Warning: Spoiler Alert
The opening shot is Gabriel, possibly preparing for a sermon. He’s got an altar, and there’s a semi-circle of empty chairs facing him. Obviously he will be a priest in Alexandria, because priests are priests even in the zombie apocalypse. Or something. It was probably unwise to just hand him such a position, since after he sees the nice basket of strawberries, praising God for Blessing Alexandria with Gabriel’s presence, he starts ripping pages out of his bible. Then, he sweats and groans in anguish as he tears the book apart. Then, he looks heavenward. His expression is hard to read, if only because the dazed look of someone who is probably nuts could mean oh so many things.
Really, though, life is moving forward in Alexandria. Daryl has built his motorcycle and is heading out with Aaron on another recruitment mission. Reg, Deanna’s husband, is meeting Noah, per Noah’s request, first thing in the morning. Noah will be going on a run with the group later today, but before that happened, Noah wanted to have a conversation. He’s very interested in the walls that Reg designed. He wants to be taught how to do that, in case they would ever need to know.
Reg, concerned, asks Noah if he thinks the walls might fall. It’s not that Noah is concerned about the walls falling down on their own, but they could hypothetically be pushed from the outside. Rammed, destroyed somehow. And it’s not just the wall, he continues. Alexandria is starting over, and eventually buildings will need to be repaired. New ones will need to be built. Noah wants to be a part of that.
Reg is moved, and maybe a little flattered. He takes out a notebook to begin writing. Noah asks what he’s doing, and he explains that he always writes important things down in a journal. With a thoughtful look, he tears out the few used pages and turns the book over to Noah. His first lesson will be to write things down, because there’s going to be so much to learn.
The Run Group is gearing up to head out. They need supplies for their solar power. Eugene is helpful enough to know what kind they need and provide an example, but he is not interested in going himself. A few people try to convince him otherwise, but it’s eventually That Jerk Nicholas who insists Eugene come along so he can verify the equipment they’re gathering. Noah offers Eugene a gun again, this time much closer to his face. Eugene accepts but he’s not very happy about it. Glenn says goodbye to Maggie in his anxious, earnest way. Maggie is stoic. She knows Glenn will handle any situation that comes up. He always does, she reminds him.
The group, headed by Deanna and Reg’s son Aiden (who seems like kind of a jackass) load themselves into the van and hunker down for the drive. One of the Alexandria Idiots puts in a mix CD with some techno mix with a Resident Evil clip edited in and blasts the volume, “to pump everyone up.” I can only assume that the writers are going out of their way to show us how painfully naïve and dead-inside-terrible the Alexandria Idiots really are. You’re not going clubbing, you fools.
They make it to the warehouse and begin to assess their approach. Various stupid strategies are suggested by That Idiot Nicholas, but Aiden agrees with Glenn to do a full perimeter sweep of all possible exits before entering the building. As Noah takes out an advancing walker, the team divides into teams to secure the perimeter. Tara and Eugene team up, mostly because Eugene isn’t done yet telling Tara how inappropriate it is for him to be there, while she continues to flatly disagree with him.
Ahead, Glenn compliments Noah on his well-aimed walker elimination. Noah admits his target practice has helped. They all gather at the originally planned entrance. Glenn bangs on the walls of the steel building, listening for any walker noises in response to the racket. He’s met by silence. Alexandria Idiots want to proceed but Glenn would prefer to wait. It’s a big place, it could take a while for them to come looking for the noise.
Glenn is humored for a few more seconds before the group advances through the warehouse. They discover several dozen walkers inside the warehouse behind a security cage. For the most part they all seem to be secured, so they split up to begin searching for supplies. Eugene and Tara find the thing they were looking for!
Across the warehouse, Aiden and Nicholas come across a stray walker, who was some sort of special military forces when it was a human, because it’s wearing riot gear and a face shield. Aiden keeps trying to shoot it, but the armor is doing a good job. Glenn tries to coach him how to take it down, but Aiden is a little trigger happy. Still shouting, Glenn notices the grenades on the walker’s vest. Glenn orders Aiden to stop, but the grenade is shot and a blast rocks the warehouse.
In the aftermath, Glenn is one of the first to come to. There’s been a hole blown in the walker cage and they’re beginning to get through. Eugene is OK but Tara is unconscious and bleeding from the head. Aiden is pierced through the torso in several places by the mangled remains of a blasted shelving unit. Nicholas is nearby and checks Aiden’s pulse. Aiden’s gone.
Noah and Glenn are able to get to Eugene and Tara in time to save them from the advancing walkers. They decide to make a run for it to the warehouse’s office. To his credit, Eugene appears very concerned for Tara, even if he’s too much of a coward to try to help her without someone screaming in his face for him to do so. He carries her to the office where the group begins to work on an exit strategy. Walkers grind and snarl at the windows. There haven’t been this many walkers in a long time!
Through the window, they see Aiden gain consciousness and gain awareness of his situation. That Idiot Nicholas isn’t very good at telling when people are dead I guess. The group hesitates for a second about what to do, but Eugene insists that they try to retrieve him. Tara would make them save Aiden, he says. He promises to wait and protect her while they get Aiden before they all make a break for it. It’s a risky plan but they can’t leave anyone behind so of course Glenn agrees to it.
Noah covers Glenn and That Idiot as they try to dislodge Aiden from the building. Aiden is panicking, and Glenn is trying to talk him through it. As they pull him forward, he screams, and more walkers are drawn to them. Nicholas grabs Aiden and hisses in his ear that this is what he deserves, since they were the reason the team lost four other people a few months ago. They were the panickers, not their dead friends. Aiden agrees, screaming his own confession, and That Idiot Nicholas runs off. Glenn and Noah try to free Aiden, but they’re overwhelmed by walkers. Aiden has deserted people. He’s panicked at the wrong time. He’s stuck to a shelving unit with several metal bars protruding from his chest. Glenn can’t save him. With more regret than other people would have, Glenn and Noah run off, leaving Aiden to be devoured, guts-first.
Things aren’t going exactly as well as they could in Alexandria either. Abraham’s obvious PTSD-like affliction has him getting a little dizzy and bored on the construction crew, but the worksite is soon overcome by walkers, finally giving him something to do. These Alexandria people are also idiots, who don’t shoot very well and are generally doing a bad job at handling the situation. A team member falls from a backhoe bucket and the foreman gives orders to leave her, but Abraham of course refuses. He drives hard into the melee to save his coworker, which he does fairly successfully and with a little more glee than he probably needed.
With those walkers taken care of, the construction workers have all reunited, and begin discussing what had just happened. A few marvel over Abraham’s bravery. The foreman tries to explain why he gave orders to leave the fallen worker, Francine, and Abraham is furious that anyone would ever do such a thing. The foreman tries to get Francine to back him up, saying it’s their code, but she decks him and lays him out flat. I’m sensing a lot of people in Alexandria need to be punched in the face.
Like Jessie’s husband, Pete. He goes over to Rick’s house in the afternoon when Rick is off duty, drunk as hell and talking a bunch of weird, aggressive nonsense. Earlier in the day, Rick had noticed that Jessie’s owl statue had again been destroyed, and he said he’d look into who did it. Behavior like that shouldn’t be tolerated in a place that has a sheriff. Bad for society, he tries to say. Jessie assured him it was nothing to be worried about, but Rick didn’t have much else to do, so he said he’d look into it. Pete apparently reacted poorly to Rick and Jessie’s interaction because now he’s daytime drunk and clumsily insulting someone who has torn apart walkers with his bare hands. Rick apologizes for being unable to solve the owl vandal mystery, noting how odd it was that nobody saw anything at all. Pete’s too drunk to pick upon any sort of actual thinking, though. Rick eventually hustles him out the door. Pete has nominated himself as another Alexandria Idiot who needs a punch in the face.
That kid Sam is also irritating. He’s sneaking around Carol’s house and generally being a terrible pest. Carol-the-Alexandrian is warm and friendly and bakes cookies, but Real-Carol wants nothing to do with this little shit or his constant need for attention. He badgers her into agreeing to make one more batch of cookies in exchange for his silence about that whole “gun theft” thing.
As the cookies are finishing, Sam continues to pepper Carol with questions. She resists, but eventually admits that she liked cooking before the world ended because it was fun and also distracted her when she was sad.
Well, Sam knows what it’s like to be sad. Sometimes when he’s sad he breaks stuff. Carol, as much as she is trying to ignore the sad, needy kid that buzzes around her constantly, can’t help but ask what he means by that. Was he the one who broke the owl statue, she asks.
Sam doesn’t answer, but asks her why she took the guns. Guns are for protection, she explains. Sam wants a gun! But not for himself, he says. Carol is increasingly concerned by Sam’s sudden silence and unwillingness to talk. She can also spot a troubled kid from a mile away. When she asks who he would want the gun for, he bolts entirely.
No one is having a very easy day, for sure. At the warehouse, Glenn and Noah are trying to fight their way out. Eugene takes Tara over his shoulder and, shaking like a leaf, manages to make a run through the remaining walkers who aren’t busy eating Aiden or trying to eat Glenn and Noah. He makes it to the van, throwing Tara in the back.
Glenn and Noah have met up with Nicholas, and the three are now trapped in a revolving door at the warehouse’s entrance. Glenn and Noah try to talk Nicholas through his panic, but he just thrashes and screams. Eugene comes along in the van, blaring that awful music and beating the side of the metal door like a drum. Eventually the outside walkers become distracted by the diversion and take off.
Now it’s just a matter of trying to get three people out of a revolving door when one side opens up to a room full of riled up walkers. Glenn forms a plan, they try to put it into action, and Nicholas continues to panic. He squeezes himself out through the door and flees, leaving Noah and Glenn in a bad position to get out on their own. They struggle to keep the walkers back, but one eventually gets Noah’s leg. Then then get his other leg. Glenn pulls for all he’s worth but he’s no match for the physics of a revolving door and dozens of monsters.
They drag Noah through the door and eat him while he’s pressed up against the glass. Glenn shakes and cries as Noah screams.
Across the parking lot, Nicholas catches up with Eugene. When Eugene asks where the others are, Nicholas attacks him and tries to steal the van. A few walkers hear the noise and become interested. It’s all going very badly when Glenn comes from nowhere and breaks everything up, laying Nicholas out and then punching him twice more for good measure.
I thought for a split second Glenn was gonna go to the Abraham Place and beat his face in, but even after watching his friend get eaten alive, Glenn is not that guy. He orders Eugene to throw him into the van with Tara. They’re getting the hell out of there. The ride back is silent. Glenn drives and Eugene stares at the unconscious passengers and Noah’s diary, which contains only the words “This is the beginning.”
The beginning, sure. But of what? Well…
Carol hasn’t been able to find Sam. She finally knocks on his front door. Pete answers. The house is dark, and Pete looks like hell. He’s very obviously a dude beating at least his wife and probably his son, too. Carol lived this life for years, and from the expression on her face, she had really hoped that domestic violence was one thing she’d never have to deal with again. She goes to tell Rick.
The foreman that screwed up the construction site has come to apprise Deanna of the situation. He also insists on resigning and letting Abraham take over the lead. He was impressed by Abraham’s combat skills as well as his people skills. Reg, who is the brains behind the construction crew, doesn’t immediately seem taken with the idea but Deanna knows what she has to do. The man leaves, thankful for Deanna and Reg’s time. Maggie, who is working as Deanna’s assistant, agrees with the foreman’s
assessment of Abraham. Deanna takes it all in, but wonders if it isn’t a mistake promoting so many outsiders to leadership positions so quickly.
Maggie reminds her that the whole reason her group is there is because Alexandria needs survivors of the crisis if it is going to have a future. Deanna agrees, seemingly grateful for Maggie’s advice.
Maggie leaves to attend to another task, and there’s another knock at the door. It’s Gabriel, and he’s gotta talk to Deanna immediately. He’s gotta talk to her about paradise and Satan and evil and a whole bunch of other things that hopefully don’t make any sense to Deanna. Maggie overhears as Gabriel tells Deanna that her group is corrupted by Satan, wicked to its core. They’re false apostles, she hears him say. Deanna’s expression never changes at all from “shrewd politician” and doesn’t waver for a split second here. She thanks Gabriel for his words, says she has a lot of thinking to do, and dismisses him. Maggie remains still, unsure of what to do, and hopes (along with me and everybody else) that what Deanna has to think about is what she’s gonna do with a batshit insane priest.
The convoy returns and Glenn screams for help.
Before the women react, we’re taken back to Rick’s house. Carol is certain that Pete is beating Jessie, and maybe Sam. Rick reacts in the measured, distant manner of a law enforcement professional, but clenches his fists like someone who never wants to stop punching people in the face. It’s no wonder, Rick, you’re surrounded by idiots.
Carol knows there’s only one way for Jessie and Pete’s situation to end. She knows it from years and years of being Ed’s battered wife. They’re gonna have to kill Pete. Plain and simple.
And that’s all, folks. Aiden is dead. Noah is dead. And lots of people need to get clocked.