A classic filler episode returns The Walking Dead to form this week. “One More” has Aaron (Ross Marquand) and Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) searching for food using a map Maggie gave them. The quest leads to a dangerous confrontation at a warehouse. The men are put in a situation that challenges their beliefs that good still remains in the world.
“One More” begins with a close-up on a patch of flowers. A drop of blood falls on a dandelion. Aaron and Father Gabriel are surrounded by walkers. Using a machete and Aaron’s mace-studded arm, they dispatch them quickly, spraying blood everywhere. They find a burned out cabin in the woods. Gabriel checks a map that has the location noted. Aaron looks at three burned corpses on the ground.
They find a walker stuck to a pole in a field. His back tears off as Gabriel kills him. Gabriel throws a food timer ahead of them. A herd rises up out of the long grass and trudges to the noise. Aaron and Gabriel walk around them.
They next arrive at a road with a convoy of cars. Gabriel searches the inside. He finds some canned goods in a trunk, but they have bullet holes. “Two more,” he says to a frustrated Aaron. They continue on to a boarded up mini-mart. Gabriel chops the hands off walkers reaching through the boarded up entrance. Aaron kills one, but it gets stuck in the door. They try to pull it out, but yank the skin off its arms.
Gabriel climbs unto the roof. He finds corpses shackled to poles. A couple’s remains embrace on a mattress. They have bullet holes in their heads. “Save Us” is painted on the rooftop. He finds a ladder and goes inside. He exits from the front, and then takes out the map, “One more.” “We’ve been at this for two goddamn weeks,” says Aaron. He wants to check the hunting grounds again. Gabriel reminds him “it’s spent.” “So is every other place on Maggie’s goddamn map!” Aaron counters. He wants to go home. He “misses his daughter.” “One more,” says Gabriel and moves on.
Gabriel walks through a muddy path in the woods. He’s pulled down by a walker. He eviscerates it with his machete. Aaron pulls him up, but Gabriel ends up clutching Aaron’s shirt. They are both covered in disgusting mud and blood. The map is ruined. It starts to rain. They try to follow their tracks back. The men exit the woods and stumble upon a warehouse.
They split up inside to search it. The place is dark and dirty with trash everywhere. Gabriel finds a pile of bibles. Some of them have pages torn out. Aaron comes to a locked door. He hears clattering noises behind it. Gabriel searches through drawers. He smiles at a discovery. Aaron announces he’s “a friend” before opening the door. Gabriel hears Aaron scream, and runs towards him. He finds Aaron leaning over a dead boar. Gabriel laughs hysterically at Aaron’s high-pitched scream. He then holds up a bottle of fine whiskey.
They roast the boar over a trash can fire. Aaron is delighted to find stuffed animal toys for Gracie. Gabriel pours two meager shots of the whiskey. “That’s it?” Aaron asks. “It’s perfection…this bottle easily costs over $2000 dollars,” replies Gabriel. He instructs Aaron to sniff and take in the aroma before drinking. Aaron recounts the different smells, “maple syrup” and “breakfast as a kid”, before drinking. He convinces Gabriel to pour another shot after a “rough day.”
The bottle is half-empty as the men play cards by flashlight. Gabriel wins the round by bluffing at poker. They sit beside each other on cushioned chairs after the game. Gabriel remembers the priest that taught him about whiskey. He recounts the funeral of “Tommy Franklin”, and how the reverend “headed straight to the liquor cabinet” afterwards. Gabriel delivers a long monologue on how calming the reverend was to the parishioners. “You need to start preaching again,” says Aaron. “I don’t want to preach anymore. The world isn’t built for the way we used to be. Evil people aren’t the exception to the rule,” Gabriel replies sadly.
Aaron gets up to use the bathroom, briefly waking a snoring Gabriel. The next day, Gabriel groggily stumbles awake, but Aaron is not there. He searches the warehouse. A scarred man with a machine gun appears in front of him, “What were you cooking?” A startled Gabriel quietly responds “boar.” The man sits down and devours the remaining food. Gabriel sits across him and asks if he’s seen Aaron. The scarred man licks his hands, then chastises Gabriel for “breaking into my place, eating my boar, and drinking my whiskey.”
Gabriel apologizes, “We meant no harm.” The scarred man takes out Aaron’s mace arm and throws it on the floor. A stunned Gabriel warns him that “they are a part of a larger group with 20 armed fighters.” “I don’t bluff as easy as your buddy,” the scarred man replies as he eats. He holds up the rifle, “You think it’s loaded?” Then unleashes a torrent of bullets towards an adjacent room, “You think he made it?”
Gabriel wants to see Aaron. The scarred man asks why Gabriel continues to wear “the collar.” Gabriel answers, “Probably for the same reason you have the bibles. I wear it because the word of God still matters.” The scarred man laughs, he uses the pages for toilet paper. “Maybe instead of wiping your ass with it, you should read it,” says Gabriel. The scarred man thinks Gabriel is lying about his beliefs. He gets up and drags Aaron, who’s tied to a chair and gagged, out of the room.
The scarred man places Aaron in front of Gabriel at the card table and removes the gag. He takes out a revolver, empties the bullets except for one, and then spins the barrel, “You got a choice. Each time, you point it at yourself, or the man sitting across from you. Winner goes home.” Aaron promises him they will find a new boar. The scarred man wants “enlightenment.” He orders them to play russian roulette, or he’ll kill them both.
Gabriel points the gun to his temple, click. Aaron does the same, click, “Why are you doing this?” The scarred man asks about his arm and Gabriel’s blind eye. They respond it was a construction accident and an infection. Gabriel chastises him for doing this, “You think I’m gonna shoot him, or he’s gonna shoot me?” Gabriel picks up the gun again to his head, click. Aaron’s turn. “Did you hear that? It makes a different sound when the chamber loads, you got a choice to make.” “We’re not thieves and murderers. We don’t kill each other. We protect each other, like family,” says a trembling Aaron as he picks up the gun.
The scarred man is triggered by “family.” He tells Aaron and Gabriel how he protected his brother and his brother’s family on the road. He saved their lives “countless times.” But found his brother stealing his food. His brother attacked him with a “knife, but he handled them.” Gabriel isn’t buying what he’s selling. He scolds the scarred man for using his brother to justify that “everyone left is evil and only out for themselves.” Aaron tries to stop him, but Gabriel continues, “Your brother meant less to you than scraps of food.Your brother didn’t give you enlightenment just a ripped up face.”
The scarred man points his gun at Aaron, “What about Gracie? You want to see her again, don’t you?” Aaron weeps, but puts the gun to his temple. As he’s about to pull the trigger, the scarred man screams, “Stop!” Gabriel reminds him that this is who people still are, to not let his brother’s betrayal fill him with hate. The scarred man has a crisis of conscience. Gabriel promises to help him. Aaron puts the gun down.
The scarred man starts to cry. He takes the revolver back. Then cuts Aaron free. He introduces himself as “Mays” (Robert Patrick). Aaron is suddenly splashed with blood. Gabriel took the mace off the floor, then smashed Mays’ head. Aaron is shocked. “We couldn’t take him with us. He killed his brother’s family,” says Gabriel.
They pack up to leave, then wonder how Mays monitored their conversation. They find an attic. The putrid smell almost makes them vomit. To their horror, they find Mays twin brother (also Robert Patrick), dirty and covered in long hair, chained to a wall beside the decomposing bodies of his wife and child. Gabriel unshackles his right arm. Mays’ brother grabs the revolver from Gabriel’s pants. He looks at his dead family, and then shoots himself in the head.
Aaron and Gabriel take the guns, some cans of food, and leave the warehouse. They see pictures of Mays and his family. As they walk through a field, they see a water tower in the distance that was on Maggie’s map. “One more,” says Aaron, and they trudge towards it.
“One More” had interesting philosophical points, but didn’t forward the overall plot. Father Gabriel has shown his ability to kill as the situation demands. Aaron remains a voice of reason and kindness. Robert Patrick was a good guest star in both roles, but was obviously a dead man walking throughout. I didn’t buy that the russian roulette scene was going to dispatch a primary character. The episode is pure filler, something I’ve come to expect with at least a third of the TWD episodes since season seven. The Walking Dead returns next Sunday on AMC.
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