‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: A ‘Friend’ Takes The Hopeless Group By Surprise

All hope is lost as the survivors on 'The Walking Dead' are forced to fight for the will to go on after everything they've lost. But when a mysterious stranger appears, will they be able to trust him? On the Feb. 15 episode of The Walking Dead, the focus revolves around Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of the group as they continue on foot to Washington D.C. without any supplies. Not only are they starving, but they are also dehydrated, exhausted, and you can't help but wonder -- who will be the first to give up?

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‘The Walking Dead’ Heads To Washington D.C.

We start on an extreme close up of Maggie, and she’s crying. We don’t need to wonder why. Beth is dead, Tyreese is dead, and pretty much all hope is lost for her.

Next we see Daryl digging in the dirt with his bare hands until he finds a tiny little earth worm. As he examines the pink squirmer I am already cringing, because I know he’s going to eat it. He does.

In another part of the woods, Sasha is looking for water but can’t find any. Where it looks like a stream once was is just a long, smooth path of wet dirt covered in dead frogs.

As the three of them converge to meet up with the group, Maggie reveals it’s been a day and a half since they last ate anything. It’s starting to show, too, as you realize how slow her, Sasha, and Daryl are all moving towards the rest of the group. Did this just turn into a poorly planned game of Oregon Trail?

They have 65 miles to go until what we can only assume is their final destination: Washington, D.C.

Once they hit the road again, their van runs out of gas, and apparently this isn’t the first time this happened to them.

We’ve never seen the group this down and out before. They are moving slowly, at a walkers pace, and they aren’t even bothering to kill the pack that is following them because they don’t have any strength to fight.

It seems like everyone wants to console Maggie, but she’s not having it. Carl presents her with a gift, a jewelry box, but it’s broken and it barely cracks a smile on her face. When Father Gabriel tries to offer his shoulder to cry on, she snaps on him as if he is the one responsible for Beth’s death. It’s clear she’s not just devastated, she’s angry, and it’s building up inside of her. Fast.

Daryl Is Struggling Over Beth’s Death

However, Maggie isn’t the only one still coping with the loss of Beth. Daryl is holding it in, too, and even Rick calls him out on it. But, of course, it’s Carol who gets to Daryl’s heart.

While they are in the woods searching for any sign of food or water, she presents him with a gift: Beth’s knife. He remains silent, stoic, but his pain is written all over his face. She tells him he has to let himself feel his pain, but he continues to hold it in.

Things get nasty back on the road when the walkers finally catch up with the rest of the group. they’ve split up, and both halves of the groups are standing on the very edge of a bridge. As the walkers approach, they shove them off of the ledge. It’s risky, but it works — until Sasha goes rogue.

She has been thirsting to take out walkers as revenge for what happened to Tyreese, but Michonne was able to talk her down. Until now. As a walker approaches her she grabs it, struggles with it, and then, finally, stabs it in the head. This was not part of the plan.

In an effort to get Sasha out of the danger she wants to put herself in, Rick asks Michonne to keep her in check. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work. While Rick and Abraham and everyone else are taking out walkers left and right with what little strength they have left, Sasha keeps interfering, and she even slices Abraham’s arm open because she’s just not paying attention to what’s around her.

Sasha is going to be a problem.

The Group Finally Finds Food

They hit the road again for who knows how long, and, finally, come upon a pile of cars. It looks like there was an accident or something, but it’s a good sign that they might be able to use some of the wheels.

First, they need to search the cars for food and water. Maggie takes a car and, unfortunately, it’s empty. Well, except for the trunk — where she finds a woman walker tied up and gagged. Was this woman kidnapped, or was she put in the car after she turned into a walker?

Maggie leaves her there, and as she’s walking away she has a change of heart. She gets angry very quickly, and as she tries to open up the trunk again it gets stuck. Her anger takes over and she fights with the key to get it open, but when that doesn’t work she pulls out her gun. Just before shooting, Glenn gently touches her arm and stops her. Instead, he manages to get the trunk open and slices the walker in the head with a knife — the quiet, safe way.

Unfortunately, the group finds nothing in the cars. Abraham found a bottle of booze, but he’s keeping it to himself.

Right after Eugene says he isn’t sure that things could get quite worse, a pack of wild dogs come storming out of the woods. They are in attack mode, they are probably starving, and before anyone can do anything they are all shot dead — by Sasha with a sniper rifle.

Next? Dinner. That’s right, those wild, possibly rabid dogs just became their first hot meal in days. It’s pretty gross, maybe even grosser than the worm, but it’s protein that they desperately needed.

A ‘Friend’ Leaves Them A Present

Maggie finally opens up to Glenn about losing Beth, and how she has lost her ability to fight for the right to live in this post-apocalyptic world. She’s given up, and it isn’t surprising.

Once Glenn finally convinces Maggie to drink some water and to keep on keeping’ on, he tries the same thing with Daryl. It doesn’t work.

Daryl heads off into the woods again, and when he does he finds a little cottage hidden off of the road. Instead of heading straight in he sits in the wood and watches from afar. In this moment of solitude, he pulls a few cigarettes out of his pocket and lights one, but barely smokes more than a puff or two before putting it out on his bare hand.

As he sits there, alone, staring at the sky, he begins to cry. He’s finally letting out what he’s been holding in, and this must be why he keeps venturing out into the woods on his own.

Back on the road the group finds a stash of bottled water with a note that reads, “From a friend.” It has to be Morgan, but they don’t know that, and, of course, they don’t trust it.

Eugene takes a bottle to “taste” it and calls it quality assurance, but it gets swiped out of his hand by Abraham before he can even have a taste. Just then it starts pouring, and it’s an even more beautiful sight than the fresh water they found.

Daryl tells everyone about the barn, and they are able to use it for shelter through the storm. Not only do they now have rain water to drink, but they have shelter, some warmth, and they might be able to get some real rest for the first time in a while.

The Barn: Really Safe Or A Trap?

It’s a small sign of hope that they all desperately need.

In true Rick form, he gives an inspiring speech to the group over their tiny fire. “You do what you need to do, and then you get to live,” Rick tells them.

Daryl doesn’t want to hear it. Not this time. He speaks up, and tells Rick that they aren’t the walking dead. They aren’t like the walkers, but even when Rick agrees Daryl storms off into the dark barn to be alone again.

Is the Daryl/Rick bromance over, or just temporarily broken?

We can’t worry about that for long though, because we have much bigger fish to fry. While Daryl is off pouting in a dark corner, he finds that the barn doors are slightly open — and there is a herd of walkers headed their way.

It’s Maggie who first spots Daryl struggling to keep the barn doors closed, and then Sasha quickly follows. Soon enough, the entire group is working together, again, to keep the doors closed. They are slipping in mud, leaning against each other, fighting to hold on, but they are doing it together. It’s symbolic.

Somehow, they not only survive the walker herd and the storm, but they get some sleep. Real sleep.

Their ‘Friend’ Finally Arrives

Maggie is the first to wake and when she does she finds Daryl still wide awake and keeping watch. She offers to let him sleep, but he isn’t interested. They then share a quiet moment with each other talking about Beth and how special she was, and it’s the first time Maggie has smiled since she died.

Maggie then wakes Sasha up and takes her outside of the barn, and what they discover is mind-blowing. There are walkers scattered everywhere, and trees ripped from the ground with their roots covered in broken walker body parts. The storm wasn’t just any storm, it was a killer tornado — and somehow their tiny little barn was spared any and all damage.

This is not just a sign, this is a miracle. This is something they all needed to see — that they can survive, and they will.

Maggie takes Sasha for a walk into the woods and finds the perfect spot to watch the sunrise. Apparently, a good nights sleep and a smile was all Maggie needed to find the courage to keep fighting. Now, she wants to get Sasha to fight alongside her so that they can keep each other safe and start a new life together with the group wherever it is they end up.

Their perfect moment is ruined when a man — a suspiciously well-dressed, very clean looking man — approaches them and says that he is a friend who wants to speak to Rick. Of course, both Sasha and Maggie keep their guns pointed on him, but he says he has good news.

Well, this can’t be good at all.

Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Do you think the new guy is really a friend or is he going to be trouble? Comment below with your thoughts!

— Lauren Cox

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