Fr. Gabriel has a new job and since it’s the same as his old job, you’d think it would be easy for him to transition back into the role. No. The welcome letter, plate of strawberries, new collar and the pulpit must be harsh reminders that he failed his old flock. He begins ripping pages out of the bible. He may as well join Daryl and Aaron, who are gearing up for their first trip to find new members for the community. I think he is useless as the town’s spiritual leader. Noah is meeting with Reg, and wants to know if they could meet every day so Reg can teach him about architecture. He wants to learn how to build things. The awwww moment: Noah wants to make sure the walls are still standing when he’s Reg’s age. I love the hope and optimism, even if hope is the death knell for anyone in this family. Reg takes notes, and tells Noah to do the same. There is a lot to remember for the future.
Later, a less optimistic Eugene is trying to beg out of a scavenger hunt. The power is failing and the crew is going to find equipment to make the grid fully functional again. It will please you to know that Aidan, fresh off of his #TWDFamily beating is a much nicer person this time around – prompting Deanna to thank Glenn, again. Noah (who is banking on growing old), Glenn, and Tara join him and Nicholas. Humor! Aidan plays Knife Party’s “You blocked me on Facebook, and now you’re going to DIE.”
Rick notices someone has vandalized Jessie’s owl sculpture. They joke around and avoid the eye-banging that has defined their friendship to this point. He quotes “Broken Windows’ theory (shame shame, and I TRULY mean shame on the writers). He decides he’ll look into it, since he needs something to do. The scavenging team has plenty to do. Noah, with dead aim, takes out the first walker. Looking around for more walkers, Tara takes one down with a knife, telling Eugene, as he stands idly by, that he has to pull his weight. He responds that he has already done that by getting them to D.C. He was the one who enlightened them to the city’s potential for “home and hearth.” She reminds him that it was the group who got HIM to D.C., not the other way around.
The scavengers reunite knowing they have real danger to worry about since Glenn and Noah found a yard full of the walkers mulling around the front of the warehouse. As the group searches the dark warehouse, I keep hoping Noah will live long enough to keep those walls up. They can hear walkers rattling a cage, somewhere – and soon find them trapped inside. They continue looking for the micro-inverters they need. Just as they find them, a walker approaches Aidan. He is unable to pierce the helmet with a bullet, and shoots its legs. Glenn sees what Aidan doesn’t, just as another shot is fired. The walker’s “armor” (as Aidan calls it) includes grenades. The explosion frees the cage walkers. Glenn gives Eugene, a chance to shoot one. Instead, Eugene becomes a deer in headlights and is knocked to the ground by a second walker. Noah and Glenn rescue him.
Just then we cut to Carol creeping up on a strange noise under her stairs. It’s Sam, looking for more cookies. Sam is telling Carol about the power being out in his home and his statue being broken. She tells them those aren’t problems, sending him packing. He asks her if she will teach him how to make cookies. She will, if he steals chocolate and brings an extra bar for her. WTF, CAROL???? The writers are really distinguishing between the survivor family that doesn’t give a damn, and the heroic members of the family. Tara is badly hurt and is being held in an office the scavengers found. Aidan, thought dead, wakes up pierced by a piece of metal protruding from the wall. Nicholas wants to put him down. Eugene wants him rescued and promises to keep Tara safe while Glenn, Noah, and Nicholas go rescue him, it’s what Tara would do.
At a second scavenging site, Abe is pulling construction materials. There are plans to expand the walls of Alexandria. Watching birds fly overhead, he appears to be getting a bad feeling and it’s warranted. A herd is fast approaching. The foreman accidentally shoots the excavator holding the lookout, Francine, dumping her from the raised shovel onto the ground. They plan to leave her (a running theme with the weak Alexandrians) when Abe risks his life to get her into the cab of the machine. He prepares to be eaten by the approaching herd. Just then, he crawls underneath and shoots the walkers who follow.
Francine tries to help him up in the cab once he reaches the other side. He tosses his gun and has her shoot the walkers in the field as he uses a heavy wrench to bash the ones who keep coming. He is ah-mazing! The Alexandrians begin to realize that they can help. One is shocked that “He is still alive”, as another joins him to make sure he stays alive. A much clearer picture of cowardice is taking shape as Dr. Peter brings drinks to thank Rick for helping his wife, but notes that it was just an owl. He brings up Rick losing Lori. Not cool. Rick does not respond. Dr. Peter tells him that they haven’t lost things in the same way as the #TWDFamily but they are struggling to hold on to what they have (oooh… subtext).
Heavily intoxicated, Pete asks Rick to bring his children over for a check-up. Right. He gives Rick the “friends who stick together” talk, which roughly translates into, “don’t let your eye banging become the “big bang.” He’s a romantic, that Pete.
Back at the warehouse, Eugene gives a speech of his own – to an unconscious Tara, whose bleeding head has been wrapped. It’s not his fault, he told them what he was, they should have listened. He realizes that Tara is slipping, and so is his cowardice. He grabs Tara and heads for the van, where the first aid kit is, shooting walkers as he goes. Nick wants to run instead of free Aidan, whispering, “You left them, we both did” to which Aidan confesses that he and Nick panicked and left their people behind. It’s no use. The walkers are too close and Aidan is left behind as well. The writers are big on symmetry. Back in the construction field, Abe knocks around the foreman who ran. Francine punches the daylights out of him after he whines about their “system.” Abe and Francine lead the group into going back to work. Back at the warehouse, trying to complete their escape, Glenn, Noah, and Nick end up trapped in the revolving doors, hoping to keep the walkers on both sides from swinging them into a death trap.
At home, the construction foreman is giving Deanna and Reg an update and thinks the crew should be turned over to Abe, who is doing a much better job. Deanna agrees to make Abe the foreman. He thanks her and says she won’t regret the decision. Deanna sees a pattern of the #TWDFamily taking over and Maggie vouching for them. If only they could see Carol teaching Sam how to make cookies with the chocolate he has stolen. We learn that Sam breaks things when he gets mad, including the statue. Carol asks why. He wants to know why she stole the guns, and whether he can have one, but won’t tell her why he needs it. It’s clear to us why, and that kid wasn’t searching for cookies. He runs off.
The same, prophetic, song plays again as Eugene pulls up to draws the outside walker away. Glenn devises a plan to save them all, but Nicholas frees himself pushing the door and exposing Noah, who is killed while being pulled apart. I think of Beth and Tyrese’s sacrifices, as I watch him die. It’s tragic. Glenn is overcome with grief. Nicholas catches Eugene and tries to force him to leave. They fight and Glenn catches up just in time to knock Nicholas out. He still takes him back with them.
Carol goes to check on Sam but Pete, still drinking, won’t let her see him or Jessie. Meanwhile, in the van we see the first line of Noah’s journal. Gabriel stops to see Deanna to tell her that satan disguises himself and tells her that letting in the others was a mistake. He tells her that Rick’s group is not good, they’ve done unspeakable things. Maggie listens while standing on the stairs. Deanna reminds him that they had to do things to survive,Rick told them as much. Fr. Gabriel says they are dangerous and can’t be trusted. He tells her that the day will come when they will put their lives before hers and everyone else’s.
Abe is in the field working. Carol is telling Rick about Pete, as Fr. Gabriel is telling Deanna that Rick’s group doesn’t deserve the paradise of the community. Another statement that bares translation: “I’ve cracked up, so throw them out before they tell you what I’ve done.” He is not alone in cracking up. Carol advocates having Rick kill Pete.
I am fearful of what’s to come next week.