The Walking Thread

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

screen cap from The Walking Dead in which Grimes is standing and making a garbage face; I have replaced the blood on his face with glitter
Optimus Grimes, with his beard o' blood spatter replaced with beautiful glitter: "What?"

In this week's episode of The Walking Dead: A character has a crisis of faith, but all the other characters' experiences serendipitously serve to restore that character's faith, and Grimes Gang meets a new community of people who aren't what they seem. See also: Seasons 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

We open with Sgt. Redbull and Sasha having an awkward conversation in which he says that Maggie and Glenn are stupid for having a baby, and Sasha tells him that he's the stupid one—an exchange which itself is pregnant with meaning, because they totally made out but Sgt. Redbull still hasn't broken it off with Rosita Espinoza.

Sasha tells him she's changing her shift, which means they won't be working together anymore. Instead of getting the message, Sgt. Redbull goes home and has more sex with Rosita Espinoza, who makes him a pretty necklace. But he can't stop thinking about Sasha. Yeesh this guy.

Glenn and Maggie have a SYMBOLISM RICH conversation about the crops at Aarontown. She hopes that they will grow. Glenn promises her that they will.

This conversation couldn't have been more subtle and beautiful unless they'd been standing in front of an oven with Maggie fretting the buns in that oven won't rise.

Meanwhile, back at Grimes HQ, where Optimus Grimes and Michonne (NOOOOOOOOOOOO!) have been startled out of bed by Houdini Jesus (thanks, DWS!), Pirate Carl sneaks up on Houdini Jesus, who's chilling on the stairs waiting for the lovebirds to get dressed, and holds a gun on him until Grimes and Michonne run out and explain the situation.

Pirate Carl immediately realizes that Michonne is doing it with his dad, and I'm frankly amazed he didn't shoot out his other eye.

A bunch of other Grimes Gang members show up, after Doctor Zoey alerted them that Houdini Jesus had escaped. Everyone crowds in as Houdini Jesus explains that he's an ambassador for another community and his job is to broker trade agreements with other settlements. He says that his community, the Hilltop, has livestock and crops, and they'd totes trade some food for ammo and shit.

Obviously, getting mixed up with other settlements has always worked out GREAT for Grimes Gang previously, so they decide that a contingent of them will accompany Houdini Jesus back to the Hilltop to see what's what.


Optimus Grimes, Michonne, Maggie, Glenn, and Sgt. Redbull hop in the camper with Houdini Jesus and off they go. On the way, Sgt. Redbull—whose character sketch presumably reads "tanktops; mutton chops; crappy one-liners"—grills Glenn about his and Maggie's decision to have a baby, and it's almost a relief to see a dude get subjected to some reproductive policing on this show.

Glenn says he and Maggie are trying to build something—AND GROW VEGETABLES THANKYOUVERYMUCH—and Sgt. Redbull tells him that he sure wouldn't have no goddamn babies, and Glenn does not say, "No one asked you, asshole," although he should have.

They come across an overturned truck, with gross zombies gurgling in the wreckage, and Houdini Jesus says it's his people. "This had better not be a trap!" Optimus Grimes tells him, and then they commence to rescuing the survivors, while Maggie holds Houdini Jesus at gunpoint. Luckily it really isn't a trap, since Houdini Jesus is a kung fu master and Maggie is pregnant.

In the commotion of the rescue, Sgt. Redbull almost accidentally kills an injured survivor. Later, back in the camper, the guy says how when he was about to die, he had a vision of his dead wife. Sgt. Redbull sheds a single CGI tear.

Then the camper gets stuck in the mud, because of course it does, but never mind, they've arrived at the Hilltop. After a tense confrontation in which the gate guards insist that Grimes Gang surrender their weapons and Grimes Gang says fuck no, which Houdini Jesus swiftly negotiates to mutually satisfactory resolution, they all go inside the gates, where they see a big old house, a chicken coop, and a bunch of FEMA trailers.

Houdini Jesus tells them the big old house used to be a museum. It blows Sgt. Redbull's mind. They are introduced to the Hilltop's leader, a white man (shocking!) named Gregory Creepfuck, who tells them to go clean their stinky taints if they want to meet with him.

Optimus Grimes tells Maggie she should meet with him, because he is a good decision machine, and it's clearly a perfect idea to send a young woman in by herself to meet with a dude who might as well be wearing a suit stitched together from red flags.

Maggie meets with Gregory Creepfuck, who turns out to be super creepy. He hits on Maggie and tells her that she'd be very desirable in the Hilltop community as a "smart, beautiful woman." She's all GTFO. Afterwards, Houdini Jesus promises he can negotiate a compromise. Because he isn't just great at getting out of handcuffs; he's great at getting out of sticky jams between dueling patriarchs!

All of a sudden, there's a commotion outside. A bunch of Hilltoppers have returned from a mission, and they report that Negan (THAT GUY!) has killed two of their group and is holding another one hostage because their supply drop was insufficient.

They say that Negan told them they have to deliver a message. Gregory Creepfuck asks what the message is, and promptly gets stabbed in the gut. Whoooooops!

Inexplicably, Grimes Gang springs into action and starts wailing on the dude who stabbed Gregory Creepfuck. They literally have no basis to know who's trustworthy in this situation, nor the context in which the assault transpired, but WHO CARES ABOUT SUCH DETAILS.

A melee ensues, and the giant dude who stabbed Gregory Creepfuck gets on top of Optimus Grimes, obliging Optimus Grimes to stab him in the neck. Sure. Someone tries to strangle Sgt. Redbull and he hears Sasha's voice. Obviously. He gets up and leaves the necklace Rosita Espinoza in the dirt. SYMBOLISM.

Houdini Jesus breaks up the conflagration, and then explains that Negan is the head of a group called The Saviors, and they have to give The Saviors half of their food and supplies in exchange for The Saviors not killing them. Grimes Gang asks why the hell they don't just fight back, and Houdini Jesus says that the Hilltoppers don't know how to fight and don't have any ammo, and also Gregory Creepfuck isn't good at confrontation.

Optimus Grimes says they'll destroy Negan and The Saviors (great band name) in exchange for food. "Confrontation has never been a problem for us," he says. Understatement of the zombiepocalypse!

Maggie goes back into negotiations with Gregory Creepfuck, who's convalescing in a grand old bed. She offers to kill Negan and The Saviors in exchange for half their shit. Which Negan and The Survivors are already taking, so...? But Gregory Creepfuck agrees.

Grimes Gang loads the camper with a downpayment of supplies. They bring Hilltop Andy, who's seen Negan's compound, with them, so he can provide intel.

Before they leave, Maggie gets an ultrasound from a doctor, who was one of the Hilltoppers they rescued earlier. They are very happy to see that their vegetables baby is thriving.

On the way back to Aarontown, they pass around a picture of the ultrasound. Michonne smiles and passes it to Daryl, who looks like he wants to barf. He passes it to Sgt. Redbull, who gazes at it then smiles at Glenn. He can't wait to impregnate Sasha now! O happy day!

Next week: More of this garbage.

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