Monday, March 30, 2015

The Walking Dead, Season Five, Episode Sixteen: Conquer

Morgan wakes up in the back seat of a car and smiles at the rabbit's foot hanging off the rear view mirror.  He heads outside and makes himself a cup of soup.  A man sneaks up on Morgan holding a gun and introduces himself.  The man has a W carved into his forehead, which apparently represents wolves ,which were hunted by the first settlers of the area and the Indigenous community. The W symbolizes that wolves are back now.  Apparently, the man is part of a larger group who sometimes traps people.   When Morgan tries to take a sip of his cup of soup, he is told to put it down.  Morgan asks to keep a little bit of his supplies and is told that he will lose it all, including his life. Morgan informs the man that he can have everything but will not allow himself to be taken away.  The stranger tells Morgan to be still and his partner sneaks up from behind.  The fight is on and all Morgan has is a stick to defend himself.  Morgan warns the men that they should go but when they refuse, he proceeds to kick some serious ass before knocking them out and placing them in the car he slept in the night before. Morgan then pockets the rabbit's foot. When Morgan picks up the gun which as pointed at him, he discovers that it had no bullets.

Darryl is driving down the road on his motorcycle with Aaron hot on his heels.  They pull off to the side of the road.

Back at Alexandria, Rick slowly wakes up to find Michonne watching him.  Michonne reports that Deanna wanted him isolated to calm things down and Rosita took care of his bandages.  Michonne reports that Pete was placed in another home.  Michonne asks Rick what he is doing and Rick says that things moved fast and that he couldn't tell her what he was doing. Rick then actually taunts Michonne about wanting to get off the road.  Did this fool forget that they had no food or water and were reduced to praying for rain while eating dog?  Michonne is emphatic that they had to stop being out there.

Glenn, Abraham, and Carol, come in and Carol accuses Rick of stealing the gun from armoury calling it stupid. Gotta love how even in front of her own group, Carol refuses to show her hand. Rick plays dumb as Carol intended.  Glenn announces that Deanna is planning a meeting for tonight.  They discuss a tactic and it's Carol who suggests that Rick tell the community a story they want to hear just like she has been doing since she got there.  Yeah that was a subtle point to Rick that he really should have flown under the radar. Carol declares the Alexandrians are like children, adding that knives are all they need against the people.  Rick lays out a plan to over power the residents of Alexandria if necessary, including a threat to slit people's throats to get to the armoury.  Rick admits that he screwed up and put them in this mess. Well I suppose that's a first for Rick but excuse me if I'm still not impressed.   Rick then decides that he is going to sleep some more more and lies down.

Gabriel takes his jacket off the line, as Maggie watches from Deanna's porch. Yep, Gabriel needs to become walker food.  Maggie is joined by Reg and she questions if the meeting is about evicting Rick. Maggie makes it clear that evicting Rick is not an option and that it's not fair to put the decision on the residents who don't have the whole story. Deanna says that the situation is hers to decide (right no conflict of interest if she is the one who decides). Maggie talks about Rick's frustration at the things he has seen and lost.  Deanna immediately jumps on this because of course, she just lost her son but Maggie argues back rightly actually that they have lost so much more. Deanna points out that Rick pointed a gun at people but Maggie argues back that Rick didn't pull the trigger. Deanna however sees this as a poor sign. Reg steps up to remind Deanna that Michonne stopped Rick.  Maggie walks off the porch in frustration and Reg quickly follows to say that civilization starts when people stop running and live together.  This apparently is going to be his advice to Deanna and the people of Alexandria.

Sasha is outside of the walls and she grabs a dead zombie (yes, I know it's an oxymoron).  She drags the zombie to a pit filled with a few zombies.  Sasha stumbles and falls into the pit and instead of climbing out, she lies down in the pit with the zombies. Sasha has a weird fixation it seems and cannot decide between killing the zombies and wanting to just die herself. Other than Rick, I think this is the longest any character has been allowed to actively mourn a loss. And no, I haven't forgotten she who took her bed.

Darryl and Aaron are tracking a man through the woods and Aaron makes it clear that they have to make sure the person they are tracking is good.  Aaron then talks about the three people he was forced to send away.  Because Aaron brought them to Alexandria the responsibility of escorting them out became his.  The ousted people were driven away from Alexandria and left with a days worth of food and water and no guns.  Aaron is adamant that he will not make that kind of mistake again. Essentially, those people were given a death sentence.

Carol has gone back to see Rick alone, saying that what happened last night was good.  Carol hands Rick another gun and he asks why Carol didn't want the rest of the group to know they had more guns. Carol says that Michonne stopped Rick and that she didn't tell them just in case. Rick makes it clear that everyone is with them and that he doesn't want to lie anymore.  Carol points out that Rick said that he didn't want to lie and he didn't want to take Alexandria. Carol snarks to Rick that he cannot have it both way.  YES, I LOVE ME SOME CAROL.

Darryl and Aaron are tracking the man who is wearing a bright red poncho.  Darryl is impressed that the man knows how to keep mosquitoes off of him. 

Rick heads outside and walks through a group of men, saying hello to an armed Tobin.  Rick walks past Deanna's house and neither of the two say a word.

Nicholas glares at Glenn.  Maggie approaches Glenn and she promises to try and solve this.  Glenn simply tells Maggie that he loves her.  Maggie and Glenn agree to get together at the meeting. When Glenn turns his head, he sees Nicholas climbing over a wall and decides to follow.

Gabriel heads outside of Alexandria, turning down a gun saying the world of God is the only protection he needs.

Rick has returned home and is greeted by Carl.  Rick makes it clear that Carl is not to come to the meeting.  Carl says that the Alexandrians will die without them and Rick warns Carl that he might have to threaten, or kill one of them.  Carl suggests that Rick tell the truth in a way that they can hear; however, Rick thinks that they might not be able to.  Carl again asserts that Rick has to tell them. When did Carl get so much wiser than his father?

Aaron and Darryl look through a chain link fence in defeat after loosing the man with the red poncho.  They are looking at a warehouse filled with food and Darryl is worried that this means they are giving up.  Aaron points out that they need more people but they will need to be able to feed the people once they find them.  Darryl taps his knife on the fence to draw the attention of the walkers and when the zombies approach, Aaron and Darryl make short work of them.  The two men head into the facility.  Aaron pauses to get a license plate from Alaska, saying that if they come back with a trailer full of cans, then they've had a good trip.  When Darryl opens one of the trailers, it causes several others to open and zombies come pouring out.   Aaron and Darryl start running, killing zombies as they are able.  They slide under one of the trailers only to be followed by the zombies, so they are forced to roll out the other side.  Finally, in desperation, they climb inside a car, which quickly gets surrounded by walkers. 

Darryl suggests finding a way to black out the windows temporarily.  In his search, Aaron finds a note which reads, "trap, bad people coming, don't stay", with the last words written in blood. 

Pete sits alone in his new house when Carol knocks on the door.  Carol enters holding a casserole, ordering Pete to check on Tara.  Pete however is not interested and orders Carol to leave. Carol pulls out a knife telling Pete that she could kill him and no one would believe that she did it because she didn't like him.  Carol takes a nick out of Pete's throat, daring him to come at her, adding that people would believe he tried to hurt her. Carol tells Pete that now he is separated from his wife he has a chance, though he is a small weak nothing. Carol adds that if Pete plays his cards right, he might not have to die, ordering him to return the casserole dish clean when he is done. Carol leaves and Pete trashes his new home saying this isn't my house. In case there was any doubt who the tough one is, Carol just proved it.

Glenn finds two dead walkers on the ground and pulls out his weapon when he hears a sound.  Nicholas shoots Glenn but by the time he get to where Glenn's body should be, Glenn is gone.

In Alexandria, Rick goes to see Jessie, saying that he is not sorry for what he did no matter what happens.  Rick turns to leave and Jessie says that he was right.  Rick walks down the stairs and leaves, as Pete watches from across the road.

Darryl and Aaron are still trapped in the van.  Darryl says that he came outside because he felt trapped in the walls of Alexandria and even trapped by walkers, he feels more like himself.  Aaron reveals that seeing Darryl lead his people to safety when they were out on the road was the moment he knew that Darryl's group belonged at Alexandria.  Darryl pulls out a smoke, saying that when it's done, he will leap out and make a break for the fence.  Aaron however says that this was his fault but Darryl is equally adamant that this was no one's fault.  Aaron declares that they will fight together whether they make it or not.  The men get ready to leap out of the vehicle, when suddenly a zombie's head is smashed against the window.  Aaron opens his car window to find Morgan fighting off the zombies.  Darryl kills his way out on the other side and the three men manage to make it to the other side of the fence.

Aaron introduces himself and Darryl to Morgan. Darryl asks why Morgan helped and Morgan responds that "all life is precious".  Aaron starts to tell Morgan about Alexandria and its amenities but Morgan says he is on his way somewhere. Morgan pulls out a map asking where he is and the map contains a note from Rick.

Gabriel is walking through the woods and he comes across a walker feeding on someone.  Gabriel raises his arms in the air calling out that he is ready.  This gets the zombie's attention and it walks over to him.  The walker approaches and Gabriel loses his nerve and actually decapitates it and then bashes its head in with a rock.  Gabriel then walks over to the remains of the man the zombie was feeding on and bashes his head in with the same rock.  Gabriel starts to cry and lies down on the road in the fetal position. Damn it, I was rooting for the walker to eat him.

Abraham has gone to see Tara, only to find Eugene sleeping by Tara's bedside.  Rosita drops a pot on the ground which wakes Eugene.  Abraham refuses to say so much as hello to Eugene.  Eugene starts to talk about how Tara saved his life and tells Abraham that he got them here, admitting that all he did was tell a lie. Eugene then thanks Abraham and apologises. Abraham then tells Eugene that he is sorry for almost killing him. 

Gabriel returns to Alexandria and is let in by Spencer.  Spencer asks if he can talk to Gabriel about Aidan because he has no one else to share his feelings with.  Gabriel assents in a lack luster fashion. Spencer then leaves Gabriel of all people to close the gate.  Gabriel pushes the door closed but does not lock it and it bounces open.

Nicholas is making his way through the woods when a single zombie approaches. Instead of using his knife, Nicholas shoots his gun, alerting Glenn to his location.  A fight breaks out between Glenn and Nicholas. Nicholas gets the upper hand and gets out of the way as two zombies land on top of Glenn.

Back in Alexandria, Michonne informs Rick that it's time for the meeting.  Rick then confesses about getting the gun with Carol and Darryl. Rick admits lying because he wasn't sure how Michonne would take it. Michonne says she knocked Rick out for his sake and not the people of Alexandria. Michonne makes it clear that she doesn't need the Alexandrians here and they can find a way -- adding  if they don't -- then she is still with him. Damn it, I wanted to see a Michonne lead rebellion. Michonne asks Rick not to make something happen and so he offers Michonne his gun.  Michonne does not take the gun and leaves, adding that Rick shouldn't take too long.

Rick is arming himself and hearr Bob's voice talking about how the nightmare of the apocalypse will end one day.  When Rick looks out his window, he notices that the gate was left open.  Rick rushes to the gate and sees that the lock was broken. Rick manages to get the defense door closed and starts running around Alexandria looking for zombies. 

Gabriel heads into his mock church to find Sasha sitting there.  Sasha tells Gabriel that she doesn't know what to do with what is in her head and asks for help.  Gabriel replies no. Did she ever go to the wrong person.

The meeting is about to start and Maggie asks for more time because Glenn and Rick have not arrived but Deanna is emphatic that it's time to start.  Deanna wants to talk about Rick having a gun, how he pointed it at people and what he said.  Michonne pipes up to add that Rick is indeed coming.  It's telling that Deanna doesn't want to talk about Pete.

Nicholas is making his way through the woods.

Rick pulls out his knife and continues to run around the town looking for walkers.

Sasha tells Gabriel that she wants to die and he asks why she wouldn't want to die because she doesn't deserve to be there.  Gabriel tells Sasha that she sacrificed her own, bringing up Bob and Tyreese. Sasha screams stop it and starts to attack Gabriel. 

Rick finally comes across a walker -- as at the meeting -- Michonne talks about how being outside of the walls changes people.  Michonne tells the people that who Rick is, is who they are going to be if they are lucky.

Inside the church, Gabriel and Sasha fight over the gun. I am totally team Sasha at this point.

In the woods, Glenn sneaks up on Nicholas and punches him

At the meeting, Carol talks about the terrifying people outside of the walls, saying that people like them need people like Rick.  Carol suggests that everyone listen to what Rick is saying.

Rick continues to do battle with the walker, killing it with his bare hands.

Then it's Abraham's turn to speak up about Rick's value.

The red poncho man has been caught by the two men who attacked Morgan earlier.  They lead him to the same warehouse where Aaron and Darryl were caught earlier.

Now it's Maggie who is giving her Rick Grimes testimonial ,saying that Ricks started the feeling of family they all share now.  Maggie tells the Alexandrians that they can be part of the Grimes family as well.  Deanna steps forward and shares what Gabriel said about Rick's group not being trustworthy. Deanna believes that Rick has demonstrated all the things Gabriel said. It's Jessie who points out that what Gabriel is not here to confirm what he said.

Glenn has finally got the upper hand on Nicholas and puts a gun to his head. 

The wolf group reset their food truck traps.

Tobin stands and starts talking about getting rid of Rick to keep his family safe but doesn't get to finish because Rick walks into the meeting and drops a walker on the ground.

Nicholas pleads for his life, as Glenn holds a gun to his head.  Finally, Glenn rolls away from him.

Sasha now has the gun pointed at Gabriel, who is instructing her to kill him.  Maggie bursts in and slowly removes the gun from Sasha's hand. Talk about Maggie having bad timing. When Gabriel suggests that Maggie should have let Sasha kill him because his parishioners died because of him, Maggie takes Gabriel's hand and says they did. Maggie helps Gabriel to his feet.

Rick tells the people that the gate was open and Deanna sends Spencer off to check the gate.  Rick tells them that the dead and living will always get inside because they're on the inside. Rick talks about the threat which exists outside of the walls, saying that he can teach the people how to survive. Rick admits that he questioned how many Alexandrians he had to kill to save their lives but has determined that the group is going to change.  Rick adds that he is not sorry for what he said and is only sorry for not saying it sooner, adding that they have to be ready right now because luck runs out.

Pete bursts into the meeting screaming that Rick is not one of them.  Reg approaches Pete to try to calm the siltation and has throat slit for his trouble. Reg dies in Deanna's arms, as Pete screams that it's Rick.  Deana looks up at Rick and says, "do it". Rick shoots Pete dead just as Morgan, Darryl and Aaron arrive.

Michonne is back at her home and she starts to put her katana back on the mantle then changes her mind and instead decides to wear it. 

The red poncho man is now a walker  and walks by the van Darryl and Aaron were trapped in. On the van are painted the words, "wolves not far."

Okay, that was a pretty epic season finale which is a fitting end to a fairly action packed season.  They always seem to leave the best zombie kills for the season opener and the season finale.  With the chain killing Darryl did I actually stood up.  At this point I have to say, awesome job Greg Nicotero.

Okay, let's talk about the season shall we.  It's telling that the people who died this season were largely Black men.  It became evident early on that the cast has become to unwieldy and that some of the principals were going to have to die to keep the number of storylines down to a manageable level.  Of course, this was accomplished by killing Tyreese, Bob and Noah.  The Walking Dead has a nasty little habit of killing Black men and creating what we like to call the T-Dog chain.  If Morgan sticks around for awhile, it's guaranteed that Gabriel is dead man walking.  It's a tough call because at this point, I am caught between not wanting to see another Black male character become walker food and hating Gabriel so damn much.

Let's talk Carol.  We should rename The Walking Dead, The Carol is Just Awesome Show.  I loved the way she called Rick on wanting to have his cake and eat it to.  I especially love her threatening Pete. Carol knows without a doubt that she is the one to be feared now and she has taken back the power which was stolen from her by Ed.  Carol holds her cards close to her chest and trusts absolutely no one. This make her both dangerous and devious.  Carol would never have gotten into a public fight with Pete the way that Rick did.  I know that Carol told Rick that Pete had to die but she never suggested he do it in such a way as to reveal who he is so openly. 

Almost every episode I find myself wondering why this group sees Rick as a leader.  It got on my last nerve to see each character line up to say how great Rick is and how he saved them all. To make Rick into this supposed uber leader, they all had to discount their individual roles.  Rick has proven that he has the common sense of a turnip.

Okay we had Morgan return.  It was exciting to see this character again but at the same time I am wary that they are going to use Morgan for Rick to have some kind of character growth which is what has happened each time these characters have interacted.  Given the high rate of dead Black men on this show, it's not at all cool.

Glenn. Glenn would be my second choice to lead the group of Carol were to die.  I love the way he chased Nicholas down and didn't give up until Nicholas got the beating he had coming to him. Glenn has changed so much since the pizza delivery boy we met in season two.  Glenn is capable, strong and decisive.  Also, he showed so much more sense then Rick. Glenn identified Nicholas as a problem and handled his business outside of the walls.  This is an action of a leader. Also, the amount of peril they put Glenn in made me nervous.  I don't want to see this walker become zombie food. 

What were your thoughts on this season and what do you think we can expect from season six?