(photo courtesy of amctv.com)
The Walking Dead “Them” Recap and Review
Sullywood Rating: 7/10 (hear me out 🙂 )
There I am, tomatoes being hurled at myself and The Walking Dead writers for attempting to explain to the audience that this was a very good episode. Enough about the future, let’s recap this week’s episode “Them”, which is of course short for “We ain’t them”, I’ll explain later.
We open with Maggie, not looking so hot. She’s sitting there either doing a crossword puzzle or reflecting on life, probably the latter. We see a walker coming up from behind and Maggie slowly gets up and kills the walker like it ain’t no thang. We cut to Daryl, who is digging in the dirt like a child in the sandbox, looking for gold perhaps? Nope, worms, gummy kind? Nope, apparently the kind you eat when you are really desperate or when you are dared to by your fellow school mates (I myself prefer the gummy variety, more for Daryl!) We see Sasha also looking around the forest, when she sees some dead frogs, and we see now what everyone is looking for, water, where’s Bobby Boucher when you need him?
We now see the group traveling via van when all of a sudden it runs out of gas. More bad news. (This whole like zombie apocalypse thing is becoming a real drag). We also get a timetable because Rick mentions it’s been 3 weeks since Atlanta. Carl (hey there you are!) gives Maggie a broken music box…..thanks?????
Father Gabriel describes this season’s newest fashion trend to Maggie, hair shirts, but she’s not impressed, she already has a few of those apparently. Daryl decides to look for water, which never happens in this episode. Carol goes along for moral support and she lets Daryl know that it’s okay to grieve over Beth. We’ll see if he does, this is Daryl lady come on!
We see the rest of the gang lining up in some weird New England Patriot type formation along a bridge, and we’ve got walkers! But instead of shooting and stabbing them, they simply lure them by the bridge and let them fall into the valley below, pretty cool idea. It’s nice to see some creativity out of the writers. Maybe I missed the explanation as to why they were doing this but I believe it was to save energy and also keep the other walkers calmer? Ahhh alas but we forget that Sasha does what Sasha wants and goes all Mr. Blonde on the walkers. Michonne does not approve.
Daryl is trying something different and looking for water. While watching this, it reminds me once again, does anybody else wonder how Daryl’s hair went from being a light brown in Season 1, to basically jet black now? Anyway, we get back to the others where we see Abe downing a bottle of liquor, and the rest of the gang looking pretty defeated. Some noises occur and some dogs come out of the forest, and they look freakin’ pissed. Zombie dogs! Boy did this take me back to my Resident Evil days! Sasha continues her wrath and without hesitation shoots all 4 dogs. We see next that the group cooked them and is now eating the dogs, sooooo not zombie dogs? (Referencing Bob’s little trap on the people of Terminus when they ate him)
Noah tries to make things better with Sasha by stating that Tyrese saved him, (terrible idea Noah, you saw what just happened to those dogs right?). We also witness Father Gabriel tossing his white collar into the fire. Damn, you know it’s bad when the priest loses faith. Glenn and Maggie talk about everything that’s happened and Abe tries to make nice with Sasha, yeah good luck with that Abe. Glenn tries to give Daryl water, but he forgets that Daryl is immortal and refuses. Daryl leaves to once again look for water (The Walking Dead or Groundhog Day?). Daryl decides to have a chat with his good friend nicotine though first and puff puff no passes while looking upon a barn. After a few good inhales, he puts the cigarette out…..on his hand. (So you’re good right Daryl?) We then see him finally let loose and cry (let it out big fella) for losing Beth or it could’ve been that cigarette, you know the one he put out…. on his freaking hand!
Daryl returns to the group where we see a large pile of water bottles filled to the brim. Rick hands Daryl a note that reads “From a Friend”, but is it a trap or really from a friend? Eugene takes a sip and Abe Falcon punches it out of his hand, and Rick proclaims “We can’t”. But wait, what’s that? Its rain! YAY! Maggie and Sasha are not impressed. Father Gabriel apologizes to God and the group begins to collect that beautiful water. What do you think Bobby?
But as a wise man once said in The Terminator, there’s a storm coming. The group seeks shelter in the barn that Daryl saw earlier. Maggie looks around and encounters a walker in a closet, kills it, then mentions to Carol that the walker had a gun and could have used it, but didn’t…YOU GOTTA HAVE FAITH, doo doo doo doo dah.
The group discusses their situation, where Rick tells a story from his past about his grandfather and the war. He asked his grandfather if he killed any Germans in the war, he wouldn’t answer him, he asked if the Germans tried to kill him, his grandfather got quiet, then said he believed he would die every day, and then after a few years, made it out alive. Nice imagery Rick, very good, you’re learning fast. Rick says after the story, “Do what we have to do, then we live”. Rick says that “We are the walking dead”, Daryl argues “We ain’t them”, Rick agrees “We’re not them”, and Daryl walks off. This is where this episode truly begins to cross that beautiful line.
Downstairs, Daryl peers into the front doors and sees a large group of walkers heading towards them, and holds the doors shut. Daryl gets help from Maggie and Sasha (very cool), the rest come to help. There is a great shot of all of them giving it their all, almost like a proclamation that they want to live and will fight for their life. I must admit, this scene gave me goose bumps.
We arrive at the next morning and looks like they were able to hold off the walkers (think the last act of Signs but extremely quick and of course no Mel Gibson). Sasha and Maggie go outside where we see all of the walkers pretty much incapacitated from fallen trees, probably should’ve died. Maggie asks “Why are we here” as Sasha and Maggie look upon a sunset. Maggie pulls out her magic box that Daryl gave back to her earlier and said he fixed it. She winds it up, but nothing, tanks for notin’ Daryl.
Out of nowhere, a stranger arrives, says his name is Aaron, who states he understands “stranger danger” (maybe not the best ice breaker?) He insists “He’s a friend” and apparently comes in peace, yeah Aaron just like those aliens in Mars Attacks! He wants to talk to the person in charge, says he knows that it’s Rick, and the music box begins to play.
Many people I have a feeling won’t like this episode but I loved it. It’s important to remember that these are human beings we are watching, and they don’t always have faith or have ultimate strength. I would imagine this episode is what most days would be like if this were real life for most of us. The focus of the episode was clearly Daryl, Maggie, and Sasha, which in all of my infinite wisdom will go out on a limb and say that they are all coincidently people that lost someone recently.
For those of you wanting a show with guns, death, and violence, I suggest you watch something else, because whether you like it or not, this show is about people. So stop whining about the lack of action and embrace this episode for its themes in faith, perseverance, and the breaking points that we all have.
Was Aaron at the end not intriguing enough? I am writing this review in this soapbox fashion because I for one did not have a chance to see this episode Sunday night and already began to see the whining that evening and the next morning. I’m not sure what the audience wants from this show, but not every episode can be Daryl and Michonne killing everything in sight. Whether it’s the characters in this show or the people we know in our lives, we the audience need to be reminded that everyone has a breaking point and loses faith. You have to take the time you need and decide whether you keep your faith or lose it. This group has endured a lot and this episode was perfectly placed after the previous series of events.
What Daryl said was spot on, and it’s basically a disservice to all of those people who are now dead or walkers, who would fight for their lives if they had the chance. It looks like next week’s episode offers a whole lot of action, so get ready. Aaron is intriguing because he comes at a time where the group REALLY doesn’t want to trust anyone and the show is also coming to that point where do we want every stranger the group comes into contact with to be an enemy? I think this Aaron storyline could be very interesting to see whether or not this season ends with a thud or triumph. Till next time, this has been your self-proclaimed expert.