The Ricketeers were leading an enormous herd of zombies away from Alexandria, but when the Wolves attacked the town, half of the herd was drawn to the noise. Now everything’s a huge mess.
Whose Episode Is It?
While last week focused on Alexandria, this week we follow Rick and his crew of herders, who get split up right away. Daryl, Sasha and Abraham are still leading their share of the herd away from Alexandria. Michonne, Glenn and the Alexandrians who were pitching in on the plan are trying to get back home alive, and Rick is off on a one-man quest to head off the zombies heading for Alexandria.
Man Is The True Monster
Jerk Rick in the hoooouuuuuse! Before he splits off to try and head off the walkers heading for Alexandria, Rick takes Michonne and Glenn aside and tells them that they should try to save the Alexandrians (who include Nicholas, Heath and some red shirts who for convenience’s sake I will call Bad Ankle, Bad Leg and Bitten Guy), but if they’re slowing them down, they should ditch them. This is a pretty laughable moment, since Michonne and Glenn have traveled with Rick for ages, and they know how to make tough decisions. The scene’s only there so that new guy Heath (who got a proper introduction in the premiere, so he’ll probably be sticking around for a bit) can overhear it, and have a big argument with Michonne later on.
That argument, where Heath thinks Michonne will ditch the rest of them at the slightest provocation, is one of those classic frustrating “Walking Dead” conflict moments where a potentially interesting argument boils down to “No, the Ricketeers are right and you are wrong.” It doesn’t sit well with Heath that Rick was ready to write him and the other Alexandrians off so easily, and Michonne responds with the usual “You’ve never really been Out There! We’ve been Out There! So until you’ve been Out There your opinion is invalid!”
The show’s always flirting with a genuine philosophical rebuttal to the Ricketeers’ hard line stance, but keeps dancing away from it with outlandish situations — the best example being when the town meeting held to determine Rick’s culpability in waving a gun at everyone was interrupted by a drunk guy with a samurai sword, who duly murdered the town leader’s husband. Verdict: Rick is right. Case closed, yet again! Hopefully, Morgan will maintain his oppositional stance going forward.
Of course, the most monstrous thing anyone does this episode is refuse to kill poor Bitten Guy. Everyone makes it over the fence but him, and they all stop to gawk as he is messily devoured. Uh, guys, he’s definitely not coming back from this, so it’s probably okay to kill him and end his suffering! And for that matter, why didn’t Bad Ankle save one of those bullets for herself? Honestly, Nicholas probably had the right idea.
A Shred of Humanity
So yeah, Nicholas and Glenn. It was such a relief this season to find that Nicholas was genuinely trying to be better, and that Glenn and Maggie believed in his rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the group winds up in the small town where Nicholas left his old crew mates to die (one is even still there as a trapped walker), which does nothing for Nicholas’s state of mind. He and Glenn plan on setting the town on fire to distract the herd heading for Alexandria, but get cornered and find themselves back-to-back on top of a dumpster, a hoard of walkers surrounding them. Nicholas understandably completely loses his shit, calmly tells Glenn, “Thank you,” and blows his own brains out. He and Glenn fall into the walkers and Glenn is horribly killed.
It’s difficult to know what to make of this scene. Nicholas zones out a few times before they’re cornered, but he seems pretty together once he and Glenn are cornered, until their situation becomes completely hopeless. The direction doesn’t make it clear whether Nicholas accidentally led them into the dead end, since Glenn seems to be in the lead when they run down the path. It doesn’t seem like the show is trying to say Nicholas is at fault for getting them into the situation, which is good, because “The Walking Dead” taking an anti-redemption stance seems like a bridge too far, even for this show. It ultimately just seems like two guys who got a bad break, and in the “Walking Dead” universe, that means a horrible death. It’s surprising that this is the way the show would kill off Glenn, who’s been around since Season 1, but it certainly comes as a surprise, if only because of how flat the rest of the episode is. If the lesson here is simply “no one is safe,” then mission accomplished. It just feels like a waste.
Achievement In Grossness
If you thought Glenn being around since the beginning meant we wouldn’t ever get to see his intestines yanked out and eaten in front of him in slow-mo, well, then were you ever in for a “treat”!
Symbolism Running Wild
Daryl decides to head back to Alexandria when he sees a big billboard for Alexandria, reminding him that Alexandria is the place where his people live. Bitten Guy’s note to his wife is ground into the dirt by the walkers that eat him, just like Michonne’s hopes of getting him back alive. And finally, Heath sees a reflection of himself covered in blood, which was the exact scenario Michonne proposed for truly knowing you’ve been Out There. So, congrats on graduating, Heath! Now you’re dead inside!