This episode delved more into the new lives that Rick and his group have recently been inducted into it. They’re attempting to “try” and settle into this civilized community. Most of them are having a rough time. One definitely is Sasha.
Sasha wakes up in the middle of the night sleeping on the floor of Rick’s new home as she stares at framed photographs of deceased family members. The next morning she visits Olivia, the chubby four-eyed guardian of the armory. Olivia rants to Sasha all about what she missed, everything from working in a coffee shop, to using a cellular phone, and the fact that she once packaged or cut meats. She even asks Sasha to go get her a boar leg if she finds one during her scouting travels. Sasha barely listens and says okay.
When Sasha heads outside the gate she brings the framed photographs and uses them as targets for shooting practice. As she crushes each photo with a silenced scope assault rifle, she becomes paranoid of her open surroundings and stops until she hears the groans of walkers feeding, even though none are around her. She sits on a log and talks to the air calling out, “come and get me.”
We then see Rick, Daryl, and Carol outside by the white shed where the blender gun was stolen. Rick tells Carol and Daryl that the people at Alexandria are the luckiest people he’s ever met. First, they’ve been sparred from marauders and the walls have kept the zombies at bay this whole time. And they just got them (Rick’s group).
The three device a plan to break into the armory and steal a few weapons so they could be armed at all times within the community. The current standard law of Alexandria is that everyone within the walls must return their weapons and firearms. Carol tells Daryl and Rick she can get inside the armory and unlock the window. No one else from the community really uses them. A roaming walker approaches, before Daryl can get in a kill, Carol wastes a couple of bullets into the walker from a silenced pistol in order to account for the journey. Rick notices on a dead walker, the letter, “W” cut into the corpses forehead. What could that mean? I think we’ve been seeing that “W” in quite a few places. That must be a sign of some troubling gang or worse, an army of thugs.
Back at Alexandria, Michonne is trying on her new outfit, the constable windbreaker and is seeing how she looks in the mirror while holding a glimmering samurai blade. She looks pretty ridiculous. Rick sees her in the identical constable outfit and they chat. They both discuss about how Alexandria can go either way, good or bad. Rick thinks it might be odd that Deanna has handed complete strangers authority. Michonne says Deanna is a very intelligent woman, if she wanted them gone this would be the best way to do it. They both head out.
Inside Mrs. Monroe’s office, Rick and Michonne meet with Deanna and Maggie. Deanna explains how she wants their community to grow into a full functioning civilization: a government, a police force, industry, commerce, etc. Deanna has a lot of plans for Alexandria and it seems like she will be making Maggie one of her ambassadors. It makes sense since she was a politician. Deanna only wants Rick and Michonne to enforce the compound, to stop any brewing fights. Rick says he needs to talk security with her.
They all head outside and walk adjacent to the walls. Rick voices his concerns to Deanna that anyone can easily climb over the fences, there is enough wiggle room. “People are the real threat,” Rick says. Sasha then appears and tells Deanna that she’d be more than welcome to guard the watchtower. However, Alexandria does not guard their walls and when they do, they have a guy named Spencer. Rick tells Deanna that they need someone looking out 24/7. Michonne tells her just to make sure no one is coming into take the place. Deanna reveals that they’ve never had any trouble from the outside. Maggie then adds that Sasha is a really good shot. Deanna agrees hesitantly and delegates Sasha as her second in command sniper next to Spencer. But in return Deanna tells all of them about a welcoming cocktail party she wants them all to attend. Deanna is hosting the event at her place that night. Sasha must go in order to be put to work.
A few blocks from the wall, Carol is befriending some of the neighborly mothers and discussing cooking and baking tips with them. Something you would see happen in a normal yuppie gated community, like the Stepford Wives. When Carol sees Rick patrolling the streets she leaves the catty women and talks silently to Rick. They both briefly discuss how they can use the party as a distraction to steal the guns in the armory. They agree that the sooner they do it, the better. Carol says that one good thing about this place and how she used to be is that she’s “invisible”.
Outside the walls, Daryl is scouting and tracking about in the woods when he senses the presence of someone following him. He aims his crossbow when Aaron steps out of the brush with his hands held up. “Why are you following me?” Daryl asks in an intimidating tone.
Aaron is first amazed by his tracking skills and that he is able to tell a human from a walker just by the sound. Aaron then wonders if he can tell if someone is a “bad” or “good” guy. Aaron so happened to be hunting rabbits when he surreptitiously ran into Daryl. Aaron asks if he could join him on his non-destination quest. Daryl tells him to keep up.
Inside the armory, Carol is conversing with Olivia when she tells her the secret recipe that she puts in her cookies. Cookies that she has made for the evening festivities. She substitutes eggs for applesauce. When Carol follows Olivia to the gun display, two hulking men enter the building, one man named Tobin who offers Carol his services to teach her how to use one. Carol is flattered by the request as he stealthily unlocks the window from behind her.
We see Rick, Carl, Judith, and Carol holding the tray of cookies as they enter Deanna Monroe’s homestead. Deanna greets her guests and says to Judith that she is lucky. When Rick asks why, Deanna responds that by the time she is grown up, Alexandria will be a living and working commune. A groomed Abraham and Rosita step through the front door and observe the room. They both look out of place and seem to not want to join the fun until Rosita tells Abraham that they have beer. “I can try,” Abraham replies.
On the outskirts of Alexandria, Aaron is trying to make small talk with Daryl. Aaron tells Daryl that he knows he feels like he doesn’t fit in. Aaron adds that for awhile him and Eric didn’t fit into the community because of their homosexuality. “They’re afraid of us,” Aaron says to Daryl. Overtime though, once people get to know you they will naturally accept you, Aaron claims. Daryl just has to be willing to put in some effort in trying. Aaron then finds out that Daryl is a motorcycle guy. Daryl explains that he has nothing to prove to anyone. “I ain’t afraid of nothin’,” Daryl reiterates.
The two then spot a wild horse in the middle of a grassy clearing. Aaron reveals that the horses name is Buttons, an animal he’s been trying to tame and bring back to Alexandria. The kids within the wall have seen the horse galloping about and named it. Daryl grabs the rope from Aaron and tells him he’s seen his friends handle a horse before. Could this be a call back to when Rick tamed and saddled the horse which he used to travel into Atlanta, back in Season 1? I hope so.
So the horse taming is a failure when a group of walkers approach. The horse quickly runs off. Daryl and Aaron take out the gang of rotting corpses. A lying walker grabs Aaron’s ankle as he gets up and chops off his hand until Daryl steps on its head and impales another walker through a rod sticking out of the ground. The two run towards the horse when it is too late. Another set of walkers surround the horse and begin devouring the large wild animal. The zombies rip strings of its intestines as other organs get pulled from its flesh. Daryl and Aaron go terminator on the walkers and vengefully kill them. Aaron shoots a bullet through the horses head, #RIPButtons.
People seem to be having a grand old time, socializing, and drinking alcohol at the cocktail party. Carol is behind Rick when she whispers to him that Olivia is here, meaning that it is there chance to sneak into the armory. Carol decides to go on her own since she is invisible. Rick stays and approaches Deanna. Deanna introduces Rick to her husband Reg. Reg is immediately honored in his presence after he watched all of the interview videos. Reg can tell Rick is a good man. Rick is humble when he complements Reg on building the walls. Reg has had a lot of help, but Rick’s success in bringing fourteen survivors has outweighed his contribution. Reg offers a glass to Rick, after a few requests, Rick accepts. Rick then says hello to Jessie as she enters with her family. Jessie introduces Rick to her husband Pete. They both share an awkward interaction. Pete tells Rick he needs to get a look at him, cause he’s a doctor. There is a whole conversation brewing under the surface such as, “stay away from my girl man, back off.” Regardless, Pete leaves to get him and his wife drinks. This leaves Jessie and Rick alone together. The two begin to connect. Jessie tells Rick that things are much better here than outside. She tells Rick that it is hard especially for him but that he should be grateful that all these people from different backgrounds were able to come together. She reminds Rick that he survived. Rick replies by saying that his children kept him alive. Rick smiles after seeing his son making new friends with kids his age. Rick says, “I don’t think this place is too bad.”
Suddenly, Jessie’s younger son Sam comes to her and Rick asking for Carol’s cookies. Rick lowers his face to his and tells him that he has a friend who makes those cookies. Sam then gives Rick the literal stamp of approval, with a red marker on his hand reading, “A”. “You’re one of us now,” Jessie says as she laughs. That is interesting. Because if I recall earlier in the season, Gareth and the hunters painted the letter “A” in red across the church and the letter “A” was written on the train car that Rick and his group were locked away in. I wonder what that could mean and if there is any connection between the two.
There comes a sudden knocking at the door when it’s Sasha. Spencer, the other son of Deanna, greets her at the door. He teases her a bit, but Sasha seems to be unresponsive, shell shocked and a bit unhinged. Spencer mentions an older lady who only talks about wanting a pasta maker. In another area of the party, Noah is having a tough time adjusting to the crowd. Glenn and Maggie immediately console him when he asks to leave. Maggie says they are staying here because they’re family now.
Right outside, we see Daryl looking into the lite up windows. Daryl stares and then walks away until he’s back on the block. As he walks Aaron comes out of his house. Daryl wonders why Aaron did not go to the party. Aaron says he had to stay to care for Eric and because like Daryl, he is not accustomed to that sort of crowd. Aaron knows that Daryl at least tried even if he didn’t get into the doorway. Aaron then invites Daryl for dinner. Daryl joins him and Eric for spaghetti.
Inside the armory, Carol sneaks in through the unlocked window and begins scavenging through the bin of revolvers and handguns, placing them into her knapsack. When she turns around she sees Sam in the hallway. Sam is surprised to see Carol here and was wondering about the cookies. When Carol asks why he isn’t at the party, Sam says he followed her. Carol insists that Sam promises her to keep a secret. Innocently, Sam replies that he always tells his mother the truth. Carol tells him that some things need to never be told, such as what went down tonight. Carol then threatens or bribes Sam in such a horrifying way. Carol tells Sam that if he tells her mother what she did, he will find himself one morning outside the walls tied to a tree while monsters come to get him with no one to hear him scream. But if he does not tell his mom, Carol goes further on explaining that he will be sparred and be granted loads of cookies in return. Way to blackmail a child. This gave me goosebumps. That kid is going to have nightmares, god Carol, you monster!
Daryl is slurping noodles of spaghetti inside Aaron’s dwelling. Eric begins telling Daryl how this one woman won’t stop talking about wanting to use a pasta maker. Eric then adds that during Daryl’s travels if he somehow comes across a pasta maker, he should return it to Alexandria. Aaron shakes his head to Eric and looks at Daryl, “you haven’t told him yet?” Eric says. “Told me what?” Daryl replies.
Aaron shows Daryl his garage full of motorcycle parts. Aaron reveals to Daryl that he told Deanna he did not want her to give him a job because he wants Daryl to become a recruiter, like him. Eric is too badly injured to carry on the task and Daryl is the perfect person for the job. He has the ability to tell who is good and bad. And he has the thrill of exploring outside in the wilderness. Daryl takes one look at the motorcycle beneath the tarp and says, “I got nothing else to do.” Daryl thanks Aaron and then says he will go hunt some rabbits for him. A friendship may be blossoming. Aaron is similar to Daryl in that they both like the essence of exploration and the potential of danger. Things are more real for them outside, than within those walls.
Back at the party, Rick is gazing intently outside the window when he turns and sees Jessie carrying his baby toward him. “I haven’t held one of these in awhile,” Jessie says with a smile. When Jessie hands Rick Judith back, Rick kisses Jessie softly on the cheek. The two share an intense stare. One we’re clear enough to infer that they have feelings for each other. She awkwardly smiles and then walks away as Rick continues to stare at her.
Meanwhile, Deanna tells Sasha to join in on the conversation since she is obviously being anti-social. She walks among the loud ambient noises, when she hears bombastic annoyances of household talk. One woman is concerned that she will cook something Sasha won’t like. When Sasha denies her ability to name a food she likes, the woman says she is worried. The overwhelming party sounds takes her back to flashbacks in her mind of when the group dined at the church, the death of her brother, and the growling of walkers. Sasha screams out, “That’s what you’re worried about!?” This dramatic moment sets alarm to others in the party.
Outside on a porch, Michonne looks at a party pick which resembles a saber sword. A drunken Abraham comes out to join her. He tells her to try. “I’m wearing a dress,” Michonne replies. Abraham then tells Michonne in a philosophical but drunken tone that she needs to let go of the warrior within herself. The interior battle scars that they all face. Similar to when soldiers return home from a war zone and have a tough time readjusting to daily life, the proper diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder. Abraham says his drunkenness helped him realize that things turned out pretty good for all of them. Time to embrace the positive side.
After the party, Michonne returns to her room in her full constable uniform as she hammers in nails into her wall. She puts her katana on display, so she can rest from holding it, but always knows where it is, on a wall mantle.
The next morning, Sasha is outside next to the gate looking through the open gaps. Deanna confronts and scolds her for making a scene at the party the night before. Sasha replies, “this place isn’t real.” Deanna hands her ammunition and opens the gate as she says, “that’s bullshit.”
Meanwhile, Rick, Carol, and Daryl are back at the same meeting place. Carol takes out the guns from the bag. Daryl chimes in by adding that they may not have to do this. If things get hairy, they will get through it without the help of extra firepower. Rick takes one of the revolvers and stashes it in his back pants underneath his coat. The three head back into Alexandria as they disperse into three different directions. While Rick patrols the streets during his watch, he sees Jessie waving at him while walking with Pete. Jessie lifts up the “A” on her hand as Rick does the same. Rick then notices Pete putting his hand behind her back. As they walk off together, Rick stares at them and holds his finger behind his revolver as if he’s ready to take out his gun. Is he actually thinking of killing Pete and taking Jessie? That would be insane, but part of me feels that way. Rick then walks off the street and strolls in an alleyway between two houses when he stops at the edge of the wall. He places his hand against the firm steel structure and seems to be in awe of the walker clawing away on the other side of the fence. Rick remains in that position while listening to the struggling corpse. The letter “A” is clearly indicated and it’s also possible that Rick is staring at that and thinking of Terminus.
The group could be too dangerous for the community members of Alexandria. Can the group really co-exist within a peaceful and civilized commune? They might be too far gone. Wait to see if I’m right or wrong next Sunday on AMC.