Warning: there are major spoilers ahead as this is a recap and review of season six’s third episode, so please do not read any further unless you’re caught up on every episode of The Walking Dead. You’ve been warned.
“They’re coming,” whispers Michonne (Danai Gurira) to what’s left of her part of group trying to lead and corral the herd of Walkers away from Alexandria. Michonne and her ragtag crew find themselves trapped in an abandoned pet store with the herd headed their way in episode three of the sixth season of AMC’s horror/drama The Walking Dead.
As the episode begins, Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Michonne, Glenn (Steven Yeun), Nicholas (Michael Traynor) and a handful of other Alexandrians are running through the forest trying to stay ahead of the herd of zombies that have been drawn off the main road by the sound of the stuck horn coming from Alexandria. Rick decides he’s going to go solo (of course) and plans to head back to the RV to use that to try and lead the Walkers away from Alexandria and back to the rest of the herd while Glenn and Michonne lead the rest of the small group back to town. Before heading off, Rick tells Glenn and Michonne not everyone is going to make it back but for them to make sure they do, basically telling them not to risk their lives for the local Alexandrians.
While running through the woods Glenn, Michonne, and the rest of the gang don’t do too well with one getting bit by a hungry Walker, ‘Guy wearing big floppy hat’ deserting them and running on ahead, and Annie (Beth Keener) falling down and spraining her ankle. It’s almost as though Rick had the gift of second sight.
The group finally makes it to an abandoned little town where they check to see if any of the deserted cars are usable. With hungry Walkers already roaming the streets, the group decides to hide in a store to rest for a few minutes and figure out their next course of action. Not wanting the herd of Walkers to reach Alexandria and realizing the rest of the winded and wounded group are going to need a distraction in order for them to get out of town without having to fight a small band of zombies, Glenn comes up with the idea to go set a building on fire, saying it will lead the Walkers to it. Michonne offers to go do it but Glenn, taking the role of leader seriously says, “No. It’s my plan. It’s on me.”
Nicholas, supposedly knowing the area since he had done supply runs for Alexandria in the past offers to go along with Glenn, saying he knows where there is an old dry building that should light up easily. Before leaving, Glenn takes out the watch Hershel gave him and looks at it thinking of Maggie. (If you’re starting to worry about Glenn, you should). Glenn then gives Rick an update over the walkie talkie while Rick is eliminating a few rogue Walkers as he runs for the RV. Glenn wishes Rick good luck, ending the short monologue by saying, “Good luck, dumbass.” (For anyone who remembers, Glenn was first heard not seen in the show over a walkie talkie trying to contact Rick who was hiding in the useless tank surrounded by zombies.)
Glenn and Nicholas aren’t gone long when Michonne and the others hear gunfire coming from Alexandria which draws some Walkers in their direction. Michonne lets her group know that as soon as the small band of Walkers are gone they are going to head out and back to Alexandria.
Meanwhile, Rick finally reaches the RV, gets its started and begins to drive it to set it up to lead the scattered Walkers back to the rest of the herd which are still being led away from the town by Daryl (Norman Reedus), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz).
Unfortunately for Michonne’s group two Walkers who were quiet in the back storage room make themselves known by banging around and making noise which draws some of the scattered Walkers outside just as the break-away herd of Walkers enter the town and head over to check out the pet store. Michonne’s group decides to make a break for it and during the chase Annie stumbles again. She goes down fighting, shooting a few hungry Walkers in the head before becoming a meal for some other zombies. Not knowing the ins and outs of the town, Michonne and her now even smaller group end up coming to a dead end and have to scale a wire fence to escape. During the climb the guy who was bit earlier and who had been desperately trying to make it back to his wife succumbs to the hungry mob of zombies while Michonne and the few remaining Alexandrians make a run for it, now protected by the fence they just climbed.
Glenn and Nicholas arrive at the old feed store that Nicholas said would go up in a blaze easily only to find it’s already destroyed. To make matters worse, a group of Walkers is headed their way. Glenn defers to Nicholas, asking which way to go, and Nicholas once again fails and leads them to an alley where they get cut off by an army of very hungry Walkers. Glenn takes out a few Walkers with his handgun and his knife but they are getting closer and there’s just too many of them. He climbs up on top of a dumpster and pulls up a terrified Nicholas. Seeing no way out and being the true coward he always has been, Nicholas looks at Glenn, says “Thank you,” and shoots himself in the head, falling on Glenn and into a mosh pit of ravenous Walkers. The scene ends with Nicholas’ body lying on top of Glenn as the Walkers begin to feast. Is Glenn dead?! Is it his insides the zombies are pulling out and dining on?! The way the scene is shot it’s hard to say but it definitely does not look good for Glenn.
Back at the RV, Rick tries to get in touch with Glenn on the walkie talkie but gets no answer (again, not a good sign) and ends up having to take on a few sneak attack Wolves leaving Alexandria after their attack on the town. After shooting up a good portion of the RV, Rick tries to get the RV started again but to no avail. The episode ends with a group of the scattered Walkers coming out of the forest and headed right for the RV.
Shocking, gory, and depressing, season six episode three titled “Thank You” is perhaps the darkest, saddest, most heartwrenching episode since the series began. It was also a bit annoying and frustrating, with the Walkers having the best timing and luck in the series ever! Really, the scattered herd of Walkers just happen to show up as the small group of town Walkers happen to hear the noise inside the pet store? C’mon!
The stand-out performance this time goes to Steven Yeun as Glenn who’s grown from pizza delivery kid before the zombie apocalypse to being the guy making supply runs for the group to the man who leaves no one behind to finally a husband and leader in his own right. If Rick is the leader of the group, then Glenn is – or was – his second in command…even over Daryl. The quiet scene in the store when he looks at Hershel’s old watch and thinks of Maggie is touching as well as foreboding. Also noteworthy is the scene where Glenn is talking to Rick over the walkie giving him the update of what is happening while Rick is too busy to talk as he’s getting rid of a few Walkers. It’s funny and yet also heartbreaking when he closes out the short monologue by calling Rick a ‘dumbass’ which is the first thing Glenn said to Rick when the character was introduced to the series also over a walkie.
The special-effects, make-up and design of the zombies and this horrifying world is once again top notch, but the gore and violence factor has been raised to an almost uncomfortable level…even for a show about flesh-eating zombies.
The big question from this episode is is Glenn truly dead? With the arrival of Morgan to Alexandria taking on the role of the group’s moral compass and only killing a person when forced to, the future doesn’t look good for Glenn. It’s a running trend in this show that characters who keep their humanity alive and try to have a set of morals and ethics usually perish. Remember Dale and Herschel?
On a personal note, having been watching and reviewing The Walking Dead since its debut in 2010, this critic’s two favorite characters have always been Daryl and Glenn. So, last Sunday night’s episode upset and infuriated this viewer just as much as any other fan of the show. Here’s hoping this is not the end of Glenn and that the clever, resourceful guy finds a way out of the zombie mosh pit and back to his loving wife, Maggie. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for him.