Synopsis of 5×10: A lot of people cry alone in the woods, the group weathers multiple threats on the road to Washington DC, and a friend says hello.
After last week’s swan song for Tyreese and the five minute drive from Atlanta to Richmond, the survivors were definitely going to see Washington, DC this week, right? Wrong. This week was ‘everyone cries alone in the woods’ week. I understand that everything sucks and humanity is the worst, but there are only so many slow, heavy-handed episodes that I need to punch me in the face with that fact. A distraught Maggie is crying alone and trying to conserve her moisture, Daryl is eating worms alone, and Sasha is walking alone before they all miserably meet back up and the opening credits roll.
It has now been three weeks since Atlanta and the whole group has reunited to continue their (walking) trek to Washington DC. Things are looking pretty bleak, but people are trying. Carol heads out with Daryl, despite his protests, to look for supplies! Carl gives Maggie a broken music box! Maggie takes out her anger on Father Gabriel! Okay, maybe Maggie’s not trying as hard as everyone else to make nice.
And speaking of not making nice, Sasha is also a raging ball of anger at the loss of Tyreese. Much like he was blinded by rage after Karen’s murder, she’s looking for any excuse to start a fight now that he’s gone. Michonne encourages her not to be stupid, but we already know how that’s going to work out. When the group manages to bottleneck the herd of walkers that’s been shambling after them, pushing them gently over the side of a bridge and conserving their dwindling energy, Sasha breaks formation and charges in to attack. Everyone else is forced to follow suit and no one is happy when it’s all said and done.
When the group searches through some abandoned cars on the road, Maggie finds a bound and gagged walker in the trunk of one of them. In her shock and disgust, she slams the trunk back down. Ladies and gentlemen, please look at the flashing neon sign reading ‘humanity is awful.’ Glenn helps her to re-open the trunk and puts the walker to rest for her.
Out in the woods alone, Daryl is looking for supplies. Earlier, Carol gave him Beth’s knife and tried to convince him that he had to let himself feel her loss. All he is successful in doing is finding a dead deer and a body with its head blown off before he returns to the group empty handed.
Abraham is morosely drinking while Rosita and Eugene talk about how things could or could not get worse – don’t say that, you’ll jinx it! Suddenly, a pack of feral dogs comes through the woods and, for a tense moment, the group braces themselves for an attack. Sasha ends up mowing down the dogs with her gun and the group finds themselves with food! She tells Noah not to think about it, just eat it like the rest of the group is doing. Gabriel removes his collar and burns it, eating some dog meat of his own.
Maggie tells Glenn how she felt about the rollercoaster of hearing Beth was alive and then her death, how she’s not sure she wants to fight “the dark part” anymore, but Glenn isn’t having any of that. He urges her to keep fighting and reminds her about how hard she fought to get here – she’s the last person standing from the farm after all.
Sasha is offered alcohol by Abraham, who tries to tell her that she’s with friends, but she counters that by telling him they’re definitely not friends. Ouch. Glenn tries to give water to Daryl, who also declines, and ignores a reminder that they can only make it together by going off to look for more supplies on his own. He ends up sitting by a barn and burning himself with a cigarette…
When he gets back to the group, they’re all standing around a bunch of water bottles in the middle of the road. Rick hands Daryl a note that reads, “FROM A FRIEND.” While mulling over what to do with the water, Eugene moves to be the test subject for it and Abraham immediately slaps it out of his hand. Luckily, it starts raining and the whole group rejoices… until they realize it’s not just a rainstorm. Dark skies and thunder roll in from the distance and Daryl takes the group back to the barn.
While they’re clearing out the barn, Maggie finds a walker that could have killed herself before turning. Carol tells her that some people just can’t give up like that, because you know hint hint Maggie. Rick comments on how he thinks it’s easier for kids to grow up like this, without remembering the old world. Carol is convinced this isn’t the new world and when Glenn disagrees, Michonne tells him that’ a quitter’s attitude.
Rick goes through a monologue about his grandpa and World War II and how death and killing changes people. He ends up name-dropping the series as he tells the rest of them that the trick to surviving is to, “…Tell ourselves that we are the walking dead.” Get it? Daryl immediately says, “We ain’t them.” So I’m not sure what show he’s watching, but Rick assures him they’re not walkers before Daryl leaves the group powwow.
In a weirdly shot sequence (I was so momentarily confused), Daryl opens the barn doors on the storm to find a herd of walkers at their front door. He struggles to hold the doors closed, but fails to call out for any type of assistance. Luckily, people from the group slowly start to realize what he’s doing and everyone ends up holding the doors closed in the midst of the worst of the storm.
Somehow the group goes from psychedelic thunderstorm to dawn breaking with a new sense of calm. Again, metaphors, make sure you’re seeing them or they’re going to keep punching us in the face with them. Maggie wakes up and smiles at Judith before bonding with Daryl over Beth. He gives her back her music box, which he fixed, and she wakes up Sasha to go outside with her. The barn was untouched, but everything around it is in massive disarray. Shout out to that walker like thirty feet in the air impaled by a branch.
As they watch the sunrise, they bond over their losses and affirm that they’re going to make it through this. Maggie winds the music box, only to find that it still won’t play music and they laugh. Suddenly, they’re interrupted by a man who introduces himself as Aaron, a friend who wants to talk to Rick. He tells them that he has good news, even as they both point their guns at him. The music box spookily starts playing and the episode ends.