Monday, November 9, 2015

The Walking Dead, Season Six, Episode Five: Now

Deanna is outside the walls of Alexandria and she climbs a ladder to the outside gate and looks in at her little town.  It looks calm and serene. She picks at a sign which reads PNR #1 R Monroe.  Deanna then watches as residents stack bodies and drag them away.  In the background Michonne explains to Maggie about what happened to Glenn.  In the distance Rick screams, "open it." When Deanna turns her head, she that Rick is running frantically towards the gate, as he is chased by zombies.  Michonne tosses open the gate and Rick is almost surrounded when he stumbles.  Michonne just manages to get the gate closed in time as zombie swarm it.  A horrified Deanna looks on.

The horde quickly surrounds the walls of Alexandria, while inside the panicked residents gather.  A determined Rick tells the assembled crowd that the zombies they heard are only half of what was led away and they are surrounded 20 deep.  Rick acknowledge their fear because they haven't seen anything like this or been through anything like this.  Rick assures them that they are safe for now and that the wall is going to hold together.  He challenges them keep it together and assures them that the others (Darryl, Abraham, and Sasha ) are going to come back and lead the herd.  Rick adds that Glenn and Nicholas will be back as well and instructs them to keep noise to a minimum and the lights out.  Rick says that the place must be as quiet as a graveyard.

Aaron tells the group that a quarry broke open and that the walkers were headed this way but Rick's plan worked.  Aaron points out that at least half of the zombies are gone.  Aaron goes on to reveal that he was out recruiting with Darryl and that Darryl wanted to keep looking for people but they did what Aaron wanted and ended up in a trap.  Aaron  says that he lost his big which gave away their location and takes responsibility for the attack.  Rick responds that there will be more to talk about this later. In other words, we don't have time for your guilt.  Deanna simply walks away even as the people call to her.  Clearly, she has lost it, even though the members of Alexandria still look to her for guidance.

Jessie returns home and drags out the body of the person she killed and then she starts digging a grave. Rick dumps more bodies next to her and says that they don't bury killers inside the walls. Jessie asks what they do and Rick replies that they wait.

The people go to the community kitchen to get food and are upset by what they have been given.  They absolutely refuse to ration and instead march into the kitchen and start taking food, saying that there's no point in starving while waiting to die.  Deanna watches all of this and does not say a word. Spencer tells them that the food needs to last but Bruce throws the fact that he left the gate open in his face.  Spencer acknowledges what he did but points out that he is also responsible for the placement of the truck adding that if it weren't for him, maybe they wouldn't be talking now.  Spencer asks Bruce where he was during the raid and Bruce does not answer. Spencer says that doing this will start them down a road where nothing or no one matters.  Bruce starts putting back cans and the others follow suit.

Maggie works in the garden and when Aaron sees her, instead of approaching he walks away.  Some of the residents are at the wall writing names of the people who died on it.  A teary eyed Aaron looks on.  Aaron then finds Maggie in the armory and she is arming herself.  Aaron talks about luring the zombies off the wall and opening up a path.  Aaron questions if Maggie is just waiting for dark and asks what happens when she twists an ankle jumping down or gets slowed down by one walker and then has to deal with all of them. Aaron says that he cannot let Maggie do this and offers to help her. Aaron finished by revealing that he knows a safer way out.

Deanna sits and stares at her wedding ring.   Deanna then grabs the plans for Alexandria and starts writing on them. She adds a mill, crops, and and education training center. Clearly, Deanna's mind is on the future and she finally smiles. Deanna looks up when she hears broken glass and finds Spencer cleaning up the mess he made.  Deanna accuses Spencer of being drunk and he says that he is getting there.  Deanna says that she just came from the pantry and accuses him of stealing.  Deanna questions if what Spencer told everyone was bullshit. Spencer however responds that if they all did it, it would be the end but if it's just one person -- then no one would ever know -- so then why not him.  Spencer says that he deserves an award because the residents were right and they are all going to be dead soon.  Spencer adds that they are all so screwed because they were never safe there. It seems that Spencer blames Deanna for the death of Reg and Aidan.  Spencer grabs his drink and walks away and Deanna loads the food back into a cart.

Carl approaches Ron to ask if he has seen Enid.  Ron asks Carl what makes him believe that Enid isn't dead.  Carl says that he is going to find her and asks Ron for help. Ron is adamant that he not helping Carl.  Carl points out that it's not for him but for his friend and Ron corrects Carl, and says his girlfriend.  Ron is adamant that he told Enid to stop going outside the walls and that there are bad people out there. Carl says that is not the case if you know what you are doing.  Ron tells Carl that he is not going to let him go.  The two boys starts to push each other and Carl pushes Ron to the ground. Ron threatens to tell Rick and adds that Rick will try to find Carl and others will follow, then someone will die. Ron says that Carl saved his life and now he is saving Carl's.

Denise is looking through her medical books when Tara enters.  Denis is frustrated after not finding a way to help her patient.  Tara says that she is there to check on Denise.  Denise responds that she is clueless on the floor and is so scared of what is happening in the medical area that she cannot think about what is happening outside.  Denise wants a doctor to show up so she can back to her apartment and read War and Peace.  Tara reminds Denise that her patient is not dead yet.  Tara says that she feels it as well and that being afraid sucks.

Jessie makes her way to a house and is startled when a walker presses against the door.  Jessie unstraps her knife, opens the door partially and puts her knife through the walkers eye, as horrified residents look on.  Jessie tells them that she didn't want to see the way things are but this is what life looks like now and they have to see it. Jessie adds that they have to fight because if they don't, they die.

Aaron leads Maggie to a sewer which runs under the wall.  Maggie says that she is on her own from here but Aaron is adamant that he is still coming along.  The two walks through the tunnels and Maggie says that if Glenn is alive, he needs her help and if he is dead, she doesn't want to be waiting on him.  Maggie tells Aaron that this is not his fault but Aaron says that people are dead and he was a part of that and has to live with that.  They continue to make their way through the sewers and Aaron injures himself dislodging a ladder.  Sewer zombies start to make their way out and  Aaron manages to kill them both. Maggie thanks Aaron and then says that the cut on his head is going to need stitches.  Maggie tries to get Aaron to go back and he tells her to lead the way.

Denise goes through her medical journals and finds a solution.  She puts a needle into  her infected patient's leg and withdraws some of the poison.

Rick tries to get a hold of Sasha, Abraham and Darryl but gets not response.  Rick is joined on the wall by Ron, who tells him that Enid used to sneak over the walls and that she went out after the attack.  Ron says that Enid knows how to take care of herself but that Carl wants to try and find her so decided had to tell Rick. A concerned Rick asks about the whereabouts of son and Ron says that Carl is with Judith.  Rick thanks Ron for ratting on Carl. Ron admits that he needs to know how to protect himself, his mother and brother and asks Rick to teach him how to shoot.  Rick grabs his gun, takes out all the bullets save one and hands it Ron. Yeah, I'm not sure about giving that kid a gun.

Denise goes to find Tara and kisses her. Denise then sits next to Tara who asks what this is about. Denise says that it's the end of the world but Tara says that it's not. Denise admits that being afraid sucks and Tara smiles at her.

Aaron and Maggie continue to make their way through the sewer tunnel and when they see the outside gate, Maggie says that the walkers are too close.  Aaron suggests that they only have to make it through a few but Maggie is adamant that it's over now.  Maggie cries and says that she is pregnant and that she stayed behind because Glenn asked her to. Maggie wonders if Glenn is alive and says that she just wants to see his face.  Aaron hugs a crying Maggie.

Jessie calls out to Sam that she made cookies and he asks her to bring them upstairs.  Jessie refuses, so he sits at the top of the stairs.  Sam says that he doesn't want to go downstairs and that nothing has changed upstairs.  Jessie points out that she is halfway up and asks him to meet her but Sam goes back to his room.  Jessie starts to go downstairs but changes her mind and leaves the cookies at his door.

Deanna has the basket full of food and is on her way to the pantry but drops it when a walkers attacks her.   Deanna them picks up a broken bottle and stabs the walker in the chest.  When the walker falls over, she continues to stab it in the chest.  Rick comes running and puts his knife through the walkers head.  The walker has a w on it's forehead. Rick says that Carol said she got a Wolf but hadn't found the body.  Rick helps a blood covered Deanna to her feet and she says that she wants to live and wants Alexandria to stay standing. Rick tells Deanna that she needs to lead the people but Deanna is convinced that the people don't need her and in fact need Rick.  Deanna starts to pick up the food she dropped and Rick helps her. Deanna asks if what she wanted for Alexandria was pie in the sky and Rick says no. Deanna walks off with the food.

At the wall Aaron and Maggie look down at the horde. Maggie puts down her gun and says that she will be right back.  Maggie walks over to the wall, grabs a marker and starts rubbing off the names.  Aaron says that when Glenn gets back, his name works for a boy or a girl, with a smile on his face.

Spencer goes to take Carol's place at the wall.  Aaron is told that he did good with the truck and taking out the driver.  Spencer says that he just got lucky and his handed a machine gun.  Spencer reaches into his pocket and grabs a cracker.

Jessie looks at the shirt that she has not managed to get the blood stain out of when she is approached by Rick. Rick explains that he wanted to wait on the bodies for Glenn, Darryl, Sasha and Abraham because he wanted them back now. Rick adds that he wanted the walkers gone and just wanted to wait.  Rick admits that it could go on awhile and Jessie points out that it already has  and that they could still be alive. Jessie says that in this moment ,this is what it is and Rick agrees that this is what life looks like now, mirroring Jessie's words from early. Jessie says that there has to be a future and asks if there's more.  Rick and Jessie kiss.

Deanna heads to the wall and looks at the walkers with a determined face.  She starts to bang against the fence in rage and then walks off.

Okay, we still don't know whether or not Glenn is alive or dead. I am one of those who refuses to write Glenn off.  I cannot believe that they are dragging it out this way and torturing fans.  It's not right.

Last night's episode is very much about the aftermath of the attack and Rick's plan at least partially falling apart.  It's no surprise that the minute things go a little bit south and the people of Alexandria kind of lose it.  They are not even remotely equipped to deal with the threat that they are facing because they have been so sheltered. I know that Deanna, like the other residents is pretty shell shocked but it irks me that once again we have another female leader in this world who is incapable of leading, particularly when the world gets tough.  I know that the idea behind all of this is the shift in how the characters see Rick but it bothers me that Deanna seems to have lost so much power. Also, can we have an episode this season that isn't about proving Rick right please? We get that he is the supreme leader already.

In a side note, Rick cannot always be right since he gave Ron a gun. Yes he was smart and only gave him one bullet, but one bullet is all it takes. He is the last person I would give that kind of weapon to.

Anyone else still irritated with the people of Alexandria?  I cannot believe that they were so quick to make a run on the food?  I kept thinking that these people just don't deserve to live. I know that they've already killed off a lot of Alexandrians but I wouldn't be upset if they took out a few more.  That being said, Spencer blaming his mother for the death of Aidan and Reg is wrong. The truth of the matter is that they are lucky Rick's group arrived when it did because none of them had any idea of how to function in this changed world. If she is guilty, then so is he.

The one big reveal we did have is Maggie's pregnancy.  Fans of the comics probably sensed this was coming and this was also hinted at by the fact that Maggie stayed behind instead of helping to lead the walkers away from Alexandria.  The road ahead for her is going to be tough and we know this from how difficult it has been for Judith just far. When Maggie and Aaron go into the tunnels they are two completely different head spaces. Aaron is completely overwhelmed by his feelings of guilt and Maggie is desperate to see Glenn again.  It's interesting that out of the two, Maggie is the one who knows when to stop. I suppose it could be argued however that she chooses to do so to protect the child she is carrying.

Alright I saved the big moment for last.  This episode gave us only the second same sex kiss in six seasons.  Cue the bigots who are going to whine and complain like they did when Eric and Aaron shared a chaste kiss. That's a long time coming.  It's worth noting that Denise only kisses Tara because since it's the end of the world, why not take the risk. It's disturbing that it would take that for someone to admit how they feel but then that's the state of the heterosexist society we live. Here's the problem I have.  Compare the kiss between Jessica and Rick to Tara and Denise?  Yeah, Jessica and Rick have been flirtatious for longer but the truth of the matter is that with very few exceptions, heterosexual interactions are always more graphic than those between two people of the same sex.  It will be interesting to see if The Walking Dead is really going to invest in Tara and Denise but somehow, since they are both side characters, I very much doubt it.  Just a small heads up, this is a change from the comics because Denise is in a relationship with Heath in those. I hardly see this as a commentary on The Walking Dead's inclusion policy and expect at some point for them to mess it up in an epic fashion.