The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale Recap: There May Be A New Leader

Photo: Gene Page/Courtesy of AMC.

Warning: This story contains spoilers.

This episode is an absolute shit show. We open in Sam's room. He's coloring and living in his childlike, ignorance-is-bliss world. Ants are crawling into his room through the window to eat some food he's left on a plate. Ah, yes: a metaphor for what’s about to happen at Alexandria, because the wall is compromised and walkers are about to blast through.

Then the walkers make their way into Alexandria, like they’re headed to a buffet. Rick shouts for everyone to get back and go into their houses. He and Deanna start shooting walkers, even though that’s usually a waste of ammunition. Bring back the pointed sticks, guys! Those were so clutch when y’all lived in a prison.

Maggie’s climbing up a ladder to reach a landing on part of the wall that’s still intact. It’s an eerily similar setup to Glenn and his magical dumpster — nowhere to go but up. (Side note: Maggie’s boots are also pretty clean for someone quite literally trudging her way through the zombie apocalypse.) As she finally makes it to a landing, she lays down to catch her breath. We see her staring at the green balloons in the sky, which she is convinced are a signal from a living, breathing Glenn.

Meanwhile Glenn and Enid are outside the walls of Alexandria. We know Enid’s got problems feeling connected to people, so she’s hesitant about returning to the town that’s now full of zombies. Glenn tries to ease her anxiety. “Just because the tower’s down doesn’t mean…” he begins, but he’s got nothin’. “Listen, people are still alive in there,” he tells her. Unconvinced, Enid simply replies, “This is how it happens — and it always happens, Glenn.” This is the problem with today’s youth. They no longer read Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, so they’ve forgotten how to feel.

Jessie, Rick, Deanna, and Michonne storm into Sam’s room and demand he turn off the music and close the blinds. “Because of the monsters?” he asks. Then things get real. Deanna’s bleeding out on his bed. Things are happening in slow motion. SHIT, MAN.

Carol and Morgan have holed up in another home. She seems to have hurt her leg, and Morgan tries to help her — unsuccessfully. “You don’t trust anybody, do you?” he says to her. “Some more than other, but you’re dead last.”

Denise is with one of the Wolves, who Morgan is keeping alive and captive. I guess he does this now because of his Aikido. The Wolf tells Denise the cut on his torso is from a rusty bumper, not a bite. Before she helps him, she shares something with him that lets us know she’s morally aligned with Morgan. “You weren’t born this way,” she tells the Wolf. “You changed. You can change.”

Michonne is bandaging up Deanna’s leg when she discovers Deanna has a bite. “Well,” Deanna says while tearing up. “Shit.” That’s the exact response I would have, too, once I finished screamed my face off and crying a lot.

Rick reminds Jessie that they have lots of food to last them a while. He also has a new plan to use flares to drag the herd away “somewhere that’s not here.” But given how Rick’s plans have gone recently, it may be time for someone else to take a crack at it.

Then, in a moment that convinced me AMC must be reading my mind, we’re back to Michonne — a totally suitable Rick replacement. “The plans you gave Rick, I’ve been looking over,” she tells Deanna. “I get it. It could work.” Deanna and Michonne have an emotional conversation. “I got to do what I wanted right up to the end,” she tells Michonne. She asks Michonne what she wants. “I want this place to work,” Michonne answers, but Deanna pushes her to talk about what she really wants. “I don’t know,” Michonne replies. “You better,” Deanna tells her.

Downstairs, Carl’s fighting Ron, who’s trying to kill himself rather than handle the invasion. Their fight breaks a window, attracting zombies and allowing them to climb into the house. They all narrowly escape — as per usual — and Carl pulls a gun on Ron until he relinquishes his firearm. “I know my dad killed your dad, but you need to know something,” he tells Ron. “Your dad was an asshole.”

Rick walks in on a bleeding, on-her-way-to-being-undead Deanna, who’s saying bye to Judith. He’s about to axe her because, in fairness to Rick, it does look like she’s about to eat that baby. Quickly realizing she’s just trying to say farewell to Judith, Rick stops himself just in time. “From now on, someone has to be with you,” he tells her. After making a joke about how wonderfully he grows a beard, she tells him, “They’re all your people, Rick. They are.”

Eugene, Rosita, and Tara are waiting it out in another house, contemplating whether this is the end. “Feels like Abraham’s dead,” Rosita says. Tara tells her he’s not dead. “How do you know?” Rosita asks. “I didn’t see it,” Tara answers. IS AMC SUBTWEETING ME RIGHT NOW? I get it. Glenn is alive.

After Ron and Carl’s scuffle allows walkers to get into the house, things start getting out of hand. Michonne is slashing zombie heads, which is nice to see after so many episodes without her doing just that. They scurry upstairs and wedge a couch in the stairwell. Rick’s gonna gut the zombies and use the innards to disguise themselves. “I’ve done it before,” he tells them. It’s supposed to be reassuring, but it’s obviously not.

Carol pulls a knife on Denise, who’s helping the Wolf. “You don’t need the knife. We can talk. We can be better than them,” Morgan tells her. “You should kill me,” the Wolf says. “But you’re all going to die. You don’t belong here.”

Morgan tells an angry Carol that they’re no better than the Wolves if they continue to kill people. “I don’t wanna have to kill you, Morgan,” Carol tells him. “You won’t. You can’t. I won’t let you.” Just like his teacher. Then they get into a brawl where Carol ends up pummeled to the ground, unconscious.

When they’re fighting, the Wolf is able to set himself free. He approaches Denise and takes her at knifepoint toward the herd of walkers.

In the final moments of the episode, Rick and his cohort are covered in zombie guts, walking safely through the herd. Glenn is climbing a tree with Enid to see what’s what. He sees Maggie surrounded by zombies on her little landing. A small voice inside of you begins to scream, “Look at each other!” to no avail.

Deanna resolves not to go gently into that good night. Instead of shooting herself in the head, she uses her final ammunition on walkers, and screams into her doom as they approach her. BAD. ASS.

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