Tweetable Takeaway: You know things are bad when Daryl cries.Tweet
Airtime: Sunday at 9pm on AMC
By: Eric Rodriguez
THE WALKING DEAD hits the road again; they’ve run out of food and energy just sixty miles from Washington. “Them” slows down a bit, there is a little less action and more time to spend on character. Daryl and Carol, Maggie and Sasha, and other pair ups explore the state of grief and grieving team Rick deals with after the recent losses of Beth and Tyreese. Daryl, Maggie, and Sasha really struggle with forward momentum.
“Them” meanders down the road just a few hundred meters ahead of a herd of walkers. Daryl has the itch to engage and clear the walkers, but Rick cautions him to wait until they have better position and can expend the least effort. Soon, the come upon a bridge with deep walker trapping trenches on both sides. Team Rick forms bait-lines to lead the walkers over the edge. It works and doesn’t take much effort, but Sasha, looking for a fight, deviates from the plan to blow off some steam splitting walker heads.
Half of team Rick tries to comfort the other half. Carol and Daryl have a nice moment in the woods. Carol knows how to get through to Daryl and she was one of the first to really value him on a deep level. Michonne shows real strength and tries breaking through Sasha’s funk, Sasha just isn’t there yet. They have miles to go.
They encounter all kinds of strangeness on the road. Cars with people, turned walker, locked up and gagged in the trunk. People tied to trees. The team takes a break and Eugene wonders how things could get any worse. Cue the pack of feral dogs. A group of Canine survivors pop from the woods ready to challenge Team Rick’s place at the top of the pyramid, but Sasha is quick to silence them. This is actually a turn for the better because Rick knows just how to prepare dog bourguignon. They all enjoy their first real meal is days.
Still, there is no water and Team Rick keeps moving, hoping to find some. Glenn tries to comfort Maggie, their relationship is still strong, and he reminds her the need to keep fighting, and convinces her to drink some of their last bit of water. Daryl refuses to drink and heads into the woods where he spots a barn, not far off. He sits down, burns his hand with one of his cigarettes and has a good cry. Beth really meant something to him, and it was his plan that failed to save her life. That’s the way he sees it anyway.
At one point, they come across several bottles of water set up in the middle of the road. There is a note that reads “From a Friend.” They are all thirsty, but they also smell the cheese. Eugene decides to take one for the team, he grabs a bottle and just as he’s about to poison check it, Sgt. Ford knocks it out of his hands. Rick reminds them, “We can’t.”
Rain starts pouring and like all things on The Walking Dead it’s really a good news/bad news scenario. It hits just as they’ve run out of water, but it’s only the lead element of a nasty storm rolling their way. Daryl leads them to shelter at the Barn he spotted earlier.
Rub some dirt on it.
The barn is clear enough, they don’t have to battle for it. They build a small campfire, circle around it, and discuss the world they live in. Here, Rick reminisces about his grandfather and the time he spent in WWII. His grandfather’s philosophy was that he died the second he stepped onto enemy territory. Every day he woke up, he’d tell himself, “Rest in peace, now get up and go to war. After years of pretending he was dead, he made it out alive.” Rick concludes the way to survive is to tell themselves that they are the walking dead. Daryl reminds the group, “We ain’t them.”
This is the world of walkers and a herd of them are right outside the barn. Daryl is the first to notice and hold them back at the barn door. Next, Maggie and then Sasha notice the struggle at the door and join Daryl. Soon, all hands help keep the walkers out as the storm rages through the night. In the morning, Maggie and Sasha discover the walkers were all wiped out or impaled on the exposed roots and branches of trees felled by storm.
Lets get some rest because tomorrow we…
Maggie and Sasha have a private moment at sunrise where they contemplate their future. Maggie is sure they will both survive and just as sure that survival will include more pain. Out of nowhere, Aaron, a really clean looking dude pop up and asks to meet with Rick. He claims to be friendly, but everything about him looks off, screams trap. He is the next good news/bad news situation they have to look forward too.
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.