In the previous episode of The Walking Dead, Rick organized several of his people and the Alexandrians on a dangerous mission to lead hundreds of walkers away from Alexandria, but, as per usual, something went wrong. Back in Alexandria, Carol and the others left behind had to step up when the Wolves attacked the community.
In this episode, “Thank You,” Rick and company continue to try and lead the quarry walkers away from Alexandria, but the group gets separated, and while some characters make it back home, others do not. And in a heart-wrenching scene, The Walking Dead delivers one of its most shocking — and most confusing — moments to date.
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Rick Goes It Alone
With the horn drawing about half of the herd off the path, Rick tells Daryl, Sasha and Abraham to stay on the path and keep leading the rest of the herd away from Alexandria. In the meantime, he plans to go off on his own, get the RV, get ahead of the wandering half of the herd and try to redirect them back onto the path. He lays out this plan for the group and tells Michonne and Glenn to get the Alexandrians back home.
But before they can split up, he also tells Michonne and Glenn that they need to get home, even if that means leaving some of the Alexandrians behind, as Rick does not think all of them will make it. At that exact moment, one of the Alexandrians gets killed, practically proving Rick’s point.
While Rick is out on his own, Glenn manages to talk to him over the radio — a nice callback to their first meeting — to explain where his group is and what their plan is. Rick finally makes it to the RV, but when he tries to contact Glenn, there is no answer. He does manage to talk to Daryl and Sasha and tells them they have to finish their mission, even though they are all worried about what is happening back home.
However, before Rick can do that, he is attacked by some Wolves who have snuck up on the RV. Rick deals with them easily enough, but he shoots up the RV in the process, and by the time he tries to get it going again, the RV will not start. The episode ends with Rick all on his own, about to be surrounded by the approaching herd of walkers.
Michonne Takes Charge
While Rick goes off on his own, Michonne and Glenn are tasked with leading a group back home to Alexandria. This group includes Nicholas, Heath and the two other members of Heath’s run team, Scott and Annie, as well as a few Alexandrians I do not recognize. Unfortunately for the already freaked-out Alexandrians, Heath overhears what Rick said about leaving them behind if they cannot keep up. So he already has doubts about Michonne and Glenn’s leadership.
Before the group gets far, they run across some walkers. The Alexandrians try to help Michonne and Glenn take care of them, but one of the Alexandrians fires off his gun and shoots Scott in the leg. Then the guy runs off, leaving everyone else behind. (They find this guy being devoured by walkers later on, so he did not make it far on his own.) Scott is okay despite the gunshot in his leg and Annie has done something to her ankle, but the group keeps going. Alas, one of the nameless Alexandrians gets bitten. He knows what it means, but he wants to try to make it back home so he can say goodbye to his wife.
With several members of the group injured, they decide to stop at a town to patch them up. This is a town Nicholas is familiar with, as he and his team ran into trouble here a while back and it is where they left people behind to die. So Nicholas decides to be helpful and show the rest of the group around the town. They manage to find a store to hide in while they patch up Scott and Annie, but Glenn knows something needs to be done. He comes up with a plan to set a fire in one of the other buildings as a way to distract the herd of walkers headed their way and hopefully keep them from heading through the town toward Alexandria. Nicholas knows of a feed store that should burn easily, so he and Glenn head out together to set up this distraction.
Meanwhile, Michonne is left to lead the rest of the group. Heath continues to challenge her leadership, finally admitting that he overheard what Rick said. But Michonne tells Heath that things are not that simple and sometimes you have no choice but to leave people behind. Heath does not understand that in the way Rick and Michonne do, but he may have a better understanding of that before the end of this episode.
By the time they get Scott and Annie patched up and deal with a few walkers inside the store, the herd of walkers has already made it to the town. So Michonne throws herself into the fray, taking out walkers to clear a path for the others to get out of the store. Alas, shortly thereafter, Annie’s ankle gives out on her and she is swarmed by walkers. She yells at the others to run and leave her before she is consumed.
The rest of the group make it to an alley and find an exit, but they have to make it over a fence before they can escape. Scott and Heath get over easily enough, but Michonne and the man who was bitten have a much harder time. Eventually, the walkers pull the bitten guy down and start devouring him. Michonne gets over the fence and the three remaining group members watch as their friend is eaten. Heath realizes they have no choice but to keep moving and leave him.
At the end of the episode, Michonne, Heath and Scott make it back to Alexandria, but at what cost?
Danai Gurira does a beautiful job with this episode, as Michonne really steps up as a leader and gets her people home. Obviously, they lose a lot of people along the way, but thanks to her leadership, at least three of them make it out alive.
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Did Glenn Just Die?!
Once Glenn and Nicholas head off to start the fire, things do not go their way. They end up trapped in an alley with walkers coming at them from every direction and no exit in sight. So after firing off almost all of their bullets, Glenn and Nicholas climb on top of a dumpster to try and get some distance from the walkers. Alas, things look incredibly bleak for both men, and Nicholas decides he has had enough. Nicholas turns to Glenn, thanks him and then kills himself.
As powerful as this moment is, it is quickly forgotten because the gunshot is enough to knock Nicholas and Glenn off the dumpster. The men are then swarmed by walkers, with someone’s insides being eaten while Glenn’s face is contorted in horror. Is Glenn the one being consumed or has Nicholas’ body fallen on top of him? The answer is not clear in this episode, so I guess we will have to wait and see.
For now, I am choosing to believe that Glenn survives. This seems like such a random death for a character like Glenn. He is not only one of the main characters but also one of the original characters. And while I do believe that almost anyone on this show can die, I do not think the show would kill such an important character in such an ordinary way.
Maybe this is just my denial speaking, but I find it suspicious that no other characters are there to witness Glenn’s death. How will they even know he died? Given the herd of walkers consuming that body, there would likely not be anything left behind for his loved ones to find. The only times before now where someone has “died” without any other characters witnessing the death were in situations where the characters were presumed dead but actually survived, like Merle in season 1 and Carol in season 3. Is this a similar situation? I choose to believe so. Also, it would be a pretty cruel thing to do to the audience to leave Glenn’s fate so ambiguous only to reveal that he is really dead later on.
— While Glenn and Nicholas are moving through the town, they stumble across a walker trapped under a car. Glenn goes to kill it, but Nicholas stops him, saying he knew the man. Apparently, this walker was a 19-year-old kid who was a member of Nicholas’ crew. Nicholas again says that they left him behind, but Glenn tells Nicholas that he is not that guy anymore. And, to be fair, it does seem like Nicholas is trying to change. He does step up a few times this season and may have become a productive member of the group had he survived. So was Glenn right to let him live last season? Does someone like Nicholas deserve a second chance in this world?
— Daryl is not pleased at being told to stay on the path, so when they get close to their destination, Daryl decides to leave Sasha and Abraham to deal with the walkers while he heads home to Alexandria. Sasha and Abraham try to convince him to stay, saying they may not be able to finish the mission without him, but Daryl still takes off. By the end of the episode, Daryl hears Rick’s speech over the radio and decides to turn around. We see him meet up with Sasha and Abraham to finish the mission.
— During his take-down of some walkers, Rick cuts his hand pretty badly. Given a certain something that happens to Rick in the comics, I will be keeping an eye on Rick’s hand situation for the next few episodes.
What did you think of this episode of The Walking Dead? Is Glenn dead? If not, how does he survive? Does someone come along to rescue him? Does he roll under the dumpster and find a way out of the alley? How do you feel about Nicholas’ death? I admit that I actually felt bad for him at the end, despite really disliking him for most of his time on the show. Were you upset about any of the other Alexandrians’ deaths? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9pm on AMC.
(Image courtesy of AMC)