If you’ve not seen Season 6, Episode 5 of “The Walking Dead” entitled “Now,” then stop reading. Consider this your one and only SPOILER ALERT.
So… Rick escaped his plight at the RV, bringing a ton of walkers back with him to the gates of Alexandria, where they remain, clawing and gnarling on the outside, totally freaking out the townspeople, who, to a man, have decided the end is imminent.
Maggie decides to look for Glenn and Aaron tries to help by showing her the sewer which extends just beyond the Alexandria wall (say what — does it not tie in to a main?) where walkers await, at which point Maggie decides the risk isn’t worth it because… she’s pregnant.
More on that in a bit.
Jessie (who strikes me as a poor man’s Jewel though that’s really neither here nor there) kills a walker (the Wolf she’d killed earlier) and basically tells her fellow Alexandrians that Rick and them were right all along. This is the way it is. They must fight or they’ll all die.
Ron and Carl have this weird exchange that feels like it’s straight out of some bad ABC Afterschool Special. Carl wants to look for Enid but Ron says he won’t let that happen in what’s best described as a touching “Bros before hos” moment. Only they hate each other, which brings Ron’s motive into question.
They scuffle, Ron ends up on his ass, then makes good on his promise to tell Rick that Carl’s wanting to pull a Rick, while still finding the wherewithal to parlay the tattling session into a “Will you teach me to shoot one day, huh, will you?” deal.
Deanna kills a walker but not before Spencer reams her out for leading the Alexandrians into their weakened, naive state. While hammered. And snacking on crackers he stole from the commissary pantry. Which he forbade others from doing.
Bla, bla, bla, names of the dead on the wall. Bla, bla, bla, Aaron and Maggie erase Glenn’s. (OOH. Dead? Alive? WHO KNOWS?!)
Oh, and Rick kisses Jessie. (Good thing Jessie doesn’t have a daughter because then Rick might bust out in song: You know I wish that I had Jessie’s girl. Which would be weird for everyone.)
Anyway, let’s get to the 8 things to know about this episode.
1. It Was Horrible
The only redeeming quality of this installment of The Walking Dead is that it made me appreciate the advantages of binge watching. Because on a rainy Sunday which spontaneously morphs into an iPad-facilitated TWD bender, this episode is nothing more than 44 subpar minutes. But last night, watching in real time, this episode was a monumental disappointment.
2. The Fate of Glenn
There’s no sense in speculating on Glenn’s fate and I’ll tell you why. This show has stopped making sense. It does whatever it wants. At least it did in this episode.
Think about it. Rick was left in quite a pickle when the zombies approached the RV. But this episode begins with him barely beating them to the gate.
Which begs two questions. First, how does he barely beat them to the gate? Unless the RV was broken down half a block away? Because the zombies move slow. You’re telling me he ran all that way without getting a little separation?
But the second question is even bigger. How did Rick escape the RV to begin with? All we see is the end result. A series of breathless “Open the gates” coupled with a zombie cross check or two and some jerry-curl sweat. That’s it.
No explanation of what happened before. No nothing. He just got away.
If the show runners continue to take those types of liberties with the characters, (and let’s hope they don’t) Glenn could pop out of Maggie’s baby shower cake in a blue thong and be like “Dumpsters smell like shit, babe. And, HEY, it’s boy!” and we’d just have to sit there and be cool with it.
3. The Say What? Kiss
The kiss between Rick and Jessie? Whatever. It’s fine. So predictable and within context that it doesn’t even make this list of discussion points. But the kiss between the insecure doctor and Tara is a different matter, as well as another example of the show doing whatever it wants.
The only buildup to any sort of romantic potential between the two is a coupla scenes where the doctor (what’s her name, even?) is all like “Dang it! Being a doctor is SO hard. I can’t do it.” and Tara being like “Sure you can. And OOH, you’re brave!”
“No, I’m telling you, I can’t. I just wanna go back to my apartment, pet my nine cats and read a book.”
“But don’t you see? You’re trying! Worst case, you’ll definitely get a participation trophy!”
Here’s the problem. We’re asked to care about a character we just don’t care about. (At least I don’t. I didn’t even bother to Google her name…) And then we’re asked to believe something profound enough transpired between the two which would compel Dr. Sneak Attack to plant one on an unsuspecting Tara. And it came off beyond contrived.
I’ve not seen a kiss that awkward since this one:
Or maybe this one:
Or this one:
And indisputably the most contrived same-sex kiss since this one:
Though considerably less hot. (Me-ow, Madonna.)
4. Carol, Michonne
Another hard-to-believe aspect of this episode was the involvement (or lack there of) of Michonne and Carol. Michonne was seen just once (only her back). Carol not at all.
So the episode where Rick comes back to learn that Glenn hasn’t returned never shows dialogue between the A-team players? We see Dr. Feelgood lay a sucker punch on the lips of Tara but we don’t see Michonne tell Maggie that Glenn didn’t make it back?
5. Maggie’s Pregnant
Hooray! Or, whoa. Or whatever you want here. It’s Lori all over again in that they’re eventually going to have to find a safe place for her to give birth. Could that be Alexandria? Or will they have to go on the road again? That’s one way in which this development affects the plot.
The other is that that this may be how Glenn gets sprinkled into future episodes. Flash backs to Maggie and Glenn discussing the pregnancy. Poignant exchanges about the future he’s no longer a part of. Assuming he’s dead, which I, personally, am starting to feel.
6. The Worst Kind of Walker
They’re all horrible, but when Maggie and Aaron happen upon walkers in the sewer, we see the very worst of them. Because if you’re predisposed to dislike walkers, then you simply have to hate walkers of the shit-eating variety.
7. The Worst Kind of Alexandrian
We got a new one, folks. We’ve had Aidan, Pete, Nicholas. Now we’ve got Spencer.
First off, Spencer should never lip off to his mom like that. But next, the hypocrisy is off the charts. Consider the facts. He lays the blame of their community’s current state squarely on Deanna’s shoulders while liquored up on booze he lifted from the commissary. After sternly instructing others to do no such thing. That’s a joke.
But here’s the real hypocrisy. During the would-be pantry raid, one of the Alexandrians gets on him for having left the gate open at the end of Season 5. (It was a miscommunication of sorts between Gabriel and him.) Spencer correctly points out “Yeah, man, that was me, but I also shot the Wolf who was about to drive the semi through the town wall, so let’s hold off on the blame game.”
Yet he turns right around plays it with Deanna?
That dude doesn’t get it and his “It’s okay if only I steal from the commissary” approach is the same approach he took to the blame game. He’s Spencer-centric and will likely be quite the villain in episodes to come. I hope so at least. Because I hate that cat.
Deanna’s storyline was the only one worth following in this episode. She’s understandably in a very dark place. She lost her son. Watched her husband get his throat slit. Watched the Wolves played Zorro with the limbs of her townspeople. And then stood silently as Spencer reamed her out for all she’s done wrong.
But here’s what she’s done right. She finally understands the state of the world and what it takes to live in it.
Remember when she goes bananas on the walker toward the end of the episode? She stabs that thing like 50 times. It’s the nuttiest we’ve seen her. Forget for a second that she’s the only person who doesn’t understand it takes a head shot to kill these guys, and instead focus on this:
Immediately thereafter she tells Rick she wants to live. And we could see it in her actions earlier in the episode. Specifically in her office when she jots down notes on where certain crops should be grown. Deanna wants to live. And she makes that statement while dripping in blood. At a time when it would be fair to question whether she still has all her marbles.
Which makes total sense. Because to survive in that world, you have to be a little loco. She asks Rick if Spencer is right. If her vision of Alexandria is too pie-in-the-sky.
Rick validates her. Spencer’s not right. Her vision isn’t too crazy.
But you get the sense her vision could only come true with guidance from leaders who are a little crazy. That’s Rick’s wheelhouse. Now it seems like Deanna has finally joined him.
Here’s hoping they make the ideal team.