It’s the penultimate episode of ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5, and all the pieces are being put in place for next week’s finale (which will be a 90-minute presentation). In Episode 15, Rick and Pete finally square off, Carl looks like he’s found a girlfriend, and Daryl and Aaron make an ominous discovery outside Alexandria’s walls.
Mourning her son’s death, Deanna plays a CD mix that Aiden had created. It seems like a poor excuse to introduce a song into the series that the show can sell on iTunes, not to mention that it’s a pretty awful song (Nine Inch Nails’ “Somewhat Damaged”). Carol makes a casserole and drops it off at Deanna’s door with a sympathy note, but when Deanna sees it, she leaves the casserole on her front porch and burns the note. Meanwhile, outside the walls somewhere, Daryl and Aaron see a light in the distance and go to investigate.
While Glenn is telling Rick what really happened to Aiden and Noah, Nicholas is being interviewed by Deanna and lies through his teeth about the events. He claims that Glenn was responsible for the deaths. Rick tells Glenn that they don’t need to live by the community’s rules, but Glenn is hopeful that they can work things out, at the very least because that was what Noah wanted. Later, as Rick is on patrol, Pete comes to see him and asks him if he’s okay. Rick stares him down and tells him to, “Keep walking.”
Rick visits Deanna at Aiden’s grave and tells her that they have a problem with Pete. Deanna already knows that Pete has been abusive to Jesse. Rick wants to kill him, but Deanna insists that they exile him. Rick thinks that’s a horrible idea, because they’ll never know when he might come back or what he might do.
Meanwhile, Michonne gets a visit from Rosita, who believes that Sasha spent the whole night up in the watchtower and now nobody knows where she is. They go outside the walls to search for Sasha and come across a number of Walkers who were shot in the backs of their heads. Obviously, Sasha has been hunting and executing them.
Also outside the walls, Carl catches up with Enid and asks her why she goes outside the community. Enid says that she does it so that she doesn’t feel safe – as she believes you shouldn’t feel safe with the world the way it is. After distracting a lone Walker with a kitchen timer (which, honestly, seems like a huge waste of a kitchen timer), the pair encounter a larger group of Walkers and hide in a hollowed-out tree until they pass. The two almost kiss, but Carl pulls back at the last second. Enid is happy, because now it seems that Carl is as afraid of her as she has been of him.
Glenn approaches Nicholas and tells him that all the recent deaths are on his head. He wants Nicholas to know that he knows what kind of person he really is (a coward). Nicholas asks if Glenn is threating him. Glenn replies that no, he’s saving him.
Back out beyond the walls, Michonne and Rosita finally catch up with Sasha, who says she’s sick of playing defense. The three dispose of a number of attacking Walkers, but when the dust settles, Sasha yells at Michonne for helping her out. She seems to be carrying some major guilt around because one of the last things she told Noah was that he wouldn’t survive in this world.
Daryl and Aaron come across the bodies of some dismembered Walkers and then see a female body tied to a tree, gutted out. The victim has a “W” carved in her forehead and hasn’t turned yet, although she starts to when Daryl lifts her head up. He stabs her through the skull to finish her off.
Rick goes to see Jesse in her garage and tells her he that knows Pete is abusing her. Jesse doesn’t understand why Rick cares and tells him that she can take care of herself, then storms back inside her house. Rick looks like he’s going to walk away, but then sees her two sons playing outside and barges inside the house, telling Jesse that he can solve her problem. All she has to do is say “Yes.” Jesse does say “Yes” right at the point when Pete comes in and tells Rick to get the hell out. The two men argue and start fighting, and eventually crash through the house’s front window.
Out on the street, Rick and Pete bash away at each other while nearly everyone in the community comes to break up the fight. Pete hits Jesse when she tries to pull him off, and Rick shoves Carl away. Finally, Deanna gets them to stop. At this point, Rick loses his cool and – quite possibly – some of his sanity as well. He screams at the others that it’s time for them all to start living in the real world. Before things turn any uglier, Michonne comes up behind him and knocks Rick unconscious.
This is another really good episode, although I wish the writers would have kept it vague about whether Pete was beating Jesse or not, or at least not made it such common knowledge to Deanna and some of the others. It could have been an even more interesting dynamic if Rick had gone after Pete and then we later found out that he was mistaken about him. As it is, this episode pretty much confirms that Pete is a no-good bastard, so we don’t feel that Rick is doing the wrong thing when he beats the snot out of him. However, it’s clear that Rick is walking the fine line between sane and crazy again, so it will be interesting to see what happens with him in next week’s finale.
Also of interest is who the heck is carving “W”s into the foreheads of Walkers, and who’s tying up and gutting living people in the nearby woods. I have a feeling they’re one and the same and are most likely going to pose a serious threat to the community in Alexandria. But whether we see them this season or if the writers hold them off to next year is a lingering question.
Next week, we’ll say goodbye to ‘The Walking Dead’ until October. Do you have any predictions about the finale? Will Rick lose his grip on reality? Will Daryl and Aaron find out who’s behind the mutilations of human and Walker alike? Will Carl get his first kiss? Will Sam get more cookies from Carol? Stay tuned!