Archive for February, 2015

49d1b9e0-7a33-5d3a-3507-d153770cc081twd511gp09110156jpg-318a5fWith the group still sitting around in the barn, Maggie slowly enters with Aaron and Sasha following behind. Everyone arises with guns drawn. Aaron tries to extend out his hand but pulls back when the group appears cautious. Aaron begins to make his case for Rick’s group auditioning for his community. While still going through the speech, Rick marches over and knocks Aaron out cold without any words or hesitation. Michonne worries that Rick took the wrong tone, but he immediately sets up a perimeter and gets Aaron secured. Aaron wakes up and gets questioned about the number of people waiting outside. Aaron turns the question back on Rick to help highlight Rick’s trust issues. Rick continues to distrust Aaron throughout his plea, but Michonne counters and says they should at least try to check it out. Maggie, Glenn, Abraham, and Rosita agree to join Michonne on the trip. Rick sends the rest of the group out to post watch around the barn. Aaron tries once more to make his plea for the good between both of their groups, but Rick remains vigilant with his distrust.

Michonne’s group makes their way down the road and comes up with their own cautious plan to stay safe. Glenn is concerned with Aaron’s spying, but Michonne seems to have much more confidence in Aaron’s honesty. In the distance, a figure watches.

With Judith crying, Aaron offers Rick the applesauce from his pack. Concerned for his own safety, he convinces Rick to at least take it. Rick forces Aaron to take the first bite. Aaron makes another effort to convince Rick, who only decides to remind Aaron of his time to live.

Machine’s group finds the vehicles but is startled by a sound in the woods. They are surprised to find that a couple of walkers pop out rather than people who were with Aaron. They enter the RV and find that Aaron’s pleas may be real. They bring the vehicles back to the barn, where Rick just claims the food. Rick still is unsure about saying yes. Michonne pushes the group to say yes and asks for anyone else to disagree. Rick finally says yes. Aaron gets uneasy about not driving and clams up when Rick wants to know exactly where the community is. Rick devises a plan to go up a different road and travel at night. Outside the barn, Michonne questions Rick’s uneasiness, but he recounts their troubles with Woodbury and Terminus. Unsure that he will be convinced to take his family in, he at least agrees that they should still go see for themselves.

8bbc2819-72f0-537b-8275-9ffb93549d15twd511gp09110065jpg-daab05Rick finds license plates in the glove box, to which Aaron says that he is trying to collect all 50 to put in his house. Michonne notices that there are no people in the pictures Aaron brought, and she finally realizes that they never asked Aaron the questions. He admits to killing a lot of walkers and two people for trying to kill him. They then find the listening device but are distracted when a pack of walkers show up and splatter over the windshield. Breaking out of the pack, they try to clean off the car but struggle to get the engine to start back up. In the distance, a flare goes off and Aaron goes chasing after it. Rick, Michonne, and Glenn follow suit, but the walkers are right behind them. Glenn almost gets taken out and finds and saves Aaron from a similar fate. While he is about to let Aaron go, Aaron reminds him that they can try to make it to safety together.

Rick and Michonne call and search for Glenn, but Rick has to use the flare gun on a walker. This only attracts more, but also leads to Aaron and Glenn finding them. The group moves out to Rt. 16 but cannot find Aaron’s friends. Rick’s entire group finally meet back up, but Aaron immediately searches for his friend, Eric, who has injured his leg. Aaron is so relieved that he shares a moment with Eric and lets his guard down. Eric reveals that he found another plate for the collection, but Aaron admits that he lost the car. Rick walks in and breaks up the reunion. Aaron then readdresses the group and thanks them for saving Eric. He finally names that the community is at Alexandria. Rick continues to exert control and tries to keep Aaron and Eric separated, but Aaron refuses to let it stand. Glenn takes a moment to speak with Rick and convinces him to let the two men stay together for the night.

The following day, the group continues their run toward Alexandria. Aaron and Noah share a moment and talk about their injuries. Rosita points out to Abraham that DC is in the distance. The RV breaks down, but Glenn finds a spare battery near the side door. Michonne and Rick talk off to the side about the fight. Michonne tries to convince Rick that he needs to let go of the fight. Rick remembers that Bob gave him that advice at the church. Glenn gets the RV back up and working, but Rick takes a moment to himself in the woods. He hides a pistol in blender outside of a house just off of the road and returns to the group. As they drive up to the gate of the community, Rick waits for a moment before getting out of the car. They hear kids playing and laughing, and Michonne smiles at Rick for the potential beyond the wall. He gets Judith and Carol takes a moment to acknowledge his methods.

Reaction: I will admit that I had to catch this on the replay because of the Oscars, but I stayed up to watch it anyway.

The comics are truly coming to life now, except for Rick’s really crude reaction to Aaron’s speech. I’ve been waiting for this moment because it means that we are finally going to be entering the DC area and a potential network of communities ruled by an evil dictator…but more on that later…

8a61b030-9af3-0132-e42f-0e7954aeedc0The episode’s main theme is about trust. Aaron trusted that Rick would eventually agree to join his community, but Rick was resistant through every stage of the process. He punched Aaron rather than listening to him. He tied him up. He forced Aaron to test the food before Judith could eat. He refused to let Aaron drive or take his suggested route. He refused to listen to Aaron when the flare went off in the distance. In reality, Rick cannot be blamed for his distrust. He has seem civilizations that have deceived him and his group and led to the death of close family and friends. The lack of trust was not a loss of hope, but it is clear that Rick needs a lot of evidence to feel comfortable agreeing to give up any minuscule amount of control.

If I were Aaron, I would have lost trust in Rick’s group a while ago. It is not clear how much Aaron was able to hear using his equipment, but Rick was really being bull-headed throughout the entire ordeal. He was fortunate that Glenn and Michonne had some sense to check Rick at the right times.

Michonne has grown significantly, Rick is learning to maybe consider that hope still exists, and the rest of the group is more than ready for a new life. Let’s see if the community is ready to accept these new people.

In Memoriam: just some walkers/roamers

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0561202b-2ada-62cf-243d-2758df21ebcatwd510gp09030084jpg-93dfd6_960wStill devastated by their recent losses, Maggie finds herself a place to cry quietly. Even as a walker slowly makes its way toward her, she remains broken against the side of the trees. When it finally creeps up behind her, she rises and slowly stabs it with her knife to silence the moans. Meanwhile, the rest of the group is struggling for supplies. Daryl is digging up worms for sustenance and Sasha is struggling without water. As the three of them walk back to the group, they discuss their troubles. Not food and no water has put them in a predicament, and with only 60 miles to go until they get to DC.

With another vehicle out of gas, the group unloads and begins their walk down the long stretch of road. Behind them, walkers follow. Daryl and Rick discuss their challenges further, but Daryl splits off with Carol to go searching. Gabriel attempts to talk to Maggie about life, loss, pain, and faith, but she quickly shuts him down for his poor decisions back at the church. The walkers continue to slowly creep up from behind, but the group maintains just enough of a distance. Michonne and Sasha talk about whether they can take the walker pack behind them, which gets them talking about Tyreese and his downfall.

Out in the woods, Carol starts to talk to Daryl about Beth. Feeling grateful that Beth had saved their lives, Carol hands over Beth’s knife as a memento. Carol says, “we’re not dead” as a way to motivate Daryl attempting to move on. Kissing him on the forehead, she starts to walk forward, leaving Daryl stunned for a moment.

Out on the road, the group finds a bridge and sets up to take out the walker pack. Rather than slashing and stabbing, they opt to throw the walkers over the side. Sasha breaks from the plan and starts stabbing them, immediately changing the plan. As the group attempts to slash their way out of the bridge defense, there are a couple of close calls as the blades fly and as Rick is almost caught from behind by one of the walkers. Sasha takes a few stabs at walker before nearly stabbing Michonne. After pushing Sasha down to the ground and finishing off another walker, she looks down and tells her to just stop and stay down. With the walkers dispatched, Sasha stares Michonne down before walking away in a huff.

Moving forward, the group spots some cars. Daryl splits off again while the rest start searching the cars. Maggie finds her first car to be a failure but takes the keys to open the trunk. She finds a walker tied up inside, initially shutting the trunk and then almost shooting the lock open when the key gets jammed. Glenn walks over just before she shoots and finishes the job. Later on, Daryl returns to the group after finding nothing of value in the woods. Abraham takes the liquor they found and takes a swig. All of a sudden, a pack of wild dogs jump out of the trees, leaving Sasha to quickly grab her gun and take them all out. They take the dispatched dogs and cook the meat to get their first food in days. Noah is concerns that he will not make it, but Sasha has little to say to help him feel any better. Gabriel takes the collar from his shirt and drops it in the fire.

glenn-in-the-walking-deadGlenn offers Maggie a drink but she refuses. He tries to get her to talk. Maggie admits that she thought that Beth had died. She had gone through a roller coaster, especially over the course of one day. She admits that she is losing the fight in her. Glenn tries to build her back up, telling her that she has to keep fighting. Abraham offers Sasha a bit of his liquor. She refuses saying it would make things worse and continues to push away from another member of the group. Glenn tries to offer water to Daryl, but he refuses it too. Glenn tells him that they can make it together, but Daryl just sneaks off after telling Abraham that he is looking for water. Daryl finds a spot to sit against a tree, lights a cigarette, and then uses the cigarette to burn a mark on his hand. After being so distant throughout the journey, he breaks out in quiet tears while staring at barn nearby.

Daryl finally returns to the group to find that they are standing over a collection of water with a note that read “From a Friend.” Eugene attempts to drink some to test it, but Abraham knocks it away. As they just stand there, a sudden boom of thunder precedes a downpour. The group revels in the rainwater and then tries to capture as much of it as possible. With the storm breaking stronger, Daryl leads them to the barn. After being safely inside, Maggie comes across a broken walker and casually takes it out. Carol catches her and tells her not to give up. Later that evening, Sasha catches Abraham continuing to drink off to the side. Rick and others seem to be falling victim to the harshness of the world, while Michonne counters their view and says that she believes this world to not be the end. Rick recounts a story of the past, his uncle’s story of the war. “We do what we need to do, and then we live…This is how we survive. We tell ourselves that we are the Walking Dead.” Daryl gets upset and walks off.

As the storm continues to break even harder, Daryl is off on his own and notices a pack of walkers coming toward the barn through a crack in the door. He tries to secure it, but the pack is too large. Maggie and Sasha see it as well and rush to help him hold the door. They entire group rushes to their aid, including Carl, who leaves Judith alone on the ground. The next morning, Maggie wakes up to seeing Judith in Rick’s arms. As she slowly gets up, she spots Daryl awake on the other side of the barn. Sitting next to him, she tells him to get some sleep. They start to talk about how tough Tyreese and Beth truly were. He hands Maggie the music box that Carl found, saying that he cleaned out the grit. Maggie gently wakes Sasha to go outside, but they find that the storm took care of that for them, with most of them taken out by branches and downed trees. They sit on a log overlooking a field and stare out at the sunrise. Sasha admits that she actually feels like Noah, that she might not make it. Maggie finally shows some optimism. While the box does not work initially, they are actually interrupted by a man who reveals himself as Aaron and seems to know Rick. Suddenly, the box starts working.

Reaction: Back on the road means back to survival. It also means that the group is back to character development as they are stretched to the limit of their confidence and resolve.

0a3591f4-cb2b-75de-2bda-147ac9ccd2e8twd510gp09020040jpg-b6e000_960wThis seemed to mostly focus on Maggie, Sasha, and Daryl and their varied reactions to the recent losses and their limited resources. Maggie had believed Beth to be dead, then alive, and then actually dead. Beth was the last connection to her family and she had just been overcome by her emotions of loss. Glenn had some affect on her, but it was actually a moment the morning after the storm that seemed to have the greatest influence on her. Seeing Judith in Rick’s arms seemed to have a strong, positive reaction on her, allowing her to try and cheer up the other two.

Sasha’s loss of Tyreese was definitely a difficult one. He was her strongest connection to the group, especially after losing Bob a while ago. She had no one in the group that she trusted or wanted to listen to. With several moments where she seemed ready to kill Michonne, Sasha was fighting tooth and nail to be hard and hide her true fears. In the light of the sunrise, she finally let the barrier fall and was honest about her fears of death, which also allowed her to start her road to recovery.

Daryl has always been a loner, but he was in rare form this time. Beth’s death truly has had a huge impact on his confidence and willingness to connect with the group. Carol tries to push him a bit, which may have caused him to take that extra solo walk and finally break down and cry. He was still fighting the support of the group until Maggie sat with him the morning after the storm. While it still is undetermined to what degree Daryl is mending, he will likely need some more time to recover.

Gabriel also had a bit of a faith issue in this one. He attempted early on to connect with Maggie, but she shot him down pretty strongly. After the bridge attack, the killing of the dogs, and the continued harsh conditions, he finally seemed to break as he threw the collar in the fire. He finally started to question his faith in the backdrop of the zombie apocalypse. Will he finally step up and fight for survival?

At the very end of the episode, Aaron showed up and surprised Maggie and Sasha. He claimed that he was there to speak with the group. While I know what his role is within the comics, it will be interesting to see if the show follows a similar path for him.

In Memoriam: just some walkers and a pack of dogs

With each sound of the shovel hitting the earth, the tension rises. Maggie and Noah feel devastating by Beth’s recent passing. With Gabriel providing the background of sorrow-filled words, Noah tells Rick that Beth had planned to escape with her. Rick takes Noah’s plan to the rest of the group as a way to find some sort of salvation. Everyone is tentative, but ultimately decide to press on. The road ahead is much of the same, ravaged and desolate. With flashes of the past, all that remains is a drawing of a house with blood dripping from above.

The-Walking-Dead-Breaking-through-fenceGetting closer to their destination, Noah and Tyreese recount the travesty of the trade at the hospital. Tyreese thinks back to the past, with thoughts of his father. They pull into the woods and park near some other wreckage. Noah leads them toward his home, finding barbed wires and a junk wall slowing their path. Noah warns them of the truck-mounted spotter station, but the area seems empty and barren. Glenn climbs the wall to take a look, looks back, and softly shakes his head. They all climb over as Noah is devastating by the burned houses and destruction of his old neighborhood. Tyreese tries to console him but he shakes it off. Rick takes a moment and organizes the group to make a sweep for goods before heading back. He reports back to Carol while Michonne slays the walkers. A feeling of disappointment sweeps through the group, but Rick tries to put it in perspective by helping to connect the journey to Beth’s wishes. Tyreese talks to Noah about his struggles with giving up and fighting for life. Noah finally gets up and starts running toward his house with Tyreese chasing behind. They slowly make their way inside to find his mother dead on the floor. Tyreese hears noises down the hall, seeing the shadow from underneath a closed door. Tyreese finds his brother’s room, and while getting distracted by the pictures on the wall, gets bit on the arm before Noah kills his undead brother. He runs for help as Tyreese collapses and bleeds on the ground.

Falling into a state of delusion, he starts to see people, including the Governor, Bob, Lizzie, Mika, and Martin. They tell him it’s his time to pay his due, that it is better on the other side, and that it is his own fault for being so weak. While all the voices fill the room and the radio seemingly blares in the background, a walker barges in and almost gets him with his guard down. Tyreese fights for his life and decides to let the walker bite down on his already bitten arm while grabbing a rock off of the shelf to beat it dead. He falls back to the floor and continues to bleed onto the carpet.

Michonne tries to convince Rick and Glenn to settle into the neighborhood. While they cannot fathom a way to make it safe with the poor sight lines, Michonne tries to stick to it. While walking the grounds, she finds a massive area of dead bodies. Taking a moment to think, it hits her that Washington may actually be a shot. While Eugene may have lied about the cure, she thinks he might actually have had a reason to think of going there. Suddenly, they hear Noah shouting in the distance. Running to his aid, they take out the walkers that have trapped him and turn toward running to save Tyreese.

Hearing Beth’s voice singing to him, he continues to bleed out and hallucinate to all of the voices telling him “this is all there is.” He finally finds his voice and starts to lash out at the voices while also fighting back the tears. He falls back to the ground and starts to loss himself. Suddenly he breaks back into consciousness to find Rick pulling his arm out to chop it off as Michonne swings the blade.

2015-02-08_1158They rush Tyreese out of the house and toward the gate. Breaking open the lock, walkers start pouring in. Noah stays with Tyreese while the rest of the group takes them all out. Tyreese continues to flash back to his past while they continue the escape. Rick and the group continue to fight for Tyreese’s survival and finally get back to the car. Stuck in the mud at first and crashing into the truck full of corpses, Tyreese tries to hang on while they speed back to camp. He continues to see the ones he lost as they tell him it will be okay, even better. Rick stops the car and the group drags Tyreese’s body out to confirm the worst. Back at the camp, the group buries Tyreese, with Sasha taking a turn to shovel the dirt onto his grave before dropping the shovel and walking away. Left behind is his hat on a cross made of sticks.

Reaction: The long awaited break is over. Beth still feels like a recent loss and the mystery of Morgan continues. Having left the church behind and distancing themselves from the hospital, the road ahead seems long.

The episode started with a sense of looking to the past, but not really about the experiences. The flashes were actually foreshadowing of the danger coming later in the episode. While there was a lot of reflection happening with their roller coaster of opportunity and loss, Tyreese was at the center of the drama. While having progressively become more zen, even with his moments of rage while saving his friends, he was forced to review his decisions and mortality. The bite was devastating enough, but being forced to face the people of his past and fight off a walker made it that much more overwhelming. The entire episode was a battle between Tyreese’s softer transformation and will to fight to live. He lost that battle, but he also hung on for quite some time. There was just not enough fight in him to survive the harsh new world.

Noah’s story was also brought a little into light, even as a catalyst for Tyreese’s story arc ending. His mother and brothers fell to the fate that so many had faced. Devastated by the destruction of his neighborhood, Tyreese was the voice of reason that helped him attempt to face his fate and start to focus on moving forward. It was unfortunate that his need to see his old home led to the end of Tyreese, particularly with all of the loss recently for the group, but he can officially leave his life behind.

The group is now on a course for Washington, meaning that they are inching closer and closer to the potential threats that have already been introduced in the comics. Michonne was able to convince them to move forward, just as her thought of settling in was devastated. Maybe this will serve as a new hope for the group to rally around.

In Memoriam: Walkers (including Noah’s family), Tyreese