Welcome to the official Panels The Walking Dead weekly recap! I did recaps of season 5 here at Panels and can’t wait to get back in the swing of it for season 6! In the discussion, please be mindful of spoilers from the comics, let’s let everyone get their reveals the old-fashioned way (even if the show has diverged so far from the book spoilers might not actually be possible).
WOW, this was like The Empire Strikes Back of The Walking Dead. Not because it was necessarily better, but because it does not end well for our heroes. This episode puts the focus back on the group trying to lure the über-herd away from Alexandria. The last we saw of them, they’d heard a horn blast luring the herd towards home, and this is how they deal with it. Spoiler warning: not well.
Rick, Glen, and Michonne lead a group of Alexandrians through the woods. By their estimate, half of the herd was pulled away by the horn. They let Abraham, Sasha, and Daryl know. Daryl is ready to turn back and help but Rick says to stick with the plan for now. Something weird is going on with Nicholas, not sure what they’re implying with his weird zoning out thing but it can’t be good. Rick lays down a new plan to his team: he’ll go use the RV to try and lure the herd back in line, he sends the rest of the team home with special instructions for Glen and Michonne. “No hiding, no waiting.” And make sure you get back, because a lot of the Alexandrians with you might not. To prove his point, one of them is getting bit in the neck because they’re terrible at surviving. The horn stops right before the group splits up, so we sort of know where we’re at with what’s happening in Alexandria.
Several plot-lines diverge from this point on:
- Should Daryl abandon Abraham and Sasha to help Rick?
- Rick runs off to play the hero
- Michonne and Glen lead a team of Alexandrians home
The timeline gets a bit confusing from here on out. There are several instances of far off gunshots which I presume could be used to sync each scene to the others, but instead I’ll just take each plot-line in turn.
Daryl really wants to go back. Abraham and Sasha want to complete the mission. They put it pretty bluntly that if he bails he’s putting the two of them at risk, but it’s ultimately his call. He quips that he has faith in them then races off. They’re displeased.
When Sasha and Abraham learn that Rick didn’t need Daryl’s help, they chastise his humanity. Abraham reinforces to Rick that they ain’t afraid, but I’m thinking maybe they should be.
Whilst Glen is updating him over the radio (see below in Storyline 3), Rick encounters a tiny group of walkers so selects the tiniest knife available to take them out. The knife breaks against the first one’s skull, so Rick grabs a larger khukuri looking blade from the shoulder of one of the other walkers and finishes them off. He then gets to the RV and drives off.
Upon arriving at his destination, he lets the group know over the walkies that he’s in place, and that they need to stick with the plan regardless of the gunfire from Alexandria. He prepares for another message, but is interrupted by a group of Wolves, who seem to have taken Morgan’s advice and brought guns this time. Fortunately because the walkie was active Daryl hears the gunshots and speeds ahead.
Rick fights off his attackers because he’s Rick, including a group coming around the RV which he mows down through the paneling. One of the Wolves had babyfood in his pocket, which seems significant to Rick for some reason.
I almost wanted to laud the show for having Rick’s RV start right away and not rely on that tired trope, but then they went ahead and did it anyways. It’s not a DeLorean, you guys. This is actually where the episode ends, with Rick slowly getting surrounded by walkers in a dead RV.
I forgot to mention it but one girl in their group sprained her ankle because I guess she found out she was in a horror show. The capable ones attempt to take out a small band of walkers, but the Alexandrians make a mess of it: getting bit, shooting each other, and running away. The guy bitten is whom I’m going to call “Wife-guy” because he makes a point of saying he has to get back to Alexandrian because of his wife, basically his only character trait for the episode, and since he’s been bitten the only one he’ll ever get. He actually takes the bite well, and tells Michonne about meeting his wife, Betsy, in the after times, which is pretty sweet.
They arrive in a small town and look for a working car to expedite their progress. No luck. Glen really wants to get home (he also has a wife, y’know?) but doesn’t want to abandon the group. Heath and Nicholas talk cryptically about this being “where it happened.” No point in waiting for the reveal, so I’ll just tell you. This is where Nicholas and Aiden lost some people on a scouting mission because they were admittedly terrible at that. We find out when Nicholas sees one of the team members now a walker, and insists on taking too long to kill it himself. They also found the dude who ran off being eaten and Nicholas has another weird moment.
Pinned in by two herds, they retreat into a pet store. Exactly what Rick said not to do, even though Heath tells Michonne he heard Rick tell them to leave the Alexandrians behind if needed, which Michonne rejects based on their obvious not doing of that. Glen has a plan to burn a building in town to draw the walkers away. Nicholas remembers a feedstore in town that should go up easily, Glen agrees, but only after he messages Rick and write a note to Maggie. He even pulls out Herschel’s watch and calls Rick a dummy like at the end of the pilot. Foreshadowing much? Let’s move Glen and Nicholas over into storyline #3a.
The two injured folks just want to be left behind, the group says no. Some gunshots go off outside, distracting the herd making it possible that they’ll be discovered inside the pet store. Michonne wants to wait for Glen to get the feedstore on fire. Wife-guy gives Michonne a message for his wife. She refuses it saying that he’ll get home in time to say goodbye. This is a poor plan, Michonne, primarily because there are walkers in the backroom of the petstore who make enough noise to draw the walkers outside to the door, including the herd. WHOOPS. Time to make a break for it.
Crutch girl goes down first, no great shock. The rest of them reach a dead end up against a gate, and they start to climb over. Michonne and Wife-guy are the last two to start climbing. Guess which one makes it? (Hint: Michonne) Betsy will not be getting her note nor her husband. Should have taken the note, Michonne. The three remaining characters make it home. Possibly worth noting that all three are African-American. The show has been criticized for killing off black characters before, but in this instance they are the only survivors.
There’s that reveal from before that I mentioned. Glen encourages Nicholas by reminding him that he’s a good guy now. They arrive at the feedstore but OH NO, it’s already burned down. Guess it really would have been easy to light up. Glen wants to find another building but the herd is right there behind them. They also wind up against a dead end fence, but with walkers on both sides. They quickly run out of ammo and pull out their knives to face the impossible odds.
They climb up onto a dumpster, walkers grabbing at their feet, and Nicholas has another episode. Glen tries to pull him out of it, but instead Nicholas just creepily says “Thank you” and shoots himself in the head, knocking both he and Glen into the herd. We then see Glen get eaten. Bye bye Glen. Without attempting to spoil too much but probably failing, I prefer the comics in this instance.
MY PREDICTION: We are only seeing Nicholas being eaten on top of Glen. His viscera will cloak Glen and he’ll be able to walk amongst the horde un-accosted.
- Clever sleuths have figured out that Michonne really did take Morgan’s peanut butter bar
- Anyone else still feel the setting is far deeper south than Virginia? Maybe the Alexandria they’re at is a different community than the Alexandria, VA right outside DC? I did half a moment’s research and did find an Alexandria just outside Virginia Beach, which is a good bit further south, so maybe that’s it? I welcome thoughts on this in the comments.
- Why did the wolf guy say, “that’s us”?
- The apocalypse must require an incredible sense of direction to navigate, can’t imagine how Daryl didn’t get lost.
- TURTLE UPDATE! My buddy and amateur herpetologist Chunk Kelly thinks the turtle from last week might be a gopher tortoise. So that’s one less mystery to worry about.