Time to take off those tinfoil hates, stop analyzing every frame of “Thank You,” and get out from under that dumpster. Yes, the cliffhanger of Glenn’s fate from that episode has been answered.
“Heads Up” wastes no time showcasing the reveal that Glenn is alive, saved by Nicholas’ body and a dumpster, in its opening moments, but, as much as we have all waited weeks to find out Glenn’s true fate, the episode is not solely focused on Glenn’s plight.
And so, just as the show waited several episodes to resolve this cliffhanger, it only seems appropriate to address that plotline after taking a look at how Alexandria is faring at the same time.
The Safe Zone continues to be in stasis for the moment, in need of a plan to get rid of the walkers on the other side of wall while also figuring out what to do in the wake of the Wolves attack.
And as Rick sees it, now is the perfect time to plan. He tells Maggie while she takes watch that the best thing to do for those in and out of Alexandria is to focus on reclaiming the town’s walls from the small sea of walkers forming like a moat outside their gate.
But Rick is still hesitant to unite his group of survivors and the Alexandrians, despite how much they seem ready for his leadership. Other than making his distaste for Father Gabriel quite apparent, tearing down his prayer-circle fliers, “Heads Up” is about giving him him a better idea of the state of these two groups. Ron finally wants lessons on how to fire a gun, but he doesn’t seem to quite understand that live target practice will only disturb the walkers and draw them to one spot. He’s emblematic for Rick of how unprepared the Safe Zone is when it comes to facing the threats outside their gates, as well as their desire for him to take them seriously.
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Morgan, who is somewhere in the middle, without a group to truly call his own just yet, is also a concern for Rick. He’s asked to speak before Rick, Michonne, and Carol about his non-murdering tendencies during the Wolves attack. He admits to letting some of them go because, as Eastman taught him, all life is precious. He questions Rick as to why he didn’t kill Morgan back in King County when Morgan was clearly ready to kill him. It’s the same reason he didn’t kill the Wolves, he argues. He knows people can change; in fact, all of them in that room have changed. He wants to give the Wolves that chance because of his aikido creed, and though he did consider killing the Wolves, he couldn’t give up his belief.
Michonne warns him he may have to, and Morgan gets down to the nasty business of the meeting — do they want him to leave? No one says yes, but Rick asks Morgan if he believes he could truly survive out there. He doesn’t know, and for now, he seems to be an asset Rick believes is worth keeping, rather than throwing out.
But more than ever, Rick believes it’s time to keep things within his group of survivors. He discusses a walker-diverting plan with Michonne, who suggests bringing the Alexandrians into it, too. They’re all in this together, she argues, not quite breaking out in song to make her point but still determined to convince Rick that this sort of tunnel vision will only hurt the Safe Zone as a whole. His resolve is tested, of course, moments later when a smiling Deanna, filled with much more life than before, shows her plans about how to expand Alexandria once they’re beyond this hurdle. And she believes there will be something to look forward to after this, a nice sentiment that will likely come true, though not without bloodshed.
Rick is again confronted by his cautious attitude toward the Alexandrians while attempting to reinforce the wall. Tobin comes across him and offers his help, as well as a few words of assurance. Tobin is up-front with Rick that the Alexandrians were initially afraid of him — his Tom Hanks-in-Castaway beard didn’t help things — and then suddenly life moved faster than any of them had experienced. Tobin doesn’t want Rick to give up on them, though.
NEXT: About that guard tower…