'The Walking Dead' Recap: If You Don't Fight, You Die

'The Walking Dead' Recap:

The bloom is officially off the Alexandria rose as the citizens get a much needed reality check and the Grimes family realizes they can never conform to the ignorance-is-bliss mentality that rules their new community — hot showers, chocolate bars, and weekly book club meetings be damned. Tonight's episode, "Try," set the stage for a finale that promises to be filled with a battle of a different kind. In the past, the final showdown of each season has revolved around good vs. evil whether evil was in walker or human form. But no doubt, next week's conclusion of season 5 will be a war between the smart and the stupid.

Shedding some light on Abraham's infamous "WHO'S DEANNA?" question

The opening sequence featured Deanna and Reg mourning the loss of their completely terrible son, Aiden, whose immaturity and outright awfulness was (not surprisingly) ignored by the woman at the town's helm.

Sad little Sam spies on Carol from outside her window as she thoughtfully whips up a condolence casserole (in her state-of-the-art Food Network quality kitchen) like people do in times like this. She drops it on Deanna's porch along with a sympathy note, ringing the bell and retreating. You have to hand it to her character, she is following the "How to Be Basic" guide to a T.

Deanna leaves the casserole on the steps and promptly sets the note on fire. She is, of course, convinced Carol's group is the reason her idiot son with zero survival skills who was a menace to this new society, is gone. Sure, grief clouds judgement and Aiden was her kid but come on, you'd have to be crazy in the coconuts to not see Aiden's clock was ticking long before the Grimes family arrived.

The S in P.T.S.D. still stands for Sasha

Elsewhere, Sasha is doing more than guarding the wall by manning the watch tower. (Plot hole: Deanna never authorized her doing this so she must have taken over for the decoy dummy and not a live person who should be in the tower 24/7.) Sasha is actively hunting walkers and much prefers seeking out continual kills than just lying around eating bon bons and watching little kids jump rope and frolic in lawn sprinklers.

Michonne wakes up fully clothed in every day outer wear. No pajamas for her "just in case" and likely because she is used to sleeping in the same clothes she spends her day(s) in. She clearly does not want to put on her constable uniform which is more like a costume to her and to the viewing audience as well. Rosita steps in to report that Tara's condition is stable but Sasha is m.i.a. which means she is still in the tower.

They go to look for her, reacting to every snapping twig and forest sound like the trained militia they are. For both women, it's the first time they've ventured beyond the fence. Rosita tries to have a heart-to-heart with Michonne, the gist of which is that she must be making progress since she left the katana in her living room. 

They come upon several fallen walkers clearly taken out by sharpshooter Sasha who has switched from defense to offense mode. Rosita and Michonne catch up to her. Before Sasha can really get down to talking about her issues, a horde of walkers invades. Michonne has flashbacks to all her katana kills and regrets leaving it at home. She uses her gun but it's not the same.

Sasha bites off more than she can chew when her gun's magazine is emptied. Michonne saves her life and then Sasha gets angry that she intervened. Going to be a long road for Sasha if the group stays in suburbia. Like Rick, she isn't even able to pretend to assimilate.

What's worse than a walker found tied to a tree? A human found tied to a tree.

While Sasha's continues to carve out her own demise, Team Daaron is out looking for new recruits and comes across some gruesome carvings of another sort. In addition to the remnants (limbs) of freshly killed people (who weren't walkers) they find the verrrrrry recently tortured corpse of a woman who was bound naked to a tree and left to be a walker feast. Troubling to say the least. But by all means, Alexandrites, keep a decoy dummy on the watch tower while you host board game night and potluck socials!

The victim also happens to have a 'W' carved into her forehead. Sure, Daryl is enjoying his new motorcycle, not being restrained to work a menial job behind the fence and even Aaron's friendship and company. But if this doesn't make him scurry back to Rick and say, "it's time for us to do things our way," I don't know what will. 

Aiden had a proclivity for tying walkers to trees. Perhaps that dead female was part of the four souls who were killed out on the run? Aiden definitely had a serial killer vibe. 

Glenn vs. Nicholas (Man vs. bro)

Meanwhile, Nicholas, Alexandria's reigning weasel Prince of Bros, is busy recording his version of Aiden and Noah's deaths in Deanna's living room. To no one's surprise, it's the exact opposite of what happened.  He paints Glenn out to be the one who was at fault and himself and the late Aiden out to be the heroes. There's so much "I just can't" in his video that he alone is justifying the Grimes family to take over the community and instill their own rules.

Glenn has already shared the real deal with Rick, who is none too surprised and adds it to the growing reasons to take Alexandria. Rick reminds Glenn that they have zero reasons to answer to Deanna's rules. Glenn contends that he still wants to make an honest go of it in A-Town, since Noah believed in it.

Glenn's heart is in the right place as always but his reasoning is off. Noah's death was tragic and his witnessing it from inches away was traumatic, but he has to realize it's more apparent than ever that they need to run the town from now on as they see fit.

A little of my faith was restored in Glenn when he casually caught up to Nicholas (who, fun fact: dug up a gun he had hidden in an empty paint can which makes me visualize a target on Glenn's head) and warned him not to ever venture out again unless he wants to die. Nicholas, as a stupid person with way too much pride would do, instantly takes this as a threat when in reality, as Glenn directly pointed out, it's life saving advice. Look for a showdown between these two next week.

Carl and Enid (literally) sittin' in tree......

In the episode's only moments of levity, teenage Carl goes a'wandering in the woods hearkening back to those childhood days when he never stayed in the house. (Plot hole note: WHY is Carl allowed to roam? Why isn't anyone paying attention to where he is?!?) He's following Enid and she calls him out on it citing how loud he is as he tracks her.

When he joins her to hang out, she also reveals she is scared of him which is less "suspicious of strangers in the time of the Apocalypse" and way more" feelings of sexual attraction she doesn't quite know how to handle." (Please let Enid make it to season 6 so she can have a future with Carl!)

He says she shouldn't sneak out by herself and asks what it is she does out here.They see a walker. She handily sets an egg timer and throws it like a grenade to distract him. They run off.

Turns out, what she likes to do out there is run and feel free and that spending quality time in the woods keeps her survival instincts intact. (What a match!)

Carl casually brings up Ron (likely his only opponent in the battle for Enid's affections) and it doesn't appear she cares for him in any special way though she finds him an okay guy.

Carl asks why he scares her. She doesn't know. He just does. Carl compliments her knife (what a match this is!) which was her her mom's. He asks about her story. She says it doesn't matter. He lets her know something bad happened to him, too.

The egg timer walker and a bunch of others catch up to them. They hide in a hollowed out tree. "It's their world. We're just living in it," wise-beyond-her-years-Enid says to wise-beyond-his-years- Carl. (What. A. Match!)

They touch hands and almost kiss but don't, prompting Enid to declare she realizes that he's afraid of her, too. Who's cuter than these two???

Another walker ambles by without noticing them- one with a distinct 'W' carved on its his forehead. I have to wonder- maybe any human who is exiled from Alexandria gets a real, scarlet letter carved on their forehead?

Which brings us to the darkest and most intense elements of tonight's set-up for next week's 90 minute finale.

"We have a problem with Pete."

Carol asks Rick about Pete and you know, whether, he is going to "take care" of that situation. She also tells Rick that young Sam revealed that the abuse is so bad, his mom put a bolt on the inside of his closet. And often she tells him to go in there and not come out until morning. He routinely hears yelling, things breaking and his mother crying.

One time it got quiet and he found her unconscious and bleeding while his father quietly sat on the porch. It doesn't seem to be a stretch to think the time Rick encountered Pete late at night on his porch also followed another incident of abuse. (And another plot hole note- Where is teenager son Ron during all this?)

Rick wants Carol to admit that the reason she is so invested in killing Pete is because she sees a lot of herself in her. Carol dishes out a touche by telling him she's onto his crush and why settling the issue is more important to him as a (good) man with a keen interest in Jessie than just the town constable.

Rick again fondles his gun as he looks at Pete smugly sitting on his porch. Pete comes over to say hello (yeah, no) and ask Rick if he's alright. Rick wants to shoot him but instead he advises Pete to, "Keep walking."

This is some epic level of self restraint for Rick Grimes. Pete looks confused for about five seconds and then realizes he has been found out. Rut-roh. Alexandria's peace and quiet, we hardly knew ye.

Rick comes across Deanna staring at makeshift headstones which are likely symbolic for those who were killed in the run and maybe even Aiden and Noah.

"We have a problem with Pete," he drawls.

It's more than disappointing that the mayor's response isn't questioning or outrage but instead, "I hoped that it would get better."

Deanna's been well aware for a long time that Pete is an abusive piece of human garbage but her need for the town to have a skilled surgeon outweighs any concern for the safety of Jessie, Sam and Ron. Really nice, lady. Keep riding the ignorance is bliss train and see where it gets you. She should count her lucky stars that Alexandria is in Virginia, states away from the former Terminus or this wouldn't even be a storyline as they would have all become BBQ by now.

Rick's initial proposed solution is separating Jessie and Pete. In actuality, he just wants to kill him and be done with it. But Deanna, even when not in mourning, is clearly too delicate a flower to be dished such a serving of hard, cold Grimes truth. Well, maybe not. When she asks what will happen if Pete laughs off that restraining offer, Rick replies, "I kill him." Get with the program, lady.

Of course, Deanna protests since she is trying to build a civilization and doesn't envision executions as a part of it. (Someone tell this to Maggie who is off camera, hard at work authoring the Alexandria constitution!)

The most Deanna says could happen would be releasing Pete into the wild, or 'exile' as this Alexandrian solution is known. Which, for these fools is basically a delayed death sentence since the chance of them not being killed by walkers or other humans who aren't quite civil is pretty much one million percent.

Rick tries in vain to to make her understand how it works now. No dice.

He pays a visit to Jessie who is smoking cigarettes on the sly in her garage next to her ugly owl sculptures. Never one for chitchat, he gets right to the point "He's hitting you. He's hurting you. It has to stop."

She replies with all the usual sad excuses women who are abused tend to express: how he can change, it isn't his fault things make him do this, etc. etc. She even reminds Rick she is married so if his concern is more personal than constable, he should leave it alone

They part ways but Rick quickly returns and this time he drops the bomb about Sam asking for a gun to protect her. Very clever to play on her maternal instincts like that.

He warns her that the inside is actually just like the outside that she and her neighbors try so hard to ignore. "If you don't fight, you die. And I don't want you to die. I can help you. I can keep you and your boys safe. All you have to do is say yes."

She asks him if he would do this for anyone else. He says no so... she says yes. She greenlights Rick's offer of protection and likely whatever other support comes with that.

But before he can even tell advise her on exactly how this plan will go, Pete surprises them in the living room. What I found hard to believe was that Jessie and Rick could be surprised to see Pete, since besides checking on Tara's condition, the only thing Pete does in the day is drink and sit on his porch.

Pete asks Rick to leave. Jessie, made brave by Rick's presence, tells Pete he's the one who needs to hit the road. Rick tries to take it outside, his instinct knowing it's about to get ugly. The fight is on and it's a bloody one. Pete is pretty strong for an alcoholic who doesn't appear to ever engage in physical labor. Not surprisingly the two do wind up taking it outside. But that's just because Rick Grimes pulls a Rick Grimes and tosses Pete through a ground floor window.

Everyone including Deanna and Carl come running. This is likely the most violence any Alexandrite has ever seen up close which is really saying something in this post-Apocalyptic world. In the distance, Sasha and her one track mind continue to pick off walkers from the watch tower. I couldn't have been alone in wishing she would see what was going on and turn her rifle scope towards Pete, but alas, that did not happen.

What did happen, though, was Pete back-handing Jessie in full view of the town as she tried to get him off Rick. And Rick swatting away Carl's assistance as he tried to help his father.

Rick tells Pete if he does it again (hurt Jessie) he will kill him. So now the entire town knows what their constable is made of. When Deanna starts babbling in a way to suggest it would be Rick that gets kicked out, Rick, in full to-hell-with-this-stupidity mode, pulls his gun out. He waves it around and laughs at how preposterous it would be to exile the person who actually knows how to save people and keep the peace.

As Rick launches into a speech about how the people of Alexandria are clueless and don't understand how to survive and that their way of living is done, Michonne approaches him from behind and clocks him in the head, knocking him out before Carl or anyone else can warn him. They really couldn't warn him because no one knew Michonne would pull that.

She hopefully did this to throw off Deanna from her thinking the entire group stands united with Rick and is still under his control. But there is also the chance that Michonne wants this new civilization to succeed so badly, that not even her loyalty to Rick can get in her way. It's a good thing Daryl Dixon was out riding fences, because this episode would have ended way differently had he witnessed this.

Next week's super-sized finale is going to be a good one! And then October is so very far away. Sigh.

Now it's your turn:

-Who has been lurking outside Alexandria tying women to trees and cutting people up? Was that Aiden's handiwork or does a darker threat loom?

-What does the 'W' carved into the foreheads of walkers mean?

-Is Michonne taking a page from Carol's book and pretending she's pro Alexandria and not a force to be reckoned with?

-Where. Is. Morgan. ????? !!!!