The episode runs concurrently with last week’s episode, “JSS,” which was the interior group’s response to the wolf attack. “Thank You” is another fine example of non-linear storytelling, and has viewers following Rick, Michonne, Glenn, Nicholas, and Daryl/Sasha/Abraham to a lesser degree.
It begins as the group attempts to rush back to Alexandria to respond to the blaring horn that is stirring the walkers, and to, most likely, help the Alexandrians survive by keeping the “detour” plan in effect.
Alexandria’s de facto leader informs Michonne and Glenn that they need to get back to Alexandria, but that the ill-equipped Alexandrians will not be able to make it, for they just hold back the rest of the gang.
Then, he is seen running around frantically for much of the episode. He contacts Glenn to keep the plan in order, and kills a small group of walkers (cutting his hand in the process), and also heads to an RV to get ahead of the “herd.” Eventually, he is met with heavy resistance from the wolves Morgan spared in “JSS,” who he kills, and the herd of walkers which swarm his RV that has failed to start. This is the last we see of him.
Maggie’s husband decides to sneak through the ghost town the group has entered, to deter the herd of walkers from making it any closer to Alexandria (and his friends immediately near him). Nicholas, who’d been to the town on a run, decides to come with him, and the duo plans to burn down a feed store to distract the zombies.
Ultimately, Nicholas (whom episode director Michael Slovis follows occasionally in subjective shots), leads the two down a dead-end alley, and the swarm of zombies overruns them. Nicholas, who has completely checked out of this world, thanks Glenn for giving him a second chance and shoots himself in his head. In the process, he falls off the dumpster the two were hiding atop of and he takes Glenn with him. The two hit the ground and are immediately devoured by the hundreds of zombies that were on their tail. (Glimmer of hope: Nicholas falls on top of Glenn and viewers can’t quite tell if it’s only Nicholas’s guts that are being handled like sausage links. Could he survive?)
Michonne becomes the fearless leader in Rick’s stead, and guides her mini-group back to Alexandria, where she discovers that the wolves have practically lit the community ablaze. In the process, however, she loses a few Alexandrians (including “the dissenter,” Annie, and David) and has to put Heath in his place after he tries to compare himself to her and her group.
Following the show, on The Talking Dead, Damon Lindelof, showrunner of Lost, said that TWD writers and directors were “audacious” for bringing such an emotionally stirring episode to the small screen so early on in the season. And he’s right. So, if all of this has gone down already, what else should we expect this season?
Catch a special, 90 minute episode of The Walking Dead on AMC on November 1 at 9 p.m.
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