Recap: The Walking Dead, “Them” (5×10)
Amongst the darkness and reflection of last week’s episode, you could see our survivors grasping for hope. Michonne was grasping, trying to find a way to stay or a reason to go. Rick and Glenn were grasping, trying to make sense of yet another dead end. Noah was grasping and quickly losing the hope he had. There is not a lot of joy in this world that we follow and what little of it there is, it is far away from our group.
Our survivors are in rough shape. Maggie is crushed, crumpled against a tree, sobbing. As she gets up slowly, looking sadly at the walker before knifing it in the head, you can see how detached she is from this world and her humanity. Darryl is alone, digging for and eating a worm. My husband, sitting next to me, makes his first squeamish noise in the entire run of this show. Using your already-bitten-arm to fend of zombies? No problem. Eating a person-burger while you talk to that person, ah, that’s fine. Ohmygosh Darryl just ate a live worm? Blech!
I have no words right now.
While Darryl is munching on worms, Sasha’s looking for water and only coming up with dead frogs. They have no water and little hope. Sasha and Maggie, who each lost a sibling in the past week, are in bad shape.
Like the rest of the group, the car is out of fuel. And so they walk. (Put a hat on that baby.) Darryl keeps going off to look for food or water, and Carol follows behind.She reminds him what he told her, that they’re not dead yet and that’s what matters. Carol knows him, knows he needs to let himself feel. With a kiss on the forehead, she leaves him to himself.
Father Gabriel tries to comfort Maggie and she’s not having it. He had a job – to protect his flock. And he didn’t do that, he hid. He can’t act like that didn’t happen. Boom.
The group is being followed by an increasing number of walkers and the beautiful, ominous shots of them coming up on the group as they walk up the hill show just how much they are all trying to conserve their energy. Michonne sees the crazy creeping in Sasha’s eyes and she reminds her that when Tyreese was pissed after what he lost, it made him stupid. And that anger is going to make Sasha stupid too.
Rick and the team set themselves up by a ravine, to make it easier to fend off the growing group of walkers behind them. Sasha however, destroys that plan, barreling forward at full force. When it is all done, when Michonne told her to stop. Sasha gives her a look that could kill someone.
After a failed raid of a few cars, the group is resting. Eugene makes the ominous comment that he truly does not know if things can get worse. And just like that they do. A pack of wild dogs, a new foe for our group. And before Rick can even devise a plan, Sasha snipes the whole pack. Without a word or a look, Rick stands up and starts making a fire.
Sasha doesn’t want to hear that Noah isn’t sure he’s going to make it. Maggie is carrying a broken music box and refusing water. The grief is think and unforgiving. Glenn pushes through, reminder her that she is a fighter.
“Maybe it’s a curse nowadays, but I don’t think so. We fought to be here and we have to keep fighting.”
Abraham is the next in line to point out to Sasha that they way she’s going, she’s the one who is going to make things worse. Sasha is uninterested in friendly conversation.
After successfully getting through to Maggie, Glenn tries his anti-grief strategy on Darryl. “We can make it together but we can only make it together.” Darryl isn’t in a together mood. He walks off again, lights a smoke and then puts it out on his hand, poking the burn for good measure. It’s not surprising that Darryl requires a physical catalyst for emotion considering both his past and the trauma he lives every day. With the burn, he lets himself feel, to cry for Beth’s loss.
Darryl comes back and finds the group. They’ve come across a pile of water bottles in the road “from a friend.” Eugene is willing to act as quality control but Abraham won’t allow it. The habit of keeping him safe is hard to break. And then, it rains.
Most of the group rejoices, Maggie and Sasha stare. Father Gabriel apologizes to the sky. Rick goes into action, trying to collect the rain water. But it quickly turns to a dangerous storm and the group seeks shelter.
Michonne and Rick continue their philosophical debate about the essence of now, the truth of the world. Rick is walking through the world like his grandfather did in Germany during World War II. His grandfather said he was dead the minute he went into enemy territory. He woke up every day, said rest in peace and went to war.
“We do what we need to do and then we live. No matter what we find in DC, we’ll be ok. Because this is how we survive. We tell ourselves that we are the Walking Dead.”
It is nearly impossible to say aloud the literal title of the show/movie/book without it being jarring to the audience. This was, despite the wonderful delivery, no different. It’s Darryl this time, not Michonne, who argues that there is still some humanity left.
Darryl walks away and stands by the barn doors. A strategic lightning flash shows a rather large horde of walkers on the way. Darryl’s holding the barn doors closed. Maggie goes to join. Then Sasha. The rest of the group gets up. Holding the doors closed, together. Leaving baby Judith.
Maggie wakes up first, goes over to Darryl. “It’s ok to rest now.” Was it all just a dream? Maggie and her newly fixed music box wake Sasha and go outside. Nope, not a dream. A fucking tornado came through, missed the house and knocked out a horde.
Sasha and Maggie go for a walk and sit, watching the sunrise. Sasha doesn’t know if she’s going to make it. But Maggie has her fight back in her. Which is good, because they have a visitor.
Well hello there, Aaron. It seems he’s the “friend” who left the water. And he’d like to talk to Rick, the person in charge. It seems he has some good news…
Odds & Ends
– The bleakness of the walker bound and gagged in the trunk – showing the evil of both humanity and the walkers at once – was just too much for Maggie to handle and a perfect punctuation on her desire to give in.
– The show has conditioned me to not trust any friendly face. It seems so unlikely that Aaron is actually a good guy that that might be the best possible surprise for his character.