No time for pleasantries. No sanctuary, after all.
We catch up with a few members of “The Gang” being brought into the killing floor of the Terminus slaughterhouse. The place is super clean and looks very efficient, but an uninteresting-in-that-specific-fact Bob, Rick, Darryl, and Glenn are pushed to kneel over a trough with a drain, alongside four nameless extras (although we have seen one of them in the episode where Rick kicks Carol out of the group) who you just know aren’t going to make it.
Last night’s episode was pretty well tied together. I enjoyed it much more than last week’s (sorry Beth fans), and it actually featured two sets of survivors rather than solely on one group for the whole episode, so that’s a step in the right direction, in my opinion.
The episode opens, like so many have in the past, in the past. Bob Stookey is wandering alone and we see several simple yet dramatic shots of how he has survived by himself for so long.
Like this one:
And this one:
Eventually, the roar of an obnoxiously loud motorcycle heralds the arrival of a redneck and his token Asian companion, and Glenn and Daryl ask Bob their “Three Questions,” ultimately bringing him into the group, as we all well know by now. Bob’s answers?
1.) He’s killed dozens of walkers.
2.) He’s killed one person.
3.) It’s because she asked him to.
After the opening credits roll, we get a nice, spooky scene wherein present day Bob, Sasha, and MAggie are standing back-to-back-to-back, fending off walkers in a fog so dense that visibility is down to a mere one to two feet in front of them.
Every walker attack is sudden, and things don’t look so good when Bob appears to have been bitten. Sasha takes out the walker.
Then Maggie has a really tough time with one, and Sasha saves her.
Luckily, that’s the last of them, and the two gunshots didn’t attract more walkers, AND the walker that bit Bob bit him over the bandaged bullet wound, and his bandages are made of fucking Kevlar, and the man is fine, because there are three episodes left in the season, and they don’t want to murder everyone and ruin all of our lives just yet.
Sasha is super psyched that he’s not going to turn, hugs him, then pulls away when it hurts his shoulder, and they all share a happy little laugh because adrenaline is a funny thing.
Cut over to Daryl and Beth, where Daryl is actually making good on his promise from last episode (yawn) to teach her how to shoot a crossbow.
He’s also teaching her how to track, and she’s able to reason that it’s a walker, which they soon happen upon, and then she decides that the best way to kill it with a crossbow is to sneak up on it because distance weapons aren’t specifically used from afar and you need to be in close proximity.
Naturally, she twists her ankle by getting it caught in, like, a miniature bear trap our something, the walker hears, she hits it but in the jaw, and Daryl has to finish the thing off.
Back with Maggie, Sasha, and Bob, they debate getting moving, discover that they only have six bullets left, and find that their compass is broken. Bob backs up Sasha’s decision to stay put, and says that they’ll just have to keep an eye on the sun to maintain their bearings. In huge contrast to opening-scene Bob, he’s being extremely optimistic, and it’s noticeable as the women folk look none too pleased.
We catch up with Daryl and Beth again, as she limps along to a clearing where a small cemetery and funeral home a spread out. She asks to take a break, and he gallantly offers to give her a piggy back ride across the graveyard, and she’s not fooling anyone.
Also, I sure hope that that crossbow has a safety on it (even though I know Daryl would never use it), because he turns it to hang on his chest, and it could easily fire and hit either one or the both of them in the face if it’s jostled the wrong way.
Beth hopes that there are people in the funeral home, and Daryl promises to take care of them, to which she assures him that there are still good people left out there in this terrible, terrible world that they live in. He doubts that the good ones survive. On the way there, they pass by a tombstone which reads “Beloved Father,” and Beth has a moment, reaching to hold Daryl’s hand
due to a lack of subtlety for emotional support.
Meanwhile, Sasha, Bob, and Maggie, come across a sign for Terminus, opening up another debate for their next course of action. Bob claims to have heard a broadcast about this on the radio, but it was unclear. Maggie immediately decides that they should head there, saying that Glenn would head there, looking for her looking for him looking for her looking for him.
Sasha… Is not so enthused about the idea, having been expelled from the prison, accepted into Woodbury, fled from Woodbury, fought Woodbury twice, and forced to abandon the prison. So, proposed utopian sanctuary-ish places and promised aren’t sitting particularly well with her. Bob suggests that others could be there, including Tyreese, and Sasha just blows past that ray of hope, but realizes that she’s already been outnumbered.
Inside, they find the place very well-kept, meaning that there must still be someone there. They also find… what looks like a funeral in progress. A body lies in an open casket. Having no concept of propriety nor fucking hygeine, Daryl touches the face, leaving a scooped out hollow because the man has decomposed to the point of being comprised of 95% human pudding.
In the basement, they find more bodies being prepped for burial, and Beth finds it kind of beautiful that whoever is living here is still trying to honour these people’s memories like this. Daryl just wants to bandage her stupid ankle. I don’t see any head wounds on these bodies. And it makes me really, really nervous.
Back in the woods, Sasha is having a real hard time opening a can with her hunting knife. She tries to convince Bob that they need to not go to Terminus, but instead to find a town and a building and set up shop there. Plus the fact that Glenn is likely dead already. Maggie is off getting firewood during their exchange. Bob tells her that she needs to face the real reason she wants to stop.
This whole scene, she does not get this can open.
In the funeral home, Beth and Daryl find a cupboard full of soda, peanut butter, jelly, and pigs feet. I’ve never seen Daryl happier.
They’re about to clear the place out, but Daryl says that they should just take some because the lack of dust means that someone was still here. Beth tells him that he’s the “good people left” that she was talking about earlier and Daryl, in true Daryl Dixon fashion, has no response to that. Instead, he proceeds to scoop out jelly with what I’m pretty sure was the same hand he scooped out that dude’s face with and I’m going to go ahead and throw up now.
Outside, he sets up their standard string of cans as a perimetre alarm. Inside, Beth hits the piano and starts to sing again.
And, yeah, that’s Daryl lying in the coffin because it’s the comfiest bed he’s ever laid in. And he stares at her thoughtfully when she’s not looking. And he seems to be having a minor internal struggle. And this show about walking dead people and this scene where he’s laying in an empty coffin in a funeral home wherein several bodies are in an advanced stage of decomposition, just got a little bit CREEPY.
The next morning, Sasha and Bob wake up to find a message written in the sand.
On the road, Maggie is about to carve into one of the Terminus sign posts, but instead carves up a walker with a crazed look on her face.Why would she put her hands elbows deep into a walker’s guts? Well, a very smiley Bob and an incredulous Sasha come across the answer.
So, that’s awesome. Second time we’ve seen crazy-eyed Maggie since the mid-season premiere.
Also, she should work on her penmanship.
Daryl carries Beth to breakfast in the funeral home, just to make me uncomfortable.
But before Daryl can sink into his beloved pigs feet, the cans rattle, alerting them to an intruder. Daryl goes to check it out.
Norman Reedus has probably never been happier to see a one-eyed dog, especially after eating that eel last week. The dog, meanwhile, bolts when he moves to pet it. Beth comes to what the matter was, and he gently chastises her for not listening, before suggesting that it might come back around. The go back to breakfast together and I DON’T LIKE IT.
That night, Bob and Sasha are camped out, trying to sleep despite the violently loud moans of a walker they think must be stuck on something nearby. Neither can sleep, and Bob starts the ask her the incredibly uncomfortable question of whether she’s too afraid to find out for sure if her brother is alive or dead. When he doesn’t answer, he tells her that he thought she was the toughest person he’d ever met, while simultaneously being the sweetest. She has no answer, for some reason forgoing the slap he kind of needs right now, and he settles back down to try and sleep again.
In the funeral home, Beth is drafting a thank you note, and Daryl tells her that maybe they ought to stay until the owner returns. That maybe they can coexist.
It’s weird. Sweet. But weird all the same.
Beth asks him what suddenly changed his mind about the presence of good people left, and he gives her fucking look, AND I DON’T LIKE IT.
Praise Jeebus, the moment is interrupted by rustling cans and the sound of a dog yelping. Daryl goes to give it a pig’s foot. Now, clearly, hopeful Daryl and this unholy thing that hopefully isn’t even a thing and I’m imagining it a-brewin’ between him and Beth is a bad thing, because the ever-vigilant redneck opens the door without looking, and it’s five billion zombies at the door.
A weird-ass fight scene ensues, where he of course tells Beth to run because even he knows she’s not about to be helpful while operating under the double whammy of A.) having a sprained ankle, and B.) still being Beth. Why is the scene awkward, though?
Well… See, every time that Daryl uses his crossbow as a club or fires it in close proximity it just bugs the hell out of me. You have one weapon, which is already a terrible way to operate, and you have a finite number of arrows, two of which broke last episode, and if you damage your crossbow, then fuck the whole damned thing. He first lures them deeper into the basement, where the bodies are still on gurneys and are apparently not going to rise and where he already knows he has no alternative escape, instead using an examination table as a two foot wide barricade and he uses scalpels to stab the walkers in the head, repeating the process once over after her crawls through their legs and escapes back up the stairs, retrieving only one of his arrows.
All in all a terrible series of terrible ideas. Culminating, by the way, in Beth’s disappearance. As a car speeds off. Because she’s being kidnapped, I guess. Because she’s Beth.
And one episode’s worth of character growth and the attempt to make her appear more competent has just been completely undone.
Daryl, meanwhile, chases after her on foot, because he’s part gazelle and he really thinks that he has a chance of catching her, calling her name all the time. He eventually stops and kneels, defeated, in the middle of the road, having lost the trail somehow.
Bob and Sasha approach a town and she finally decides that this whole sticking together thing is for chumps, and that she’s rather go full Morgan and go crazy in an abandoned building by herself for the rest of her life. Bob kisses her goodbye and heads off to find Maggie.
He heads further down the tracks and Sasha finds a nice brick building with a flat roof to go and cry in.
She quickly fucks shit up by accidentally breaking a window after seeing Maggie lying amongst a row of dead walkers, calling all of the still roaming zombies to their location.
She sprints out and the two of them tag team the mini hoarde.
Maggie tells Sasha that she was waiting for them, that she can’t go it alone, and that, yeah, she can ask them to risk their lives. Sasha admits her fears, and they head off to find Bob together.
Meanwhile, Daryle finds himself in a Mexican standoff as a group of ruffians who admittedly are ever-smitten with the idea of flat out murdering people find him and surrounds him. Their leader, Joe, laughs off a punch (never a good sign) and tells him that he’s been looking for a crossbow like that, and then talks Daryl into not pulling the trigger, since his boys will end him, too, right on the spot.
So, will Daryl end up going back to his old ways, mindlessly following what looks to be Merle 2.0? Or will he miraculously slaughter them all against all odds, like he always seems to do? Or will be backslide a little, but still try to advance as a character and fucking find Beth?
Probably that last one.
Sooo, there goes that whole “there are still good people out there” thing. Whomp whomp.
We catch up with Bob, walking down the tracks, stopping when his name is called and finding that the girls have also caught up with him. Hugs are exchanged, and the trio head on down the tracks.
The last shot is one of a Terminus sign and a mangled looking, armoured hand.
It pans out to reveal Glenn, disbelieving hope in his features.
So, naturally, I’m very excited about this whole thing! But, I’m also very nervous. Why, you ask?
Well, see, I’ve been a Glenn/Maggie supporter since they met, and I’ve been terrified ever since. Shows like The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones like to give you the feels before they completely destroy you by killing off your favourite characters. Last season, when Glenn ever so romantically went ring shopping for her and proposed and they got married-ish, I was afraid that one or the other of them was going to bite it. When certain casualties occurred in the comic, I got worried. This season, when Glenn got sick, I was concerned that they might pull a second Downton Abbey and kill off Maggie just because it looked like Glenn was going to die for a moment there.
And now, with them separated but still apparently heading to the same place, to this sanctuary and this promise of survival… I’m really worried that one or both of them won’t make it to the end of the season.
And that would be some bullshit. And I likely wouldn’t watch for much longer if that happened. I already gave zero fucks about Downton after the events of just-past-mid-season-3. I’m not above throwing in the towel for a series when the characters I’m most emotionally invested in get got.
So, because I really do enjoy this stupid show, though, let’s hope that it doesn’t come to that. The current cast is excellent. Yes, even Beth. I appreciate that the showrunners are giving her and Carol more of a presence this season, and that every character, really, is at least getting his or her moment.
So, what do we think will happen this season? Somebody’s not going to make it, and from next episode’s promo, it doesn’t look good for the Tyreese and Carol clan. I’m thinking something happens to one of those little girls. Or maybe Tyreese finally learns about what Carol’s done.
But, I believe that the majority of the group is going to make it to Terminus, and that their independent arrivals, or maybe just the first or the last group’s arrival, with close up the season, kind of on a happy note, but with an ominous feeling just to keep us on our toes. They’ll introduce the leader of Terminus, and in such a way that it leaves us all wondering as to whether he’s a truly benevolent figure, or he’s another Governor waiting to happen.
If we get a Glenn and Maggie reunion, chances are that Abraham will being needling them all towards Washington again.
But, with three episodes left until the finale, something heartbreaking and tragic has to happen, so one of these groups will face a loss. It may be Glenn or Maggie, but I’m hoping that the still fresh loss of Herschel will give the remaining Greene family members a bit of a reprieve. Sasha is now in an interesting place, relationship-wise, with ties to her brother and also to Bob now as a budding romantic interest, so she may be put into the middle of a difficult situation at some point. Plus, the series’ track record with black characters isn’t the best. If Carol’s actions are revealed, and she makes it to the finale, she may end up doing something heroic to redeem herself in the eyes of Tyreese, or to possibly give a last lesson about strength or some bullshit to the girls, so that’s a possibility. But it’s also a bit of a cliche.
Either way, I hope that the cast makes it through, picking up some redshirts on the way so that they’re the marks instead.
Or, really, I just hope that they stop giving Daryl superpowers just because he’s a fan favourite.
Anywho, catch us next week for another installment of “The Walking Recap!”
See you there!