Synopsis: “NO HALF-MEASURES! THIS MAN IS NOT TO BE TRUSTED!!!” – Rick, the entire episode as everyone else has to talk him down from being just slightly rash.
Rick doesn’t take in outsiders anymore – remember what happened to hippie Penguin at Terminus after Rick rejected him and his hippie legless girlfriend? So when Maggie and Sasha bring Aaron back to the barn to introduce him to Rick, things go about as well as expected. He tries to make his pitch for them to join his camp, mentioning an audition process, and the group deliberates only long enough for Rick to discard some flimsy photographic evidence and cold-clock Aaron in the face.
He’s immediately on the offensive, running their group like a well-oiled machine and talking about looking for the “rest” of the possible attackers. Maggie tries to talk him down, but Rick is insistent that Aaron is up to no good – especially after he finds a flare gun in Aaron’s possession. He admits to leaving Rick’s group the water and watching them long enough to decide they warranted an audition. He offers up the information that there is only one other person backing him up and the location of the cars that could take them to the compound. Rick’s still not having any of it.
Michonne takes her turn in trying to talk crazy-town Rick down and offers to check if the cars are where Aaron says they are. While Glenn, Maggie, Michonne, Rosita, and Abraham go off to find the cars, Aaron tries fruitlessly to bond with Rick. He shares that he worked for an NGO before the apocalypse and worse people have threatened him. All Rick has to say in response is that if his group doesn’t come back in an hour, he’ll put a knife through the back of Aaron’s skull.
Glenn wants to shoot anyone on sight and Michonne questions his orders, pointing out that they’ve recently saved a priest, a girl who was with The Governor, and even a crazy lady with a sword. When they come upon the car and the RV, they realize Aaron was telling the truth and set about to bring the vehicles back to the barn.
Back in the barn, Rick is crushing up acorns because apparently that is what he has been trying to feed this baby – jagged crushed up pieces of acorn. Aaron offers up the apple sauce from his pack, trying to reason that it’s a move of self-preservation so that the roamers don’t hear them and eat him. Rick force-feeds it to Aaron as a precaution, though the guy gets all squirmy about it. His mom also force-fed it to him when he was a child, in an attempt to make him manlier. Apple sauce is a manly food?
When Glenn’s group returns, Rick makes it clear that the things gathered from the RV belong to them now, whether or not they head to the camp. This surprises enough people into arguing with Rick about their need to see this opportunity through. Reluctantly, Rick finally begins to see some reason – though he shoots it all to hell when he tells Aaron they’re not taking his route and he can’t drive. Oh and they’re leaving at night because he wants it to be as disadvantageous to everyone involved.
Outside of the barn, Michonne feels the need to double check that Rick wasn’t just jerking them all around with his half-hearted acceptance of this new quest. He points out all the other times that this exact scenario has come back to bite them in the ass and that he’s holding out on passing any kind of judgment until he sees the place. The longer his beard grows, the more wizened and crazy his hermit-y ways become. It’s going to be a shame when he shaves it at this new camp. Or dies.
In the lead car are Rick, Aaron, Glenn, and Michonne, while everyone else takes the RV behind them. Rick’s looking at Aaron’s license plate collection, he wants one of every state for his house, and Michonne seems intrigued by the idea of his own house. As she goes through the pictures of the camp they’re headed towards, she realizes that there are no people in any of the pictures. They ask him the questions and his answers are pretty standard, all things considered. He doesn’t know how many walkers he’s killed, but it’s a lot, and he’s killed two people because they tried to kill him.
It’s when they find some sort of apocalyptic-rigged listening device that they really start to freak out about his intentions. Before the tension can escalate any more, Glenn drives the car through a herd of walkers and it becomes a zombie carwash. The car is absolutely covered and the RV, thankfully, didn’t follow them into the fray. Unfortunately, the car won’t start back up and the group is forced away from it by the impending herd.
A flare gun goes up in the distance and Aaron absolutely loses his shit, saying this is over and running from the vehicle. Michonne and Rick are fighting off walkers when Glenn gets separated from them. He stumbles upon Aaron and saves his life, after which they decide that they can only make it if they work together. After using the flare gun he took from Aaron to make a zombie face-firework in a last effort to save themselves, Glenn and Aaron reunite and save Rick and Michonne in a hail of gunfire.
They make it back to the RV surprisingly easy after that and Aaron freaks out, yelling for Eric and running inside their temporary shelter. A man laid up with his ankle wrapped, Eric, tries to calm Aaron down and there’s some levity in this episode brought on by the fact that Eric found him a new license plate, only for Aaron to admit he lost the whole collection with the car. Oh, and there’s a bit of kissing. Surprise! His mom force-fed him apple sauce as a child because Aaron’s gay and Eric’s his boyfriend! Twitter had a field day with that one and homophobes reminded us that they still exist. Ugh.
Rick had been creepily watching them from the shadows, and even then Eric can only happily say hello. Aaron thanks them all for saving Eric, admitting to them that the place they’re headed to is the Alexandria Safe Zone. Rick tries to keep his Alpha Dog spot by telling Aaron that, if they’re not traveling any more tonight, he can wait it out away from his boyfriend. Aaron tells him to shove it and Glenn has to talk Rick down again.
Everyone makes it until the morning and the journey continues. Noah offers Aaron some painkillers for his rope burn and Aaron tells him about a surgeon in Alexandria who may be able to help him with his limp. Eugene and Tara are playing a ridiculous game of cards and Abraham jinxes everything by saying that they can definitely make it in the RV. They even drive past Washington DC and he gets a little misty.
The RV breaks down, but in a call-back to Glenn and Dale (seriously, does anyone else remember Dale?) and that old RV, Glenn shows Abraham how to fix it up quickly and they make it to Alexandria relatively unscathed. But not before Rick hides a gun in a blender somewhere in the woods after morosely implying that the fight is never over in a conversation with Michonne.
Kids are playing somewhere inside the walls of the Alexandria Safe Zone, loud enough to be heard from the outside – you know, since Rick feared all that deafening silence – and they walk into the compound…