The Walking Dead Recap S6E14: Twice as Far

The Walking Dead S6E14: Twice as Far

Original Airdate: March 20, 2016

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

We saw some March Madness last week when Carol went batshit crazy with Paula and the Women of Neegan’s Gang.  Now we’re back and it’s time to pick up the pieces.

A garage door opens and a woman stacks a new supply of food on shelves.  The pond in Alexandria is looking idyllic and the people look even better.  From Gabriel to Morgan, people are happy.  Carol is smoking and playing with her rosary.  Everyone is armed, however, so that means everyone is still on guard.

Morgan puts the finishing touches on his new jail cell.  That’s where Rick finds him.  Rick asks why he’s building this, to which Morgan replies that having a jail will give them choices next time.

The scene replays.  Now we see Carol getting a kiss in one scene and Rosita getting dressed after a night with Spencer in another.

Daryl finds a toy soldier and reflects on it.  He’s tinkering with his bike and Carol walks up.  He asks for a cigarette and they sit on the porch together.  Carol know that Daryl lost his bike after losing it in the forest, after saving the group who had kidnapped him.  He admits he should have killed them.  Carol walks away and Daryl asks what they did to her.  “To us?  They didn’t do anything,” she says.

The scene plays again and the food storage is still full, but with different crops.  Carol still sits and smokes, with the rosary in her hand.

Denise watches as Abraham leaves the town.  She looks at a piece of paper and thinks.

Spencer offers to make his stroganoff for Rosita but she blows him off.  He wants to know what they’re doing, which is code for where are they in their relationship.  She agrees to dinner and turns to leave, but then she sees that Denise is there.  Denise tells Rosita and Daryl that there is an apothecary shop nearby and she wants to see if they have any drugs. She wants to join them on the run, and Daryl reluctantly agrees.  They leave in an old truck, and Denise gives Daryl some pointers on how to drive a stick in a beat-up old truck like the one they’re in.

The trio comes upon a fallen tree branch and they stop.  Rosita and Daryl get out to inspect and Denise stays in the car.  There are Walkers in the tree limbs, suggesting that this happened recently.  Denise wants to go on the tracks to get there but Daryl prefers the road.  They head out.

Abraham and Eugene walk in an alley discussing hair.  Eugene has lots of things to say about the nature of man and hair.  Eugene compares the keys to survival in their situation to RPGs and tabletop games.  He is now in Stage 2, meaning he has adapted and become a survivor.

Denise and Daryl catch up with Rosita, who took the track route and had a much shorter walk.  They come upon the strip mall, which is littered with trash and bodies.  There are handprints all over the door and Daryl tells Denise to stay back.

Meanwhile, Eugene picks the lock and goes inside the machine shop with Abraham.  Abraham wants to know what they’re doing, and Eugene reveals that he’s realized that they can make their own bullets using spent casings.  “He most definitely, almost certainly” can do it.  Abraham approves.  There’s a Walker inside and Eugene calls dibs.  Unfortunately, this Walker is covered in molten lead and Eugene is overwhelmed.  He gets upset when Abraham steps in, and Abraham tells him that killing Walkers is his skill set while making bullets is Eugene’s.  Eugene says that he doesn’t need Abraham’s services anymore, so Abraham leaves.  It’s hard to believe that Eugene decided that was the right moment to say such a thing.

Daryl and Rosita go into the store and are instantly hit with the stench.  Denise finds photos of a boy at the counter and she pauses to look at them.  Daryl pries open the window to the pharmacy, where they find a mother lode of medicine.  They hear a thumping but decide it’s just one Walker.  They resume their “shopping” while Denise moves toward the door, machete raised.  Inside the back room she finds a crib and lots of baby items, and a Walker with a broken foot.  “Hush” is written all over the walls and a baby’s shoe is in the sink.  Denise stumbles out and knocks over a display, and then she goes outside to wait.  She has a keychain that says “Dennis” with her.  She’s emotional and Daryl and Rosita know it, so Daryl tells her that she did well finding that place.

On the way back Daryl asks her about her twin brother Dennis.  She says he was angry, to which Daryl says it sounds like they have the same brother.  Daryl decides to take the tracks this time, so they do.  Abandoned cars line the side of the tracks. Denise spots a car and stops to look inside.  There’s a cooler in the car, along with a Walker.  Daryl and Rosita don’t think it’s worth the trouble, but of course Denise has to do her own thing.  Why, oh why, do people do that!?  The Walker comes out of the car with the cooler and falls on top of Denise, who calls off Daryl’s help and kills it herself.  She looks proud of herself when she takes care of it.  She promptly pukes.  “I threw up on my glasses,” she says.  Inside the cooler is a six pack of soda, including the one that Tara likes.  She says you have to take chances.  She says she has “training in this shit.”  She asked Daryl to come with her because he reminds her of her brother and makes her feel safe, and Rosita because Rosita is alone.  She could have told Tara that she loved her and gone with her…and as she talks she is shot from behind with an arrow.  She dies in the middle of her sentence.

Men and women emerge from the forest, with Eugene in tow, and they face off with Daryl and Rosita.  The man in charge has run into Daryl before.  His face is badly burned.

I’m beginning to think the gang shouldn’t go on runs anymore.  Every time they find a stash they get ambushed.

The other man is the man Daryl left alive after his motorcycle was stolen.  That’s why Dee has Daryl’s crossbow. Dee says that Denise wasn’t the man Dee was aiming for.  Dee wants Daryl and Rosita to let them into Alexandria.  Fortunately, Abraham is hiding out behind the barrels nearby.  Eugene says Dee should kill the man behind the barrels, and when they go to check it out, Abraham ambushes them.  Eugene bites Dee in the groin and chaos ensues, but they manage to chase away Dee’s group.  Rosita goes to Eugene, who was hit in the gunfire.  The trio grabs their companion and run off, leaving Denise on the tracks.

Without denise, there isn’t much that can be done for Eugene.  Fortunately the bullet just grazed him.  Daryl is standing guard when Abraham comes in.  Eugene wakes up and asks for Abraham’s apology for questioning his skill set.  Eugene says he’s been there a while.

Abraham goes to Sasha’s house.  She just heard about Denise and asks how Abraham is doing.  Abraham says they could have thirty years in Alexandria and it would still be too short.  Sasha asks him to come inside.

Daryl has the Dennis keychain in his hand and he pauses before covering Denise’s body with dirt.  Carol is there to help him.  He takes a drink of the liquor they found, and he keeps digging.  Carol’s eyes are vacant.  She says Daryl was right, that she knew it when he said he should have killed them.

Carol writes a letter to her man friend saying that they have so much in Alexandria and there are so many people who want what they have.  As she talks, we see that same scene play over.  She says she has to kill to keep people safe, but she can’t.  And she won’t.  Rick was going to send her away but she ended up staying.  She can’t do that anymore because she can’t kill anymore.  She asks that no one come after her. Morgan looks out at Carol’s swing and thinks about her absence.  It would seem he’s thinking about something bigger.  But what?

Looks like next week is going to be a big episode.

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Is WonderCon the New Los Angeles Comic-Con?

In April 2015, the Powers that Be at Comic-Con International announced that WonderCon would be moving to Los Angeles in 2016 due to scheduling issues at the Anaheim Convention Center.  CCI emphasized that this was not a permanent move to allay the fears of the legions of WonderCon fans who enjoy the smaller-venue feel of San Diego Comic Con’s younger sibling.

But has something changed?  If you check out WonderCon’s official website, “Los Angeles Comic-Con” is boldly emblazoned underneath the WonderCon moniker.  What’s more is that “Los Angeles Comic-Con” has already been trademarked, which suggests that this is more than just a temporary venue change.  (Trademarking the name is also a clear response to recent court battles over the usage of the term “comic-con”)  WonderCon has been moving around over the past few years; after leaving its original home in San Francisco, WonderCon has spent the past four years in Anaheim before traveling up Interstate 5 to Downtown Los Angeles for the 2016 convention.

In April 2015, Variety reported that Los Angeles wants a permanent comic convention and would love to see San Diego Comic Con make its new home at the much larger Los Angeles Convention Center.  Given the chance to host WonderCon, the city seized upon the opportunity to gain a foothold in the lucrative con business.  “Los Angeles is honored to have been selected as the destination for WonderCon 2016. We look forward to establishing a long-term partnership with Comic-Con International, the presenter, and helping them establish a home base in L.A. We anticipate the show to be highly attended and to set the precedent for future successful Comic-Con events in L.A.,” remarked Mayor Eric Garcetti.

With San Diego Convention Center expansion deadlocked  in what seems to be a never-ending battle of wills in San Diego, could it be that the folks at CCI are moving forward and setting up shop in Los Angeles?  Is it possible that the plan is to grow WonderCon into a bigger and better iteration of San Diego Comic Con without having to wait for the San Diego Convention Center expansion?  It’s quite possible, and it’s safe to say that even with WonderCon in Los Angeles, the two cons can still offer very different experiences to fans; instead of traveling, the movie studios can build a presence at WonderCon so that SDCC can return to what it was ten years ago, before the studios came and usurped the prime con floor real estate.

Interestingly, Amazing Comic Con recently announced that Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con is moving from its previous home base at the South Point Hotel and Casino to the big time—that’s right, in June 2016 ALVCC will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, and it’s already being billed as Nevada’s premier comic convention.  Las Vegas has been pursuing SDCC as much as Los Angeles has over the past few years, and Las Vegas can certainly offer more hotel and off-site event space.  Will ALVCC have any impact on Las Vegas’ bid for SDCC?  Anaheim might have lost its bid for SDCC entirely if it isn’t considered to be big enough to host the smaller—yet constantly growing—WonderCon.

Obviously until we hear from CCI, the truth behind WonderCon as the official Los Angeles Comic-Con is anyone’s guess.  However, all signs point to a big change in the works.  WonderCon is set to begin March 25 and runs through March 27.

 

Get Ready for Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con June 17-19

I love Las Vegas, and I love going to cons.  Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con is the sweet spot.  ALVCC was my favorite event of 2015, and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever before!  Don’t believe me?  I have proof—ALVCC has outgrown its home at the South Point and will be taking over the Las Vegas Convention Center June 17-19.

This year’s special guests include Deadpool creator Rob Liefield, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle creator Kevin Eastman, Marvel legend Chris Claremont, and Civil War artist Steve McNiven.  VIP ticket packages range from $150-200 and are on sale now but will sell out quickly.

General admission tickets went on sale today.  The full three-day package is only $60, making it one of the best deals out there.

With great panels, awesome special guests, a huge artist alley and cosplay galore, Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con needs to be on your calendar this June.

For more information, visit http://www.AmazingLasVegasComicCon.com and follow @AmazingComicCon

The Walking Dead Recap S6E11: Knots Untie

The Walking Dead S6E11: Knots Untie

Original Airdate: February 28, 2016

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

Well, after last week’s shocking ending, we start this week with a conversation between Abraham and Sasha as they return to Alexandria.  He’s talking about a camel that ate the keys.  He can’t believe Maggie is pregnant in this Brave New World.  Sasha says that maybe she’s pregnant because it’s “the way things go.”  There’s some flirtation going on between them, kind of.  Sasha tells him that she’s going to start a new post the next day, and now Eugene wants to take over patrols with Abraham.  Neither seems too pleased by the idea.

Next we find Abraham in bed with Rosita, but he’s thinking about Sasha.  She says that Eugene is going to teach her chemistry, but Abraham says that chemistry can’t be taught.  She gives him a necklace made of a piece of tail light so his neck isn’t lonely.  She asks him to join her in the shower, but he hesitates.

Maggie is out in the fields working when Glenn finds her.  She’s trying to make vertical trellises for tomatoes.  They haven’t seen any buds, but Glenn is hopeful.  They spot Abraham running into Rick’s house with Denise so they take off after him.

Jesus is perusing the art on Rick’s walls when Carl puts a gun to his head and demands to know what he’s doing there.  Rick and Michonne, still getting dressed, walk out and find Carl with Jesus, and then Abraham and Glenn rush in, guns drawn.  Next we see the gang sitting around the kitchen table.  “Let’s talk,” Rick says as Daryl comes in to join them.  Jesus says that they had one guard on two doors.  He’s been checking out their ammunition and they’re running low.  He says they’re on the same team—the side of the living.  He’s from a similar community and his job is to seek out other communities to establish trade.  They have livestock and crops.  Maggie sits forward at the idea of other communities.  Jesus smiles.  “Your world is about to get a whole lot bigger.”

Daryl works on the RV and Denise brings him a treat for the road.  She suggests her cooking is better than rabies, and Daryl thinks she’s doing it for helping her, but she says he reminds her of someone.  Rick tells Carl that he and Michonne just happened last night, but Carl is cool with it.  He smiles at his dad to let him know it’s okay.  Rick wants to leave Judith with Gabriel, but Carl isn’t going with him, because someone needs to stay behind to protect everyone, and he’s worried about the impression his messed up face would make.  Rick nods at his son, who has grown up so fast.

Abraham is ready to go.  The team loads into the RV and it’s time for a road trip.

Glenn keeps his hand on Maggie’s belly while she sleeps.  Abraham wants to talk about getting Maggie pregnant using a pancake analogy.  Glenn says that it was intentional, that they discussed it.  Abraham is amazed at Glenn’s cojones for being brave enough to try to make a child in this world.

As Rick drives, he reaches over and rubs Michonne’s leg.  She grabs his hand.  Daryl notices a crash scene up ahead so they stop.  Jesus says that it’s one of his people’s buses.  They track footprints to a nearby building, and Jesus says that he knows it looks suspicious but his people need help.  He doesn’t know what happened.  Rick ties him up and says that Maggie can shoot him if need be.

Inside, they find Walkers and some survivors.  It’s nothing that the gang can’t handle.  Jesus’s friends are all ok.  They get back on the bus.  Harlan, one of the friends, is a doctor.  Glenn asks if they have prenatal vitamins.  It turns out that he was an obstetrician in the past life, so since he owes Glenn a favor, they hit the jackpot.  Jesus checks on his other friends who are struggling with the accident and what happened.  Abraham listens in.

The RV gets stuck in the mud, but it just so happens that they have arrived.  The Hilltop.  It’s a whole town sitting behind a fortified wall.

As they approach the gates, the Hilltop’s guards tell them to stop and drop their weapons.  Jesus says they ran out of ammo months ago so they use spears.  Harlan and Jesus vouch for them.  Inside the gates is a hybrid modern day-cum-18th century civilization.  Harlan takes his patient away but he welcomes Glenn and Maggie later.

Jesus explains that most of the campers were in a FEMA camp and they came with their trailers, but the Barrington House, the large mansion at the center, was a museum that housed the area’s historical treasures.  Everyone figured that it would be able to keep them running.  Gregory steps out and announces that they should get cleaned up.  Hard to keep the place clean, after all.  Rick agrees, but he tells Maggie to get cleaned up first so she can talk to him because he shouldn’t.  Clearly he sees a power struggle coming forth.

Abraham asks Daryl if he knew about Rick and Michonne.  He wonders if Daryl would ever settle down, but Daryl says it depends on things settling down elsewhere.  Abraham fingers Rosita’s necklace.

Maggie finds Gregory and they start talking.  They ask about each other’s resources, and Gregory plays his high-handed ways.  He says he knows that they don’t have much food so he offers a work-trade program.  He treats Maggie like an inferior, but she knows he doesn’t have ammunition or medicine so she stays strong.  He dismisses her with an ominous look.  Gregory is an ass.

Jesus says they want to trade but Gregory doesn’t want ammo.  Jesus acts as an intermediary.  Rick wants food, but Jesus says he will try to convince him.  A man rushes in to say “they’re back.”  Ethan approaches and says that Neegan is dead.  Ethan says he’s got a message for Gregory and he stabs him.  A fight ensues and Rick ends up covered in blood—again.  The Hilltop people see Rick’s actions and are scared.  Jesus breaks up the fight and says that things aren’t as simple as they seem.  This is very true.  Neegan was killed by Daryl, Sasha and Abraham.

Daryl makes sure Abraham is okay, and he smiles and says he is.  As he stands up, Rosita’s necklace is on the ground.

Jesus announces that Gregory will be okay.  Rick asks about Neegan.  Jesus explains that as soon as they built the town, Neegan showed up with his group, the Saviors.  He killed a sixteen year old boy to make a point.  Now the Hilltoppers give him half of everything.  Daryl offers to kill Neegan’s group for food, medicine and a cow.  Rick agrees—confrontation is their strong point.  Jesus will take the offer to Gregory.

Jesus says that Gregory will talk about it.  He wants to see Maggie, and Rick says that Deanna was right about her.  Jesus apologizes in advance for Gregory being a prick.

Upstairs, Gregory is in bed and he is ready to make a deal.  Maggie manipulates him into giving them half of everything up front. Gregory claps.  He’s impressed.

Outside, as the trucks are loaded up, Jesus says that even Neegan didn’t get everything up front.  They find the man who has been taking things to Neegan and get his support to find Neegan’s camp.  Rick tells Michonne that they’re going to fight.  She knows that.  And she knows they’ll win.

Maggie had asked for one favor from Gregory: an ultrasound.  Harlan is happy to oblige and the couple see their unborn child on the screen.  In the RV, Glenn shares the ultrasound photo with Michonne, who shows Daryl.  He passes it to Abraham, who smiles at Glenn.

The RV departs the Hilltop…but you know this happy moment won’t last.

The Walking Dead Recap S6E10: The New World

The Walking Dead S6E10: The New World

Original Airdate: February 21, 2016

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

Music plays as Rick fixes his belt.  There’s a picture of Carl and Judith on the desk.  Judith plays on the floor and then Michonne steps out of the bathroom in a robe.  She needs toothpaste, and Rick says someone has been taking it for two weeks.  Carl comes in she says she wants to change his bandage.  All seems well, oddly enough.

Daryl asks Denise for clarification on her shopping list.  He’s going on a run and she hopes he can find Tara’s favorite drink as a surprise for her, but clearly food and medicine are priorities.  Daryl says nothing as she tries to explain it all to him.

Daryl and Rick drive to the gate and Eugene gives Daryl a map with the food supply places he thinks might still have some food.  He tells Daryl that if he finds a special kind of corn, their food situation will be “hunky dunky,” which only serves to confuse Daryl.

Once Rick and Daryl hit the road, Rick says this might be the trip where they find other people, even though they haven’t seen anyone lately.  Rick turns on the radio and sings along with the music.  Daryl shakes his head.

The fences in Alexandria are holding strong.  Michonne stands guard.  She spots Spencer going out into the forest with a shovel so she follows him.

Enid is writing in her journal when Maggie walks up and asks where she has been.  Everyone has been working on getting the town put together over the past few weeks but no one sees Enid.  Maggie knows that Enid helped Glenn and helped her when she was trapped.  She offers her help to Enid if she needs it.

Rick and Daryl fly down the road, but they stop and back up after passing a ranch with a barn.  It’s called Sorghum. Inside the barn is a truck.  They open it and find a ton of food and supplies.  “Law of averages,” Rick says.  After taking the truck, they stop at a looted gas station.  They find a vending machine and use the truck to turn it over.  Rick doesn’t understand why Daryl is going through the trouble for soda, but obviously he’s on a lookout for Denise’s shopping list.  They’re about to open it when a man sneaks up to them, his face covered.  Daryl and Rick are faster on the draw, though, and the masked man raises his hands.

The masked man says he had been running from a group of ten Walkers.  That doesn’t intimidate Rick and Daryl at all.  The man asks if they have a camp, and they say no.  He says his name is Paul, but his friends used to call him Jesus.  He starts to leave while Rick starts to ask the three questions.  He takes off running, and then there’s the sound of gunfire.  It turns out to be firecrackers, and Rick realizes his keys are gone.  Jesus drives off with the truck and the vending machine.

Spencer is alone in the woods and a Walker approach.  He hesitates and Michonne rushes in and kills it.  He says he likes to walk after his shifts and she’s the first to ever notice it.  He wants to be alone.  Michonne says that his mom told her that she needs to figure out what she wants in life.  Right now she needs to know why he’s wandering with a shovel.

Carl and Enid explore the woods.  They find a blue balloon with a note in it, but the note was wet and the writing is faded.  Enid says that by finding it they’re not alone, and Carl says they know that already.  She asks why they’re out there, to which Carl says they’re kids and that’s what kids do.  It sounds like they’ve been doing a lot of exploring together.

Daryl and Rick run down the road and find the vending machine.  Daryl breaks it open and takes out the soda.  Rick is all for Denise’s special request, given that she saved Carl’s life.  She turned out to be okay.  But Jesus isn’t going to turn out to be good, Daryl says.  They still have a trail and so they continue the chase.

Carl and Enid enjoy lunch when they hear something.  Enid wants to leave, but Carl crouches with his gun at the ready and sees that it’s Michonne and Spencer.  He goes back to reading a comic.  Enid doesn’t want to come out to the woods anymore, so Carl packs up and walks away, leaving Enid to follow him.  They come across a Walker and Carl doesn’t want to leave it because Michonne is out there.  Carl whistles to it, drawing the Walker’s attention.  She doesn’t want to leave and Carl tells her to go.  He says she wouldn’t understand.

Rick and Daryl are still running.  They find the truck.  Jesus is trying to fix the flat tire.  Rick tackles him but Jesus fights back.  They get him to the ground and ask for the keys.  He doesn’t think they have any ammunition so they shoot a Walker to prove the point.  They leave him on the side of the road with loosely knotted restraints and drive away.  Daryl makes sure he still has at least one good can of soda for Denise.

Music plays as Rick declares that it all worked out and today is still the day.  They come across another farm and take a look.  That’s when they realize that Jesus is on the roof.  Rick stops hard and Jesus rolls off.  Daryl jumps out in hot pursuit and Jesus uses the truck as a shield from Daryl.  Walkers who have been tied to a car break free and Rick goes after them.  Jesus jumps into the truck and Daryl jumps in after him.  He tells Daryl to duck and then he shoots a Walker that was coming after Daryl.  As they fight, the truck starts to roll backwards.  They jump out, Jesus gets hit in the head by the door, and the truck sinks into the pond.  The law of averages, Daryl says, is bull shit.

Michonne is still following Spencer, but he says that she can’t help him.  She hears something and turns around in time to see Carl running from a Walker.  Spencer says he thought he saw “her” that night…and he did.  Deanna is a Walker.  Michonne holds her as Spencer sticks his knife into her head.  He holds his mother and then looks at Michonne and says this is why he was out here.

Spencer buries Deanna while Michonne carves out a “D” in the tree to mark her grave.  He says she left him a note saying she never lost her way, but he doesn’t know his way.  His family is gone.  Michonne says she has been chasing him all day; he has a family and a home.

Now in a minivan, Rick drives down the road.  Daryl is in the back next to Jesus.  Rick says that everyone tried to tell him what needed to happen.  He’s finally listening.  Jesus falls against Daryl, so Daryl pushes him over.

Michonne returns home to find Carl holding Judith.  He gets up to take her in.  Michonne stops him and says that she saw what he did with Deanna.  He says he couldn’t have left her or kill her.  He couldn’t leave her out there and he says that he couldn’t kill her because it should be someone who loved her, someone who is family.  He says he would have done it for Michonne.  “Me too,” she says.  They hug it out.

Rick drives up to the town gates.  Daryl says that Rick was right about not going out to find people anymore, and he was right.  Rick doesn’t think so.  They carry Jesus to Denise’s house.  “That thing didn’t work out.  It was this asshole’s fault, sorry,” Daryl tells Denise.  Rick leaves a note for Jesus and then he and Daryl leave, both agreeing that it’s stupid to leave.

Rick crashes on the couch and Michonne walks in with a baby monitor.  They lean back on the couch and Rick tells her about Jesus.  “Crazy day,” he sighs.  He doesn’t want to talk about his day, but he asks about hers.  She doesn’t want to talk, either.  He brought her some mints because the toothpaste ended up at the bottom of a lake.  They laugh, then they hold hands….and then THEY KISS!!!

Rick and Michonne KISS and start making out on the couch!!!!

Next we see them in bed, naked.  His gun is on the nightstand, her kitana is beside her.  Out of the blue there is a voice.  Rick and Michonne jump from bed, naked, and Jesus is standing there.  “We should talk.”

Whoa.  Did that just happen?!

Book Review: Dragon Hunters

Dragon Hunters, Book Two in the Chronicles of the Exile

By Marc Turner

Tor Publishing

The excitement that began with When the Heavens Fall continues with the second book in the Chronicles of the Exile, Dragon Hunters.

Emira Imerle Polivar doesn’t want her time as the leader of the Storm Lords to end.  As Dragon Day approaches, she knows she can use the annual event in her personal quest to permanently usurp control of the entire realm.  She enlists the help of Senar Sol, a Guardian from Erin Elalese, who finds himself in the Storm Isles at the center of the intrigue.  However, the Emira isn’t the only one who has an agenda; along the way we meet Chameleons, Gilgamarians, gods and goddesses who bring new meaning to the term “divine intervention”, and a bevy of other characters who join in the adventure with plans of their own.

When I read the advance copy of Marc Turner’s debut novel, When the Heavens Fall, I immediately appreciated his world-building skills.  Turner’s Lands of the Exile rival George R.R. Martin’s Westeros in their depth and complexity.  Fans of fantasy will love Dragon Hunters.  In fact, it might be the perfect way to whet the appetites of fans waiting for the upcoming Warcraft movie.   Turner has truly set the stage for an epic fantasy series that, in only its second volume, is getting hotter and hotter.  In keeping with his trademark multiple viewpoint storytelling, Turner’s sophomore novel gives us a deeper mythology centering on the fabled Dragon Day.  Though its near-500 pages look daunting, the plot moves at a steady pace.  I appreciate that Turner took the time to develop the story rather than rushing it; too often you have authors splitting stories into multiple volumes or condensing the plot until it loses its essence.

Whether you’re an avid fantasy fan of the epic quest narrative, or you’re a fantasy newbie looking for an escape into a magical world, Dragon Hunters will not disappoint.   Now is the time to explore the Lands of the Exile.  Now is the time to become a fan of the Chronicles of the Exile.

The Walking Dead S6E9 Recap: No Way Out

The Walking Dead S6E9: No Way Out

Original Airdate: February 14, 2016

Recap by Sarabeth Pollock

 

Is there a better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to watch the return of The Walking Dead?  Is that even a question??

At the end of the midseason finale, the world was falling apart.  As usual.  Sam kept talking, Alpha Wolf was loose, and Neegan’s men had blocked Daryl’s group from returning to Alexandria.

Tonight we start out back on that road.  Neegan’s thug confiscates everyone’s weapons.  Sasha wants to know who they are, but they won’t be the ones who ask questions.  The thug wants to accompany them on their way back home so they can see where they came from.  He doesn’t believe that they don’t have more stuff with them.  Abraham wants to know who he is talking to, so the man says he will have to kill them.  He was only bluffing…or was he….but then his entire biker gang blows up.  As it turns out, Daryl had a rocket launcher behind the truck and he was able to blow them up.  Abraham bids them good riddance.

Rick and his gang are trying to get out of the neighborhood by walking through the Walkers. Ron and Carl walk behind him, followed by everyone else.  The Walkers aren’t paying them any mind.  Sam looks around in anguish.  They get to the edge of the houses and Rick says they need to get to the quarry to fetch the cars.  Jessie tells Rick that they won’t make it with Judith, so Father Gabriel offers to take her to the church until they get back.  Jessie wants Sam to go with Gabriel but Sam insists that he be allowed to stay with his mom.  Gabriel promises Rick that he will keep Judith safe. Michonne watches as he leaves with the baby.  Jessie tells Rick that she knows he’ll make it and be safe.  They march on; Carl grabs Ron’s hand and Ron allows him to take it.

Tara and Rosita watch through the window as Walkers go on.  Tara wants to go after Alpha Walker, who still has Denise.  Carol wakes up and asks for their gun so she can see what else is hiding in the house.  Morgan wakes up and asks where Alpha Wolf is, and he is crushed to hear he took Denise.

Glenn and Enid lock themselves in the church.  They search it to find weapons to use to climb over the wall.

Alpha Wolf looks down at Denise, who is having a panic attack, and remarks that this is how things turn.

Enid is trying to figure out why Glenn wouldn’t let her run.  As Glenn explains that the people who left her, her family, are the ones who made her who she is.  He lists his family, Dale, Andrea, Herschel, as his people.

Alpha Wolf says that he needs Denise to stay calm, and that he wants her to be safe.

Glenn doesn’t want Enid to run, he wants her to stay in the church.  She says that he was right, and she’s here now and she wants to help him save Maggie.  She’d just follow him anyway.

Alpha Wolf wants to help Denise change.

Enid finds a gun on the altar of the church.  They’re ready to go.

The Walkers keep walking through the streets at night.  Rick and his group are still moving, too.  They form a serpentine chain moving through the random chaos.  Sam hears Carol’s voice in his head telling him that the monsters are going to eat him.  He sees a child Walker and he stops.  Ron tries to give his brother a pep talk but he’s suddenly grabbed and eaten from behind.  Jessie screams and Carl tries to pull her away.  She is eaten as well.  Rick flashes back to his memories of Jessie.  He has to cut her arm off because she won’t let go of Carl.  Rick drops his gun in the process and Ron grabs it and aims it at Rick.  Michonne stabs him from behind.  Rick tries to get himself together, and that’s when he sees Carl’s face.  His right eye is missing.  Carl faints and Rick grabs him, and he runs off with Michonne trying to clear the path.

Tara looks out the door while Morgan contemplates life.  Eugene has a knife with him and he nods to himself.  He knows that they will be fighting their way out, he tells Rosita.  Rosita says that he can’t fight, which seems to upset him.

Alpha Wolf sees the Walkers moving toward the sound of the gunfire.  He comments that her friends must have tried to put up a fight.  They did fight, Denise reminds him.  He says he was selfish.  She tells him to go to hell, and he says they’re safer out there than within the walls.  They make a run for it, but a Walker gets in their way and slows them down.  Alpha goes back to help Denise but is bitten in the process.  Denise tells him that if he gets to the infirmary she can save his life.

Carol in alone when Morgan finds her.  He asks if she had a child, and a husband.  He says that he didn’t want to hurt anyone, and she retorts that he did it for his own purposes.  She regrets not killing him when she had the chance.  “You can’t,” he says, walking away.

Denise ties off Alpha’s arm and tells him that he might have changed, given that he went back for her.  They make a run for it and Carol shoots him from above.  Inside the infirmary Denise finds Aaron and the others.  Rick and Michonne run in with Carl still out cold.  Denise moves into action and starts working on Carl.  The Walkers are still wandering outside, seemingly oblivious.  Rick takes him axe and goes outside to go hunting.

Rick goes on a killing rampage.  With only his axe, he kills several dozen Walkers.  Michonne wants to help but Denise needs her.  As soon as she’s finished, Michonne kisses Carl’s head and joins Rick.  Spencer and Aaron go as well.  The other Alexandrians watch from inside their houses as Rick clears the path, and they run out and start helping.  Soon he’s calling for everyone to keep them out.

Gabriel watches from inside the church.  Judith starts crying so he hands her off to a parishioner and grabs his machete.  He says that their prayers are helping; God has given them the power to save it themselves.

Carol tells the group that Rick is making a stand, and she says that Denise is safe.  Eugene says that no one gets to clock out today, that this is a story that will live on, so he wants to fight.   Morgan runs into Alpha Wolf Walker.  He says he’s sorry, then he kills him.

Glenn arrives in time to see the Walkers trying to knock down the tower.  Enid rushes to help Maggie while Glenn creates a distraction.  He is quickly overpowered, and just when things look really back, the Walkers around him are gunned down in a spray of bullets.  It’s Abraham and Sasha up on the wall.  Once the Walkers are gone, Abraham asks if Glenn can get the gate for them.  He’d really appreciate it.

Glenn opens the gate and Daryl says they’ll have to lead them away.  Inside the walls, the group fights off as many Walkers as they can.  Daryl parks the truck and drains gas into the pond.  The Walkers keep coming as the group backs toward the wall. Daryl launches a grenade into the pond and it lights up.  The Walkers are drawn like moths to the flames.  They stop and turn away from Rick’s group and head toward the massive fire.  And, like the mindless zombies they are, they go right into the fire.

The great thing is seeing how the town has come together to fight as a group.  When the sun comes up, Walkers are all over the place.  All are dead.  The group gathers around the infirmary, where Denise patches Daryl up.  Michonne holds Judith as Rick sits with Carl.  He says he was wrong, that he didn’t think the people of Alexandria were capable of fighting, but now he does.  Now he sees that they can work together and rebuild the walls.  He sees Deanna’s vision now.  He says he had a feeling when it was all over, and it had been such a long time since he’s felt that way.  He wants to show Carl the new world, and he begs Carl to wake up so he can show him.  Carl’s fingers tighten around Rick’s hand.

Talk about a bloody Valentine….  See you next week!