"The Walking Dead" crew is -- at least for the moment -- in Alexandria to stay. But with Carol, Daryl and Rick broken into different camps about how to handle the naive peaceniks who live there, is this just the calm before the storm? As this week's (March 15) episode "Spend" showed, a storm isn't just a-brewing, it's here.
Whether it's going to blow the whole house down? Well, keep reading:
Father Of The PrideGene Page/AMC
Like last episode's cold open featuring Sasha solo and sad, this week's episode starts with a silent scene of Father Gabriel standing in a new, clean church in Alexandria. He's greeted with a basket of strawberries from Rosemary, but doesn't eat them. Instead he slowly -- then quickly -- tears pages from the church's bible.
He's feeling the pressure of living up to what his lack of pride in abandoning his parishioners has wrought... Can he become a man of God again? Or is it too late for Gabriel to toot his own horn?
By the end, we know how Gabriel has fallen. "Rick and his group, they've done things. They've done unspeakable things," Gabriel tells Deanna, who accepts them for who they are. "They survived, that's what makes them assets," Denna tells Gabriel... Before he warns her that, "They will destroy everything you've been working to build here."
Another Brick In The WallGene Page/AMC
"This is the beginning of this place. You should record all that," Richard tells Noah during an early morning chat. Noah tells him he thinks the walls of the place will fall down (not metaphorically, but you know), but Richard is more optimistic. So who is right? Probably both of them, but that's for time to tell; though there'll be a few twists in this dynamic by episode's end.
The Town BicycleGene Page/AMC
Rick gives Jessie a lesson about Broken Window theory in the sexiest way possible while sexily checking out her sexy broken bike, which is pretty sexy except they don't have sex.
That said: when did Rick become a mack daddy? Was he hiding all his game under that beard? Is he a reverse Sampson? This is important to know.
'Sup, LiesGene Page/AMC
With the group now safe and sound, we've entered a new, weird paradigm for the show: the supply mission B-plot in order to cause drama and actually have some zombies show up at any point. Abraham goes and picks up reinforcements for the wall -- which goes south when a horde of walkers approaches, and he decides to play hero by saving a woman down.
Meanwhile, Eugene once again tries to prove his worth by finding some micro-inverters so he can reverse the dilithium crystals and send Alexandria back in time. JK, of course, but he also has convinced himself that he got the group to Alexandria. Oh, and his cowardice nearly gets everyone killed. Again.
Then they shoot a walker dressed in a protective suit and it FLIPPIN' EXPLODES. So, that was pretty cool.
But in both cases, it's about the characters falling back into old habits -- and then trying to break them. Abraham we'll get to in a second, but Eugene's arc once again boils down to doing something dumb, then doing something dumber to save everyone's life. Well, mostly everyone's.
The Adventures Of Pete & Not PeteGene Page/AMC
It was a short scene, but Jessie' husband Pete manages to convey a crazy amount of menace in just a few seconds, gulping beer and semi-threatening Rick. "Let's be friends man, we'll have to be," Pete says. "Yeah we do," Rick answers. "So we will," Pete says simply, dripping with hatred. And never has someone suggesting they send their kids to the doctor been so terrifying. Pete knows Rick's got a thing for his wife... And with Rick ending the scene fiddling with his wedding ring, yeah, things ain't going to go well for these new "friends."
Carol's Cookies, Part 2Gene Page/AMC
Last week we got Carol's cookie monologue, one of the most harrowing moments in "Walking Dead" history. This week, we get the follow-up, with Carol bullying young Sam, forcing him to go and steal chocolate for her with even more threats of physical and mental harm. Last week it was terrifying. This week? Just a weird old lady bullying a young kid to get some chocolate, which sounds like a plot out of an Adam Sandler movie.
Except of course there's more going on. Carol has seen far too many children she's befriended die, often at her own hand, to bond with another child. So more than any other character, she's going to have a lot of problems opening up to a young person. Compounding that fact? That she realizes Sam's Dad has been beating Jessie (probably). And she tempts Rick, knowing how things have gone in her own past, with her own (departed) husband: "There's only one way this can go with Pete," she tells Rick. "You're going to have to kill him."
Abraham, The One Man ArmyGene Page/AMC
Most badass scene of the episode goes to Abraham, who blasts several walkers in the face point blank, then throws away his gun to bash them one-by-one in the head. In fact, his heroics are so inspiring, the cowards at Alexandria group together to save him! Looks like he's found a new mission in life after all... Inspiring people, and running the construction team.
It doesn't sit well with everyone though, including Deanna, who is concerned that she's given so much power to Rick's group so quickly... Not just Abraham, but Rick, Michonne, Daryl; and even Maggie, who Deanna is relying on for advice. The Alexandrians may be soft, but they're not dumb.
Aiden Ain't A Bettin'Gene Page/AMC
Bye bye, Deanna and Richard's son. He may not have had much of a chance to develop as a character, but he got a longer, grosser goodbye than most others on the show as walkers ripped and tore his flesh to bits after his won brother -- and Glenn -- was unable to remove him from a pylon he was stuck on after the aforementioned exploding walker. It was hella gross. Really. Hella.
Oh, NoahGene Page/AMC
...And then Noah died. Remember when we said Aiden dying was hella gross? Ha ha ha just kidding, Noah's death was even worse. Stuck in a revolving door and surrounded by walkers, Noah gets dragged out and torn to bits as Glenn watches, shaking a terrified. We get to see the walkers eat him, and then rip the cheek off his face. So yeah, good thing we went to go get those micro-transmitters? Yikes.
It's actually surprising how affecting Noah's death was, given we've only known him for a short time. Credit to Tyler James Williams' earnest performance as Noah, more than the relatively underdeveloped character. And though he meant more to, say, Beth Greene than he did to us, it changes the characters around him in significant ways, including how Eugene steps up -- and Glenn shuts down.