...because you wouldn't like her when she's angry.
This episode begins interestingly enough. Sasha and Olivia are at the armory, and Sasha gets a grocery list (she'd love the leg of a boar, because she can make prosciutto, and because she "made some kick-ass pickles, too.") while getting checked out her rifle with its silencer.
While I found this heartwarming, it nutshelled the seeming obliviousness of those in Alexandria. This gets picked up later in the episode, when Sasha enacts a scene from the comics that Michonne originally carried. I really liked how that and the rest of the cold open transferred to Sasha attributes and reactions of two major comic characters (the second being Andrea).
Then we pick up from last week's Talking Dead preview: Sasha goes for some shooting practice: she sets up framed family portraits, shoots one, glances around, off-screen sounds of ravens cawing, shoots more, then off-screen sounds of walkers. Afterwards, she sits on a stump, the theme music swells up, and Sasha says, "Come and get me."
Overall, this episode had some really strong moments, and while ostensibly a boring neighborhood potluck, it references some little mysteries the writers are leaving us (the zombies with a "W" carved into their foreheads) and sets up some very uncomfortable dominoes to fall by the end of the season.
First, I liked how Sasha's reactions to Alexandria, particularly at the cocktail party, bring in to the show comic Michonne's reactions to that inane chitchat. Also, I liked how she's going to fill the vacuum left when the show decided to kill off Andrea, who is the best shooter in the comics. "Get her in the tower now!" (voiceover: Mal Reynolds).
Second, Carol's "Cookie Monster" speech left me... speechless. The calm tone in her voice as she described such a horrific way to kill a threat was chilling. What I liked about the scene, threatening a child's life aside, is how it 1) reinforces my view that Carol is the most dangerous of the bunch, and 2) ties back to and comments upon her statement from the beginning of the episode: "You know what's great about this place? I get to be invisible again." Well, we see what she's willing to do when that invisibility is threatened.
But, seriously, this is such cold shit—
Carol: Sam, what are you doing here?
Sam: Followed you. Was hoping you were going to make more coo
kies, but then you came here.
Carol: Well, I could make more. I could make a whole batch just for you, would you like that?
Sam: Yes. I mean, yes, please.
Carol: Okay. But you got to promise me you can keep it a secret that I came her.
Sam: But I have to tell my Mom—I mean, I tell my Mom everything.
Carol: You can never tell anyone, especially your Mom. Because if you do, one morning you'll wake up, and you won't be in your bed.
Sam: Where will I be?
Carol: You'll be outside the walls, far, far away, tied to a tree. And you'll scream and scream, because you'll be so afraid. No one will come to help because no one will hear you. Well, something will hear you. The monsters will come. The ones out there. And you won't be able to run away when they come for you. And they will tear you apart and eat you up all while you're still alive—all while you can still feel it. And then afterwards, no one will ever know what happened to you. [Pause.] Or, you can promise not to ever tell anyone what you saw here, and then nothing will happen, and you'll get cookies, lots of cookies. I know what I think you should do."
—I want to make that last paragraph an audition monologue, and I don't even act. (As a writer, I think a "mic drop" gif is called for, but then I feel bad for thinking, "Damn, she promised that kid she'd leave him to die like a BOSS!")
Third, the scenes with Daryl and Aaron bonding over their status as outsiders/Others. When Daryl calls Aaron out of the leafy closet, and Aaron explained he wasn't following Daryl, merely hunting for rabbits, I heard that clichéd Seventies' porn music (Eddie Izzard: "In my mind!")
Once the horse, "Buttons"—because, 'natch, let's push a few—was introduced, I pretty much figured it was going to die horribly. When Daryl took the rope from Aaron and approached Buttons, I laughed because, of goddam course, he's a horse whisperer. But what he said to the horse—"Good boy. You used to be somebody's, huh? Now, you're just yours."—while a bit on-the-nose, was still touching because immediately after Daryl projects onto Buttons, walkers attack.
Fourth, while I know where poor Jesse and Sam are a-headed if their character arcs track with the comics, Rick is still creeping me out. As if the look he gave Jesse and her husband when they walked away, followed by Rick reaching for and touching his concealed pistol, weren't weird enough, he seemingly has a moment with a walker on the other side of the fence while the Bee Gees' "Spicks and Specks" played. The only way that could have been creepier is if it had beed a David Cassidy song.
Randoms: Aaron's "pretty serious spaghetti" outfit made me think many other commentators were right about his appearance: this guy emptied every J.Crew store on his way to Alexandria.
If you want Carol's recipe, here you go.