Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 15: Try

This week Daryl and Aaron give the fan-fic writers more material, Carol bakes a casserole, Carl finds love in the time of zombies, and we see the return of Crazy Rick as we set up next week's big ninety minute massacre, er, season finale.

SPOILERS!

The Plot:
Deanna (and her family) mourns her douchebag son Aiden. Apparently they decide to honor his memory by listening to the awful mix tape (OK, disc) he made before he died. Carol bakes the Monroes a sympathy casserole and sets it on their porch as she rings their doorbell and runs. Deanna leaves it sitting and burns the sympathy note.

Nicholas, the other Alexandrian douchebag, recounts last week's disastrous supply run for Deanna's camera. As you would expect, he paints himself as the hero, saying Glenn panicked and ran, causing the deaths. To her credit, Deanna seems to realize he's lying.

Michonne and Rosita notice that Sasha's disappeared from her post in the bell tower, and go outside the walls to find her. They discover her new hobby is apparently hunting down every walker on Earth and shooting it in the head. 

Also outside the walls, Carl follows his new crush Enid, who likes to taunt walkers with kitchen timers. They share an awkward (and extremely dangerous) moment in a hollow tree. 

Again outside the walls, Daryl and Aaron find a disturbing tableau: someone's dismembering walkers and carving Ws on their heads again. They also find a freshly-dead woman who was tied to a tree and left as walker food. Obviously this was the work of the Wolves, but If Daryl realizes he's seen this kind of thing at least twice before, he doesn't mention it.

Glenn confronts Nicholas about his douchbaggery, and tells him he's off supply run detail for a while. Nicholas sneaks out (why are these walls even there if people can come and go through them so easily?) and retrieves the gun Rick hid in the woods a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Rick tells Deanna he has proof that Pete is abusing his wife Jessie and son Sam. Deanna says something like, "Tell me something I don't know!" and admits she lets Pete's behavior slide because he's Alexandria's only doctor. Rick suggests splitting them up, and if that doesn't work, killing him. Again, the killing thing seems a bit overkill to me. Deanna refuses to kill Pete, saying she'll opt for banishment if it comes to that. Which of course in this world would be the same thing as killing him, so tomato, tomahto.

Rick then visits Jessie and tells her he wants to separate her from Pete. Just then Pete enters, and there's a big brawl between him and Rick that spills out into the street. Rick finally pulls a gun, which he's not supposed to have, and threatens to kill Pete right there in the street. He starts ranting about how soft the Alexandrians are and how they're all going to die if they don't listen to him. Just then Michonne clocks him in the head with a rock, which probably saves his life.

Thoughts:
• An observation: Twice in this episode, Sasha shoots a walker in the head and its blood splashes on the camera lens. They've been doing that trick a lot this season.

 Speaking of Sasha-- Holy crap! Is she an amazing shot, or what? She put down at least fifteen or twenty walkers all by herself, like Legoas shooting arrows into orcs. Someone needs to make a Walking Dead videogame in which you play as Sasha depopulating the countryside of zombies, stat!

• Nicholas lies his way through his "debriefing," painting himself and the late Aiden as the heroes and Glenn as the villain.

Surely Deanna realizes he's full of crap? She invited Team Rick into Alexandria because they've survived in the wild for so long, and they're so good at what they do. There's no way they, on their own, would have lost so many people on a simple old supply run.

• Uh-oh. Rosita had more lines in this episode than in all her previous ones put together. She was talking about her feelings too. You know what that means on this show...

Best Line Of The Episode: When Rick accuses Pete of abusing Jessie, she begins making excuses for him, listing a litany of hardships he's endured. Rick interrupts her with a cold and savage, "I don't care!"

Runner Up: During Carl and Enid's awkward post apocalyptic first date, they're forced to hide from a herd of walkers. Enid tells Carl, "It's their world. We're just living in it."

By the way kids, what a great idea it was to hide inside a hollowed out tree. If even one of those walkers had turned its head even slightly in your direction, you'd have been trapped.

• Daryl and Aaron go scouting and find more dismembered W-branded walkers. It's a pretty good bet we'll be meeting our Wolf friends at the end of next week's episode.

I will bet you real money there is already Daryl/Aaron slashfic out there on the interwebs right now.

They also find a woman who was tied to a tree and left for dead among the walkers. Which coincidentally is exactly what Carol threatened to do to Sam a couple weeks ago. Not that she had anything to do with this of course, I just thought it was worth pointing out.

• Right before entering Alexandria for the first time, Rick hid a gun near an old shack in the woods. Later he came back to retrieve it and found it had been stolen. My money was on Enid as the gun thief, since she's prone to sneaking around in the woods unattended. But now we know it was Nicholas, who took it and hid it somewhere else.

Why he hid it again instead of just sticking it in his belt, I have no idea. I suppose so he'd have a gun of his own, one he didn't have to sign out of the armory?

• Rick finds Jessie hiding out in her garage, secretly smoking. I wonder if all the cigarettes in this world have gone stale yet? Believe it or not, cigarettes actually have an expiration date. Of course they don't spoil like food, but after a year or so they can become bitter tasting and much "stronger" than normal.

I'm not a smoker, but I know this from personal experience. My grandpa smoked, and for some reason he stockpiled his cigs in a dresser in his bedroom. He didn't rotate his stock though, so some of his cigarettes had been in there for many, many years. If you think a fresh cigarette smells bad, wait until you get a whiff of one that's ten years old.

• When Rick suggests to Deanna that they force Pete to separate from Jessie, she says, "But what if he doesn't want to?"

Gosh, Deanna, that's a good point! So many criminals in our society have escaped prosecution because they simply told the judge, "I don't want to go!" when they were sentenced to prison. The law's powerless whenever someone invokes that clause.

• Just like in the comic, everyone in Alexandria knows Pete is an abusive husband, but they let it slide because he's their only doctor.

• Pete's supposedly treating Tara after she suffered a massive head injury last week. That means if Rick kills or exiles Pete, he's could be condemning Tara to death. Has he really thought this through?

• When Rick offers to help Jessie get away from Pete, she asks if he'd do the same for anyone else. He says no. What the hell, Rick? You're supposed to be a sheriff! Serve the public trust and all that. So you only help people you're attracted to?

• After Rick confronts Pete, the two of them begin brawling like animals. Pete seemed to be in surprisingly good shape for a doughy alcoholic who's been living such a cushy life the past few years. He actually got the upper hand a couple of times during their fight. One would think Rick wouldn't have had any trouble mopping the floor with him.

• Looks like ol' Crazy Rick's back. You remember him-- he was the one who used to get "phone calls" from people who died on his watch, and had conversations with the ghost of his dead wife.

• This episode followed the comic book very closely, especially when Rick & Pete flew out the window, and when Michonne knocked out the nearly rabid Rick with a rock to the back of the head.

• OK, I'm calling it now-- next week we'll see some more cast culling, as Sasha's hobby gets the better of her. Daryl and Aaron will be captured by the Wolves, and Aaron will most likely be killed. Nicholas will die after threatening Glenn with his stolen gun. We'll then see that Rick's tied up or detained somehow while Deanna decides what to do with him. She'll decide on banishment and force him out of Alexandria. Shortly afterward the Wolves will attack, and he and Daryl will have to sneak back in to save everyone.

Tune in next week to see if my predictions come true.

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