A storm is coming in The Walking Dead universe. It’s clear from cast and producer interviews that the mid-season finale will lead to a confrontation with the police at Grady Memorial Hospital as Daryl and the other attempt to save Beth and Carol, and some tragic consequences.
Tonight, however, the dark clouds gather.
The episode begins with a shot of Sasha angrily hitting something. She’s destroying a pew in Father Gabriel’s church with an axe.
Tyreese and Daryl are gathering pipes from the organ. He says it was good Daryl wasn’t there and Daryl asks if Sasha is hanging in there.
“No,” Tyreese says.
Daryl walks outside and Gabriel asks if they’ll take the cross too.
“If we need it,” Daryl says.
After being rebuffed, Gabriel looks silently at the message carved into his church by the people that he left outside, the one that says he’ll burn in hell for his cowardice.
They use the wood and metal to make fortifications for the church to discourage walkers, and then leave Michonne, Carl, Judith and Gabriel to defend it. Michonne wants to go in Rick’s place, but Rick wants her to stay.
“We all owe Carol,” Michonne says.
“I owe her more,” Rick says.
Inside, as Carl and Michonne board up the doors, Father Gabriel stares at the blood on the floors from the massacre of the Hunters in the church. He starts furiously trying to rub it off.
As the box truck Daryl took roars toward Atlanta with a group of pissed off zombie killers, Tyreese tries to comfort Sasha in the back. He starts to say something about what Bob would have wanted but she just says “please don’t.”
Beth checks on Carol, who is unconscious and hooked up to a bunch of machines. She’s in bad shape after being hit by a car in the last episode, plus of course riding off a bridge in a van and Noah tossing a walker on her. Doctor Edwards enters.
“I’m just checking on her,” he says.
Glenn is looking down the road at the megahorde of zombies that stopped their fire truck adventure. They haven’t noticed the humans. Tara pours water on Eugene but he doesn’t wake up.
The group talks about taking Eugene back to the church.
“Moving him could make him worse,” Maggie says.
Abraham is still nearly as catatonic as Eugene, kneeling in the road.
Rosita tries to make him drink water and it leads to a big fight. He jumps up and stares her down in a scary way and Maggie pulls a revolver on him.
“Sit down or I’ll put you down,” she says.
Abraham takes a long moment where he seems to consider being shot as a viable option, but eventually he kneels again.
Daryl, Rick, Tyreese, Sasha and Noah are planning their assault in a building near the hospital. Rick’s plan is to go in silent and lethal, slitting throats and killing cops. Noah says they’ll have more help than they think because the wards will turn on the cops.
Tyreese, of course it would be Tyreese, has a problem with the murdertastic plan.
Tyreese says that Rick’s plan is a best case scenario, and the worst case is bullets flying everywhere. He wants to take two cops captive and do an even trade.
“Everybody goes home,” Tyreese.
“It might work. This will work,” Rick says, stressing the “will.”
Unexpectedly, Daryl sides with Tyreese.
“You take two of her cops away, what choices does she have? Everybody goes home. Like he says,” Daryl says.
Back at the church Father Gabriel is still working on that blood stain. Carl has laid out weapons next to him and tries to get him to pick one to defend himself.
“Defend myself? They said they’d go,” he says, referring to the hunters.
“They were liars and murderers,” Carl says.
Carl presses on, telling Gabriel he can’t say in the church forever and that out there in the world he’ll need to know how to fight. Gabriel selects a machete.
“Good choice,” Carl says, but tries to correct him on the way to hold it to drive it through harder skulls.
“I’m sorry. I need to lie down,” Gabriel says and heads into his office.
Beth is slowly mopping, eavesdropping on Dawn and a cop as they talk about their plan to hunt Noah. The upshot is there is no plan, they’re just waiting for him to make a mistake and give away his location.
After Dawn embarrasses the cop for the non-plan, he starts talking about cutting off Carol’s life support to save resources.
Beth gets angry.
“How much electricity does your DVD take?” Beth says, and berates the officer for charging it when that could be used to save lives.
“What good is this place if it doesn’t try to save people?” she asks.
Dawn reacts to this outburst by calming telling the cop to tell Edwards to turn off the machines. He leaves to go do that. Good job, Beth.
“You just killed that woman,” Dawn says, reminding Beth she has to side with the cops and that Beth doesn’t know how fragile “this thing is.”
“There’s nothing I can do. So you’ll just have to do it,” Dawn says, to Beth’s surprise.
She gives her a key to the drug locker to get the drugs to help save Carol’s life.
Before she hands it over, Dawn gets a call about noises in the city on her radio and sends two cops to check it out and see if it’s Noah. Looks like Rick’s group is making their move.
Dawn takes the key and asks why Dawn is doing this.
“I thought you were weak. You’ve proved me wrong,” Dawn says.
The fire engine gang are talking about getting more water. Maggie volunteers to stay with Eugene and Abraham while the Glenn, Tara and Rosita walk to a nearby creek.
They come across a bunch of walkers who are stuck under a power pole. Tara indulges in a moment of levity.
“Just stay here guys, don’t get up. There’s nothing for you in Washington,” Tara says.
Rosita says it’s not funny, which leads to an argument where Tara says she’s “over” D.C. and wants Eugene to get better.
He wasn’t strong, Tara says, or good with a weapon. His only skill was lying.
“Are we supposed to be mad at him because he used it?” Tara asks.
“Damn right,” Glenn says.
Maggie, with great difficulty and no help from Abraham, pulls a ladder off the fire engine and takes it to the front. She props it up on the front and puts a blanket over it to create a tent so Eugene won’t bake in the sun.
Then she chews Abraham out.
“Get over yourself. You’re not the only one who lost something today. It’s never going to get any better than this,” Maggie spits, near tears.
Abraham stares ahead like she isn’t there..
Beth knocks on the door to Edwards’ office. He’s surprised, but lets her enter.
“The woman in exam room two, what medicine would you give her?” Beth asks.
Edwards figures out Dawn gave Beth the key. He says whatever Beth thinks, Dawn did not do it out of kindness.
He tries to defend himself for giving Beth wrong medical info that killed another doctor Dawn brought in.
“I was trying to save my life,” Edwards say.
Eventually he tells her a drug that will help Carol, and epinephrine drip. And despite enormous past evidence he can’t be trusted on these things, Beth goes to get it.
“Good luck,” Edwards says.
The water Glenn gets out of the creek is too muddy to drink.
They talk about going upstream to get clearer water, but Rosita uses a survivalist technique to build a water filter out of a bottle and cloth to clear it. Eugene taught her how to do it.
While they wait for the water to clear, Rosita tells the story of how she met Abraham. Abraham helped her and her group fight off walkers in Dallas. He told her that he was trying to save the world and wanted her help because he’d seen how well she handled herself. At least that’s what he said, it probably didn’t hurt that Rosita is smoking hot.
“He was the first person to ask me for that since this all started. Maybe he was lying, too,” Rosita says.
They see some ripples in the stream that Glenn says are fish.
Two cops are chasing down Noah. They actually hit him with their cop car. This seems to be a thing with the Grady cops, although for Noah it’s just a tap.
The cops think Noah gave himself away by firing at walkers. They have him under arrest and get him handcuffed. One of the cops shows kindness to Noah and makes sure the cuffs aren’t too tight.
But it’s a trap. Rick’s group surrounds them and draws down on them. After a standoff they drop their guns.
“You do what we say. We don’t hurt you,” Rick says.
Now the cops have their hands tied.
Rick offers them water and food and says they need to talk.
The cop that was kind to Noah instantly recognizes Rick as a former cop.
Noah says he’s Lamson and he’s one of the good ones, and might help.
But one of the bad ones comes racing at them in a car, though, and pulls a driveby on the group with an automatic weapon. The group dives for cover and no one is hit, but they lose their kidnapped cops as they jump in the driveby vehicle. Sasha takes out its tire with a deadeye shot.
The cop car comes to a stop near a FEMA trailer and site of a huge fire from the bombing of Atlanta. The ground is black and there walkers here that are little more than puddles of wriggling flesh, stuck to the ground.
Driveby cop and the kidnapped cops have ditched.Rick’s group sees the handcuffed cops trying to run away and give chase.
Daryl stays behind to hunt for driveby cop. He opens the door to the FEMA trailer and he’s not inside, but while he’s looking driveby cop sneaks up ambushes him and gets him down and starts choking him out within munching distance of the puddle walkers. He’s stronger than Daryl and it looks like he’s going to choke Daryl to death, but the ever-resourceful redneck starts reaching for a nearby gloppy walker.
He hooks its skull, through the eyeholes, and uses that to beat the cop with. It’s one of the most amazing things ever aired on television.
Daryl is then saved by Rick, who pulls a gun on the cop.
“Okay, you win asshole,” the cop says, surrendering. Looks like Rick is going to kill him anyway, but Daryl talks him down and says “three’s better than two.” Rick lowers his gun and Daryl ties up the cop.
So now our gang has three kidnapped cops. They take them to a nearby building to hold them hostage.
A female cop speaks up. She says the plan would work, if they had different cops to trade, but with these cops they’ll just get killed.
“Dawn’s running Grady into the ground. A bunch of us want her out and she knows it. Pretty sure she knows we want Lamson to replace her too,” the cop says.
She says if they let them go they’ll take care of Dawn themselves.
But Lamson speaks up and says they won’t do that. He says they can make it work with his knowledge of Dawn. He says all he wants is peaceful resolution and not dying.
“Please, let me help you,” he begs.
Glenn, Tara and Rosita kill the walkers who were crushed by the power pole and strip mesh from their jackets. Tara finds a bonus, a muddy backpack filled with survival supplies.
Rosita and Glenn use the mesh to catch fish. They have a nice bonding moment where Glenn acknowledges her skill and offers her a place in the group.
“I’m in,” Rosita says.
Inside the backpack Tara finds something she says the rest will “never believe.” It’s covered in mud and we don’t see what it is.
Michonne goes to the door of Father Gabriel’s office to have a chat. He doesn’t come out, just opens it a bit to talk.
“The things that we do, they’re worth it,” she says, trying to explain the violence and encourage him to learn to fight. She tells him she’s just trying to help and he thanks her.
Then he goes back inside his office. He’s using the machete he took from Carl to pry up the floorboards.
Beth heads to the drug cabinet. She bribes a ward with strawberries and he pretends to have an attack. She quickly goes through the drugs while the cops are distracted and finds what she needs for Carol. She smiles a bit as she walks away.
She sneaks the drug into Carol’s room and sets up an IV, then injects it into the IV. She whispers Carol’s name and holds her hand.
“I just wanted you to know that I was here,” Beth says.
Tyreese and Sash weapons in the driveby cop’s car. In the process Sasha accidentally rips Bob’s jacket. She’s been wearing it since he died and damaging it makes her sad and angry. Tyreese tries again to help her move on.
“You got to say goodbye. He saw it. He felt it. Now you hold on to whatever you want to, but I think you should hold on to that,” he says.
“I should have been able to do it myself,” she says, referring to how she let Tyreese kill Bob so he didn’t turn into a walker.
Tyreese says she could have “but you let yourself feel it. Kept your eyes open. You let me help you.”
She gives him a big hug.
Gabriel crawls into the hole he made and crawls under and out of the church, on the side where the message about how he’ll burn is. He steps on a huge nail on the way that goes way into his foot. Religious metaphors, guys, they don’t have to be subtle! After pulling it out he limps away.
Lamson gives Rick advice about negotiating with Dawn. He says Dawn will make a show of not making a deal, but she will cave eventually because she always does. Rick offers him water before they head out.
“Thanks Sgt. Lamson,” Rick says.
“My name’s Bob,” Lamson says. Sasha is nearby and this turns her head.
Rick says he’s still a cop, but Lamson says that no, “the real ones are all gone.”
Rick says nothing and walks away.
Gabriel gets, like, 100 yards, before getting attacked by a walker. He fights it off, throwing it down and getting it caught helplessly on a stick through its guts. He’s about to take a big rock and bash it’s brains in when he notices it’s wearing a small crucifix around its neck, it might even by one of his former parishioners.
He can’t finish it, he just limps away.
Sasha overhears Lamson say “dammit,” softly under his breath.
He says he’ll be okay when she comes to him, and she says “me too.”
The cop says he saw a “rotter” that he knew when they being brought to the building.
Sasha pulls up a cinder block and sits next to him as he tells his story.
He says the rotter’s name was Tyler. He met him at Grady as they were both sent there during the start of the outbreak and talks about the two day evacuation. He says they were the two best days of his life. He says Tyler was put on the evacuation run from the hospital instead of himself because Dawn trusted Tyler more, and he was pissed. But then the bombs fell on the evacuees.
“I saw him out there. Stuck out there, melted to the asphalt, and all I could think was that would have been me,” Lawson says.
Tyler saved his life, and now he’s part of the street like some screwed up endless joke.
Sasha says she’ll help him. She won’t take Lawson out to look for Tyler, but she says she’ll shoot him from the building if they can see him through the windows.
Maggie is still sitting with Eugene and Abraham. She offers Abraham water, and then kneels beside him when he won’t take it.
“Did you want me to shoot you?” she asks.
“I thought I did. But I didn’t,” he says, finally breaking his silence.
We hear a groan from Eugene’s direction and Maggie goes to help. Or maybe to kill Eugene because he’s turned into a walker, we might be surprised. Abraham takes the water.
Walking back Glenn admits Tara’s joke was funny. They hear a walker off somewhere and Glenn says “don’t even look at it.” They don’t, and they don’t show us either.
Lamson takes Sasha to where they can see Tyler from the window. She gets ready to make he shot as she points him out.
And then Lamson suddenly slams into her and hits her so hard her head cracks the window, knocking her out. He runs away. Oh crap. Guess there really are no more good cops. End of episode.
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