Monday, October 26, 2015

The Walking Dead, Season Six, Episode Three: Thank You

I normally don't put spoiler alerts on recaps but since so much happened in this week's episode, consider yourself warned if you are reading this before watching the show.

The group runs through the wooded area back towards Alexandria as the horn sounds in the background.  Rick gets into contact with Abraham and tells him that half of the zombies broke off and are headed right back to Alexandria.  Rick explains that they are running to keep in front of the horde.  Darryl offers to gas up his bike and get moving but Rick is adamant that Darryl, Abraham and Sasha keep drawing away as many walkers as they can.  Darryl argues but Rick says that if the herd turns around, things will only get worse.

Nicholas stops and Glenn calls out his name to bring him back to the present.  Annie stumbles and in the process, twists her ankle.  Glenn puts Annie's arm around his shoulder and together they keep moving. Cue an Alexandrian losing their shit and blaming Rick for what is happening. The man says that Rick killed Carter and claims that they are done.  Michonne whispers violently for the man to shut up and move.  Rick huddles the group together and says that he is going to go back and grab the RV and get in front of the herd to lead them back.  Rick orders the rest of them to get back to Alexandria.  Rick then pulls Michonne and Glenn aside instructing them to kill whatever is in front of them.  Glenn naturally wants to go with Rick because he thinks it's too big of a risk for Rick to take on his own.  Rick however tells Michonne and Glenn that the people from Alexandria aren't all going to make it.  Rick suggests that they try to save them but if the Alexandrians cannot keep up, they are to be left behind to ensure Michonne and Glenn  get back.  The entire time they are talking however, Heath is listening in.

The conversation is broken up by a scream. And who do you think bit the bullet? Why the Alexandrian who was blaming Rick for getting them into this situation. It's a rule on The Walking Dead, if you criticise Rick, you have to die.  Rick pulls the zombie off the man's throat and Michonne drives her Katana into his head, giving him a quick and easy death.  The horn stops blowing and Rick takes useful items off of the dead man's body as the Alexandrians watch with horror.  Rick tells the group to get back safe and takes off to get to the RV.

Michonne and Glenn lead the Alexandrians, encouraging them every step of the way.  Sturgess is the next Alexandrian who loses his nerve, even as the others try to assure him that everything is okay. The group is worried that they are going to catch up with something because they are moving in the same direction as everything else is.  Michonne says that they have no choice but to keep moving forward. When they come across a small group of walkers, Michonne, Heath and Glenn move forward to take care of them.  When a few more show up, Tobin and Scott leap forward to do their part.  A nervous Sturgess pulls his gun and starts shooting but hits Scott in the leg before falling over from the blowback. While the group is distracted trying to take care of the zombies, Sturgess takes off running. Scott lies on the ground trying to fight off the zombies and Tobin and Heath come to his rescue. Unfortunately for Tobin, a zombie sneaks up on him and bites his shoulder. Tobin shakes the zombie off before killing it but the damage has been done.  When Michonne checks Tobin's shoulder, he is bleeding from the wound. Tobin tells the group that he knows what it means and says that they've got to keep moving.

Darryl checks with Abraham to see if they have gone five miles yet.  It seems that at the next intersection, Darryl wants to spin around and go back.  Sasha reminds Darryl that the plan is to go fifteen miles or more.  Darryl says that he is going to change that and Abraham, siding with Sasha, points out that the magic number is 20, to ensure that the herd does not return to make them snack food.  Sasha tells Darryl that they cannot stop him if he wants to leave but points out that without him, the walkers could stop them. Darryl tells Sasha and Abraham that he has faith in them and takes off.

Michonne and Glenn continue to lead the group.  Nicholas and Heath take up the rear, supporting Scott between them.  Michonne takes another look at Tobin's shoulder and the bite mark is now clearly visible.  Tobin questions if his injury is bad and Michonne says that it's about what you would expect.  Michonne asks about his wife and Tobin explains that he met his wife early on. When Aaron found Tobin he was alone, had lost everything and everyone and had given up on being someone.  It was Betsy who saw the humanity in Tobin and they became friends and finally lovers.  Tobin credits Betsy with making him more than he used to be.  Tobin says that he wants to say goodbye to Betsy because finding her was everything.

Annie suggests that they stop and take a break but Scott is adamant that he is okay. Annie tells Scott that he won't be if they don't stop his bleeding.  Glenn says that they will find a place because they cannot stop out in the open too long.

The group make their way into a small town and check the abandoned cars one by one.  Glenn pulls Michonne aside to say that he needs to get home but will not leave the Alexandrians behind. Michonne says that Rick knows what he knows but since they are about half an hour ahead of the herd now, they can stop briefly and still make it home safe.

Nicholas confirms to Heath that they are halfway home.  Heath asks if this is where it happened and Nicholas explains that neither he or Nate knew what they were doing.  Heath asks about the people on Nicholas's crew who died and Nicholas says that they weren't afraid, he was.

After checking all of the cars, Heath tells Michonne and Glenn that none of the vehicles will start. Heath adds that since Nicholas was here last, Nicholas can show them the way. Glenn pauses a moment and then says alright.  Nicholas is the last person I would want to lead my anywhere.  Glenn helps Annie and Heath helps Scott and Nicholas takes the lead.  Nicholas stops when he comes across Strugess's hat and Annie is quick to points out that Sturgess left them behind. The group continues to race towards home with Nicholas in the lead, when they come across a group of zombies feasting on the remains of Sturgess.  Nicholas freezes and Glenn has to pull on him to get him to change direction.  They retrace their steps and find that they are surrounded by zombies.  Nicholas freezes again, and Glenn says his name to get his attention.  Nicholas leads them into what used to be a pet store.

Michonne instructs Heath to patch up Scott and Annie so that they can get moving.  Heath brings up the fact that the walkers are blocking them in down the street and in the alley. Michonne says that they cannot take on the walkers and that they will lead them away if they have to.  Heath snarks about  how well this strategy has been working so far.  Michonne says that she is trying and not giving up and Heath snarks again and responds, "not yet."  Glenn and Nicholas approach Michonne and Heath. Glenn suggests that they distract the herd coming in so that the walkers don't make it back to the community. Glenn wants to burn one of the buildings because he believes that the zombies will be drawn to it. Michonne volunteers to go but Glenn says that since it's his plan, he is doing this.  Michonne brings up Maggie and Glenn explains that this is why he is doing this.  Glenn asks Michonne to leave if he takes too long and promises to find a way to signal her if everything is okay.  Nicholas says he knows about a feed store and offers to go with Glenn.  When Glenn doesn't respond, Nicholas then offers to draw him map.  Glenn finally agrees to allow Nicholas to take the lead and says that he needs a moment.

Glenn heads to a private area of the store and pulls out his radio and Hershel's watch.

Rick is running down the street when Glenn tries to contact him.  Glenn gives Rick his location and explains that he is going to try and set a fire to distract the zombies.  As Rick listens to Glenn, Rick kills the walkers in his path, accidentally slicing his hand open.  Glenn's final words to Rick are, "I gotta go, good luck dumb ass." Yes, those are the words he said to Rick way back in their first encounter. Rick looks up at the sky in resignation and then takes the useful items from the dead walkers.

Back at the pet store, Heath wraps up Scott and tells him that this should keep him going until they get back to Alexandria.  Heath then turns his attentions to Annie and she tells him to leave her behind because she is slowing the group down.  Scott joins in and also suggests being left behind, saying that the entire group will all go down if they take him.  Scott tells Heath that if he doesn't want to do it now, then when they get into trouble outside, Heath is to run and leave him and Annie behind.  Heath is adamant that if they run, they run together. Heath assures Scott that they don't leave people behind and looks directly into Michonne's eyes.  Michonne says that no one is leaving anyone behind.  Heath gets up to find a crutch for Annie.

Michonne approaches Heath to ask if he has a problem with her.  Heath says that he is looking out for his people and Michonne questions if he believes she isn't. Heath admits to hearing what Rick said and Michonne asks which part. Heath says he knows Rick said that the Alexandrians wouldn't all make it and that they should be left behind.  Michonne points out that Glenn is out there risking his life and that she is still with them in the pet shop.  Heath says that they will see when things get worse. Michonne explains Rick said what he said because sometimes you don't have a choice. Heath is adamant that this is not how they do it. Michonne explains that they haven't had to do it any other way. Heath says that he has been doing runs from the start. Michonne asks if he has ever had to kill someone because they had already killed his friend and were coming for him next.  Michonne questions if Heath has ever done things which have ever made him afraid of himself. Michonne asks Heath if he has ever been covered in so much blood that he didn't know if it was his, walkers or his friends. When Heath doesn't answer, Michonne simply states that he doesn't know before walking away.

Nicholas and Glenn race through the streets.  They come across a walker and Glenn moves to kill it but Nicholas stops him saying that it should be him because the zombie's name is Will and Will used to be on his crew.  Nicholas explains that they left Will behind and Glenn assures Nicholas that he is not that guy anymore.  Glenn steps back and Nicholas takes out zombie Will. In the distance, Nicholas and Glenn hear a shot and decide that they have to hurry.

Heath helps Annie and Scott to their feet.  Unfortunately for them, the walkers from down the street are being drawn closer by the gunfire.  Michonne tells the group to sit tight and be quiet.

Rick continues running down the street.  Andrew Lincoln got his exercise this episode.  Rick makes it to the RV and starts it up. With his right arm dripping blood, Rick drives down the street to intercept the walkers.

Tobin has been spending his time writing a note for his wife on toilet paper.  He hand his goodbye note to Michonne and she writes a note to Tobin on her arm telling him that he is getting home, before handing Tobin back his note. Banging comes from the back of the pet shop, so Michonne opens the door and lets the zombie out.  Michonne kills the zombie but this draws the attention of the herd.  Zombies are rubbing their hands against the outside door and the herd is approaching. Michonne opens the door, rushes outside, kills a few zombies and orders the group to run.  Annie tries to hobble along but she trips and falls.  Annie calls for the group to run and fires into the herd of zombies before she is swarmed and devoured. Okay, why didn't she save a bullet for herself?

Nicholas and Glenn reach the feed store but find that it has been destroyed.  When they look around, they find that they are surrounded. Nicholas starts to wig out and Glenn has to scream at him to get his attention.

Michonne and the rest of the group make it to a gate.  Heath and Scott are the first two to climb over. Michonne and Tobin go next but before they can get over to the other side, zombies start pulling at their feet.

Glenn and Nicholas end up trapped in an alley and having no way to escape, they start firing their guns.  They quickly run out of ammunition, so the they pull their knives and start slashing at zombies.

Michonne and Tobin are still struggling to get over the fence.  The zombies manage to get a hold of Tobin and start feasting.  Michonne manages to get over the fence in time to see Tobin screaming in pain as he becomes snack food.  The note that Tobin wrote for his wife is crushed under the foot of a zombie.  Heath, Michonne and Scott stare at Tobin in horror for a few moments before Heath says that they have to keep going because they don't have a choice. Well it seems that Heath has learned the lesson Rick was trying to teach.

In desperation, Nicholas and Glenn get on top of a garbage bin as the zombies frantically try and pull them down.  Glenn and Nicholas move in circle kicking at the zombie hands.  Nicholas blanks out once again and Glenn screams at Nicholas to look at him. Nicholas says, "thank you" and then shoots himself in the head. Glenn and Nicholas fall to the ground and we see zombies feasting on intestines as Glenn screams.

Scott, Heath and Michonne stumble through the woods. When Scott falls down, they pick him up and help him along.  They stop when they come to the river and help Scott to sit down. Michonne looks to the sky and Heath says that even though there's no smoke, it doesn't mean they didn't make it. Michonne points out that the herd is still coming but says that the creek should slow them down. Michonne looks down at the note she wrote on her arm for Tobin and wipes it off on her leg.  The three then enter the creek and Heath stops when he stumbles.  Heath looks at his bloody reflection in the mirror.

Rick has pulled the RV into position and he turns it off to wait.  Rick uses the radio to contact Glen but gets no response.  Rick then tries Tobin but gets not response.  Rick then tries Darryl and finally gets an answer.  Rick tells Darryl that it won't be long now because the walkers are almost there. Sasha takes the opportunity to snark at Darryl. Rick reports that he hears gunfire coming from Alexandria and says that they have to keep moving forward and cannot go back out of fear. Abraham is quick to say that he is not afraid.  Rick tells them that if they turn back now it won't be for their people in Alexandria but for themselves.  An armed man bursts into the RV firing and Rick is forced to duck.  When Daryl hears the gunfire, he speeds up. In the RV, Rick is in a battle for his life with two wolves. Rick manages to grab his gun and kill them both, even as Darryl continue to ride swiftly. Rick checks the pockets of the dead man and finds a jar of baby food.  When Rick looks in his rear view mirror, he sees more wolves sneaking up alongside the RV. Rick grabs an automatic gun and sprays the side of the RV with bullets.

Michonne, Scott and Heath continue to move toward Alexandria passing burnt out buildings along the way.

Darryl meets up with Sasha and Abraham and together, they continue to lead the herd away.

Rick tries to start up the RV and it stalls.  He keeps trying to start the engine and in the distance, walkers can be heard.  Rick starts to panic as the walkers make their way out of the woods towards the now stalled RV.

Okay people....inhale, exhale.  I know that your first instinct is to go into denial after seeing what happened with Glenn.  When I first watch this, I released a stream of expletives at the television.  If Glenn is in fact dead, this is the least impactful and emotional death of a major character in the entire series.  Even T Dog, who they finally let speak when they were killing him off, had a better death than this.  At this point however, I am absolutely convinced that Glenn is not dead. You can scream denial at me if you want but I simply cannot believe it.  First off, where's the pay off for them killing off Glenn in episode three, rather than the season opener or at the season finale? None.  I'll tell you what this fake death does do - it gets people talking about The Walking Dead incessantly.  It gets them tweeting and making posts on Facebook.  There's also the issue that according to IMDB, Steven Yeun does appear in other episodes this season.  Yeah, I know that they can do the flashback thing but I don't believe that this is the case. You heard it here people, Glenn will live to fight another day.

What happened with Nicholas is to remind us that no good deed goes unpunished in the zombie apocalypse.  If Glenn had taken Nicholas out, which Rick most certainly would have after the shit Nicholas pulled, he wouldn't have been there to put a bullet in his head.  I wouldn't let Nicholas walk my dog let alone lead people and so it surprised me that Glenn was willing to put his faith in this man and even support and encourage him.  This entire situation suggests to the audience that the only way to survive is to either do what Rick says or mirror what he would do.  The good deed thing even slaps Rick in the face because had Morgan killed those wolves, Rick wouldn't have been attacked.

Anyone else getting tired of the whole challenge Rick's ability to lead and end up dead routine that they have going on this season? The last two episodes, it was so bloody blatant that I hurt myself rolling my eyes. This time, dude didn't even get a name.  Why are they working so hard to establish Rick as the leader?  We already know this. They've spent six years establishing that Rick is the leader of the group.  Also, can we please stop having Rick playing psychic.  Rick told Michonne and Glenn that the Alexandrians would die and naturally he was right.  Here's the thing, the minute we saw the make up of the group, it was obvious who was going to die. Do they think we've never watched Star Trek? Clearly the Alexandrians are the red shirts.

I love the exchange between Michonne and Heath.  It's clear that they are coming from two different places and this is all a result of their different experiences.  Heath has no idea the degree to which he has been sheltered by Alexandria.  At this point, he hasn't really lost a lot relative to Rick's group.  I love Michonne laying it all there for a change.  This is the first time in a long time they have given her some actual dialogue rather than turning her into a weapon.  Michonne is hurting and she is angry and this amounts to one of the few times in which she has been allowed to speak her truth. It' also worth noting that Heath deciding when it was time to leave Tobin behind is yet another example of Rick being right by proxy though it was Michonne who drove home the point.

We were left with a cliff hanger because Rick is in danger.  The problem of course is that Rick has plot immunity. We already know that he is not going to die and in fact, the only question is how Rick is going to get out of this mess. Please, please, please find a way to let Glenn come to the rescue.

The Walking Dead is really spending some money this season. Each episode thus far has been loaded down with zombies.  In recent seasons, it's almost been easy to forget that zombies even post a real threat because the group has been largely dealing with the threat the other humans pose.  It's nice to see the zombies in action again and hopefully it will lead to some awesome kills.