AMC’s The Walking Dead
10×19: “One More”
Directed by Laura Belsey
Written by Erik Mountain & Jim Barnes
* For a recap & review of 10×18, click here.
* For a recap & review of 10×20, click here.
We find Aaron and Father Gabriel surrounded by walkers in a field, fighting their way through the dead. They’re doing pretty damn good for themselves. They’re searching every area they can, looking for supplies and anything else salvageable. They come upon a ghastly sight: three corpses, looking like two parents and a child, burned to a crisp. Horrific sight. Then again, most sights in the post zombie apocalypse wasteland are gruesome, in one way or another. It’s interesting to see the various states of decomposition in these zombies as The Walking Dead continues on. Some of them can barely move anymore. Some of them are stuck to the places they died after their skin and organs have melted. Great scene with the timer Gabriel throws into the field which helps draw out all the walkers lying in the grass. Occasionally the series does feel stagnant or cliche, but then there are many scenes like this one that I find pretty innovative. It’s nothing huge, just a fun moment that shows how the survivors have adapted to this new, rotting world.
Aaron and Gabriel see death and decay everywhere they go, from bones of humans and horses beside each other to old rundown cars with long dead people inside who’ve reanimated into zombies, incapable of getting free of their seatbelts. Really what we’re seeing through these opening scenes is the monotonous everyday struggle of the survivors in the post zombie apocalypse; all the depressing daily things they have to do, whether it’s clearing random buildings and fields of walkers, or just searching every last vehicle they see in hopes of finding food and supplies that are still worth using.
When Aaron gets fed up he wants to go home to his daughter. He doesn’t think there’s any use of checking the last spot on Maggie’s map. Yet Gabriel insists they do “one more.” Their map gets soiled when Gabriel takes a spill in some mud, almost getting chomped by a walker. He still wants to go on, believing it’ll only be an hour’s walk. Then it begins to rain down on them so they’re forced to take shelter for the night. When things clear they keep moving. They eventually come to a warehouse, though it wasn’t on their map.
Inside, the two men go seeking anything useable.
They move carefully in case the place has any zombies lurking in the shadows. Gabriel comes across a pile of Bibles at one point. Can’t eat those! Aaron finds a closed door, behind which is a wild boar. He manages to kill it, not before letting out a good scream that tickles Gabriel. The priest takes the time to have a nice laugh and soon Aaron even giggles. Plus, now they’ve got meat to cook, and there’s a bottle of found liquor, too. Not a bad night. Gabriel makes Aaron take his time, smelling and drinking the expensive liquor while taking the time to appreciate it. That doesn’t stop them from indulging themselves a bit. After dinner, the pair get drinking and playing cards. They also do a bit of drunken bonding, as Gabriel recounts a story of liquor and faith, how his mentor instilled in him the best way to relate with a congregation: “It‘s how I know about whiskey. It‘s how I know about a lot of things.”
When Gabriel wakes up he can’t find Aaron. He does find a mysterious man (Robert Patrick) in the shadows with a gun. The man asks what they were cooking and Gabriel tells him about the boar. He gets to have a tasty bite of the cooked boar, as Gabriel tries to talk with him. It seems the man has claimed that place. He considers the boar and the whiskey his belongings. Then he shows off Aaron’s arm; uh oh. Gabriel warns there are “more than twenty armed fighters” who’ll come looking for them if they’re not back soon. The man calls bullshit. He’s a creepy dude, toying with Gabriel. He says Aaron’s in the room nearby, though won’t let Gabriel see his friend. He’d rather have a theological discussion with the priest.
“Aren’t a lot of bullets left in the world”
The guy brings Aaron out tied to a chair. He’s brought bullets to play Russian Roulette, forcing Gabriel play with himself and Aaron. Either that or the man kills them both, and maybe he’ll just kill them anyway. Gabriel picks up the pistol, choosing to pull the trigger on himself. No bullet fires. Next is Aaron’s turn; he pulls the trigger and there’s no bullet. Gabriel has to go again, pulling the trigger; again, no bullet fires. The man recounts his own brother turning on him, which forced him to kill. He believes it taught him something. Whereas Gabriel insists it only turned the man to violence. Then we’re back to Aaron’s turn and he’s about to pull the trigger on himself when the man stops him, insisting he knows the reality of people. Gabriel tries to get the man to stop this sick game. Aaron puts down the gun. And it gets through to the man that maybe he’s wrong about people. He introduces himself as Mays after letting Gabriel free, only for the priest to smash him in the head with Aaron’s mace arm. That doesn’t exactly sit well with Aaron.
Before they leave, Aaron and Gabriel go looking to see where Mays was hiding. They find a place upstairs. They likewise discover that Mays didn’t kill his twin brother; rather, he chained his brother up and made him play Russian Roulette with his family. Good lord! That is some macabre shit. Gabriel undoes the other Mays’s handcuffs, then the guy turns a gun on them. They offer to take him with them. But the pain of what’s happened to him drives him to suicide.
And thus the two men leave, heading elsewhere. They agree on “one more.”
There could be food and supplies to salvage. Or people to try to save.