No doubt about it, this is Alicia Clark’s episode. Season 3’s thirteenth episode features an outstanding performance by Alycia Debnam-Carey, and we see many characters rise to the occasion when disaster strikes. It’s a slower paced episode, and most of it relies on Debnam-Carey’s ability to carry scenes, which she does without fail.
The first problem pops up within the first two minutes – there’s no air coming through the vent. Since they all went underground to the pantry to get away from the walkers, this little air supply issue may prove a hindrance to their survival. They agree to buy some time by putting down those who were bitten in the previous episode. At first, nobody is willing to step forward, but eventually they do. They use morphine to knock each person out before stabbing them in the head. It’s emotional, and not something Alicia would’ve been doing a few weeks ago.
Ofelia and Crazy Dog volunteer to go up and find the cause of the blockage, while Alicia stays down in the pantry alone to deal with a restless crowd. However, their plan doesn’t work in time, because people in the pantry begin passing out, including Alicia. Still, she manages to wake herself up and even manages to kill a reanimated person while she’s oxygen-deprived. It’s pretty badass. It also means that she’s now trapped in a room full of people about to kill her, which is not so great.
Ofelia and Crazy Dog aren’t faring much better in the vent; they are also running out of air. They find the walker that is blocking their air supply. It falls on them as they’re trying to reach it, and for a moment, it seems like Ofelia will die, mostly due to the misleading scream suggesting that she’s being eaten alive. It turns out to be a false alarm (thankfully) and she kills the walker. Unfortunately, it’s too late for those remaining in the pantry. Alicia manages to regain consciousness, but literally everyone else is dead. Either Alicia has really great lungs, or she’s a superhero of some kind.
Meanwhile, on the outside, Nick and Troy are devising a plan to draw the walkers away from the ranch. They decide to blow up where they keep the fuel, and it goes just about as well as expected. They end up taking refuge in a helicopter with the dead surrounding them. They try to use the helicopter rotors to kill them, but that doesn’t work either, and the dead end up breaking the windows to get in.
While Alicia is killing the walkers in the pantry, there’s an explosion from up above. We know it can’t be from Nick or Troy, who are still trapped in the helicopter. We discover that it’s Madison, Walker and Strand, who have finally returned to the ranch with water. I’d feel pretty terrible if I were them, because their whole trip ended up being for nothing. However, they did manage to finally tell Ofelia that her father is alive, to which she bursts into tears. Next episode we may get the reunion we’ve been waiting for!
At the end, Nick, as stupid as he is, tells a lie about the horde in order to protect Troy. Alicia also finds out that Jake didn’t make it, which seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. She says the same thing that the audience of every The Walking Dead episode is thinking: they keep finding places only to lose them again. Alicia doesn’t want that life anymore, so she decides to go off on her own. It doesn’t make much sense, especially when Madison barely tries to stop her and seems more upset when Nick offers to discreetly follow Alicia. Then again, we all know who Madison’s favourite is.
The whole ‘going off alone’ storyline is way overdone in The Walking Dead universe. That’s probably the only reason this episode didn’t get a solid 10, because otherwise, it was that good. This episode also leaves the main cast as the only ones still alive. They have to start fresh, and they choose to go back to the dam where Daniel is. A reunion will be good for the group, but I don’t trust that it won’t lead to something horrifying later on.
THE REEL SCORE: 9/10