The Alexandrians have had a relatively sheltered, cushy apocalypse so far. Our main group of survivors have, on the opposite extreme, wallowed in the blood and the misery and the pain. That leads to different ways of doing things, and that culture clash comes front and center in this episode.
Let’s get straight to the recap, but make sure to check out the discussion at our special episode forum!
We open to see Gabriel has set up a makeshift church in his garage. So that’s where he was. He’s alone there. There are gifts from the Alexandrians that show they appreciate him, but he seems uneasy.
He starts tearing pages from his Bible, first slowly, then frantically until the Bible is destroyed.
Daryl has his new motorcycle running, and he looks badass as hell as he leaves with Aaron to go recruiting.
Noah meets with Deanna’s husband and the architect of Alexandria’s wall, Reg in a nice little park. Reg brings oatmeal and mentions the power is out. Noah says he wants to learn how to build things to he can make sure Alexandria’s walls stay up.
Reg asks if he’s worried they’ll fall.
“I think they could get knocked in,” Noah said. He’s speaking from painful experience. If you remember the walls of Noah’s own walled compound were breached and overrun, possibly by the mysterious Wolves.
Noah says he wants to also build houses and buildings. Reg is impressed that he’s in it for the long haul and agrees to start teaching him. He gives him a notebook to record the beginning of Alexandria and his lessons.
Abraham washes his face as Rosita sleeps behind him. He glowers at the man in the mirror.
Noah, Aiden, Nicholas, Tara and Glenn are going on a run in a van to get some equipment that Eugene needs to fix the broken power grid. While everyone is loading up, Noah offers Eugene a gun, but he says “No thank you” and tries to weasel out of going. Aiden says they need Eugene to go to make sure they get the right stuff. Eugene whines but Noah wordlessly presses the gun to him, they’re not debating.
Reg and Deanna say a fond, affectionate goodbye to their douchebag son, Aiden. At least someone loves him. Maggie also kisses Glenn goodbye. Both of these events should make any fictional character nervous. Before they leave, Deanna thanks Glenn one more time for knocking Aiden down a peg with one well-placed punch earlier.
In the van Tara talks to Noah about a girl he met, but is drowned out by Aiden playing a loud techno mix of the kind only a douchebag would like. It’s played as a joke but the lyrics literally says “Now you’re going to die,” which is not the kind of thing you want to hear before you go off on a dangerous mission, especially if you’re a fictional character and have to worry about foreshadowing. These lyrics are said while showing Noah’s face.
Gabriel is sulking around and watches the group leave.
Rick visits Jessie in her garage. Someone destroyed her stupid metal owl sculpture, which we consider a win for art and beauty, but Rick is a cop so he sees vandalism.
Jessie says stuff like this never happens. Rick asks if Jessie has any enemies or knows someone who hates owls. It gets flirty real quick.
When Jessie wonders why Rick would care about such a petty crime, Rick reveals himself to be a proponent of the broken windows theory of policing. The idea is that you keep the smaller crimes like vandalism or public drunkenness from happening, or “keep the windows intact,” and you keep society intact by creating an atmosphere of order and lawfulness that discourages the big crimes. This theory is often criticized as racist and classist because it tends to target minority and poor neighborhoods. We probably won’t get into the ramifications of Rick’s approach on The Walking Dead but, hell, who knows.
Jessie responds with a shrug and “This was an owl Rick,” but Rick says he has to do something to keep busy. When he leaves she seems to be blushing like a schoolgirl.
The scavenger group shows up at the warehouse to get the supplies. Glenn prescribes caution and making a plan. Nicholas is a jerk and makes fun of him for this perfectly reasonable suggestion. Aiden, however, agrees with Glenn and they do a perimeter check. Oh no, he’s had character development, he’s in trouble.
There’s a really funny scene with Eugene complaining and Tara trying to get him to pull his weight. Eugene tries to take credit for getting the group to D.C.
“We got you here,” Tara says, irritated, but Eugene keeps talking. She asks him if he’s really that much of a coward.
“Yes, I am. I told you I was,” he says.
Glenn and Noah are walking and talking, laughing about how last week they wanted to shoot Aiden. They come to a fence and see that the front door of the warehouse is blocked by about a hundred walkers.
Glenn leads the group as they go inside the dark building. Aiden accepts his expertise. The attitude adjustment did him well.
They search the dark building with flashlights in one of The Walking Dead’s patented too dark to see scenes. They eventually hear some walkers but don’t see them right away. They find them all stuck in a cage.
Eugene finds the power inverters they need and Tara opens it. Aiden, unfortunately, finds a military walker wearing full body-armor, helmet and face mask. Glenn wants him to let it come close so he can brain it, but Aiden shoots it instead. The zombie is wearing grenades and Aiden shoots one, blowing himself up.
After the explosion people are injured and coughing. Glenn and Nicolas find Aiden apparently dead, impaled on a twisted shelf. The walker cage is also open and Walkers are flooding in.
Eugene and Noah are also still alive, but Tara is badly hurt, unconscious and bleeding from her head. A walker attacks Eugene. Glenn tries to get him to shoot it but Eugene can’t pull the trigger so it gets him down. Glenn and Noah come to the rescue and do their badasss thing. Noah takes Eugene to an office for safety while Glenn goes to rescue Tara.
At her house Carol finds Sam hiding in her closet. He swears he didn’t tell anyone that Carol stole guns in her famous “Cookie Monster” scene last episode.
He says he wants more cookies, complains about his broken owl statue and the lack of power. Carol tells him that she doesn’t give a crap about his problems. But before kicking him out she has a change of heart and says she’ll make him cookies if he’ll steal the chocolate from Olivia and get an extra bar for her. She tells him not to get caught and shoves him roughly out the door.
Tara has serious head injuries and is dying. They’re temporarily safe in the office, but they need to get her out to the van so Eugene can get to the first-aid kit and treat her.
Just as they’re about to make a run for it, they see Aiden start to move on the shelves. There’s a debate about what to do but Eugene shuts them down and tells them to go get Aiden.
“She’d do it, I know she would,” Eugene says, suddenly manning up. He says he’ll keep Tara safe.
Glenn makes a plan to distract the walkers with a flare and then, basically, to kick ass, and they go.
Abraham is working with a crew on gathering materials to fix the wall. A few birds pass overhead and he starts to have an episode. He seems to be bottling up anger and maybe some other overpowering emotions.
Walkers come out of the woods chasing a workman who went to take a crap. Abe and the Alexandrians fight, but one of the dumbass Alexandrians, Francine, is shooting from the scoop of an end-loader and another dumbass Alexandrian shoots the hydraulics and dumps her right in front of the walkers.
The Alexandrians run and leave Francine behind, but Abraham plays the hero and rescues her. He puts her in the end-loader and then finds himself surrounded by walkers.
“Mother Dick,” he says, coining another great slang term. He’s actually smiling.
Instead of trying to escape, Abraham just starts killing walker after walker like a smiling ginger Conan the Barbarian. The Alexandrians are inspired by this supreme badassery and join in.
Pete is drinking in the daytime. He comes by Rick’s house to bring him a beer to thank him for helping his wife. Rick turns it down.
Pete is superficially nice as they talk, but there’s a strong undercurrent of jealousy. He implies that he knows about Rick kissing Jessie and it’s pretty clear that it was Pete that destroyed the stupid metal owl.
He asks Rick about Lori, tells him they’ve lost thing to and are “fighting like hell” to hold on to other things. Pete also tells Rick he can bring in his kids for a checkup and says “let’s be friends” in the least friendly way possible.
After he leaves, Rick looks down at his hand and sees his wedding ring.
Eugene is talking to Tara’s unconscious body, saying he takes no responsibility for what happened and that they should have listened when he said he was a coward.
And then he rescues her. He carries her out of the office on his back, doing a halfway decent job of shooting walkers that attack.
Aiden is badly impaled in two places but alive. The guys try to pull him off the rack while Noah holds off walkers. The flare has gone out and the distraction is gone.
Nicholas gives up quickly. He leans in to Aiden’s face and says “You left them. We both did. That’s who we are.”
So it’s up to Glenn. As he tries Aiden admits to Glenn that he and Nicholas panicked and let other members of their scout team die.
After his confession, Noah pulls Glenn away just in time as the horde closes in and then Noah becomes a tasty shish kabob for the walkers. It’s one of the gorier WD deaths as they reach into his chest and start pulling his heart out.
So, Abraham has almost single-handedly killed a small city’s worth of walkers, mostly hand-to-hand. He lectures the Alexandrians about not leaving people behind, an interesting juxtaposition considering what just happened.
The lead workman says they have a system, but he doesn’t get much out before Francine punches him for leaving her to die.
The Alexandrians want to leave before more walkers come, but Abraham won’t have it. With Francine’s support he sets lookouts and tells them to keep working.
“We got a wall to build,” he barks.
In a ridiculous scene Nicholas, Glenn and Noah get trapped in a revolving glass door with walkers on every side.
Later, the head workman meets with Deanna, Maggie and Reg. Instead of being mad, he praises Abraham and says he should run the construction crew. Deanna agrees and Abraham gets a new job.
After Reg and the workman leave, Maggie tells Deanna she made the right choice. Deanna tells he she seems worried that she keeps putting members of Rick’s group in positions of power.
Maggie reassures her, saying they know what they’re doing.
“You wanted a future. You need us for that,” she says.
So Sam stole the chocolate. Carol still treats him harshly, telling him he can’t have more than half of the cookies and that she won’t help him again.
Sam tries to bond. Carol shuts him down. But he keeps talking. He gets her to open up about how cooking distracted her when she was sad. And then Sam admits that when he gets sad he breaks stuff, such as ugly owl statues.
Carol asks why he’s there and he doesn’t answer, but he does ask why she stole the guns.
“Because sometimes you need to protect yourself,” Carol says.
Sam asks for a gun. He says it’s not for him. Carol asks who it’s for and Sam is silent, then runs away.
The situation in the deadly revolving door is hopeless, but then Eugene pulls up in the van blaring Aiden’s techno and distracts the walkers.
That’s enough for Glenn to try to break the glass. The idea is that Glenn will break it so he and Noah can escape, then Nicholas will push out. But Nicholas doesn’t listen, he pushes the door open prematurely and walkers grab Noah. Glenn tries to hold on but there are too many.
“Don’t let go,” Noah begs Glenn, then he’s ripped from Glenn’s grasp and pulled into the horde. Glenn is looking directly at Noah’s face through the glass as he is gruesomely killed, his whole head ripped open.
Nicholas tries to get Eugene to leave without Glenn, but Eugene stands up to him. Being courageous doesn’t make Eugene tough, though, and Nicholas easily tosses him to the ground. It looks like he’s going to take the van when Glenn comes running and tackles him. Then beats the crap out of him.
After knocking Nicholas out Glenn asks Eugene to help load him in the back. He could have easily left him behind, and we see a big difference between our main group and the Alexandrians, repeated more than once this episode.
Eugene asks where Noah is but Glenn doesn’t answer.
Carol shows up at Sam’s house. Pete answers the door. She asks if Sam is okay and Pete asks “Why wouldn’t he be?” Carol asks to talk to Jessie and Pete won’t let her. As a domestic violence survivor, the signs are clear to Carol.
The scavengers head back in the van. There’s a sad scene where we can see what Noah has written in his notebook. All he got down was “This is the beginning.” Tara looks badly wounded.
Father Gabriel comes to visit Deanna at her home.
He starts talking about how Satan disguises himself as the angel of light and says the false light is now in Alexandria. He tells her she made a mistake letting in the others.
Maggie is coming up the stairs and secretly hears this.
“Rick. His group. They’re not good people,” Gabriel says. “They’ve done things. They’ve done unspeakable things.”
Carol comes to Rick and tells him that Pete’s hitting Jessie and maybe Sam. Rick looks angry.
Deanna says that “doing things” to survive makes Rick’s group assets. But Father Gabriel keeps saying they can’t be trusted, that they’re dangerous.
There’s a quick scene of Abraham leading the workmen as Father Gabriel continues talking, saying Rick’s group will put themselves first and “destroy everything you have here.”
Gabriel says Rick’s group doesn’t deserve paradise. Deanna sends him away saying she has a lot to think about. Gabriel says she hopes it’s not too late.
At that moment we hear Glenn pull up, screaming that he needs help.
Carol tells Rick she knows how it’s going to go with Pete.
“There’s only one way it can go,” she says. “You’re gonna have to kill him.” We get a look at Rick’s face, and end of episode.