After an episode filled with violence and loss, ‘The Walking Dead’ takes a breather this week and presents one of the more lighthearted entries in the series… well, at least as lighthearted as a show such as this one can afford to get. It also introduces viewers to a new major character, whose true motivations are yet to be established.
As soon as the episode begins (to the tune of Boston’s “More Than a Feeling”), it quickly becomes apparent that the show has taken a time jump of at least several weeks. (Note: Actress Danai Gurira confirmed on ‘The Talking Dead’ that the jump is supposed to be two months.) That means things have returned to some sense of normalcy in Alexandria. Carl now dons a white patch over his right eye but is otherwise in good health. As the day begins, Rick and Daryl are planning to go out on a supply run, and Denise asks Daryl if – in addition to the medical supply list she’s provided – he’ll see if he can find some “pop.” Being from the South, Daryl has no idea that this is what Northerners call soda, so she has to explain it to him. Daryl says he’ll try to track some down for her. (She actually wants to give it to Tara as a surprise.)
While Rick and Daryl are heading out (in a car that looks suspiciously like the same Chrysler 300 that Walter White once drove in ‘Breaking Bad’… a nod toward that series by the show-runners, perhaps?), Maggie tells Enid that she’s worried about her being so quiet and staying to herself. Maggie wants her to talk when she’s ready. Meanwhile, Michonne notices Spencer wandering off into the woods with a gun and a shovel, so she follows him to see what he’s up to.
While at a grain storage building looking for Sorghum (which Eugene told them about as they were leaving), Rick and Daryl discover a truck loaded with supplies. They ditch their car and drive the truck back instead. However, they take a side-trip to an abandoned gas station so Daryl can find some soda to bring back to Denise. A vending machine is lying on its side in the parking lot, but the two men have trouble flipping it over. They chain it to the truck and manage to flip it.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, a mysterious bearded man appears. Rick and Daryl immediately pull their guns on him. The man says he’s running from about ten Walkers who should arrive shortly. He introduces himself as Paul Rovia (Tom Payne) and says that everyone calls him “Jesus.” When Rick starts to ask him the famous three questions (which begin with “How many Walkers have you killed?”), Jesus runs off. Hearing what they believe to be gunshots behind the gas station, Rick and Daryl run around the building to discover that Jesus set off a bunch of firecrackers. It was a distraction so that he could drive off with their supply truck. Jesus is one sneaky bastard!
Michonne catches up with Spencer in the woods and wants to know why he’s out there. Spencer explains that he comes out to walk every day after his shift duties are finished, but he won’t tell Michonne why he’s carrying a shovel. Meanwhile, Carl and Enid have also come out to the woods, basically just to hang out. Enid eventually confesses that she doesn’t want to do that anymore. Carl sees a Walker, and although Enid insists that they just run away, Carl knocks it down but doesn’t kill it. We’ll find out why later in the episode.
Following the scrape marks left by the vending machine still chained to their truck, Rick and Daryl are able to track down Jesus and get the truck back. They tie him up, but Rick tells him he hasn’t made the knots very tight – just tight enough to give them time to get away from him. However, they aren’t down the road in the vehicle very long before they hear a noise on the roof. Jesus has miraculously (sorry!) escaped his bonds, chased them down on foot, and is now on top of the truck. Going off road into a field with other deserted vehicles (and some Walkers tied to them), Daryl jumps out of the truck and chases after Jesus. Rick stops to get out of the truck and take care of the nearby Walkers. Daryl is able to knock Jesus unconscious, but not before the truck – and all the supplies in it – roll into a nearby lake and sink. Daryl thinks they should put Jesus up in a tree (honestly, I’m surprised Daryl didn’t suggest nailing him to one!) and leave him there, but Rick decides to take him back to Alexandria with them.
We finally find out what Spencer’s deal is after Carl sends the Walker toward him and Michonne. As it turns out, it’s not just any Walker; it’s Deanna, who I guess never used that final bullet on herself. With Michonne holding her, Spencer uses a knife to put his mother out of her misery. Now we know that the shovel was so Spencer could bury his mother. When Michonne returns to Alexandria that evening, she wants to know why Carl just didn’t kill Deanna when he had the chance. Carl says that she should have been killed by someone who loves her, and he’d do the same for Michonne if the time came.
Rick and Daryl return to Alexandria and take the still unconscious Jesus to the infirmary, where they lock him up and leave a note for him. After Rick gets home, Michonne joins him on the couch. Rick confesses that he couldn’t find any toothpaste for her (she had asked him to look for some before he left), but he did bring her back some mints. The two hold hands for a bit, make goo-goo eyes at each other, and Rick – who seems to be the kiss of death for any woman he’s around – leans in for a kiss. They quickly start making out. After a night of lovemaking, the two are awakened in bed by Jesus, who has escaped from the infirmary and tells them, “We should talk.”
While this is a pretty zombie-light episode of the series, it’s also pretty entertaining, particularly all the scenes involving Rick, Daryl and Jesus. I’m not caught up on the comic books, but the next few weeks should reveal if the Alexandrians have a friend in Jesus… or not.