Zombie Round Up: Thank You
No Thank You would have been a better title for this week’s episode. There has been a stunned silence passing through The Walking Dead community this week, one full of denial and heartbreak. I too have been affected. It leaves me a little at a loss of words on where to start while writing this review. I will warn you of spoilers to follow if you haven’t watched the episode yet, even though social media has likely exposed you to the question we are all wondering: is he alive? Or were my violent sobs mid-episode warranted.
Last week was action packed as the wolves attacked Alexandria and Carol became ninja house wife. But this week we knew we would have to see what was happening to our crew as the truck’s horn went off and attracted half the herd to Alexandria. We’ve got Rick, Michonne and Glenn in the woods with a bunch of the Alexandrians now wanting to get them home while Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha keep the bulk of the herd heading away from home. The one thing I didn’t completely understand is that they would have had to get home if their plan had been successful, and there should have been a path for them to limit walker exposure, yet everything goes so so wrong.
Of course we have the Alexandrians really holding them back. It’s so frustrating, watching them in action. Our beloved crew has been through so much there is no hesitation in their actions in the woods, but watching the Alexandrians is like watching a bunch of 3rd graders in comparison to the varsity team. They really have been so sheltered by the walkers stuck in the quarry, and it’s a shame since they hold everyone back. But our people are good people, and even though Rick warns Glenn and Michonne they will have to leave people behind, they won’t unless they know they’re already gone. They even help Annie with her twisted ankle and Scott who gets a bullet wound to the leg by dumbass Sturgess as they limp along their homeward bound journey.
I think the toughest part the Alexandrians are having to deal with is when their friends get bit; and sadly none of them have had a limb bitten so it looks to them like our crew just dispatches of them heartlessly, like they want them to die so they can take Alexandria for themselves, but we know that not to be the case. If the Alexandrians had experienced more since the outbreak they might realize that getting the deed over quicker would be easier. Watching everyone deal with David’s bite on his shoulder is an interesting ordeal. He claims he knows what it means, but I don’t know that the others did.
I think the episode wanted to show conflict between the Alexandrians that were out of their element with our most experienced fighters, yet ultimately try to bring them together. It’s probably a little to early tell, but that might have happened. And it might have gone a little too far in the other direction, as I think Michonne softened up a little too much to these people she hardly knows to win their trust. For the first time in a long time I was very disappointed in her, as she watched David get devoured on the other side of the fence, and didn’t even bother to end his suffering OR pick up his note to his wife.
Meanwhile Glenn has taken trusting Nicholas to a whole new level, and separates from Michonne to reach a feed store in order to set it on fire and try to distract the walkers tracking them back towards home. In hind sight they all made so many mistakes this episode, but maybe that’s just cause we know what followed. I wish Glenn had gone alone. I wish they had stuck with the plan and just ran as fast as they could home. And yet Nicholas and Glenn get to an already destroyed feed store, and find themselves completely surrounded in a back alley on top of a dumpster. There’s really no foreseeable way out. Nicholas realizes that before Glenn, the eternal optimist does, and blows his brains out, falling on top of Glenn as they tumble in to the hoard. The camera pans out as we watch spurting blood and guts and Glenn’s anguished face.
Wow. He’s gone. There’s no coming back from that. What a horrible way to die. What about Maggie? My heart just broke. Yup, I cried a ton as I realized Glenn was a goner. I knew it was coming, and yet it was SO SO SO hard to handle. That Chinaman (no- he’s Korean a%s**ole) has come so far and was definitely my favorite character. Of course, there are lots of theories out there that he is still alive, which I will come to, but there are still a couple other things worth mentioning this week.
There’s Rick, who ran the whole way back to the RV to try to get it moving and distract the split off herd back to the larger group. A lot happens on his marathon- he punches a zombie that has a machete stuck in it’s head, cutting his knuckles on the blade covered in walker blood. He also figures out the wolves are the reason that the horn went off from back in Alexandria, and that they must have attacked him. They ambush him in the RV, and he takes them all out, but accidentally stops the engine from working just as the herd arrives at the RV.
I will just go out there and say what I think about the Rick situation: a previous interview with the producers of the show said that they would never write off Rick. The entire story is about what happens to him and his family and friends, so the day that Rick dies, the show dies. So knowing that the show plans to run for at least a couple more seasons, I think we know that Rick is going to make it through all this somehow (just survive somehow Rick!). My question is, is he going to have a left hand when all this gets over with. There are a couple solutions now that the hand is infected with walker blood: 1. He loses the hand, which for those of you that are familiar with the comics that is what happens there only with his right hand; 2. Rick is immune to the virus! Right now everyone thinks they are all infected, but maybe some people have developed an immunity, so when Rick’s hand gets infected they treat it with antibiotics and he doesn’t die like people normally do with that sort of injury; 3. The easiest option is to just have his hand heal and not become an issue, but that will raise a lot of questions and will seem like a waste for all this attention on his hand this week.
Now that the episode is over, let’s get back to Glenn. For the first time ever, I actually watched Talking Dead, the talk show after the show discussing what happened and coming up with theories about what will happen next. It was funny, the three people on the show looked so horrified and depressed, and I think the show became a therapy session for all those grieving the loss of Glenn, including for me. There are also a ton of theories circulating about why Glenn isn’t really dead: things like he was not featured on the In Memoriam section of Talking Dead. Nicholas’ body was on top of him, so all that gore could have been Nick’s guts and not Glenn’s. The creator made a statement that we will continue to see Glenn in future episodes, but did not admit in what fashion (could be just flashbacks) and would not say whether or not he was actually dead. His exact words are “In some way we will see Glenn, some version of Glenn, or parts of Glenn again, either in flashback or in the current story, to help complete the story.” The actor playing Glenn, Steven Yeun, is listed in the credits for all the future episodes in this half of the season (but so are all the characters, even all the ones that were not featured this week were still listed in the credits). And the actor did not appear on Talking Dead which is typically traditional when a character dies.
I hate to be a pessimist, and believe me, I want Glenn to be alive just as much if not more then the next guy, but the truth is: I think he’s dead. There were throwbacks to when Glenn and Rick first met, foreshadowing that this might be the end. There hasn’t been any significant deaths yet this season, and it seemed time. I feel like all the fan theories about him still being alive are sadly the denial showing through. I do hope if he is really dead there is some closure. I actually found not knowing about Sophia’s fate in season two extremely frustrating even though I didn’t really care about her character. But I think leaving it all up in the air for a week or two will give the fans a chance to come to terms with it and handle it better when they hopefully do reveal that he is actually dead. Having him alive would make me so happy, but would seem a little too deus ex machine. For now I will take some advice from the book of Carol, and suck it up and move on, hoping my heart will heal piece by piece.
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