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.
Oh yeah, Gabriel is also in Alexandria. I had happily forgotten about him. Well here he is, lets see if we get an entire episodes of him being useless. Someone has left him a small care package beacuse some in the community are excited to have a preacher around. He looks disgusted by their kindness and instead choses to rip pages out of their bible. What would Eli say?! Even if you don’t agree with the bible philosophically, there are still some entertaining narratives in there, right?
While the credits roll I silently pray this is not an all Gabriel episode. It maybe isn’t, because we open with Daryl on a hog exiting the walls with a car behind him. Meanwhile, Noah and Reg meet for breakfast because Noah wants to learn how to maintain the walls. In case, y’know, something happens to Reg, because he’s old and Noah’s group is planning a coup. Noah sells it like he’s in for the long haul, to take over after Reg retires or dies or whatever. Reg begins to write something down, because that’s a character quirk that makes him interesting, but decides instead to make Noah do it as his official induction as his protege.
Abraham looks in the mirror, hungover with Rosa in the bed. Eugene is offering to install some sort of power grid but doesn’t want to accompany the group when they head out to scrounge for parts. The group disagrees, lest they get the wrong stuff. Self-professed douchebag Aiden readies the group while hardened Glen kisses Maggie and looks like he should actually be in charge. As soon as the van starts Aiden blasts some terrible electronic music ruining any potential conversation during the ride.
Rick, on patrol, finds the Jessie’s sculptures have been destroyed, and not by him this time. Rick kicks into detective mode. “Do you know anybody who hates owls?” Jessie asks what happens if he can actually find the person responsible. Rick explains the broken windows theory of policing, where you prosecute every petty crime in hopes of preventing the bigger ones.
At their destination Glen wants to scope the building out to map possible exits. Aiden and his sidekick, Nicholas, think that’s a stupid waste of time because they’re stupid wastes of characters. Eugene continues to complain about being dragged along. Eugene thinks he’s done enough getting them to DC, Tara points out that they actually brought Eugene to DC, whether it was his idea or not. At least Eugene knows he’s a coward. Glen and Noah joke about shooting Aiden in the face, because he’s the worst.
At the entrance to the building, Glen bangs on the door to draw out any walkers in the dark. Nothing takes the bait so they head inside. It’s great to see how much better Rick’s gang is at this sort of stuff than the Alexandria crew. Glen hears some moaning and surmises that the walkers are stuck behind something, turns out there’s a fence inside the building separating them from the dead. Glen’s usefulness is making me worried about his survival.
Eugene finds the “micro-interverters” he’s been looking for, but the victory is cut short by a walker in military armor. Aiden opens fire but makes no progress against the armor and lets the walker get closer before Glen finishes him by hand. Aiden, being a dick, ignores Glen and continues to fire. Glen notices a grenade on the walker but can’t warn Aiden in time and thus… explosion.
In the aftermath, the air is full of dust and confusion. Glen isn’t sure who survived. Aiden is impaled on something and looking quite dead, nor did the fence holding back the walkers, but at least Noah did. Eugene did as well but Tara is down, status unknown. A walker approaches and it’s up to Eugene to save himself and Tara. He fails but is rescued by Glen and Noah.
Back in Alexandria, Carol finds the child, Alex, that she threatened last week hiding under her stairs. He’s kept her secret and wants more cookies. She’s resistant at first but tells him that if he’ll steal supplies for her maybe she’ll make more sweets. Is Carol training a replacement?
The supply team has moved Tara to safety, but she needs more immediate care and attention. Aiden, apparently not dead, starts moaning in pain, still impaled. Eugene tells them to save Aiden, because that’s what Tara would do. RESCUE MISSION: INITIATED.
Abraham helps the crew responsible for collecting scrap collect more scrap. A co-worker makes a disparaging joke about Cleveland and as a former resident of the Queen City I approve. In the morning chill, Abraham seems to grapple with his feelings. Some PTSD on display? The anti-Clevelander gets attacked while taking a poo and leads and entire hoard to the work crew. In the firefight the Alexandrians are useless, even shooting one of their own whom their happy to leave for dead. As far as Abraham is concerned: GAME ON. There’s some talk as though Abraham was supposed to die, but it’s so heavy-handed I’m calling it a purposeful misdirect and moving past it.
Dr. Pete comes by Rick’s place with some beers. More peer pressure to drink! It’s tough when the surgeon and the lawman, two important roles in the town, are both into the same woman, but par for the course this season, Rick is clearly in the wrong. Pete offers to look over the kids in the group, they were outside for such a long time after all. Pete blatantly asks for Rick’s friendship, but he’s a big drunk so who knows if he’s sincere.
Eugene berates Tara for dying or something. Carrying her body over his shoulder, he exits the safe room and starts dropping walkers with his pistol. Glen and the others try to save Aiden, even though his screams of impalement bring forth all the walkers. His sidekick abandons the effort almost immediately. Glen tries valiantly to give Aiden one last tug but Aiden stops him, admitting something frankly nonsensical before refusing Glen’s continued rescue attempts to he can be eaten by about a half dozen walkers allowing the other to escape.
Abraham is not happy with the “leave folks to die” strategy of teamwork that is openly employed by the Alexandrian work crew. To call his bluff, they ask the nigh-sacrificee if she wants to keep working. If there’s more daylight, there’s more working. Upon hearing this, Abraham takes charge and demands that some serve as lookouts for more walkers, an entirely reasonable compromise.
Nicholas tries to escape the building through a revolving door but upon being met with a hoard retreats just as Noah and Glen try to make their escape. Stalemate in the revolving door with zombies on both sides! This is a legitimately interesting conundrum that I never would have thought of and am curious to see how they resolve it.
Lead scrap collector wants to retire and tells Deanna that Abraham should take over. Does Rick’s group even need a coup? They’re doing a fine job taking over through proper channels. Maggie agrees that Abraham is a better choice than Deanna’s schmuck. “We know what we’re doing, that’s why you wanted us here.”
Sam returns with the chocolate for Carol. She continues to be horrible to him but he’s undeterred. She tries to shut him up but he just wants to talk. Carol admits that cooking was escape in the before, Sam says when he gets sad he breaks stuff, like the OWL STATUE?!? Instead of answering her question he asks one of his own, “why did you steal the guns?” He wants it for his… runs away. Guessing his mom, but we’ll find that out next week.
In the revolving door, Nicholas has ammo but no guns, Glen and Noah have guns for no ammo. I do so love a good puzzle. Eugene rolls up in the van blasting Aiden’s terrible music and drawing the hoard away but there are still all the walkers on the other side. Glen breaks the door glass but in doing so exposes Nicholas to the inside walkers. The doors shift and Nicholas escapes but Noah gets grabbed and dragged inside. Glen has to watch as Noah is devoured pushed up against the glass. It’s pretty horrible. Nicholas tries to hijack the van from Eugene, but Eugene puts up enough of a fight to let Glen catch up. “Where’s Noah?” Eugene asks, but Glen doesn’t even bother to answer.
Carol confronts Dr. Pete, clearly suspecting abuse but getting no definite answers.
Gabriel shows up at Deanna’s house. He starts talking about Satan and angels because he’s worthless. Then he goes from being less than worthless by telling her that Rick and his group aren’t good people. Maggie is the house and hears everything because Gabriel is an idiot. Deanna logically points out that Rick admitted as much because DUH, it’s the apocalypse. It’s why they’re useful. Even though all they’ve done is take care of Gabriel’s useless ass he continues to throw them under the bus. And again, Maggie is overhearing all of this. He’s the worst. I cannot restate that enough.
Intercut with this exchange, Carol goes to Rick with the accusation that Dr. Pete is abusing his family, Rick asks for evidence that Carol doesn’t have to give, but she asks him to kill Dr. Pete anyways. They both recognize this is going to go poorly.
The opening scene had me dreading this episode because I really did NOT want an all Gabriel story and while I dodged that bullet he still showed up to ruin things at the end making this whole hour a mixed bag. I’m enjoying seeing how the group integrates into Alexandria, especially when they openly display how hardened their life on the outside has made them. Noah’s death, while horrific to observe, didn’t impact me very much emotionally. I feel like we barely go to know the guy and half the time he was working in opposition to our main group. I appreciate the self-sacrifice, I’ll appreciate it more when it’s earned.
So what did you think about this week’s episode? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
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