Seriously, just when I think work can't get busier, it does. I don't even get to sleep in during the weekend.
Aside from nonstop work, I must say, I was left deflated with the season finale. Overall, the season's plot was strong, interesting. But the details, lord almighty the details just were not consistent. They dropped the ball on little things that, when added up, I just couldn't ignore. And the molestation/attempted rape of Carl? Don't even get me started on that turning Carl into a plot device and then discarding it once the purpose was served. The "cliffhanger" was underwhelming. I think a big downer for it was Rick's line at the end; poor comparison to the comic version. I believe a silent end would have served better or changing that dialogue completely.
Thankfully Game of Thrones is back, so I have something to cleanse the palette (: And yes, I totally went onto the youtube to watch the reactions of people that haven't read the books. And hearing their theories on various things, just makes me grin like mad and giggle.
Ok, time to stop rambling. Let's get on with the story!
If anyone at that table had been hoping for matching stories, they did not show their disappointment, as Tyreese's story didn't match up with Sasha's. The stories complimented each other instead. Whereas Sasha had been precise, Tyreese was vague, and vice versa. Sasha had known exactly how many had been in their group, how many had died at any given time and even how. Tyreese only recalled the deaths that had occurred in the past few months. The others, those that had died at the campgrounds and beforehand, he referenced to inmass. Sasha's map had minimal markings on it. Tyreese remembered more of the routes they'd taken after the camp, having included some roads that they'd ended up having to turn back on. He had shown Dale and Andrea where they'd been when he and Sasha lost the other two remaining members of their group.
"Their son, Kevin, got bit couple weeks back," Tyreese had told Dale. "We were trying to find somewhere to hide and we found this house, down a back road. He was searching around the outside…those things got him. There were too many, we had to run, leave him behind. He was gone already."
Feeling that their plan was falling apart, looking over the maps and hearing how Tyreese's answers coincided with Sasha's, Alana began asking Dale and Andrea whatever she could think of. Anything that could possibly lead to some progress.
"Did you mention anything to him about Woodbury?" she pointed to the same roads marked on both maps that took them right by the town.
Andrea nodded, pulling one towards herself and indicating places on it that she had marked. "Same roads his sister marked, but these here were houses they stopped at." Daryl asked what was so special about those houses. "Those other two they were with, Melissa and Charlie. Tyreese said Melissa wasn't so well after their son died, that she was always freaking out over things. And she did not like those houses. They found food in a few, but she kept going on about the food being there in the first place. They ignored her, but in the fourth house, here," Andrea said as she pointed to a last mark, "they saw how the dust around the cans wasn't even. The shelves were covered in dust but some of the cans barely had any on them." She side-eyed Dale beside her. "And there was a car, further down the road, with half a tank of gas in it. Tyreese said Melissa wouldn't shut up about it, that they should keep moving. While they were going through the house, she even tried to take off on her own."
"Maybe someone was living in those houses," Alana thought aloud, but Andrea and Dale shook their heads.
"They checked every house," Dale told her. "Nothing was there to suggest someone was staying there. Tyreese said he told them to take all the food and leave, to calm Melissa down. He didn't say anything to her husband or Sasha, but once he started thinking maybe Melissa wasn't so paranoid after all, he did think those houses were just a little too perfect."
"That's 'cause they were," Merle interrupted with. He still had that smug tone to him, but there was no added snark. "Used to bait them. Stick some food in the kitchen, keep it all nice and cozy, wait for someone to come by."
"And the car?" Daryl asked darkly.
"That would be bait, too."
"Then the Governor would send his men out to collect whoever may be there?" Alana asked, keeping her voice calm.
Merle shrugged. "The man does enjoy his sport."
Alana gritted out, "I've noticed." It was always a task to keep herself calm around Merle. He'd gotten her out of Woodbury and she was grateful for that, but she was also holding onto anger. He being there, being part of Woodbury, meant her anger was directed towards him. She never felt that way towards Alice though. The woman was naïve about what had been happening at Woodbury. Merle, he was like a band-aid. He had been a necessity, but damn it all if it didn't hurt to yank it off. Alana asked how often the houses were checked, setting her emotions aside to focus on the matter at hand.
"Every couple days. He made sure they put enough food in those houses, keep whoever shows up from wanting to leave right away. Had his little group of friendlies, he called 'em. Sent them out to pick up anybody in the houses. I was never invited."
"And if the people had left? What then?" Andrea asked, she and the others wary of what Merle's reply would be.
"They'd head out lookin' for them. Check few roads round the area."
Daryl remained quiet, eyes down at the map, as Alana swore, slapping a hand on the table. He felt the room closing in around him as everything in it suddenly felt very far away. He could just make out Alana speaking to Andrea.
"Get back to the gym and ask them, did they leave anything on the roads leading here? Did they move any cars, kill any walkers? I want to know if they took a fucking piss." Once Andrea had left, Alana turned in her chair, fully facing Merle. "How seriously will the Governor take finding us here?"
"If he ain't dead, he'll keep sending his people out, looking for ya. And with all that food gone from those houses, well, he'll think it was you. That's the way the man gets, ain't gonna rest till he finds this place." Dale asked if they had so much to worry about; it had been over two months since the incident at Woodbury. Merle shrugged, irritating the other three. "Well then maybe he's dead. Ya wanna head into town and ask?"
Dale, with a stricken tone, asked what the others were wondering. "Say that Tyreese and Sasha did leave a trail of whatever sorts—or that the Governor's men just get lucky—if they were able to find us here, how soon could they get here?"
Merle leaned back from the table, crossing an ankle over his knee. He sucked in a breath through his teeth, emitting a sucking noise. "Tonight. Morning." The Governor wouldn't be with his men during their check of the houses. The men would see the food missing and head out onto the roads surrounding the area, looking for any signs of others passing through. With the time that had already passed, and taking into account how long it'd take to actually reach the prison, road scouting and all, the group could come upon the prison in the middle to late evening. "Won't come barging in," Merle said. "Might sit back, do a bit of 'reconnaissance.' Then run back home and let the Gov know they've found."
"And he'd come right away," Alana added, her voice tinged slightly with weariness. "They'd be here by late morning." It couldn't be discerned what she was thinking, her face frozen over in neutrality as she looked down over the maps, an index finger lightly tapping at the table. Alana looked up to Dale. "Tyreese and Sasha. What do you think of them?"
Dale stalled for a moment, eyes widened. "I don't believe they're from Woodbury." He voiced his thoughts as they came to him. "Makes no sense for them to have come here without any weapons or any way of getting signal out. Then again…could be that the Governor didn't want them to come in here and attack us. Plan might have been for us to accept them, allow them to infiltrate us. But I don't think this Governor is one for patience. And he wouldn't send others to do the work for him, not unless he was right there to watch it all." The others in the room turned to Merle for clarification and he nodded. He made mention of how the Governor would even head out during round-ups of walkers for the fights, wanting to make sure the 'right ones' were chosen. With the trio before him not speaking, Merle then added more.
"Those two monkeys ain't the Governor's. Man isn't stupid. Sent Martinez and you sure did a number on him," he said to Alana with a grin. "Cunt had it coming, fuckin' up my plans. Governor wouldn't try to send others again."
Andrea returned before more could be said. Tyreese and Sasha had not left anything on the roads. They had not lit any fires, choosing to stay locked up in the car instead. The only traces they left were the bodies of Melissa and Charlie, set far enough off from the road. Andrea moved around the table and took her seat again beside Dale. She asked the others what the plan was. Alana felt the eyes slowly fall upon her, shifting to Daryl and then back to her.
Missing food and a gunshot, Alana thought. That was all the Governor's men would have to go on. But would it be enough to lead them to the prison? Had they been searching for them before? Were they getting closer, or had they not been looking at all because the Governor was dead? Could have bled out. Sure, they still had the doctor back at Woodbury, he could have aided him, but without Alice that could have proven difficult. Perhaps even impossible. From the details Michonne had provided about her attack on him, Alana carried great doubts that the Governor had survived. Those doubts were tainted by her hope that he was dead though.
"Let's check the woods," Alana finally spoke, looking to Daryl and his brother. "Check around the prison, then the road leading here. See if anyone's been watching us."
"What do we tell the others?" Andrea asked.
Daryl shook his head, leaning his elbows atop the table. "Don't tell them nothing. Not till we know if we're gonna be getting' more guests."
Alana nodded. "If anyone asks, we're just checking to be safe. They ask about Tyreese and Sasha, we're taking care of it. We'll get everyone together in a while, talk things over." When the others nodded to her, Alana pushed her chair back and stood. She gave a nod to Daryl. "Check the area." To Dale she said, "Get back to Lucas. Head into the gym and let Tyreese and Sasha know what we're doing. That we're checking the woods and the road…tell them that if the Governor is following them, he'll be here tonight. Watch them. Let me know what their reactions are." Dale nodded and left. Alana then told Andrea to stay with her. They, along with Daryl and Merle, started heading out from the library.
Entering the cellblock, the Dixon brothers made their way to the cells, gathering their weapons. Alana and Andrea remained standing down below, managing as the others in the group approached them with cautious questions. Andrea fielded each one, speaking a calm, sure voice. She and Alana followed after Daryl and Merle as the two headed outside to grab one of the cars. Andrea began making for the gates to start opening them, giving a wave up to the guard tower. She could see Carl and Axel up in it. Merle singled out which car he wanted to take; Daryl was slowing behind him, turning around as Alana caught up with him.
"Ya think they're telling the truth?" he asked, concerning Tyreese and Sasha.
Alana gave it some thought. "I want to believe they're telling the truth." She shook her head, smirking at the next words out her mouth. "Merle's right. The Governor wouldn't trust some newcomers to come in here and trick us. He put on a show, back at Woodbury, gave us this grand tour, showing it off like a shiny new toy. Then…ripped the rug from right underneath us. He won't do that again. He has no reason to trick us again. He'll come at us straight and we'll have to be ready." Merle had started the car and was yelling at Daryl to hurry his 'lily ass' up. "Go," Alana told him, smiling the best that she could. "I got this."
Daryl hesitated at first. "Alright, Brains," he told her, seeing her smile widen just a bit more into something that was almost real and honest.
That's what I am now, she thought as he walked off to the car and she to the gates to help Andrea. I'm the brains.
The two women closed the gates behind the car and stood back watching it. Andrea looked over to Alana, seeing the sternness etched over her face. She looked eerily calm. At peace, strange as it felt for Andrea to think. It hadn't gone unnoticed by her how, in the library, Daryl had sat there, appearing riled up. Unsteady. That whole morning he had looked out of place, irritated at the sudden heaviness upon his shoulders. She'd also seen the calm that had slowly begun to crawl its way over Alana up to that very moment as they stood before the gates. In all honesty, Andrea had believed that Alana was 'out of the game,' at least for a while. There'd been too much death recently and she'd been taking it all on herself. Without Wilhem though, all Alana had was Daryl. Andrea thought, perhaps seeing him recoil in on himself had spurred Alana. She couldn't see him weak and the only way to keep that weakness from him was to rid herself of her own.
Andrea recalled back on the farm, when Alana had been trapped in that house, the calmness that Wilhelm wore when told what had happened. She saw that same calmness in Alana then. "What's the plan?" she asked her.
"There's no standing our ground here," Alana answered her.
"So, what, Governor shows up we run?"
Alana nodded and began turning back to the prison. "But first, we plan an ambush."
Looks like Alana has quite a few plans brewing in her head. Wonder what the rest of the group will think of them. I'll tell you all this much, her plans are going to be drastic and not everyone will be comfortable with them.
And we're seeing a big change in Alana; dare I say she's becoming more like her brother? Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Next chapter we'll find out what Daryl and Merle find out checking the woods. And we'll see what Alana's plans are for the prison. And eventually Rick will have be dragged out from B-block; Alana's plans will require everyone working together, and that includes Tyreese and Sasha. Wonder how the group will react to that?