While there’s precious little good news to report, at least I can start this recap off by stating that no regular cast members died this week.  But other than that, let’s hope that old saying about it being darkest before the dawn is true, because these people are as demoralized as we’ve ever seen them, particularly those hit hardest by recent losses.

MAGGIE

At the top of the hour, Maggie takes out a walker between exhausted sobs; she can barely be bothered to do it.  When he offers her an ear anytime she wants to talk, Maggie basically tells Father Gabriel to f-off. When she finds a car and checks the trunk, there’s a walker tied up it, and rather than end it, she just closes the trunk. After a beat, she thinks better of it, but gets the key stuck in the lock. Glenn comes over, tries the lock and gets it; stabbing the walker.  She tells Glenn she’s not sure if she wants to fight anymore.

DARYL

Daryl opens the show by digging up and eating an earthworm. Rick and Daryl talk about where they stand at this point. Carol talks to Daryl about letting himself feel the loss of Beth.  saying she saved them both at different points. Daryl goes off to smoke and spies a cabin in the woods. Then, seemingly to prove he could feel pain, he burned his hand. Finally, the flood gates open and Daryl starts crying for his lost friends.

SASHA

Sasha searches for water, but simply finds dead frogs where a creek has dried up. When a horde of walkers approach, the group conserves energy by luring each one to their death by falling off a hillside…until Sasha gets bloodthirsty and stabs one. At that point, everyone must exert the energy needed to kill the rest of the herd before they bite back. She knicks Abraham in the process. Michonne is trying to be understanding but is losing patience:  “I told you to stop.”  Abraham tries to assure her she’s with friends, but her curt reply is “We’re not friends.”

DINNER IS SERVED

While everyone sits around talking about how it can’t get worse, a pack of wild dogs emerges from the woods.  Sasha shoots them all before anyone else can even react.  There’s a moment of shock, then Rick starts building a fire.  The next scene is everyone eating, as the camera pans to a dog collar on the blood soaked ground.  Sasha tells a disgusted Noah “Don’t think, just eat.”   It’s also at this point that Gabriel burns his collar, clearly frustrated and questioning his faith.

HERE COMES THE RAIN

The group happens upon bottles and jugs of water with a note reading “from a friend”.  No one thinks its safe, but Eugene goes to try it, saying “quality control”.  Abraham smacks it out of his hand, and just then it starts to pour.  Everyone is reveling in it, except Maggie who still looks shell-shocked and Sasha who is still sporting full bitchface.  Gabriel even apologizes to God.  Daryl finds the cabin he saw while smoking when thunder and lightening roll in. Once inside, Carol and Maggie find a walker with a gun.  Carol says that it’s harder for some people to give up, noting she clearly couldn’t bring herself to use it before she turned.  She notes this walker is a lot like them.  Sitting around another fire, this time under a roof, Michonne says this world isn’t “it”, Glenn it might be.   Rick posits that it’s somehow easier for kids now than adults to survive in this environment because they’ll adapt more easily.

In the longest speech Rick has given the group in a long while, he says he asked his grandfather about killing Germans during the war, but he wouldn’t answer.  Rick says he followed up by asking if any Germans tried to kill him. His reply was that he was dead the minute he walked into enemy territory.  Rick explains that we all do what we need to do and “then we get to live.”  He thinks no matter what they find in D.C., it will be OK.  He says this is how they survive: tell themselves they are the walking dead. Daryl says “We ain’t them, then takes his bow and goes for a walk.

But just like that, as the rain continues and the storm intensifies, there are walkers at the cabin door, and it takes everyone to hold them off.  Carl even puts Judith down to go help.  But they succeed, because next we see them, everyone is lying down aseep, Judith safe in Rick’s arms.  Maggie wakes to find Daryl sitting against the wall, and they talk about Sasha, sleeping away from everyone in another corner, being tough. She tells Daryl to get some rest and wakes up Sasha.

The two ladies head outside to find that the storm killed a ton of walkers and felled trees but spared the cabin, somewhat miraculously.  While Sasha and Maggie are talking over the latest events, they find a music box that instantly reminds Maggie of Beth.  Out of nowhere, however, a man introducing himself as “Aaron” appears, asking to talk to person in charge… “Rick, right?” They are stunned and the broken music box spontaneously starts playing.

So, is Aaron, who is way too clean and chipper to not be suspicious, a good guy or just a well-dressed cannibal?  We’ll find out next week!

 

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