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Reason Flares to the eye, vehicular zombicide, and dismemberment.

Rick's Grimy Beard Learns To Trust

A stranger's promise of good news turns into a leadership test for Rick's regime.

  • Previously

    Tired and sad, the group trudged toward Washington D.C. after Rick was talked into going there by Michonne. Daryl ate a worm. The group found a mysterious batch of water but didn't trust where it might have come from. It rained. A barn magically appeared. After taking shelter, the group was approached by a stranger who promised good news.

  • Here's An Idea
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    Babyproof The Damn Barn, People!

    Yes, yes, it's an apocalypse and kids gotta learn that the world is dangerous, but the big storm is over and the zombie herd is dead, so how about not polishing your weapons and waving boards with tons of rusty nails a few feet away from a curious, about-to-be-crawling infant? Yes, that means you too, Daryl.

  • Character Study
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    Good Luck Convincing Rick, New Guy

    Name: Aaron.
    Age: Late 20s.
    Occupation: Scout and recruiter.
    Goal: To seek out good people who have survived in this dangerous world and bring them into his community…or so he says.
    Sample Dialogue: "You can trust me."
  • Awkward
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    Let's Be Friends! Or…At Least Not Kill Each Other?

    Situation: Newcomer Aaron is trying to convince Rick's group to come check out his sweet digs, but the survivors, mostly Rick, are incredibly suspicious after Woodbury and Terminus.

    What makes it awkward? The friendlier Aaron is, the more Rick seems to hate him. Even when Aaron tries to lighten the mood, like joking that "Auditioning" sounds like he's having them try out for a dance group, he doesn't even get a chuckle out of anybody. "That's only on Friday nights," Aaron says. Nothing. Aaron even offers some grainy photos that his camp developed themselves and talks about how secure their steel walls are. It doesn't make much of a dent in the conversation.

    How is order restored? Rick punches him and has Aaron tied up. Because he's Angry Thick-Bearded Rick, dammit!

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  • Alert!
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    More Like "Prick" Grimes

    Alert Type: Paranoid Leader Alert.

    Issue: Rick has every right to be super-suspicious of any stranger; they've tried to kill him, rape his kid, even eat him. But while everyone else in the group wants to at least check out Aaron's story, Rick is convinced it's an ambush.

    Complicating Factors: It could be an ambush, and everyone knows it. But as Aaron himself points out, he could have just burned the barn down while they slept or attacked them in other, sneakier ways. Rick is also not thrilled that Aaron was carrying a weapon, even if it was just a flare gun. Because he could signal people! Oh, and remember when Rick was hearing voices and going crazy and should not at all have been leader? Yeah, that.

    Resolution: A whole lot of interrogating and angry glares from Rick.

    Spoiler: Rick's increasingly bushy beard is even more suspicious of Aaron. Probably because Aaron is clean-shaven.

  • Brain­teaser
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    Q If Rick won't believe any number you give him as to how many people are waiting outside, what number is he most likely to not believe?
    A One.
  • Hell Yeah!
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    Maybe It's Time For A New Leader

    Michonne has been making the point for a few episodes that this on-the-run lifestyle is decimating the group and that they need to settle down for a while. While Rick is utterly unconvinced that Aaron is telling the truth, Michonne believes it's at least worth checking his story. Rick believes his way is less dangerous. "Passing up somewhere where we can live? Where Judith can live? That's pretty dangerous?" she counters. She doesn't wait for Rick to give his permission. She says they're going to check it out and that's what they're going to do. To his credit, Rick doesn't make a fuss or try to make Michonne back down, especially when Glenn and Maggie agree to go, too. Rick sends Abraham and Rosita as well.

  • That Quote
    "Just because we're good people doesn't mean we won't kill you. If the five of them aren't back in an hour, I'll put a knife in the base of your skull."
    - Rick Grimes -
  • Bad Habits
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    The Unexamined Life: Not Worth Living?

    As the five scouts go check out whether Aaron's story is true, Glenn frets about what Aaron might have seen as he was observing them. Did he see them behaving honorably and as a team, or maybe squabbling and letting three of their people get killed in rapid succession? I mean, the group has a bad habit of either killing other humans or getting some of theirs killed. Almost on a weekly basis! That can't look like good standard operating procedure. What Glenn doesn't know, though, is that he's still being watched.

  • Meeting Time
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    Applesauce Diplomacy

    Who called the meeting? Aaron.

    What's it about? Judith is crying and Aaron is worried it's going to attract walkers. And seeing as how he's tied up, that's not good for him. He suggests Rick give her the applesauce Aaron brought.

    How'd it go? This is Rick, so of course, it has to be poisoned applesauce. Rick, who was trying to grind up some acorns for Judith, decides to make Aaron eat it first, even though he says he hates applesauce because his mother used to make him eat foods he hated to try to make him more manly. Dude. That is very sad! Aaron says that even if Judith cries where they live, no one outside will hear her. It's either that secure or that dangerous.

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
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    Abraham And Rosita vs. Unlucky Zombie Lady

    Things were tense between Abraham and Rosita before, but nothing that ripping the arm off a walker and bashing it in the head can't fix. Isn't it romantic?

    Winner: Abraham and Rosita.

  • Love, Hate & Everything In Between
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    Walker Killing = Make-Up Sex, Sort Of

    It seems like Abraham and Rosita, having just bonded over killing some walkers, are ready to make up after things got bad with Eugene and Abraham lost all hope. Abraham asks Rosita, as they search through Aaron's RV, whether she really thought Abraham was going to hurt her. She says it wasn't him. And it seems all is forgiven.

  • And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor
    2015-02-23-twd-12

    Gorbelli S'Getti Rings!

    Do you like Campbell's Spaghetti-Os, but fear that copyright law still might apply even in this zombie world? Why not try Gorbelli S'Getti Rings instead? They've got just as much salt, if not more, on account of there are little pieces of wienie in every can! You're starving. What are you going to do, not eat our product? We'd love to see you try, you stubborn son of a bitch.

  • That Quote
    "We need this. So we're going. All of us."
    - Michonne, taking charge again -
  • Plot Lightning Round

    I Guess We're Hitting The Road, Then!

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    Of course, the group is going to go.

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    But first, Rick wants to know where they're going. Aaron is a little cagey about that, saying he can take them there, but revealing the location would put his people in danger. Rick decides they'll go, but at night (dangerous!), using Route 23 instead of the Route 16 that Aaron says has been cleared (more dangerous!).

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    Outside, Michonne is worried that Rick isn't willing to go in once they get there. Rick brings up Woodbury and Terminus and how he couldn't hear people inside when they arrived at those places. (That isn't entirely true about Woodbury, but we'll leave that be.)

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    On the road with Aaron, he reveals that he collects license plates to hang in his house. He has a house!? Yes. He says he does.

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    Michonne looks through Aaron's photos and notices that there are no people in his pictures. What the Hell!?

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    Also, he was using a listening device. He did say he was watching the group, but not that he was hearing them. This prompts the Asking Of The Three Questions, which just confuses Aaron more than anything else.

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    Then Glenn drives into walkers and things are about to get pretty hairy.

  • Continuity
    2015-02-23-twd-20

    Aaron Has Wolverine's Constitution

    Remember that time, just a little while ago, when Rick punched Aaron hard in the face, practically knocking him out? Well, Aaron's face doesn't remember that at all.

  • Travel
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    Everyone Is Going To Baku!

    Oh right, lovely Route 23, the one that Aaron says was a very bad idea. Did Aaron mention this street is also called "Walker Row?" Because of how it's full of walkers that you'd have to run over to get anywhere?

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    Well, that's your problem right there. You've got walkers in your engine block!

  • Fight! Fight! Fight!
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    Rick, Michonne, Glenn and Aaron vs. Roadside Walkers

    After the car stalls and the RV with the other group of survivors apparently got away fine, Aaron and the group see a flare sail up into the sky. This makes Aaron freak out and demand to be let go. He manages to get out of the car and run away while everybody else has to deal with a horde of walkers. Glenn gets separated from the group, but fends off a walker and saves Aaron from one as well. Aaron reveals that it was Glenn's talk of working together as a group that got his interest. Rick and Michonne, meanwhile, are trying to stay alive against the rest of the horde. Which leads to a particularly awesome moment in which a walker takes a flare to the eye.

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    Winner: Flares everywhere.

  • Love, Hate & Everything In Between
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    Aaron Gets Reunited

    After the group survives the zombie attack, Rick and Co. are able to get back on track without a car and find the source of the flare. It turns out the rest of the group has found Eric, the other scout, and everything is totally cool and safe. Aaron is panicked, though, and runs into a building to find Eric, who is laid up with a broken ankle, which he assures Aaron is no big deal. It becomes clear that these two are an item and that not only are we seeing the first gay character on the show (that we know of), but that we get to see them kiss, like any couple would in a life-and-death situation like this.

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    This leads to a meeting in which Aaron thanks the group and invites them to come to his town, Alexandria. And when it comes to sleeping arrangements, Aaron insists that the only way Rick's going to keep him from Eric is with a bullet. Rick is stubborn, but with the help of Glenn, he relents and begins to trust that this isn't some kind of trap.

  • Symbolism
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    Like A Cialis Commercial

    The Scene: In the RV as they're driving, Rosita points out to Abraham that she sees something out in the distance.

    The Symbol: The Washington Monument.

    The Meaning: Penis! Rosita and Abraham are on the road to a capital good time later if you catch my drift.

  • Wrap It Up
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    Aaron notices Noah's bum leg and suggests that they have a great surgeon in Alexandria who may be able to take care of that.

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    Abraham believes that despite a low power indicator on the dash that the RV will still make it.

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    But it doesn't. Womp womp.

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    But Glenn is able to find the spare batteries, so all is not lost.

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    Michonne and Rick talk about what's happened and she urges him to let go of some of the mistrust and anger before the fight turns on him, as it has a way of doing. He says that's what Bob was trying to tell him. You know, before he got his leg eaten and he died.

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    The RV gets started back up but before they arrive in Alexandria, Rick has to make a pit stop. He goes off toward a house and hides a gun, presumably for safekeeping in case things go wrong at Alexandria.

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    The group arrives at the gates of Alexandria.

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    Rick hears the sound of children playing.

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    Carol tells him, "Even though you were wrong, you were still right." That's reassuring. Before the head in, Rick asks Judith, "Should we go in?" You're asking the baby for directions again?! Worst leader ever!

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