Welcome to the official Panels The Walking Dead weekly recap! I did these recaps occasionally for iFanboy back in the day, and I am thrilled to be bringing them here to Panels. In the discussion, please be mindful of spoilers from the comics, let’s let everyone get their reveals the old-fashioned way. Quick note: I was spelling Deanna as Diana last week, this post uses the correct spelling but refers to the same character.
Sasha can’t sleep haunted by the photos of boring, and most likely dead, white people. In the morning, she get Olivia to open up the gun locker so she can go hunting. Olivia wants a boar leg for some homemade proscuitto. Sasha could not seem less interested. Sasha sets up the photos of boring white people on a stump and takes aim. Having a hard time seeing how this is cathartic, really just asking for trouble more than anything else. Sasha scans the woods nearby after each shot, almost expecting to be caught by either a fellow citizen or a walker. This also seems like egregious waste of bullets, but Sasha has been acting more and more irrationally so I guess that’s just where we’re at now?
Rick, Carol, and Daryl are back where Rick hid his gun, they’re debating how to get all their guns back in case they need to stage a coup. Rick has confided about his lost pistol, but doesn’t want them telling the rest of the group so everyone else will focus on blending in. A walker shambles up and Carol takes him out with about a half a dozen pistol shots. Rick and Daryl look mortified, like she’s lost her edge completely. “You said you were taking me out shooting, I can’t come bag with a full mag now can I?” Don’t ever change, Rambo-Carol. On their way back to town, they notice a downed walker with a ‘W’ carved into it’s head. What could it mean?!
Meanwhile Michonne tries on her custom-tailored constable uniform. They’re not sure what Deanna’s plan is.
Still in the woods, Daryl realizes he’s being followed by Aaron, who is incredibly impressed by his tracking skills. Daryl agrees to let Aaron tag along with his hunting.
Deanna tells Rick and Michonne that she wants Maggie working in her pseudo-government, that she wants to truly rebuilt society here in all it’s forms however rudimentary. They all agree in the vision, but Rick wants to talk practicality of their defenses. Their walls are good enough for zombies, not for people, who are the true enemy. Rick wants patrols alongs the walls, and lookouts in the towers, neither of which were happening. Sasha wants to take the shifts, apparently she’s one of their best shots (are they trying to make her fill the role that Andrea should have filled?). Deanna agrees given the condition that they come to a welcoming party at her place tonight.
Carol talks recipes with the other moms. I love how well she plays her role, she’s the best. She and Rick discuss how to implement their plan, they can’t use Daryl to get the guns because no one trusts him, but Carol? She gets to blend right in with her cardigan and mom-jeans.
Aaron leads Daryl to a field where a horse is grazing. The horse is named Buttons, and Aaron has been trying to tame him for months. Time for Daryl to activate ‘horse-whisperer’ mode. Daryl makes a metaphor of capturing the horse, about how the horse used to have an owner, but now he’s free yet oh so close to being captured again. WE GET IT DARYL. Right before Daryl completes the capture a hoard of walkers appear, scaring off Buttons and initiating a brief battle.
Carol gets baking supplies from Olivia, something about using applesauce instead of eggs. Some toughs come in to get rifles for some patrol. They offer to teach Carol a thing or two about their big manly guns since Carol obviously hasn’t a clue. She uses the flirtation to unlock a window-latch to the supply house.
Aaron confides with Daryl about how even in Alexandria they still have to put up with homosexual bigotry, but they’re scared of Daryl too, albeit for different reasons. He says that letting people get to know him will help with the community’s trust issues.
Back at Alexandria the party has started and everyone is in attendance! Rosita and Abraham look the most uncomfortable, but then Rosita points out that there’s beer, so Abraham says he’ll give it his best shot. Deanna introduces Rick to her husband Reg (short for Reginald?), who has seen all of the interviews and flatters Rick to no end. Rick commends Reg for his wall, which Reg says doesn’t quite compare to keeping people alive on the outside. Reg peer pressures Rick into drinking alcohol right as Jessie, the cute hairdresser, and her family arrive.
Buttons charges through another field of walkers. Daryl makes short work of his half but Aaron gets grabbed and nearly bit. Meanwhile Buttons gets swarmed and brought down. It’s honestly the saddest this show has made me feel since I can remember. Poor Buttons. “He always ran,” Aaron reflects. “You were trying to help him,” Daryl replies. WE GET IT, SHOW; DARYL IS THE HORSE. Did you have to make me super sad to prove you point?
At the party, Glen and Maggie try to comfort Noah, who is super uncomfortable. He wants to bail, but they’re having none of it. Daryl watching creepily from outside, looking like one of the wet bandits from Home Alone. Aaron sees Daryl walking away from the festivities and steps out on the porch to invite him in for dinner. Aaron had no intention of partying while his partner was still recovering from a broken ankle. I really wish Kirkman hadn’t said for sure that Daryl isn’t gay, because this scene would be way better with a bit of that ambiguity.
Jessie introduces Rick to her husband Pete, the aforementioned doctor. I just noticed that some of them have red ‘A’s on their hands. Adult? Alcohol? Does it relate to the W on the zombie forehead? Who knows? Jessie makes small talk while Pete gets Rick a refill. Mostly about how life is better inside the walls. Rick notices Carl carousing with other teenage boys and has no choice but to agree. Jessie’s younger son, Sam, comes by complaining of cookie depletion, Rick offers up Carol’s services for a resupply (even though Carol has already snuck off to steal guns) but Sam get’s distracted noticing that Rick doesn’t have a stamp. Apparently he’s the one giving out the scarlet letters, and he plants one on Rick. “See, you’re one of us now,” Jessie says as she walks away.
Sasha finally arrives at the party where she meets Spencer, Deanna’s other son. The flirtations being immediately but Sasha is having none of it. You ain’t no Bob, Spencer!
Daryl’s table manners are on full display as he slurps down spaghetti and wine as fast as possible so he can make his escape. Aaron and Eric do their best to look bemused instead of grossed out. Aaron reveals why he invited him in, to show him his garage. The former resident worked on bikes, so there are all kinds of tools and parts for Daryl to play with. Aaron also wants Daryl to become Alexandria’s new recruiter, because he can survive “out there” and knows good people from bad. That’s why he hadn’t been offered a job inside the walls. Daryl accepts for lack of anything better to do. Classic Daryl.
Abraham and Michonne discuss the philosophy of putting down their weapons. Michonne realizes partway through that Abraham is very drunk, but he’s OK with that.
In the supply house, Carol steals another bit of chocolate, and starts filling a bag with guns before getting caught by Sam, Jessie’s son, who followed her in the hope for more cookies. Carol demands his secrecy, but he says he’d have to tell his mom about it. Carol says that if he tells then one night she’ll kidnap him and leave him outside the wall tied to a tree. It’s like that scene with Dr. Grant and the kid in Jurassic Park, but worse because she’s not joking. Fear and cookies, the Carol special.
Jessie flirts with Rick while holding Judith. Either this woman has no idea what she’s doing, or she’s has every idea, and I honestly can’t tell. As Jessie hands Judith back to Rick, he gives her a peck on the cheek. Probably just the bourbon, but real enough.
Deanna drags Sasha into the middle of the party. Being amongst that many people gives her a full on anxiety attack, and she lashes out at a polite guest before storming out. The next day, Deanna confronts Sasha. Sasha claims Alexandria isn’t real, Deanna calls her BS because that was a really stupid thing to say, Sasha.
Back at the pistol hiding spot, Carol offers Daryl a stolen pistol and he has second thoughts. He refuses a pistol because as they said, “You wanted me to try, right?”
Michonne reluctantly hangs her katana above the mantle, a sure sign of domestication.
Back inside Alexandria, Rick, Carol, and Daryl walk their three separate ways because symbolism. THAT’S WHY. Rick hears banging against the wall and runs to investigate. The walker doesn’t stand a chance against his newfound steel. End credits.
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