This will probably be the shortest recap yet, as I was laid up for nearly 2 weeks with what may have been the flu, followed by a cystic fibrosis exacerbation. I debated skipping this episode outright, but didn’t think that would honor certain cast members properly. So here it is, a week late and a dollar short.
First, in case you’ve been living under a rock, or fever-induced stupor as was my case, you can Click Here for a spoiler-filled recap of what happened during episode 14. All caught up? Good. Let’s just do a quick character run down so we can move on to the current episode, shall we?
Let’s start with Father Gabriel, as his character book-ended the entire episode with his actions. First, we see him, freshly pressed and in a new clerical collar; if you recall, he burned his at the moment he decided to walk away from his faith and eat dog for dinner. Gabriel is in the midst of a crisis of faith and seeing him once again in his priestly garb, makes it look as though he is trapped. He is choking in that collar. In the same way that Michonne looks confined and imprisoned in her new police uniform. Gabriel is suffocating under his own guilt. Behind the pulpit there is a framed piece of art, depicting birch trees. Trees play a big part in the bible, symbolizing life and stability, and they play a large role in many Pagan beliefs as well. “The birch reminds us that even if our spirits are dampened by the set backs in life, we can always catch fire from the spark of passions that drive us to divinity.” You should read this article when you have a chance, keeping Gabriel and their situation in mind. We see Gabriel tearing pages from the bible, clearly a sign that he is no longer comfortable with the Word of God. He is so morally conflicted. Which leads us to the end of the episode where Gabriel pays Deanna a visit. The only people who know about Gabriel’s past are our main group of survivors. By throwing them under the bus and hopefully having them removed from the picture, Gabriel is successfully eliminating any witnesses to his confession, essentially giving himself a clean slate with which to begin again–falsely–in this new “paradise”. It’s hard for him to accept Alexandria. He had been holed up, unexposed to the “new world” for so long. Now that he has experienced it, it’s difficult for him to imagine that the Alexandrians are safe there or any better off than he was. Gabriel has bad timing, though, for right as he plants this false seed in Deanna’s mind, she learns that her son, Aidan, has died.
Let’s look at Abraham. That moment near the beginning where he is in the bathroom looking at himself in the mirror and then at Rosita, how uncomfortable did he look? They’re all having such a hard time transitioning into this new life style. This is too domestic for him. I loved at the construction site when he saw the birds emerge from the woods. He instinctively knew what was coming. Took a few centering breaths and BOOM! He was back in business, smiling the whole time. Abraham isn’t Abraham if he isn’t leading a group. He needs a mission to stay sane. It’s that way for a lot of career military personnel. It was a fun nod to the Walker Stalkers when they had a cameo and he killed them under the truck. Interesting the way they veered slightly from the comics, having him save ‘Francine’ and having Tara discuss ‘Holly’ with Noah back at the homestead. Curious to see where old Abraham ends up dipping his wick.
Tara…I loved how her words affected Eugene. I hated when they were leaving in the van and the dub step song blared out the lyrics “Now you’re going to die.” Tara was always Eugene’s favorite. And, it was a nice touch to see him find his courage in order to save her life. Way to go, Eugene.
Aidan and Nicholas. Where to begin with these knuckleheads? I loved when Aidan shot at the walker’s knee cap. I’ve been saying since season one that knee-capping, even with a kick as Rosita will do in episode 15, is a quick way to buy yourself a moment. Nicholas telling Aidan, “You left them. We both did. That’s who we are.” and then Aidan confessing to Glenn, “It was us. The others before. They didn’t make it. We did.” Aidan was starting to see the value in what Glenn and the others could do. Unfortunately, a grenade happened and messed all that up. Nicholas, ever the coward, nearly cost them all their lives, and ultimately did cost Noah his. I have more to say on this scene but will save it for the next recap. Rest in Peace, Noah.
Carol and Sam…Children are just drawn to Carol. But, she is pushing Sam away as hard as she can, given her track record with kids in the last two years. Sam, however, is screaming out for attention with his visits and breaking things. The child wants help. Carol, recognizing all the symptoms from experience, figures out that Pete is abusing his family. This was the first time in the history of ever that I have disagreed with Carol’s methods. Her new found confidence and bravery could have gotten Sam, his mother and/or brother seriously injured by storming over there and confronting Pete at his own door step. Second, telling Rick to kill Pete? Rick, who is clearly unstable? Woman, what are you thinking? Again, we will revisit this soon.
Until next week’s episode…which was last night’s episode…