Walking Dead Recap

The Walking Dead Recap: Scarewolves

Meanwhile, back at the ranch…

This week’s action-packed episode of The Walking Dead not only showed us what was going on in Alexandria while Operation Walker Dispersal was falling apart in the field, it also introduced Merritt Wever as Pete’s reluctant successor, Denise; ushered Gabriel and Jessie past major turning points; and reestablished Carol as the most badass action heroine since Buffy.

Oh, and yes, the hour also revealed the meaning of its enigmatic title, “JSS.” Wanna know what it is? Keep reading!

‘INITIAL’ IMPRESSION | As the episode began, we flashed all the way back to the fateful — and fatal — day that a car breakdown got Enid’s parents killed by walkers. In the aftermath, as the shell-shocked teen wandered through the woods, dodging walkers and eating anything that didn’t move faster than she did (poor turtle!), she wrote “JSS” everywhere — in the dirt beneath her feet, on a car in which she hid, even on her own hand as she entered Alexandria for the first time. But what did it MEAN?

THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM | Next, we flashed-forward to (close to) the point at which the season premiere left off. And, if only for that moment, things were pretty okay. Carol was talking recipes with her gal pals in the pantry and dispensing tough love to Sam. Maggie was leaning heavily on metaphor as she gave Deanna a crash course in vegetable gardening. (“Reg wanted this community to grow!”) Gabriel was apologizing to Carl for his betrayal and asking if the youngster would reconsider teaching him how to fight. (The boy not only agreed to do so, he added, “We’ll start with the machete.”) Tara and Eugene were getting to know Denise, who nervously tried to lower expectations of her medical expertise by pointing out that she was a psychiatrist, not a surgeon. (Am I the only one who thought there were fairly hilarious sparks flying between Eugene and Denise?) And Ron was refusing to let Jessie use a haircut to force him to talk to her. (Hey, I said things were pretty okay, not perfect.) Later, Carl spotted Enid comforting Ron with a hug.

WOLVES? WHERE? | Out of nowhere, the near-perfect day in Alexandria was shattered — and stabbed and burned alive — by the Wolves. They were inside the gates, they were outside the gates, they were freakin’ everywhere! Naturally, Carol went straight into Terminator mode. And though she failed to save the lady next door, she did at least hold the soon-to-be-deceased as she stuck a blade in her head to keep her from turning. (That’s what friends are for.) Nearby, Jessie was telling Sam to hide in the closet while she went to find Ron when — damn the luck! — a Wolf broke into their house. When Ron eventually came home, Jessie emerged to protect him, and damn! She didn’t just keep her kids safe, she brutally dispatched the Wolf with her haircutting scissors! On sharpshooter duty, Spencer took out a Wolf driving a semi right for the gate. Which was great and all, except that the Wolf then fell on the horn (as we all heard last week). I’ll give Deanna’s son points for making his way to the vehicle to take care of the problem. But then I’ve gotta take those points away again since a) Morgan got there first and dispatched the walker, and b) the prettyboy wouldn’t accompany Morgan into Alexandria to help fight off the Wolves.

CHECKOUT TIME | With the streets of Alexandria becoming bloodier by the second, Denise froze when faced with her first critical patient. “You’re afraid?” Tara said. “I don’t care! Help her!” Even Eugene told the doc that she didn’t want to be a coward. (And when it comes to cowardice, he knows of whence he speaks.) Sadly, despite Denise’s best efforts, the patient didn’t make it. Meanwhile, Enid chose that, of all times, to drop by Carl’s to say goodbye. No way, he replied, insisting that instead, she stay to help him protect Judith. During a quiet moment, she suggested that it was hopeless, that the place was too big to safeguard, and there were too many blind spots. “That’s how we were able to… ” What she was going to say next, or who “we” are, we didn’t find out, because Carl interrupted her, damn it. But at least we learned what “JSS” meant. Before she slipped away, she left Carl a note: “Just survive somehow.”

A BATTLE WITHIN THE WAR | Upon being reunited with Spencer outside the gates, Deanna (wisely? wimpily?) told Maggie that she’d just be another person to save if she joined in the fray, so Maggie should go fight without her. Inside the gates, Morgan took a novel approach to a face-off with a Wolf: He politely asked the monster to leave. (Seriously, he even said please.) Then Morgan got ticked when Carol intervened and shot the guy. (Morgan really, really, really doesn’t want to kill anybody.) On their way to the armory, Morgan and Carol saw Gabriel being attacked by a Wolf. Carol’s reaction? Good riddance. Morgan’s? Let me go save him. Which he did — without killing the villain. “We’re freeing you,” the psycho told Morgan and Gabriel. “You’re trapped.” (Mmkay.) Before the nut could blather on much more, Carol passed by on her way back from the armory, shot him and gave Morgan a gun (which — sigh — he immediately gave to Gabriel). Next thing we knew, Morgan was surrounded by Wolves — including one of his attackers from “Conquer.” Since even Morgan probably couldn’t have taken all of them, he scared them off by suggesting that his fellow Alexandrians had guns pointed at them right that second. “You keep choosing this life, you will die,” he warned. “We didn’t choose,” replied his old adversary.

IN THE AFTERMATH | As the hour drew to a close, we saw the toll that the day had taken on Carol. (She even seemed to contemplate smoking one of her late neighbor’s cigarettes.) Aaron discovered that one of the felled walkers had been carrying around his old backpack, inside it his pictures of Alexandria — basically, a blueprint for attack. And, upon returning home, Morgan got jumped one more time — by the other Wolf he’d fought in “Conquer.” (At least I think it was him. Hard to tell when they’re grimy and bloody!) In disbelief, the Wolf observed, “You can’t [kill me], can you?” and added, “You should’ve.” In response, Morgan said, “I’m sorry,” and whacked him. (So what was in the bag he was carrying down the street as the episode ended? The guy’s heart?)

OK, your reviews? Personally, I liked this episode even more than the premiere. (But then, I’m a Carol fan.) 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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73 Comments
  1. AngelWasHere says:

    Now this episode should of been the premiere. It was awesome!!!!

    • AngelWasHere says:

      *have been
      Anyway I hope Morgan doesn’t become the new Tyrese. He needs to become the male Michonne.

      • Big Mike says:

        “Would of” and “should of” have become the bane of my existence on the Internet. Have people really become THAT stupid?

        On another note, that episode was intense. I loved it!

        • AngelWasHere says:

          I corrected myself and I’m on a phone trying to type. Give me a break grammar nazi. But yes it was awesome…

          • Big Mike says:

            Didn’t realize it was you correcting yourself. Kudos to you for that. I do see it everywhere though.

          • AngelWasHere says:

            @Big Mike No prob. It’s a bad habit I’ve picked up unfortunately (probably from the rest of the dummies) and I just type way too fast on mobile. It’s my own fault. lol :P

  2. Kay says:

    Love Carol! She’s at her best when she’s fighting and saving people..

  3. Matt says:

    One of the most stressful hours of television I’ve ever watched…and I mean that in a good way! They definitely weren’t lying when they said this was the most intense season yet. What an episode.

    • N0S4A2 says:

      stressful is right! I almost didn’t finish watching as I couldn’t take the tension! but i’m glad I did. it was awesome!

  4. Ron says:

    In my opinion, one of the best episodes of the entire series. Carol is such a badass!

  5. shaw says:

    This was an awesome episode. That Carol man she’s WOW amazing. So intense and heart pounding. Loved it haven’t had an episode like that in a while. Great job!

  6. shaw says:

    Oh also what is wrong with Morgan these ppl at chopping ppl up on the sidewalk and you are talking about letting them live. Please.

    • the girl says:

      Thank you. They weren’t just killing, they were butchering for fun. They should be given a second chance.

    • MelindaB says:

      I get Morgan not wanting to kill, but he knows that the Wolves are barely human and will kill for sport. There are women and children who deserve protection and his letting them go just enables letting them get reinforcements and returning.

    • I’m sure it will get explained in Morgan’s flashback episode. I like that Morgan has been written this way, to not immediately react to a problem by killing. My guess is he doesn’t want to lower himself to being like the Wolves who kill without prejudice. Whatever, one thing for sure is that this season has started off really strongly, long may it continue. Take note Fear The Walking Dead writers!

    • merwordup says:

      Morgan was getting on my nerves in this episode.

  7. King says:

    I think Morgan is going to track down those he let go

  8. Ian says:

    Not a fan of Morgan. Whereas Danai gives Michonne a natural quality for being a sword-wielding warrior, Lennie and his cheesy Chuck Norris moves just make me cringe – and Morgan’s characterization isn’t doing his performance any favors. Morgan was once a brilliant reoccurance, but he’s been displaced since returning last season.
    I continue to live for Carol.

  9. When is Rosita + Tara happening? Come on, already.

  10. @tvneuroepi says:

    I think the “we” Enid was referring to were Carl and herself when they were able to sneak away to the woods for a bit last season.

  11. MelindaB says:

    Loved Carol! Of course, now she won’t be able to pose as a mild, unassuming housewife.

  12. EK says:

    Good episode, but I wish we would have seen more of Maggie and less of Morgan’s “inner turmoil”. Thought Denise was adorable, and I do not trust little Enid. There is something off with her. In her flashback, she was showing a lot of Wolves-like behavior with writing JSS on everything and on herself like the Wolves do with the W. In my opinion, she knows/knew them and opened the gate for them.

    • Q says:

      What happened to Maggie? We saw her running inside to help against the attack and then we don’t see her again did we? If I just don’t remember seeing her again, maybe Glen comes back next episode and can’t find her and maybe we find out she got kidnapped. They wouldn’t kill her off screen because every character has to have a memorable type death but to me it makes little sense why they never show her inside the walls helping out.

  13. Rathmon says:

    First off, Carol didn’t shoot they guy that Morgan asked to leave, she did him with her knife. I would think that, when Enid says “that’s how we…”, she was referring to her and Coral’s forays outside the walls. No conspiracy there, at least in regards to the Wolves.

    Otherwise, good write-up! Was a fantastic episode, and it will be interesting to see how Aaron handles the knowledge that he was the one who led the Wolves there.

  14. datdudemurphy says:

    Enid’s “JSS” = Just Survive Somehow

    Morgan can die now….his character is beyond stupid.

    • Q says:

      I know right. Up till this last episode, he was one of the best written characters on the show. He walks to the town, sees a truck has smashed into the gates, sees all kinds of mayhem happening. People getting hacked left and right, kids bike on the ground with blood all around it and he thinks a little chat with each of them will set them straight.

      Then he does disarm one and while taking the extra time to tie him up and make sure he can’t break out, how many more of the towsnpeople died so this one could get a fair trial by our new Jedi Knight with a stick for a lightsaber.

      Beyond stupid really. I’m all for conflict between characters and drama but this is going to extreme ridiculousness lengths to try and show the differences between the way Rick is now and this new zen-like Morgan. Maybe they have a payoff at the end of this but during the attack in town, its kill or be killed. Not kill or be calm and hope they stop.

      Not that Judith was going to die but what if she had. Rick comes back and finds out Morgan spoke to the killer and didn’t kill him because “all life is precious”. Seriously, in that moment for him not to team up with Carol and to help protect the town by stopping the attack with weapons (not words) was really bad writing to try and show his extreme nature.

      I fear that gun that the one wolf took is going to come back and be used to kill a long time character on the show.

      • Brigid says:

        Thank you! No one seems to mention that the guy walked out of there with a gun. It could have all the bullets in it and be used to kill someone. It will definitely come back to haunt them.

        • merwordup says:

          I definitely picked up on that. And the gun that guy picked up, when he kills, that is on Morgan’s head for making that happen. I get “life is precious” but if those savages don’t adhere to that, it is okay to break that rule.

  15. omar says:

    Loved the episode. So intense. I HATE Morgan. He’s #1 in my kill list now. Even Father Gabriel knows he has to kill the Wolves.
    Why did they have to kill Holly? I loved her in the comics, I hope Francine takes her place.

    • Jack says:

      Um…wouldnt the Wolves be #1 on your kill list? I get it, you disagree with Morgan. So you want him to be killed because of this? All rightee, then…

  16. AngelWasHere says:

    I’m really disappointed they made Morgan the new Tyrese or morale compass or better yet the “thou shall not kill” guy on the show. I almost wished that one of the wolves would have put him out of his misery and saved us from seeing him turn into a sucky character. Why must we always have a character like that every season and why did it have to be Morgan this time? He was suppose to be bada** and awesome! I hope they didn’t just bring him back to lecture Rick and be killed off later by a wolf he refuse to kill.

  17. James D says:

    Well that escalated quickly. holly heck that was a crazy episode I’m loving this season so far can’t wait for next week.

  18. Ashly says:

    I have seen the mix episodes of “The Walking Dead”, but in this season I have a commitment to watch it regularly. This show is ahead of my expectations, and the characters including of Lennie James and Steven Yeun brings much engagement. Yes, “JSS” was a awesome episode with full value, just waiting for “Thank You”. My curiosity is rising….

  19. Sarah_ says:

    Man what an amazing episode and Carol is know on top as my favorite character ever :) what a badass!!
    Morgan I know you have a conscience an all but letting those killers wolves go is not ok! They just attack later on lol
    Really great episode and I can’t wait for next episode…the others must be worried sick.

  20. pati says:

    wow this episode was amazing it was so intense, Jessy in that closed was really scary I kept thinking she was going to get attacked. Really really good,

  21. Jane says:

    Wonderful episode. Last week’s episode and this one combined make a perfect start to the season. Can someone please tell me who carved the A on the porch that Carol saw at the end?

    • wrstlgirl says:

      I was wondering what that meant too. Figured I missed something, maybe I’ll catch it when I re-watch. I always watch these eps at least twice before I delete them off the DVR.

    • Dee says:

      That goes back to the welcoming party, when Jesse’s son stamped his family and Rick’s hand with the A (presumably for Alexandria). He was playing with the stamp before Carol went into the house to cook and she dosed him with the reality that his father was a beater and was dead. In my mind, he stamped her step railing with the A as a way of including her in his family.

  22. Morgan’s bag at the end – i assumed it was his portion of whatever Carl took out the oven!!! ;)

  23. wrstlgirl says:

    Anyone here watch Talking Dead. Why oh why did they have to cake so much make up on Katelyn Nacon (Enid). She has such a natural beauty for a young girl and looked absolutely ridiculous IMO. The lipstick was the worst. But that aside she was a lot of fun on the show.

    • Bwhit says:

      Yes! It was distracting and over the top. My husband even noticed it and said ‘why did they put that lipstick on her like that?’ Lol.

    • Q says:

      Thought the same thing, even thinking her hair was styled by a person who knows nothing about hair. Its like they wanted her to look as different to her character as possible.
      Her personality on the other hand was as different as can be to Enid and pleasantly surprising, especially since this was her first ever talk show of any kind.
      Good kid.

    • AnnieM says:

      If not for the lipstick, she would have looked fine. The makeup artist should have gone with a neutral shade. But, hey, she’s 16 – maybe she chose it herself. Anyway, she did seem like a sweet kid. Good actress, too; maybe Enid will become the TV version of Sophia (who’s still alive in the comic).

      • wrstlgirl says:

        I thought all of it was pasted on a bit thick but yeah,maybe it was what she wanted. She’s a beautiful girl and doesn’t need all that.

  24. chuckiechk says:

    while watching the talking dead, they said the fighting inside Alexandria was filmed in real time and it was 45 mins long, the cooking time of carol’s casserole

    • AnnieM says:

      Yes – and it really put a period on how bizarre a world the characters live in. Fight is over, Carl comes in just in time to remove dinner from the oven. I was surprised no one on the panel mentioned that last night.

      • Jax&Juice's Girl says:

        I LOVE THIS EP.!!!!!!! Def. going to download that…at first i’m like what the hell is JSS? Morgan needs to step it up and be like a Michonne with that stick! Carol….nothing to say just keep kicking ass!!

      • chuckiechk says:

        it showed the difference between the group and the wolves … the wolves have turned into wild animals, where the group have restored what they see as normal … great contrast between the two groups. did u also notice that before carol saw the first wolf kill, they focused on the baby monitor and when carl checked on dinner, I so though they were going to show a wolf in the babies room

  25. Free9903 says:

    Wolves=Reavers

  26. charlid6179 says:

    This episode was much better than the premiere. Loved it, Forgot to breathe a couple of times.

  27. Jack says:

    Fantastic episode. BUT…They should have kept one alive, for interrogation. Find out more about them, where they live, etc, so that Rick and Crew can go on the offense, rather than wait for them to attack again.

    • wrstlgirl says:

      I agree and I think that’s what Morgan was trying to do with the one guy but then Carol just walked up and shot him in the head and then walked away, LOL!!!

  28. Ronnie says:

    Carol is an absolute beast. She will bake a casserole and bust a cap in you all in 45 minutes. What a character arc!

  29. mynameZach says:

    My theory is that Morgan is at a higher stage than Rick and the rest. While the group was living the good life in prison, Morgan had to go through hell.

    Just like the Alexandrians are clueless as to what the outside world is like, the Rick group is clueless of what it was like outside of prison. People are going crazy.Morgan realizes you must work on saving people or you will go crazy.

    Glenn and Morgan are similar in that they recognize the necessity to save. Carol and Rick are similar in that they recognize the necessity to kill. Morgan and Glenn feel as though you can save a few people and that will translate to saving many. Carol and Rick feel as though you can kill a few people to save many.

    I believe Morgan has already been through Rick’s transition of killing. He realizes that this leads you to the dark side, and eventually makes you one of them. You have to pull people out of this transition, and lead them to the light side.

    There were many scenes to that foreshadow this revelation. Rick is always trying to tell Alexandrians that they used to be him. Morgan is always trying to tell Carol and Rick they used to be him.

  30. Ange says:

    iT WAS SOO AWESOMEEEEEEEEEEE. CAROL IS SUCH A BADASS