Last episode Rick and his group revealed they’ve made a tentative choice. Give Alexandria a chance for now, but take it over if if things don’t work out. And you know they could, if they had to. So will they? Before we start, remember to check out the discussion on our special episode forum!
The episode begins with a focus on Sasha, still reeling from the twin tragedies of the deaths of Bob and Tyreese. She can’t sleep, she seems haunted by all the pictures of people who had lived in the house the group is now staying at.
She gets up early and meets Olivia, who is Alexandria’s quartermaster and in charge of its food stores and weapons. Olivia took all of the group’s guns in the previous episode, so Sasha check out her rifle. Olivia asks her to bring her a boar leg if she cam kill one.
But Sasha isn’t hunting, she’s out for target practice. After she leaves the gates she arranges all of the pictures from the house, all the happy family shots and pets and vacation pics, around a treetop and she blows them away. She knows this is dangerous, she looks around furtively after the noise for walkers, but none come.
So she sits on the stump and whispers “Come and get me.”
Rick in his constable uniform, Carol and Daryl return to the abandoned house and the garbage pile where Rick hid a gun in a blender before entering Alexandria, then recently discovered some mysterious person stole it.
They’re making plans to break into Alexandria’s store room to recover to their guns, so so much for settling in. Carol says the Alexandrians actually have a huge stock of miscellaneous guns stored in lockers they don’t use and don’t miss. Daryl brings up the missing blender gun.
They decide to keep the plan to themselves because they want the other to try to fit in.
During this conversation, Daryl has been monitoring a walker approaching. When it gets close Carol casually shoots it several times with her silenced pistol. The cover story for the meeting is that Carol went out shooting with them, so she says she couldn’t go back with a full mag.
Daryl notices that the dead, uh, more dead walker’s head has a W carved in it like the ones we saw at Noah’s compound. Rick goes into cop mode, you can see on his face that he knows there’s a mystery there that might get everyone killed.
Michonne is also in cop mode back at the house, looking awesome in a modified constable uniform. It’s like Rick’s but stitched up in the back to give her more room. Rick enters and they talk about their new jobs. Both are suspicious of why Deanna chose them, and didn’t choose Daryl, to be constables.
Michonne suspects Deanna is trying to break down the “us and them” distinction between Rick’s group and the rest, but Rick is still reluctant to believe it.
Daryl stalks about in the woods and hears a noise. It’s Aaron, and he makes him come out. Daryl accuses Aaron of following him, but Aaron says he was just out to hunt rabbits. Daryl allows Aaron to join him on his patrol.
Deanna gives her reason for the constable uniforms. She says people will follow Rick and Michonne because they believe in what Alexandria is about, and because she’s telling them to. She says they’ll even have a government one day and she’s got Maggie working as her assistant to help start that. She actually believes that they’ll restart a vibrant civilization there. Rick, Michonne and Maggie agree that it’s a workable goal.
But Rick takes her out and shows her that although her community is reasonably walker proof, people could easily climb up the outside supports and get in and kill everyone.
“People are the real threat now,” Rick says. After all, walkers don’t carve Ws on their own foreheads.
Deanna still doesn’t want anyone to be armed within the walls.
Sasha approaches and says she wants to volunteer to be one of the lookouts in the clock tower. Deanna says there are no lookouts, just an empty rifle. Rick, exasperated, starts making changes. Deanna agrees that Sasha can be one of the lookouts, but she wants them all to come to a dinner party in return.
Carol is wearing a sweater and playing at being a housewife, literally talking about cookie recipes with the other women on a porch. She sees Rick on the road and they make plans to break into the armory during the dinner party. She’s full committed to her chameleon role.
“You know what’s great about this place? I get to be invisible again,” Carol says.
In the woods, Daryl and Aaron find a horse. Aaron says he’s been trying to catch it for months and one of the kids named it Buttons.
Daryl gets a lasso and tries to catch the horse, which has gone mostly wild from being on its own. The noise draws walkers and the horse runs. Aaron and Daryl take them out. Aaron turns out to be a damn good shot.
Carol, under the pretense of getting the stuff she needs for the cookie recipe she learned earlier, visits Olivia in her storeroom. Olivia only agrees to give her a quarter bar of chocolate.
While she’s there two guys enter to get guns so they can go check a strut on the wall. Carol plays it dumb, tells the guys she’s “not an expert” on guns and even agrees to let one of the guys, Tobin, give her lessons. At the same time she sneakily unlatches the window.
Aaron tries to console Daryl while they walk through the woods. He says he understands why Daryl doesn’t fit in because he and Eric, as a gay couple, are still outsiders in a way even in the apocalypse.
“The more afraid they get, the more stupid they get. Fear shrinks the brain,” Aaron says, but says they get less and less scared every day as they get used to him, and encourages Daryl to let Alexandrians get to know him and go to Deanna’s party.
Daryl rejects that idea, and Aaron’s premise, saying they’ve run into a lot of bad people who “weren’t afraid of nothing.” But Aaron just says “Yeah, they were.”
And so we have the dinner party. Everyone gets dressed up nice and drinks wine. It’s a regular apocalypse hootnanny. Some of the characters, like Rosita and Abraham, look nearly unrecognizable clean. There’s a really funny scene where Abraham tells Rosita “I don’t know about this” and Rosita replies “They have beer.”
“I’m gonna try,” Abraham says.
Rick meets Deanna’s husband, Reg, who designed Alexandria’s walls. Reg says he’s watched all the interview tapes and is impressed by what the others say about Rick. Reg talks Rick into relaxing and taking a drink.
And then Rick notices Jessie and her family enter the party. Sexual tension intensifies.
Daryl and Aaron notice more walkers and do some killing. Daryl saves Aaron’s life when he trips and a walker snags him. Aaron helps Daryl out when a walker sneaks up on him.
They catch up with the horse but it’s too late and the walkers get it and eat. Just to cut the controversy off right now, no, they didn’t kill a real horse.
Daryl and Aaron team up to kill the walkers, which is easy because they’re distracted by eating a living horse. Aaron has to put Buttons down and it’s sad and he’s sad, but Daryl says “You were trying to help him.” They’re really making a connection.
And now we cut back to what we know you watch The Walking Dead before, scenes at boring dinner parties. There’s a quick scene where Glenn and Maggie won’t let Noah leave the party, they tell him he’s “family.”
Daryl watches the party from the outside for a moment, but doesn’t go in. As he’s leaving Aaron comes out of his house and talks to him on the street. He says he didn’t go to the dinner party because he stayed home with his injured lover Eric.
He invites Daryl in for some spaghetti with him and Eric and of course Daryl goes because, c’mon, spaghetti. We didn’t catch it, but we hope this episode takes place on a Wednesday because that would official make it a Spaghetti Tuesday.
At the dinner party Jessie introduces Rick to her husband Pete, who is both a doctor and a jerk who’s kind of mean to her and jealous. When he leaves to get a refill, Rick and Jessie have a nice conversation and there’s definite chemistry there. She shows Rick the “amazing view” of people standing around and smiling and says it’s better in Alexandria, even if it’s not as good as before the apocalypse.
She even says it’s better in one way because Alexandria has brought a lot of people from different backgrounds together.
“We all lost things. But we got something back. It isn’t enough, but it’s something,” Jessie says.
Rick hears Carl laughing with his new friends and turns to look. He smiles at Jessie and flirty glances are exchanged.
“Yeah, that’s a pretty good view,” Rick says.
Jessie’s young son Sam comes over whining that all of Carol’s cookies, made with love and subterfuge, are gone. He notices Rick doesn’t have a stamp, like Jessie does, and Rick lets him put one on his hand. Coincidentally it’s a huge letter “A” that looks kinda like the one on the train car Rick and his group were held in at Terminus.
“See, you’re officially one of us,” Jessie says as she leaves with Sam.
Rick, of course, is a bit freaked out by this reminder.
Sasha arrives at the party in a cute black dress. Deanna’s son Spencer open the door and immediately starts hitting on her, but she blows him off.
Daryl is eating Eric and Aaron’s spaghetti like a wolfman and bonding with the couple, but they have something to tell him. Aaron takes Daryl in their garage and shows him a motorcyle they’ve been working on.
It’s not a no-strings gift, though. Aaron says he told Deanna not to give Daryl a job, because he has one for him as another recruiter, to replace Eric. This is partly because Eric got hurt and that scared Aaron, but also because he thinks Daryl is right for the job.
“You’re good out there,” Aaron says, and that he understands Daryl needs to be out there sometimes. The main reason, however, is that “you do know the difference between a good person and a bad person.”
Daryl accepts the job with his thanks and even offers to get Aaron some rabbits.
Michonne and Abraham have a quick conversation on the porch, where Michonne is hiding out to avoid crowds and human interaction in general, as is her way. Abraham is philosophical, and really drunk. He says that by the “brave act” of getting drunk things have worked out well for him and asks Michonne what she’s done. She says “I put on this dress” and he says “Try again.”
Carol sneaks into the gun room through the unlocked window. She starts taking guns, but Jessie’s son Sam has followed her. He asks her what she’s doing.
He says he followed her hoping she’d make more cookies, but now he sees her in the pantry. She tries to buy his silence with a batch of cookies. When he says he has to tell his mom, Carol gets very close and very coldly, calmly threatening. In the most reasonable and practical voice in the world she tells Sam that if tells his mom one morning he’ll wake up and he’ll be outside the walls, far far away, tied to a tree.
She paints a picture of him screaming and being eaten while still alive. It’s a vivid picture and we’re sure some kid-sized underwear was ruined. And she tells him no one will ever know what happened. Or, he can promise not to tell and he’ll get lots of cookies.
Easy choice, right?
Back at the dinner party, Rick is looking out the window. Jessie has Judith, who is as always doing some great baby acting. They have another conversation and Rick admits “here isn’t that bad.” As Rick takes Judith there are some lingering glances and Rick plants a kiss on Jessie’s cheek. It’s supposed to be platonic, probably, but the sexual heat just radiates from this pair.
Sasha is encouraged to join the party proper by Deanna but the banal conversation and laughter start to overwhelm her and she has a freakout. She starts flashing back to all of the horrible things that have happened to her, seeing people eating finger food as Hunters eating Bob, for example.
A nice woman asks Sasha what her favorite meal is and offers to cook it for her. Sasha says she doesn’t know and the woman says she’s worried she’ll cook something Sasha hates.
“That’s what you’re worried about?” she yells and runs away.
The next day, Sasha is staring out Alexandria’s gate when Deanna comes to her. She says she’s trying to figure Sasha out.
Sasha looks around at Alexandria and says this “isn’t real.” Deanna strongly agrees, but she gives Sasha ammo and opens the gate, apparently so she can take a watch in the tower.
Daryl, Carol and Rick meet in the woods and Carol distributes the stolen guns. Unlikely as it might seem, Daryl is the one that questions whether they really need them.
“You wanted me to try, right? I’m good,” he says.
Rick takes one, though.
In the house Michonne has nailed two nails above the fireplace. She places her katana there, for now a decorative piece.
Daryl, Carol and Rick re-enter Alexandria. Rick sees Jessie walking with Pete and she says hi and flashes the A tattoo on her own hand. Rick smiles and puts his own hand up.
Then, while he watches them walk away, his hand goes unconsciously to check the stolen gun in his waistband. Pretty much the definition of mixed feelings there. While Rick is standing there, one of the signs in the background says Morgan St., by the way, and if that’s not a hint I don’t know what is.
Rick walks away to a jaunty tune on the soundtrack. This is, and of course it is, “Spicks and Specks” by the Bee Gees. Rick goes up to one of Alexandria’s walls and puts his hand on it with a smile, looking at the A tattoo. But there’s a walker right on the other side, and Rick seems to listen and draw his head closer to the wall.
These lyrics play:
Where is the sun that shone on my head
The sun in my life, it is dead it is dead
Where is the light that would play on my street
And where are the friends
I could meet, I could meet
Where are the girls I left far behind
The spicks and the specks
Of the girls on my mind
Where is the sun that shone on my head
The sun in my life, it is dead it is dead
With a lot of emphasis on “it is dead” of course. End of episode.