In the previous episode of The Walking Dead, we caught up with Daryl, Sasha and Abraham as they were attacked by an unknown group, and Daryl was separated from the others. On his own, Daryl was kidnapped but then spent most of the episode trying to help his captors evade the same group who attacked him. His kidnappers returned his kindness by stealing his bike and crossbow. Meanwhile, Abraham and Sasha grew closer during their time together, with Abraham confessing that he would like to get to know Sasha much better. I doubt Rosita will be pleased by this development. Daryl eventually reunited with his friends, but as they were headed back to Alexandria, they received a call for help over the radio.
In this episode, “Heads Up,” the action shifts back to Alexandria again in the lead-up to the mid-season finale, and we finally learn Glenn’s fate.
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The episode opens with the answer we have all been waiting for. Once again, we see Glenn and Nicholas on that dumpster. They fall off and, as many people predicted, Nicholas’ body lands on top of Glenn. The walkers start eating Nicholas, but Glenn is unharmed. He manages to crawl out from under Nicholas’ body and he pulls himself under the dumpster. He then kills the few walkers who notice him and their bodies create a barrier between Glenn and the rest of the walkers so they cannot get to him. Good going, Glenn! Glenn is able to wait it out all night until the walkers drift away.
Once the walkers clear out of the alley the next day, Glenn crawls out from under the dumpster. He is okay, but he is out of water. Luckily, Enid just so happens to be hiding in a building in that very alley and she throws him a bottle of water. Glenn follows Enid into the building and asks her what happened back in Alexandria. Enid says what always happens: people died. Glenn asks if it was because of the herd, but Enid explains that people attacked the community, not walkers. Glenn asks if Maggie is okay and Enid does not answer him. He realizes this is because she is getting out of the building so she can run away from him.
Instead of heading for home, Glenn goes after Enid. He manages to track her down and tells her that he is not going back without her. Enid responds to his concern by pulling a gun on him. Glenn easily takes the gun away from Enid and insists that she is coming back with him because the herd is headed toward Alexandria and they need to get back.
On their way home, Glenn and Enid find some of the balloons the group set up to help mark their route while directing the herd. While Enid uses the helium tank to make more balloons, they discuss what it is like to be “orphaned by walkers.” Glenn knows that Enid is scared, but he tells her that the way to honor the dead is by going on. You find a way to live because they don’t get to.
When Glenn and Enid finally make it to the borders of Alexandria, they see the herd surrounding the community. Clearly, there is no easy way in. Enid starts to leave again, but Glenn stops her. She asks him what the point is of going on in a world that is trying to die. Glenn points out that the walls are still up and says they will figure something out. Though we do not see them do it, they apparently release the balloons as a sign to the people back home.
The Problem with the Glenn Storyline
My main issue with this “dead or alive” stunt the show pulled with Glenn is that I cannot see the point of it beyond pure shock value. Did the showrunners want us to believe that Glenn was dead or did they assume we would spend the past few weeks debating his chances of survival? Is this situation going to spark some big changes in Glenn’s character that couldn’t have happened without putting him through another near-death experience? Was this whole situation created just so Glenn could bond with Enid or to show the audience what it’s like living in the zombie apocalypse and not knowing the fate of those you love?
While I can accept the latter as the reason for this stunt, it will be a problem if the show decides to kill Glenn somewhere down the line. His death will no longer have the impact it should because a good chunk of the audience has already grieved for him. As far as I’m concerned, this stunt only works if Glenn survives until the end of the series. So I will be keeping my fingers crossed that the writers intend to make Glenn the last man standing.
Back in Alexandria…
While Glenn and Enid are making their way home, everyone back in Alexandria is focusing on moving past the Wolves’ attack and how to get the herd walkers away from the community. Rick and Maggie discuss trying to find a way to drive the walkers away even though the others have not returned yet. Rick says that if they take their time and do it right, they can clear the walkers out so Glenn and the others can walk right back through the gate. Maggie is still waiting and watching for a signal from Glenn in the hopes that he is still alive.
Rick also talks to Michonne about how to handle the herd. He has some good ideas, but he only wants to use their people to get the job done. Michonne points out that they have the time now to work with the Alexandrians and there is really no excuse not to. Later on, Rick is working on reinforcing the wall and Tobin gives him a hand. They are working well together and it gives them a chance to chat. Tobin says things moved slow in Alexandria until they started moving too fast too quickly, but he asks Rick not to give up on them. Rick seems to be considering giving these people a chance.
Alas, Spencer almost throws a wrench in Rick’s desire to work with the Alexandrians when he pulls a stupid move to try and get to a car in order to drive the herd away. He is trying to cross over the wall on a wire and it starts to slip, leaving him dangling over the walkers. Rick and Tara immediately rush to help him, with Tara taking out some of the walkers, while Rick and some of the others try to pull Spencer back over the wall. They manage to get Spencer to safety, but Rick is angry that Tara would risk herself to help “these people.” Spencer says he was just trying to help and Rick lays into him about taking such a risk without knowing what he is doing. Spencer points out that if he had told Rick his idea, Rick probably would not have listened to him.
Later on, Rick is back reinforcing the wall when Deanna comes over to thank him for saving Spencer’s life. Rick tells her that Spencer’s stunt gave him an opportunity to get over the wall and get to a car, but doing so would have meant that Spencer died. Rick says he saved Spencer because he is Deanna’s son, but Deanna says that was the wrong answer. As we see Rick’s people working with the Alexandrians to rebuild the community, they all notice some balloons in the sky. Maggie runs over, realizing that it is a sign from Glenn. But just as everyone is about to celebrate, the guard tower starts to collapse, bringing down a section of the wall. This is the cliffhanger the episode ends on, giving us a good idea of the chaos to come in the mid-season finale.
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The Alexandrians are not the only ones Rick has some issues with in this episode. Rick, Michonne and Carol all gather to confront Morgan about his actions when the Wolves attacked. Rick knows that five of the Wolves managed to get out of Alexandria alive and they ask Morgan if he let them go. Morgan admits to letting the Wolves leave Alexandria alive and he says it is because all life is precious. Morgan says he knows firsthand that people can change because not only did he change, but so did the three people sitting with him. Michonne points out that Morgan might not be able to hold on to his “no killing” policy in this world because things are not that simple, and Rick asks Morgan if he really thinks he can survive in this world without getting blood on his hands. Morgan does not know.
After his chat with Rick and the others, Morgan goes to see Denise. He asks her if the community is well-stocked with antibiotics and she says they are. He explains that he needs to dress a wound, but he does not know if it is infected and he does not want to waste the medicine if it’s not. He also explains that it is not his wound.
As Morgan is leading Denise to where he is keeping the wounded Wolf, Carol spots them sneaking around and gets suspicious. After leaving Judith with Jessie, Carol heads over to where Morgan is keeping the Wolf and asks him what he is hiding. Alas, I doubt Carol will have time to be concerned about Morgan’s Wolf prisoner, given that the community is about to be over-run with walkers.
— Rick and Carl team up to give Ron more lessons on handling a gun. Neither of them seems to understand why Ron actually wants that gun, as they assume he simply wants to learn how to defend himself. After their lesson, Rick lets Ron hold onto one of the guns but does not give him the bullets. But a quick trip to the armory solves that problem, and Ron ends the episode about to pull a loaded gun on an unsuspecting Carl. Is Ron planning to kill Carl because of what Rick did to his father or because he thinks Carl “stole” his girlfriend?
— Rick is not the only one giving lessons in this episode. Rosita is also giving weapons training to some of the Alexandrians — and a very unhappy Eugene. When she sees Eugene hesitating to practice with his blade, Rosita confronts him about his fear of dying. She gives a very telling speech about how death is not what he should be scared of: living is. While I am thrilled to have even this small moment with Rosita, I really wish the show would use her more. She is probably the most underused member of the main cast, and that includes the Alexandrians. If she survives the mid-season finale, I hope we see more of her in the second half of the season.
What did you think of this episode of The Walking Dead? Were you one of the many who believed Glenn survived or were you surprised by this development? Was the dumpster gag as ridiculous as I think it was? Am I the only one who thinks it is unlikely that Glenn would not have been bitten or scratched by any of those many walkers? What do you think of Glenn’s relationship with Enid? Will he and Maggie take Enid in, assuming they all survive the mid-season finale? Will Rosita’s lessons come in handy now that the Alexandrians have to face a real threat? Will they be able to step up and help Rick’s group deal with the herd? I imagine the community will survive this latest threat, but how many people will be lost in the fight? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9pm on AMC.
(Image courtesy of AMC)