The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 15 Review: “Try”
Things escalate quickly in this week’s episode – though they’ve been building for a few weeks now; it’s not unexpected that things are going to get out of hand. The episode opens with a series of short sequences to set the scene. First we see a walker (with fresh blood on it) stomping on one of the framed pictures Sasha had been using for target practice. Then, Deanna and her family are at home mourning the loss of Aidan and listening to one of his CDs; meanwhile Carol is in the kitchen making a casserole while watching Judith on the baby monitor, and Jessie’s kid, Sam, appears at the window. Next Sasha is in the watchtower, struggling to focus as the walker approaching. There is a knock at Deanna’s door. She goes to the door to find Carol’s casserole, but instead of taking it inside she brings in the condolences note and burns it. This doesn’t seem like a good sign. Finally, Sasha snipes the walker at the gate. Out in the wilderness, Daryl and Aaron are hunting and notice a light in the distance and go to investigate. Will this be the answer to the “W” marked walkers? Is it Morgan?
After the opening credits, the episode gets right into the aftermath of the supply run. Deanna films Nicholas telling his (completely untrue) version of events, effectively blaming Glenn for everything and trying to pitch himself as the hero. Meanwhile Glenn is telling Rick what really happened, and the difference in emotions is very telling: Glenn is distraught but still wants to make things work (despite Rick’s reservations), whereas Nicholas is defensive and trying to get Deanna to kick the group out. Deanna wants to investigate it, and Nicholas tries to make Deanna see things his way and she replies “I see a great deal” which makes me wonder if she suspects Nicholas is lying, and was responsible for the previous supply group members’ deaths. Glenn is insistent that there is no us and them anymore, but Rick thinks the town is just waiting for disaster to hit (not realising the disaster is probably himself!)
Whilst speaking with Glenn, Rick looks across the way at Jessie on the porch. There is a red balloon attached to a toy boat on the pond between the houses. Carol arrives and asks Rick about Pete, and tells him what Sam told her about his violent father – one time he found Jessie unconscious and bleeding on the floor. Carol and Rick are both emotionally invested (for different reasons) in the situation. Carol thinks she’d be dead if walkers hadn’t gotten Ed, but Rick knows better. Carol is a tough cookie!
Rick approaches the pond, watching Jessie’s house whilst fondling his gun. Pete appears behind him, trying to be all friendly, and we see a bit of the return of our old pal Crazy Rick emerge, as he tells Peter to keep walking in a very sinister voice (that lighting, oh my!) Pete quickly gets the message and departs.
The next day, Michonne awakes (she slept fully clothed), and starts to get ready for work, perhaps pondering the normality of it all but clearly keeping prepared if her mode of sleeping attire is anything to go by. Rosita comes in and gives an update on Tara, then comments that she thinks Sasha stayed in the tower overnight and now no one’s seen her – so they go out looking for her. The two women talk about their situation, and how they’ve both lost and found hope, and how it affected them – Michonne feels like she’s lost her edge, but Rosita says it doesn’t need to be like that, they just need to understand things are different now.
Rick goes to Deanna while she is standing in the graveyard, and he tells her his concerns about Pete. Turns out, Deanna knows, but given Pete is their only doctor, the town is in a precarious position. Rick is having none of it and straight up tells Deanna that they should kill Pete. They argue but Deanna’s position is firm (exile not execution as a last resort). Well there goes my theory that Jessie was the abuser. I admit to being a bit disappointed the writers didn’t go that way. Oh well, the outcome will be the same either way: Rick’s not really thinking clearly.
Michonne and Rosita come across some walkers with shots in the back of the head. They realise this is Sasha’s doing and that she’s hunting.
Also, out in the woods, Carl is trying to find the girl, Enid, who is far better at hiding than he is. She is very pragmatic about being out there and they have a moment of slow-motion running which puts me in mind of animals being wild and free and without a care (I think that was the point of the scene). They find a spot to hang out, and Enid distracts a walker with an alarm clock so they continue their fun times.
Glenn confronts Nicholas about what happened on the supply run, and tells Nicholas that the deaths of Noah and the previous team were his fault. Glenn thinks that Nicholas is a massive risk to the safety of Alexandria and Glenn will never allow Nicholas to go out again. Nicholas gets in Glenn’s face asking “are you threatening me?” but Glenn says “No, I’m saving you.” Glenn is a true hero, and no one gives him enough credit. Nicholas is visibly shaken – but I doubt he’s going to change his spots. Gah.
Back outside the walls, Enid and Carl talk for a while about what life was like before. They hear a walker herd approaching so they hide in a hollow tree. As the walkers pass by, Enid says “it’s their world; we’re just living in it”. She’s actually pretty wise. If romance wasn’t already on the cards between these two, it certainly is now (Enid and Carl sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G – well, nearly). As they have their little moment, we notice a “W” marked walker.
There is then a quick scene that shows Nicholas digging up a container with a gun inside. The gun has a “J” etched on it and looks very much like the one taken from Rick’s blender hiding spot. I’m no gun expert though, so I don’t know if it’s the same one, or what the significance is, but rarely are these close ups just for show.
Michonne and Rosita find Sasha, who is unerringly taking out walker after walker without breaking a sweat. Michonne has flashbacks to the days when she was alone in the wilderness, and having to survive by sword and savagery. She recognises this in Sasha, and also realises it’s something that she needs to hold on to. Rosita feels the same, and they both leap into the fray, despite Sasha’s protestations that she didn’t need help. Michonne tells her “this isn’t for you.” Once all the walkers are down, Sasha lets her emotions show, finally confiding her guilt over Noah’s death. You may remember an episode before they arrived at Alexandria where she told Noah he wasn’t going to make it. Poor Sasha.
We check back in with Daryl and Aaron who are trying to track the person who had the light in the forest the night before. They find a freshly chopped up walker (minus the torso) and follow the trail to a tree that has a naked female body tied to it, with its guts eaten away. Daryl raises the walker’s face and sees a “W” carved on its forehead before stabbing it in the brain. He and Aaron share concerns over who did this – it happened only recently. What I want to know is was she dead or alive before being tied up?
Rick goes to confront Jessie about Pete and she makes excuses for him, but Rick doesn’t care – he’s developed feelings for Jessie, so he’s decided he wants to protect her. She is suspicious of his motives – I think she sees that there’s more going on with Rick than him just wanting to look after her. I suspect it’s that she sees Rick is not as civilised as he likes to think he is; he is actually sabotaging his own happiness. He keeps pushing but she makes him leave. While he is outside, he looks at the goings-on around him – kids playing, people reading and chatting, someone walking a dog – and he just can’t seem to accept the normality of it all. He sees a kid carrying the toy boat and balloon from last night (I think it was Sam) and then he snaps. He storms back to Jessie and tells her that Sam had asked for a gun to protect her. He tells her if she doesn’t fight, she dies, and he doesn’t want her to die. He says he can help her and “all you have to do is say yes” – this sounds to me like making a pact with the Devil; don’t you think that matches nicely (or horribly actually) with Gabriel’s fears at the end of last week’s episode? Jessie hesitates, but then eventually says yes. So yeah, basically, she just agreed to a hit on her husband. Just then, with impeccable timing, Pete appears and we see his true colours finally. Rick begins with his calm voice, but soon enough it’s on like nobody’s business. Rick and Pete fight savagely and furiously, ending up crashing through the window into the street (after some beautiful framing of the outside of the house).
Sasha is in the tower and she a horde of walkers approaching, but then realises people inside the town are running somewhere (towards the fighting, as it happens). Reg calls for Deanna, and Rick and Pete fight brutally – they are literally trying to kill each other, alternately choking, punching and eye-gouging each other in one of the most savage displays we’ve seen on the show in a long while. People watch in horror. Jessie tries to stop Pete, but he backhands her to the ground, and then in a matching show of uncontrolled violence, Rick does the same when Carl tries to stop him. They are both so enraged they can’t even see what they have done to the people they care about. Rick enters his bloodlust beserker rage and detachedly watches the red balloon fly up into the air, released from Sam’s hold as he hides behind Carol.
Deanna calls for a stop to the fight, and Rick gets to his knees, brandishing his gun and raging at everyone about how stupid they are and how they will die if they don’t fight (thankfully Sasha is picking off the walkers at the gate one at a time, not missing a single shot). Rick goes on about how he knows best, and how they need to control who lives there. Deanna tells him that’s never been more clear to her than it is right now. This enrages Rick further and he continues his tirade, saying he’s not going to stand by and… well he doesn’t get to finish because thankfully Michonne abruptly knocks him out, putting an end to the scene. Phew. That was incredibly intense!
Next week’s episode is the 90-minute season finale, and from the preview it looks like Rick is on the outs now. What will happen? Will he be exiled? Will the rest of the group come with him, or will some of them stay? What will Daryl and Aaron find out about the “W” walkers. I need to know!!