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Season 5, Episode 11 “The Distance ”



Dustin: Read it.

Timothy: You do know how this works, right?

Dustin: Read it.

Timothy: We are just words on a page. Me “reading” anything would not really work.

Dustin: You know what I mean. READ IT.

Timothy: ((sigh)) Fine. “Last week during the writing of this recap, I made certain editor choices that made it seem like Mr. Dustin Adair, who is a much more talented and exciting writer than I”… hang on.

Dustin: Keep going.

Timothy: ((ahem)) “… who is a much more talented and exciting writer than I, wished to watch the Academy Awards this year. At this time I would like to make it clear that is not the case. Dustin, does not want to watch the Oscars this year. He has no interest in any of the films nominated. He has never seen Birdman. He thinks Boyhood is probably awful. He has no idea how to even spell Bennifer Cobswallow.” You know the joke about not knowing how Benedict Cumberbatch’s name is spelled or said is SO old.

Dustin: Yeah, but it’s a classic. Keep going, you’re almost done.

Timothy: “Mr. Adair’s thoughts and ideas are wholly owned subsidiary of Dustolio Incorporated.” WHAT?!?

Dustin: I’m just protecting my interests.

Curtis: And your interests are to make sure everyone knows you don’t want to watch the Oscars.

Timothy: And that you don’t know how to spell.

Dustin: Maybe.

Timothy: I have a headache.

Dustin: I’m glad we’ve got that all settled.

Timothy: Me too…. I guess.

Dustin: Can we watch the new episode of Bar Rescue instead of The Walking Dead tonight?

Timothy: ((siiiiigh)). Ladies and Gentlemen, this is, in fact, not Bar Rescue, or the Oscars, but AMC’s The Walking Dead, brought to you by the usual suspects. These would be the spelling-challenged Mr. Adair…

Dustin: Dustolio! Incorporated!

Timothy: … uh huh.. and Mr. Smith…

Curtis: Hi there!

Timothy: … who tweets the things and has taken over (and vastly improved) the episode predictions…

Dustin: I don’t know about vastly

Timothy: … while Mr. Adair recaps and I comment. As always, there are SPOILERS, language fit neither for man or beast, and a general sense of just not taking this at all seriously. Something we think this show shares from time to time.


In the barn, everyone is all “weapons” except Gabe who is all “moral uncertainty” and Rick who is all “babysitting”.

Gabe’s moral uncertainty would be a lot more effective if we cared about him in any way at all.

Maggie and Sasha come back to the barn with Aaron.

Which, by the way, Dustin spelled “n with arron”. I edit these for a reason, people.

Hush you. Aaron is looking at Maggie and Sasha and REALLY missing RuPaul’s Drag Race (season 7 premier March 2nd) Of course, we all know that RuPaul and John Waters are living in the best and most amazing survivor colony with The B52s and Neal Patrick Harris and Bret Ratner. They throw the best parties, you guys.

I actually have no idea what just happened here.

Daryl goes to look outside for… I don’t know.. the catering truck or something.

Or perhaps the potential arrival of a horde of suspiciously clean and well-dressed strangers.

Put the gun down Noah before you get someone ELSE killed for no reason.

Yeah… nice kid, but something of a bad luck charm so far.

Aaron tries to say he wants to bring Team Zombie back to his camp but all Rick cares about is whether or not he has a gun. Which he does, because, duh, Apocalypse. It’s a revolver of some kind.


Aaron wants to take them back to his camp to audition for entry. He makes a dumb joke about dancing. It does not go over well. But he really wants Team Zombie to come back with them, you guys.

He does appear to be quite insistent. And speaking of his joke, when was the last time we saw any of these folks actually make a with a funny?

No one wants to go.

Aaron asks Sasha to hand Rick his pack, and she gives him a look like ‘bitch, please’ but she does it.

And so The Glare of Michonne returns!

Aaron asks Rick to look at some pictures. Aaron starts talking about how the pictures were taken but Daryl is all I’M THE PRETTIEST GIRL IN THE VILLAGE so Aaron shuts up.

There is a pictures of walls. Aaron talks about walls and s@#$, but Rick is 100% not impressed.

Everyone is all “faces”.

It is a tough room. Perhaps Aaron should do a few more open mic nights, really develop his act, and then come back?

Aaron wants them to join his community and make us all stronger!!

So, of course, Rick punches him full in the face.

A really tough room.

I just hate you so much right now, Rick.

Michonne is all like: “What the actual F@#$, dude!?!” But Rick is all like: “They’re coming to kill us!!”

Maggie tells Rick she doesn’t think that Aaron is dangerous. After all, he could have killed her and Sasha already if he wanted. Carl finds a flare gun in the pack, he has no idea what it is. HA!!

Aaron wakes up, and he’s a little amused. Which is like, okay. Sure.

Rick is all “Lets torture the new guy!!” Rick wants to know how many people Aaron has out in the woods. Aaron plays a game of semantics because he knows Rick won’t believe him no matter what he says. Aaron tells them that there is only one other person with him, and they have been following them for a while.

Daryl wants to know for how long. Aaron is like: Long enough. Which is not not disconcerting. Aaron mentions that he left them the water.

No one wants to believe Aaron is offering them hope, because they have all seen this show before.

Rick is such an a@#hole right now.

In fairness to Rick, he has heard this all before – Woodbury, Terminus, the Hospital, hell, even the Farm. “It’s safe! We’re nice!” – and it’s all gone to hell and blood every single time, because the writers hate humanity trying to be better people and not being Zompocolypse monsters.

Aaron is like: Look if I wanted to kill you all, I could. Here is a totally efficient way I would do it.

Everyone looks at him kind of dumfounded.

Out at RuPaul’s camp, The B52s are playing Rock Lobster and luring walkers off a cliff. The other survivors are taking bets about how deep they sink into the jello pit. Did I mention they are luring walkers into a jello pit? Because they are.

Yes, I’m sure this is a thing that is happening. OK, Aaron is actually telling them that there are two cars out there, big enough to drive the whole of Team Zombie back to his place, and yes, Aaron is talking circles around them.

Michonne offers to go look for the cars. Rick is like: No. But Michonne looks at him with that “Michonne look”. Maggie agrees to go with her.

Clearly the Glare of Michonne is here to stay.

Seriously guys, Rick’s beard is out of control.

And yet, everyone else’s faces are either shaved or neatly trimmed. We really don’t get the personal grooming footage one might expect from that on this show, do we?

Michonne tries to be the voice of reason. Oooh, gurl, you better stop that. You know what happens to Voices of Reason on this show. Glenn offers to go with Michonne to look for the cars. Rick sends Abe and Rosita too.


Rick gives Glenn Aaron’s gun.

Rick sends everyone out to scour the area for spies and @#$%. Eugene… goes? Why?

It is a bit disconcerting that he’s armed too. Huh. He hasn’t said anything lately either, so there is that.

So Rick is left with Lil Ass-Kicker and Aaron.

Aaron used to work at an NGO… and he tries to convince Rick there are good people left in the world, and Rick is all like: Ima murder the f@#$% out of you.

Well, Rick’s experience with pleasant and reasonable people has, again, been a bit of a disappointment.

The away team is under Glenn’s command, he gives the kill order. Michonne is like: Stop being an idiot, Glenn.

Glenn refuses.

Michonne tries to make them see that they are good people but Glenn will NOT BE DISSUADED.

So what we seem to have reached here is the point where our heroes are so beaten down that they are in danger of becoming the very monsters they have had to deal with for the last 5 seasons, is that it? Shoot first, keep moving, just exist? No way to live, Glenn.

In the barn, Arron offers Judith some apple sauce because she is crying. This may very well be the first time this baby has cried the entire Zombie Apocalypse.

Oh Judith.

Rick tries to make Aaron eat the applesauce, and Aaron makes all these noises about not eating the applesauce.

And tells a story about his mother making him eat things he didn’t want to, to make him more of a man or something, so if you kids at home weren’t aware that in the comics Aaron is gay, or missed Dustin pointing  that out last week, we’ve had the dancing joke and and now the “be more of a man” thing, so if we can keep with the subtleties here, yes, Aaron is The Walking Dead‘s first gay character.

Also, this story is not likely to make Rick change his mind.


Rick makes him eat the applesauce, and Aaron makes a face.

Rick gives the damn crying baby some apple sauce. Welcome to flavor country, Judith.

She likes it better than Aaron, clearly.

The away team finds an RV and a car. A walker approaches out of the woods. They kill it. It’s gross. You know, we need to have a code for when there is a walker and is killed on the show. Something like #43.

Abe check out the RV, and it’s fine. He and Rosita find canned goods. They reminisce about the dead friends they had that are now dead. Abe asks Rosita if she thought he would ever hurt her. She says no.

See, she says that, but in that moment, back when Eugene had made his big confession, I wonder.

They bring the RV and the car back to the barn.

Uh oh, Brent Ratner has become infatuated with a beautiful young walker with washboard abs. He invited him in to a private pool party and was bitten!! Luckily David Burka is a trained sniper and he was able to take them both out before they infected the whole White Party.

This is not a thing that happened on The Walking Dead. Just in case you were wondering.

Rick claim the supplies!

Aaron is like STOOOP.

So are Michonne and Carl. Michonne is tired of all this cloak and dagger @#$%! She wants to go to the damn camp already!

They finally agree to go.

They ask where the camp is, Aaron wants to drive but no one is okay with that.

Which, honestly, is understandable, and kinda pointless too.

Rick tries to change the route, but Aaron thinks it’s a terrible idea. But @#$%ing Rick is @#$%ING RICK and won’t follow Aaron’s route. It’s a terrible mistake in the making.

Aaron says that his route is cleared of walkers, which sounds good until you think about it for, oh, a second, because it’s a highway. It’s kind of open on all sides and there are only two of you, right? What’s to stop new walkers from, oh I don’t know, walking into the cleared area?

Still. Abundance of caution is going to get someone killed here.

Michonne goes to talk to Rick and he’s all like: I’m the leader!! Michonne asks if they are really going to the camp. I have a feeling that she’s afraid Rick will want to raid the camp for supplies. And honestly, I wouldn’t put it past him.

I just want Rick to stop swinging back and forth between devoted friend who is protecting his family and borderline mass murderer. Pretty sure we’ve seen the middle ground, and he’s much more pleasant that way.

Rick asks what they have heard outside all the camps they have been to. Michonne says nothing. Rick says he would rather live on the road like some sort of hobo marauder than go somewhere dangerous for Carl and Lil Ass-Kicker.

OK, so this does make sense and it sounds great, and pretty sure that it isn’t true. Woodbury, with as many people as lived there, was silent? Really?

In the cars driving at night. Rick finds a ton of license plates on the glove compartment Aaron says he collects them. They are on a wall in his house.

Yeah, so that’s not remotely creepy. Actually, it’s the kind of thing that someone in Aaron’s position could do in an innocent way, if he’s telling the truth, but again, given Team Z’s history, you think they are going to see it that way?

Michonnne wants to see pictures of Aarons house. So he whips them out.

Michone asks why there are no pics of the people at Aaron’s settlement.

She kind of freaks out and decides Aaron needs to be asked the questions.

Aaron? You do realize that these folks have had a rough go of it, right? I mean, you have been following them for a while, right? Why are you making all the suspicious moves?

How many walkers have you killed?

I don’t know? A lot?

Which Dustin spelled “wlaktel ahv etoe killed.: al oy.” Editing. For Reasons.

Shut it. How many people?



They were trying to kill me.

Rick sees another flare go off in the distance. Aaron freaks! He wants out of the car NOW!

Suddenly there is a magical herd of walkers in the way!! The car bursts through them!! Glenn can barely keep control of the car. On the other side of the herd, the car dies.


And in a departure for The Walking Dead, the car doesn’t flip over for no apparent reason.

OK, so here’s the reason that Aaron wanted to take the other highway, but holy crap, how is it that absolutely no one in this car saw any of this gigantic collection of the undead before it was too late?

And then there’s Aaron’s statement about “clearing off” the other highway. Um… how, exactly? Unless they’ve lined the sides of the highway with, I don’t know, walls or something, it’s not like the walkers aren’t going to just, um, walk over to it.

Michonne pulls arms and such out of the engine. Aaron is basically freaking out, Michonne tries to calm him down, but he kicks open the door and runs!!!

By the way, there is almost no way that running into a bunch of squishy, decaying zombies is going to do that to a car, but hey, it looks cool.

Everyone runs after. Walkers are everywhere. Running and gunning #43.

Glenn bashes a walker’s brains in.

Foreshadowing. Foreshadowing like a mother#$%@er.

Subtle is not in the vocabulary.

RuPaul is dressed in Tina Turner’s Beyond the Thunderdome costume! Who runs Bordertown? RuPaul do.

Glenn finds Aaron, he is about to be bitten by a walker. For a moment, Glenn hesitates, but then he saves him.

If Glenn had let that walker eat Aaron, no joke, I would have stopped this recap right here, and never watched this show again. Not out of any queer solidarity, but just because I’m so @#$%ING SICK of this show’s bleak @#$%ing world view.

And yet you hate Rick for reacting to the world the only way this show is going to rationally let him, by making the world so bloody bleak, and smashing him in the beard over and over again.

Rick and Michonne are looking for Glenn and Aaron (mainly Glenn). Rick 43’s a walker with a flair gun.

Great effect, kinda pointless though.



Then Glenn and Aaron save them.


They arrive back at the road. Rick wants to kill kill kill!! @#$% youuuuuuu, Rick!!

Suddenly, industrial complexes.

OK, well, these came out of nowhere.

Daryl and the others are in a set of warehouses. Everyone is happy to see everyone.

Aaron calls for Eric.

Eric is hurt, but makes a joke about having a broken ankle is no worse than an old volleyball injury. Ooooooh. They’re gaaayy.

They kiss. Not gonna lie. Its hot. Although Eric is a little thin for me.


Eric says he loves Aaron. They are too cute. It’s disgusting. Rick can kill them now. Oh, Rick is creeping on them. Nice.

Now you want Rick to be all murdery. Jealous much? But yes. They are annoying in their happiness. Single guy solidarity!

It. Shut. Aaron tells the group he’s grateful to them for saving Eric. He promises the to take them to Alexandria. Rick says Aaron is sleeping in another building away from the rest of the group. Aaron basically tells him that if he wants him to sleep anywhere but with his boyfriend, he has another thing coming. Rick is almost a dick about it, but the rest of the Team Zombie is like: DUDE!! Let it gooooo.

No matter how the TV version of Aaron ultimately stacks up against the comics version, who is, by the way, a great character, this. Surrounded by people who don’t trust him and unarmed, he makes it very clear that he will be with the man he loves and Rick and his gun can @#$% off. Good on you, Aaron.

Shave of the anger beard, Rick.

Glenn says he finally has hope again.

In the RV Noah approaches Eric and Aaron!! Run Eric and Aaron!! RUN!!

Yeah, you two are happy now. Just you wait.

Aaron asks about Noah’s leg. Noah talks about how he Cousin Olivered his dad and how he was healed badly by half -ass doctors in a hospital run by insane police officers.

Aaron tells him they might be able to fix his leg in Alexandria.

Where did Noah get the new shirt? Who did he Cousin Oliver to death to get that?

Best not to ask, probably. Maybe we’ll get a webisode about “Gary, that one guy about Noah’s size who joined the group and died tragically, and fairly stupidly, off-camera.”

They are driving down the road when Rosita sees the capital building.

Abe looks at her.

Eyes on the road, idiot, Rosita says.

I was so waiting for the RV to flip, or hit more walkers or something, because Abe is basically begging for it right here.

Of course the RV breaks down. But Glenn knows how to fix it because of season 2.

Rick and Michonne sit on the trunk of the car and talk about life. Michonne tells him that the fight is over. Which, of course, knowing this show, means that the fight is just beginning. Stop sayin’ things, Michonne!!

Rick tells her that Bob tried to convince him the same thing. The rules keep changing.

Are they going to kiss? You guys, I think I really want them to kiss.

It looks like that, it really does. Hmmm. And Rick is right, in the context of this show’s brutal world, but Michonne?  She’s right-er.

The RV starts.

Rick says he has to take a minute. He wanders off into the woods on his own to an abandoned house. He finds a place to hide a gun.

Which makes sense. And we will never see Chekhov’s Gun again.

Finally they arrive at Alexandria’s gates.

Rick hears children playing.

So we have incredibly loud children playing very close to the gate, or symbolism. One of the two.

Michonne hears it too, they touch hands. She asks if he’s ready for this @#$%, and he says that he is. You guys, I think I’m a Richonne shipper.

I’d be OK with that. Make it happen Walking Dead!

Llil ass kicker is adorable. Rick gathers her out of the back seat of the car, where she is NOT buckled in for safety.

Seriously Rick? After all the words about protecting Carl and Judith? Safety, man! Of course, this would be the perfect time for a…



Yes! I would love that! Never gonna happen though.

Carol tells Rick that even when he is wrong, he’s right. Then the group heads for the gates.


And there we have “The Distance” and the beginning of a new chapter in the saga of Team Zombie. Based on the preview for next week, life in Alexandria looks a lot like every other episode, so that’s not reassuring, but…

But in the comics, anyway, this is a pretty big and involved storyline. Then again, the prison was a lot more involved in the comic than the show was, so we’ll see. Lots of things ahead if they keep somewhat close though.

Yeah, we’ll keep the spoilers to a minimum. Mostly. Some dark places to go I hope they avoid.

Foreshadowing. It’s a thing.

Yeah. So maybe some happier moments to come too?

God I hope so. I am so sick of the grim, relentless “everything is awful, all people are terrible, kill everyone you see before they kill you” vibe of this show. Sick of it. I get that the show is making the characters like this, but I don’t care and hate it as much as I hate Rick and his beard. Shave off the @#$%ing beard, Rick. You’ll be a happier man.

Likely. Oh, hey. Guess what I found?


It’s our review from last year’s Oscar night. You know, the review we wrote the Thursday after the episode, because we watched the Oscars instead of The Walking Dead? This one?



And so if certain people who have spelling issues…

Like Dustin.


… and who watched the Academy Awards last year, instead of The Walking Dead

Like Dustin.

You guys watched the Awards too you know, you were right here.

… let his part of the review fall into the hands of someone…

Like Timothy.

… who has to pull all of this together and edit your spelling and language…

“wlaktel ahv etoe killed.: al oy.”

Thus destroying the carefully cultivated illusion that this is a live thing we’re doing and not some literary reconstruction, so good job on that.

Then it’s your own damn fault.

I don’t think that makes any actual sense. Doesn’t matter. Made you read the statement though, didn’t I?

Thanks for reading folks. We’ll see you next week.


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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