This week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” was a depressing affair with the group walking as if in slow motion as they were dehydrated and down from some recent deaths. They’re barely keeping ahead of the walkers who are just like a shadow on them for much of the episode. The episode opened with Maggie sobbing in the woods alone, over her murdered sister Beth. She is interrupted by a walker that is more of a nuisance than a threat. He is one of the least athletic walkers in “Walking Dead” history as he can’t even navigate around a tree to make an aggressive grab at Maggie. She takes a break from her grief to off the zombie with little effort.
Next we see Daryl eating an earthworm showing that this is what the group has been driven to resort to. Then Sasha investigates a dried up creek bed with dead frogs all along it. The group is walking through a drought stricken area on their way to D.C. and they are low on water. To say the entire group looked haggard is understating it. The crew walking along the road looking thirsty paid homage to a scene in “Lonesome Dove” where the cattle drive had to endure 40 miles of no fresh water. Well Rick‘s group didn’t have any horses like those cowboys and their vehicle was out of gas so they had to travel by foot. That makes me think that traveling by horse would be a much better way to move about in this jacked up world. No dead car batteries, no fuel needed except a grassy field, and no repair work to be done.
As the group makes their way slowly down the highway, Carol tries to encourage Daryl. He is certainly not over the fact that Beth got her brains blown all over a hospital hallway. Daryl is holding in all the hurt and I have a feeling it’s going to come out in a big ball of violence once another threat pops up.
A group of thirsty zombies is slowly following the slow humans, but don’t appear to be close enough to bother with. Sasha tells Michonne that she can “take em”. She wants to get some of the stress off her chest from losing Tyrese in last week’s episode. The group lets the walkers catch up to them at a bridge and begin sidestepping the idiot rotters and giving them a simple shove over the edge of the bridge. This is to conserve what little energy they have left from lack of food and water. This plan works well until Sasha goes rogue and begins her Rambo impersonation, stabbing the undead in the head. This causes a mess and Rick is nearly bitten in the melee. They finish off the stragglers as Daryl saved Rick from a deadly bite.
Maggie finds a walker tied up in the trunk of a car. Finds like this are odd and we don’t really know the situation. This lady could have been a walker restrained by family who didn’t have a better plan to deal with her undeadness. Or it could have been a kidnapping victim that died in the car of her abductor only to become a rotter. Whatever the case, the misery was ended by Glenn with a blade to the dome.
As the group rested along the roadside things got a bit worse for a scond when a pack of wild dogs showed up. The crew was startled, but Maggie made quick work of what used to be man’s best friends. Rick immediately began making a fire to cook up the German Sherperd, Doberman Pinscher, and other mutts. Hard times call for hard decisions and gruesome meals. As the group enjoys their dog treats, Gabriel tosses his priest’s collar into the fire. Eating animals that use to be someone’s pets will make a man question his faith. The collar looked pretty uncomfortable anyway so it was a good decision nonetheless.
Maggie is still down and says that she didn’t want to believe that Beth was alive after she was taken from Daryl originally. As harsh as it might sound to some people this does better explain her apparent lack of interest in her sister the entire time she was missing. This is the writers trying to backtrack and improve a situation that so many fans were disappointed with. Meanwhile big Abraham is consuming a ton of alcohol, which is dumb with walkers all around, not to mention he is already dehydrated.
Lack of H20 can make folks pretty salty as we see with Rick’s group as they do a little sniping among each other. Daryl needs a moment so he heads off in to the woods alone. Dude has a smoke and gets out a good cry over Beth. She may have been the hottest woman left on the planet, so I can see how he is so emotional. A zombie apocalyptic world isn’t the best place to find an attractive soul mate.
The group has some good luck eventually as they walk up on some water jugs set out for them. The note attached says it’s from a friend. Immediately I thought of Morgan who has been trailing them off and on. Eugene grabs some water and is willing to test it out, but Abraham knocks it out of his hands. I thought it was a good idea by Eugene. If he died, so what.
After everyone declined to drink the suspicious water they got a blessing in the form of rain. It was just what they needed, but a storm came with the rainfall so they headed to the barn that Daryl had come across during his cry session. Maggie is still struggling with her emotions and takes it out on a nasty zombie crawling in the barn.
Rick tells the story of his grandfather during World War II. He said that his grandpa went to war everyday as if it was just a job. And it was his job to survive. Their job in this world war is to survive as well, by doing what they have to do to stay alive. Rick says they themselves are the walking dead. Daryl corrects the leader saying, “We’re not them.”
The barn proves not to be such a safe place later that night as a big zombie pack tried to bust in on our heroes. It looked like it might be just a nightmare for Daryl, but turned out to be reality. It took all of Rick’s people to hold back the doors of the barn against the pressure of the zombie pack. It was a symbolic moment as it was the humans up against the zombies in a battle of wills. Luckily for the humans, a giant wind was sweeping through and took care of the walkers for them. The next morning we see the aftermath with tree limbs sticking through several unlucky rotters.
As the sun rises Maggie and Sasha have a moment together and see some hope. Funny how a sunrise can give that back to people even in the monstrous world of ‘The Walking Dead.’ They are startled by a stranger named Aaron who is nicely dressed and looks like a normal guy. That’s probably a good sign he is a homicidal maniac, but we shall see in the next few episodes. The fact that he knows their leader’s name is unsettling, to say the least. He requests a meeting with the former sheriff and that ends the episode for this week. As you can see in the sneak preview below, losing Beth and Tyrese back to back doesn’t scratch the surface of how bad things are about to get for the gang.