This week on The Walking Dead we get another filler episode, as the walker herd finally arrives and gives the Alexandrians a taste of the world outside (again). That's two filler episodes in a row now, which makes confirms my suspicion that the producers are trying to drag this terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day out into eight episodes.
Something's screwy with the timeline in this episode. A couple of weeks ago in Thank You, Rick's hand was bleeding profusely as he was trapped inside a stalled RV, surrounded by walkers. This week his hand seems fine and he's banging on the gates with a herd in tow.
Same goes for Michonne. Last we saw of her she was desperately trying to get Heath and the injured Scott back to Alexandria as they stumbled across a burned-out village. This week she's back in town and Scott's recuperating in the hospital.
It's pretty obvious there's a big chunk of story missing here, and a lot happened between Thank You and Now. It's almost like they've started airing the episodes out of order. I suppose it's possible they're leaving all this to the audience's imagination, but I doubt it— especially the way they're stretching things this season. Do not be surprised if next week we jump back in time again to see how Rick and Michonne managed to make it back to Alexandria.
In the aftermath of the Wolf attack, Rick arrives at Alexandria with a walker herd in tow. The unprepared Alexandrians panic, but Rick speechifies and calms them down, assuring them that only half the herd is outside, and the walls will keep them safe.
Deanna mopes around shell shocked, and Spencer blames her for getting Aidan and Reg killed. Carl realizes Enid is missing, and wants to go over the wall to search for her. Ron threatens to tell Rick if he leaves. Tara visits Dr. Cloyd, who's overwhelmed and doesn't believe she can save anyone. Tara gives her a pep talk, which gives Cloyd the confidence to treat Scott's bullet wound.
Jessie checks on a neighbor and finds she's killed herself and turned. Jessie stabs her in the head, in front of the other horrified Alexandrians, and tells them they have to adapt or die, which seems like at least the seventeenth time someone's said that this season. Ron tells Rick he talked Carl out of leaving. He tells Rick he wants to learn how to shoot, which seems like a bad idea.
Aaron admits that it's his fault the Wolves found Alexandria. He sees Maggie preparing to leave the walls and search for Glenn, and insists on going with her. He shows her an old sewer tunnel they can use to sneak out and avoid the herd. Unfortunately the tunnel exit is surrounded by walkers, leading Maggie to realize she can't help Glenn. She tells Aaron that she's pregnant. Aaron hints she should name the baby after him.
That night Deanna's attacked by one of the Wolves who's now a walker. She snaps and stabs it repeatedly in the chest with a broken bottle. Rick arrives just in time to give it a head shot, saving her. She tells Rick she wants to live. Rick visits Jessie and they kiss, which pretty much means she's doomed.
At the gate, Deanna stares at the walker horde. She defiantly pounds on the gate, which seems like a bad idea. She walks off, not noticing blood dripping through a crack in the "impenetrable" wall. Ruh-roh! But first another flashback next week!
• At the beginning of the episode, Deanna climbs up to the watchtower and looks at a sign that reads, "PNL #1 R. Monroe."
The "R. Monroe" is definitely her late husband Reg, but I have no idea what the rest of it means.
• Steven Yeun's name is still missing from the opening credits this week. I also noticed that the shot of the pocket watch, which is closely associated with Glenn and usually accompanied by Yuen's name, is strangely blank.
Clearly they're just trolling us here.
• So Rick runs back inside the walls and immediately starts barking orders at the stunned, shell-shocked Alexandrians. Does he even know about the Wolf attack just an hour or so ago? Why doesn't anyone stop him and just say, "Dude, we get it, but we just got attacked too. Give us a minute!"
• Sigh... this episode gives us a couple of really nice shots of the support braces on the outside of the wall. Jesus Christ! Did the Alexandrians build the wall this way because they didn't want to see the ugly supports on the inside of their nice, upscale smooth wall?
They do finally start shoring up the wall with a couple of supports on the inside in this episode, but it's too little, too late.
• I still think it's mighty suspicious that Olivia, the Alexandrian in charge of doling out food, is a good fifty pounds overweight. If I was Deanna I'd be checking her daily food intake very closely.
• Speaking of food, several Alexandrians complain that their kids are starving on the rations they've been given. Yet Jessie is apparently so set for food that she can waste ingredients making a batch of cookies just to try and lure Sam downstairs. So are people starving or not? Maybe those other Alexandrians should give their kids cookies instead of soup.
By the way, even though two weeks have passed for us since the Wolves attacked, it's only been a couple of hours for the characters. No wonder Sam's still freaked out! Seems like it's a bit soon for Jessie to be worried about him not wanting to come downstairs.
• Dr. Cloyd is still terrified that she's not a real doctor and doesn't know what she's doing. I'll say! In this episode she actually has to leaf through a copy of Gray's Anatomy to find out she should treat Scott's infected leg wound by draining it with a hypodermic needle! Jesus, I could have told her that without reading a book! Draining a wound is pretty much common knowledge.
• Where the heck was Carol this week? Baking casseroles? Terrorizing ten year olds?
• Maggie and Aaron creep around in the conveniently tall sewers under Alexandria when they're attacked by a couple of rotted, waterlogged zombies. I wonder if the sewer walkers were an homage to the Tar Man from The Return Of The Living Dead?
• Many, many times in past seasons the series has deliberately separated Glenn and Maggie just so they can search for one another and ultimately be reunited. I thought we were going to get yet another rehash of that subplot here, but then at the last minute they pulled the rug out from under us. Maggie's stuck inside Alexandria, and Glenn, whether he's alive or dead, will just have to fend for himself.
It was a devastating and totally unexpected moment, and kudos to the writers for finally doing something new with the characters.
• Speaking of Maggie, as I suspected a couple of weeks ago, she's pregnant. Don't worry, Glenn'll be back in time to see his child!
• Deanna staggers around in a daze for most of the episode. At one point she starts drawing a new and ridiculously ambitious map of Alexandria, and jots the Latin phrase, "Dolor hic tibi proderit olim" in the corner. According to the internet, that translates to, "Someday this pain will be useful to you."
• Rick tells everyone to be as quiet as possible so as not to rile up the walker herd on the other side of the walls. Then when Ron says he wants to learn how to shoot, he has him stand on the watchtower and target practice on the herd. Brilliant!
It looked like he took the bullets out of the gun first, but what good would that be to Ron? Is he just supposed to practice aiming, not shooting? I never heard any shots, so I guess that must be what happened.
I was a little afraid that was gonna turn the gun on Rick. He's a sneaky little sh*t, and that seems just like something he'd do. Rick was the one who killed Ron's father after all. Teaching him to shoot is going to come back and bite him in the ass somehow. Ron's either going to shoot Rick or Carl.
• When Deanna's attacked by the Wolf walker, she viciously stabs it in the chest dozens of times with a broken bottle. I actually kind of felt sorry for the walker, in between my shouts of "Stab it in the head!" I guess I can let her incompetence slide this time though, as it's the first time (that I know of) she's had to kill a walker.
• At the end of the episode the visibly addled Deanna glares at the walkers threatening her utopia. For a horrifying second I thought she was going to open the gate and let the walkers in.
Next week, we check in on Daryl, Abraham and Sasha, and may even find out how Rick and Michonne got back to town.