Walking Dead 5.10 – Them

Can you imagine how bad they all smell right about now? Probably can't smell it anymore it's so bad. Sorry, I get distracted easily.

Can you imagine how bad they all smell right about now? Probably can’t smell it anymore it’s so bad. Sorry, I get distracted easily.

[Previously] I have to tell you guys, it’s getting really hard to stick with it. I mean, I’m doing this out of my love for the show, and the show is making me fall in love with a passel of kittens and then drowning them in front of my crying face. This week was just rough. But I’m here. And Maggie pretty much sums it up: “How much longer we got?”

I don’t know, Maggie. I don’t know.

Maggie barely has time to grieve all of her loss without some crusty-ass Walker breathing down her neck. Everyone is on a water hunt and times are getting rough. Sasha finds a dried up river bed full of dead frogs, Judith is surely sporting some nasty cradle cap, and Daryl’s resorted to eating damn worms. What in the good goddamn, son? I mean, all right, I guess.

They’re also out of gas, so they take to hoofing it to D.C., resembling a shambling Walker herd themselves. (Put a pin in that.) Daryl and Caryl break off to “hunt.” Oh, what? They actually are? I guess they haven’t got enough strength for anything else.

Gabriel tries to proselytize to Maggie, offering comfort in this, her time of need.

Gabriel: Hot enough for you? Ha, seriously, let’s talk about hellfire and how to keep you out of–
Maggie: Pretty sure I know that Bible as well as you, Preacher. You’re gonna want to step off.
Gabriel: Oh. Well, if you ever want to talk, pray–
Maggie: NOPE.
Gabriel: Well, I find that a little
Maggie: –shut the hell up saves lives? DRINK A WHOLE GLASS OF SHUT UP, WOULD YOU?

A herd recognizes them as a Mama Flock and begins to trail behind them. Well, shit. Sasha, full up on stupid this episode, is about to do something Really Bad until Michonne stops her. Michonne knows all about that.

Carol tells Daryl that it’s okay to grieve. She can’t, she’s leveled up past emotions, but he should still give it a try. She kisses his forehead and the ‘shipper world explodes.



They come up with the delightfully lazy plan of shaking off-shaking off  (oh WHOA oh!) the herd by standing at a bridge and shoving the Walkers down a ravine. This… this is the plan? And it’s working? Well, then what the hell do I know, carry on. OH WAIT, SASHA TOOK HER STUPID PILLS TODAY and decides to march into the HERD OF ZOMBIES to kick ass and take names, and her pen is all out of ink, mother truckers!

Abraham and Michonne lose patience with this, they all are in jeopardy, but they push through. Sasha is in Full Brat Mode (it’s like going Hardcore, but NPC get permanently killed) and won’t listen.

They come across some cars, and at some point we’ve crossed into THE DARKEST TIMELINE. Maggie opens up a trunk and finds a kidnapped victim-now-Walker. Well! That’s about as disturbing as it gets. How freaking awful! I can’t feel my hands and my face is numb, Show!




To really sell the point we have a close up on a dried cicada husk and later a big ol’ bag worm bag-filled to the brim with parasitic worms eating the trees to nothing (making this late July or August) and everything’s dried up and dying. Just like our band of merry folk. Also, I guess those cars weren’t working since they’re still walking. Really? All the cars were out of gas or commission?

And then! THEN! The CARDINAL SIN of surviving a horrorshow is committed by Dr. Mullet.

Eugene: I truly do not know if things can get worse.
Rosita: WHY. WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT? Have you never seen ANY Television, movies, videogames, played desktop games, read a book?

And on cue, the wild, rabid dogs appear. Sasha takes them out with four solid “thwips” of her sniper rifle (a bit overkill, except they’re all dead, so that was exactly enough kill. /Spike) And now it’s time for some proper BBQ. They get into the decades old argument of tomato-based sauce vs. vinegar, when Abraham chimes in with dry rub because he’s from Texas, and Gabriel just cannot and throws his preacher’s collar into the fire. Bye bye, Lord and Savior.

Abraham: Hey Sasha. How about you stop fucking up all over? We’re supposed to be a team.
Abraham: [hands up] Damn. Okay.

Daryl, wandering off again, finds a cabin, grabs a smoke, promptly puts it out on his hand because it’s easier to hurt himself to mask the hurt inside–standard issue abused child PTSD–and then lets himself cry. Poor baby. He also drops his lit cigarette in the VERY DRY pine needles, and that is how forest fires get started, Daryl Dixon. Well, 1% of forest fires. The rest are caused by lightning. BUT STILL.

As our team moves on, they come across jugs of water in the road with a note “From a Friend.”

Walking Dead Admiral Akbar

Eugene goes to drink, Abe slaps it out of his hand like Eugene’s a nasty little toddler (he is, but damn), and they stand there, frustrated. And then a deux a machina happens: the skies open and rain pours down on them, and Tara and Rosita lay in the road soaking it up, Daryl lets it hide his tears, Maggie lets the water numb her skin to match the rest of her, and Sasha feels cheated somehow.

HEY FILL UP SOME CANTEENS, FOLKS oh, there they go, good. This was clearly a sign from God, and Gabriel feels guilty for that whole “I will deny you three times, o Lord” thing from earlier. Where’s a thick hair shirt when you need one?

The storm gets heavier, so they all troop to the cabin Daryl found earlier, dispatch the Walker who boarded herself inside with supplies and then died, turning, and wait out the night. I thought at first that Walker had a bag worm bag on her face. Seeing that this woman didn’t make it is about the last straw for Maggie. The world is full of nonsensical evil. She walks through the valley of the shadow of death and there is no end in sight.

Rick gives a “cheer up, Charlie!” speech calling their group the Walking Dead, and that’s supposed to be good? I guess? That was in the comics and was huge? Okay. I like Rick and he wants his group to make it, so that’s enough for me. But make no mistake, this is the lowest point in morale yet. Which, if you think about it, is really saying something.

Daryl wanders out to the barn door and sees another herd of Walkers just outside, the lightning lighting up their awful faces. Shit! The doors are strong enough to withstand so many, so he calls to everyone and as the storm rages, the winds blow, the lightning crashes, an old mother dies. Wait, no, they ALL gather and work together–echoing the sentiments from earlier Abe said about being a team is how they’ll make it–and get through the night. Somehow.

In the morning, Maggie and Daryl say sweet things about Beth–I think we’re to take that Daryl was in love with her, but I don’t want shipper wars here–and when they open the door, they see all the giant yellow pine trees uprooted, trapping the Walkers or flat out killing them. Again. Thank you, God! I guess! Or is this just a random bit of luck?

Sasha and Maggie go to watch the sunrise, both realizing they’re glad to be alive and see it. And that’s when a VERY clean and tidy man comes out with his hands up, saying “Hi! I’m a friend. So!” Smiles. “Can I talk to Rick?”



Sasha says, “I don’t know, can you? You may not,” because she was an English teacher and okay, that last bit didn’t happen, but whaaaaat? Is this guy a Jehovah’s Witness? Cannibal? Slaver? My money is on Jehovah’s Witness. Search him and you’ll find some Watchtower pamphlets.

Where do you guys stand on this? Weary? Excited? I’m still like Maggie in the beginning: How much longer can we go on?

Please like & share:
  • KatyHart

    I’m with you. I love the show, but c’mon, enough is enough

    *shipper hearts* All over Daryl and Carol.

    I don’t like this new guy, but from the previews maybe he’ll bring some action or soemthing.

    • I need something that makes me feel like it’s going to be okay, you know? This was a rough one.

      I have to say, though, that the thought of figuring out this dude’s motivation has me curious, which is good.

  • Colleen

    Yay! So glad you recapped this miserable, soul torturing episode… Really just glad to have someone to share it with!

    Aww Maggie. Maggie just broke my heart in this episode. If she just wanted to lay down on the side of the road and take a dirt nap, I would have understood.

    I have to say, I loved Abraham in this episode. I love how he got a kick out of Sasha sassing him. Love that even though he beat Eugene within an inch of his life, he still wouldn’t let him drink the iocaine powder water. Good guy, that ginger is.

    My money is on Mr. Clean Cut JC Penney man being a good guy. Just because the music box that is kind of Beth-ish started playing music for him. Also, because if something good doesn’t happen soon, we’ll all have to start sending Scott Gimple our therapy bills.

    • Eddie H

      If I was that thirsty I would have taken the chance that Eugene might be poisoned to see if the water was okay.

    • Maggie broke mine, too! I didn’t expect her to make it to the end, honestly, and I’m so happy that I was wrong. And Abraham continues to be the best shock of a comic relief, right? Gotta love the Ginga Ninja!

      I’m holding out that Clean Cut is NOT a good guy, because I’d like to be pleasantly surprised for once. Lol!

  • cindergal

    I am weary – this episode was one of the toughest ones to watch. But also excited, because I too have a good feeling about Aaron/Mr. Lands End. I mean come on. Everyone they meet can’t turn out to be evil, right? And the music box started playing, which was symbolic of Beth.

    And yes, all I kept thinking was that they must all smell really, really bad at this point. Who cares if Aaron is evil? Wherever he’s from, they must have soap and water. What are they waiting for??? ;-)

  • Aaron Lucht

    Im still mad at the show for the pointless way Beth went out *smh* but thats old shit. So, moving on, it seems like WD has found their next in line for “Full Andrea effect”- Sasha, Come On!! Really???? Ugh!!

    Im with you on this ep, but I do think it will get better, it has to. This is just the struggle, and we are along for the ride with them.

    And this new “Ken Doll” guy has to be good, his name is Aaron after all ;)

    • HAHAHA, of *course* he has to be a good guy, then! ;D And saying Sasha is the new DAMMIT, ANDREA had me snorting my cereal up into my nose, so I hope you’re proud of yourself.

    • Man, sometimes this new platform eats my replies. BOO. Anyway, I wanted you to know “Full Andrea” has me laughing, and LOL at Ken Doll. Of course you’d say that! ;)

      • Aaron Lucht

        I forgot to say something else. Ok I smoke, and I use a Zippo, but I cant get it to last 2 weeks without having to refill it, regardless if I use it or not, and in the summer, forget about it…. evaporation. So, Daryl must have an endless supply of lighter fluid I guess. I know who cares small detail, but come on ;)

        • THIS IS AN EXCELLENT POINT, AARON! Oooh, maybe he found a container of fluid that he’s refilling it off-camera? Yeah, I got nothing. :D

        • moata

          I wondered that too then realised he must have got some from the same place Abraham gets his hair dye…

  • Lee No

    I think the episode did very well what you pointed out: showed our survivors at the lowest point, furtherst away from any “civilisation” just hunting and scavenging and it is HARD. But of course you have to stick with it! Where else (besides Game of Thrones and one or two others :P) will you find storytelling and TV art on such a high level? :)
    I honestly thought throughout the ep that Maggie was sounding a bit suicidal, but I guess their group bonding experience in the barn helped.
    The whole “do you have faith?” theme was very strong: We have Gabriel lose his, Maggie and Sasha have already lost theirs, and all three find it again to a certain degree. We have not one, but two (the rain and the Walker-killing, survivor-sparing tornado) miracles.
    Also, the water came “from a friend”. I’m pretty sure Aaron left it, since one of the fist things he says is “I’m a friend”.
    And a tip for Sasha: when you sheathe your knife covered in Walker blood without wiping it down, you’ll have a hard time getting it out again quickly.

  • Eddie H

    I want to know how this guy has the resources to have spied on them so thoroughly and trail them and far as he has.

    • oh, yeah! That and electricity to run an iron and a laundromat, because the man was VERY CLEAN.

  • Tiffany

    So many things to say – I feel the despair. Coincidentally it matches how I feel after dealing with all this snow for 3 weeks!
    I feel like both Sasha and Maggie are dealing with their respective grief properly.
    Maggie’s an “old timer” to grief, so she’s beat down by it, overwhelmed and just ready to be done. Sasha is new to this whole grief game..she’s going through anger right now…but don’t be trying to buck up to my muse, Michonne!! Sasha is only allowed one episode of stupidity – I like her too much!

    I like how after Sasha took out the dogs, Rick didn’t say anything, just started breaking up kindling for a fire with that crazy look in his eyes (that I oddly find quite QUITE sexy)!!
    I think even Abraham was shocked when he knocked the water outta Eugene’s hand.
    I cried a little when it started raining (look I’ve been tender since we won the Super Bowl)!

    Aaahhh now for Darryl and Carol/Beth.
    I feel like maybe in another few months we would have known and to me it’s actually pretty reasonable. But I feel the question about Darryl’s feelings is how he himself feels – being abused I’m sure tender loving feelings don’t come easy and he’s not sure what to do with them..and it’s probably weird for him to have tender feelings toward Carol that aren’t necessarily sexual..all these feels must be getting to him!
    It has taken everything in me not took up who Aaron is but I agreed with your previous commenter that the music box twinkling when he showed up could be a sign of something…not horrible (I won’t go as far as to say good – but hopefully a hiatus on the deaths)!!

    • Denita

      I found this episode a little underwhelming. Not Doublemeat Palace bad, of course but…. Darryl ate a worm. Couldn’t he find any mushrooms? UH. Yuckky. *shudders* But now I see I’m going to have to rewatch the eppie, since I apparently missed a Carol/Darryl exchange. I cannot recall that forehead kiss.

      Also, just a small peeve of mine: when they’re looking for food in people’s homes, why aren’t they finding the dry goods? You know, the rice, the dried beans, spaghetti, egg noodles, mac and cheese, Rice-A-Roni….stuff like that? Most people have things like that in the pantry. But (other than that big bag of dry beans in the prison), I cannot remember the group finding any of these things.

      Oh well, off the re-watch.

      I know I haven’t posted a comment in a pretty good while but I want to let you know that I continue to just love your recaps.

      • Eddie H

        It was definitely a transitional episode, but it seems like that’s our only alternative to the episodes that make us rip our hair out. At least recently.
        p.s eating worms is safer than a lot of things

  • I was getting the same impression about Maggie as you, Lee, and was getting extremely nervous. And I 100% believe Aaron and whatever group he’s with is behind the water, yep!

    Ahaha, I was so distraught by another week of despair that I skipped over the IMPORTANT PROTIP you’ve pointed out! Good job, Lee. :D

  • Karen

    Yeah! You’re back! I was fearing that you’d given up this gig. Yes, this was a numbing episode, but where do our gang have to go but up from here? It’s always darkest before the dawn, etc… LOL
    I adore Carol and Daryl’s relationship, so whether or not they do the deed, I’m good. And Beth’s dead, so it doesn’t matter at this point what Daryl felt for her. I was happy with Michonne’s slapping Sasha upside the head. And all the females actually TALKED to each other! I think that’s a first for this show. I might faint.
    I hope they don’t take Aaron at his word, but make him prove that he’s a good guy. After all, the last time they saw someone looking so clean and preppy, he was planning on putting them on the menu. That’s got to affect how you view people after that.
    That dog meat must have been pretty tough. Wonder who had to chew it to pulp so that little Judith could get her chow on. Ugh. But that’s one really chubby starving tot there. How cute was she sleeping with her father?
    And Daryl didn’t even offer to share his worm? How selfish of him!

    • I am!! After a difficult weekend, being faced with such a low point on the show… It’s tough when you do this for fun, you know?

      “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” I need to remember that!! <3 And I'm with you regarding Carol and Daryl. I just like how good they are for each other, regardless of how the relationship is defined. I loved the women passing the Bechdel test! They regularly do on this show, though, so THANK YOU writers.

      I'm going to need proof that Aaron is a good guy, too. You can't trust people in this world! My hope is Judith is still on formula, so the water helped them make up several bottles to keep her sweet pudge on her bones. :D

    • moata

      Yeah, plenty of people want to see Daryl Dixon share his “worm” with someone…

  • moata

    My thoughts immediately after Aaron wanders into frame –
    “If it turns out there’s a Dharma Initiative hatch nearby I’m gonna be so pissed…”

    • OH MY GOD THAT IS PERFECT. Let’s keep our eyes peeled for Hostiles. STAY FROSTY. ;)