This week on The Walking Dead, Sasha can't adjust, Daryl bonds with the unlikeliest person possible, Rick begins plotting to conquer Alexandria as well as his neighbor's wife, the supporting cast is tossed a few lines and Carol traumatizes a child for life.
But hey, at least no one dies in this episode, so there's that.
Sasha is having trouble adjusting to the quiet life in Alexandria, and spends a lot of time outside wasting ammo.
Rick, Daryl and Carol meet outside the walls and plot how to get their weapons back, just in case they need them. They spot a walker with a large "W" carved into its forehead, but this doesn't seem to interest them.
Daryl goes hunting and runs into Aaron, and they try to rescue a wild horse. Unfortunately it's attacked by walkers, and Aaron is forced to put it down. Aaron invites Daryl to his house for dinner. There, he and Eric show Daryl their garage full of motorcycle parts. Aaron wants Daryl to replace Eric as a recruiter for Alexandria, and says he'll need a bike.
Deanna hosts a welcoming party for Rick and his people. Rick meets Jessie's husband Pete, who's seemingly much friendlier than he was last week. Jessie's son Sam stamps Rick's hand with a large red letter "A." Later on, Rick kisses Jessie on the cheek, which I'm sure won't cause some kind of butt-hurt love triangle later on.
Carol ducks out of the party and sneaks into the armory, stealing several handguns. She's caught by Sam, who says he has to tell his mom. Carol then threatens him with a pants-crapping, eaten-alive-by-zombies scenario to ensure his silence.
The next day Rick, Daryl and Carol meet again outside the walls. Carol hands out the guns she stole, but Daryl surprisingly refuses, saying he wants to give Alexandria a chance. Back in town, Rick patrols the streets and stares at the "A" on his hand.
• While out hunting, Daryl hears a noise in the brush and tells Aaron to come out (no pun intended). Aaron is mightily impressed that Daryl can tell the difference between a walker and a human.
Is that really so extraordinary? Let's think about it. A walker probably gives off an odor like a sack full of dead possums on a scorching hot day. Then there's the fact that they're constantly moaning, even though they don't breathe. Not to mention they don't exactly try to be quiet and tiptoe around like a human would. But you're right, Aaron, it's probably tough to tell the difference.
• I have to admit I did not expect to see Daryl bond with Aaron. Daryl even accepted a dinner invitation from him and Eric! Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Do you hear that? It's the sound of a thousand Daryl/Aaron fan-fic stories being vigorously typed and uploaded to the internet...
• It's no secret that the comic book incarnation of Andrea is awesome, while the TV version was seriously botched. For a while I thought maybe the producers were trying to correct their mistake by turning Carol into the new Andrea. Now I'm wondering if they're doing this with Sasha instead.
If I remember right, Comic Book Andrea (who's currently still alive) was "their best sharpshooter" and spent a lot of time in the lookout tower. Just like Sasha.
• Daryl and Aaron try to rescue a horse named Buttons, but they're too late and it's attacked by walkers.
So, does the zombie virus work on animals? If Aaron hadn't shot Buttons in the head, would he have turned? I'd pay good money to see the group running from a zombie horse!
• Deanna meets with Rick, Michonne and Maggie and tells them that one day she hopes to bring government back to Alexandria. Maggie seems genuinely interested in this, and enthusiastically agrees. Rick and Michonne also agree, but it's pretty obvious they're lying.
I'm betting the only government Rick's interested in is one with him at the top.
• I notice the use of the word "shit" seems to have ramped up in the past few episodes. Sure they've always said it on this show, but it seems like they're saying it a lot more lately. It makes me wonder if the producers asked for the F word, but AMC said, "Well, we can't let you say "f*ck," but you can have three "shits" per episode.
• Olivia is Alexandria's supply clerk, and looks like she stepped right out of the comic.
No offense to Olivia, but... she's kind of a hefty gal. If my supply officer was fifty pounds overweight I might think about reassigning her.
• Rick, Daryl and Carol still don't trust the Alexandrians and secretly meet outside the walls to discuss plans for a coup, if it comes to that. Rick wants Carol to steal a few small handguns that won't be missed from the armory, "just in case." A few things here...
First of all they're meeting by the house where Rick hid a gun that was later stolen. Obviously this house is under surveillance by someone, so it doesn't seem like the best place to hold a secret pow-wow.
Secondly, if they don't want anyone to know they're secretly meeting outside the walls, is it a good idea for all three of them to return to Alexandria at the exact same time? Shouldn't they stagger their returns a bit?
Third, as they're about to leave, they put down a couple of approaching walkers. Daryl notices they one has a "Ws" carved in its forehead. Rick glances at it for a second, says, "Huh, that's weird" and immediately dismisses it. That's fine detective work, Rick.
Did he forget he's already seen "W" zombies a couple weeks ago in Noah's neighborhood? Along with the "Wolves Not Far" graffiti? Apparently so. It's OK, Rick, I'm sure this isn't an ominous sign that'll turn deadly for Alexandria three episodes from now in the season finale.
• Rick tells Deanna that they need to ramp up their security. He says they need to post sentries all along the wall to prevent people on the outside from climbing up the support struts and coming over it.
Like I said last week, putting the supports on the OUTSIDE of the wall was a really boneheaded idea. Why would you not put them on the inside, to keep hordes of walkers from pushing them in?
• Jesus, how many douchebag sons does Deanna have? Last week the group met Aiden, Douche Son #1, and this week Sasha's introduced to Spencer, Douche Son #2. Hopefully that's it.
• I'm still trying to get used to seeing the characters all spiffed up, especially Michonne in her cop uniform and Suburban Casual Abraham. I barely recognize some of them. It just doesn't seem natural.
I'm betting the actors are loving this new storyline though, as they no longer have to be covered in grime and sweat eighteen hours a day.
• Did Eugene and Father Gabriel fall off the show? Are they even still regulars? I didn't see them at the party.
• As Carol sneaks into the armory, she's discovered by Jessie's son Sam. When Sam says he has to tell his mom what he's seen, Carol quietly leans over him and sweetly, but ominously says, "You can never tell anyone. Especially your mom. Because if you do, one morning you'll wake up and you won't be in your bed. You'll be outside the walls. Far, far away, tied to a tree. And you'll scream and scream because you'll be so afraid. But no one will come to help, because no one will hear you. Well, something will hear you. The monsters will come. The ones out there. And you won't be able to run away when they come for you. And they will tear you apart and eat you up all while you're still alive. All while you can still feel it. And then afterwards, no one will ever know what happened to you. Or... you can promise not to ever tell anyone what you saw here. And then nothing will happen. And you'll get cookies. Lots of cookies. I know what I think you should do."
Holy crap, Carol! That's pretty dark!
Her little speech was perfect too, because of the "sweet" persona she's adopted in Alexandria. If Sam ever does tell, all she has to do is laugh it off and say, "Oh, that Sam and his imagination."
• Aaron and Eric show Daryl the half-finished motorcycle in their garage, and tell him they want him to finish it and become Alexandria's new recruiter. Because god knows, every recruiter needs a loud-ass motorcycle when he's going to clandestinely observe a group for several days to determine if they're suitable material for Alexandria.
• Last week we got a brief, shadowy and ominous glimpse of Jessie's husband, and I wondered if he might be Pete, Alexandria's resident from the comic. Looks like I was right.
Without getting too spoilery for people who haven't read the comic, Pete isn't a very nice guy, but his behavior is tolerated because, hey, he's the only doctor they've got.
• What the hell, Rick? Five minutes after you meet Jessie's husband at a party, you kiss her? Are you just trying to start trouble?
Daryl and Sasha's antisocial behavior is understandable because they're only hurting themselves. I can't see any excuse for Rick's behavior though. All he's going to do is cause pain and suffering to Jessie and Pete. It makes Rick look less like an individual damaged by the world and more like an asshole.
By the way, at the end of the episode, Pete and Jessie wave to Rick as he walks down the street. Both Rick and Jessie have a red letter "A" stamped on their hands, courtesy of Sam. Would that be "A" as in "adulterer?" Subtle!
Also, seeing Rick staring at the large red "A" on his right hand made me a little uneasy. Readers of the comic will know why. I know the producers have said TV Rick's not going to be maimed, but they've lied to us before.
• Speaking of letters, in this episode we see a very prominent W on a zombie's forehead. Then we see Rick's hand is stamped with a bright red letter A. I was waiting to see a large R somewhere. Or am I seeing things that aren't really there?
• What the hell was going on with Rick in the final scene? First he instinctively reaches for his gun when he sees Pete walk by with Jessie. Then he hears a walker banging on the outside of the wall and places his hand on the same spot on the inside, almost lovingly. Does he miss life out in the wild? Or is he losing it like Sasha, and becoming a true danger to Alexandria?