Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Walking Dead, Season Five, Episode Ten: Them

This episode opens with a clearly grieving Maggie.  She sits by herself crying, even as a walker approaches through the woods.  Maggie simply stands almost robotically, grabs the walker and puts a knife through its head and returns to her crying.  Elsewhere, Darryl digs a worm out of the ground and consumes it.  Clearly things are rough for the group, if Darryl is eating worms.  Sasha makes her way through the woods, with an empty water bottle in her hand.  Sasha comes across a grouping of dead frogs trapped in the mud.  Without a word, Sasha is joined by Maggie and Darryl and follows them back to the main group, who are waiting in the middle of the road.  The three talk about the fact that they didn't find anything.  Maggie and Sasha talk about how much more fight they have left.

The crew climbs out of the car after it runs out of gas and Rick declares that they will have to walk.  They head down the road with Rick holding Judith.  Rick confides to Darryl that there are not at their strongest, when he notes that the are being followed by a few walkers.  Rick brings up what Darryl lost in Atlanta, noting that it's been three weeks. Darryl doesn't answer and simply says that Judith is hungry.  Darryl brings up the group's need for water and food and looking up at the sky, Rick says that it's going to rain sooner rather than later.  Darryl separates from the group to look for supplies  again and is followed by Carol.

Carl, who is walking next to Maggie, gifts her with a broken music box, which I suppose is meant to represent Beth.  When Carl walks off, Gabriel decides that its time for him to minister to Maggie. Maggie is not at all interested, reminding Gabriel that he abandoned his congregation and never even met the people that she lost.  Michonne and Sasha are walking side by side, and Sasha wants to take out the walkers. Michonne points out that they don't have a lot of strength, but Sasha is adamant that she can take on the walkers.  Michonne brings up the similarities between Sasha's expression of grief and Tyreese's, but Sasha angrily says that they are not the same. When Sasha says that she is not the same as Tyreese, Michonne makes it clear that their response is the same.

Darryl and Carol are in the woods, and Carol brings up the fact that Beth saved both of their lives.  Carol then hands Darryl, Beth's knife, reminding Darryl that he is not dead.  Carol tells Darryl that he has to let himself feel the loss -- then gives him almost a motherly kiss on the forehead -- before walking away.  That is not the kiss that Darryl and Carol shippers were hoping for.

The group comes to a bridge and decide to let the walkers come towards them and then step out of the way, so that the walkers tumble over the bridge.  The plan is pretty good actually, because it allows them to expend minimal energy.  Rick, Glenn, Abraham, and Michonne, follow the plan without problem, Sasha however grabs a walker and decides to put her knife through its head.  Since Sasha is on the offensive, Rick calls for the other members to follow suit.  Michonne pushes Sasha to the ground, clearly frustrated telling her to stop.  Sasha gets all angry eyes and gets into a stare down with Michonne but in the end walks away.

The group then comes across a bunch of abandoned cars in the middle of the road.  Darryl decides to head into the woods again while the group searches the cars.  In the trunk of one car, Maggie finds a walker and instead of killing it, she closes the lid.  Maggie starts to walk away but changes her mind when she hears the walker moving around in the trunk.  Maggie tries to get the trunk open again but it's stuck.  It's Glen who opens the trunk and takes out the walker, after Maggie explains leaving the walker in the trunk.

Darryl makes his way through the woods and falls to his knees when he sees a rotting deer.  When he looks to his right, he sees a body with its head clearly blown off.

The group is sitting by the roadside when Darryl rejoins them.  Abraham pulls out a bottle of booze and Tara is quick to point out that drinking is going to make things worse. It's Rosita who says that Abraham knows this. Eugene pipes up to add that Abraham is a grown man and that he doesn't know if things can get worse.  A group of dogs exit the woods and start barking at the group.  It's Sasha who stands and fires the kill shot.  Rick stands and breaks some wood in preparation for a fire.  Later, the group sits around eating the dog meat, as Noah stares at the dog's now empty collar. Noah tells Sasha that he doesn't know if he is going to make it and she advises him not to think and simply eat.  The group chews mechanically on the dog meat and having reached the end of his rope, Stokes takes off his collar, tossing it into the fire before taking a bite of the dog meat.

The group is on the move again and Glenn offers Maggie some water but she declines.  Glenn asks Maggie to talk to him and Maggie brings up Hershel and Beth.  Maggie begins to wonder if she can keep going and Glenn says that she is a fighter, adding that she needs to keep fighting.  This time when Glenn offers Maggie water, she accepts.  Abraham tries to offer a swig of booze to Sasha, who declines saying that it's going to make things work.  Abraham however believes that with the way Sasha is behaving, she is the one who is going to make things worse. Abraham tries to comfort Sasha, saying that she is with friends, but Sasha storms off after telling Abraham that they are not friends.

Glenn tries to offer water to Darryl but he rejects it.  Glenn tells Darryl that they can make it together before walking off. Darryl again walks off into the woods by himself.  Darryl comes across a barn and sits to have a smoke.  Darryl burns his hand with a the cigarette and finally cries. When Darryl returns to the group, Rick hands him a note with the words, "From A Friend."  In the road sits several bottles of water.  Rick doesn't trust the water becuase they don't know who left it. It's Eugene who is optimistic, saying that he would like to believe it is from a friend. Eugene grabs a bottle saying it's "quality assurance," only to have Rick knock the bottle out of his hands.

Thunder sounds in the distance and the group finally get their long awaited rain.  Stokes cries, looking up at the sky, and apologises to his God, as Rick orders everyone to get all of the containers they can find.  The storm begins to pick up and it's clear that there is more going on than a normal thunder storm.  Darryl leads the group back to the barn he found.  Maggie takes out the one walker in the barn, pointing out to Carol that the walker had a gun and could have shot herself. Carol simply says that some people cannot give up - just like them. 

The sun has set and Rick says that he used to feel sorry for kids who have to grow up in the apocalypse but since growing up is getting used to the world, all of this is easier for kids.  It's Michonne who rejects the very idea that this is the world. Rick then brings up his grandfather's experience fighting in the war and adds that no matter what they find in D.C., they will be okay because this is how they survive. Rick calls the group the walking dead. 

The storm continues to rage outside and when Darryl moves to check the doors which are held together by a flimsy chain, he sees a herd of walkers outside. Realising that if the door gives in and the walkers enter the barn that they are all dead, one by one, the group joins Darryl in pushing the doors closed, as the storm outside gets more violent. Clearly, the group is caught in a tornado.

The next morning, Maggie wakes and tells Darryl that it's okay to rest now.  Darryl brings up Beth saying that while Beth was tough, she didn't know it.  Darryl then hands Maggie back the music box which he somehow found time to fix.  Maggie then makes her way over to Sasha.    The two women head outside to see that zombies didn't exactly make it through the tornado in the best of shape. Sasha realises that they should have died last night.  The two women sit watching the sunrise.  Sasha admits that she doesn't know if she can make it and Maggie affirms that they are all going to make it. Maggie then opens the music box but when she winds it up, it doesn't play.  Aaron comes out of the woods with his hands up  and claims to be a friend.  Aaron asks to talk to Rick, the person in charge.  Both Sasha and Maggie questions how he knows the leader is Rick and why.  Aaron simply says that he has good news.  This of course is when the music box decides to work. 

Okay, I suppose that this episode was really about dealing with the after effects of losing both Tyreese and Beth so closely together.  Clearly Sasha is not doing well and just wants to lash out at everything around. Part of it is because Tyreese was so big and tough and didn't manage to make it, how are they?

Darryl who bottles things up is struggling because he hasn't grieved. I think it's a testimony to Carol and Darryl's relationship that she is the one who got through to him. Carol recognized all to clearly the brave front that Darryl was putting up.  I do however find it interesting that Darryl would have to burn himself to finally be able to cry. 

I found it interesting that the group settled down to a meal of dog.  Before they arrived at the prison Carl had found a can of dog food and was going to eat it when Rick knocked out of his hands.  I suppose it is a measure of how desperate the group has become when dog become a blessing.  Eating the dog however in many ways symbolizes just low the group has fallen and particularly with Stokes burning his collar.

I still say Rick sucks as a leader. He inspires no one, particularly so with his we are the walking dead speech. WTH? How about giving people hope for a better tomorrow?

At the end of this episode we were briefly introduced to Aaron.  For those of you paying attention, Aaron is supposed to be a gay character. Considering how The Walking Dead has treated POC , I am not holding out hope for good GLBT representation but I suppose we'll see.