a liability to Maggie, inside. Carl kills an attacker who was trying to kill Ron and offers Ron protection but Ron would rather sulk about Enid being in Carl’s house and runs away. A very strong part of me says good riddance to him, the little fuck.

One of the Wolves breaks into Jessie’s house and she brutally stabs the woman to death with the scissors she was going to use to cut Ron’s  hair, when she tried to talk to him about his father. I guess Ron was trying to establish a precedent becasue he got pissy and ran away then, too. This seems to be Teen Response # 2, from his roster of annoying human behaviors.

Carol makes it to the armory by pretending to have captured Morgan. Morgan runs off to protect Father Gabriel, while Carol is pursued by one of the Wolves. Carol kills the Wolf, arms Olivia, who was hiding in the closet, and then goes out to cause more damage. Morgan ties up Gabriel’s attacker. When the Wolf tries to explain why they attacked, Carol shoots him. Any excuse he gives will simply be self servingly batshit, I’m pretty sure.

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Morgan faces off against several Wolves with nothing but a Bo staff and some threats, and in one of my all-time favorite Morgan moments, manages to successfully talk (and beat) them into leaving. Morgan is totally the shit, but for the completely opposite reason, that Carol is. (I cannot help wishing Michonne had been there though, for maximum carnage.) Carol, her cover as happy homemaker now blown, contemplates her actions.  What is Olivia going to think of her? What does Morgan think? How many of the townsfolk have seen her without her mask? It’s the only time, since the beginning of the series, that we see her cry. Later, we see Jessie, Carol’s doppelgänger,  dealing with what she’s just done, as well. She was a mother bear. It’s impossible for me to pass judgment on her. That kind of judgment is for people who think they know where their line is. That line beyond which they’ll never step.

Aaron finds his old bag near the body of one of the Wolves, and inside, his photos of Alexandria. We know he thinks he’s to blame now, but he couldn’t possibly have foreseen something like this happening, I think. Denise loses the battle for Hollys life. She does not handle it well. I feel so deeply for her. She tried so hard. Maggie and Deanna come back inside the walls to survey the damage. Enid leaves. She’s a survivor. It’s what she does, but I sincerely hope she does not come in contact with any of the Wolves. JSS!

Morgan checks out a house and encounters the same Wolf who tried to kill and rob him last season, and whom he let live. The man taunts him about how he shouldn’t have. Morgan apologizes before delivering a final blow. It’s unclear whether or not he killed him, but I think he did. The episode ends with Carol passing Morgan on the street, completely ignoring him. She has no use for people who won’t do what needs to be done.

In Addition:

At the top of the show, Enid kills and eats a tortoise. It’s funny but the moment I saw it, I got totally invested in it. It was so cute. And then, I was shocked at the next scene of her eating it raw, and thought to myself, well of course. Nothing in this world would go to waste and she must be extremely hungry. I don’t think it would have occurred to me to eat it, no matter how hungry I was. I think part of my reaction was because we see so few animals, on the show. From time to time, we see rabbits or something small. But are there no deer in Georgia? We saw some wild horses last season and we saw the crew it a dog, but where are all the cats and birds? If the cats aren’t dead, the whole place should be overrun. What happened to the zoo animals? Are any of them running free, like monkeys, for example? I still don’t think there are enough animals shown in a world that’s been mostly denuded of people.

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I was not at all surprised to see Carol under the mask, later in the episode. Not surprised at all. Of course that’s what she would do, although I do realize it’s not an idea that would’ve occurred to me. Jessie  and Carol are such mirrors of each other. Abused wives, who were meek and submissive, to their husbands, but with nerves of steel underneath. Is  Jessie some kind of Proto-Carol?

When Morgan encountered the lone Wolf, I was rooting for him to not kill him. Not because I cared about the Wolf, but I wanted Morgan to stand by his principles and not kill. He’s been so adamant that he wouldn’t, what kind of person can he be if he folds the first, or even the second time, his resolve is tested? I don’t know if he killed the man, but I would be disappointed in him to find out he did.

Next week, we find out what the top dogs, Rick, Daryl, Michonne, Abraham and Sonya, were doing while Alexandria was being attacked? We’ll get to see what their reaction is, if they encounter the Wolves, themselves and if the successfully here’d away the swarm of zombies.

The Walking Dead: First Time Again

The sixth season of The Walking Dead begins with a bang, as we find out just why Alexandria hasn’t experienced a zombie invasion, and a flashback to Rick’s execution of Pete, for killing Reg, which Morgan walks  in just in time to witness.

We flash back and forth, in color and then black and white, between the town’s present efforts to corral and control the zombies, who have been trapped in a large quarry, for several months. Someone had the bright idea to barricade the area with semis, but those barriers are starting to fail and the zombies are making their way out. Rick comes up with a plan to herd the zombies out of Alexandrias range.

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We also go to the direct aftermath of Rick’s shooting of Pete. Morgan has been quarantined for everyone’s safety, since Rick has decided that they are no longer accepting new people, Morgan’s arrival is badly timed and the title is a reference to the two of them needing to get to know each other all over again. Can Morgan be trusted? Will he support Ricks endeavors?

Tara wakes up from her coma and is glad that Eugene kept his mullet. My feelings about Eugene are still ambivalent. On the one hand, I really like the guy, but most of the time, I just want to slap the piss out of him or give him a great big hug in sympathy, as he seems so pathetic. But I am glad that he and Tara are becoming friends as the two of them don’t seem to have any.

Eugene is also unintentionally hilarious, especially when he and Heath first meet. Their conversation is priceless, as Heath threatens to “beat his ass”, which would be one of the friendliest ass kickings seen on television. He would only be doing it becasue he’s mildly annoyed. Their conversation also makes me think that Eugene has got to be somewhere on the spectrum, although I don’t like diagnosing television characters as I’m not a professional. He just fits some of the criteria I’ve read.

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Abraham seems to be having some crisis of conscience and agrees to pal up with Sonya for the zombie rodeo. He evinces concern for her well being but the real question is : is he okay?

Rick has several mild confrontations with the residents of Alexandria. One of those is the burial of Pete. He doesn’t want him buried on the grounds and makes the decision to leave him in the woods. Deanna backs up all the decisions he makes. She is too saddened by the death of her husband, nominally putting Rick in charge. This is something that Carol acknowledges at one point.

We don’t exactly get closure on things but we get a shoutout to past events. Maggie and Tara reassert their friendship, when Tara finds out what happened at the warehouse, where she got hurt. Eugene saved her, but Nicholas was responsible for the death of Noah, (which I’m still hurting over), and that he subsequently tried to kill Glenn. Maggie and Glenn argue that Nicholas should be given a chance to redeem himself. I don’t believe there’s redemption for him but maybe atonement. I still applaud Glenn’s patience at working side by side with him. If it were me, I’d be too angry about both incidents to get near him, without strongly desiring to punch him in the face, for five to ten minutes.

Morgan gets to have an interesting first day. He repeatedly reminds Rick of who he is, susses out Carol’s character, buries bodies and has to stare at Ricks band-aided up face without laughing at it. I don’t know why that’s funny, but Rick walks around like that  for the whole episode and whoever did his first aid needs to take that class again. Was it Daryl?

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Since Rick is in charge now, there would be some token resistance from a guy named Carter, who  got on my last nerve. There’s always someone’s job it is, to poo-poo any ideas that the leader comes up with, but Rick, guided by Morgan manages to channel this guys inner angst into helping Rick save the town, although that doesn’t work to save him. And just in time, as he was just about to take out our other annoying character, Eugene, for overhearing his conspiracy to take down The Ricktatorship, in another scene that’s unexpectedly hilarious. (Thanx, Eugene!) Later, during the Rodeo, Carter gets eaten by a stray zombie, and Rick gets the honor of putting him down, as Carter’s screams begin to attract attention.

One of Ricks best speeches is to Carter, when he takes Carter to task about his conspiracy to take out Rick and the others and asks him, “Do you have any idea who you’re talking to?” I do think Carter need to be brought to his senses. He would have to kill all of them, really as Ricks people are totally loyal to him, and all of them (well okay, maybe not Eugene, who would’ve been dead anyway) are warriors.

This episode is definitely centered around Morgan and Rick as the try to bond again, first over Petes death, then Morgan meeting Judith, Carters death, saving Pete’s son, with Rick giving him the same speech he gave Carter, “Don’t make things harder than they need to be.”

But one of my favorite scenes is Morgan’s first meeting with Carol. I don’t believe the two of them have ever met before and Carol is still wearing her “Suzy Homemaker” costume, which Morgan sees right through, when he asks her if she is a cop, like Rick. She’s taken aback by this because most people see what they want to see when they look at her, but Morgan isn’t fooled. She’s going to have to be extra wary around him becasue he’s as observant as she is, and he has been looking at her.

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Morgan asks Michonne if she stole his protein bar (which she did), but she says she didn’t and he knows she’s lying. I actually laughed a few times during this episode. I don’t think things were supposed to be funny but the zombie rodeo is  conducted with Daryl on his bike, Sonya in a car with Abraham, balloons, trailers and loud noises. It’s just weird. It’s a massive swarm. One of the largest seen on the show and I applaud the special effects teams who managed to get all these extras in costume and acting in sync.

The townsfolk do an acceptable job of herding the zombies out of the corral and down the road, but hit a snag when a massive alarm goes off near Alexandria. And the question is, who set it off? Was it Ron, as vengeance for the death of his father? Was it the Wolves, that batshit insane group of people terrorizing any human stragglers during the apocalypse? Or some brand new menace, we don’t know yet?

I’m very much looking forward to the rest of the season. I know it’s going to be tragic, and funny and horrifying. Sometimes all at once. The show has been able to keep up this very suspenseful pace for three seasons after the slowed pace of being at the farm. I know a lot of people were ready to give up that season, as things just were not moving, but the show has recovered nicely.

Hopefully, the show can shake off that Merry-Go-Round of Black men, which was basically a reinforcement of The Highlander Rule for PoC. I hope Morgan sticks around for a good long time at least, because I am loving the Hell out of his bo staff skills and maybe he and Heath can co-exist for a while. I understand Heath is a big name from the books, which I refuse to read, so I’m looking forward to how badass he’s going to be.

Fear the Walking Dead

Here we are, for my first ever review of Fear the Walking Dead. I don’t know any more about this series than you do, so I’m sure there are going to be lots of surprises. I guess we’ll discover them and then scream hysterically, like a basket full of 10 year old girls.

As you can imagine, I was very excited about the show, so this is where most of my energy has gone. I’m pretty sure it will be an emotionally harrowing experience, so The Strain is probably going to have to wait until I calm down, to get  a review. (And really I’m excited about that show too, since one of my favorite characters has just arrived and I love him already.)

The show has started off rather slowly. The first character we’re introduced to is The Clark Family’s eldest son, who also happens to be a heroin junkie, which I think is an interesting thing to tackle during the apocalypse .He wakes up in what I like to call a “junkie bedroom”. It’s an abandoned church where drug users go to shoot up together. When he wakes up, and he’s lucky he did it at that particular moment, he finds his best friend is now a zombie.

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Note, that at no point during the episode, just like on The Walking Dead, are any of the dead referred to as zombies. People have definitely noticed something is wrong and people are beginning to slowly respond but no one has said that word yet. Like The Strain, most people don’t know what’s going on. Unlike The Strain, things seem a little more urgent and there’s none of that utter nonsense about the Internet being broken. At this point, at the beginning of the disaster, people can still communicate with each other.

I also want to commend Frank Dillane as Nick Clark, the running man, from the trailers. I fell in love with his acting in the show. He’s such an interesting mixture of defiance, honesty and childlike vulnerability. I thought his acting was just wonderful and although the character is frustrating and annoying, I actually like him.. His relationship with his family is complicated. They are all well aware of what he is and what he does. He’s been in and out of rehab, and the family is coming very close to writing him off but haven’t yet. So when he tells them he needs help, they give it to him. Granted, they do this within the knowledge of his drug addiction, but they do try to help.

The first episode is more along the lines of an introduction to the various main characters.The Clark Family, which consists of  Alicia, his sister, and Madison, his mother who is a school counselor. There’s also Travis, Madison’s just moving in, boyfriend, whose relationship with her children is somewhat sticky and whose relationship with his own son, is disastrous.

Now, I wasn’t the least bit interested in any of these relationships, although Nick’s relationship to everyone proved to be nuanced and intriguing, including his relationship with Travis, who as a newcomer to the family, wants to pull his own weight and who goes out of his way to find out what exactly happened to Nick and why he was so distraught.The other relationships in the family are pretty typical. Alicia has a boyfriend named Matt, who is an artist, Madison has a boss she gets along with, Madison and Alicia have a typical mother daughter dynamic. Not hostile but amenable. And Alicia, the family’s golden child, who can do no wrong, actually has a rather positive relationship to her brother, which surprised me.image

Madison has to counsel a teenager who brings a weapon into the school and Alicia and her friends  watch footage, on their phones,  of a zombie being shot by police and being confused as to what to make of the video.After the release of the video to the public, school is let out early.

Nick, trying to escape the zombie, runs out into the street and gets hit by a car. He gets taken to the hospital where everything is the usual chaos except for rumors of people being sick. While he’s there, we learn all this relationship stuff, that will probably have no great bearing on most of the plots, I hope.We see Madison showing her vulnerable side as she cries about Nick, the emotional roller coaster he has put her through and we start to get a feel for her strength and some idea that she might be capable of holding her family together, through the end of the world.

Nick, believing he’s going insane because of what he saw at the church, takes the first opportunity to run away from the hospital and  goes to confront his dealer, Cal.. Cal takes Nick to an empty culvert and attempts to shoot him and they fight over the weapon and Cal is shot.

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While this is happening, Travis and Madison have been investigating Nick’s claims about people being eaten in the church and also  frantically looking for Nick. At one point, they find and confront Cal.They know he’s Nick’s dealer. (I think it was at this point that Cal decided he needed to get rid of Nick.)  When his parents find Nick, he has just shot Cal and he’s understandably hysterical, but nevertheless,  they attempt to investigate his claim that he killed Cal, although no one can find the body.

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That’s because the body is up and about and we get an up close look at our first zombie on the show. Cal almost bites Madison and Travis, who, not knowing what they’re dealing with, naturally, try to get Cal some help.  Nick, understanding exactly what’s going on, saves their lives by hitting Cal several times with their truck. I suspect this is probably how a lot of people got infected so fast. Until people finally catch on, they would try to help people they think are just sick. This would also have the added effect of causing a great deal of paranoia and “Every-man for Himself Syndrome”.

Cal only stays down because he’s too broken to get back up and that’s when Madison and Travis get their first idea that Nick is not crazy or high, that he  was telling the truth, and that their world has gone horribly wrong.

So the episode starts out pretty slow but I expect the action to ramp up over the coming weeks, supposedly to culminate  at  the beginning of the next season of The Walking Dead. This is a much different approach to the apocalypse than The Strain which doesn’t present a clear enough timeline for when all of the events occur. Subsequently, the apocalypse on that show, seems rather meandering and completely non-urgent. I expect this show to be a little more fast paced, though.

The Walking Dead : Conquer

Tonight is the season five finale for The Walking Dead and all bets are off. I have no idea what’s going to happen beyond knowing that Rick, Carol, Daryl and Michonne will probably live. That’s all I got.

We’ve got 90 minutes of show and I don’t know if that other, worse problem, thats been hinted at, will even be mentioned. I don’t know if Alexandria can still be considered a Safe Zone. What do the Ws or heck, M’s mean, inscribed on the foreheads of the bodies that  Daryl and Aaron found? Will Carol kill Pete? Will Deanna exile Rick and how will Deanna handle the rest of Rick’s group if she kicks him out? Will Glenn have to get mideival on Nicholas? Will Sasha crash and burn?

 

If you don’t fight, you die!

It’s Morgan! Yay!

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Waking up in an abandoned car, it is the first time we’ve seen him since Rick and the others left him, a couple of seasons ago. And now we see the W guy. I guess he believes in marking everything, including himself with that letter just in case he forgets who he is?

He and Morgan have a morning sit down. I am terrified he’ll kill Morgan. I just got him back. W says there’s more like him. These  are the group of bandits responsible for the burned town and the chopped up zombies that were found earlier this season, I guess. Raiders. He threatens to take all of Morgan’s stuff and then his life.

And not to sound ablest here, but it’s apparent that he and his group are also batshit insane.

Morgan is attacked by him and another man and I see that he’s picked up some mad skills with a Bo staff, one of the few non-lethal weapons I seriously admire. He is awesome with it. He puts the man down and we find that the gun, W used to threaten him, wasn’t even loaded.

 

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Deanna has placed Rick under house arrest, sort of. He is the second person Michonne has had to counsel, through their shit,  since the group came to Alexandria. She needs to just become the town therapist, at this point.  Glenn, Carol, and Abraham stop by to get Rick’s story straight and  make plans for what to do if Deanna tries to exile Rick. A plan that involves hostages, knives and retaking the armory. Carol in her usual blunt manner calls the Alexandrians children, but Rick’s group has turned into the Terminians, apparently.

Maggie confronts Deanna about the meeting. She speaks up for Rick and tries to persuade Deanna to not be rash. Reg reassures Maggie that the correct decision will be made.

Sasha is alone in the forest burying zombies, when she decides to throw herself into the grave, too. Can she come back from wherever she is? Michonne came back from someplace similar, but I don’t know how strong Sasha is.

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Daryl and Aaron are still on the trail of a man in a red poncho, while Aaron tells Daryl about a group of people they exiled after letting them into Alexandria. Was that blonde woman, they found, one of them?

Carol talks to Rick. He asks why she lied to the rest of the group about the extra guns. She lied because Carol always hedges her bets.  Always!

Nicholas is giving Glenn the hairy eyeball. What’s he planning? He watches, as Maggie reassures Glenn, that things will work out.

And Father Gabriel, armed only with the word of God, decides to take a quick walk outside the stockade.

Rick partially explains his plans to Carl, who echoes many of the same sentiments that Carol said earlier, about the Alexandrians dying without them.

Aaron and Daryl come across a grocery store and make plans. I really like this duo. They work well together and have great chemistry, which surprises me. They find some bunkers but instead of food, they’re filled with zombies. They have to fight free and end up trapped in a car, by the swarm, where they find a warning note written by some previous victim.

This moment had me on the edge of my seat. But not for Daryl.  For Aaron. I guess liking Aaron, kind of snuck up on me.

 

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Carol stops by to chat..uhm no, threaten,  Pete. I’ve always admired Carol but now her behavior has just passed amorality on its way into serious cray-cray. Pete Totally loses it, after she leaves.

Nicholas shoots Glenn, in the forest, but Glenn gets away.

Rick  approaches Jessie, who tells him he was right. Whether she means what he said or what he did, I’m not sure.

Still trapped in the car, Daryl makes the decsion to save Aaron’s life but Aaron says its a together thing, not a lone hero thing. Just when they’re about to Go for broke, Morgan and his Bo staff show up and help them out. He gives Daryl Rick’s old map, with the note. I’m grinning like a loon and I don’t completely understand why. I’m just happy.

 

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Father Gabriel, armed with his words from the Lord, challenges a walker to a wrestling match. I don’t care how ready he thinks he is, he is going to fight being eaten. You don’t just lay down and accept that sort of thing. He actually does kill the walker and then does the honors for the walker’s victim. Then he bursts into tears. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen him kill one. Previously, whenever he encountered them, he just ran away.

Abe comes to visit Tara, whose still comatose, and Eugene and offers a semi-apology. I’m totally shipping Eugene and Tara, and loving Eugene, more than a little. His deadpan demeanor, blunt honesty, after his initial lies,  and overcoming his cowardice to save his friends, has put Eugene in the pantheon, with Daryl, Carol , Michonne and Rick.

Glenn and Nick hash it out in the forest and some walkers try to join in the fight.

Rick comes clean, to Michonne, about his plans to take Alexandria. She reassures him of her support. For him. No matter what happens, she’s got his back. (This is so Firefly. Every White hero needs a badass, Black, backup singer. It’s the law.)

Rick discovers that Father Gabriel left the gate open. (Of course he did.) So there might be walkers in the compound and now Rick has to run around looking for them.

Sasha visits Gabriel’s church. If she’s seeking comfort she’s shit out of luck because he can’t even help himself, let alone her.

The  meeting has started and Rick’s still not there. It’s full dark and Rick is still hunting walkers. Gabriel attacks Sasha. Where is Glenn?

Rick finds and destroys the walkers, while his people speak up for him. Sasha and Gabriel fight because Gabriel has not reconciled with his past deeds.  Glenn and Nick fight for the same reason. Glenn chooses to spare Nicholas.

The Ws have found and killed the man that Aaron and Daryl were tracking. Then they reset the walker trap that captured Daryl and Aaron. Maggie prevents Sasha from shooting Gabriel.

Rick makes it to the meeting and explains  the situation. Sasha and Gabriel make peace. W finds Aaron’s photos of Alexandria. Pete shows up and kills Reg with  Michonne’s sword. Deanna, in her grief, gives Rick permission to shoot Pete and he does, just as Morgan and the others run up. Unlike Sasha and Glenn, Rick isn’t willing to spare a life.

Tara finally wakes up.

Michonne straps on her sword again. She’s gonna need it, after all.

The last shot the season:  the coming  of The Wolves.

I’m really excited to see more of Morgan. He’s not insane any more. He seems to have reached some kind of peaceful space, where, as he claims, “All life is precious.” Okay!

Some of my friends warned me that the Wolves were coming and that they’re pretty awful. It’s like I mentioned a few weeks ago, that pretty much the only type of survivors left,at this point, are the worse of the worse. The ones who can kill without conscience.

It doesn’t matter anyway because there was never any such  thing as a “safe zone”.  Just like in the real world, no place is safe because human beings are not predictable creatures, in the sense of behaving well with each other.

Even in the real world, I’m always exasperated by people who, after any tragedy, claim that wherever they were, used to be safe. My first question for them is always: Were there people there? Then you were never safe.

Just like the Alexandrians, people delude themselves into thinking things can’t happen to them because of their location.  When they say such things, they do not take into account, that it’s the people around them, who are most dangerous to them.

No more so, than during the zombie apocalypse.

Quick question: Why are the Zombies rotting? Couldn’t people just wait a few years and the vast majority of zombies will have just rotted away? Barring those zombies that are in protected spaces, away from the elements.  Okay, there’s a lot about zombies that are just weird.

 

The Walking Dead: Try

Tonight is the penultimate episode of season five. (Am I using this word correctly?)

We’ll be looking at  the aftermath of the two deaths, during that disastrous run, in the last episode. I wasn’t that attached to Noah, so that’s not hurting quite as bad as it did with Tyreese, and Aiden I never cared about at all. We’ll see how Deanna handles the death of her son. What decsion will she make regarding Ricks group? Will MIchonne take Ricks’s side? What will Carol and Rick decide? Will all of this get sidelined by some new threat in the finale?

Let’s  find out:

Deanna  and her family are listening to Aiden’s mix cd’s . Yes, the music is still awful, even after his death. Carol bakes a casserole and leaves a note, which Deanna burns. The note, not the casserole.  Sasha is having a mo’.

Daryl and Aaron, discover another living person,  while out on their recruitment drive.

Nicholas, of course, is lying his ass off,cin his taped interviews. But I’m not actually shocked by that.  He’s certainly not going to admit to his own cowardice and would make a special effort to paint the others in a bad light. I don’t think Deanna is buying it, but she is still very uneasy about Ricks’s  group. Glenn tells Rick the truth about the run,  though.

Carol finds herself becoming increasingly involved in Sam, Jessie and

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Pete’s lives. She tells Rick she cares  because  of her own abusive past and she knows Rickt likes Jessie. This is an interesting conversation because Carol says that if the walkers hadn’t killed her husband, she wouldn’t have survived and Rick says that yes, she would have.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. The pragmatic, no-nonsense, survivor that Carol is now, was she always like that? Did the end of the world turn her into what she is now, (which is what she seems to be saying) or did it just peel off all her layers, to show what was really underneath? Do extreme conditions  make a person, or just expose what was hidden, all along? Like the people they’ve all met along the way. I find it difficult to believe the Terminians were like that before the apocalypse. On the other hand, I feel like those guys that Daryl fell in with, were a bunch of ne’er do wells, before the end of the world.

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Rick waits for Pete outside the house but doesn’t shoot him.

Yet.

Michonne contemplates putting on her new uniform but is interrupted by Rosita, who tells her that no one has seen Sasha since she went on tower duty, a day ago.

It just occurred to me, maybe so much  of the reason we love Michonne and Daryl,  is because they suffer from Bitchy Resting Face.

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Rick confronts Deanna about Pete and Jessie. She knew all along and Rick suggests separating them or killing Pete. Rick’s been burned too many times by being merciful to people and having it come back to bite him in the ass, later. Now, he’s where Carl was a few short years ago. The argument Deanna makes to him, is the one he made to Carl then.

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Michonne and Rosita learn that Sasha is out randomly hunting  walkers.

Carl follows Enid into the woods again. After she confronts him about it, they go frolicking through the woods like a couple of young deer in love – or a couple of batshit teenagers  that Deanna should find some work for.

Glenn confronts Nicholas about his cowardice and lets him know he’s not to leave out of the safe zone.

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After the two of them have run the sugar or hormones or whatever,  out of their systems, Carl asks Enid about her past. Then they watch a small swarm of walkers heading through the woods. Ahhh! Young romance blooms,  as they watch the sunlight bounce off the porous rotting skin, onto the naked tree bark, surrounding their enclosure.

Nicholas, now deeply frightened of Glenn, reveals that he’s hidden a gun in the forest. I think this is the gun Rick was looking for, earlier in the season.

Michonne and Rosita find Sasha, who is having serious trouble dealing with her grief, over Tyreese and Noah,  as she decides to take on a whole swarm of walkers. The two women save Sasha’s bacon afterwards.

Daryl and Aaron come across some dismembered bodies. Is this Morgan’s doing? And then another body that was tied up and fed on. This one also has a W incised into its forehead.

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Rick confronts Jessie about Pete. Jessie, like so many abuse victims, is unwilling to see what might happen. (I have more than a little passing experience with domestic abuse victims and I’m still baffled by this kind of thinking. I understand it, intellectually,  but it’s still extremely difficult not to be angry with the victim.)

She  gets angry at Rick. He tells her about Sam’s request for a gun. He stresses to her that those who don’t fight, die, just like outside the walls. And that he can keep her safe. He wants permission to get rid of Pete. She does say yes.

Pete walks in on them. Jessie tells Pete to leave, the situation escalates and Pete gets thrown out. Everyone comes running as Pete and Rick try to kill each other on the front lawn. It’s like some  horrible, trailer park drama, until Rick pulls a gun on Deanna, tells her how he really feels about all of them and that they are all now living in a Ricktatorship.

…and then Michonne knocks his block off.

This episode tested my patience more then a little bit. Enid and Carl’s teen romance novel and Rick and Pete’s cheap melodrama, had me rolling my eyeballs until they squeaked. Otherwise,  there were some interesting developments. A lot of my questions were answered, instead of derailed by some other emergency. Daryl and Aaron’s discoveries, the kerfluffle between Glenn and Nicholas and Ricks’s total loss of his shit, made it worth watching all the other stuff.

The Walking Dead : Forget

Tonight’s episode picks up from last week when Rick donned his old Sheriff uniform for the first time in several years. And although he looked like he was having some feels, about the old/ new outfit, he remains as flatly pragmatic (and a little sinister) and is already talking coup with his trusted cabal of Carol, and Daryl.

I’m really interested to see where last week’s conversation goes and how long Alexandria will last with Rick’s group as members, as there’s almost no group of people they’ve encountered, that they haven’t thoroughly disrupted. They’re like a mini-apocalypse of the Apocalypse.

Tonight, if Deanna is still recording interviews, I hope to hear what Abraham, Tara and Eugene, think about their new residence and maybe we’ll get to see someone beat up Aiden some more, ‘cuz he deserves the best.

Sasha can’t sleep, so she visits the weapons dispensary, so she can gear up for some hunting. She’s talking to the first woman of size, I’ve seen during the apocalypse. Is life really so cushy in Alexandria? I just know this woman has never killed a Walker, in her life.  Sasha’s  not hunting animals, but  the framed photos of the strangers, who used to live in her new house, and hoping to attract some Walkers because…issues.

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The cabal are having a secret meeting again and figuring out a place to stash some weapons. Carol looks totally incongruous in her Granny sweater, slacks and massive handgun. They discover a destroyed Walker with a W slashed into its forehead. Uh, oh, there’s some foreshadowing going on, people!

Michonne is trying on her new Deputy’s uniform. It’s interesting that Michonne is not in the cabal. I wonder if that means Rick either doesn’t trust her or just doesn’t want to harsh her buzz?

Daryl  discovers he’s being followed by Aaron and reluctantly permits him to ride along on his daily hunting trip.

Deanna discusses  some of  her motives with Michonne and Rick. I’m sure she has other motives but since I can’t even begin to guess what those could be, and I don’t think she’s anything like the Governor, I’m not going to speculate. Sasha volunteers to be a tower lookout. Deanna wants Sasha to come to her welcoming party in exchange. Ol’, charming and harmless Carol is smilingly making plans, with the other neighborhood Moms, about the party later. I still can’t get over It. It’s hilarious watching her act like a Soccer Mom, especially since I’ve seen her handle heavy weaponry. Hilarious and deeply disturbing.

Daryl and Aaron come upon a black horse. I had no idea that Daryl had horse whispering skills but I’m not surprised. Of course he does. Unfortunately, they get ambushed by Walkers. He helps save Aaron’s life, when a lurker grabs him, though.

Carol is in the dispensary, acting helpless, with a man named Tovah or Toby, who says he’d be happy to teach her about guns.  😂

Aaron is trying  to bond with Daryl. I’m not sure he’s reaching him, but Daryl is listening, which is more than I expected. Daryl doesn’t seem to care much about being accepted.

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At the party, everyone is all clean and pressed. It must remind them of old times, but still unsettling because it must also be dreamlike after so much time in the woods. We meet Deanna’s husband Reg, who greatly admires Rick. Jesse and her family show up.

Daryl and Aaron are still chasing  the horse, Buttons,  but before they can catch it, it’s attacked by Walkers, too and they put all of them down and the horse. Aaron says the horse always ran before, which is a good kchoice for horses during the zombie apocalypse, so Daryl, probably, thinks it’s all his fault because it stood still for him.

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Noah , Maggie and Glenn look nervous. This many strangers is just not something they’re used to. Aaron sees Daryl wandering by later that evening and invites him in for dinner. He didn’t go to the party although he said it was worth a try to get Daryl to go.

Jesse’s husband is a doctor. I don’t even begin to trust him becasue I think he may be  an alcoholic.  Rick seems sweet on Jesse. Carl seems to like Edie, although I think Edie doesn’t give a flying squat about him.  Boy! this is turning into a regular Peyton Place already isn’t it? Jesse tries to pep talk Rick ,while Carl bonds with the other teenagers.

Sasha shows up in a little black number and Deanna’s son, Spencer, is very intrigued.

Daryl eats like a pig. Eric and Daryl show Daryl their garage, where someone was building a bike and they offer it to Daryl, if he fixes it and becomes a recruiter, along with Aaron. Aaron flatters him into saying yes. It looks like the start of a beautiful bro-mance.

Michonne is contemplating her potato-puff sword, when Abraham, who is very drunk, comes and speaks to her. Rick kisses Jesse.

Carol is practicing her ninja skills at the dispensary. She’s there to steal weapons but gets caught by Jesse’s little boy. Carol swears him to secrecy on pain of death. Seriously! She threatens to put him outside the walls, so the Walkers can eat him and I’m thinking ,wtf, Carol? Now that she’s offed a little girl, she’s got a taste for killing kids, now?  Okay, this is a little psycho even for her (but  then again, name one adult who hasn’t wanted to scare the living shit out of somebody’s kid, at least once.)

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This is not a party. A party is like a hootenanny. This isn’t even a shindig. According to Oz from Buffy this is just a gathering, mellow song stylings and all.  I think Sasha is experiencing some form of severe culture shock or PTSD. Sasha loses her shit to one of the guests. I can’t even blame her for it. I just can’t.  She’s been through some serious shit and these people are standing around talking about the finger foods. They’ve never had a care in the world and she hasn’t had time to process that she can stand down now.

The irony of all of this is, this is what all of them were trying to survive for. It’s the reason they became the people they are, only to find, now that they’ve survived to get to this world,  that their  survival skills and experiences, makes them unfit to live in it. There’s  definitely a war metaphor in this. They all just came back from several years of battle and can’t readjust to civilian life.

Sasha takes off in the morning because she can’t deal, which pisses off Deanna. Daryl is surprisingly calm now,  about staying at Alexandria and Michonne makes herself at home by literally hanging up her swords for the second time.

Rick, after his meeting with his cabal, sees Jesse in the street.

Okay Rick, here’s a clue! Placing your hand on your weapon, whenever you see the husband of the woman you have a crush on…that’s  called a “Bad Guy” move.

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Think Rick is going to turn into this seasons Big Bad? That is definitely a radical re-interpretation of the script, Rick.

ETA: I know a lot of people read the graphic novels and watch the shows, but I don’t. I’ve been avoiding reading them because I don’t really want to know what’s coming or who is who ahead of time. So, when you read me guessing who people are and their motivations, that’s  genuine ” I don’t know”.  I have a general idea of who gets killed in the books or the kind of people Rick’s  group might meet at some future date.

So, while I have it on good authority that something really bad is coming, and I even have a name to go with it, I don’t know when, or how it begins or what happens during the encounter. For example, I had a vague knowledge that Terminus was a bad place, but not why. I do it this way because I like my thoughts and reactions to be as spontaneous as possible while watching the episodes.

Just a word from the management!

The Walking Dead: Remember

Last week our group settled outside the walled town of the Alexandria Safe Zone, where Rick, the father of apprehension, heard the laughter of children. Is this really a safe space? Can everyone finally settle down and start to rebuild a semblance of normalcy? I do care about these characters, so I’d definitely watch such a show, as boring as it sounds, but somehow, I don’t think things are going to play out that way and, sooner or later, the group is going to find themselves on the road, again.

imageOkay, once again, Daryl doing some hardcore shit. He shoots a possum on the road outside the walls and offers it to Aaron as dinner. Inside, Aaron asks for their weapons. He must know they wouldn’t possibly want to do such a thing. He says they should talk to Deanna first, as Sasha shoots an approaching Walker.

Deanna Monroe has a beautiful home. She asks if she can film her talk with Rick, in the name of transparency, and asks him a series of questions. How long have they been out there? Did they know each other before? She says she was once a congresswoman and that Alexandria was a planned community, completely self sufficient. She and her people got dumped there by the army. They built a community from day one and that they’re always looking for new citizens.

imageRick says they should always keep their gates closed and delineates the rules of the new world order. She asks if he’s already trying to take care of this community. Ricks confession of being a killer, their entire conversation, sounds unutterably sad. She has her own regrets to bear. She says she killed people by exiling them. She thinks Rick and his group can help them survive. She says she’s very good at reading people and she thinks they can be trusted.

Deanna gets the group to reluctantly stow most of their weapons and they are given houses and space, to relax and explore. The first order of business should be to shave off Rick’s raggedy ass beard because…ugh! I wonder how long it’s been since he took a hot shower. Cleaned up, Rick Still doesn’t look like his, rather plump looking, old self. He  looks like  pared down version of his essential self.

imageJesse, a pretty, blond woman offers Rick some home cleaning products and offers to style and cut his hair. She tells him she has two boys that Carl can meet.

Deanna interviews Daryl and it’s interesting. He’s not a talkative sort. He’s not going to discuss his feelings. He refuses to sit or get comfortable. She has no idea what to make of such a feral creature. I expect, that’s something that was true of him, before the apocalypse.

Carol, Carl and Rick explore the houses, which are huge. Daryl, of course, is still not cleaned up. He won’t give an inch. Rick says they’ll all stay in the same house that night. So they all camp out in the living room. Michonne, brushing her teeth, says she’s never seen Rick without a beard. Deanna stops by to see how they are doing. She marvels that these former strangers all think of themselves as a family. She’s given all of them jobs except Rick, Sasha, Michonne and Daryl.

imageMichonne’s interview is more positive. She says it’s something they’re ready for and wanted. The next day, they all explore the neighborhood. Rick has a panic attack when he loses sight of Carl and Judith, but Jesse calms him.

Carl meets other teens. They’re the first teens he’s ever met. Most certainly the first teenage girl he’s ever met, named Enid, who seems as traumatized as he is. She doesn’t talk at all but  they’re all very understanding about how overwhelmed he must be. Carl’s interview is tragic. He confesses about how he killed his Mom. He tells Rick that these people are weak and doesn’t want to become like them, even though he likes it there.

That night, while Rick is walking off his sleeplessness, he’s greeted by Jesse’s husband.

imageCarol talks about her old life, in her interview,  and how she thinks of herself as a kind of den mother. She is totally lying. The clincher for me, is when she says, she’s a people person. Nope! Carol treats it like a job interview that she needs to ace.  She gets a cooking gig out of it. When she sees Daryl she advises him to shower or she’s going to spray him with a hose.

Glenn doesn’t appear to have showered, shaved, or changed clothes, either.

Rick goes out to inspect the walls. Carl witnesses Enid climbing the wall to the outside. Glenn, Tara,  and Noah get nabbed for a supply run, while Carl follows Enid into the woods and loses track of her. Rick goes back to the place where he hid his weapon to find it missing. He’s met by Carl and they kill a bunch of walkers together.

The others are given a tutorial on how to do a supply run. Apparently there’s a system. The leader, Deanna’s son, Aiden,  is trying to sound tough but mostly he just comes across like an ass. I’m more intimidated by Tara than him. He almost gets Tara killed because he and his partner would rather fuck around with the Walker than kill it.

Back in town Aiden tries to strongarm Glenn, who is completely unimpressed. When he tries to attack him, Glenn lays him on his ass. When his partner tries to jump in, Daryl takes him down and has to be talked out of killing him by Rick. Aiden can’t possibly think he can make his manhood by going up against such people. These “warriors” have been fighting and killing for five or six years straight. Did he really think they’d be intimidated by the local ROTC?

Deanna, who witnessed most of this, gives Rick the job of town constable, with Michonne as his partner. She says that’s their truest selves. I have to agree with her on that. Michonne and Rick are protectors. Caretakers. It’s what they do. They accept, but Daryl is disgusted.

Deanna thanks Glenn for knocking Aiden on his ass. I guess Glenn wasn’t the only one who was tired of Aidan’s “top dog” act. Maggie thinks ths is hilarious, and it’s the first time we’ve seen her smile since Beth died.

That evening, Rick puts on his new uniform and, talking to Daryl and Carol, strikes an ominous note. Carol,wearing her harmless, people-person,  Grannie ensemble, says that staying there will make them weak. Rick says that weakness isn’t a part of them anymore. If the residents of Alexandria are too weak, they’ll just take the place for themselves.

There’s a real possibility, that they may have to do that. I think Deanna’s purpose in having them there, is not to make them weak, but to make Alexandria strong. The people of that town are not warriors and Rick’s group is there to teach them how to be that.

The Walking Dead: The Distance

Last week, we met Aaron (Ay-ay Ron), who just popped out of nowhere, all spit shiny and new, in the middle of the woods. The Ricktator is suspicious, the group is suspicious, I’m suspicious. These guys have been burned so many times, that it’s  become a reflexive action and entirely in keeping with an environment that is slowly, but surely, whittling down the population to the smartest, most competent and most ruthless people left alive.

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Having taken Aaron prisoner, the group proceeds to smack him about and question him about his intentions, whether or not he has backup, and where he came from. Aaron is an incredibly brave soul to approach any group of people in this world, at least not after long observation.  He is also playing it pretty cool for someone who might be killed at any moment.

I do remember Rick chiding Carl, for shooting a man without provocation, in an earlier season. Carl’s reasoning was that he didn’t want the man to come back and be a problem later. Now, all of them think that way.

Including Rick.

Aaron says that he’s from a walled community and that they would all make valuable assets to it. His job is to convince them to join him. He’s remarkably self possessed, cracking jokes about sounding like a dance troupe, but only on Friday nights and I’m inclined to like him. Not trust though.  He shows them photos but that means nothing because even if the photos are real, there’s no telling what’s going on behind the walls. It might be safe there, but once inside, a person would be trapped there, too. The group has to weigh the pros and cons and the cons seem much more numerous.

They find a flare and ask Aaron if he has backup and how many. He says his people have been following long enough to know that they seem like decent people, so he trusts they won’t kill him. He says he has only one defender outside and offers to drive them to the community. Rick does not agree but Michonne, Glenn and Maggie challenge him on the issue. Rick sends Rosita and Abraham with the three of them as  backup. This must all be terribly frightening for him.

Aaron says he’s been in dangerous situations before and that they’re decent by comparison. Rick says don’t count on their decency for his survival. They are  good people but they will kill him if they’re scared enough.

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Aaron offers Rick food for judith to stop her crying, arguing that the noise will attract Walkers. Rick wants Aaron to eat it and Aaron hilariously claims to have applesauce trauma.

The splinter group find Aaron’s car, a  trailer and some walkers. Rosita and Abraham investigate the trailer and find food. They take the food back to the barn and the others, especially Michonne, continue to challenge Rick about visiting the community.

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They want the sites location but Aaron wants to drive and is reluctant to tell them where it is. Rick confesses to Michonne, that there’s nothing Aaron could’ve said, to convince him of the reality of his claims but he’ll go there, for the groups sake and because she wants to.

The group leaves at night.Aaron shows them more pictures, of the town and his house, but there are no people in the pictures. They find a collection of license plates in the glovebox and Aaron claims to be collecting all the fifty states.  Michonne remembers to ask the three questions. How many walkers and people he killed and why? Aaron says plenty of walkers and two people.

As they argue about the listening device, they find in the car, they run into a swarm of walkers because Rick  refused to take the route Aaron first gave them, which would have been safer. Now, they’re trapped in the car and surrounded by walkers.

Aaron panics and someone ahead of them them on the road, releases a flare. Aaron escapes and the rest of the people in the car run into the woods, while fighting walkers. Glenn finds Aaron being attacked by a walker and reluctantly saves him. This is not the most well thought out plan Rick has ever had, as everything has gone completely tits up. Rick and Michonne are saved from the swarm by Glenn and Aaron. And I’d ust like to add, that a flare, into the head of a walker, is one awesome special effect.

The rest of the group have found a storage depot of some kind along with Aaron’s backup, named Eric, who is also Aaron’s lover. After their reunion, Aaron thanks the group for saving Eric’s life and that he’s indebted to them. When Rick tries to separate the two of them, Aaron challenges that and the rest of the group verify all the information Aaron gave them earlier. The Ricktatorship has been challenged every step of the way. Rick is terrified.That’s understandable. He has a family and is reluctant to let his hope put them in danger, but the rest of the group won’t allow his fear to rule them. There is no wrong side in this equation. They all have to walk a very fine line between trust and paranoia, on either side of which, is yet more death and they’ve had just about enough of that.

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In the morning they all set out for the town. Noah and Aaron share a moment. Abraham  reconciles with Rosita,  notices that the trailer is low on juice and they stop to switch out the battery. Rick, unable to let the fear go, no matter how much Michonne tries to convince him,  hides his weapons at an abandoned house.

Just in case.

They reach the walls of the town. Rick hears children laughing on the other side. The look on his face is priceless.

It’s  interesting watching Michonne challenging Rick. Normally the two don’t fight but she really, really wants this and doesn’t want to lose out on having a future and settling down just because Rick has loses hope or is too scared.

I want so badly for this to be a good thing for them but this is a show where no good deed goes unpunished. I also know that the show is going to last at least a couple of more seasons and watching everyone play house will be exceptionally boring, so, Nah!

The Walking Dead: Them

Rick’s group is still wandering through the woods, dealing with the fallout from the one- two punch of the deaths of Beth And Tyreese, while wondering where to go, and what to do with themselves. After Eugene’s revelation, that he lied about knowing a cure, they need purpose and a goal, otherwise what’s the point of trying to survive, anyway.

They also need to get out of the woods because they’re starving to death and need to find water. Sasha and Maggie are in mourning for their lost ones, and  Daryl has sunk to eating worms, which is pretty f**king hardcore, survivalist stuff. They’ve run out of gas, are being followed by walkers and it might rain soon. Rick and Daryl discuss. Daryl and Carol leave to find food. Carl gives Maggie a broken music box.

Maggie has lost her entire family. It would have been different if she’d lost them one by one, but they left her one at a time and she never even got to see Beth, before she died. It’s a hard time for her. She and Sasha should at least try to comfort each other.

imageSasha wants to take down the walkers following them but is talked down by Michonne. I’ve only seen them exchange a few brief words with each other throughout this show, so it’s heartening to watch Michonne try to comfort her, in her rather brusque fashion.

Carol tells Daryl that Beth saved everyone’s lives. I believe this too. She throws Daryl’s words back at him. “We’re not dead.” She kisses him on the forehead, like she’s his Mom. He looks bewildered by this. I think that’s probably the first time anyone has ever comforted him that way, which is pretty heartbreaking.

While taking out the walkers, Sasha expends all her energy but is saved by Michonne, who understands her need for revenge. Their dynamic is interesting to watch.

imageThe group find two seemingly abandoned vehicles, in good condition. Maggie finds a tied up  walker in one of the trunks. Whats the story behind that? Glenn kills it, when Maggie can’t bring herself to do it. I think it reminds her of Beth.

Daryl is off hunting the owners of the vehicles. He finds a body with the head destroyed. While Abraham is drinking booze, they get attacked by wild dogs. Sasha shoots them all, before anything happens. And now the group has food. If you’re squeamish about such things, what are you doing watching this show? It’s pretty odd, though, that the most upsetting thing on this show, involves the eating of animals, in a show about people eating other people.

Maggie gives Glenn some idea what she was thinking when Beth wasn’t with her. Abraham tries to comfort Sasha, but she ain’t having it. She doesn’t like him, which is to be expected. Not everyone, in a group, is going to like each other.

Glenn offers Daryl water, but he refuses and goes off on his own, to burn himself with cigarettes. Which is sad and horrifying and completely unsurprising. Just when I think Daryl can’t break my heart any more than he already has, he goes and does something like this. This is a man who was holding on by his fingernails long before the end of the world, I suspect.

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The group come across some bottles and jugs of water in the road, along with a note: From a Friend. They’re suspicious that it may be drugged and Eugene goes to drink it but Abraham violently stops him. Yeah, he’s  mad at Eugene, and hasn’t exchanged a single word with him, since Eugene’s revelation, but he won’t let him pointlessly risk his life either.

And now it’s raining. Whoo! Whoever said rain makes everything worse, was never dying of thirst, in the middle of high summer, in the  Georgia heat. They find a barn to take shelter. Judith can’t stay in the rain.

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Abraham is drunk and Maggie is still giving some deep consideration to ending her life. She won’t let Glenn comfort her and separates herself from the group. He’s not certain his love for her, or hers for him,  is enough to hold her to this world. Rick gives another pep talk. I guess it works because no one takes their life, in the middle of the night.

There’s a horde of walkers in the night, what sounds like a tornado and the group has to keep the walkers out of the barn by holding the doors. I’m confused.  Is this real?  Is this Maggie’s dream? When she wakes up, everyone is asleep, as if nothing had happened, but the entire area looks devastated by the storm. She wakes up Sasha and they sneak off to watch the sunrise together, which is a beautiful moment because they have so much to offer each other. Maggie can understand Sasha’ loss, in a way no one else can. She can help her through her grief if Sasha allows her to get close.

A clean, well dressed, business looking fellow shows up, says his name is Aaron, (I’m sorry..it’s Ay-Ay-Ron!) knows who Rick is and says he’s a friend. I’ve been watching this show too damn long because there’s no way I would ever trust this man.

Hell, I wouldn’t trust him,  if it wasn’t the end of the world. I wouldn’t trust him if he showed up at my place of work, in a business suit with candy. He just looks inherently untrustworthy, to me. But I got issues, I guess.

I do wonder about a lot of things in that world. Like what it must smell like. I have a feeling that it smells uniformly awful and more than likely most people’s sense of smell burned out long ago. BO and rotting flesh, most likely. It’s summer, so it’s extremely hot and you’re coated with a thin film of sweat and a thick layer of dirt. The walkers appear to be decaying, and it’s summer,  so the smell of decay must be everywhere. In clothes and hair. No wonder they never know when walkers are coming up on them, they certainly wouldn’t be able to smell them.

Daryl crying and burning himself with cigarettes. Carol kissing him on the forehead. Sasha and Maggie bonding. Creepy accountants walking out of the woods to say Hi! I was just emotionally all over the place this episode. So, I guess this one, was a win.