**This episode is the setup for next week’s 90 minute season finale. Pivotal stuff and thangs happen. So if you’re not ready to know what happens yet stop reading**
Where to start with this week’s recap? Deanna and her family are grieving the loss of Aiden, even if no one else is. The episode opens with them sitting in their living room, candles lit, wearing black. Deanna puts in Aiden’s “Run Mix” CD and NIN’s “Somewhat Damaged” plays. While they sit and listen the audience sees Carol in her fancy kitchen making a grief casserole, the kind of casserole that is usually dropped off at the home of a family that has suffered a death or tragedy by friends or church members. Carol leaves the grief casserole on the doorstep with a note. Deanna opens the door after the bell rings and sees the casserole on the step. She reads the note, and leaves the casserole sitting on the step. When she comes back into the living room she burns the note. It’s clear at that point that Deanna and the group are going to have a problem.
The Fallout From the Run
Deanna interviews Nicholas on camera about the run and what happened. Nicholas, of course, lies through his teeth and tells Deanna that Glenn was distracting Aiden and that’s what caused Aiden’s death. Nicholas made it sound like Glenn and Noah tried to kill him in the revolving door while Glenn was telling Rick the real story of what happened. The group was devastated to have lost Noah and to have Tara in limbo. Tara wasn’t in this episode at all, but Rosita mentions that Tara is stable and is being treated by Pete. It seems clear to Rick that they are going to have to take over Alexandria at some point. Rick tells the group that rules of Alexandria don’t apply to them and they don’t answer to the people in the Safe Zone.
Glenn goes to find the liar Nicholas and tells him that he is never to leave the walls of Alexandria again, either alone or with a group, because he is stupid and dangerous and he gets people killed. Nicholas asks if Glenn is threatening him and Glenn tells him that he’s saving him. Glenn is still really troubled about Noah’s death. Later in the episode the audience sees Nicholas dig up the gun that Rick left outside the Safe-Zone when the group first entered. So now Nicholas is armed, and Glenn’s decision to leave him alive could come back to bite him later on.
Sasha is still in the middle of her breakdown. She is sleeping in the guard tower and when she’s not on watch she goes outside the walls to kill walkers. She is actively hunting down walkers to kill them. Michonne and Rosita go looking for her and find her in a bad situation facing a herd. All three of them almost end up in a very bad situation. Michonne has flashbacks to when she killed the walker herd all by herself after the attack on the prison and she understands what Sasha is going through. Sasha tells Rosita and Michonne to leave her alone because she doesn’t need their help but clearly she does. Sasha is not in a good headspace right now and that leads to the kind of recklessness that gets people killed.
Rick and Deanna Throw Down
After last week’s conversation with Carol about Pete Rick wants to just kill him, but he goes to Deanna to tell her what’s going on. Deanna admits that she knew Pete was abusing Jesse but she let it go because Rick was a doctor and a surgeon who has saved lives and they need him. Rick tells Deanna that he needs to kill Pete. Deanna tells him no, that they can exile Pete but that’s it. She makes it clear that Rick himself is still on probation and is at risk of exile because of the run and because of what Father Gabriel told her although Rick doesn’t know about Gabriel’s betrayal.
Rick and Carol
Rick and Carol have another conversation about Pete. Carol tells Rick that Sam told her Jesse put a deadbolt on the inside of his closet door and sometimes tells him to go in there at night and not open the door for anyone. She also told him that one time Sam found Jesse on the floor unconscious and bleeding while Pete sat on the porch and drank more. Carol tells him again that he needs to kill Pete because abusers like that don’t stop and next time Jesse will be dead. She mentions that if Ed hadn’t gotten killed by the walkers she probably would have been dead but Rick tells her that he doesn’t believe that. The audience doesn’t believe it either. They know that Carol would have eventually reached the breaking point and fought back. But Jesse might not.
Rick and Pete, Round 1
After talking to Carol Rick is clearly trying to figure out the best way to handle the situation. Pete comes by, drunk, looking like he wants to chat with Rick. Rick, who already has his hand on his gun, stares coldly and silently at Pete, clearly trying to restrain himself from killing Pete right there and then. Finally he tells Pete to keep walking. Pete, sensing Rick is a little off, walks away.
Rick and Jesse
Rick goes to talk to Jesse. He tells her that he knows and pleads with her to let him deal with it for her sake and for her kids. Jesse argues at first, saying they have been through it before and then it got better and she makes a bunch of excuses but eventually she tells Rick ok, she will let him intervene. At that moment Pete comes in the door, drunk. He and Rick have words, and Rick tells him that he knows that Pete is abusing Jesse. They fight.
Rick and Pete, Round 2
A knock down drag out fight ensues that sends them both flying through the front living room window of the house and into the street. For a few moments Pete is winning and is choking Rick. Jessie tries to pull him off Rick and Pete punches her square in the face. That gives Rick the advantage he needs to flip the tables on Pete. He starts to choke Pete out. Deanna is alerted to the fight by Reg and she keeps running. She yells at Rick and the fight is broken up. After Deanna is done telling Rick that the group’s future in Alexandria is questionable and she’s no longer confident in having them around Rick steps up to speak, still with a gun in his hand.
Rick goes on a long rant about how the people of Alexandria are not facing the ways that the world has changed and he tells them they need to fight or they will die and they will get other people killed. As he rants he is getting more and more worked up. Michonne arrives and after listening to Rick for a few seconds she hits him across the back of the head, knocking him out.
Meanwhile Outside the Walls
Carl gets a moment of peace for change and finds a new friend and possibly a new romance when he follows Enid as she goes outside the walls. They run through the woods playfully as if they were still children and enjoy talking to each other. It’s obvious that both of them have been through a lot and it’s nice to see Carl be able to connect with someone his own age, even if they are connecting over shared trauma. Walkers come through the woods and Enid expertly throws a kitchen timer in the opposite direction to distract them. Eventually more walkers come through and the two hide together in a hollowed tree and almost kiss.
Daryl and Aaron
Things are not quite so peaceful for Daryl and Aaron. They come across more severed body parts and walkers with “W”s carved into their heads. The kills are fresh, because the blood is still wet. They also find a naked woman tied to a tree who had been left as food for the walkers or perhaps was used as a lure for the walkers. She was disemboweled and torn apart but had not yet turned. Daryl reached out to lift up her head by her hair and she turned, opening her eyes and snarling at him as both he and Aaron looked at the W carved into her forehead.
It’s hard to believe that the Season 5 finale is here already. But it’s about that time, and the stars that are left on the show are getting ready to head down to Georgia to start filming Season 6. Since the season finale has been extended to 90 minutes it’s clear that some major action is going to take place. It’s a safe bet that the tensions in the Alexandria Safe-Zone are going to reach a head and the group and the Alexandrians will fight. The Wolves or whatever is out in the woods will probably be revealed, and probably at least one major cast member will die. No matter happens fans are sure to be left with a feeling of loss and a lot of anxiety because they will need to wait until the fall for Season 6 of The Walking Dead.