Walking Dead 5.11 – The Distance

Is it just me, or does he look like a young Lorne Michaels?

Is it just me, or does he look like a young Lorne Michaels?

Previously: They meet a Jehovah’s Witnesses with Good News.

The cleanest man in the Apocalypse is now in the hands of Sasha and Maggie. Or is he?

Yeah, he is.

Maggie brings Aaron back to the group, who all pull weapons because they’re smart. Judith starts to cry, and just like them sensing evil in Walmart (that’s why babies always cry inside one), she’s picking up on something. At least that’s what Rick thinks, compounded when he realizes they cleared a weapon—a flare gun—from New Guy. OHO.

Sheriff asks about his nearby camp.

“He wants us to ‘audition’ for membership,” Maggie says. UH. I was told there would be no jazz hands in the making of this apocalypse?

Aaron: we have a community, and we think you guys could fit in? But I get it. You’re nervous. Here, see the treasures hidden in my pack!

Treasures? Oh, they’re pictures, but Daryl has 0 fucks to give for those. Aaron gives a “people are what make us awesome. EVERYTHING is awesome where we live! So how about you guys—”

Rick punches him out. Daryl smiles to himself, I laugh because oh, Rick. So paranoid and distrustful and KEEPING EVERYONE ALIVE (well, mostly. Save his wife and best friend and Jedi Mentor and Jedi Mentor’s singing daughter and…)

Michonne questions Rick’s plan of attack in that he always seems to attack, but Rick thinks this guy and his “group” are after them and their precious resources. BECAUSE THAT IS HOW YOU SHOULD BE THINKING. FOLKS. Aaron, who I can’t help but say “Ay-Ay-Ron in my head a la Key & Peele, comes to, says he admires how smart they’re all being. Because it doesn’t really matter what he says, Rick is gonna think what he thinks, he gets it. [smile]

It’s hard to trust anyone who smiles after being punched in the face.

[slides out, waves hand:] PREE-SINT

[slides out, waves hand:] PREE-SINT

Ay-ay-ron’s group apparently admires that they’re still people as well as survivors. It’s the most important resource in the world! (Pretty sure that’s potable water, but hey, I’m just a professional pretend apocalypse survivor, what do I know?? Spoiler alert: everything.)

Rick: …Yeah. So how many are there?
Ay-ay-ron: [guitar riffs] Why don’t you come with me, little girl! On a magic carpet ride!
Me: UH, THEY’VE SEEN CANNIBALS, AY-AY-RON. They can’t trust you! Never trust anyone who pulls out Steppenwolf! Or wears Lands End like he’s got a super busy Saturday of Bed, Bath & Beyond and maybe Lowe’s, who knows?

Unfortunately, while Rick doesn’t believe him, Michonne does. And Maggie. (Shit.) Michonne will sacrifice herself for the sake of Judith, as well as for Glenn and Maggie. Rick is VERY unhappy, but sends Abraham and Rosita along to act as security, which is AWESOME.

In 60 minutes, if there’s no word, Rick’s group will come after them. Which might be what Ay-ay-ron’s group wants. They leave Ay-ay-ron with Rick in the barn, and everyone files out. When Rick points his six shooter in his face, Ay-ay-ron says he worked in Africa, so he’s not scared of guns. UH.

QUESTION: why are all the women wearing skintight pants? They’re not comfortable. Where are some loose-yet-close-fitting cargo pants with an elastic waist band? I’m just saying, it’s important to bend, kick and stretch without hitching up the back of your fashionable skinny jeans err-damn minute.

Meanwhile, Rick is trying to smash up food for Judith, who is crying. Ay-ay-ron doesn’t want Judith crying because it will draw out Walkers, and if they go to his group, why, no one would ever be able to hear her cry from the MASSIVE, GIANT, SAFE walls keeping everyone inside! So as a show of good faith, he has some applesauce in his bag-o-tricks. How convenient!

Rick makes Ay-ay-ron taste the food. Ay-ay-ron doesn’t like it, but ARE YOU KIDDING ME? You’re not going to save your ass and eat a food your gee-mom-mom made you dislike because she didn’t put enough sugar in it?

Rick: Are you shitting me, bro?
Ay-ay-ron: [makes a yucky face but eats it]

Walking Dead Rick Grimes

Michonne still says Aaron is telling the truth as they walk up on the cars Aaron mentioned. Walkers come out of the woods and Rosita/Abraham dispatch them with ease. They check out the RV, find Sketti-Os, and we learn that Abraham will eat his weight in them, given the opportunity. (Wow would I hate to share a tent with him if he did.)

They bring the RV’s food back to Rick, who says it’s all theirs, sorry, Ay-ay-ron. Michonne still says she believes Ay-ay-ron because she needs it. THEY need it. Daryl isn’t sure, but he could be convinced. Okay, if Daryl is joining team “Maybe” then it looks like they’re going.

Well, Ay-ay-ron isn’t okay with not driving, so… MOTHER TRUCKER? COME ON.



Ay-ay-ron: Okay. North on Route 16, I’ll tell you the rest when we get there
Rick: Not happening. We’re taking 23 just because.
Ay-ay-ron: Oh, good! We’re all gonna die. Good thinking, cowboy.
Rick: Dude, we’re gonna serpentine, I’m no dummy.

Rick reminds Michonne that it was nice when they first approached Woodbury and Terminus, too. So. He’s just supposed to bring his family in? No. He’s gonna see first. SERPENTINE.

Our group drives in the dead of night along route 23 with Ay-Ay-ron in tow, finding loads of license plates from all over in there. He has “pictures” of his house to show Michonne. Mmmm. CALLING BULLSHIT. I think they’re pictures he’s gathered, not unlike the license plates. MORE ON THIS AT THE END.

She notices there are no pictures of anyone else. At all. She asks Rick if he asked him the Three Questions. SHIT. Come on, Sheriff!! In a panic while driving, she asks:

  • How many Walkers? IDK? A lot?
  • How many people? Two
  • Why? Because they tried to kill me?

And then Rick finds spy gear. OHO. He’s been listening to them? CAN’T FOCUS ON THAT, THEY HIT A HERD and that car acts as a batering ram, plowing through them. Important: why aren’t they using their damn wipers?? It’s a pretty bad ass shot, though. But seriously: RUN THE WIPERS.

They stop the car, can’t find the RV—shit–and of course the law of averages mean the car won’t start back up. Michonne gets out, pulls arms/limbs from the engine to help out, and because this is TWD, it does.

Walking Dead Michonne Walkers

A flare shines in the sky, Ay-Ay-ron freaks out. “This is over, I have to go.” They all run after him in the woods towards where the flare was shot, making their way through stragglers from the main herd of Walkers. They lose Glenn, SHIT, who is almost caught but fights his way free, WHEW!! Seriously, no harming of Glenn Rhee, you hear me?

A full moon means they should be able to get away with relative ease, all things considered. Glenn helps Ay-Ay-ron out of the clutches of a Walker, and attempts to go off on his own. That is, until Ay-Ay-ron drops the whole “we can all work together” thread.

Awesome shot during this wooded escape: Rick shooting a flare into a Walkers skull, illuminating all the Walkers coming to kill him and Michonne, shit Rick is out of bullets and there’s too many for Michonne to handle alone. But random gunfire saves the day, aka Glenn and Ay-Ay-ron.

They get to 16, which is empty, RICK. They push on, they get to a settlement, where someone (Ay-Ay-ron?)whistles a tune, which gets a reply. And then Carl, Daryl pour out of a building with hugs and smiles, it looks like I was wrong about this place! (I still don’t think so.)

PROTIP: ESTABLISH SIGNALS FOR SAFETY AND DANGER, both vocal, visual, and physical such as handshakes, finger taps, whistles, arm movements, etc. Maybe make the DANGER signal something other than BUM BUM BUM!

Ay-Ay-ron runs in to check his (lover? NICE!) Eric, who has a broken ankle, tended to by Maggie. This is just a stopping point, btw. That flare made Aaron think the worst. AWW. THEY’RE IN LOVE. And he really is collecting license plates! I think he’s collecting other things, too. MORE AT THE END.

Gay Kiss Walking Dead

Rick meets with Eric briefly, but Ay-Ay-ron wants a group meeting. He thanks them for saving Eric, and says he owes them. And when they get to Alexandria, they’ll get paid in full. Can they camp out that night? Sure, but he can’t be with Eric. CONSTANT VIGILENCE! Rick shouts, spit in his beard.


Glenn: Uh, dude. Bro. Eric has no weapon, is broken, and Ay-Ay-ron has no weapon. It’s gonna be okay.

Rick: [stubborn]
Glenn: Remember goodness? Look at Judith. See?
Rick: Fine, but only because my baby represents hope and possibility.

In the morning they all head out. Noah has painkillers and water for Aaron. Aaron says they have an awesome surgeon in Alexandria: maybe he can help Noah’s limp? HMM. I’m still suspsicious, because ultimately I agree with Rick. Gotta stay frosty, guys!

Rosita points out Washington’s Memorial to Abraham as he mans the RV. It’s what they’ve been going for this whole time. (There’s a low voltage light showing.) But they can make it!

Aaaaaaaand the battery dies. Glenn knows auto mechanicals and gets it working, so it’s all good. (So… why have this scene? Just a red herring of CRAP MORE DRAMA? I don’t get it.)

Michonne wants Rick to let the fight go, but she knows it’s hard since it’s all that’s kept him going all this time.

Michonne: It turns on you. You gotta let it go.
Rick: That’s what Bob was trying to tell me back at the church. AND NOW HE’S DEAD. The rules keep changing.

Rick peels off the group to bury a handgun out by an old rundown house, which seems way out of the way, but Rick hasn’t been wrong yet.

They get to a massive gate surrounded by steel. They can hear children laughing, people chattering. It’s not the silence of Woodbury or Terminus. Michonne convinces him to move forward, get out of the car and go inside. What about that whole “No one will hear Judith crying inside?” thing? We can HEAR kids.

Carol says to Rick as he gathers up Judith, “Even though you were wrong? You’re still right.” Because SHE KNOWS. She knows.

Walking Dead Rick Grimes

I STILL TRUST THIS MAN, even though he looks like he could use some soap and a shave.

WHAT ARE THEY GOING INTO?!!? IDK!! I still don’t trust it. Guys? Not gonna lie to you: I think it’s a recording. I think it’s ONLY Eric and Ay-Ay-ron, and they’re looking for capable people who aren’t cannibals to fill out their safe-house.

Next episode right here! REMEMBER.

Please like & share:
  • Genevieve

    I’m with you. They were listening. Maybe they heard that the sound of the “community” would sway them. So they recorded those sounds to lure them in. Because Lock them In and then ask for their weapons!!! Red Flag.
    Sure is lucky that Judith is such a normally quiet child who’s not that much into eating. Not much like real life.

    • I am SO GLAD you think those could be recorded sounds! I mean, the world we’ve seen has just made than an option, you know?

      And LOL at Judith. Sure is a nice, pudgy healthy baby without vaccines or regular feeding! (But then, what’s the alternative, you know? But still. Hahaha.)

      • WhovianChick

        Something is definitely…off feeling; though I don’t think it’s because the folks there are bad people, I think the theory floated that they are very small and need survivors – REAL survivors who are still people – to keep them safe in addition to the walls.

        And it could also be a deliberate ploy by the writers…setting up red herrings that make us thing “Evil!”

        It just amuses me that Aaron tried the whole “Hi I’m friendly!” approach…which was so much like Gareth’s greeting of them in Terminus that I think it actually did his cause more harm than if he just showed up hard boiled and armed to the teeth.

        I wonder how long they have been watching them, I’d wager not long…I can’t imagine them going TOO far afield to vet new folks…so probably just through most of their god awful trek through the VA area? Obviously they haven’t seen anything that happened with other groups because that all took place in GA and I refuse to believe they’ve been observing them for that long.

        • Oh, that theory you mentioned is exactly what I posited in the recap! Before finally catching the sneak peek at the upcoming ep where it’s confirmed there are at least two more people inside, I wouldn’t have been surprised to know it was just Eric and Aaron. They’ve created a honeypot to catch good, decent, hard workers to increase THEIR chances for survival. TOTALLY INTO THAT.

          But no, I think they have a loose perimeter of a few miles from base–easier to get back in a hurry if things go wrong–and watch how people handle themselves. Probably some outposts on strategic highways?

  • Colleen

    The scene with the RV was a throw back to Dale teaching Glenn how to fix an RV in Season 2. *sniffles* Poor Dale.

    SERPENTINE! How absolutely hysterical!! I keep hearing it in a Lightning McQueen voice.

    Michonne for President. Seriously. Great recap Laura!

    • Thanks, Colleen! And such simpler times back in S1 & 2… Back when Dale mansplained everything but had a good heart to offset it. ;D

    • Karen

      That’s exactly what I thought, during that scene. Dale’s lessons have taken root. Glad Glenn had on his listening ears back then.

  • WhovianChick

    I loved this episode – and how cute were Aaron and Eric together? I could completely see both sides on this one…Michonne’s and Rick’s. What I loved though was that she never…undermined him, even when she was being assertive. I love that she 100% got where he was coming from, why he was doing it, but I can’t fault Rick for being “oh hell no!” about this whole thing.

    Once the reveal of Eric and his relationship to Aaron came about, most of Aaron’s squirreliness made sense (to me at least) because he was protecting him to a point.

    Having said that, the ONE part of this episode that just straight up bothered me (and maybe it was meant to be a red herring) was Aaron’s resistance to eating that apple sauce. We get it, your mom made you eat it and you hate it. But you’re not allergic, and so far you’ve bent over backwards to make these people trust you, you balk when Rick is trying to figure out if you’re trying to POISON them? Specifically his baby daughter? You could tell your story AFTER you eat the GD apple sauce and make a face. This part just baffled me…

    Though I suppose it could also point to the fact that…Aaron is a lot like Milton in that…he had a lot of technical knowledge of the apocalypse perhaps, but not a lot of working knowledge? It’s more an abstract, intellectual pursuit?

    Because let’s be honest here…are Eric and Aaron really the top away team of Alexandria? And if so, no WONDER they need Rick and Co because dang… lol it was amateur hour.

    I think this place will be legit (at least for the most part) and I’ll tell you why (I don’t read the comics so this is simply from a viewer stand point). Michonne is right, EVERYONE can’t be evil cannibals…that gets old for us, and frankly you want to believe some good folks make it (unless they keep trusting the bad folks, that’ll weed ’em out quick). So I think this place is legit and I think whatever threat will come from outside, likely the “wolves” referenced when they went to Noah’s (burned out) community. At least that’s what I hope.

    Honestly, I think the biggest threat in Alexandria atm is Rick and Co…I almost feel bad for those poor suckers if they try anything on our group.

    • Oh, the applesauce thing was just RIDICULOUS. That makes me think he’s not really struggled out in the ZA, you know? I mean, FOOD. If you don’t have a life-threatening allergy, that food is now your FAVORITE food because calories are more important than gold, brother.

      ANd I love everyone’s optimism with regards to Alexandria! I… actually hope it holds true for a good, long while, if only to let our group heal and recover.

  • Karen

    Loved this episode. Rick and Carol on the same wave length for once, with Michonne trying to see some light at the end of the tunnel. But man, there’s a reason acorns aren’t part of our usual diet, Rick! I can’t imagine how Judy would ever eat those ground up acorns. Those things have to be leeched of their tannins in many changes of water, and then boiled to mush to be edible. I hope this new place has a good library for our folk to look up some information about edible flora and fauna in their area.
    I find myself holding out hope that Aaron and Eric are legit. I’m tired of everyone but our prison family being evil.

    • cindergal

      I’m with you – everyone can’t be evil! First Woodbury, then Terminus, then the Hospital – come on. They’re due a break and so are the viewers. I think the writers are just trying to get us to play gotcha! – but the opposite of how they usually do. See, we made you think something’s fishy, but they really ARE nice people. At least, I hope so because I could use a change of pace about now.

    • HAHAHAHAHA, your commentary on acorns! YEP. And ffs, they’re in pecan tree country, so WHY ACORNS? Plus, those are some old-ass acorns, given it’s summer and those don’t start falling in the south until fall. SURELY there are blackberry and raspberry bushes, or an old greenhouse that’s overrun? COME ON, TEAM.

      I think everyone is going to be proven right with Aaron and Eric. I’m just on alert, because I’m basically Rick in this world. (Minus the acorns, lol) :D

  • Christa

    After this episode, I kinda wanna ship Michonne and Rick. I’d like them as the Mike and Carol Brady of the ZA.

    • Oh Christa, I have shipped them since Andrea got that fatal case of the Governors.