Who is Aaron? It’s the question that everyone has been asking. This week on ‘The Walking Dead,’ our heroes have to decide what and who (or is it whom… I never can get that right) to believe in. It’s a game of who do you trust and as always the following episode recap may contain spoilers and bad taste, reader discretion is advised.
We open in the barn to a lot of somber faces. Everyone is taking care of business, organizing and cleaning their guns when Sasha and Maggie bring Aaron in for a visit. That sure breaks the melancholy and instantly Mr. North Face has every weapon in the room pointed at his smiling face. Judith cries, Rick takes his gun (claimed) for his own, and Aaron starts his pitch. You see, he really thinks it’d be a good idea if Rick and Co. auditions for membership. They’d be great additions to Aaron’s community. Rick rifles through some pictures in his pack while Glenn puffs out his chest in a display of dominance. My, this place of Aaron’s looks pretty good though. 15 x 12 solid steel reinforced walls and an eye for security are the main selling points. We are all much stronger together. In fact… Well, Aaron’s speech is cut short by an abrupt meeting with Rick’s fist. Roll credits.
Rick and Co. are looking through the newcomer’s pack. There’s a pretty nifty flare gun which will make another appearance before this episode is done. To Rick, this is proof to his paranoia. They are coming for them. He wants to know how many there are. Aaron understands the importance of being cautious. Hell, he even liked that right cross to the face a minute ago, but it doesn’t matter. They have a discussion about trust and Carol lands the best eye roll of the season. Aaron admits to leaving the water and trying to help them. You see, he’s been following them… for a while now. He really thinks they would be a good addition to the group. Rick doesn’t trust a guy who smiles after being punched in the face. Aaron suggests they all take a drive. He happens to have some cars parked a few miles away. They can all go. The entire group. At once. That’s cool, huh? Rick and Carol are skeptical but Michonne wants to check out the story. So much so that she gets all up in Rick’s grill and tells him they are going to check it out. Standing up to the Ricktatorship? Can’t wait to see how this goes. Glenn, Abraham, and Rosita join Michonne and head on out to investigate. Rick is still not happy and, expecting the worst, splits the remaining survivors up into pairs of two and sends them out to hide. Which leaves Rick and Aaron alone in the barn. This is fine with Aaron, who apparently has no self-preservation instinct as he continues to cheerfully ramble on, even when Rick explains to him just what he will do with his knife if the scouting party doesn’t return in 60 minutes.
The scouting party is looking pretty bad-ass as they stroll down the road. There is more than a little “what if” talk. Michonne reminds them that “people like us” have also done a lot of saving. Everyone in the world can’t be the Governor… right? Back at the barn the two besties are chatting when Judith does what Judith does and starts crying. It’s a good thing Aaron has some home-made applesauce with him. She’d like it a lot more than the ground acorns Rick was preparing. But, as we have established Rick has trust issues and wants Aaron to take the first bite. But he doesn’t want to. What follows is an awkward man-baby feeding scene. The only thing missing was Rick making the airplane noise. Aaron keeps throwing out the company pitch. Rick reminds him he has 43 minutes.
The scouting party, who is being shadowed by a stranger, comes across a nice white car and an RV. There is movement from the bushes and everyone snaps to attention, guns pointed and sweat on their brows. Whew, it’s just some Walkers. Everyone exhales and lowers their weapons. Really lets you know what is feared in this world. Not the slavering, shambling undead, but rather the guy next door. The most dangerous game is still people. Oh, and that RV is stocked with non-copyright infringing foodstuffs! Score! Abe and Rosita have a moment before the group returns to the barn. Michonne again tells Rick what’s going to happen. They are going to Aaron’s camp. Rick doesn’t roll over though. They will go, but they will go at night, and on a route of his choosing. That night, before they head out Rick and Michonne have a little moment and talk about trust and what it will take to believe. Rick’s not convinced. He might never be convinced. The man’s got trust issues. I blame Lori.
It’s a beautiful night for a drive. Aaron is happily chatting away about his license plate collection. See, he wants to collect one from every state and put them on the wall in his house. Yup, he has a house! And listening equipment. Yup, he has been watching and listening to the group. Michonne is looking at pictures of the compound now. Looks pretty neat… only… where are all the people? Did you ask him the questions? Uh… no. How many Walkers have you killed? A lot. How many people? Why? But before the answers can keep coming the car runs into a Walker horde. Literally. It’s like very big bugs on the windshield. The whole scene is visually striking. And red. A whole lotta red. The car plows through and the RV gets away. The group is separated for the moment. Unfortunately the car is no longer running and they have to abandon it. In the distance they see a flare go up. Aaron loses his shit when he sees this and runs off, still bound. It’s a race to find the group. Everyone heads off in the direction of the flare. It’s dark and there are a lot of Walkers around. It doesn’t help that the terrain is all spooky forest and shadows. Glenn winds up rescuing Aaron and almost gets bit in the process. We can make it together. Aaron uses Glenn’s own words to gain favor. He was listening.
So many Walkers. Rick and Co. are about to get over-run when Glenn and a gun-wielding Aaron show up to save the day. One of the Walkers takes a flare to the head and becomes the ugliest Yankee Candle I’ve ever seen. But it’s good for our heroes as they can now see the Walkers, who are cut down in short order. Rick reminds Aaron that if the flare was a trap he’ll likely die tonight. But it wasn’t a trap and our group is reunited with the RV bunch down the road. And Aaron is reunited with Eric, who broke an ankle. Aaron thought the worst when the flare went up. It’s a joyful reunion and the two share a tender moment as Rick emerges from the shadows with a great WTF face. Aaron addresses the group, as cheerful as ever, and Daryl has to stop Rick from shooting him. They are off to see the Wizard.
It’s a road trip. There’s poker playing and bonding and a general sense of anticipation. Noah extends an olive branch to Aaron in the form of pain pills and Arron lets him know that there is a gifted surgeon in the compound that might be able to help with that limp. The RV has some battery issues but Glenn lays down some old-fashioned Dale-learned RV wisdom and the RV is back on the road, but not before Michonne and Rick sing a chorus of ‘Let it Go.’ Rick steals a moment for himself and stashes a gun in a blender. There are those trust issues again.
It’s the moment of truth. They are at the gates. The unmistakable sounds of children playing bring a smile to Michonne’s face. They are ready. Carol tells Rick that even when he’s wrong he’s right. There is no turning back now. Time to see if it’s indeed too good to be true.
What did you think of this week’s episode? What’s behind the wall? Find your voice in the comments below.