I’m not gonna lie – for about the first 15 minutes of this episode, I was deeply confused. Who are these extra people? Why does it look like Rick and the gang have stumbled upon some kind of massive zombie Electric Daisy Carnival? What happened to Alexandria? WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Eventually, all becomes clear. Or at least somewhat less murky. We left off last season with Rick shooting the abusive Pete, who had just killed Reg. When we pick up the story, a grief-stricken Deanna is telling Gabriel he was wrong as she crouches beside a pool of her husband’s blood. I feel like Gabriel is always wrong – that should go without saying, but that’s only because his character annoys the bejeezus out of me and I have been rooting for him to get eaten for quite some time now. Rick and Morgan argue about where Pete should be buried and Deanna comes down on Rick’s side, which means ol’ Pete gets stuck outside the walls. “Let the trees have him.”
Ron, Pete and Jessie’s older son, overhears this and it appears that he will be playing the role of Carl emo teenager this episode. He follows Rick and Morgan out into the woods, predictably gets chased by zombies, and has to be saved. Also, while arguing about whether or not to bury Pete or leave him out like compost, Rick and Morgan happen upon what looks like thousands of zombies who have shuffled into an old quarry and gotten stuck there. For the time being.
Rick realizes that this is why Alexandria has been relatively zombie-free for so long – all the walkers are ending up in the quarry, but eventually they are going to get loose and when they do, the community will be overrun. His plan is that they should release the zombies themselves and sort of herd them away. Like the running of the bulls in Pamplona, but with more post-apocalyptic flair.
Most of the episode is flashback exposition that gets us to the dramatic opening and a slow speed chase where we wait in semi-suspense to see if the herd will take the bait and be diverted, and if the fortified walls will hold. There’s a lot of tension about a right turn. It wasn’t exactly an A+ episode, but I missed the show so much, I’m obviously willing to hang in there. We close as a mysterious horn blares, pulling the zombies off the planned route. That’s it, you guys. OOH, A HORN.
Whatever. I’ll still watch next week.
What I loved:
Rick and Morgan are reunited and it feels so good. Morgan is a great foil for Rick, who has gone kinda savage.
The little human moments were great. I loved the exchange between Maggie and Tara where Maggie reveals what a little shit Nicholas has been, but then Maggie reminds Tara of how they were on opposite sides but “now you are one of the most important people in the world to me.” Which is saying a lot about someone who once was on the team of the guy who beheaded your Dad.
There wasn’t enough Carol in this ep, but I dug the scene where Morgan asks her if she used to be a cop, because he’s noticed that she is always watching and ready to throw down. The way Carol’s sweet housewife smile freezes as she realizes this guy has seen through her façade is fantastic.
I also loved it when Morgan asked Michonne if she took his peanut butter protein bar.
I always like it when Rick gets all sexy and assertive. Like when he informs Carl Ron that he’s coming back with them. End of story. “Don’t make it hard.” Or when Gabriel volunteers to come with and he shuts him down with barely a glance. And of course, my favorite, when he catches Carter plotting to kill him. “See, I would have set up some lookouts. That would have been the smart thing.” Hotness.
And lest I forget, the scene with Eugene complimenting Heath on his hair game was a gem.
What could have been better:
Less exposition, more plot advancement. But that’s a nitpick, because I know they had to catch us up. Also, I feel like Jessie should be more grateful to Rick for killing her abusive husband instead of admonishing him for saving her stupid pouty son. Girl, I like that you’re finally establishing boundaries, but can we have some perspective?
What I’m looking forward to:
Gabriel getting eaten.
Finding out why Glen didn’t want Maggie coming along on the mission. I’m crossing my fingers for an adorable, hapa apocalypse baby.
Oh, and finding out who is blowing that horn.
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