The Walking Dead Recap: Unwelcome Wagon

The Walking Dead Recap Season 5

Though a simple handshake would have sufficed, Rick rolled out the welcome mat for fresh-scrubbed stranger Aaron in this week’s episode of The Walking Dead by laying claim to his rations, slugging him, tying him up and sentencing him to cruel and unusual punishment. Which amounted to what, exactly? Read on and find out.

NO KIDDING | As “The Distance” began, Sasha and Maggie introduced Aaron to Rick and Co., and explained that the mystery man had a camp and wanted them all to audition for membership. And you had to give the guy credit — even he knew that “‘audition’ makes it sound like we’re some kind of a dance troupe.” So he tried to make light of it, joking, “That’s only on Friday nights.” All he got in response was crickets. (Rough crowd!) Pressing on, he suggested that the group look at his pictures of the well-protected community — not a mere camp, he was quick to note, but a community. This seemed to win over Michonne — she flashed Rick a meaningful look — but next thing you knew, Grizzly Grimes had coldcocked Aaron before he’d even gotten to snapshot No. 2! “So we’re clear,” Michonne angrily told Rick afterward, “that wasn’t a ‘Let’s attack that man’ look, it was a ‘He seems like an okay guy to me’ look.” Unfortunately — for all concerned, really — Rick wasn’t interested in deciphering Michonne’s facial expressions. The gang’s (understandably) paranoid leader was 100 percent certain that whoever Aaron was with, “They’re coming for us.”

TRUTH OR DARE | Nothing could convince Rick that they weren’t in jeopardy — not Maggie pointing out that Aaron could’ve easily gotten the drop on her and Sasha when he had the chance, not Aaron reminding the former cop that he had left them bottles of water and hadn’t set the barn on fire to pick them off one by one… nothing! Neither could Aaron make Rick believe that there was only one other person out there on this recruiting mission. Total stalemate. Finally, so that her pal could be sure of something — anything! — Michonne decided to embark on the two-mile walk it would be to see if Aaron was telling the truth about there being two vehicles parked (semi-)nearby. Of course, Rick argued that it was dangerous. But, she countered, it would be even more dangerous — and nuts — to pass up a chance to possibly give Judith a home. So off Michonne went, with Glenn, Maggie, Abraham and Rosita for back-up. If they didn’t return in 60 minutes, Rick informed Aaron, “I’ll put a knife in the base of your skull.”

EXTREME MEASURES | After Rick sent everyone else outside — together in the barn, they were a target, he reasoned — Judith began to cry, so Aaron offered her dad the applesauce he’d brought to show the group that his community had apple trees. But, same as with the bottles of water before it, Rick was suspicious. So, despite the fact that Aaron hates — detests! — applesauce, Rick forced him to eat some before serving any to his daughter (who has become the cutest TV baby since Raising Hope, no?). Later, when Michonne, Glenn, Maggie, Abraham and Rosita returned with the news that Aaron’s story checked out — they’d found a car and an RV — Rick said that the rations they’d taken from the camper (off-brand SpaghettiOs = manna from heaven) were no longer Aaron’s whether they joined his community or not. Or not?!? Carl exclaimed. Aaron was telling the truth, so why WOULDN’T they join his nice, safe community? “We need this,” Michonne said. “So we’re going… all of us.” Even Daryl had to admit that the barn stank of horse s—. There was just one (more) problem: Aaron wouldn’t disclose the community’s exact location, he wanted to drive them (as he’d done with every other group of recruits). No dice. So, as an alternative, he gave directions… which Rick promptly changed. What’s more, they wouldn’t leave until sundown, so that if it wasn’t safe, they could get away before Aaron’s people even knew anyone was at their gates.

NIGHT MOVES | That evening, riding off into the darkness with Aaron, Michonne and Glenn, Rick discovered that the car’s glove compartment was full of license plates. Aaron was trying to collect one from all 50 states to put them on a wall of his house, he explained. Wait, you have a house?!? Michonne asked. Yep. But when he showed her a picture of it, she realized that he had exactly zero photos of any people in his community, panicked and asked him the three big questions (1. How many walkers have you killed? 2. How many people? 3. Why?). Though his answers were fine, it didn’t matter anymore: Rick had found a listening device, meaning that they could be driving into an ambush. Just as bad — worse? — before Glenn could pull a U-ey, they plowed into so many walkers that severed limbs stalled the car. (At least the RV with everyone else in it had turned back in time. Of course, now everyone else was separated from Rick, Glenn and Michonne!) Next, a flare shot up in the distance, causing Aaron to freak. “This is over,” he hollered. “Let me out.” While he made a run for it — with his wrists still bound, it bears mentioning — the others shot their way through a pack of walkers. After nearly being bitten (foreshadowing?), Glenn saved Aaron from a walker and untied him. In return, Aaron used Glenn’s own words on him: They can make it through this, he insisted. But “we can only make it together.” So, when they reunited with Rick and Michonne to follow the flare — our regulars, thinking their group would be drawn to it; Aaron, for his own reasons — that was how they did it. Together.

CLEAN SLATE | Shortly thereafter, Rick, Michonne, Glenn and Aaron found the others, and we learned why Aaron had been so upset about the flare: It was a signal that his partner (in every way), Eric, was in trouble. Luckily, Maggie, Sasha and the rest had rescued him from what he called “roamers” and put a makeshift splint on his broken ankle. He’d even managed to save the license plate that he’d scored for Aaron (only for Aaron to have to admit that he’d not only lost all the other plates, he’d lost the car to boot!). Though Aaron sincerely thanked the gang for saving Eric and promised to repay them when they got to Alexandria — now he trusted them enough to reveal the location — Rick insisted on making him sleep apart from his boyfriend. At that, Glenn balked, pointing out that the guys were honest and unarmed, and one of them couldn’t even walk. They could be decent about this, he argued. They didn’t have to give up ALL of their humanity. And at last, Rick relented. The next day, on the road to Alexandria, Noah offered Aaron aspirin for the brutal rope burns his wrists had suffered. In turn, Aaron said that the community had a good surgeon who might be able to fix Noah’s limp. During a brief RV breakdown, Michonne encouraged Rick to let go of the fight. She knew that it was good — it had kept him and all of them alive for a long time. But, she added, “The fight… it turns on you.” Rick noted that, before Bob died, he had said pretty much the same thing. Nonetheless, Rick still snuck off to hide a gun in a blender among the trash outside a conveniently located abandoned shack. (In case he needed it later?) As the hour drew to a close, you could just see the tension rising off of him as they pulled up to the gates of the Alexandria Safe-Zone. When they’d arrived at the prison, he’d heard nothing, he’d told Michonne earlier. Same with Terminus. Here, however… here, he could hear kids playing. So, as scared as he was, he picked up Judith to go inside. “Even though you were wrong” about this place, Carol told him, “you’re still right.” Nice.

OK, your turn. What did you think of the episode? Would you have believed Aaron right away if you were Rick? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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47 Comments
  1. Rachel Scott says:

    My favorite part had to be Michonne having so much voice in this episode.

  2. If I was Rick I would have hit Aaron again when he wouldn’t eat the applesauce!

    • I was a bit annoyed. Who the hell cares if you have an aversion to applesauce? This man doesn’t trust you, has threatened to kill you and is testing the applesauce to make sure it wasn’t poisoned by you. Just eat the damn applesauce.

  3. Crystal says:

    I loved the throwback when Glenn found the RV’s spare battery. It seems like forever since Dale and his RV were on the show.

  4. tigersmurfette says:

    the cutest tv baby is on the originals. good episode. sure are dragging out this story though

  5. Ed says:

    Correct me if im wrong but I don’t understand the whole Woodbury being silent thing sure Terminus was dead silent but I recall Woodbury being very active when Michonne and Andrea came upon it

  6. azu says:

    Judith too damn cute!!! I look forward to seeing her every time!!

  7. Kim says:

    Rick always puts Carl and Judith first so not surprised he he is extra cautious in trusting anyone. I am on edge about Alexandria!

    • spartan says:

      And yet, not cautious enough to use his cop interrogation skills to get Aaron to answer one meaningful question about this mystery destination! Who are its leaders? How do they portion out work, food, weapons? Where did most of its residents originate? Are they by any chance cannibals??? Just can’t believe the whole group would be so stupid and clueless.

  8. relaxxx says:

    I loved this episode. I loved the progression of Rick and Michonnes relationship. From them not trusting each other to this amazing friendship. I love how Michonne challenges him and how she brings a calmness to him. The sweetest moment was when they got to the gates n they both listened n heard kids laughing n playing and Michonne grabbed Ricks hand and asked him if he was ready and he was. I hope they live together in the safezone. Richonne needs to happen. They r perfect for each other. I loved Aaron n Eric. Their moments were so tender. Yes to more Glenn and Maggie and I’m glad Rosita n Abe made amends. I’m just super excited for the safe zone. They are finally home.

    • guest says:

      A relationship between Rick and Michonne would seem forced because I sense mutual respect but no romantic chemistry.

      • relaxxx says:

        @Guest: chemistry is subjective just like beauty! There are threads upon threads of forums where people ship this pairing as well as tumble sites dedicated to them. People have shipped them since the comics so I guess lots of people see it. If u don’t then that’s cool also. I just see why a relationship with a woman that has been by his side for two seasons , who his kids n he adore would seem forced but I respect your opinions even though I disagree.

        • relaxxx says:

          I meant tumblr n why wouldn’t you root for a woman that’s been by Ricks side that hes so close to n cares for. Rick would be lucky to have Michonne. This relationship would be perfect.

          • guest says:

            I thnk Alexandra Breckinridge is going to play Rick’s love interest. She is supposed to appear in the series very soon.

  9. Jimmy says:

    I really liked this episode, especially Michonne becoming more of a leader figure. But it has me nervous, because whenever a character steps up and starts having a voice or being wise and showing that humanity is still within everyone, they die. This happened with Dale, Hershel, Bob and Tyreese which makes me nervous for Michonne’s future.
    Also, I’m scared for Glenn. First he picked up that baseball bat, which is exactly how he dies in the comics, thanks to Negan, and now he was centimeters way from being bitten, just like Rick was last episode.
    I’m really happy the group made it to Alexandria, though. I’m just a little curious about the pacing of this season so far, everything seems to be happening fast. That isn’t a bad thing, necessarily, but it seems like they just got done with the Termites and the Grady Memorial people, they just lost Bob, Beth and Tyresse (the latter so closely in time), and now they’re already at Alexandria. This makes me think that Negan is just around the corner, maybe at the end of this season or beginning of season 6.
    Overall, really good episode. But I want to see more from Daryl, Carol, Abraham, Eugene, Rosita and Tara. So far, they all seem like background characters in this second half. This episode alone, Tara, Eugene and Gabriel had no lines. They need to start beefing up their supporting cast or they will be like T-Dog, Carol and Beth in season 2 – all there, but have no real purpose.

    • relaxxx says:

      I’m not worried about Michonne but I worry all the time for Glenn. I got so scared when he picked up that bat, n when the Termite was going to hit him, and tonight with the walker. Prayer circle for Glenn. Leave Glenn alone Gimple. Lol

      • sully says:

        Plus when tyrese and Noah went into Noah’s house and his mom was dead on the floor… there was a circular hole on the top of her head. It didn’t seem to be a gunshot it looked too big. After glen picked up the bat I was paying super close attention to all the wounds. If anyone could give a second opinion of her head wound go for it

        • Jo says:

          I thought Noah’s mom’s head wound looked like she had been hit with a machete. In that same episode, you see them hit a walker in the head with a machete and I thought the wounds looked the same. Curious what happened in that house – the mom hadn’t turned (and hadnt been eaten) and neither had one of the twins, but the other one turned – how did he die and why was he the only one to turn?

          • sully says:

            The entire community was slaughtered by some gang called “the wolves”. There was graffiti mentioning them on a wall when they first walked in, the upper torsos that fell out of the truck had w’s carved into their forehead. People were tortured, mutilated and left to turn. after a few episodes in Alexandria this gang is gonna come into play

  10. Jenn says:

    You can’t blame Rick for acting that way, it’s what he knows! And even going to this new place or any place for that matter, his guard I, think will be this way throughout.

  11. VI says:

    I want to be optimistic but Aaron lied a couple times. Why wouldn’t he eat the apple sauce knowing that Rick was on edge? The gates opening and closing in Alexandra seemed to ominous to me. this is why the show is so good it keeps you on edge. They all froze when Michonne asked if anyone asked Aaron the 3 questions, and Rick said no. Why did he lie about the pictures? Man I want them to have a moments peace and for Judith to get some food and a new diaper but we all got the memo that no place is safe. That gun in that blender, I really want him to not have to go back and get it….and why is he the only one skeptical. Carol I know for sure is not all in.

    • L says:

      What did Aaron lie about? He didnt lie about the pictures.

    • Meredith says:

      None of those are lies. Sure, it’s extreme to hate applesauce that fervently, but if you made me eat something with cilantro, I’d be making the same face. The gates were ominous, but that was to make it showy for TV. Aaron never said the gates were super friendly and merry-go-round music plays when the gate opened. And as for the picture, it made be a little shady that there are no people in the pictures, but there is nothing to convince me he was lying about people being there. I mean, I’d still be wary, but it seems unfair to brand Aaron a liar at this point.

      • sandwormusmc says:

        The no people in pictures thing is interesting… I would think they would leave people out of the pictures for fear of showing misjudging someone they were recruiting and putting those others in jeopardy.

        • sandwormusmc says:

          Damn it why doesn’t this site let me edit my comments… anyway, “showing misjudging” should have read “showing the pictures to someone they misjudged as good while recruiting them”, or something…

  12. Joe says:

    I bet Noah gets killed by Negan. Yes Glenn picked up the bat (foreshadowing) but Noah cut his forehead on barbwire, which is wrapped around Negans bat Lucile. Either Glenn or Noah goes.

    • Comeon says:

      angry bethyler speaking. Everything is always Noah’s fault!

    • Jimmy says:

      I really hope it’s Noah, I don’t like the character and don’t see a point for him at all. Same with Tara, no family or connection to the group whatsoever. I think It would’ve been a smarter idea to keep her sister alive and they could have a story of their own.

      But, before Noah dies, I want to see Noah and Morgan connect because I have a feeling they will turn out to be related. Maybe Morgan is Noah’s uncle or something. I doubt his father or any other kind of relative.

  13. Vicki says:

    Lost its edge. Cast seems to be walking thru their parts. Worst season ever, just god awful boring

  14. Ryan says:

    C’mon Rick why believe Aaron sweet talks? just another bunch of cannibals waiting to attack!

  15. Ellinas1978 says:

    Have not read comics but:

    Sounds of children playing could be a recording. Love how everyone is letting their guard down. Which means: mayhem…

    • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

      I agree, how LEGIT is this Alexandria ”Safe Zone”? I feel it’s going to be Woodbury all over again….some Psycho running the place! Kudos to Michonne in this episode even tho. I felt like if sh*t hits the fan with this Aaron dude it’s going to be her fault. I don’t blame Rick for acting the way he is right now…..with everything that has happened you really can’t trust ANYONE!!!

    • Jessa says:

      It feels like we’re due for a “good” community situation after all the crazy ones. Have a feeling the Safe Zone is actually a decent place and then some bad gang will come in and try to take over or something and everyone will be back out on the roads again.

    • Beamrgurl says:

      I was thinking it was a recording of children laughing and playing also. I am reading the comics (compendiums) but still on volume 1.
      I don’t blame Rick for being so overly cautious because I would probably be the same way after what they have been thru at Terminus and Woodbury. Loved Michonne and Ricks talk about letting it go. Aaron mentioned to Rick how strong they were and that people like them were needed in the community and he said “even when you don’t have food, you all stick together”. ,so maybe they need a leader?? ..Just a thought, but I so cant wait for next sunday now

    • AnnieM says:

      It’s real. That’s the ‘big change’ Kirkman has been talking about. Now, I’m just waiting for Jesus to show up. It may be awhile, but he’ll be worth the wait. :-)