Monday, March 23, 2015

The Walking Dead Recap, Episode 5.15: Try



Episode 15: Try


These recaps are just a discussion tool and a chance for me to geek out about my favorite show and do some over-analyzing. Maybe throw out a few theories. Remember, spoilers run rampant below. Don't read if you haven't watched!

This episode begins with Deanna, her husband Reg, and their son, Spenser sitting together in the dark. She puts on a CD that has crazy music on it, quite contrary to the mood. We can only assume that this is music Aiden would have liked and that they're grieving for their son/brother together. Meanwhile, Carol bakes a casserole and Sam, who last week hinted that there was abuse going on at his house, appears at the window. Sasha is shooting walkers from her perch in the watch tower, but it's obvious she's still not doing well. Kind of freaking out and still dealing with PTSD. Carol leaves her casserole and a condolence note on Deanna's front step, but Deanna ignores the food and burns the note.


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Meanwhile, outside the walls, Daryl kills a walker. He and Aaron see a light up ahead--a small campfire or something like it--and head toward it. They're looking for others to bring into Alexandria and it looks like they're finally on the trail of something.

Next we see a recorded tape of Nicholas telling Deanna what happened on the run with Glenn, Noah, Eugene, and Tara. He lies, of course, blaming Glenn and saying that he would never have left anyone. Douchebag. Concurrently, we see Glenn explaining what happened to Rick. Rick says that the Alexandrians don't understand what it is to live in this world, especially on the outside. He says that their rules don't apply to Team Family and that Team Family can't afford to answer to any of the them.


Rick then goes to talk to Carol, who says Sam opened up to her more about the abuse going on in Pete and Jessie's home. Apparently there's a deadbolt on his closet door so he can hide there when his dad goes on the rampage. More than once he's come out to find his mother bleeding and/or unconscious. Rick asks Carol why she cares so much. (Kind of a stupid question, Rick.) She says he already knows why, and that if walkers hadn't killed Ed--her abusive husband--that she wouldn't still be here. Rick replies, "Yeah, you would." Awesome line. She also says she knows Rick has feelings for Jessie.




Outside the house, Rick stares into the darkness. I kept trying to figure out what he was looking at, because it showed this several times. It was just the darkness, the fence, and there was a red balloon tied there. That balloon kept cropping up this episode, but I'm not sure what it signified. More on that later. While Rick stares into the darkness, Pete walks up. Unbeknownst to Pete, Rick has a gun and knows about Pete's abuse of his family. Pete came dang close to dying here. Pete asks Rick if he's okay. Rick just tells him to keep walking. At first, Pete is confused, but he seems to get the vibe after a few minutes and leaves.

Meanwhile, Michonne is still figuring out how she feels about everything. She wakes up and looks at her clothes, both regular ones and her cop uniform. It's not clear what's going through her head. Then Rosita shows up. She tells Michonne that Tara (who got hurt badly last episode) is stable and doing okay. Then Rosita says that no one has seen Sasha in a while. She might have spent the night in the watch tower. She and Michonne go looking for her. They find out she isn't there and so start tracking her outside the walls, in the woods. Of course they keep jumping at noises that aren't explained. It's not clear if something is lurking, or they're just jumpy because neither has been back outside the walls since the group arrived at Alexandria.


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Rosita says she was messed up after she found out Eugene lied about the cure because she'd lost something, but it seems like Michonne is messed up because they found something (Alexandria). Michonne admits that she's not doing well because Noah died. She liked him and she feels like while he was dying, she was sleeping behind Alexandria's walls. Rosita tries to console Michonne by saying that she was just trying to forget (Only overt reference to the title 'Try' that I saw). Michonne says she doesn't want to forget. We've seen this motif a lot since they got to Alexandria. They're all terrified of becoming weak and losing their edge. And every time they lose someone or something, it gets worse. Meanwhile, they follow a trail of dead walkers who've been shot in the back of the head. Sasha, it seems, is hunting. She's gone on a walker-killing rampage.

Back inside the walls, Rick and Deanna meet up in what seems to be Alexandria's grave yard. She's grieving, but Rick still asks her about the "problem" with Pete. He finds out that Deanna knows about it, but has just been hoping it will get better or go away on its own. (Yet another example of how lucky the Alexandrians are that their setup hasn't fallen apart thus far. They just seem to ignore major problems in a world where small problems can get you killed.) Rick says he's going to separate Pete from his family so they can't hurt them anymore. Deanna says he won't like it, and will put up a fight. She asks what Rick plans to do in that scenario. Rick says he'll kill him. Deanna adamantly refuses, saying that Alexandria is a civilized place and they don't execute people. If it comes down to it, she'll exile Pete, but won't kill him. Rick tries to explain the flaw in that way of thinking--that Pete could come back at any time and be a threat to the community, but Deanna won't listen.

Glen confronts Nicholas. He says he knows who and what Nicholas is, and will be watching him. He also forbids Nicholas from leaving the walls of Alexandria, whether on his own or with others. Of course Nicholas is angry, but so is Glenn. Obvious this is going to come to a head sooner rather than later. Glenn says all the people Alexandria lost on the runs before was on Nicholas. Then he talked about Noah. I thought he would say that Noah's death was on him (Glenn). But he didn't. He said Noah's death was on Nicholas too, and I was so glad he did. Glenn always tells it like it is and I love him for that! Then we see Nicholas pull a gun from a hidden place. I'm thinking this is the gun Rick hid in the blender before entering Alexandria that then went missing. Nicholas took it and has it on the inside. This can't be a good thing.

Carl, meanwhile, is still following Enid outside the walls. This time, she turns to talk to him, but he can't see her. She's just a disembodied voice. She tells him to go back, and that he scares her, but he refuses. Eventually she comes out. He asks what she's doing outside the walls. She doesn't really answer, but starts running and lets him run with her. Eventually they see some walkers up ahead. Enid takes out an egg timer and chucks it to divert the walker so they can get away. Eventually they sit on a log together to talk. He asks why he scares her. She says he just does. (Another non-answer.) She does tell him that she comes outside the walls 1) to run, which makes her feel better and 2) because she, too, doesn't want to forget what it's like on the outside by becoming weak and always staying on the inside. Kind of liking this girl, now. She says "we're supposed to be out here (in the woods) and feel like this." It's kind of sad because these kids who grew up in this world don't know how else to be except scared and on the run. On the other hand, it's kind of cool because that's what's going to help them survive in the world. More walkers come and they are, ahem, forced to take refuge inside a hollowed-out tree trunk which forces them into one another's personal space. Their hands touch and they almost kiss a few times, but ultimately chicken out. (Ah young love.) Then Enid leans in and whispers, "See, you're afraid of me too." I thought this was kind of adorable. Very well done. I really hope Carl can find love, though I must admit that it worries me, for his sake. I can't help but think this will be his first love, and eventually she's gonna get killed. I worry for Carl's sanity, you know?




Eventually Michonne and Rosita catch up to Sasha, who is indeed looking for walkers to kill. When they ask her what she's doing, she says she's sick of playing defense. Michonne starts having flashbacks of times in the past when she's killed lots of walkers with her sword (which she actually doesn't have on her, btw). Sasha says she's fine and they don't have to stay, but Michonne says what she's about to do isn't for Sasha. Together, our three super-ladies battle a rather large group of walkers, but of course they do okay. Sasha runs out of ammo and ends up wrestling on the ground with one of them, until Michonne shoots it in the head for her. Sasha gets angry, saying that she had it. (To be fair, I think she did, but it speaks to her state of mind that she's still getting mad at Michonne for saving her.) 

Then Sasha says that no one can help her, especially Michonne and Rosita, because it all worked out for them. Then she says that she told Noah he wouldn't make it. Poor Sasha. I feel for her. As we've seen, she still hasn't worked through her PTSD about losing Bob and Tyrese. Noah dying after she said that to him can only have made it a million times worse. Especially in a world where there's no psychological help, there's really not much they can do for her except keep an eye on her and wait for her to try and push through it. I'm curious to see what they do with Sasha in the finale. I wondered, throughout the episode, if she, Michonne and Rosita would still be on the outside for the finale. Like maybe they were being put into position for something that will happen. But, that turned out not to be the case. By the end, Sasha was shooting walkers from the watchtower again, and the other two ladies were inside.

After that, we finally get back to Daryl and Aaron outside the walls. This is probably the story line I'm most interested in, and it didn't get much screen time in this episode. Obviously it was more of a setup for the finale, and I think this story is going to be a main focus next week. So, our guys finally get, in daylight, to where they'd seen the fire/light the evening before. Rather than some nice folks they could perhaps bring into Alexandria, though, they find dismembered corpses. We first saw this clear back in Noah's home town when "Wolves nearby" was written on the wall and there were dismembered corpses both at the perimeter of the town, and later torsos came pouring out of a vehicle. (Ew.) We've also seen several walkers with Ws carved into their foreheads. Now, Daryl and Aaron find dismembered corpses, and Daryl reports that this happened recently. 




A little farther on they find a blond woman dead and tied to a tree. Looks like she was left there for walkers to feast on, which they did. Her insides are all spilling out and when Daryl lifts her head to look into her face, she has a W carved into her forehead. I couldn't tell, but it looked like she might have been nude. Maybe she was wearing pants and I just couldn't tell. It was hard to say because we didn't get a very close up shot of her whole body. (TWD isn't an R-rated nudity kind of a show). Either way it was a super-disturbing thing to find. She then comes back to life (as a walker) and Daryl stabs her in the forehead. He says this has happened recently too. I'm not sure if all the talk about recently is to show that they're really close to this group, or perhaps the light they saw in the distance actually were decent people, but the wolves just got there and killed the people first.More on that in my theories below. Either way, Daryl and Aaron are now tracking a depraved group of people that you gotta assume Team Family will come face to face with sooner or later.




Back inside Alexandria, Rick confronts Jessie about the abuse. He says it has to stop and she says it will. She says it's happened before and then gotten better, and she can fix it. She gets angry eventually, saying she can take care of herself and storms into the house, leaving him outside. Rick walks out to the street and observes several of the Alexandrians doing very normal things: walking dogs, chatting on porches, etc. You can tell he's freaking out. More of Rick on the verge of coming unhinged. Finally, he bursts through Jessie's front door. He tells her that Sam asked Carol for a gun to protect her. He says that being inside Alexandria is no different from being on the outside. That even inside, if you don't fight, you die, and he doesn't want her to die. (I love this if you don't fight you die line. That could be the tag line for the whole freaking series!) Rick tells Jessie if she just says yes to his protection, he can keep her and her boys safe. She asks if he would do that for anyone, to which he replies no. This must be confirmation to her of his feelings for her, and she says yes. That she'll accept his protection.

Just then Pete stumbles into the kitchen, asking what's going on. He may be a drunk but he's not stupid. He can see that there's something between Rick and Jessie. He says Rick needs to leave, but Jessie says no, that Pete needs to leave. Rick says that both men are going to leave together, but Pete says no. And then the fighting ensues. Rick throws Pete through the window. Of course everyone comes running at the noise. Jessie tries to pull Pete off Rick, but he punches her, which just pisses Rick off and energizes him. Carl also tries to stop Rick, but Rick just knocks pushes him away. Meahwhile, Sam hides behind Carol, which is really sad, but sweet. And the red balloon floats away. Not sure what this signifies. Maybe it's just supposed to be the "peace" of Alexandria that the group has experienced thus far. Rick was staring at it the night before, as though waiting for it to pop. And with the fight at the end, the peace is over for good, so the balloon floated away. The fact that it's red is, I'm sure, symbolic of the blood that will be shed as a result. Anyone have other thoughts on the red balloon? Deanna then shows up and demands that Rick stop. Rick does, saying that if Pete touches his family again, Rick will kill him. By then, Rick is covered in blood and looks downright psychotic. He pulls a gun, waves it around, and  starts talking about how the Alexandrians don't get it. He and his group do what needs to be done. If they don't, the Alexandrian's way of doing things will get them all killed. They need to be careful who they let come to live at Alexandria.




Deanna, looking at him, says that fact has never been more clear to her. Rick is shocked and says, "Do you mean me? I'm the problem here?" (I'm paraphrasing that.) He starts ranting again but Michonne comes up behind him and knocks him out. I'm not sure why Michonne did this, and I'll admit I was surprised she did. Rick's been super weird since they entered Alexandria, but it seemed like Michonne was moving (mentally) away from the safety of the walls and wanting to go back to her old, edgy self. But if that's true, why did she knock Rick out? I think it's one of two things: either she just thought he needed to calm down in the moment, or maybe she's thinking ahead. She doesn't want to be outright kicked out, so she'll pretend to be on Deanna's side but really it's just to get a handle on the situation and she'll still be behind Rick if Team Family has to go head to head with the Alexandrians. Don't know. This move on her part kind of came out of the blue and it's not clear what her motivations are.




What we didn't see: anything concerning Father Gabriel's talk with Deanna. Obviously this is weighing on Deanna with Aiden having died and all the drama, but she hasn't broached the subject. And where was Maggie in this episode? It doesn't seem that she's told anyone about what she heard yet, and we didn't even see her comforting Glenn or anything, which was kind of weird. Hopefully they address this next week.

So, the season finale is coming at us next week and there are SO many unanswered questions this season. It's one of those things: despite the 90 minute length (which I'm super-excited for) I don't see how they can answer all the questions.

I think there will be two major story lines. 1) Rick 's fate at Alexandria. From the preview, looks like Deanna is now seriously considering kicking Team Family out for the first time, so we'll see them going back and forth over this. 2) Daryl and Aaron tracking the wolves on the outside. The synopsis for the finale says Daryl finds himself in trouble, which makes it sound like maybe he comes face to face with these people and maybe get hurt. I don't know what that means for Aaron's fate, but let's hope both these guys make it back to Alexandria okay.

Let's talk Beth theories. Those of you who often read my recaps know I'm someone who has hoped and believed that Beth isn't really dead and will be back. I know that most people don't think so and get annoyed with those of us who do. I'll admit that I thought we'd see her much sooner than this, and most of our theories have been shot by now. But. I'm going to hold out hope for the finale. There are those who say they will keep believing she's alive, even into next season, until we get some closure. I'm not that optimistic. All I can say is if there's really nothing at all in the finale, I'll shut up about it. At that point,  I'll  have to concede that she's not coming back. (I will warn you that if we see her in the finale and it turns out #teamdelusional is right, I will be doing a creepy, in-your-face victory dance. You've been warned.) It is just a theory and we could be wrong, but I still think there's a good chance that we'll see her in the finale. Let me explain why.

Back to all those unanswered questions. The actors and writers have all discussed at length how this season is playing with time. Andrew Lincoln said that starting with episode 9, the whole back 8 episodes of the season would be one giant "reset." I started looking for proof of this time reset back in episode 9, when Tyrese died, and we haven't seen anything that screams reset, time fake-out, or anything related. I think part of the reason for the 90 minute finale is because we'll finally find out what this reset relates to, and then they'll have to go back through all this history and show us things that were happening concurrent with the plot we did see, but that they didn't show us. This is where Beth may possibly come in. We'll just have to see. Whatever the reset it--whether it's her or not--I just hope it's super awesome.

**Side note. Did anyone catch that Halo commercial? Being that it was one of the commercials during the show, it's obviously a sponsor, but it wasn't an actual commercial for the Halo product. It just had the Halo 5 logo and then the voice over said, "Watch The Walking Dead season finale next week to get both sides of the truth." Now, I don't know anything--at all--about Halo, so maybe this is a reference that's lost on me, but when I heard it, it got my attention. As in, what the freak does that mean? Again, I think next week's episode is going to be crazy weird as they show us the time reset thing and things are going to happen that no one is even conceiving of right now.**

Also, we never got any closure for her character--a burial, time spent with her and the other characters, etc. This is where a lot of the theories about her character spring from. And it's not just people being whiny. It's really weird for this show not to give us closure on the death of a major character. Bob, Tyrese, and Noah all got more closure than she did. It's just weird. Plus there's a lot of evidence that they filmed a lot more in/around/outside of Atlanta than we've actually seen on the show. So, I'm hoping that next week, interspersed with Daryl and Aaron's story line, we'll finally seen in flashback what happened to Beth's body. I'm thinking that will be the case. And if it is, that's interesting. If she really is dead and they simply buried her or whatever, why wait until the season finale to show us that? There's something weird going on. Something more to it. Whether it's that she's alive or something else entirely, I just hope it's epic. 

Someone pointed something out to me last week that rings true to me. Back in episode 10, Maggie was super-disturbed when she found a blond walker who'd been tied up and left in the trunk of a car. It was obvious at the time that she was thinking about Beth (kidnapped, taken away in a car, blond hair, etc.). Someone pointed out that if you take the symbolism all the way, perhaps they actually left Beth in the trunk of a car. That's why Maggie was so freaked out, and Glenn was so understanding. So, if I had to hazard guess, that'd be it: they got swarmed with walkers and ended up leaving her body in a trunk so she wouldn't be eaten.

Also, where is Morgan? We must have seen him after the credits in two episodes during the first half of the season for some reason. I think we may see him next episode as well. (If you've paid attention to any of the Beth theories, you know that there's a lot of evidence that Beth and Morgan may show up together. If we see one, we may see the other. Maybe. Hopefully. :D)

Finally, just one more thing that occurred to me while watching this episode. If we see Beth, and it is a big if, I think she'll be with these terrible wolf-group. I've seen people espouse the theory that the wolves already have her, and I wasn't sure if I bought into it. But. While we didn't see any obvious sign of her in this episode, there was one thing that might have pointed to her. When Daryl and Aaron found that woman tied to the tree, she was blond. It was kind of weird that they made such a point about Daryl looking at her face. He looked super-disturbed when he did it. And granted, it was a disturbing thing to find anyway. And they might have just wanted to show us the W on her forehead, but it's not like we haven't seen that before. I almost felt like he was thinking about Beth when he looked at her face. It was obvious, even before he did, that it wasn't her--wrong build--but I still think it might have symbolized her in some way. Maybe if she is with these wolves, they'll try to do the same to her: tie her up and leave her for the walkers, and Daryl will have to get there in time to save her. This may also be why they made a point of saying everything Daryl and Aaron found had "just happened." Like if they'd gotten there sooner, they could have saved some of the people. 

**After looking on Tumblr, I'm definitely not the only one who saw this connection between the blond, dead woman and Beth. I found several things that made me laugh that were all, "OMG DARYL WAS CHECKING TO SEE IF IT WAS BETH ON THAT TREE!!!" All caps and everything. I had to smile.***

Anyway, like I said, we'll just have to see what the finale holds. It's going to be a long week.

Thoughts on this episode? Like? Dislike? Something in between?

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