The Walking Dead – Here’s Not Here

Morgan didn’t kill the Wolf.  Instead, he has him locked up in one of the houses and tells him the story of what he went through, what he’d become and how he turned his life around.   Morgan had made his way, alone, by clearing everything – walkers and people.  It didn’t matter.  If something or someone got in his way, he shot it, stabbed it or strangled it with his bare hands.

One day, as he was clearing, he heard the sound of a goat bleating and found a cabin in the woods.   A man called out, telling Morgan that there was no need to do anything stupid, but that they could talk about whatever it was that Morgan wanted.  When Morgan didn’t listen, he was knocked out.  He woke up in a cell inside the cabin with a plate of food in front of him.  The man who had brought him in was Eastman, a former forensic psychologist who had been responsible for reporting to the State as to the mental state of prison inmates.  He was the one who could suggest whether they were ready to join society or remain behind bars.

Eastman tries to Morgan out but Morgan isn’t interested in talking.  he wants to die and wants Eastman to kill him.   Eventually, Eastman lets Morgan out of the cage and Morgan fights with his host who overtakes him, thanks to his skills at Aikido.   Eastman has to go out for supplies and asks Morgan to keep an eye on the goat, Tabitha – he still hasn’t perfected the art of cheese making –  which  Morgan does, taking out some walkers and a couple of tomato plants in the process.  Eastman gives Morgan a book, “The Art of Peace”  and tells him about one prisoner he had studies while he worked for the State.  This particular prisoner was guilty of horrible crimes but was also smart and charming, fooling everyone except for Eastman who saw right through his cunning.  The man was released,  despite Eastman’s efforts to keep him locked up.  He then went to Eastman’s house and killed his family, later telling him that he wanted out only so that he could destroy Eastman’s life.

Eastman spent his time plotting to kidnap the prisoner while he worked in the prison gardens.  He wanted to bring him to the cabin, put him in the cage he’d built and watch him starve to death.  He told Morgan that that was when he realized all life was precious.  After some time passes, Eastman begins to teach Aikido to Morgan, telling him that it’s all about redirecting movement.   During one of their sessions, after Eastman tells Morgan he’ll hold a baby again, walkers approach them from the woods.  Morgan freezes, causing Eastman to have to step in and getting him bit, as well.   Morgan is angry at Eastman, screaming that it wasn’t his job to do that for him.  The two men fight with Eastman knocking Morgan to the ground.  Morgan, again, begs Eastman to kill him.   As Eastman wheels the  walkers away for burial. Morgan takes out another walker that’s after a young couple.  She reaches into her knapsack and hands Morgan a can of food, bartering for their lives.

When he gets back to the cabin,, Morgan finds a walker munching on Tabitha, much to Eastman’s dismay.   Morgan then takes up the grave digging and lets Eastman sit down.  He spots a grave marker with the name of the man who killed Eastman’s family.  He had, after all, snatched the man from the prison fields and locked him in the cage.  He also watched him starve to death, for forty-seven days.  It brought him no peace, no sense of relief or closure for the loss of his family.  He found peace when he made the decision to never kill again.  He wanted to turn himself in, then found out, while he’d been holed up in the cabin, that there was no on left to turn himself in to.

Eastman explained the piece of drywall that Morgan had broken earlier.  It had a drawing on it that his daughter had made.  After his prisoner had died, Eastman walked home and retrieved it to hang in the cabin.  He then tells Morgan that he’s ready and lets him know where his gun is.   Morgan buries Eastman and sets out onto the train tracks, towards Terminus.

The Wolf is wounded, probably dying,  and tells Morgan how they found Alexandria.   He also says that he’s going to have to kill every single person there.   He then quotes what Morgan said, “Don’t ever be sorry.”

If The Walking Dead is all about keeping one’s humanity or fashioning a new one in the face of unspeakable acts, then this episode was the best demonstration of both sides of the notion.    Can you be a pacifist and a survivor or do you have to choose between the two?

And what happened to Glenn and Rick?      



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The Walking Dead – Thank You

The assault on Alexandria by The Wolves is taking place at the same time the group outside is dealing with the herd of walkers distracted by the truck horn.   Plan B becomes Plan C and everyone is doing their best to get the walkers back onto the parade route, while hoping they can make it back to whatever is left of the community.   If last week’s episode was one that viewers found frightening, this one has to come in a close second.  It isn’t told in a linear fashion, because the story is as splintered as the groups are.

Rick has left the group to run back to the gates and retrieve the RV.  He still has no idea what has happened behind the gates and doesn’t have time to find out.   Before he goes, though, he relays some direction to the rest of the group.  His posse understands the message, but the Alexandrians who overhear him interpret his words entirely differently, fostering some dissent.   Daryl, who is still leading what remains of the walker march with Sasha and Abe, wants to turn back and help Rick, but Rick tells him to move forward.  Daryl has another idea, though, and leaves his trio. Glenn radios Rick, calling him a “dumbass” as a teasing term of endearment, and his voice alerts a few walkers to Rick’s presence.   Only a few, though – not so many that Rick can’t take them out on his own. Only a few, though – not so many that Rick can’t take them out on his own, cutting his hand in the process. The confusion leaves Michonne with an even greater burden as she and Glenn are responsible for getting the others home safely.

Glenn and Michonne soon realize that their charges are as helpless and useless as a group of toddlers.   The Alexandrians have been in denial about the danger of the walkers.  They’re the people who would leave someone behind before they’d sacrifice themselves for the safety of the larger community.   So, there’s chaos.  Sturgess runs off into the woods which ultimately means he’ll soon be a dead man.  David is bitten by a walker, but continues on.   Nicholas is in his own near fugue state, staring at carnage while hearing ringing in his ears.

Glenn and Michonne lead their group into town and try to find both shelter from the herd and a way to divert them away.   In an alleyway, they come across Sturgess, who’s become a walker buffet.   A pet shop seems a good place to hole up until a plan can be formulated. Inside, there’s a feeling a mistrust between the Michonne and Glenn and the Alexandrians.  When Michonne, in the pet shop with Heath and Annie and Scott, tells them that no one is left behind,  they think she means only herself and Glenn.

Glenn and Nicholas decide that a fire is the perfect diversion of the walker herd and Nicholas suggests burning an old feed store.   The two set out to carry out their end of the plan, while Michonne stays with the rest of the group.  David writes a little note to his wife – a love note to be delivered in case he doesn’t make it back.  He gives it to Michonne  but she hands it back, telling him that  he can tell her himself when they get home.   Annie, who is injured, thinks she should stay so as not to slow the group down, but, again,  Michonne assures them that that’s not going to happen.   The Alexandrians still can’t see that their lack of trust is getting them killed, and might possibly put everyone near them at risk.

Glenn and Nicholas, now on the street, find a walker.  It’s a nineteen year old man who Nicholas one worked with and who he and his friends left behind.  Nicholas, finally, decides that it’s his responsibility to finish of his former friend.   Meanwhile, inside the pet store, the group hears gunfire which rouses some walkers who are locked in a back room.  Michonne knows that they have to be silenced to stop more from coming, but even after they put them down, more walkers surround the store.   All the group can do is fight their way out and hope they all remain in one piece.  Annie falls and tries to shoot the swarming walkers but is overtaken.

Nicholas and Glenn have made it to the feed store but it’s already just a charred shell.  Walkers are coming from every direction – towards Glenn and Nicholas, and towards Michonne and her group.   When Michonne and company come to a locked gate, most of them make it over.  It’s a close call for Michonne but David is dragged back into the herd, his note to Betsy trampled.  Glenn and Nicholas also find themselves cornered with their own swarm of walkers to contend with.  They climb up onto a dumpster and do their best to fend them off.  Nicholas suddenly has the mother of all panic attacks.  Glenn tries to snap him out of it telling him that he’s not that man anymore.  Nicholas, having received absolution from Glenn,  says “Thank you” and shoots himself,  falling onto Glenn, and sending both of them into the mass of walkers, who rip into and  devour body parts.

Michonne is left with only two surviving Alexandrians.  They don’t see smoke from the fire that should have been set at the feed store, but Heath wants to believe Glenn and Nicholas are alright.

Rick has driven the RV to a spot which he thinks is strategic enough for a rendezvous with the rest of the group.   He tries to raise Daryl on the radio, but gets no response.  Abe answers Rick and tells him that he and Sasha are going forward as planned.  As Rick attends to the cut on his hand, two men burst into the RV and shoot at him.  Rick’s radio is open and Daryl hears the shots.  He tries calling him but Rick is a little busy.  Rick overpowers them and kills them, then searches through their pockets, finding a jar of baby food.  He then spots more people and fires through the side of the RV, killing them, as well.   Daryl meets back up with Sasha and Abe and they continue to lead the walker parade away from Alexandria.

Rick can’t get the RV to start and the gunfire has drawn another herd of walkers  right for him.

I guess this is where we talk about THE SCENE.  A collective gasp was heard from fans of The Walking Dead as we watched what appeared to be Glenn’s death.   Theories have been bandied about, including the notion that Glenn isn’t dear – that the walkers were munching on Nicholas as he fell on top of Glenn.   It’s as good a theory as any, I guess.  None of us want to see Glenn gone, least of all Maggie who has lost every single person she’s ever loved.  It almost seems too cruel, even for TWD, which is as brutal as it is true to itself.  The integrity of this show has always been important for Scott Gimple, et al and that’s where I find a problem with THE SCENE.  If Glenn is dead, that’s bad.  If Glenn isn’t dead, that’s bad, too.  Because of the way this show has told its story, realizing that viewers love these characters, especially those who have been there from the beginning, the idea that the writers and producers might be playing a very bad hoax on us   is unthinkable. 

We viewers get it.  Major characters die and we go through a TV viewer version of grief.  I couldn’t stand it when we lost Hershel.  But if this is just a trick, then it’s a disservice to our loyalty to the show.  We shouldn’t be expected to think Glenn is dead, only to find he isn’t and that his actual demise will come at some later date.  So, for that, as much as it pains me to say it, I hope that Glenn never made it out of the alleyway.  Yeah, it’ll be tough to watch Maggie lose one more beloved family member, but it will be a better treatment of  TWD and its really smart, really loyal viewers.

One more thing, before I wrap this up.  Is Morgan responsible for what happened to Rick with The Wolves at the RV?


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The Walking Dead – JSS

Enid has had a tough journey.  Her family was wiped out by the walkers and she was left to find her own way, which she did, hiding from walkers, devouring a passing tortoise and leaving the letters “JSS” scrawled along the way.  She did make it to Alexandria, but it’s almost a given that she was never going to fit in with what the community had fashioned for itself.

Inside the walls of the gated community,  everyone is carrying on with their normal, everyday lives.   Carol and a few of the other women are sharing creative recipes with the assortment of supplies they have on hand, including Carol’s amazing cola canned ham.    Carol  tells one of the women that she isn’t to smoke inside the house anymore.   She also stops to tell Pete’s son that he has to get over the death of his abusive father.   You either get beyond it or it eats you up.  Ron and Jessie exchange a few words about Pete’s death, too.  He wants to hold his mother responsible for the fact that his dad isn’t alive.   Deanna and Maggie discuss life after loss and plan on planting a garden as a sign that things go on. There’s a new doctor, now that Pete’s gone.  Denise is a psychiatrist, because she found out in medical school that treating patients and the thought of performing surgery gave her panic attacks.

This near idyllic day goes terribly wrong as Carol, who, after putting a casserole in the oven, is watching her neighbor enjoy a cigarette on the lawn,  sees the woman hacked to death.   Alexandria is under assault by The Wolves, and everyone is forced to act or be killed.

Carol grabs a gun, tells Carl to watch Judith, and goes outside, making her way between houses and trees.   Jessie and Sam hide in a closet and Ron is nowhere to be found.    Carol sees Alexandrians being hacked to death, and delivers the final cut to one of the women who, only a few moments ago, was trying to figure out the best use for celery soup.

Spencer, Deanna’s son, is firing on an 18 wheeler as it barrels towards his guard tower, smashing into it and finally revealing the sound  that sent the walkers into a frenzy as that of the truck’s horn.    Spencer crawls down, opens the door to the truck and finds a walker inside.   When he seems to be unable to react,  Morgan appears and dispatches the walker and stops the horn.    Morgan also tells him that he might be better off staying outside the walls.

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Inside Alexandria, Morgan confronts one of The Wolves and tells him to leave, but Carol shoots the attacker.  Carol has managed to disguise herself as one of The Wolves, Aphid, so that she can move about town without drawing suspicion.   She also drapes a chain around Morgan to further her disguise until Morgan runs off to help someone who’s injured.

Carl is doing his best at keeping Judith and Enid safe, even shooting one of The Wolves.   Carol has made it to the armory, where she finds Olivia and gives the woman a two minute lesson in how to point and shoot a gun.   A Wolf has entered Jessie’s house and the woman turns into the worst – or best – Mama Bear ever, grabbing her hair scissors and stabbing The Wolf to death.  Morgan saves Gabriel from a Wolf and proceeds to tie the attacker up, but Carol comes along, shoots the Wolf and gives Morgan and Gabriel guns.  Carol don’t play.  Seriously.  She’s the honey badger.

After she goes back to her one-woman mission of Wolf annihilation, Morgan encounters a group of Wolves.   He warns them to leave, telling them that what they’re doing will only mean more of them will die.  They’re unarmed and have little defense against the Alexandrians.  And Carol.   They take his advice and leave the town, and Morgan closes the gate behind them.

The battle seems to be winding down.  Denise is trying to treat one of the more severely injured, but she’s finding that this type of thing gives new meaning to panic attacks.   he’s urged on by Eugene, though, who tells her she doesn’t want to be a coward.   Aron comes across the body of a Wolf and finds his own backpack on the body, with a stack of pictures from Alexandria inside.   Morgan is confronted by one more Wolf, a familiar one who he’s come upon before.  The two men fight and the Wolf seems confident that Morgan won’t kill him.   After taking the Wolf to the ground, Morgan says’ “I’m sorry”  and drives his stick through the man.

Carl tries to find Enid but only sees a note she left.  Just survive somehow – JSS.   Morgan and Carol are walking the streets, passing each other without acknowledgment, through the smoke.   Carl  hears the sound of the oven timer and takes Carol’s casserole out.  This battle is over, but there are thousands of walkers headed for them.

During ones of the scenes, The Wolves said that the people inside Alexandria don’t belong there, as if they were warning them.   It wasn’t clear what they meant, if anything, or if they’re just crazy and say crazy stuff.

Everyone who watches TWD can’t wait to see what kind of disguises Carol will come up with in the future.  She’s got an outfit for every occasion  – Terminus Carol,  Suzie Homemaker Carol and now, Carol in Wolf’s clothing.  Great for Halloween.  Trick or treat.  


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The Walking Dead – First Time Again

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The episode is told in two parts, with the events leading up to the walker parade shown in black and white, while the actual activity to move the thousands of walkers is in color.  It cuts back and forth, in short bursts, delivered in minutes.   It’s a compelling way to tell the two stories, by building the suspense and sense of urgency, both within Alexandria and during the march from the quarry.

It begins at the very moment where last season ended.  Pete has killed Reg, and Rick, at the order of Deanna, has shot and  killed Pete.   Morgan appeared in all of this chaos, looking to be in much better shape, both physically and emotionally, than Rick has been these past few days.    Gabriel’s treachery against the group, the lies and fear-mongering he tried to sell to Deanna and others, proved to make him look like the weak little man he is.  His loyalty is with no one but himself.  In fact, the things he did and said revealed that he even he was even willing to betray God.    Tara is awake and okay.  Glenn and Maggie are reunited.  Eugene’s hair stood the test of the walkers.

Morgan and Rick have a lot to talk about.  Things were very different, the last time they saw one another.  While the two men discuss Alexandria, its people and its beginnings, Eugene is covering the gate.  A truck pulls up and a young man gets out and introduces himself as Heath, and his two friends as Scott and Annie.  They’re also Alexandrians who have been out on a run.   As Rick and Morgan walk through Alexandria, they find Carter and Gabriel digging two graves – one for Reg and one for Pete.  Rick doesn’t want Gabriel digging a grave for Pete, at least, not within the walls, because he’s a killer and Deanna agrees.   Morgan whispers to Rick that they’re killers, too.

Rick and Morgan take Pete’s body out into the woods and, as they begin digging, Rick hears a sound.   Ron, who followed the two men into the woods to see where his father was to be buried, is being chased by walkers.   After dispatching that threat, the three of them see a quarry, filled with thousands of walkers.   It was from there that the few stragglers of them had managed to make their way to Alexandria.  This poses a real threat to the community because there’s very little holding them back and the barriers that were set up are beginning to fail.

When they return to Alexandria, Rick tells everyone what they saw and begins to spell out his plan.  He also asks for volunteers to take part in it.  Glenn, Michonne, Abe and a few others are a given, but when Gabriel raises his hand, Rick simply says “No.”  To Glenn’s disgust, Nicholas also volunteers and Rick accepts.  Carter is dragged into the plan, reluctantly.    After the meeting, while the townspeople get to work on the wall project, Maggie tells Tara about Nicholas and how he could be exiled if she gives the okay.  Tara says that if Maggie could forgive her, even after the awful things at the prison, maybe Nicholas could use some forgiveness, too.   Daryl tells Rick that he thinks two more people should be included in the plan, two different people, but that it’s up to Rick. What Daryl really wants is for more people to come to Alexandria, believing that there’s safety in numbers, but Rick isn’t open to that idea.   All Rick can envision is more people who can’t protect themselves, meaning a greater burden on him and those who already know how to.

Carole is handing out cold drinks at the work site and Morgan asks her if she was once a cop, too.  He thinks she’s always observant, always ready.  Carol thinks his comment is sweet.  Compliments  sound different to ladies after a zombie apocalypse.   Rick and Deanna spend a few moments talking about Reg, when some walkers come out of the woods.  Rick and his group do what has to be done, but the Alexandrians are clumsy, inept and completely baffled by what they should do.

Carter has gathered his own smaller group for a  clandestine meeting during which he expresses the need to kill Rick.  Eugene, who has been getting supplies, overhears the conversation, then drops a can, falls into some shelving and finds himself at the end of the barrel of Carter’s gun.   Rick, Daryl and Morgan walk in and takes the gun from Carter.  Rick informs him that, since he can’t take the community from them, he could try working with them.

Later, Rick finds Morgan sitting on his front porch.  They talk about Carter and how he doesn’t get it.  Carter is the type of person who gets killed in this new world because he refuses to accept the danger and prepare himself for it.   Rick tells Morgan that they know each other, even if it’s the first time, then hands Judith over to him to hold.  While Michonne listens from the doorway. Rick invites Morgan to move into their house.

Rick wants a dry run of the plan, but the walkers are coming through the barricades in greater numbers, so the event has to go live.  It’s s good plan and everyone knows what they’re supposed to do and when they’re supposed to do it.    It’s prefect in its simplicity.  The idea is to push the walkers through a series of openings, into a gauntlet of parked vehicles, then out onto the main road until they can be led twenty miles away from Alexandria by Daryl on his motorcycle and a car manned by Abe and driven by Sasha.

It’s going well.  Flares are fired at checkpoints to draw the walkers in the intended direction.   Abe seems to be enjoying his role a little too much, but asks Sasha if she’s doing this because she wants to die.  She tells him that doing something this big is living.   Glenn, Nicholas and Heath are farther up the road, clearing a John Deere dealership of walkers, whose sounds could distract the much larger herd.   They succeed and Nicholas proves his worth to Glenn wo is doing his best to trust him again.

Back on the parade route, walkers are making the turn at Alexandria’s wall, with a few walkers, who didn’t have time to rehearse, smashing sloppily into the barrier.  Up ahead, Carter goes into the woods to take point, telling Rick that he was right – the plan is going to work.    A stray walker comes upon Carter though and bites his face.  He begins to scream and Rick, Michonne and Morgan run to silence him, as his screams are drawing walkers.   Rick is forced to kill him before he turns and to stop his screams.  It was inevitable.  Rick said it would happen to Carter and to anyone like him.   The group fires their guns to bring the herd back on course, and they seems to draw a collective sigh of relief.  Only twenty more miles and the community is out of danger.  Then there’s the sound of a horn – a long loud blaring of a truck horn, sending a directional signal to the walkers, straight to Alexandria.


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A Reason to Celebrate

On this day, thirty seven years ago, I married my best friend.   It was on a chilly, rainy Friday evening and the entire event was a blast.  We danced, drank a little too much and reveled in the company of family and friends.   It’s a memory that I’ll cherish for as long as I live.

I wasn’t sure how today’s date would effect me, and I had a few talks with myself about it.  It would have been so easy to just stay in my pajamas, in bed and cry about what could have been.  Then I straightened myself out and knew that my husband would have been so disappointed in me if I didn’t see this occasion as a reason to celebrate.  Because it is.

I never cared about getting married.  My life was good, I had a career that I loved and had worked hard to get, and friends I enjoyed.   That was before this guy came along and treated me in a way that no other man had.   He was sweet and kind, funny and a little bit shy around me.  I liked him before I loved him and I never stopped liking or loving him for nearly 38 years.

I should probably tell you how we met because it’s kind of funny.  I was taking the agility test as part of the process of becoming a police officer.  He, along with a few other officers, had stayed over from their midnight shift to oversee the candidates as we went through our paces.   It was in the middle of July and the heat and humidity that Saturday morning were almost unbearable.   One of the tests was an obstacle course which included climbing over a 7 foot wooden wall.    Now, I’m vertically challenged and the wall may have been 100 feet for all the progress I was going to make.  Realizing I was using up a lot of time, I finally gave up and finished the rest of the course.  The next thing we had to do was run a mile.  I did that, coming in under the allotted time, but looking rather green around the gills.  One of the officers wrapped an arm around me before I passed out or threw up.  After getting my feet back under me, he asked the Personnel Director if I could get one more shot at the wall.   I glared at him and muttered some obscenities in response.   I also told him that if he wanted me to try it again, he’d have to do it first.   He laughed at me and showed me how it was done.   Well, I just hated being called out, so I took off and threw myself at that wooden barrier – over and over, until I had shredded my hands and nearly destroyed my back and arms.

Again, he asked for another favor from the Personnel Director, that I be allowed to try it from the backside which was somewhat shorter.  Given the okay, he followed me behind the wall and laced his fingers together, whispering “put your foot there.”   A little pissed off and a whole lot tired, I stared back at him in defiance.   So, he raised his voice a bit and growled “Put. Your. Damn. Foot. In. My. Hand”   Begrudgingly, I did, and he propelled me over the stupid thing.  I doubt anyone was fooled  by my sudden Super Woman powers or his obvious help.    So there you have it.  I passed the test because he wouldn’t let me give up.

We have hundreds of stories – some good, some bad – just like any couple which has enjoyed a lengthy history together.    One of my favorites, probably the best one, happened on our honeymoon.  It was our last night in Honolulu and we wandered into a club, drawn to the music inside.  We sat there for  hours, listening to two native Hawaiians playing slack-string guitars and singing their beautiful songs.  Before we left, we purchased their first album,  a souvenir of a sweet aloha.

Today, rather than shed too many tears of sadness,  I’ll play that record and raise my glass to the man who made me believe in marriage, love and lasting friendship.  I will celebrate.

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Fear The Walking Dead – The Dog

The rioters outside the barbershop are a mix of the living and the walking dead.   Daniel is afraid that they’ll try to break into his shop but Travis thinks their group will be fine, until the fire from the shop next door starts to blister through the wall.   The group realized that their only option is to go outside, to try to make it to Travis’ pickup truck.  As they go out, some of the crowd spills in, smashing everything they can.

Once outside, the group makes their way through the mayhem, watching one cop bite another.  They find some measure  of cover by walking under some scaffolding, until the riot police turn fire hoses on the crowd, knocking the scaffolding down and injuring Griselda.   Travis picks her up and they finally locate Travis truck.  Oddly enough, by driving only a couple of blocks, they’re away from any crowds.    They want to get Griselda to a hospital, as her leg has been crushed, but the first hospital they arrive at is under siege by the police.  Officers are gunning down patients who have obviously already turned.   As they watch the city of Los Angeles go dark due to power outages, they realize they have to go home if they’re going to find any safety.  Travis offers to drop Daniel and his family off somewhere, but Daniel insists that they’re going with the rest of the group.

Maddy, Alicia and Nick, having already witnessed one neighbor snack on another, decide that they should play a game of Monopoly.  Monopoly?  In the middle of the worst thing they’ve ever witnessed, they want to play a board game?   Well, they do, after Nick gets his Oxy fix.  He probably didn’t even care if he passed “GO” or collected $200.   The game also helps as a perfect distraction from the sounds of gunfire and whatever is scraping the outside of the house.    Nick is feeding his mother’s other fears, though, by making comments about how Travis might not be coming back for them because he’s with his family.

The game ends abruptly when the power goes out and they hear the scratching sound again.  Nick goes to the back door to find out what it is and sees a German Shepherd clawing at the sliding door.  The dog has blood on him but it’s not his blood.  They then spot Pete, their neighbor, making his way towards the house.  Nick tells his mother that the other neighbors, the Trans, have a shotgun he knows about because he considered stealing it at one time.   He, Maddy and Alicia head to the Tran’s house to find it.  Once it’s been located, they go to turn back, but Pete has gone into their house and is sating himself on the dog.

Travis pulls into the driveway and Maddy and Nick run out to warn him, but Travis has already gone inside.  He sees Pete and the dog and approaches Pete to talk to him.  Perhaps he’s forgotten about Calvin already.   Pete moves towards Travis and Maddy aims the shogun at Pete, but Travis stops her from shooting him.  Daniel then wrests the gun from Maddy and shoots Pete in the face.  That only stuns Pete, so Daniel takes a second shot and he goes down.   Alicia is outside and has stumbled across Susan Tran, who is behind a fence and  is no longer Susan Tran.  Susan grabs Alicia, and Chris is able to save her before she becomes dinner.  Thrashing about, she hits Chris right in the nose.   Alicia refuses to believe that Matt could have suffered the same fate, and insists that he’s sick, just like Susan.  But Nick says that they’re not sick, they’re dead.  Nick is in a bad way, so we’ll give him a pass, for now, for being a little short on empathy.

Daniel tells Travis that he’s reached his cousin and they’ll be leaving in the morning.  Maddy wants to leave right away but Travis says they’re staying until the morning, as well.   He then rolls Pete up in a blanket and drags him outside.

Liza and Travis are in the kitchen and she, from a nurse’s perspective, paints a rather bleak picture of what will happen to Griselda if her foot isn’t treated.   Ofelia wants to stay with Travis and his family, but Daniel doesn’t want to become indebted to anyone.  Griselda tells her daughter to trust her father.  Liza and Maddy talk in the kitchen and Liza wants the two of them to support each other as mothers who should be looking out for their children.  Maddy tells her how Susan took care of her kids and asks Liza to take of ending it for her should it come to that because Travis would be broken if he had to do it.

In the morning, Travis is digging a grave for Pete but Daniel tells him that burning them will keep the plague from spreading.   Travis ignore his advice and keeps digging.  He also wishes Susan a good morning.  Maddy comes out of the house and walks to Susan.  She;s got a hammer in her hand and seems to prepared to deliver the final blow.  Travis goes to her and tells her that she shouldn’t do something she might regret but all she can think is that Susan’s husband, Patrick, is going to come home and find his wife that way.  Travis takes the hammer from Maddy.   Daniel,  who has been watching, mutters “weak.”

Travis, Maddy and the rest are ready to go and get into their vehicles.  Nick wants more pills and Maddy hands him a couple of them.  He sees that his supple is low and asks her what happened to the rest.  She tells him that she gave them to Griselda and that she’ll take care of him.  He says that he doesn’t need her, he needs his medicine.  He doesn’t get a pass for that one and one can only hope that the next walker they come across turns him into teenager tartare.

Ofelia is still trying to convince her Dad to go with Travis’ family but he’s not budging.  She says that they’re good people but Daniel tells her that good people are the first ones to die.

Travis and company pull away and make their way down the street.  Military helicopters are flying over the area.  As Maddy is about to round the corner, she spots Patrick getting out of his car in front of his house.  She makes a u-turn to stop him before he sees his wife.   By the time she and the others pull up, though, Patrick is reaching for Susan to hug her.  Before they embrace, a shot rings out and Susan fall to the ground.   Soldiers are surrounding them.   Soldiers are everywhere.   They’re conducting interviews and asking about who is staying at Maddy’s.  When Maddy is asked about the grave, she tells them their dog died.  Travis tells Maddy that things are going to get better now.   Daniel tells his family that it’s already too late.   He’s right, of course.

It’s probably safe to upgrade Rick Grimes’ condition to stable and mobile.   It’s likely that he’s  encountered Morgan, by now, and they’re not playing Monopoly.   Hershel, Maggie and Beth might be, but, then again, Hershel kept his wife in the barn.


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Where Were You…

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It was a beautiful morning – sunny, warm, a blue sky full of light fluffy clouds.   My husband had to go to New Jersey that morning on business and because I’d decided to take the trip with him, we had stayed on our boat in Mystic the night before.  We set out fairly early., hoping to time our trip around rush hour traffic near New York City.  We took I-95 and drove along, enjoying the day and each others’ company.   After driving for a couple of hours, we stopped at a rest stop for some coffee.  It was just about 9:00 AM.  When we went inside the Dunkin Donuts store, a television was on and a group of people were gathered in front of it.   Apparently, there had been a horrible plane crash with the plane smashing into one of the World Trade Center towers.  As we watched, though, the impossible happened.  A second plane struck the second tower.

Our minds do funny things when we can’t seem to comprehend what we’re seeing.   Rather than panicking, the small crowd in front of that TV became ever so silent.   We watched the scene and then watched it again, trying to make sense out of what had just unfolded.  Finally, one man said, “We’re under attack. America is under attack.”

My husband and I got back in our car and wondered aloud what we should do.   We weighed going back to Mystic versus going ahead as we’d planned.   Behind us were the Millstone Nuclear power plant and the Groton Submarine Base, both potential targets, and ahead of us was, well who knew what was ahead of us.  We then agreed that it really didn’t matter.   If our country had become a target of terrorists, no one place was any safer than the next.   The bridges leading into the city had been closed to incoming traffic and we were rerouted to the Tappan Zee Bridge.   It was quite some distance away and added hours to our trip, but, really, it was all so numbing that driving didn’t seem like such a bad idea.

When we finally got to the Tappan Zee, traffic was at a standstill.  One lane had been designated for emergency vehicles, and, as we sat there, an endless stream of police cruisers, EMT vehicles, fire trucks, ambulances and hearses passed us.  I think the sight of the hearses was the worst.  There were so many and we knew that they had to be coming from all directions.

We also listened to the radio, hoping to hear something that made sense.  What we heard was reporters, crying and scared.   There were reports that the White House, Camp David and the U.S. Capital had been hit.   It only made it worse to sit there and listen to these panic driven stories, so we turned the radio off and talked.  We talked about things we’d done and been through.  We told each other how much we loved each other.   My husband took my hand and said, “Whatever happens, it’s been a great ride.”  And then we held each other for a while until the traffic began to move.

We stopped again, at another rest area in New Jersey and watched another set of televisions as the towers fell.   Again, no one spoke.  The only sounds were from those who were crying  or placing orders at fast food counters, and even those sounded hushed – respectful.  We arrived at our hotel and found that we had no phone service.  The fallen twin towers, along with overloaded systems, had made calling home impossible.   We went into the bar, to get some food, and found a group of business people stranded by the no-fly order.   The only channel the hotel could get was CNBC and we watched Ron Insana, still covered in the dust which seemed to have fallen on everyone near Ground Zero, as he offered his own frightening experience to an equally shaken Tom Brokaw.

After finally getting to a working phone and calling my now hysterical Mom, we went to bed.   The next morning was just as beautiful as the day before, but, aside from that, nothing was the same.  Sure, the weather was wonderful, but, off in the distance, there was billowing black smoke in that oh so lovely blue sky.  There were no planes flying, except for military jets.

That day, and the days and weeks afterwards, will play over and over in our collective memories.   It was a national tragedy, and a shared sense of loss and grief fell over all of us.   For a while, we became a little kinder to one another, more respectful and thoughtful.   It’s my sincere prayer that,  while we may never forget the awful events of that morning,  perhaps we could dig deep and try to remember what kind of people we became in the aftermath.  What a tribute that would be to those we loved and lost.  Besides, I think the rainbow that appeared yesterday over that hallowed spot was there for a reason.


Posted in In The News, Politics | Tagged | 9 Comments