The Walking Dead 5.15 Recap

The Walking Dead 5.15 Recap

The situation in Alexandria is slowly and invariably building to a epic thunderhead.  The Grimes Gang is heading towards a nasty conflict against the Alexandrians, and shit's about to get raw. Anytime a show opens with a Nine Inch Nails, you know you're in for a rough time. I don't know if it was the music or the poisoning from Father Gabriel, but one of those two things is directly responsible for the rejection of Carol's Condolence Casserole. The very worst way I can think of to alleviate grief is to listen to Trent Reznor eulogizing. 

Nicholas and Glenn end up telling very different stories, and are heard by equally polarized listeners having their "us vs them" biases totally confirmed. Glenn later lays down the law on Nicholas, but I think it fell on deaf ears. We later see Nicholas scavenging out in the woods, retrieving a pistol from a secret cache after Glenn told him outright he would not be going outside the walls or carrying a gun again. 

Daryl Dixon "recruiting"

We also see Daryl and Aaron out in the woods on a recruiting run. They spot a light off in the distance, but when they approach the site the next morning, they find zombie legs with no torsos, and a woman tied to a tree with her guts ripped out and a W carved on her forehead. Except for the W on the forehead, this scene lines up pretty neatly with Carol's little chat with young Sam a couple weeks back. And the heaps of severed limbs and legs with no torsos is something we first saw just outside the walls of Noah's gated-community family home. The torsos stashed in the back of the truck in that episode were also marked with W's, and the walls around that community were torn down in one spot. I strongly suspect that will be addressed in the finale next week. 

Poor Sasha isn't handling the downtime very well. She goes off on solo hunts and spends whole nights in the clocktower throwing lead downrange. She's a hell of a shot with her tricked-out silenced AR15, but she's wasting precious ammo. They're going to need to raid a military base for 5.56x45mm "medicine" soon to help with her self-guided therapy. 

Also out in the woods: Carl and Enid, sittin' in a tree. Not quite K-I-S-S-I-N-G, but literally inside a tree hiding from walkers. I liked the scene where she distracted a walker by tossing a kitchen timer at it - having played a lot of State of Decay, I've used that same trick several times myself to sneak past zombies or distract them to help out an ally. It's interesting that Carl has someone his own age, who has also had some terrible experiences, to chum around with now. He's been hanging around adults pretty much exclusively since the prison, and he hasn't had the luxury of being a kid and having more or less normal growing-up experiences since the whole thing started. Probably since Shane told him his dad died in the hospital and took him and his mother on a road trip. 

Carl Grimes and Enid

Speaking of ol' buddy Shane, it looks like Rick is now seeing the world through his former partner's beady eyes. He's pretty much doing the same stuff Shane was doing on Herschel's farm back in season 2, right before Rick buried a knife in him. He's going on paranoid rants about the way the world works now, and he's making plays on a married woman with a kid, telling her he can "make her safe." 

The Rick vs Pete showdown had an interesting start. I get the feeling that Rick is very divided - he knows making a play on a married woman is a morally wrong thing. I don't think he sees the parallel with his own situation with Shane back in the day. He knows he needs to do what is right, but he's been out in the shit for so long, has seen and done such horrible things, that that thin blue line between right and wrong is maybe hard for him to see now. He knows he has to separate the abusive husband from the victim, and he clearly doesn't want the situation to get nasty - he keeps warning Pete, even while the guy is punching him, to stop, to back down. He gives Pete every opportunity to end the thing peaceably, and he knows that if he lets go and fights back, it's going to get out of hand. Sure enough, Pete keeps at him, and ends up getting tossed through a window, and the pair of them end up rolling around in the broken glass in the middle of the street. Rick nearly chokes the guy out before the fight is broken up, and then he waves a gun around and screams at everyone, Shane-style, for a couple of minutes until Michonne judiciously applies a brick to his skull. 

Rick doing his best Shane impersonation

I kinda feel like Rick is in the right here, but in that way that seems crazy until the shit hits the fan. Everyone else will recognize the truth of it after when they are picking up the pieces. He can't explain the situation to the Alexandrians in a way they will be able to digest - his truth is too alien to them, because they haven't seen much of the world outside their walls, and the Grimes Gang has seen far too much of it. Maybe Rick is living half in a fantasy world where he can recreate the idealized family he never really had with Lori, and that's not great. But the way the world works now, the naive idea that they can deal with problem people by booting them out of the community is a really, really bad one. Shouting at everyone while covered in blood and waving a stolen gun around is clearly not the most effective means of communicating this idea, but when the bad shit happens next week, everyone's going to remember that, and they'll be admitting to themselves then that Rick was right all along.

Anyone else notice the weird red balloon motif? Someone in Alexandria has a helium tank. 

Here are my prediction for next week's finale:

  • We already know at least one character is going to die during the finale. Producer Gail Anne Hurd basically said as much on the Talking Dead when she said, "there will be blood," and Chris Hardwick said they will have a special secret cast member as a guest next week, which is what happens when someone dies on the show. Characters most at risk of getting killed off:
    • Pete - Rick's gonna kill him. There's simply no way that's not happening.
    • Tara - she's already in bad shape after the warehouse thing. There's not a lot of emotional impact in her dying, so she's not one of the bigger risks, but they might pull a deathbed scene between her and Glenn, Maggie and Eugene.
    • Sasha - she hasn't been doing well emotionally (and who can blame her), and it's likely to cause her to make a mistake when whatever terrible thing happens, happens. 
    • Carol and/or Daryl - Season 5 has focused a lot on these two, and they have no comic book counterparts (technically Carol does, but her comic book character killed herself a long time ago). They can be killed off at any time, and honestly it feels like they've been building Carol up all season. Neither will be the "mystery guest," but they're both gonna be on Talking Dead after. 
    • Deeana - she's holding power. That means she's in direct conflict with Rick Grimes, and we've all seen what happens to people who do that.
  • Characters it probably won't be, and why:
    • Rick or Carl - this is their show. Practically every other can die, but these two will not. If either does, the show ends. Very bad things will happen, but they will continue to happen to these two. 
    • Michonne, Glenn, Maggie or Jessie - comic book continuity. Still a lot of story left to tell for all of these characters.
    • Abraham or Rosita - no emotional impact. Worry more when they start giving Rosita more than a few lines per month. Right now they're background characters, not finale-death characters. 
    • Eugene - he had a big chance last week, but he went the other way, so that has to be explored and developed a bit more before they kill off the Mullet. 
    • Father Gabriel - the rat will live. His disloyalty and cowardice will be addressed, but he will survive, plagued by guilt and doubt and fear. 

marked walker

  • The "W" people are going to make their debut, and it's going to be ugly. Most likely, they are going to be the ones responsible for whatever character deaths occur. I predict a raid on Alexandria - knocking down the walls, finding out why they save zombie torsos and why they mark some with the W rather than kill/carve them up.
  • The raid is going to happen while everyone is debating what they're going to do about Crazy Rick Grimes. And Crazy Rick Grimes is going to handle that shit like a boss, and everyone will see that he's not so crazy after all, and is maybe a better leader than Congresswoman Deeana and her manicured, sweater-vest-wearing husband. 


Nice I hope daryll and carol don't die I like them

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