I don’t know how you spent your Valentine’s Day, but I spent mine hugging a pillow, a complete mess, anxiety through the roof. But before you start thinking I’m being some depressed girl because I didn’t have a date—think again. I had a date. In fact, I had a date with three strong, axe-wielding, zombie-killing men. Who might you ask were these fine gentlemen? Glenn, Daryl, and Rick, of course.
So, why was I a complete mess and filled with anxiety? Well, let me tell you—it isn’t easy finding and/or holding on to love in the zombie apocalypse. Just ask Glenn and Maggie. I mean, how many times can a man almost die before he’s allowed to reunite with his pregnant wife? Quite a few apparently. Glenn has been separated from Maggie for this entire season. Okay, I admit it. This season has only covered the course of a few days, but still. Glenn and Enid have made it back to the town only to find it overrun with walkers and Maggie trapped on a platform surrounded by hungry zombies. And right when I think Glenn is about to die AGAIN to save the love of his life, Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham show up to lend their helping hands. Thank goodness! Honestly, Glenn must be the luckiest dude EVER.
Then there’s poor old Rick. The man has been through it, let me tell you. His late wife, Lori, mother of his two children, died back in season three and he’s been a lonely man ever since. Now, I’m still holding out hope for him to realize Michonne is his perfect match, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be this Valentine’s Day. In the meantime, Jessie had caught the attention of our fearless leader. I didn’t dislike Jessie per say, she just wasn’t my favorite because she’s not Michonne. Well, I guess I don’t have to worry about her anymore because she went and became a walker meal this weekend. Not only her, though. No. The writers killed her ENTIRE FAMILY. I don’t recall any time in the entire series when an whole family got killed off in one go! Poor Sam never really stood a chance, he was just so afraid of the world. He panics while walking through the walker herd and he’s a gonner. And when Jessie sees her youngest son die in front of her, who is going to blame her for screaming and attracting walkers and getting herself eaten? Then there’s Ron—emo teenager and hater of Rick and Carl. His death. Holy. Crap. I did not see that coming. While Jessie is dying, she can’t seem to let go of Carl’s hand. Rick isn’t about to let walkers get his own son, so he decides to relieve Jessie of her hand via axe. In all the chaos, Rick loses his gun and good ol’ Ron picks it up and points it at Rick. And just when he is about to shoot Rick, Michonne plunges her sword through Ron’s back. I’m pretty sure Michonne’s thought process went something like this, “Oh no! Not my man!!!” Of course, this is The Walking Dead. Naturally, the crisis is not over. Ron misfires his gun as he is being acquainted with Michonne’s sword, and the stray bullet goes through Carl’s eye. HIS EYE. Rick scoops up Carl, and he and Michonne make a run for it.
Lots of other stuff was going on in the meantime, because there’s no rest for anyone during the apocalypse. When Rick reaches the infirmary with Carl, Denise gets to work right away to try and save his life. Rick can’t just sit by and wait to find out if his son is going to live or die. Instead, he heads back out into the chaos and starts hacking away at every walker in sight. Rick’s efforts inspire everyone watching from their windows and they join him in the streets. Father Gabrielle, who has actually stepped up this episode and has been pretecting baby Judith, said it best, “We’ve been praying together. Praying that God will save our town. And our prayers have been answered. God will save Alexandria because God has given us the courage to save it ourselves.”
In my opinion, the real knight in shining armor this Valentine’s Day is none other than Daryl Dixon, himself. First, he saves Shasha and Abraham from getting shot by a biker gang who claim to work for somebody named Negan (the next big baddie if I am correct). Just as they are about to be executed in the middle of the road, Daryl blows the bikers up with a grenade launcher! Second, as mentioned before, Daryl (and Sasha and Abraham) show up just in time to save Glenn from getting devoured by yet another herd of walkers. Third, after making sure Glenn, Maggie, and Enid are safe, the truck carrying gasoline that Daryl found in the woods a few episodes ago is emptied into the lake in the middle of town. Then Daryl aims his trusty grenade launcher at the lake and sets in on fire! The massive flames come in handy, attracting all the walkers to the lake and setting them on fire. Problem solved. *I fully admit Daryl didn’t really put any more effort in than everyone else…I just really like Daryl*
The episode, arguably the series’ best and most intense ever, ends with Rick sitting by the bedside of Carl, wondering if his son is going to wake up or not. It’s somewhat reminiscent of season two when Carl is accidentally shot in the chest and Rick waits by the bedside to see if his son will survive. Rick tells his son about the hope he found that day. Before, Rick wasn’t sure if the Alexandrians were strong enough to survive, if they had it in them to do what it takes to make it through this world. Now he knows they do. They joined him in the streets and they protected their homes and their lives. I guess Rick’s speech was pretty moving, because right at the very end, Carl closes his fingers around his father’s hand.