Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 15 Recap: Rick Goes Full Shane, Michonne Wins “Try” By a Knockout
*The Walking Dead comic book SPOILERS referenced throughout!*
Sometimes we all need saving from ourselves.
The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is not a perfect man, but he’s a good one, and he’s not wrong about most of the Alexandria originals. They are naive at best, cowards and abusers at worst. But Rick himself was naive once — remember his horse ride into downtown Atlanta and gunshot in the tank? Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) stuck his neck out to save Rick — just like Morgan Jones (Lennie James) stuck his neck out to help Rick and get him up to speed — because sometimes people with more experience just need to share it with others so they can catch up. It worked for Rick, and now the new world does need Rick Grimes. But does it need The Ricktator?
In Season 5, Episode 15, “Try,” the new world needed the law and order sensibility of constable Michonne (Danai Gurira) and the saving-not-shooting handling of Glenn to keep Alexandria from spinning into Wild Wild West chaos. Michonne and Glenn don't want to just take over — guns blazing. They are in Alexandria to try and build a new civilization. Maybe not one like Before, and certainly not a Utopia, but not a place where you just have major fights in the street, go hunting walkers in the woods, or pull guns on the residents and threaten to morph into the next Shane-Governor hybrid. Rick said it himself when explaining the broken window theory — you keep the windows intact, you keep society intact. Well, the windows are definitely not intact now, so what does that say about the state of Alexandria?
Walking Dead Issue 75
Who can blame Rick for not wanting a wife beater in his neighborhood? And Pete did swing first (unlike in the comic). But then they crashed through a window and the gun came out. Michonne had to calm Rick down, because this isn’t even who Rick wants to be. Not in front of Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) — whom Rick pushed away in the fight, as Pete knocked back Jessie — not in front of the town, not for his family’s future. Remember when Carol cried when Shane beat the crap out of wife-beater Ed in Season 1? That's still where most of Alexandria is, mentally. Carol took years to get to this point. They have to give these people time.
Alexandria shouldn’t have to be Us Vs. Them, and with her knockout, Michonne showed that this is not a takeover. She’s willing to be as tough on her own people as Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh) has been on hers. Because they’re all supposed to be on the same team. And there are some good people in Alexandria — like Aaron, Eric, Sam, Reg, Francine, Tobin (for the most part), Deanna and maybe even that woman who really wants a pasta maker. They don’t all deserve to be punished for having been fortunate enough to stay safe.
Walking Dead Comic Issue 75
This same sequence — Rick vs. Pete, Rick pulls gun, Michonne knocks out Rick — happened in the comic book, and when Rick came to, he agreed that he lost it a bit. So if they follow the comic, it’s not like Rick will feel betrayed. He’s not too far gone to realize that wasn’t the best approach. He’s not giving up on Alexandria, and Alexandria isn’t giving up on him.
What about Pete, though? Alexandria has an unfortunate excess of d-bags, and we’ve seen how much trouble they can cause when left unchecked. (We see you with that gun, Nicholoser.) Rick isn’t wrong to think “bad guys” have to be stopped, Alexandria just has to find a happy medium between turning blind eyes and shootouts in the street or Rick might just turn into the next bad guy himself.
Bloody walker at night, steps on shattered family photo. One of Sasha’s photos that she shot?
MONROE FAMILY IS SAD
Deanna plays the “Run Mix” CD as she, Reg, and Spencer sit in silence. They are trying to mourn Aiden. This might not be the best music for it, but maybe it’s the last thing Aiden was listening to on the supply run?
CAROL BAKES STUFF
She told Sam she was a good cook and it distracted her when she was sad. Sam is watching her through the window again. This child is a budding stalker. Is this Nine Inch Nails on the soundtrack?
Everyone is up to stuff and thangs as this music plays. Definitely the wrong music for a supply run since it would just attract more wakers. Sasha aims out of her lookout tower. She eventually takes out the ambling family album-stomping walker.
Deanna sits and hugs a pillow, but thankfully the music is off. Knock on the door. Carol left a casserole and a note. Deanna leaves the casserole and burns the note. Is she not interested in anyone’s sympathy or just feeling Us vs Them about Rick’s group, of which Carol is a member? Maybe she wishes she’d never met any of them. That can happen when our group shows up.
DARYL & AARON
Daryl takes out a different walker at night. Aaron notes that there are more than there used to be. Daryl notes a light in the distance someone is out there. Please say it’s Morgan. And not The Wolves. #WolvesNotFar. Opening credits.
Nicholas is taped as he tells his version of the story. Aiden tried to save us from a roamer, shooting at it. Then Glenn distracted him. Glenn is also telling the story at the same time. Nicholas pretended he wasn’t going to leave Aiden or Tara. Glenn says they made him stay. Couldn’t get Aiden out of there without help. “All he had to do was hold the door.” SOMEONE SHOOT NICHOLAS NOW. Glenn had Noah’s hand. Nicholas said they were trying to kill him and if he didn’t push back he’d be dead too. Nicholas has completed his transition into The Worst. Poor Glenn. He’s telling Rick the truth. Nicholas says “They did this. It was them.” Deanna notes that they all came back together. How did that happen? Deanna is still looking into it. No guns for Nicholas or Glenn, or going outside the wall, until she’s done. Nicholas: “These people have to go. They are not like us. I know you see it too.” Deanna says she sees a lot. Glenn says he almost left Nicholas out there. Rick says they don’t know what they’re doing. Glenn says they have to show them. We are them now. Noah believed in this place. We have to make it work.
Has Rick thought about what she said? Carol said Jessie tells Sam to bolt the inside of the closet sometimes. He hears his dad yelling and his mom crying. One time Sam came out, and he said he said found his mom unconscious and bleeding as Pete just sat on the porch. Why does Carol care what happens to Jessie? You know why. She knows why Rick does too. She’s seen the way he talks to Jessie. Carol says if walkers hadn’t gotten Ed she wouldn’t be there, but Rick disagrees. She would. (Side note: Do we trust Sam? Is he a reliable source? Just asking.)
PETE COMES OUT
Rick ignores him. He has his gun out. He’s pissed. Pete … is he drunk again? He asks if Rick is OK, man. Rick glares. “Keep walking.” Rick might just shoot him right there. Pete is confused.
BOTH SIDES OF THE TRUTH?
What was with that commercial saying to tune into the season finale to get both sides of the truth? Is that related to the Pete/Jessie/Sam/Carol situation?
It’s 6:30. Time for Michonne to get up and go to work? She checks out the laundry. Holds up Noah’s old shirt. Sits down. Has a case of the Mondays. Rosita comes into the room. “How is she?” “Stable. Hanging on.” Tara is OK! But Sasha may have spent the night in the tower. No one has seen her. Abraham is up there now.
ROSITA & MICHONNE
They go looking for Sasha. Good to see Rosita getting some action. They pull their guns when they hear something. Well, Michonne pulls a gun. Rosita seems to have a knife. This is the first time they’ve been out since they’ve been in Alexandria. It feels different. Rosita talks about how she was screwed up after Eugene lied, because she lost something. She says Michonne seems screwed up because we found something. Michonne says Noah’s dead. And she feels like she was asleep in there. Rosita says she was trying to forget. She didn’t bring her sword with her. that’s not nothing.
AMC video still
GRAVEYARD PETE TALK
Rick is sorry for what happened. How is Deanna holding up? She’s not. Rick just starts talking about Pete. “We have a problem with Pete.” Deanna said “I hoped it would get better.” She knew. (Same as in comic. Douglas Monroe knew but made excuses because they needed Pete.) Pete’s a surgeon. He saved lives. He might be saving Tara’s life. Rick says he’s beating his wife. We have to stop it. Separate them. What happens when he doesn’t want to do that, Deanna asks? Rick says it’s not his choice. Then what happens? “I kill him. We kill him.” Deanna says they don’t kill people; it’s civilization. Deanna argues if it comes to that, they exile him. She says they are not executing anyone, don’t ever suggest it again. That sort of thinking doesn’t belong in there. People die out there, Rick says. You can decide how it happens. Deanna says she wouldn’t kill Rick she’d just send him away.
CARL & ENID
Everyone is in the woods today. Is today the day the teddy bears have their picnic? Enid calls out to Carl, says she knows he’s following her again and he’s going the wrong way. Enid said he scares her. He says she shouldn’t sneak off by herself. Two people just died. She says come on, people always die. What is she doing out there? Same thing as him? She runs and he chases her? This is flirting in the ZA.
What is Enid doing? She throws a kitchen timer at the walker and it goes off, distracting it. Is this a game to her? It is. Sick. And a waste of a timer. How will Mrs. Whats-Her-Face know when the pasta is done if she ever gets that pasta maker?!
GLENN SCHOOLS NICHOLAS
“Those four people you lost on that run, that’s on you. And Noah, that’s on you too. Those five lives, you have to carry that. People like you are supposed to be dead, but these walls went up just in time, so you’re not. You don’t go outside those walls anymore, not by yourself, not with anyone else. And that’s how you’re going to survive.” Nicholas asks, “Who the hell do you think you are?” Glenn says, I’m someone who knows who you are. Nicholas says he’s been protecting this place, helping to provide for it. Glenn says not to forget what he said. Is he threatening him? No, I’m saving you. And that’s how you handle it without violence. Glenn is boss.
They are supposed to be out there, to feel that way. Running helps her to forget. They bond. Carl dreams about it. She does too. Ron’s a good guy. He is. Does he know you come out here? No, he wouldn’t understand. Enid breaks out her knife. It was her moms. What happened to her before she got there? It doesn’t matter. Yes it does. Something bad happened to him too. Cue walker. They hide in a tree. Oh, cue tons of walkers walking by. But Carl doesn’t care. He might get to kiss Enid. But no. “You’re afraid of me too.” Walker has a “W” mark on forehead. Wolves?
Nicholas! He’s the one who had the gun? That is the same "J" gun. He re-hid it in a can of some kind. THE WOOOOOOORST. If that's Rick's blender gun, how did Nicholas know it was out there, though? Is he working with the exiles on the outside?
SASHA IN THE WOODS
All the action is in the woods today. Oh please please say Sasha shoots Nicholas! She shoots walkers and maybe she can take him out too. Rosita and Michonne find Sasha. Sasha is sick of playing defense. She’s going to take on all the walkers. But they are so many in front of them now and Rosita doesn’t have enough. Michonne has flashes of her katana. She aims and fires her gun, takes some out. Rosita uses her knife. Back in action. Michonne saves Sasha, but Sasha says she had it. She doesn’t need their help. Oh calm down, Sasha. Sasha does not want friends. She turns to Michonne. “You. You can’t do anything. It worked out for you. Don’t you see that? You can’t help me. Nobody.” Poor Sasha. “Noah. I told him he would make it.” Oh, that’s not on you, Sasha. That’s on Nicholas. But she’s a good person to feel that way, unlike Nicholas.
Just like in Richmond. Aaron and Daryl come across them. Whoever did this .. brought what with them? Daryl says this just happened. Fresh kills. Wolves not far. Apparently this is all new to Aaron too. Daryl was not there for the body parts in Richmond. They find a woman tied to a tree. Cue Carol! What is it with tied-to-a-tree stories? The woman’s innards were eaten. She was tied up and they fed on her. They tore her apart. This just happened too. Who was she? The woman has a mark on her forehead too. She’s a walker, so Daryl put her down. Poor woman.
Speaking of poor women, Jessie is smoking in her garage. Rick comes in. She doesn’t want Ron and Sam to know. Rick says her secret is safe. Noah’s a sweet kid. Tara is in good hands with Pete. “He’s hitting you,” Rick says. “He’s hurting you. It has to stop.” Jessie looks upset. “It will.” “How?” There are things in his life that happened. It was like this before and he got help. She helped him and it was good. “I can fix it.” Rick says she can’t, but he can. What is he going to do? Put him in jail? He’s only going to make things worse. If it gets worse, it means he kills you, and Rick is not going to let that happen. Why does he care? Why is this so important to him? He’s made it, he has a home for his kids. What is he doing? He’s trying to help. She doesn’t know that. She’s married. She can take care of herself. We have to take care of ourselves. She’s not exactly grateful for the help, but neither was Jessie in the comic book. But she was relieved when it was over.
Rick sees the normality around him and he roids out a bit. There’s a boy running with a red balloon and Rick just turns and loses it. He walks into the house, sees Jessie crying. You know, Sam asked for a gun to protect you. Jessie cries. You shouldn’t be here. In here, you can’t see it, but it’s the same. It’s the same as out there. If you don’t fight, you die. And I don’t want you to die. I can help you. He says he can keep her and her boys safe. He can. Rick is the new Shane. Jessie is his Lori. All you have to do is say yes. Jessie wants to know if he’d do this for someone else, for anyone else. Or is he just THAT HORNY? Rick admits no, he wouldn't do this for just anyone. She says yes. She accepts his help. She's that horny too. Drunk Pete is there. Or maybe that’s just Pete.
RICK VS PETE
Pete wants to know what Rick is doing there. Jessie says for Pete to listen to her. Pete wants Rick to leave. Jessie says no. Pete needs to leave. Just go, Pete. What have they been saying to each other? Pete is piiiiissed. Pete wants Rick to leave. You think you’re the law? Who the hell do you think you are? Pete throws punch, lunges at Rick. In the comic, Rick was the pure aggressor. Now it’s equal. Rick pushes Pete through the glass window.
Pete and Rick are strangling each other in the street. Pete hits Jessie to get her off him. Then Rick gets on top and fights. Carl pulls off Rick and Rick pushes his own son. He’s too far gone in this moment. He gets Pete in a chokehold, sees the red balloon floating away. Deanna says to stop it right now. The whole town is there. Rick’s face is red with blood. Rick draws his gun. Or what? You’re going to kick me out? He’s covered in blood. You still don’t get it. None of you do! There are walkers outside the fence as this happens. We know what needs to be done, we do it. We’re the ones who live. You, you just sit and plan and hesitate. You pretend like you know when you don’t. He even has the cadence of Shane’s voice now. You want to live. You want this place to stay standing? Your way of doing things is done. Things don’t get better because you want them to. Starting right now, we have to live in the real world. We have to control who lives here. Deanna says that’s never been more clear to her than right now. You mean me, Rick asks. Your way’s going to destroy this place. It’s going to get people killed, it’s already gotten people killed. He’s not going to stand by…. Michonne knocks him out. In the comic, her next line is “Get his gun.”
We’re going to talk about Rick Grimes. Rick hit his limit.