In a nutshell: Sasha is a mess, Darryl is really making an effort, Carol is scary and Rick, well, Rick seems to be heading down the rabbit hole. Also, my DVR freaked out a little bit in the middle of the party so if someone could explain the significance of the A on peoples' hands, that would be awesome.
Sasha can't sleep what with photographs of the house's previous occupants staring down at her. In the morning, she takes a rifle and a silencer out for target practice; she also takes all those framed photos with her and shoots the hell out of them. She's super-twitchy, eyes darting around, looking for walkers. Hoping for walkers, actually. After she's shot those photos to shit, she sits down on a stump and whisper-begs to the woods, "Come and get me."
Carol, Darryl and Rick have a surreptitious rendezvous out by the ramshackle house where Rick and Carl killed all those walkers last episode. They plan a gun heist: Carol says that the guns are stored with the food stuffs and there's a window that just closes with a latch. She'll manage to get in there and unlatch the window so they can liberate some guns. Just in case. In the meantime, she says, everyone needs to try to fit in with the Alexandrians. She looks pointedly at Darryl when she says this. A lone walker comes lurching out of the woods and Carol takes it down. They look at it closely once it's dead: someone had carved a "W" into its forehead while it was still alive. That's disturbing.
Rick and Michonne meets with Deanna, who has conscripted Maggie to work with her. Deanna has grand plans for eventual government! industry! community! but Rick would more like to talk about security for Alexandria. It comes out that they have no lookouts up in the clock tower. Deanna is like, there hasn't been any reason, but all of Rick, Maggie and Michonne are all, we need to keep an eye out! Sasha comes up and volunteers for as many shifts as possible but Deanna isn't sure she's stable enough yet. She tells Sasha that if she will come to the party she (Deanna) is throwing this evening, welcome Rick's group, she'll consider it. As Rick strolls down the main street some time later, Carol sees him and breaks away from the housewives with whom she has been sharing recipes. They decide that tonight - during the party - will be the night they steal the guns. Carol tells Rick that he can't do it - he's too visible a personage - but since she's basically become invisible, she'll do it.
Darryl is tromping around in the woods by himself. He finds Aaron and, when the other man asks if he can tag along, grumpily allows it if Aaron can keep up and keep quiet. As they walk, Aaron reaches out, saying that he knows how Darryl feels as an outsider with the the Alexandrians because he and Eric are outsiders too. But if he gets to know the people, the people will get less afraid of him and he will become less of an outsider. Aaron suggests that Darryl try going to Deanna's party. Darryl shrugs it off, saying that he's got nothing to prove. They come into a clearing and there's a pretty black horse grazing there. Aaron says he's been trying to catch the horse, to bring it back inside the walls before the zombies get him. Darryl takes the rope Aaron has been carrying and almost gets it around the horse's neck (one of the Alexandrian children named the horse "Buttons"). But a small herd of walkers emerges out of the woods. Buttons runs away and Darryl and Aaron efficiently put down the walkers. Aaron is pretty handy with his gun and Darryl gives him a grudging look of respect. Once the walkers are dead, they start tracking Buttons again.
Carol stops by the pantry to pick up ingredients for cookies for the party. Her real intent, of course, is to unlatch the window. While she's browsing the shelves, a couple of big fellows come in to check out some guns, heading outside to do some wall repair before the party. One of them asks Carol if she's afraid of guns. She smiles gently and says no, but she's not very good with them. The man, very politely and sincerely, tells her that if she ever wants to learn to shoot, he would be happy to teach her. Better to be safe than sorry. Carol thanks him and they all leave the armory/pantry. The window is now unlatched.
The party begins in the early afternoon. Our group is clean and showered and I don't even recognize Rosita without her Army cap. Abraham frowns, saying that he doesn't know about [the party]. Rosita notes that they have beer. Abraham: I'm gonna give it a try. Deanna introduces Rick to her husband, the architect who put up Alexandria's wall. He seems like a decent guy and Rick actually smiles. It looks genuine. People keep rolling in.
Darryl and Aaron keep following Buttons, putting down zombies as they go. There is one moment when a fallen walker grabs Aaron's leg and Darryl has to save him. "Thanks," says Aaron. Moments later, Aaron shoots another one who was coming up behind Darryl. "Thanks," says Darryl. They find Buttons, who is backed up into a fence cornered by some walkers. "I got the ones on the right," says Darryl. They are too late to save the poor horse, however, who is pulled down by the zombies. The two men kill the zombies as they munch on Buttons's intestines, and then Aaron puts a bullet in Buttons's head, putting him out of his misery. Aaron looks miserable too: "He always ran." Darryl shrugs, saying that Aaron was just trying to help him.
Inside the party, Noah is feeling shy and uncomfortable. He tries to bail but Glen and Maggie latch onto him, saying that he's family and they'll stick with him. They put on brave faces and begin to mingle. Outside the party (it has somehow gotten to be nighttime now, even though in the last scene with Aaron and Darryl and poor Buttons, it was clearly afternoon), Darryl peers through the windows. He has showered and changed his clothes but he can't make himself go inside. As he walks away, Aaron comes out onto his own porch, gives Darryl props for trying to go to the party and then invites him in to have dinner with him and Eric.
At the party, Carol notices the pantry-keeper in attendance and heads off to do her thievery. Jessie comes up with her husband and introduces him to Rick. His name is Pete, he is the community's doctor and he does not seem at all menacing like he did the other night on the porch - although he is a little brusque with his wife. Jessie stays to talk with Rick and to my eye, he is starting to get a little weird, staring at her too long and too intensely. Totally staring.
Sasha finally works up enough courage to come to the party. Another of Deanna's sons, Spencer, greets her at the door and offers to introduce her around. He's a little too friendly for her, however, and she scurries inside to find someone she knows.
Darryl slurps up Eric and Aaron's spaghetti [not a euphemism] enthusiastically, wiping his mouth on his sleeve before remembering his napkin. After dinner. Aaron takes him into the garage where there is a motorcycle frame and a whole bunch of random parts. He tells Darryl that he's been collecting parts whenever he sees them but he doesn't know what to do with them. He asks Darryl to be the community's other recruiter. Eric shouldn't/can't do it anymore because he can't take care of himself. But Darryl is good out there, can judge people's intent accurately and, at times, still needs to be out there in the world. "The main reason I want you to help me recruit is because you [know] the difference between a good person and a bad person." As Aaron has been talking, Darryl has been poking around the engine parts, checking out the bike frame. But he's been listening and when Aaron pauses, he says, "I ain't got anything else to do ... thanks."
Michonne and Abraham have a bit of a moment at the party, out on the porch, in the quiet. He's a little drunk, which makes him some poetical, but he's not incoherent. He says that he's come to realize that things have come to work out pretty damn well for him. And what about Michonne, what has she done? "I put on this dress," she says. Abraham smiles, "Try again."
Carol easily climbs into the pantry/armory, grabs a square of chocolate out of the freezer and then starts putting handguns in her bag. She is interrupted by Sam, Jessie and Pete's younger son, who has followed her, having hoped that she was going to make more cookies. Carol, without batting an eye, turns ice-fucking-cold. She says that she'd be happy to make him more cookies but he can't tell anyone he saw her here. Sam protests that he tells his mom everything. Carol moves in on him, slowly, backing him into the wall. And she says that if he tells his mom, one morning he won't wake up in his bed - he'll wake up outside, beyond the wall, tied to a tree and too far away for anyone to hear him scream when the monsters rip him to pieces. Or he could not tell anyone and get cookies, lots of cookies. Jesus, Carol! Yikes! The scene would be slightly more effective if the kid playing Sam was a better actor but still - damn.
Back at the party, Jessie brings Judith back to Rick. He says that the only reason he's here is for the baby and Carl, but he gets what Jessie has been telling him: here isn't that bad. And then, as she hands him the baby, he kisses her. And it's completely creepy. Jessie smiles awkwardly at him and goes back to the party. Ick.
Meanwhile, Deanna has dragged Sasha into a group of chatty women, telling her she doesn't have to talk. Sasha clearly just can't do this and she starts to panic, eyes darting around, listening to snippets of inane cocktail conversation. These people sound like the zombie apocalypse never happened and Sasha can't deal. Bookclubs! Dentists! Tea! Eating canapes! Drinking wine! One woman corners her, asking her what her favorite meal is because she's planning on making dinner for each of the new arrivals and she's worried that she'll cook the wrong thing. Sasha, wildly: "You're worried? THAT'S WHAT YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT???" She runs out as the party goes silent, staring.
The next day, Sasha waits at the gate while Deanna brings her the scoped rifle. Deanna asks her what it is exactly that has her so spooked. Sasha: "This. This isn't real." Deanna snaps that she knows Sasha has been through a lot but that is bullshit. She hands over the rifle and lets Sasha out of the town. Back in one of the group's houses, Michonne puts a couple of nails over the mantle and hangs up her sword with a sigh.
Also out of the town, Darryl, Carol and Rick are meeting at the derelict house again. Carol opens her bag of guns and offers the men their pick. Darryl, to the others' surprise, declines to take a gun, saying that they don't need these right now and, like she said, he's going to try to make it work. Rick the scary creeper takes one, though. When they go back to town, Rick strolls the streets. Jessie and Pete are out walking. They wave to him and keep going. He stops and stares creepily after them, and put his creepy hand on his illegal gun. Then he cocks his head to one side, hearing something. As a chipper and pleasant song [that I don't recognize] starts to play, Rick walks to the wall. The music distorts creepily as Rick puts his hand and his head against the metal panel. An overhead shot shows a walker on the other side of the wall, scrabbling at it just opposite Rick. Creepy.
Three more episodes. There's a whole lot of characters on this show right now ... so I'm guessing the carnage will start to mount soon.
Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead
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