‘The Walking Dead’: Cracking up

The Walking Dead
“Now”
November 8, 2015

Deanna is still not OK, you guys, a whole 72 hours after losing her husband and oldest son. She wanders up to the top of the gate where she happens to overhear Michonne explaining to Maggie that she misplaced Glenn. Whoops. But there’s no time for that, because Rick is suddenly running towards them, screaming at them to OPEN THE GATE, followed by 500 of his newest dead friends.

Inside, Rick explains to the group that though, yes, he just brought a thousand walkers to their front doors, and yes, this is SOOPER SCARY and yes, there are 20 walkers to every one of them, but the walls will hold, and so will they. The others, Daryl, Sasha, Joel Osteen, Abraham, and Glenn will be back any minute now (as for the rest of those guys, Hat Guy, Big Dummy Baby, The Husband …. uh … well … funny story) and it’s going to be totally fine as long everyone stays cool. And, like, really really quiet.

Aaron backs Rick up, explaining that yes, Rick might have just led hundreds and hundreds of walkers to their gates, but he also led hundreds and hundreds of walkers away, too, which he knows somehow, don’t worry about it. The point is, it could be a lot worse! And besides, the whole Wolves thing was really all Aaron’s fault. SRY GUISE.

Rick’s love interest, Jessie, returns to her house to drag a corpse out of the middle of her kitchen and out into the graveyard. However, when she starts burying the body, Rick comes by and tries to stop her, arguing that they don’t bury killers behind the wall. Jessie is like, “OH COME ON. What, we’re going to drag her out there into the middle of a thousand of your closest new friends? Or are you suggesting that we just leave the Wolf corpses out here to rot, because that’s super sanitary.” Point: Jessie.

Over at the pantry, Deanna finds the Alexandrians frantically raiding all the canned green beans and crackers, and is like, “OH COME ON.” But it’s her Worthless Son who steps up to the plate and tells everyone to quit acting like selfish animals and put the food back. And they listen! And Deanna is SO PROUD.

that's my baby so proud

Deanna, inspired by her son’s commitment to the future of Alexandria, draws up plans for crops and training grounds and other stuff, adding at the bottom of the map: “Dolor hic tibi proderit olim,” which translates: “Someday this pain will be useful to you.” Making lemonade out of pantry lemons!

But then she hears a glass break downstairs, where she discovers Worthless Son drunk and surrounded by cracker wrappers and empty cans of green beans, having descended into worthlessness again. “We’re all going to be dead soon, what’s the point,” he argues before blaming Deanna for making him worthless and for getting Lt. Dummy and Nice Architect Fellow killed. Worthless Son is worthless.

Out in the garden, Maggie watches as the other Alexandrians write the fallens’ names on the wall including Joel Osteen and Glenn. WAY TO HAVE FAITH, GUYS. Maggie stomps off to the armory with Aaron trailing behind her, warning that she’s not allowed to go out there looking for Glenn. That is a thing that is not going to happen. But, if it is going to happen — and it looks like it is, what with Maggie strapping on guns and knives and flashlights — he’s coming with her and he can show her a way out of Alexandria that doesn’t involve going through the wall.

Meanwhile, Carl and Ron have a shoving match over Enid and Carl’s plan to go outside the wall to find her. “IMMA TELL,” says that Ron kid.

lucille eyeroll

Oh, and Dr. Denise has this one patient and he’s dying of an infection and she’s all “OH NO I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO.” But then Tara comes in and is like, “He’s not dead yet. So get it together and do your job.” Thusly inspired, Dr. Denise finds something pertinent in one of the medical books, and goes over, and jabs a needle in the patient’s wound and drains it of pus. Somehow this immediately makes him all better, and we can tell because the machines stop frantically beeping — like, right away. Because that’s just how it works. That’s just science. And then Dr. Denise goes outside and kisses Tara square on the mouth because now they are in love or something.

Elsewhere in the compound, Jessie finds herself having to put a knife through the eye of Betsy, a former fellow Alexandrian, now walker, because all the other ladies are a bunch of big babies. Where’s Carol when you need her (like in this entire episode, amirite?)? Jessie then turns to the other ladies and is like, “LOOK, THIS IS LIFE NOW. IF WE DON’T FIGHT, WE DIE. SO QUIT BEING A BUNCH OF SQUEAMISH BABIES, GAH.”

As for Maggie and Aaron, they make their way out of Alexandria through a sewer tunnel which must be extra delightful in the zombie apocalypse. Along the way, they talk responsibility and hope and blah blah blah and then they are attacked by sewer walkers. Maggie finds herself pinned down at one point by a snarling rib cage filled with goo but Aaron saves her, hooray. They eventually reach the end of the tunnel, but, alas, there are still walkers shuffling around outside the exit. Aaron is all ready to do this thing, but Maggie’s like, “NOPE. Changed my mind. I’m pregnant. Let’s go back.”

Back in Alexandria, Ron fulfills his promise to tell on Carl for planning to go look for Enid (but then assures Rick that Carl is currently back at the house with The Baby). He then asks Rick to teach him how to shoot, which, considering Rick killed his father not 3 days ago, just does not seem like a good idea, Rick. This is a bad idea, RICK.

Inside her house, Jessie tries to lure a scared Sam out of his room with a plate of cookies, but Sam is like, “CAROL’S COOKIES OR NOTHING,” and returns to his room in a huff.

That night, Deanna is returning Worthless Son’s pantry bounty, when a walker comes out of nowhere and is all, “Grawr.” Startled, Deanna drops the pantry basket, but manages to grab a broken bottle which she uses to stab the walker repeatedly in the chest. GO FOR THE HEAD, DUMMY. YOU’RE JUST GOING TO WEAR YOURSELF OUT. Rick eventually pulls her off of the walker, and is like, “chill.” She confesses to him that she wants to live, and that she wants Alexandria to stay standing. And so Rick is like, “well, in that case, you need to lead them.” But she just laughs. “They don’t need me, Rick. They need you.”

Actually, they need Carol, but who’s quibbling.

That same night, Maggie and Aaron wipe Glenn’s name off the Dead Wall because GLENN LIVES, Y’ALL.

On the watchtower, Worthless Son relieves Rosita of duty, and she tells him that he did a good job with taking out the truck driver when the Wolves attacked. He’s like: ~shrug~

Over at Jessie’s, Rick explains that he wanted to wait to bury the bodies because of Glenn and Daryl or something. Jessie tells him that while there’s still a chance they could return, they have to live in the moment, that this is what life looks like now. And he’s like, “Ya, I heard about your little speech,” before kissing her square on the mouth because now they are in love or something, nevermind the fact that he SHOT HER HUSBAND IN THE FACE 72 HOURS AGO.

And outside, Deanna goes and bangs on the wall for laffs.

raineesha williams white people crazy reno 911

And the wall either begins dripping blood …. or maybe it’s cracking? You know, like everyone on this show? (According to the AMC’s site’s recap, it’s blood seeping through a crack in the wall. Ummm …. uh oh.)

So this episode.

baby sloth yawn

I mean, I know not every single episode can possibly keep up the pace of the first three of this season, and not every episode can be an intensely quiet character exploration, but omygoodness this episode was boring. I know we needed to check back in on the Alexandrians, and I honestly did not expect an answer to The Glenn Question, but would it have killed them to have given us a little Carol to spice it up?
 
Well, maybe. The thing is, the writers were clearly working with a theme here: transition. And Carol, who has already made quite the transformation from abused wife to biggest badass of them all would have been a distraction from the three women whose stories we were exploring here.

This episode was all about Deanna, Jessie and Maggie, three women who have one terrible thing in common: the recent losses of their husbands. In this episode, each woman journeys towards an acceptance of their new lives; transitions that are symbolized by that tunnel that Maggie must negotiate, that doorway that Jessie reaches through so as to kill her former neighbor, and that walker’s blood in which Deanna symbolically baptizes herself. As they make their way across these thresholds, they are processing and changing, adapting to their new circumstances. And in the end, Deanna chooses to live rather than drown in grief, and she hands the reigns of power over to someone she believes is more prepared to handle them; Maggie accepts that she has other, more important responsibilities now and might just have to live with the not knowing; and Jessie becomes more pragmatic about the new, much more dangerous world she is living in.

That, and she changes from Grieving Widow to Rick’s New Girlfriend in no time flat. Pete who?

But seriously, though, you guys, what happened to Glenn?

twd waiting to see if glenn is alive

The Walking Dead airs Sundays on AMC at 8 p.m.

This post originally appeared on the Hearst site Chron.com.

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