10/25/15, 9 pm (EST), AMC
Never afraid to shy away from doing something to advance the overall narrative, The Walking Dead has killed off its share of main characters (loved and hated) throughout its five seasons. Last season was particularly rough with the deaths of Beth, Noah, Bob and Tyreese. While we’d grown to like those characters in some capacity, it’s been a long time since we’ve lost a character fans become so attached to. All that changes with “Thank You.”
Leaving off from the season premiere and happening concurrently during last week’s episode, Rick and the surviving Alexandrians are trying to find a way back to Alexandria to see what is causing the horns to sound off. Rick decides to try and corral as many walkers back on the road as possible, leaving Glenn and Michonne to lead the remaining Alexandrians back. Knowing that they’re a weak group, Rick tells Michonne and Glenn to not worry if all the Alexandrians don’t survive the trip back, and to leave them behind if necessary. Unbeknownst to Rick, Heath hears this, but keeps to himself. The group of Alexandrians already starts to thin when they run into a group of walkers as one runs off while a couple are bit or killed. They look on horrified as Rick and Michonne loot the bodies of weapons and food before moving on. If they ever make it back to Alexandria, I imagine Rick is going to require everyone to go through training of some kind to defend themselves. It’s amazing how quickly the residents of Alexandria fall apart when forced to deal with the real world. Their comfortable bubble kept them unaware of the true terror that lurks beyond the walls. While some may debate that Rick’s group brought the terror upon them, it was only a matter of time before they would’ve been forced to deal with walkers or other dangerous human (i.e., the wolves).
Rick and Michonne have other plans, however. They don’t intend on abandoning any Alexandrians even though most of them become injured in one form or another. They eventually get trapped in a town on the way back to Alexandria, with part of the herd right behind them. Heath figures it’s the perfect opportunity to confront Michonne about what Rick said. She is quick to put him in his place, telling him she won’t leave anyone behind and that Heath has no idea what he’s talking about since he’s lived in the comforts of Alexandria too long and hasn’t “been covered in so much blood he didn’t know if it was his, walkers’ or friend’s.”
Relying on Nicholas to help get them out, Glenn radios Rick to tell him their plan, ending with “dumbass,” an homage to their first encounter in Atlanta. Glenn then pulls out Hershel’s watch, and you just have a gut feeling something bad is going to happen, especially since he’s commented about getting back to Maggie more than once.
Needless to say, things go to hell very quickly. Two of the Alexandrians are overrun by walkers almost immediately, while Glenn and Nicholas get separate from Michonne, Heath and the last surviving Alexandrian. Glenn and Nicholas run down another dead-end alley (could this town be filled with enough dead-ends?) with walkers coming at them and another group lurking on the other side of the fence. While they find temporary solace on top of a dumpster, things aren’t looking good. Sensing that Nicholas is about to have a mental breakdown, Glenn grabs him and says he’s a good person and isn’t the same guy they first met that left others to die so they could live. All Nicholas can do is turn towards Glenn, say “thank you” and shoot himself in the head, falling off the dumpster and bringing Glenn with him into the group of walkers. We then watch with agony as it appears Glenn is ripped open by the walkers.
Michonne and the other two manage to escape, but don’t wait for Glenn as he said he’s send them a sign he was fine. As they cross a stream, Heath sees his reflection in the water, his face covered in the blood of the Alexandrians who were killed by walkers when they attempted their escape. He finally starts to realize Michonne was right all along, and that you can’t save everyone all the time, no matter how hard you try.
Meanwhile, Rick finds the RV and tries to bring the remaining herd back on track, but not before he injures his hand taking out a few walkers. He then encounters a group of wolves, supposedly the ones Morgan let go, as they try to overpower him. It was only a mistake on their part as Rick quickly dispatches of them, but not before they shoot the engine of the RV, rendering it useless. Rick sits there as the herd starts to crawl past the RV.
Is Glenn really dead? It’s hard to say. Steven Yeun didn’t appear on Talking Dead, nor was he mentioned in the In Memoriam section of that show, which is odd considering how big a character Glenn was. The only thing we have to go off of is showrunner Scott M. Gimple’s statement: “In some way we will see Glenn – some version of Glenn or parts of Glenn – again. Either in flashback or the current story to help complete the story.” This really only adds fuel to the fire of fan theories. The show has teased character’s fates before, but nothing to this extent. Did Glenn fall under Nicholas, and those were his guts the walkers were munching on? Will Glenn turn into a walker himself, only to have Maggie find him? Glenn has become the voice of reason and moral compass of the group for so long it’s hard to see anyone completely filling his shoes. Michonne or Morgan would be the next choice, but Michonne has seen too much and follows Rick to challenge him all the time. Morgan’s mental state, while apparently better than what it was, could still potentially be cause for concern. Only time will tell…
- ”I need to get home.” Were Glenn’s words to Michonne foreshadowing of what was to come?
- What was with Daryl breaking off from Abraham and Sasha? If he didn’t hear Rick’s struggle in the RV, would he have regrouped with them?
- Michonne trying to connect with the Alexandrian who was bitten was a touching moment. Even though they both knew his fate, she tried to get some info from him so she could pass along any final thoughts to his wife.
- With about half the herd heading towards Alexandria, will the survivors of the wolves’ attack be able to defend themselves?
Another fantastic episode. While Glenn’s fate is seemingly up in the air, if this was the last we saw of him, it will be a huge hit to the group, especially Maggie.