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THE WALKING DEAD: Harvey, Adair & Smith TRY

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Season 5, Episode 15 “Try”

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Dustin: Welcome back, Gentlemen.

Timothy: Are you actually going to do your job this week?

Dustin: I did my job last week. AND I raised three children.

Curtis: You were four days late, and you only had the children for 2 days.

Dustin: Everyone has their crosses to bear.

Timothy: I’m not going to ask where you got the children. I’m just going to pray the authorities were not involved.

Dustin: All the important people knew I had the children.

Curtis: Is that why there are bunk beds in the other room?

Dustin:… there are bunk beds in the other room?

Timothy: There is something really wrong with you. But then we knew that already, didn’t we?

Hello folks, it’s that time again when Mr. Adair recaps AMC’s The Walking Dead, I attempt to apply some analysis of what’s happening in the world of Team Zombie, and Mr. Smith takes to the Twitterverse to spread the message of Carl’s Hat.

Curtis: The Hat says “Obey”. And “Cheese.”

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Timothy: As always, there be SPOILERS here, a generous portion of swearing in creative ways, and the usual collection of commentary that is of dubious worth or good taste. It’s what we do.

RECAP!!

Bloody walker.

Deanna listens to Aidan’s “run mix” CD. They are candles in the wind. Listening to Nine Inch Nails.

You know, I understand that this is meant to be a moment where Deanna and her family are remembering the son and brother they have lost to his own stupidity, but if the most relevant memory you have is the music that he should never have been blasting out into the world while making his way amongst the zombie hordes… there are issues here.

There is another son. His name is “Never Appeared Before”.

Well, other than the time he met Sasha at the door to party, introduced himself, and told her that he was Deanna’s other son, thus establishing who he was and implying just a touch that not all of Deanna’s kids were idiots, yes.

Carol is baking tuna casserole and looking in on Lil Ass Kicker on the baby monitor. Dennis the Menace arrives.

Wait. They have wireless there?

Sasha cries in the lookout tower. Pull it together, girl.

Are we going to regret putting the traumatized person in a bell tower with a high-powered rifle?

Aidan really had terrible taste in music.

Yes, I know it’s Nine Inch Nails; I don’t care.

I like Nine Inch Nails, but not a huge fan of this song, and again: If this is the emotional resonance point of memorializing your kid…

Back at Deanna’s house, there is a knock at the door. A walker approaches the town.

Carol left the casserole on the door step. Deanna looks at it, takes the note off of it, and leaves the casserole where it is. She burns the note.

Not casserole fans then. Perhaps a pie, next time?

Let’s be really real for real here. Aidan was going to die eventually, he was the only person who ever left town and he was terrible at it.

He really was, and thinking about it, as much as Deanna has managed this town so seemingly well, that she let someone so clearly wrong for this job do this so badly for so long, well… Cracks in the facade.

Meanwhile, Daryl and Aaron are out on a recruitment run. They see some light in the distance.

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They’re also pretty much out in the open, so can whoever’s making that light see them?

Curly McCowardice interviews about what happened to Aidan. Of course he lies. Curly is a @#$%ing idiot. Glenn tells Rick about it, and he tells the truth. Deanna watches the tape. I hope she is smart.

Please be @#$%ing smart, Deanna.

Yeah, we saw this coming, didn’t we? But again, there is no way that Deanna can not know who Team Zombie is at this point, and the whole reason they are even in Alexandria is because Deanna knows who they are/what they are. Sure, losing a child will color, your perception of things, but this feels… manufactured.

Rick tells Glenn the Alexandrians don’t know what the hell they are doing and Team Zombie is basically going to take over. Glenn tells Rick there is no difference between the Alexandrians and Team Zombie anymore; they have to make it work.

And everyone is just a little bit wrong here, and it’s going to go pear-shaped soon. Rick thinks Alexandria needs to become like Team Zombie, Alexandria thinks Team Zombie should be more like them, and the truth is in the middle where none of them are interested in going.

Rick looks out into the darkness of the town. He sees a boat with a red balloon tied to it in the little pond.

Carol watches Jessie and Dennis from the porch. She tells Rick she made a casserole for Deanna and Reg the Glasses, and Never Appeared Before. She tells Rick Dennis told her he is being locked in a closet at night because Dr. Husband is beating the @#$% out of Jesse. Rick asks why she cares and Carol is like: Rick, seriously, stop.

It is kind of dumb question, since Rick has, in fact, met Carol before. But I find myself asking the question of why Carol is telling Rick he needs to kill Pete? Carol is, as we know, quite capable of taking him out herself, so why does Rick have to do it? Because he’s the Law? That’s a dubious argument when we’re talking about killing a man because he’s abusive, isn’t it?

Rick takes a walk. Dr. Husband arrives and tries to be friendly. Rick tells him to keep walking. Rick is all: Angerface. Dr. Husband… keeps walking.

Proving that Pete is not completely stupid.

The next day, Michonne wakes up. She is fully dressed and sleeping on top of the covers. Nope. No PTSD there.

In the corner is a hamper, she gets up and takes a shirt out of it and looks super sad. I am… missing the symbolism.

I don’t know either… maybe the fact that there are options? That the clothes are decorative rather than functional?

She puts her uniform on the bed and Rosita comes in. She tells her she thinks Sasha might be sleeping in the clock tower. They decide to go look for her.

Out in the woods, Rosita has a knife, and Michonne has a gun. This may be the first time ever that I have seen Michonne with a gun. Both ladies mention that it is the first time they have been outside the walls since they arrived at Alexandria. Rosita says she was really messed up when everyone realized Eugene was lying. Michonne wants to forget all that. Rosita mentions the fact that Michonne did not bring her sword with her, which means… something?

I think that it means that she’s showing that she can change, or at least is willing to entertain the idea of change?

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Back in Alexandria, Dianna standing at the fresh graves. There are only 4 of them. Hrm, seems like there would be more.

Are all of these graves empty? Because Aidan and Noah were eaten, right? And the Away Team folks that Aiden and Curly got killed got eaten too, weren’t they? And Alexandria’s “Run! Save Yourself” philosophy doesn’t lend itself well to going back for the bodies. Actually, common sense doesn’t lend itself well to the idea either.

Rick arrives and tells Deanna about Dr. Husband beating Jessie. Of course Deanna knew. OF @#$%ING COURSE SHE DID!! But, she is turning a blind eye because Dr. Husband is… well… a doctor… husband.

Rick wants to forcibly remove Dr. Husband from Jessie’s house, and if that doesn’t work, kill him. Of course, Deanna is opposed to that.

They angry whisper at each other. It’s amazing.

It’s also so damn infuriating, and another blatant display that the perfect little world of Alexandria is a lie. Look. It’s one thing to not know and it happens because you didn’t know, but it’s something else entirely when you know it’s going on, and you do nothing because you “need” Pete. It’s basically saying “Well, it’s too bad for Jessie and her kids, but hey, gots to have the Doc, right?” and honestly, Deanna lost anything resembling the moral high ground right here.

Out in the woods, Michonne and Rosita find a bunch of head shot walkers. They have all been shot in the BACK of the head. Sasha has been out in the woods hunting walkers. Remember the math problem from a couple of week ago, Sasha: 5 walkers a week. Do your part.

Again with the application of logic. Have my vain attempts to apply such things taught you nothing?

Oh, just so you know, Carl is in the woods, too. He’s following Enid. She’s basically running around the woods like a wildling.

Why the hat still, Carl?

Because the Hat has not released Its host yet. It Waits For The Right Time.

Carl and Enid find a walker. Enid throws a kitchen timer at it, the noise draws the walker away and they escape.

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One presumes that Enid has found a kitchen supply store, or that all the baking set of Alexandria is making guesses on the prep times for the apple pie.

Back at Alexandria, Glenn goes to find Curly cleaning out the van and he basically tells him he is no longer allowed to go on runs. Curly tries to pretend he has any kind of spine. Glenn is basically like: Nope.

It’s basically Daryl level badassery.

Made even better by Glenn being so matter of fact about it.

Enid and Carl in the woods: Enid hates the town because she doesn’t want to be weak either. Can someone cut Carl’s hair? They flirt. They talk about the other idiot teens. Enid plays with a knife. It was her mother’s knife.

Carl asks for her backstory. Keep it a secret, Enid, if you want to live.

A small herd of walkers arrive. Carl and Enid have to hide in a tree. Like literally inside a tree. They face each other. Carl touches Enid’s hand. It’s kind of cute.

And luckily, since the tree is a terrible place to be “safe” in, none of the walkers corner them in it and eat their stupid cuteness. Really. This is a cute but mind-numbingly stupid thing to do.

Oh, one of the walkers has a ‘W’ carved into its forehead.

Curly digs up a gun.

Hey Rick! Found your gun…

In another part of the woods, Sasha shoots some damn walkers.

Michonne and Rosita find her. They ask her what the actual @#$% she is doing and she says she is gonna kill the @#$% out of as many walkers as she can. The herd that passed Carl and Enid arrives. Sasha begins to shoot them.

Clearly she read your math lesson.

Michonne has a VERY SLICKLY EDITED PTSD flashback. Then she and Rosita join Sasha in killing the herd. The ladies of Team Zombie take on the walker hordes!! Sasha is all like: ANGERFACE!

Hey, do you realize this is three women of color murdering a scene in a genre show. Where are all the @#$%ing Emmys this scene deserves?

True that.

Daryl and Aaron find dismembered body parts. Someone seems to have dismembered some walkers, taken all the torsos and left the legs and arms. Where have we seen this before?

They find a woman tied to a tree. She dead. She was basically fed to walkers.

It just happened. She has a ‘W’ on her forehead too.

Hmmm. Anyone else hearing howling in the distance?

Jessie is smoking one of those stale cigarettes. Rick arrives and Jessie tells him Tara is in good hands with Dr. Husband.

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Rick tells her he knows she is being beaten. Jessie tries to make excuses. She even tells him this is not the first time Dr. Husband has beaten her. Which, yeah. Rick offers to help her escape. But she closes the garage door on him.

Which, sadly, is a thing that makes that perverse sort of sense in abusive relationships.

Welcome to a very special domestic violence/adultery episode of The Walking Dead.

I don’t think we’re going to get a neatly wrapped lesson at the end of the show here.

Rick walks out into the street and looks around at all the complacent people living their blind little lives. He seethes with rage. Then he goes into Jessie’s house and tells her Dennis asked for a gun to protect her. He tells her she has to fight or she is going to die.

Jessie asks Rick if he would be this involved if it was anyone other than her. After a moment, he says no. Jessie tells him she will go with him.

And here’s where Rick says the worst thing possible in this situation, for a bunch of reasons. Let’s start with it being just about Jessie, because he doesn’t know her at all. She could be the best person in the world, and there is no way at this point that he could possibly know that, because they just met. Now I know that The Walking Dead’s relationship with time is shaky at best, but we’ve had nothing to show that these two are really anything more than acquaintances. The correct answer, Mr. Lawman, is that you would do this for anyone because it’s the right thing to do, and that should be what makes Jessie say yes, because there’s someone standing up for what’s Right, and not that some guy you think is hot clearly wants in your pants.

Dr. Husband arrives. Slow your roll Dr. Husband. You know not who you are messing with.

Dr. Husband tries to intimidate Rick. Jessie tells him to leave. Rick and Dr. Husband begin to get into it. They fight.

This is an understatement.

I have to say, there is something satisfying about watching people crash through a window in what is clearly a “Hey! Let’s have them crash though a window! That’ll look awesome!” moment.

Sasha is back in the tower.

Clearly having found her inner peace.

More Rick and Dr. Husband fighting!! They are taking it to the streets now.

Everyone in town run out to see the fight. Jessie tries to pull Dr. Husband off Rick, but he punches her in the head. Then Carl tries to pull Rick off Dr. Husband and Rick pushes him away.

Rick chokes him out.

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Deanna tells him to stop!! Rick has like, a total breakdown. It looks for a second like he might go on a bit of a shooting spree, but Michonne steps in and knocks him the @#$% out.

You are making all the faces.

Yeah. Yeah, I suppose I am. Because Rick is pissing me off, and yet his argument is more or less right, even if he’s basically turned into Shane at this point. If Team Zombie wasn’t in The Lie That Is Alexandria, then it would just be Rick losing his damn mind, yet again – and I’m sick to death of that being recycled again and again, by the way – but they are, and it isn’t.

One more time: Everyone in this town should be dead. They abandon anyone who is seemingly in danger, they ignore obvious abuse to meet their short-term needs, they send out people who are neither prepared to deal with the outside world or capable of adapting to it, they ostracize the one person who is capable because he’s “different”, and they invite a group of people who are clearly traumatized by their experiences out in that world into their midst and expect them to instantly change to fit their new environment, and worse than that, they put them in positions of power then act surprised when the traumatized people actually start to use that power.

Our first reaction to Deanna was that she was an extremely canny judge of character, but everything she does here makes it clear that she is as almost delusional in her worldview as the folks in the Hospital, and on top of that, she sees what everyone else in Team Zombie is acting like or appearing to act like, and she’s not seeing right through Carol, who is playing a pretty blatant game of “One of These Things is Not Like The Other”, and the more I watch these… dolts in Alexandria the more I see how easy it was for the Governor to pull the wool over the eyes of Woodbury, because apparently, here in the world of The Walking Dead, the zombie virus or whatever it was, also killed a bunch of everyone’s, everywhere’s, damn brain cells.

Breathe man.

Breathing. It’s frustrating. I’ve said it before: Everyone Team Zombie encounters has reacted to this new world in horrible ways. Alexandria is no different, and it’s pretty clear that we’re headed into the Nagan and the Wolves territory…

Spoilers for the comic.

… and that’s more of the same, just writ larger. And they’ll Need Rick More Than Ever, and we’ve been here before and it’s just becoming the same thing, over and over.

Are you hate watching this now?

No… no. Haven’t got to that place yet, because Daryl is still great, Carol’s arc is still compelling as all hell, Michonne is still amazing. Glenn, Maggie, even Eugene are all getting good stuff, and Aaron is a really cool character who I hope they keep for a long time. I just don’t think they have any idea what to do with Rick at this point, because every season we seem to get him losing his damn mind, and it’s getting… boring.

And on that note, we’ll see you all next week for the season finale, where things will happen and Dustin and Curtis will be funny, and I will resist the urge to get worked up about things and likely fail spectacularly.

Something to look forward to then. G’night folks!

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Timothy Harvey

Timothy Harvey is a Kansas City based writer, director, actor and editor, with something of a passion for film noir movies. He was the art director for the horror films American Maniacs, Blood of Me, and the pilot for the science fiction series Paradox City. His own short films include the Noir Trilogy, 9 1/2 Years, The Statement of Randolph Carter - adapted for the screen by Jason Hunt - and the music video for IAMEVE’s Temptress. He’s a former President and board member for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City, and has served on the board of Film Society KC.

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