We open with Nine Inch Nails’ “Somewhat Damaged,” the opening track from Aidan’s run mix. I love this song, but it seems ill-fit for the mood – which is depressed. Not angry, but depressed. Deanna puts the CD in as she and her family are mourning Aidan’s death, but Reg doesn’t last with it long. Carol leaves them a casserole. Deanna leaves the casserole and burns the note.
Unsurprisingly, Glenn and Nicholas give a very different testimony with regards to what happened. Glenn’s was what we saw; Nicholas’ made him seem like the good guy: Glenn distracted Aidan, Nicholas insisted on trying to save Aidan, etc. Glenn tells his side to Rick; Nicholas’ we hear via video testimony. Rick is angry that they don’t know what they are doing, but Glenn insists they make it work. Rick agrees, but says they don’t answer to “their” rules.
Rick then speaks to Carol about Pete. He seems torn between killing Pete and trying to solve things more democratically. He ends up going to Deanna about it, and is shocked to learn that Deanna knew that Pete was an abuser. “I hoped it would get better,” she says, and essentially says that a little bit of spousal abuse is worth it to have a surgeon in the community. Rick first suggests that they separate Pete and Jessie. If that doesn’t work, “then we kill him.” Deanna insists they don’t kill people here, this is “civilization,” and if it comes to it, they will exile him. This scares Rick, worrying that he will come back with reinforcements, Governor-style. A few episodes ago, Glenn said they were “almost out there too long.” I think his hold on sanity is a few weeks stronger than Rick’s because when he confronts Nicholas, he tells him that he should be dead, but the walls of Alexandria went up in time. “You don’t go out these walls ever again,” Glenn tells him. He’s not threatening him; he’s saving him he says.
Rick confronts Jessie about the abuse, and she plays the typical abused wife card: she promises he will stop, he was like this before but she helped him, it was good when he stopped. Rick promises to fix it but she worries he will make it worse. “If it gets worse, it means he killed you.” Jessie stomps into the house, and Rick returns outside, eyeballing the quiet, seemingly-idyllic town they have created here, and he goes back to Jessie’s home. He tells her that Sam asked for a gun, and that if you don’t fight, you die. He promises to protect her and her boys. “Just say yes.” Jessie asks if he would do this for anyone, and Rick takes a long time answering, before finally being honest. “No.” Jessie’s response: “Yes.” Pete comes in, ridiculously drunk (seriously, how the hell do you remain an alcoholic during the apocalypse?) and tells Rick to leave. Jessie steps in and tells Pete he needs to leave. Pete gets belligerent and the men begin to fight. At first it is just throwing punches and knocking each other against walls, but it quickly escalates and the pair end up on the street outside (via the window).
A crowd gathers, unsure of what to do. Both men are covered in blood and both seem ready to fight to the death. Jessie tries to intervene; she is smacked away by Pete. Carl faces the same fate. Finally Deanna stops the fight, but Rick pulls out his gun. “Or what? You gonna kick me out? You still don’t get it – none of you do.” He rants about how they “sit and plan and hesitate,” that their way of doing things is done, that we have to control who lives here. Michonne finally steps up and knocks Rick out.
Sasha is getting worse. Rosita reports to Michonne that she hasn’t been back to the compound in days, so the two go out looking for her. She has spent the last couple days outside, hunting walkers – many of which have W’s carved onto their forehead. (Or M’s, depending on how you look at it.) When they find her, she wants them to leave her alone. She is out here because she is sick of playing defense. A dozen or so come out of the forest, and Sasha starts picking them off easily. This brings up flashbacks in Michonne, of her time alone, with her zombie “guards,” and of her time with her sword. She starts shooting walkers, too, and tells Sasha this isn’t to help; this is just for her. Sasha runs out of bullets and turns to stabbing, but is jumped by one. Michonne shoots it dead. Rather than being grateful, Sasha is mad – she doesn’t need her help. Eventually, Michonne and Rosita return to the compound, but Michonne is growing more and more restless in Alexandria. She doesn’t seem unhinged, like Rick; she just seems antsy.
Carl chases Enid into the woods. She wants him to go back – he scares her. He of course doesn’t listen, and Enid doesn’t push. (She is not scared of him because she thinks he will hurt her; she is scared because she gets all tingly in her no-no places when she is around him.) They chase each other through the woods, taunting zombies and chatting. He wants to know what happened to her before she got here; she doesn’t want to talk about it. I kind of just want to see who has the most painful story. Enid seems deeply traumatized, but I don’t think it can compare to Carl having to birth his sister, then shoot his mother. Anyway, a small herd of zombies heads their way, and the two hide in a hollowed tree. I have no idea why such a thin, open piece of wood would protect them from zombies, but it gave the teens a chance to be uncomfortably close, and Enid realizes that Carl is “afraid of her, too.” The short version of Carl’s storyline this week is that he is probably going to get laid by the end of the season.
Finally, Daryl and Aaron. I think they had the least amount of screen time, but their story was most compelling. They are out in the woods, doing their recruiting thing, but they haven’t run into any humans – plenty of zombies, though, which they shoot. Night falls, and waaaaaay off in the distance, Daryl sees a dim light. Humans ahead! They move towards the light, and it isn’t until daybreak that they make it – or at least, make it to the general vicinity of the light. When they get there, they find a dismembered body, still human upon its demise. What is left is in a dozen bloody pieces; the rest of it appears to have been taken with. The clear use of tools in the dismemberment means it had to have been done by a human, and Daryl determines the kill is fresh. They continue on, and find a woman, stripped naked and tied to a tree. Her intestines had been ripped out by walkers. She was was clearly left there as bait – and has a W/M carved onto her head. If Morgan did this, he is close, and he is in a really bad place, a place there is no coming back from. The woman has turned, and Daryl stabs her in the brain before they continue.
You can check out a clip from the 90-minute Season 5 finale of “The Walking Dead,” titled “Conquer,” in the player below. The finale will air on March 29th at 9/8c.