SPOILER ALERT: If there was ever a spoiler you didn’t want spoiled, this is it. Stop. Reading. Now.
To be honest, I don’t even know where to begin. I typically react to this show with a bit of fear mixed with excitement mixed with paranoia mixed with sarcasm. That’s a lot of mixing, I know. But after this episode? All I can say is, “No. Just…NO.” I can’t remember the last time I watched an installment of The Walking Dead and felt my heart race so much or break so deeply or feel so desperate. Not even when Rick was trapped in that tank in Atlanta in the very beginning. Not even when Carol rescued her people from the cannibals in Terminus. Not even when Laurie died in childbirth, or Hershel was beheaded by The Governor, or Beth died just as she was being rescued, or Tyreese died after being tortured with hallucinations of the dead long lost. Not. Ever. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Literally, my heart did not stop racing this entire episode. We picked back up with the group that is trying to lead the massive herd of walkers away from Alexandria when a number of them break off and are heading straight there after a horn blasts through the air. Last week we learned this horn is coming from a crashed truck as the Wolves are invading the town and killing it’s citizens. The group splits off to try to salvage their efforts. Rick runs off by himself to get an RV to help steer the herd back on course. Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham (who are leading the herd from the front) are instructed to stay on course no matter what. This is somewhat difficult for Daryl because he just wants to go home and help however he can, which we know would involve some form of bad-assery (is that even a word?). Glenn and Michonne are to lead Nicholas, Heath, and some other Alexandrians back home. But with injured people in tow and the hundreds of walkers who have veered off course right behind them, this is going to prove to be difficult. At this point, I already have a bad feeling that lots of people are going to lose their lives and one of our favorites might just be one of them. As they all go their separate ways, Glenn and Rick are communicating over radios, which also happens to be the first way they ever communicated with each other back in season one. Glenn says to Rick, “Good luck, dumbass.” “Dumbass” is the first name Glenn ever called Rick. At some point in the episode he also mentions everyone has a job to do. This is what Beth used to say, and she’s dead. Is this foreshadowing? Should I be worrying about Glenn?
Glenn, Michonne, and Co.
As they travel back to Alexandria, Michonne listens to David (an Alexandrian who’s been bit and is just trying to make it home to say goodbye to his wife) as he tells her the story of how he met his wife after the world changed and how she brought him back to life. His story sounds very much like Michonne’s story—of how Rick and his group helped bring her back from the brink. Are we being reminded of how we met Michonne only to be forced to say goodbye to her? That’s just cruel. Anyways, the group makes it to a town with the walkers not far behind. Glenn and Nicholas go off to create a distraction for the walkers while the rest wait it out in a pet shop. I’m keeping my eye on Nicholas, though. Even though Glenn has taken Nicholas under his wing and Nicholas is trying to be a better person, there are signs that he is still suffering from debilitating fear, as well as guilt from the things he’s done.
While waiting, Michonne finally gives Heath a piece of her mind. By the way, Heath has been pissing us off the entire episode with his superior attitude. First, he starts talking about how he and his people don’t leave each other behind, implying that Rick and his people do. Umm…I beg to differ. Exhibit A: Nicholas. There’s other exhibits, but that’ll just the too long. Basically, all you need to know is that the Alexandrians tend to leave each other behind because they’re afraid. Rick and his people only leave someone behind if they don’t have any other choice. They go back for people in spite of being afraid. Heath has also decided he knows what it’s really like to be out there because he’s gone on runs since the beginning and he would never make the choices Rick does. Oh, hell no! No one talks about Rick like that in front of Michonne! She shuts him up real quick by basically telling him he doesn’t know sh**. He hasn’t been out there like Rick and Michonne have. He hasn’t had to kill people or be killed. He hasn’t had so much blood on him that he doesn’t know who it belongs to—himself, friend, or walker. He hasn’t done things that make him afraid of himself. He just doesn’t know! Now sit down and be quiet, Heath. Interestingly, Heath has a moment at the end of the episode when he is covered in blood and he quite possibly gets a glimpse of what Michonne was talking about.
Meanwhile, Glenn and Nicholas haven’t been able to fulfill their mission and are surrounded by countless walkers. Walkers also set upon Michonne and the others in the pet shop and they are forced to leave without knowing the fates of Glenn and Nicholas. Out of the at least ten people who are in the original group with Glenn and Michonne, only four make it back to Alexandria alive by the end of the episode.
Daryl can’t stand knowing the trouble heading towards Alexandria and hearing the gunfire coming from there and not being able to help. Despite Rick’s instructions and the pleas of Sasha and Abraham, he takes his motorcycle and heads home. Could his desperation to be home with his family be the end of Daryl?
Lone Ranger Rick
Rick runs like you’ve never seen a man run before. He’s running like his life depends on it. Oh yeah, that’s right…his life DOES depend on it, as well as plenty of other people’s lives. He makes it to the RV and starts heading out to meet the others. He stops at a check point, but while waiting, he’s ambushed by some Wolves. Said Wolves are the very same ones Morgan let go in Alexandria. Thanks a lot, Morgan (feel free to read that with as much sarcasm as you choose). Rick is able to deal with the Wolves and pleads with the others (via radio) to stay the course because leading the herd away is how they can truly help save everyone’s lives. Daryl takes to heart what Rick has said and heads back to the front of the herd. Rick tries to start up the RV again, but it won’t turn over. It’s too late anyways, the herd has reached him, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much defeat on Rick’s face, apart from when Laurie died. We are left wondering if Rick will make it to next week, and I certainly don’t believe the RV is going to miraculously start for him. He’s going to have to come up with some other way out of this one.
Glenn and Nicholas
Back to what I was saying about Glenn and Nicholas being cornered by so many walkers that I’m having a panic attack just thinking about it. Well, the two are able to climb up onto a dumpster, but really I’m seeing no way out of this. Glenn, always the optimist, doesn’t seem to have given up hope yet, still looking all around him for any way out of this. He knows he needs to get back home to Maggie. Nicholas, on the other hand, is completely frozen in fear. Glenn tries to snap him out of it, but before he can, Nicholas says “Thank you,” (for giving him a second chance? I think so) and puts a bullet through his own head. Now, I see this two ways. Nicholas was taking the coward’s way out, or Nicholas was finally stepping up—killing himself before the walkers can in order to be bait so Glen can get away. I’m going to choose to go with the latter. I loved to hate Nicholas, but I’d also love to think Glenn had a positive impact on him in the end. It may have been a nice thought, but it doesn’t work out that way in the end. Do things ever really go according to plan on this show? If you’re wondering, the answer is “No.” Glenn is knocked off the dumpster as Nicholas’ dead body falls to the ground and the two are completely overrun by walkers. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. NO. Honestly, at this point I am actually yelling at my TV and tears are running down my face.
GLENN IS DEAD:
Glenn was good and true and brave to the end. He loved his family. He never gave up hope. He never killed another human being. He always gave second chances. He was kind. He never wavered in doing what was right. He was a leader. Interestingly, Yvette Nicole Brown (best known for her role as Shirley in the meta-comedy Community) was a guest on Talking Dead after the episode and brought to our attention something most of us would never has noticed. In the fifth season when our group enters Father Gabriel’s church for the first time, each of them notice different Biblical things throughout the room. This isn’t at all unusual considering the show is full of Biblical and spiritual undertones and references throughout the entire series. For Glenn, he notices the scripture reference Galatians 6:9 which reads, “ Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” If there was ever something that embodied the spirit of Glenn, it’s this. He never grew weary in doing good. Part of me still wants to hold on to a shred of hope, just like Glenn would have. But as we watch walkers overwhelm him and Nicholas’ dead body—blood washing over him, his face a picture of pain and anguish—it seems impossible to think anyone can make it out of this situation alive, even Glenn who has made it out of some pretty impossible situations. And in this world, it doesn’t matter who you are. No one is safe. The world takes you in the end.
But maybe, just maybe…..
GLENN IS NOT DEAD:
I’ve watched this scene over and over again, and I am not convinced Glenn is dead. I know I was quite dramatic in the very first paragraph of this recap. I had just finished watching the episode, and I was still reeling from what had happened. And if Glenn is dead, I stand by what I said. However, I have had time to process and come up with my own theories (corroborated by plenty of Tumblr posts) as to why Glenn is most certainly not dead, thank you very much. And this is not just denial, I swear! It isn’t enough to know this isn’t how Glenn meets his end in the comic books, because we know the show doesn’t always adhere to the guidelines of its source material. You didn’t know that? Well, now you do. I can’t go into too much detail, but there is a lot of analyzing of camera angels, shirt colors, blood splatter and types of human entrails being eaten, as well as IMDB cast episode counts, that lead me to believe we haven’t seen the last of Glenn Rhee. And because I tend to be right, or at least I tend to tell myself I’m right, I’m just going to choose to believe this.
Do you think Glenn is still alive, or have you accepted he has finally met his end? What about the fates of Rick and the others? Comment below or tweet us your theories at @trendomco.