Morgan! At last! And some damned fool with a “W” on his forehead catches him off guard, holding him at gunpoint. We learn that the “W” is a reference to a time when the first settlers held a bounty on wolves’ heads. It seems the walkers from earlier scenes were intentionally killed and left to turn. The tribes who lived in the area thought the first people they met were wolves transformed into men. I gotta’ say, if I was this guy, I would put my primal senses to work and would be a little unnerved by how calm Morgan! is. The stranger seems to indicate that he and his band run through camps taking everything they can from everyone they meet. He plans to take everything Morgan has, including the coffee he’s drinking, and the man himself. Morgan tells him he won’t allow it. When the stranger’s friend tries to sneak attack him from behind, Morgan beats the two “wolves” to the ground, knocking them unconscious when they refuse to leave as he asked them to do. As a walker approaches, we learn that the stranger’s gun was empty. Instead, Morgan dispatches the walker with the staff he used to take out the “wolves.” He loads the two men into the backseat of the abandoned car he was sleeping in, blowing the horn for good measure, and walks away with a hanging rabbit’s foot that was indeed lucky for him. For a character with so little screen time, the writers and the actor all know how to make every “Morgan! moment” matter.
Watching Daryl on his bike, and Aaron following him in his car, makes me want to forget what humanity is facing. They look like two friends on the open road (and P.S., are there no car dealerships in Alexandria? Why is Aaron driving an unsafe beater?) Nothing to report, other than the men pulling off the road. What will they find?
Rick wakes up. Rosita has tended to his bruises, we learn from Michonne. She also tells him that Carl kept coming by to check on him. She doesn’t understand why he didn’t tell her about Pete (who has been moved out of his family home) or the gun. Rick treats his deception about the gun as an act committed to protect her. It seems to feels to Michonne as if he no longer trusts her. When Glenn, Carol, and Abe stop in, Carol plays it to the hilt and pretends not to know why Rick would do such a thing. She gives Rick the cover story that will help explain that he was only planning to protect Jessie. She feels the Alexandrians are childlike and both need, and would love, the story. Rick comes up with a takeover plan, if the meeting about expelling him goes badly. The plan includes, threats to slit the throats of their captives.“Like Terminus”, Glenn counters. “No!” says Rick. He is bothered by the comparison but does not back off his plan. He decides he needs more sleep and dismisses his family…none of whom have refused to follow the plan.
At the same time Maggie is pleading his case. Deanna tells Maggie that she is not impressed that Rick did not shoot anyone and that she will do what she has to for the community. Reg reminds Maggie that it was Michonne who stopped him, not Rick himself.
Sasha continues to work in solitude, dumping the walkers she dropped outside the gate into a pit. Falling into it she decides to lie on the pile. I am seriously unable to cope with her inability to cope. She either pulls it together or Carol will be showing her the pretty flowers. Aaron and Daryl are still tracking through the woods when Aaron talks about the two men and a woman (Enid’s mother?) who didn’t work out and had to be driven away from the group. They were a bad fit. He recruited them and doesn’t want to make that mistake again. My guess is that we’ll learn that at least one of them is leading this “W” group. They are following a man in a red poncho but lose him. Back at camp, Carol goes to see Rick and gives him an extra gun. When Rick asks why she didn’t tell the others the truth about the additional guns, she reminds him that it was Michonne who knocked him out. He is sure that Michonne, and everyone else, is still with them. He states that he doesn’t want to lie to anyone, any more. Carol calls him “sunshine” and tells him he doesn’t get to have both. Ouch! Not realizing that he is still armed, Rick is allowed to walk freely. Maggie tells Glenn that she will talk to everyone she can and try to swing things in Rick’s favor. Glenn remains quiet about the plan. He turns in time to watch someone climb the wall. Nicholas? Also heading out is Fr. Gabriel – who refuses to take a weapon since he has the word of God with him.
At home, Rick warns Carl that he can’t come to the meeting and informs Carl that he may have to kill someone. Neither are sure that the people of Alexandria are ready to hear and understand Rick. Carl is afraid, for the Alexandrians.
Aaron and Daryl stand outside a food warehouse (Del Arno Foods… “Are no”… get it?). The Red Poncho stranger is long gone, and while Daryl wants to keep looking, Aaron hopes there is food left to take home. They take out the walkers in the yard and case the place. Aaron is excited by finding an Alaskan license plate as Daryl opens a trailer. It is a trap. Semi- trucks, filled with “W” etched walkers, open and the men are forced to fight their way to an SUV sitting in the yard. Between the seats is a crumpled note, “Trap. Bad People Coming. Don’t Stay.” It would have been helpful to have the note pinned to the gate! The men hope the glass windows will hold until evening, or until something comes along to distract the walkers.
Carol visits Pete, bringing food. Once inside she puts a knife to his throat, reminding him that he needs to check in on Tara. She tells him that he is a small weak nothing, even more so in the new world. She gives him the dish she brought with him and tells him to bring it back to her, clean. That causes him to fall into a tear when she leaves, screaming that it isn’t his house. Pete watches from his front window as Rick speaks with Jessie while she is covering her broken window. Jessie tells Rick that they can’t be seen together, but tells him that he was right. This is Rick’s new world, where women always seem to tell him he’s right. No one knows that while this was all going on, cowardly Nicholas shot Glenn out in the woods, but was unable to find him after Glenn fell into a ravine.
Aaron tells Daryl that he was right, they should have kept looking for the guy in the red poncho. Daryl is not as comfortable as Rick being told he’s right – he plans to finish his smoke and draw the walkers away. Aaron refuses the offer, it’s them fighting together or nothing. (Sorry, Eric, I’m loving these two and will take them however the writers give them to me). No sacrifice is needed. Morgan! and his trusty staff to the rescue. He frees them from the car, pushing back the walkers. When asked why he saved them, he tells them all life is precious. He refuses to join them at their compound, and opens the map Abe left for Rick, asking for directions. As Morgan! saves them, Fr. Gabriel goes whistling in the woods, strolling up to a walker, telling it that he is ready. At the last minute, he saves himself and releases the man the walker was eating. Abe joins Rosita and a sleeping Eugene at Tara’s beside. Rosita intentionally wakes Eugene by making noise. Eugene thanks Abe for leading them and apologizes for his lie. A deeply remorseful Abe apologizes for nearly killing him. It’s all good.
Three questions are answered – Fr. Gabriel returns, after crying at the side of the road. Spencer, who wants to talk to him later about Aiden’s death, trusts him to close the gate not realizing that the fragile father is devolving. He only partially closes it, leaving the community exposed. Second, Glenn is alive and tackles Nicholas, who is too busy shooting a walker to see him coming. Nicholas leaves a wounded Glenn on the ground, as walkers pile on top of him.
Third, Michonne and Rick are solid. He tells her everything. She tells him that she knocked him out to protect him, not them. He heads for the gates after their talk, and after recalling his last conversation with a dying, but optimistic, Bob – who, in essence, told him that they would eventually find a place that reminds them of the way it used to be but it won’t feel real. It looks as if Rick is thinking of escaping back to the “real world” until he realizes the gates have been breached by walkers. He locks up and heads back inside. Also inside, Sasha is at the chapel, asking Fr. Gabriel for help, she’s losing her head. His look seems to suggest that he is empathetic, but he angrily refuses her request.
The meeting starts. Deanna gives her anti-Rick speech while Maggie reminds her that not everyone is there. Deanna continues. Nicholas is outside the gates. Glenn has not been seen. Rick is looking for walkers. Fr. Gabriel is telling Sasha she doesn’t deserve forgiveness and tells her that Bob was killed and “consumed” because of her sins and that Tyrese deserves to be there, she doesn’t. Rick finds the first walker and kills it as Michonne is defending him, telling the Alexandrians that Rick only wants them and their families to live. It’s hitting the fan! Rick is fighting a small herd inside the gates, alone. Glenn shows up, outside, and is fighting Nicholas, smacking him to the ground. Sasha is fighting Fr. Gabriel, in the chapel. Abe gives the following million dollar speech, “Simply put, there is a vast ocean of shit you people don’t know shit about. Rick knows every fine grain of said shit, and then some.’ The man is a poet. The writers must fight over who gets to write his dialogue. Back at the “Del Arno foods” warehouse we see part of that “ocean of shit” as the two men Morgan! took down are alive. They kill the Red Poncho stranger. Bastards! Loving the finale, except this part. We JUST got rid of The Governor then the Terminans. Too much, too soon?
Maggie talks about how Hershel respected Rick and how they are now a family and that they will want to be a part of that family, too. Deanna shares, in the spirit of transparency, Fr. Gabriel’s words. Since he didn’t show, Jessie decides that it’s just Deanna repeating his words, not evidence. Glenn is trying to determine if he is going to put a bullet in Nicholas’ head, but spares him as Nicholas screams that he was just afraid. We see how the wolves load the walkers into the trucks – remotely turning on lights and music to draw them in. A bloodied Rick drops a walker in the middle of the council meeting, telling them the gate was open. Spencer notes that he left Gabriel to close the gate and is sent by Deanna to check it. Maggie arrives at the chapel in time to save Gabriel, who cries that they all died because of him, remembering his flock. Rick tells the group that the dead and the living will try to get in because they are inside. Sasha and Maggie sit with Gabriel. Tara wakes up to a smiling Rosita at her side, as the two wolves are looking over Aaron’s pictures of the community. Rick tells them he will show them how to survive, but earlier he was thinking about how many of them he would have to kill to save them. He tells them that he won’t kill them but they will have to change. He’s not sorry for what he said to them last night (during the fight), he’s sorry he didn’t say it sooner. He tells them they have to be ready, luck runs out.
An enraged Pete shows up screaming that Rick is not one of them, he cuts Reg’s throat with Michonne’s blade, when Reg tries to hold him back. As Deanna holds her dying husband, she looks up and tellsRick to “do it.” Rick shoots Pete in the head. Rick hears his name being called. It’s Morgan! ..oh, and Aaron and Daryl. Michonne planned to hang the blade back on the wall, but puts it on her back, instead. The game has changed! We conclude with the Red Poncho walker moving through the warehouse yard. The SUV trap has been spray painted and now reads “Wolves Not Far.”