WALKING DEAD’S BACK!!!!!! WOO!
PREVIOUSLY ON THE WALKING DEAD: Reading through my recaps of last season, I really hated the first half of the season, but the second half was so good it made me forget I hated the first half. Anyway, they’re in Alexandria now and Rick is sliding back into Ricktatorship. Go read the recaps; you can find links to some of them at the bottom of this post.
Also, Fear the Walking Dead happened. I recapped that too!
So, this episode jumps around in time. A LOT. So much, in fact, that they’ve adopted a black and white color scheme for all the scenes set in the past. It means that recapping it in a traditional way is going to be… well, annoying to write, at least. So I’m gonna bullet-point this one, I think. It’s actually a deceptively simple episode, to be completely honest.
- FACT: You can tell where we are in the past by the number of butterfly sutures Rick has on his face. The “past” starts immediately after the end of last season. If Rick looks like this, we are in the way-back:
- Tara wakes up from her coma. Upon seeing Eugene, she says “Thank God. Nothing happened to your hair.” I cannot figure out when I started loving Tara as much as I do.
- The basic plot of the episode is that part of the reason Alexandria hasn’t been overrun by walkers is that there’s a huge ravine wrapped around it that the walkers keep falling into. Both ends of the thing have been barricaded by someone else so that they’re getting stuck in there. The problem is, uh, there’s a lot of them. Quite a lot of them. And at the beginning of the episode, one of the tractor trailers barricading them in falls into the ravine. Rick had a plan to lead them away from town, and they’ve gotta get it in place immediately. This is what I mean by a lot:
- The plan basically involves Daryl, Abraham and Sasha leading the herd away at very low speed to… somewhere, because we never really find out where the endpoint is for this plan. “Twenty miles away,” Rick says, but is there, like, a thing twenty miles away, or did you just pick that number? The plan’s a bit more complicated than that but that’s close enough.
- When there are four thousand zombies behind the one you’re shooting an arrow at, Daryl, maybe you don’t waste that arrow, because you’re not getting it back. I know you’ve got a signature weapon theme going and all that but dude somebody’s got an AK-47 with more ammo than your little crossbow. Use that instead.
- Meanwhile, Morgan’s adjusting to life in Alexandria and there’s a lot of backstory about how Ethan Embry doesn’t trust Rick, and blah blah blah we should kill him blah blah blah no one takes you seriously, shut up, Preston.
- Ethan Embry’s old, guys:
- True story: I spent a week in grad school many years ago basically doing nothing but watching Can’t Hardly Wait three or four times a day. I suspect that gets you instantly committed nowadays.
- I also suspect I am not the only person who has done that.
- The DVD was a rental, that’s how long ago it was.
- Rick is totally still trying to bang the blonde hairdresser whose name I can never remember. Pete’s wife. Except, y’know, Rick just killed Pete, and in any other situation than the zombie apocalypse I feel like that should hurt your chances a bit.
- Heath’s here! He has a completely hilarious conversation with Eugene when he gets back to town, because Eugene doesn’t know who the hell he is and he reacts to him in a predictably Eugene way. Eugene’s last line to him is “It’s nice to see someone like me! I fully respect the hair game.”
- Heath does not appear to think he is like Eugene.
- The actor looks exactly like Heath from the comics, except for the part where I always think Heath from the comics is a lesbian and forget he’s a guy until someone calls him Heath and I remember he’s supposed to be a dude. Real-Heath looks way less like a lesbian.
- Heath is still alive in the comics. They also added Morgan back to the regular cast this season. Therefore: I’ll miss you, Gabriel, because you’re totally dead next episode.
- I won’t actually miss Gabriel.
- The zombies are now so soft-headed that some of them manage to destroy their own brains just by bonking them into one of the walls designed to herd them. Either that or the group has a sniper that we never actually see, and that seems like a terrible idea because Rick and Michonne and Morgan are on the other side of that corrugated metal wall.
- Nicholas and Glenn are all buddy-buddy now. Maggie at one point tells Tara about what happened between the two of them and Tara’s all IMMA KILL HIM but it’s okay because Glenn saves people. Maggie calls Tara “one of the most important people in the world to me,” which initially felt weird. Being in Team MEATRAG was apparently more important to Maggie than I thought.
- Lauren Cohan totally over-Southerns Maggie’s accent during this bit. She’s out of practice.
- There’s a lot of yammering online about how Rick should have come up with a plan to kill all of the zombies instead of leading them away to wherever he’s (well, Daryl and Sasha and Abraham are) leading them away to. None of the yammerers really have a good idea of how this is to be accomplished; there’s lots of talk of molotovs and fire from people who have apparently never thrown a molotov outside of a video game nor dealt with an uncontrolled, ambulatory wildfire. There’s no good way to do this, y’all. They don’t have the ammo.
- I reserve the right to decide Rick’s plan is dumb if we ever find out where they were going and it turns out to be somewhere dumb.
- Remember this from last season?
- Anyway, they’ve got Abraham speaking in haiku again. I swear to God this is an exact transcription of some of his dialogue with Sasha in the car:
Just grabbing the bull
by the nutsack; I’m living,
darling, just like you.
- There’s a brief subplot where Rick refuses to allow Pete to be buried inside the walls and Pete’s son follows him and Morgan out into the woods. That’s how they find the ravine full of zombies, actually. It’s kind of dumb. He’s dead, Rick, and he’s got kids. Let him be buried in the town.
- Morgan sees right through Grandma Carol. Which is awesome.
- Noticeably missing from the horde: child zombies. There was one in the very first episode, and there was Sophia, and the kid zombie that bit Tyreese, and that may have been it for the entire series. I get the real-world reasons why there are never kid zombies, but there should be some kids in this group. Lots more than there are, actually.
- Old Ethan Embry gets his face messily eaten, because he’s on some other show. He won’t stop screaming and Rick stabs him dead. Bye, Old Ethan Embry.
- I am not convinced that Rick’s knife was angled to even touch OEE’s brain. He may be a walker by now. He basically stabs him horizontally in the base of the skull. That’s a tricky angle to hit brain with.
- Daryl spends the entire episode driving three miles an hour with this look on his face:
- There’s a wonderful conversation between Morgan and Michonne about whether Michonne took one of Morgan’s peanut butter protein bars during “Clear” like three seasons ago. I almost want to go back and rewatch it to see if they actually show her taking it.
- I got wondering at some point: Does anyone remember what happened to Dale’s Winnebago? We see one at one point but I’m pretty sure it’s not the same one. They haven’t had it since… what, before the prison?
- Anyway, the big plan works, mostly… right up until the point where what sounds like an air defense alarm starts sounding from somewhere. Wait, did I say somewhere? I meant Alexandria. For some reason. And all the zombies– thousands and thousands and thousands of them– turn and start heading for home. Uh-oh.
- No, srsly, uh-oh.
- Is it next Sunday yet?