This episode really ought to have been called “Season Finale, Part One,” because it’s almost entirely setup for the hour-and-a-half finale that’s going to air tomorrow night and absolutely ruin everyone’s lives. True fact: There have been serious discussions in my household about both of us taking all day Monday or at least the morning off so that we can watch the show early without having to worry about getting up at the crack of dawn.
PREVIOUSLY ON THE WALKING DEAD: Eew. Also, remember when the zombies were scary and dangerous? Because holy crap do they do their best to remind us this episode.
The episode begins by intercutting between three sequences: the weirdest wake ever, as Douchebag’s parents and brother sit around listening to Nine Inch Nails for some reason, Carol making them a casserole to make them feel better, which is weird even for New Grandma Carol, and Sasha up in her bell tower slowly going nuts and looking for things to shoot. This is not going to end well.
Upping the creep factor: Carol doesn’t even bother talking to them when she leaves the casserole, just putting it on the steps with a strangely threatening “We’re sorry for your loss” card. The Governor Deanna sets the card on fire, leaving the casserole on the front steps, where someone’s going to turn an ankle on it tomorrow. Meanwhile, Daryl and Aaron see a fire off in the distance. Maybe you hole up at night, guys?
Cut back to Deanna’s recordings of Glenn and Nicholas’ post-massacre interviews. This is starting to come off as a little fetishistic, by the way. Why did we record these again? Anyway, unsurprisingly, Nicholas is lying through his teeth. I think Deanna knows it.
Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if Deanna turned out to be a Sith Lord? Because she’s totally vibing Palpatine during this sequence.
Glenn fills Rick in on the Revolving Door Incident. Carol, meanwhile, tells him all sorts of awful stories that Sam has told her about his father. Rick wanders around in the dark, watching a Red Balloon of Portentousness that is moored– get it it’s a metaphor for his sanity– on a boat in the little artificial lake. Drunky McDoctorson finds him and they have a strained little conversation where Rick doesn’t shoot him.
Michonne wakes up– well, her alarm clock turns to 6:30, but she’s laying on top of the covers fully dressed– and she stares at her laundry for a while. Rosita comes in and tells her that Tara’s still not in great shape but doing better– yay!– and, oh, that Sasha’s missing. The next scene, they’re in the woods, Michonne rather pointedly leaving her cop gear behind.
Note: I get on this show’s case a lot for how quick it is to kill black male characters. It does not escape me that this entire sequence involves three women of color Bechdeling and badassing all over the place.
Rosita points out at one point that Michonne did not bring her sword. Michonne does not respond by asking Rosita why the frak she didn’t bother bringing a gun.
Whose grave exactly is she visiting here? Because neither of the two people who just died got brought back. Rick confronts Deanna about Pete, and she’s fully aware of what’s been going on. Rick is pro-execution if Pete won’t leave his wife alone; Deanna thinks about exile, and even threatens Rick with it. Rick points out that Pete could very well come back and take the place over if that happened, and by “Pete” he quite obviously means “Rick.”
Brace yourself: Irony incoming.
Carl is chasing Enid through the woods. Enid is fully aware of this, and ends up circling around him and yelling at him about being loud like she’s an extra on Last of the Mohicans or something. Carl actually says “You shouldn’t be out here alone,” and the entire Internet dies of irony. They run off together, cute music playing. Young love!
Glenn tells Nicholas he’s never leaving the walls again. Nicholas clearly still doesn’t understand what he’s gotten himself into. This is an eighth-grader mentality; I see it all the time at school– people who cannot stop putting bass into their voices and puffing up their chests because they have no idea when they are in over their heads. This will not end well for Nicholas.
Well, okay, he’s hiding a gun somewhere; that might be a problem.
Cut back to an extended conversation scene between Enid and Carl. They hear a horde of walkers coming and hide in the dumbest way possible. Look at this:
Yeah, great, chirren; absolutely nowhere to go if one of them sees you. Carl holds Enid’s hand for a split second, she says “You’re scared of me too,” and Carl spots another W carved into a zombie’s forehead.
Meanwhile, Nicholas has a gun stashed in a pot in the woods. That’s not gonna end well.
Meanwhile-meanwhile, Sniper PTSD Ninja Sasha is killing zombies left and right as fast as she can find them. Michonne and Rosita catch up to her. They encounter a fairly large horde of walkers– there really do seem to be a lot more of them in these woods than there ought to be– and Sasha starts taking them out, one shot at a time. Michonne starts having flashbacks of her own and joins in the fun. Rosita wonders why she didn’t bring a gun. Anyway, there’s a tense moment or two, but the three of them take out probably 30 or so walkers in the next few minutes. Kill! We must all kill! We’re damaged like that!
(Seriously, Sasha’s really not okay, guys.)
Try as I might, I can’t find a good shot of this sequence, so instead please accept this picture of Steven Yeun:
Daryl and Aaron come across a pile of disembodied zombie parts in the woods. Fresh disembodied zombie parts. They find a dead lady tied to a tree nearby. She’s definitely been disemboweled and partially eaten and it looks like she may actually have been flayed first. Not clear is when she was tied to the tree. Or whether Carol tied her up, as this is pretty much exactly what she said she was gonna do to Sam.
There’s a W on her forehead. This really really really is not going to end well:
And on to the main event of the episode, as Rick confronts Jessie in her garage about Pete. She starts telling him that Things have Happened to Pete.
“I don’t … care,” Rick says, and that little pause in there is because Rick cares so little about what has happened to Pete that he does not have the energy to even finish the sentence properly. He really truly does not care even one tiny little bit.
Jessie boots him from the garage. He goes out, sees a bunch of people having normal lives– including that red balloon again– and this time goes in through the front of the house. He tells Jessie that Sam asked Carol for a gun. He’s trying to be reasonable but I don’t think Rick even knows exactly where Reasonable is anymore. “If you don’t fight, you die,” he says.
Pete shows up. Pete chooses “fight.” And it’s brutal:
At one point during the fight, Jessie tries to pull Pete off of Rick. He punches her away.
Then Carl tries to pull Rick off of Pete. He punches him away.
They’ve cast Pete well here, because he towers over Rick, and that’s pretty much the only way he has even the tiniest chance in this fight, because after everything Rick’s been through lately (remember, this is a man who has ripped out another man’s throat with his teeth) and as nutballs as he is right now, this fight ought to be over in a few seconds. Eventually, Rick knocks Pete out, and then things somehow manage to get worse:
He gets ranty. And, uh, gun-pointy, which might be worse. This is all delivered over cutaways to Sasha sniping walkers from her bell tower:
“You still don’t get it. None of you do. We know what needs to be done and we do it. We’re the ones who live. You just sit and plan and hesitate. You pretend like you know when you don’t. You wish things weren’t what they are. You want to live? You want this place to stay standing? Your way of doing things are done. Things don’t get better because you want them to. Starting right now, we have to live in the real world. We have to control who lives here.”
“That has never been more clear to me than it is now,” Deanna says.
Rick can’t believe it: “ME? You’re talking about me? Your way is going to destroy this place. It’s going to get people killed. If you don’t fight, you die.”
And then Michonne knocks him out, hitting him in the back of the head with her gun. She’s back in her cop clothes.
Tomorrow’s gonna be a humdinger, y’all.