The Walking Dead
After weeks of wheel-spinning and weird hookups, this episode wasted no time to answer the mother of all questions — where is Enid?
Oh, and Glenn is alive too.
A bunch of other stuff happens, but it all pales in comparison to the merciful, albeit frustrating, end to Glenngate.
Let’s begin at the beginning. We see Glenn and Nicholas dumpster dive and immediately confirm what we expected — the entrails belonged to Nicholas, who fell on top of our favorite pizza-delivery guy. Glenn crawls out from beneath Nick’s body and slides under the dumpster. Day turns to night turns to day, as some of the walkers wander away. More amble off when they hear that air horn. Glenn waits it out until the coast is clear.
Suspension of disbelief is critical for The Walking Dead, and even if it weren’t, it’s tempting to nitpick nonsensical details in each episode. Glenn’s survival is still a series of most unlikely events. He tumbles to the ground, lands conveniently close to the dumpster, and somehow — impossibly — his screams don’t alert the horde of ravenous zombies. When a few walkers do catch on, Glenn simply stabs them. Their bodies make for an opportune corpse-wall around the dumpster, which we see when he finally scrambles out.
Sure, I’m glad Glenn is alive. But dragging this out was a lame tease, made even more annoying by all of the peripheral hype: Steven Yeun wasn’t on Talking Dead! His name wasn’t in the opening credits! If the goal was to generate blog posts and tweets, well, mission accomplished. As a plot device, though, it feels like a cheap stunt.
Unluckily for Glenn, he’s not alone. Enid appears to toss him some water, give him some lip, and point a gun in his face. Glenn being Glenn, he overlooks all of this. Rather than book it to Alexandria so he can tell his pregnant wife he’s alive, he’s determined to bring Enid with him. This means a lot of talk about being orphaned, living life for the ones we’ve lost, dancing like nobody’s watching, blah blah blah. Aside from her role as sidekick, Enid serves one valuable purpose — her fixation on the checkpoint balloons gives Glenn an idea. Annoying as the Glenngate situation has been, the moment when Maggie sees those luftballons go by is still warm and fuzzy.
These days, though, Rick is neither of those things. To him, the Alexandrians are a nuisance — a perspective that’s confirmed when Spencer tries to throw a grappling hook over the wall, shimmy across a rope, and leave town. Rick saves him, but Spencer was lucky he didn’t toss him into the zombie mosh pit. Tara also gets an earful for even attempting to help. Apparently, Rick is the only one who gets to risk his life for these dopes. (Tara’s bird-flip in response was worthy of a slow-clap.)
Rick seems most at ease while teaching Ron how to shoot, as Carl throws some serious shade. (Yeah, Ron. This is the easy part. Me and my dad, we’ve, like, killed so many zombies. One day you’ll learn. Maybe.) To no one’s surprise, Ron sneaks into the armory and steals some ammo. Bet that story line ends badly. Another self-defense lesson goes off the rails when Eugene gives up on Rosita’s Machete 101 class. The takeaways: Don’t wear open-toed shoes around Eugene, or expect him to do anything but go fetal when trouble arises.
Rick and Morgan have their long-overdue chat, with Rick’s consiglieres Michonne and Carol in tow. (Abraham would be pleased to see another loose end tied up.) Morgan admits that the Wolves who attacked Rick in the RV were the same ones he let go. “All life is precious” is still Morgan’s creed, but the stick-twirler admits that he’s questioning his philosophy. Rick poses a fair question: Can you be zen without getting blood on your hands? “I don’t know,” Morgan answers.
Let’s help you with that, friend: You can’t. It’s impossible. It’s just a matter of how much blood, and whose it is. He might learn the hard way when his “secret” — keeping that psycho Wolf alive — leads to a new catastrophe.
(A few sidenotes: I’m not digging how Carol and Michonne have sat on the sidelines since the Wolf raid. At least Carol ditched babysitting duty to return to her role of town snoop and mentor. Remember kids, the only way to not turn into a monster is to kill kill kill! Also, how cute is Judith these days? Let’s forget for a moment that she’s probably old enough to be a toddler. And how they manage to find baby clothes for her. Did we miss a Gap Kids raid?)
As the episode winds down, there’s a flurry of action: Carol confronts Morgan about his captive, Ron stalks Carl with his gat, and Michonne inspects Deanna’s expansion plans. Guess everyone’s been too busy fortifying the wall, keeping watch, and getting haircuts from Jessie to notice that the building weakened by the truck crash is crumbling. It’s literally falling apart, as wooden planks break away with ominous creaking sounds. Moments after Maggie sees the balloons, the entire structure collapses, taking a big chunk of the wall down with it.
If the walkers can stroll on in, Tara’s remark that “we’re stuck with each other” might not be true for much longer. Will Maggie and Glenn finally be reunited next week before the mid-season break? Maybe. I’m more curious to see what happens with other story lines. What will the Sarge do with those sweet RPGs? Will Daryl’s fuel truck be used in a potentially explosive way? And how will the bad omens of the collapsed wall, the captive Wolf, and an armed-and-dangerous Ron play out?