We’ve patiently waited a few weeks now for ‘The Walking Dead’ to not only confirm the fate of beloved character Glenn, but also to show us how Rick escaped from the swarm of Walkers surrounding his RV. Rick returns to Alexandria this week, so do we at least find out how he made it back alive? Of course not.
As this week’s episode gets underway, Deanna goes up to one of the points overlooking Alexandria and looks down on some of the residents cleaning up (including dragging away dead bodies) from the Wolf assault. She hears a commotion and looks outside the community walls, were she sees Rick running toward the gate and yelling as a bunch of Walkers trail behind him.
Rick makes it back inside safely, but the community now has a bunch of Walkers outside the walls trying to get in. Rick assures everyone that they’re safe for the time being, that the Walkers only represent about half of what was in the quarry, and that soon as Daryl, Abe and Sasha finish leading the other Walkers away, they’ll return to take care of this group. Aaron has Rick’s back in the conversation and confesses that it was his fault the Wolves found their town in the first place, because he lost his backpack with photos of Alexandria when he and Daryl were out looking for new recruits.
For much of this episode, Deanna seems in a daze about what’s going on in Alexandria. She runs across her son, Spencer, telling other members in the community not to use up all the extra food rations, only to find him later stealing a bunch of rations and booze to get drunk. Spencer blames his mother for creating a place where everyone believed they were safe when they really weren’t, and it looks like Deanna doesn’t disagree with him.
Aaron is walking around when he notices Maggie packing up. He deduces she’s about to go searching for Glenn. (Not only does this episode rob viewers of how Rick made it back, it never shows us the moment where Maggie finds out Glenn is presumed dead.) Aaron also notices some of Alexandria’s kids writing the names of the dead on the wall surrounding the community. Glenn’s is the last name on the list. Aaron goes to confront Maggie, but he tells her he’s not there to stop her from leaving. He wants to help her. The two of them make their way underground to a sewer that leads outside the walls.
Alexandria’s only doctor – the medically challenged Denise (Merritt Wever) – is upset that she can’t figure out how to save a patient. Tara comes in to cheer her up and tells her to never stop trying. Later, Denise tries something after reading a medical book and, sure enough, it works. This results in Denise going and planting a huge, wet kiss on Tara’s lips.
After moving a ladder down in the sewer that was blocking their path, Aaron and Maggie get attacked by a pair of skeletal, sewage-y Walkers. After a few tense moments where Maggie’s life is in jeopardy, Aaron manages to dispose of both of them. They reach the end of the tunnels to the outside, but Maggie changes her mind, starts crying about Glenn, tells Aaron she’s pregnant, and then they both head back to Alexandria. Boy, I’m glad this excursion had a point to it.
That evening, Deanna gets attacked by a lone Walker in town. She picks up a broken bottle (she was returning Spencer’s stolen food to the community pantry) and stabs it over and over again in the chest – which, of course, doesn’t do a whole lot to stop it. Rick comes running in and kills the Walker, and then tells Deanna that the community needs her to lead them. Deanna says Rick is wrong, and it’s him the community really needs.
This week’s episode wraps up with Aaron and Maggie wiping Glenn’s name off the wall, and with Rick (perhaps he heard about Tara and Denise?) going to talk to Jesse in her garage and kissing her. We also see Deanna approaching the gates, slamming hard on them to get the Walkers riled up, and then walking away. However, as she walks by a portion of the outside wall, we can see blood oozing through from the other side. That’s supposed to be a sign that the walls aren’t holding, I assume.
I won’t go so far as to say that this week’s entry is a boring episode (it’s watchable enough), but it certainly seems like filler in terms of any long-range storylines. Yes, we find out that Maggie is pregnant, but how big of a deal is that? It will be just another child that we see sporadically on the show, like baby Judith. Oh, and I’m calling it now: Maggie will have a boy. And probably name him Hershel, although that seems like it might get him beaten up a lot after Walker training class when he’s a kid.
Despite the episode taking place exclusively in Alexandria (aside from those sewer scenes), viewers see nothing of Carol or Morgan, and only a glimpse of Michonne, even though all three of them are inside the town’s walls. What were they doing when all this was going on? Did Rick interact with any of them? Was there a parallel story going in Alexandria that we’ll see in a few weeks? We’ll have to wait and find out.