This was another quieter episode, but quiet-good and not quiet-bad, if those are indeed useful categories for anything. It’s mostly a lot of setup for next episode, but at least we get to check in with everybody.
PREVIOUSLY ON THE WALKING DEAD: Three weeks of episodes with no Rick, Carl, or Michonne. Which is booty. Carol gets hit by a car, and lots of hints about what happened during the initial breakout in Atlanta. Can we get, like, a spinoff series or a standalone TV-movie or something, guys? Just so we can see what’s happened in the rest of the world?
We begin with Sasha breaking wood. The characters have had a dumbectomy again (yay!) and are prepping the church to stand against a horde while they run off and do some damage. Daryl is carrying some posts outside to put spikes around the door. Gabriel whines about whether they’re gonna take the cross too. Daryl does not threaten to shove anything up his butt. This surprises me.
Rick and Michonne discuss whether Carl is staying back, and Gabriel reaches out and touches the “YOU’LL BURN FOR THIS” carving in the wall. Y’know, the paint job on your church sucks, man. You could just scrape that off.
Judith actually cries, for like the first time ever, and Carl and Michonne board the front door shut from the inside. Gabriel tries to scrub up the bloodstains on the floor with his bare hands, which… that’s gonna backfire.
The group has apparently found another big truck to take them to Atlanta, and they’re apparently letting the white guys ride in front. Tyreese tries to convince Sasha that he knows how she feels, having dated that girl that Carol set on fire for half an hour. Sasha’s having none of it.
I’m actually going to dispose of a couple of these stories right away: over the course of the episode, Beth manages to keep Carol alive and Dawn continues to make absolutely no bloody sense at all. Nothing at this hospital makes any. Sense. But nobody kills Carol either, which… well, that was never gonna happen in this episode.
Gabriel rejects an attempt to learn how to kill things from Carl, then takes his machete and actually breaks through the floor of his office. He rejects a clear sign from God that he’s being an idiot when he steps on a nail almost immediately, then nearly manages to kill a Walker. I’d say “He’s so dead,” but nobody’s run into Morgan yet, and he’s probably gonna run into Morgan next episode at some point. Morgan will keep his dumb self alive.
Incidentally, Carl, for the first time, stays in the house. For the whole episode.
The Washington DC group? Abraham is so absolutely an abuser, guys, I’m even more certain now than I was a couple of episodes ago, as he has apparently been pouting on his knees for most of a day when the episode cuts in on them and he gets really aggressive with Rosita when she tries to make him drink something. Which leads to this wonderful, wonderful moment:
Ya shoulda shot him, Mags.
In Tara news, she finds a yo-yo and gets all excited about it, and she dubs the group GREATM, using the first letter of everyone’s names. She actually calls them GREATM a couple of times, as if it’s going to become a thing. If only Andrea were still alive; they could have been MEATRAG. That’s way better.
Anyway, both Rosita and Eugene are useful (Eugene retroactively, as Rosita remembers stuff he’s told her) and at the end Eugene wakes up. Also, this has happened at some point:
There are like three zombies stuck under that… utility pole, right? I’d love to know how it happened. They appear to be wearing the same clothes, so maybe they’re just really bad municipal employees?
So. Yeah. Let’s spend the bulk of our energy on the main group: Rick, Daryl, Noah, Sasha, and Tyreese. They debate on a plan on their way to Atlanta. Rick’s all for storming the hospital and a lot of throat-slitty, kill-em-quiet ninja stuff. Tyreese suggests raising a ruckus outside the hospital and then grabbing some hostages. This seems less violent, and the rest of the group decides to go along with his plan. This earns them this look from Rick:
He may be swinging back toward My Way or the Highway Rick here, guys.
You will be unsurprised to learn that Tyreese’s plan does not go well. The cops catch Noah, and calmly tell the black kid to give them his gun instead of blowing him away, which is how you know this show is fiction. Noah complies for a moment and then whistles, which is the cue for everyone else to pop out and hold the cops at gunpoint. Rick tries to be reasonable for a minute. Then– oops!– the third cop they didn’t know about zooms in in a second car, opens fire with a machine gun, and everybody scatters and hides. Well, they scatter and hide after the entire group displays some truly bad marksmanship, emptying what looks like an entire clip into the windshield of the car and hitting no one. The car’s like ten feet away. The car pulls off after managing to miss all of them too and eventually Sasha manages to shoot a wheel out and the cops flee. Everybody chases them.
Well, everybody but Daryl, who realizes that they only saw two people run off.
A bit about the scene, here:
Guys, this is seriously the least gross image of this scene I could find. This place has been napalmed and those zombies have been melted into the ground. I’ve had my gripes about this season, right? But one thing they have done right is that every episode, just about, has had a scene that just upped the gross factor through the roof. This one is absolutely this week’s.
So, yeah, Daryl notices that there’s one cop hiding somewhere. He searches for him, alone, and the guy jumps him and there’s an insanely tense fistfight where the guy has Daryl on the ground in between two melt-zombies and is trying to shove Daryl into biting range. And you know what this fool does? First he reaches for one zombie and actually accidentally sticks his hand in its mouth for a second, then he grabs another one by the eye sockets, rips its head off, and bashes the other dude off of him with it. I totally thought he was going to have the disembodied head bite the guy, but that doesn’t happen. By this point Rick and the others have come back, and Daryl actually keeps Rick from killing the cop, pointing out that three hostages are better than two.
They hole up in what looks like a warehouse or something overlooking the hospital. There’s talk about exactly what to do and they end up leaving one of the cops alone with Sasha. He’s black and named Bob. I refuse to believe there are two black Bobs left on Earth at this point, much less both in Atlanta and around these people, but whatever; it makes Sasha all sentimental. He tells her he recognized one of the zombies earlier and asks her to kill it; she’s dumb enough to go look at the window and he bum-rushes her, smacking her head into the glass, knocking her out, and then running away.
Uh, dude, your hands are still tied behind your back. This is not your greatest plan ever. You free your hands first.
Cut to credits, as Sasha lies unconscious on the ground.
NEXT TIME ON THE WALKING DEAD: I’m getting up at five in the morning again, I think.
(Incidentally, the image that graces the top of this post is from disgorgeapocalypse over at DeviantArt.)