Monday, February 16, 2015

The Walking Dead: Season 5 Episode 10 - Them

Hello everyone and welcome back to The Walking Dead!  I haven't been checking the pulse on the inter webs, but I can imagine there might start being some complainers of the beginning of this 2nd half of the season.  We've had 2 fairly slow paced episodes in a row.  While they were slow, they've had their fair share of interesting character moments.  And they're doing a good job of showing the toll that this way of life could potentially take on a person, group of people, or civilization.  So, I'd probably chalk this episode up as "not my favorite" but probably a necessary building block towards what's ahead.  A well made episode of television, but probably not one I'm going to have a lot to discuss!  Let's dive in! 
Discussion Points
  • The crew is enroute to Washington D.C. and they are tired, dehydrated and hungry.  They're 60 miles from D.C. and 3 weeks out of Atlanta.  The team is still reeling from the current blows they've had with the loss of Beth and Tyreese.  
  • The episode focuses on the coping mechanisms of Daryl, Maggie and Sasha.  Daryl puts up the hard exterior and Carol tells him he's going to need to let this affect him to get over it.  Carol states she's the opposite and has to push it out.  Eventually we do see Daryl break off from the group, sit down and have a good cry.  
  • Maggie seems to go through a period of giving up.  She can't even bring herself to kill a walker that was bound and gagged in the trunk of a car.  (I can't help feel like stuff like this and the dismembered bodies from last week are foreshadowing for a group of people they may run into soon.  I mean, aren't we mean to question why she was tied up like that?   I guess it's possible she was bitten, and they couldn't bring themselves to kill her so they tied her up in the trunk and left her for dead.  But, I'll choose theory A for now!)  
  • We finally did get some background to why the sudden emotional changes happened with Maggie in regards to Beth.  Maggie pretty much thought Beth died after the prison invasion.  If we can think all the way back to that last season, Maggie focused all her efforts on saving Glenn.  She had probably already mourned for Beth privately during this period.  But, then she found out Beth was still alive and lost her on the same day and that destroyed her.  
  • Sasha, meanwhile, became a liability in the aftermath of losing Tyreese.  In their weak state, Rick came up with the plan to wait until they have some kind of advantage or high ground before taking on the walker herd behind them.   They got to a small bridge/overpass in the road and waited to trick the walkers into falling.  But Sasha couldn't stick with the plan and started angrily taking out the walkers.  This of course led to an all out brawl.  The best moment was when Rick almost got bit and Daryl ripped the forehead off of the walker with his bare hands.  They keep finding new ways to kill these things! 
  • Sasha also shot a bunch of dogs with a silenced automatic.  While this didn't seem to be how Rick would've handled it she accidentally resolved their food issues.  They all chowed down on some mutt for dinner.  I wondered if this was sort of showing them going down the path of desperation and maybe showing some sympathy for their captors earlier this season in Terminus.  Sympathy is probably the wrong word, but it kind of shows how people could resort to eating people in desperate times.  
  • There were some minor character events too.  Gabriel was still struggling with his new way of life and Maggie made no secret that she isn't thrilled with how he's survived by turning away his flock.  He commented on his collar bothering him, and there was the symbolic moment of him throwing the priest collar into the fire before taking a bite of dog.  
  • Abraham still doesn't look happy about losing his one mission that made sense with getting Eugene to D.C.   They found a bottle of booze and he has drank most of it on his own.  He tried to let Sasha know that she's among friends, and she disagreed.  This tight knit group has faced some adversity lately and they're not doing too well as a whole.  
  • There was discussion about feeling sorry for the children that have to grow up during this era (i.e. Judith and Carl).   I forget who said it, but they said if this is really all they know it's actually easier for them than the rest who are fighting to restore their yesterdays.  
  • Eventually they stumbled upon a pile of bottles of water with a note that says "From a Friend". They all look skeptical at it before Eugene tries to dive right in.  Abraham knocks the water away and they all refuse to drink it.  Moments after the skies open up and it begins to rain.  The whole group is ecstatic and start to open their containers to collect the water.  But, the storm is rolling in and they need shelter.  
  • Fortunately, Daryl's crying time out allowed him to find a barn.  The team cleared the barn out and they stayed in there for shelter.  Maggie and Sasha distanced themselves from the group and Rick told a story about his grandfather in World War II.  The moral of the story is that the way he coped with war was that he told himself he was dead every morning before going to battle so he could get in the right mindset for war.  But he survived the war and eventually returned to a normal life.  It didn't take a genius to figure out Rick was comparing this to their current struggles.  He says this is how they have to be to survive.  And then he did what the whole world has done in their essays since the comic and show have started....he referred to THEMSELVES as The Walking Dead.  whoaaaaa that's the first time they've said the name of the show on the show!!!  SO META!!!!  
  • What followed was the most ridiculous exchange of dialogue on television.  Daryl stood up and said, "no we're not them" (indicating they're not walkers).  The Rick reassured him, "no we're NOT them."  And then Daryl disputed by saying, "we're not them!"  and stormed off.  HUH??? I just didn't find the scene very necessary except to put Daryl in the right position for the incoming walker herd.  And I just laughed at the minimal exchange of words and Rick pretty much immediately having to defend his inspirational speech by disregarding what he said.  Good times!  (And I know Rick was just attempting to clarify not throwing away his speech.  But think about if someone disputed Jack's "Life Together Die Alone" speech right after he got done with it?  Like, "ummm no I'm not living with that dude over there!  He smells!"  You just kind of have to sit there and be like, dude, don't be that guy.)
  • Anyway, Daryl brooded over to the door and through the lighting he saw flashes of a coming walker herd.  He pushed on that door.  Good thing Maggie was close to the door too so she helped push too.  Then Sasha then everyone worked together to keep those biters out.  Carl even put poor Judith on the muddy ground to help out.   They made it through the night! 
  • Daryl and Maggie did some bonding about Beth.  And Daryl fixed a music box that Carl had found and gave to Maggie.  This made her day and then she decided to take Sasha outside so that they could cope and move on together.   Maggie discussed with Sasha how it's painful to know that they're going to make it.  Maggie pretty much has guaranteed she will not die on The Walking Dead.  Not sure if that's a good indication or a bad indication of what's to come!  But judging by her popularity, I'm sure she's not going anywhere soon.  She tried to play the music box and then it wouldn't again.  Well that figures! 
  • Then, a strange man shows up calling himself a friend.  He calls himself Aaron and understood why there were guns pointed at him.  We can assume this is the man that provided the water.  Then he did something creepy and asked them to take him to their leader.  And he said the name RICK.  Uh oh...they have a stalker!   He says he brings good news.  Do we trust him?  ABSOLUTELY NOT!  The immediate thoughts I have are on what we've seen the past couple of episodes.  The dismembered bodies, the bound and gagged woman in the trunk nearby.  Maybe this guy will turn out to be a friend in the long run, but they have every right to not trust him now.  Guess we'll find out soon what his good news is! 
And that my friends, is where I leave you this week.  As always, I found more to discuss than I thought I would.  Let's see how many ways we can debate in the comments how they really ARE the Walking Dead, but then argue that they aren't!  I think we'll get to some pretty interesting and deep conversations about life, the universe and everything!  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!   


MJ said...

Well - we all know this new guy Aaron has to be trouble. And he knows Rick's name ? What ???? Only way for him to know the name is if he is with Morgan. Or he's left over from Terminus or the hospital - which are both hundreds of miles away now. Unless this new guy's group has been following them ? Previews for next week look interesting with him saying 'no matter what I say you won't believe it'. Guy who plays penguin was kinda an odd guest for Talking Dead I thought.

I didn't hate them. And yes - they are showing the toll that is being taken on them as a whole and seperately. Yikes with Daryl putting the cigarette out on his hand - made me sad that he kept wanting to leave the group and be on his own. Huh - didn't even think of why was that walker tied up but your theory makes sense that it has to do with the group that bombed Shirewilt and dismembered the walkers. Was creepy just letting them walkers follow them rather then expend the energy they did not have on killing them. When Rick almost got bit didn't someone's arm get scratched with a knife that could have wlaker blood on it ?

What was with the dead frogs? Were they going for like a biblical plague sort of thing ? I've wondered about the animals left to fend for themselves in past seasons - gross eating the dogs though. But ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

So were we supposed to think that while in that barn a small tornado took out the walkers bangin to get in ? LOL A little odd but ok.

Mike V. said...

Ahh yes the "miracle" walker slaying by nature. I forgot to bring that up! lol Also the miracle rain when they needed water. It seemed like some forces of nature or supernatural forces were helping them when they needed it most. And just when Gabriel gave up his collar. I'm sure these were intentionally symbolic. lol The frog thing too.

I think people have been exposed to walker blood before and it didn't matter. I think it's specifically getting bit that triggers the virus or infection or whatever it is.

Good point about the dude maybe being with Morgan. Morgan did read the letter about Washington so he knows where they're going. I thought possibly Terminus too. But yeah they could just be new stalkers! We'll see!

mj said...

Read interview with new guy on EW - don't read more if you don't want to know

If he is same Aaron fr comics then he is from a walled-off town now called Alexandria safe zone. He is a stalker - known as a recruiter for that pkace and he has been following them to learn what they are about and who the leder are.

I find it hard to swallow that not one person in the group found they were being followed. even exhausted and thirsty/hungry Daryl, carolor michonne should have picked up on it.

Mike V. said...

Interesting stuff!! I'm sure I would've stumbled upon it this week at some point. I'm sure that's the angle they're going with. I agree though, these guys are pretty observant and aware of their surroundings. Tough to believe they wouldn't have been spotted. Of course, maybe these guys are better! Sounds like it'll be a good arc though. Looking forward to the next ep!

Leslie said...

I like the balance of the character driven episodes and the action-packed, extra gory ones.

Sad that Daryl had to burn himself with a cigarette to get that good cry going!

Carl giving Maggie the music box was sweet gesture, but just another thing to carry.

I think it was Abraham that got scratched with Sasha's knife.

My first thought was that Aaron was with Morgan, but he was so clean!

Mike V. said...

@Leslie - yeah I like the balance too. I enjoyed last night's episode. Some times I feel like when I make comments about thinking other people not enjoy I give the impression that I didn't! We must remember I loved season 2 when there were many detractors!! lol But in hindsight, these seasons are much better balanced.

Agree with the other comments too!

MJ said...

Yeah - I hated the farm. LOL Was kinda dull just hangng around there. And in early days of the farm I didn't like Hershel very much. And I was tired of the Shane/Lori/Rick triangle