Where We Left Off:
Last week, we saw flashbacks of several stories play out against the current timeline, with Al in the SWAT van asking Strand, Alicia and Luciana for their stories. They each recall the same fateful day they all left the Diamond on a run, saying it was the day everything changed and the ultimate reason for Nick’s death. Alicia and Naomi found medical supplies at a water park, and returned to the stadium, telling Madison they want to establish an infirmary. Strand and Cole found a car full of supplies, and after considering keeping them all for himself, Strand decided to be a better person and returned them to the group. Nick and Luciana found an atlas in a library, and after deciding to go to the first place they opened it to, they found a spot they believe could have seeds and fertilizer to bring back to the stadium. Madison is all-in on their plans, and offers Mel and the Vultures to join the group, which he again refused. In the current timeline, Al realizes they were duping her, and instead of looking for a spot to bury Nick, she drove them to a stash of guns and a map of where the Vultures are spread out. They bury Nick, and it’s revealed to John that his long-lost love Laura is actually Naomi, who apparently died in the stadium.
What Went Down:
We start off in the past, showing John taking apart and cleaning the white handled revolver we’ve seen him use. He appears to have a cabin with a deep ditch dug around it to keep the walkers away. He debates his next move in a one-man game of Scrabble over breakfast. At night, he hears a sound outside and when he investigates, he finds a woman face down. He brings her inside and we see that it’s Naomi. She has a wound, but it’s not a bite. In the morning, she tries to leave but his truck’s battery is dead. He offers to change the bandage and give her food and water for her trip. She instructs him on how to stitch her cut. She doesn’t give her name, so John calls her Laura. She confirms her past as a nurse.
The following day, after dispatching a few wayward walkers, John tells Laura they are going to the store on a supply run, and they begin to paddle up the river, briefly discussing his past as a police officer. An overpass with a hole in the barricade sees a walker fall through, the reason they keep washing up at John’s cabin. They go into the store and chat a bit while gathering supplies before patching up the hole in the barricade. Back at home, they share the couch, watching a movie and snacking. She doesn’t say much, but one line speaks volumes to John: “I lost my child.”
In the morning, she asks him to teach her how to fish, noting that the river is a valuable resource not to take for granted. They fish together and cook their catch before he tends to her wound again. Finding another washed up walker, they realize their patch on the bridge needs upgrading. On the bridge, John finds that Laura brought the revolvers that he wanted to stay hidden. He is very defensive about them, so between this and the incessant cleaning, they clearly have a history. They move an abandoned car to the hole in the barricade after killing a group of the dead, but another one attacks John while he’s in the jeep, and he lets out all of his rage on it, stabbing it in the head an excessive number of times.
Back at the cabin, Laura admonishes him for not using his gun to stop the walker that nearly infected him. She thinks his attitude over guns isn’t about attracting more walkers, but about his past as a cop. He admits that he once stopped a robbery by shooting someone, and while he meant to clip their leg, he hit an artery and they bled to death. He didn’t cope well with the “hero” label. She understands what he’s going through, perhaps hinting at a lost patient (or several).
On the bridge, a new group of infected have managed to move the Jeep, and are now spilling into the water in large numbers. John awakes to the sound of a herd approaching the cabin, far too many for the ditch to matter. Laura is overrun and John brandishes both pistols, saving her from certain death. She thanks him and says he is the hero, even if he doesn’t believe it. He gives her the second gun, tells her he loves her and says he doesn’t want her to leave, because if she’s alive the world feels alive. They spend the night together, but when he wakes up, she’s gone. She’ used the Scrabble letters to leave a note: “I love you too, I’m sorry.”
Flashing forward, John has just told his story to Morgan. John is doubting himself, second-guessing loving anyone in this world, or telling them about it if those feelings are present. Morgan insists that his path is the right one and that the world needs his mindset. He thinks they can convince Strand, Luciana and Alicia that the endless bloodletting isn’t the way and they set off together.
Where We Go From Here:
Now that we know the backstory behind John and Laura (Naomi), we are far more invested in both of them than we were before, and Morgan is as well. What remains to be seen is whether or not she actually died at the Diamond, as Luciana implied. We also need to find out if John and Morgan can catch up with Alicia, Strand and Luciana before they hatch their plan to surprise attack the Vultures. And, of course, we are still awaiting word on Madison’s fate, which I’m starting to assume will be kept close to the vest until the finale in three weeks.
What did you think of this week’s episode?
Did Laura/Naomi actually survive whatever happened at the stadium?
Can John and Morgan stop the violence before it gets worse?
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