Hey, so remember a few episodes ago when I said we probably wouldn’t see that band of raiders again . . . Yeah, about that. They’re back; Daryl and Beth show why you should never stay in a graveyard during the zombie apocalypse; and Maggie gives new meaning to the phrase “It’s a sign!”. This and more as we recap this week’s episode of The Walking Dead entitled “Alone”.
As the episode opens, we find Bob wandering aimlessly all by himself – while also drinking himself into oblivion. At first it seems as though this is a glimpse of what’s to come – meaning both Maggie and Sasha are dead, and he’s returned to his alcoholic ways. Luckily, this is revealed to be only a flashback rather than a flash-forward when we see Darryl and Glen join him. After answering their questions – the same Rick and the others agreed to ask when accepting new members – Bob doesn’t care where he’s being taken. All he wants is to not be alone anymore.
This episode – as the title suggest – is all about being alone, and its opening couldn’t have framed it more perfectly. Bob’s fear of being alone is going to be directly mirrored throughout this episode on several occasions, until finally closing on the perfect bookend moment for this intro.
Maggie – Alone Without Glen:
When we last saw Maggie, she broke down after discovering Glen wasn’t in the zombified van of prison escapees. Now sure she’s glad Glen wasn’t among the bus of undead, but she still has no closure. Is Glen dead? Is he alive? Deep down she doesn’t know, but is determined to hope beyond hope that he is. Why?
Maggie’s desire for Glen to be alive is based on a lot more than just ‘love’. Notice how Maggie hasn’t tried to find anyone else – not even her sister Beth. It’s not because she doesn’t care about them. It’s just that Glen is literally everything to her, her happy ending. In her mind, if she finds Glen then everyone else will arrive safely. He is the physical manifestation of hope in this albeit hopeless world – which I will explain in detail a little later in this article.
In Maggie’s search for Glen, she is only focused on the end game – finding him. We even see how she pauses to look at an approaching walker as if she’s thinking ‘Oh, I can kill it and then use its blood to write a big sign for Glen – Perfect!’ Despite first leaving Bob and Sasha because she didn’t want them to die for her, Maggie realizes that she needs their help. This is why she sticks back in hopes for Bob and Sasha catching up.
Sasha – Being Alone vs False Sanctuary:
When Maggie, Bob and Sasha find the sign about the sanctuary at Terminus, Bob recalls the radio broadcast he heard in the car a few episodes back – thus confirming this is a real thing. Maggie immediately realizes this is the best place to find Glen, since he would go there in hopes of finding Maggie there. Bob agrees with this idea at the very least because this place is offering sanctuary. Sasha on the other hand seems very opposed to this idea.
Now a lot of people have been wondering why Sasha was being so difficult when offered the idea of this miraculous civilization. Well, think about it. The former safe-haven of prison might have fallen – which is psychologically affecting everyone right now – but that’s not what Sasha remembers. Sasha is afraid what Terminus might turn out to be. The last place she saw advertized as “civilized sanctuary” was Woodbury – and we all know how corrupt and animalistic that turned out to be under the surface.
Sasha is afraid Terminus might end up being exactly the same – nice on the outside with a maniac like the Governor running it. So when confronted with Bob’s offer to come after Maggie, she has to choose between being alone and being a part of another false sanctuary. After being faced with what it’s like to really be alone, Sasha realizes that her best bet is with Bob and Maggie – wherever they might be heading.
Darryl – The Last One Standing:
In addition to seeing what Maggie’s group is up to, this episode also picks up where last episode left off with Daryl training Beth one how to use a crossbow. Barely a minute into their scene, Beth remarks that soon she won’t need Daryl anymore – she has such a way with words. As I mentioned in last episode’s recap, Daryl is afraid of being alone – of being the last one standing. So Beth changing her tune from ‘you’re going to outlive me’ to ‘I don’t need you’ is a much more harsh and direct way of messing with Daryl’s fear of abandonment.
Though of course, Beth gets injured and once again needs Daryl to carry her – literally. They take refuge in a funeral home surrounded by a graveyard – yes, we all know what’s coming. While in the house, we find Daryl getting comfortable – possibly for the first time ever. From his remark about a coffin being the most comfortable bed he’s had in a while, him carrying Beth across the entrance way like a bride, to him asking Beth to play the piano and sing until he falls asleep, Mr. Dixon got VERY soft this episode.
Now there’s nothing wrong with Daryl opening up and becoming soft – in fact we’ve been waiting for him to – but there’s one problem with it. DON’T relax in the zombie apocalypse when in a graveyard! After hearing a dog bark and then cry, Daryl thinks he’s just looking for more food. He doesn’t use any of his woodsman knowledge to acknowledge that was an injured cry and just opens the door without even checking to see if there were a hoard of walkers outside – which there was.
With his momentary paradise over, Daryl snaps back to his badass ways and fights his way out of the house only to see Beth drive off without him. Daryl’s greatest fear has been realized; he’s the last man standing. Though it’s more than just that, he was left behind without so much as a second glance by the girl who made him start to see the good in life.
Bob – That Bookend Moment
As the episode ends, we find Bob walking along the railroad tracks all alone again, calling to mind how the episode began. For a brief moment, it seems as though history has repeated itself. That by doing the right thing and trying to catch up with Maggie, he did what he was certain would happen again – be alone. Luckily Maggie and Sasha catch up with Bob and the group continues on towards Terminus. Though if you ask Bob, luck didn’t have anything to do with it. Things are different.
While walking alone with Sasha, Bob talks about how he was always alone, that sooner or later the prison would as fall like all his past camps and he’d end up alone. Though after the prison fell, Bob found himself with people – two incredibly attractive people. In his mind, his streak is broken and his hope is restored. Despite everything they’ve been through, the fact that he has people with him this time shows him that everything will be all right.
This was illustrated by his kiss with Sasha. Sasha really looked into it, but when she didn’t follow, he basically shrugged it off and kept going. He knows everything will be all right. He knows Sasha will eventually come after him and Maggie, and in the end he’s rewarded. It’s interesting to note that the prison member who was originally the most depressed and without purpose, is now the most determined and optimistic.
Glenn – Hope for the Hopeless and Lonely
As I mentioned earlier, Glen has become the physical manifestation of hope in this hopeless world, but not just to Maggie. Think back to the first episode of Season 1 when Rick is lying in that tank surrounded by walkers, thinking he’s going to die there, and then he hears that voice on the radio crackle. That was Glen’s voice. Even earlier this season when Glen found Tara sitting by herself just giving up on life, he made her get up and restored her drive for living.
Glen is more than just a character. He has consistently been that person to snap people out of it. When life gets hard and they are just about to give up when surrounded by walkers, he gives them hope. Maggie is literally searching for the thing that makes everything better – it’s Glen. Though sadly, not everyone is as kind and inspiring as Glen.
“Fight The Dead, Fear The Living” (Continued):
As we saw in “Claimed” there were a band of raiders who broke into where Rick was staying. Well, they’re back and stumbled across a lost and defeated Daryl. From their mannerism to the way one choked one of his own group members so that he could have the larger bed, we knew these weren’t good people. Well after meeting Joe – the leader of the group played by Jeff Kober – we have striking confirmation on that gut feeling we all had.
Will Daryl stay with these bad men or will he escape? OR will he kill them and then escape? With more and more of the gang heading towards Terminus, the season is almost over, but what lies in store for them. With the final episode entitled A, it might be that they are heading to the Alexandria Safe-Zone that plays such a vital role in the comics. There are several other possibilities of what Terminus might actually be – a cannibal trap for one – but I think it would make the most sense to have it be the Alexandria Safe-Zone.
Though one more thing to speculate about is whether or not Joe and his men are “The Saviors”, a group of ruthless survivors that fall under the cult-like leadership of someone named Negan. With only 3 episode left this season, the clock is ticking. Will this season end on an optimistic high note, or in a bunch of problems?