The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 5: "This Place Is A Graveyard"

Photo: Gene Page/Courtesy of AMC.
After an extended introspective episode aimed mostly at Emmy voters where we learned how Morgan unlocked his sick bo-staff skills, we're back to Alexandria — along with the herd — to visit with nobody's favorite characters. Except Rick, of course, who Deanna watches sprinting ahead of the briskly striding walkers like a marathon runner about to cross the finish line.

Once safely back inside the walls, the Ricktator gives the Alexandrians a "hey-we-might-be-surrounded-by-walkers-but-look-on-the-bright-side" pep talk. However, the last pep talk Rick gave to this group was about his plan to lead the zombies away. So you can forgive anyone who doesn't believe his spin, especially when he says that Glenn and Nicholas are going to stroll back thru the front gates, like, any minute now, you guys.

Recruiter guy Aaron pipes up to defend Rick's plan and takes responsibility for the Wolves' attack, explaining that he lost his backpack last season on a mission with Daryl and that's how the Wolves knew how to get inside. Deanna, in a daze, wanders off. She's clearly got the zombie PTSD that all the leaders on this show eventually come to face.

Jessie goes back to her house and drags the dead Wolf from her kitchen. She attempts to bury the body in their graveyard, but is stopped by Rick, who won't allow Jessie to bury a killer within the walls, even if she is wearing the coolest outfit in the apocalypse.

Meanwhile, random Alexandrians decide that it's high time to raid the pantry for food. Deanna's son, Spencer -- who left the gate open but also stopped the truck from crashing thru the wall -- speaks up on behalf of civilized behavior and puts an end to the looting, which was pretty civilized to begin with in that the guys who were trying to steal food were using those small shopping baskets that they give you at Whole Foods. Good for you, Spencer: You shouldn't take a looter seriously if they're holding one of those things.

Aaron spots someone writing Nicholas and Glenn's names on the walker memorial wall and goes to talk to Maggie, who's in the armory gearing up for a rescue mission. "I can't let you do this," he says, as if he could stop her. "You can't stop me," she says, as if she knows he can't let her do this. Despite this rote dialogue, either he changes his mind super quick, or he's actually there to help her all along because he offers to show her what sounds like a secret way out of Alexandria.

Back at Mom's house, it turns out that after breaking up the looting, Spencer stole some stuff for himself anyway (with the Whole Foods basket). When confronted, he freaks out on mom and her bullshit: "What happened to Dad, to Aiden, that's all you!" He doesn't storm off to his room or threaten to run away from home, though I must say I wouldn't have noticed if he did because I was transfixed by how nice the subway tile is in Deanna's kitchen. I'll bet she has one of those refrigerated drawers in there that's disguised to look like a regular drawer but you open it and inside are Cokes and snacks and stuff. Those would come in real handy during a zombie blockade.

And now it's Carl time! Carl wants to go after Enid but Enid's boyfriend Ron doesn't want to let Carl go, because he's a wuss and won't go himself. They fight, and Carl remarkably restrains himself and only knocks him to the ground. "You saved my life and now I'm saving yours," Ron calls after Carl pathetically after being knocked on his ass.

Now we get a check-in at the infirmary, where Dr. Denise is at a loss for how to treat her patient's infected wound. Tara comes in and gives her a pep talk (this is an episode full of emotional outpouring... it's like the worst end-of-the-world group therapy session ever). "Being afraid sucks," says Tara, kicking over a copy of Gray's Anatomy, just to make it clear that whining isn't going to get Dr. Denise's patient any better.

Jessie heads over to a neighbor's house to find that she's become a walker. She sticks a knife in the walker's eye in front of useless onlookers who don't bother helping her at all. I guess everyone has been working on their monologues while Rick and co were on their mission, because Jessie turns and gives one of the better ones: "If we don't fight, we die!" It's a tense scene, mainly because she's shot in front of an open door and we don't know if any other walkers might be lurking in the dark inside.

Speaking of lurking in the dark, Aaron leads Maggie to a sewer entrance that leads out and under the wall. In the tunnel, the pair encounter two of the creepiest, poo-encrusted zombies we've seen after Aaron tries to pry loose a ladder. Aaron get dinged in the head but saves Maggie from being bitten in the episode's only true action scene.

Meanwhile, back at the infirmary, Dr. Denise decides to read up on medicine and lances the wound on her patient. His vitals instantly seem to recover. YEAH SCIENCE! YOU CAN DO THIS, DENISE!

Atop the wall, Jon Snow Rick is watching the zombie horde when he's visited by monkeyboy Ron, who tattles on Carl in an attempt to win Rick's trust -- and his gun, by saying he wants to learn how to shoot and won't you please teach me? Rick can't see this kid has another agenda, or at least doesn't show that he knows, but he does hand him the pistol (but not before taking out the bullets).

Dr. Denise, drunk with the god-like powers of boil-draining, rolls up on Tara and plants a wet one right on her mouth. "It's the end of the world," says Dr. Denise, who now seems ready for all the experimenting she didn't get around to in college.

Maggie and Aaron come to the sewer exit, where they only have to get past a few walkers in order to escape, but Maggie has second thoughts and voices them loudly enough to bring walkers to the barred exit, preventing Aaron from going to look for Glenn.

She breaks down, crying, and tells Aaron she's pregnant (!!!), which is why she stayed behind instead of going with Glenn. "I just want to see his face," she says, "I don't get to know what will happen, I don't get to know why it happened." (And neither do we, at least in this episode.) In one of the season's best shots, Aaron hugs Maggie as walkers reach through the bars towards them.

Jessie Makes cookies for her son, who won't come back downstairs after she slayed that Wolf in the kitchen (food looms large in this episode. I wonder if the writers were hungry when they were writing this). Outside, returning the stolen pantry items in the Whole Foods basket, Deanna is attacked by a zombified Wolf. She clearly hasn't had much instruction in fighting zombies, because she just tries stabbing it over and over in the chest with a broken bottle until Rick comes running. Deanna breaks down, and basically turns over leadership of Alexandria to Rick.

Back on the wall, Maggie and Aaron look out over the herd, which as SNL's Stefon would say is the hottest thing to do in Alexandria right now (speaking of Stefon, Bill Hader is in a commercial during the break). In a rare moment of hope and optimsim, they go down and scrub Glenn and Nicholas's names from the list of the eaten. Aaron mentions that depending on the spelling, his name could work for a boy or a girl baby. Daaaawww. Guess if Glenn doesn't make it, Maggie might have some help raising the toddler.

Spencer wants to get some wall action and heads up there and talks to what's-her-name who compliments him on taking out the driver of the truck. He whips out some stolen water crackers to munch on while he watches the walkers (which would pair nicely with Eastman's goat cheese, too bad that'll never happen).

Rick rolls up on Jessie, explaining that he's broken up over Glenn and Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham. They have a nice moment and then TOTALLY MAKE OUT, YOU GUYS. Finally. Nothing gets the blood pumping like a zombie siege.

Finally, Deanna, bucking the trend of watching the walkers from the wall, goes to the gate to get a street-level view, because that's how she rolls. She's next-level like that. Deanna bangs back at the gate and walks off. Behind her, we see the walkers are pressed so tight against the walls that their viscera is actually bleeding through.

Somebody should really get a mop and clean that up.

Random data dump:

1. No sight of Glenn or anyone else who's still outside the walls.

2. I guess the cut on Rick's hand was a red herring, as he doesn't seem to be troubled by it and hasn't started eating brains, just sucking face.

3. Vanessa will be back to recap next week!
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