During this episode, was anyone else thinking, “Finally!”. Don’t get me wrong. The last few episodes were definitely needed from a character development standpoint (something that The Walking Dead has been getting somewhat better about, at least for the core group), but there was also a whole lot of not much happening in them. Not that the show actually NEEDS to be action-packed every week, but there was relative quiet ever since the gang made it to Alexandria. The survival drama got replaced with a lot of survivor drama, complete with getting-to-know-you moments and a rollicking good party. Given all of that, it was about time for a motherdick of an episode.
Wait, “motherdick”? Seems that the writers are still working on dialogue. Either that, or they’re letting the actors ad lib a bit, and they somehow knew that “porchdick” would be a trending topic after our first meeting with Pete. Verbiage aside, however, and this episode of The Walking Dead actually hit on a lot of levels. It featured some interpersonal drama, showcased some action, and left things a bloody mess. Plus, we’re left hanging with the fate of one of our gang. Things clearly aren’t quite as peachy in Alexandria as many seemed to want to believe, and Rick’s group is pretty quickly getting themselves put into more positions where they actually could control the fate of the town. Heck, even Noah seemed ready to take on some serious responsibility, even if he did make alarm bells ring by saying he’d be around for the long haul. Let’s just hope that the show didn’t burn off a lot of their goodwill this week, because we’ve got more to do before we get to the finale. And we all know what happens when we aren’t careful about how much we “Spend”.
Eugene has done a lot of things that people in the show would consider dumb. The biggest one, of course, was lying to Abraham about why he wanted to go to DC, and exaggerating his own usefulness. Of the course of “Spend”, we actually get to watch Eugene figure out how to stand up for himself, and, more importantly, take care of someone else. So what did he do that placed him on the list? It was early on, when he and Tara were checking around the side of the warehouse. During their sweep, Eugene made it clear that he believes that he’s already accomplished a lot for the group, by getting them to Washington. Um, Eugene, you mentioned it, under false pretenses, and then THEY got YOU there. Also, if it hadn’t been for Noah, they might not have traveled in this particular direction, so you didn’t really have as much control as you seem to believe you did.
Pete’s moment becomes SO MUCH WORSE when you look at it in context with Sam’s statements to Carol. However, even without that, there’s just something incredibly dumb about showing up at the house of the new face of law enforcement for your community, smelling like a brewery. Yes, Rick was willing to cut loose a little at the party, but he’s one of two constables for Alexandria, which means the odds of him being “on the clock” are pretty darned good. It can seem like Pete was just trying to find out what Rick’s feelings towards Jessie are, or even an honest attempt to start over and truly become friends, but just heading to Rick’s house drunk in the middle of the day only served to show how far apart from each other these two men are, especially in life experience. But hey, nice job reminding Rick that he should get his kids checked out by a doctor.
Remember Aiden? This was the guy that, only a few episodes, got punched out because he was pretty much asking for it. However, he’s still clearly in charge of the scavenging expeditions, so he gets his crew assembled to head off and get those much-needed supplies. Not only does Aiden make sure that no real conversation and planning can happen before reaching their destination, thanks to blasting music from the van, but, inside the warehouse, he continues to unload body shots at a walker who’s decked out with grenades. Admittedly, grenade-walker was wearing a helmet, so head shots would have been nearly impossible, but you shot the legs to knock it down. Let it lie, or carefully move closer to bash the brains. Instead, more bullets fired into the body, which, in normal situations, was worthless, and, in this situation, was almost immediately fatal. At least Aiden was willing to sacrifice himself at the end for the rest, giving him the tiniest little redemption arc. It’s more than some get.
If Aiden is Dumb Thing 1, then Nicholas is Dumb Thing 2 (numbers only denote hierarchy within Alexandria, not actual level of stupidity). He was part of the issue a couple of weeks ago, and he’s just kept his foot on the moron accelerator. This week, despite everyone telling him that they should actually scope out the warehouse to make sure it’s safe, he firmly believes that they’ll just go right out the front door. He believes this so strongly, that he just follows through with this plan, even when everything’s falling apart (it should be noted that the van was CLEARLY still around back, where they’d left it). Not only is he insistent on not leaving the way they came in, but, when he gets to the front and sees a horde outside, he barges through anyway. Does Nicholas pay for his mistake, however? Of course not. This is a man who has to live to dumb again, but his actions directly cost Noah. Listen, Nicholas, when Eugene thinks you’re being a coward, just suck it up and admit it.
1. Father Gabriel
Oh, Father Gabriel. Clearly, the apocalypse has taught you nothing. You lost your congregation because you were too cowardly to let them in to your sanctuary. When you decided to strike out on your own, it was only through circumstance that Rick and his group stumbled across you, and saved your life. Since that point, yes, they’ve committed some terrible acts (although even you would be hard-pressed to say that letting the cannibals live would have been better), but they’ve helped you get all the way to what appears to be a truly safe environment. So how do you reward them for this? By going behind their backs and telling Deanna, the de facto leader of Alexandria, that they should all be kicked out and that they’re truly evil. Look, you even compared them to Satan. Yes, you feel bad about the things they’ve done for survival, but maybe you should have found a way to say all of that during your interview process, instead of after watching them take on more of the authority roles for the town. Or, if you really wanted to betray them, couldn’t you have at least done so for a few silver pieces?
Two weeks left to the season. Generally, the penultimate and final episodes of the season have more than their fair share of stupidity, and this year we’ll be spending a few more minutes with the gang, so who knows what’s in store?