The Walking Thread

[Content Note: Spoilers are lurching around undeadly herein. Descriptions of violence.]

screen cap from The Walking Dead of Dr. Mulletsworth reading a World History textbook by Zippo light
Seems about right.

After last week's episode, I figured four things would happen in this week's mid-season finale:

1. Deanna would die, because there's no use for her character anymore now that Optimus Grimes has assumed his rightful place as patriarch of Aarontown.

2. We would see the return of Zombie Ponchos, because how the fuck else were Grimes Gang gonna escape? And the writers like to whip that out every once in awhile as a special survival strategy, even though if I were trying to survive a zombiepocalypse, I'd have a coat closet full of stanky zombie ponchos and would wear one every time I ventured over the threshold.

3. Dr. Mulletsworth would sacrifice himself in a long-awaite display of bravery.

4. Literally nothing would become of Ron Blinney pointing a gun at Tig Nocarl.

Well, three outta four ain't bad.

The episode opens with the Littlest Blinney still holed up in his bedroom, playing a vinyl of "Tiptoe Through the Tulips," a favorite of tiny children everywhere. A plate of abandoned food sits on the floor near the window, where ants are swarming in to eat it. SYMBOLISM. Did you catch the SYMBOLISM? I hope you got that totally trenchant SYMBOLISM.

Meanwhile, zombies are swarming into Aarontown through the cavernous hole in the wall created by the toppled watchtower. Thanks a lot, Spencer! Grimes tells everyone to run for it. Thank Maude for Grimes shouting at people to run! Without his firm manly direction, everyone might have just stood there and gotten devoured!

Deanna is hurt and Grimes has to rescue her from the clutches of the swarming ants zombies. (SYMBOLISM!) And in case you weren't fully aware that women are constantly imperiled and need men to save them, elsewhere Carol trips and falls and hits her melon. Whooooopsy! Thankfully Morgan is there to rescue her. THANK YOU, MEN.

Maggie, on her own and totally manless, gets trapped and narrowly escapes a horde by scrambling up a ladder. One can only assume that there is a male fetus in her womb, which is the only reasonable explanation for her seemingly solitary salvation.

Dr. Mulletsworth, Tara, and Rosita Espinoza flee to a garage, where they are trapped by zombies scratching at the windows. Dr. Mulletsworth decides it's a good time to catch up on some middle school world history reading. Rosita Espinoza worries that it's all over. Tara is typically chipper and optimistic.

Grimes and Deanna hole up in a house with Michonne, Gabriel, Tig NoCarl, Baby Judith, and the Blinneys. Carol and Morgan hole up in the house where he's holding the W-Head hostage and Doctor Zoey is trying to attend to his wounds without being murdered.

Outside Aarontown, Glenn and Enid watch from a distance, and Glenn manscreams at Enid some more, when she feels like giving up. I'M SO GLAD YOU SURVIVED, GLENN!

Everyone seems to be safe—except whooooooooooooops Deanna has been bit! Sad trombone. "Well shit," she mutters. Grimes hatches a plan to draw the zombies away with flares from the armory. And everyone immediately agrees, because if there's one guy who knows how to competently exectute a plan that goes down with zero hitches, it's Rick fuckin' Grimes.

Ron Blinney still wants to kill Tig Nocarl, and Ron Blinney bitterly tells Tig Nocarl that his dad is a killer. To which Tig Nocarl calmly responds, "Your dad was a killer, too," and then also tells him his dad was an asshole. LISTEN, KIDS, THERE'S NO USE ARGUING WHOSE DAD IS THE WORST BECAUSE THEY ARE BOTH TIED FOR WORST. They have a skirmish, breaking a window which lets in zombies, because of course, and then they're rescued at the last moment, because of course, and then Tig Nocarl covers for Ron Blinney, because of course.

This is all so boring and so predictable and so repetitive and so trite. I am trying to find a way to make it funny, but I cannot! I'M ONLY HUMAN NOT A WIZARD!

Deanna and Grimes have a cool deathbed conversation in which Deanna once again pronounces Grimes a good man and the best leader of all the leaders. I can't imagine how fun it must have been for the writers of this shitshow to conceive a strong female leader only to have her serve no purpose other than telling Grimes how fucking awesome he is fully one million times.


Meanwhile, Carol and Morgan are of course fighting over whether to kill the W-Head, and Carol threatens to kill Morgan in order to kill the W-Head because she doesn't want anyone else to get killed. Okay. They fight. Morgan knocks out Carol and then is summarily knocked out himself by the W-Head, who's gotten ahold of a knife. He takes Doctor Zoey hostage, and Rosita Espinoza, Tara, and Doctor Mulletsworth show up, thanks to Doctor Mulletsworth's fancy lock-pickin' skillz, just in time to turn over their weapons and watch the W-Head lead Doctor Zoey out into the zombie horde.

This scene almost makes too much sense, as we watch the W-Head, who has been maniacally grinning while threatening to kill every human he can when he gets free, fail to kill a single one of the humans at his mercy once he is free and has a gun in his hand. He leaves Carol, Morgan, Tara, Rosita Espinoza, and Doctor Mulletsworth alive, and takes Doctor Zoey with him alive. All right then.

Back at Casa Blinney, Grimes Gang slathers themselves in zombie guts, which freaks out the Littlest Blinney, whose mom comforts him by telling him to pretend to be brave. Cool. They go out into the horde and make for the armory.

Upstairs, Deanna, who was left with a gun so, at her request, she could kill herself when she was ready, instead opens the door to the hallway and starts shooting at zombies and screaming.

Grimes Gang grabs hands and picks their way through the zombies. "Mom?" says the Littlest Blinney. "Mom?"

And that is the end of the episode. Cool finale. Very compelling. Someone pass me a World History textbook.

Now we'll all have to wait until February to find out what doesn't happen next! See you then!

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