Whose Episode Is It?
There is plenty of material for the “let’s maybe take
over Alexandria” team of Rick, Carol, and Daryl, but Sasha and Michonne
gets some attention as well, which is nice. Abraham and Rosita even get a few
lines! Ever since the Ricketeers were reunited, there are entirely too many
characters on the show and a lot of them have faded into the background,
especially with the influx of new faces now that the crew is in Alexandria. A
culling wouldn’t be particularly welcome, since that would probably make the
show dark to the point of unwatchability, but something’s got to give. Another
split would probably be a good idea, possibly over the way to handle
Alexandria. The Coup Cabal is clearly leaving the others out of their plans to
steal guns, so there will probably be some friction there, most likely with
Michonne at the head of the dissenters. For now, though, everyone’s united.
How Far Is Too Far?
The culture shock of last week
has passed, so now it’s just a matter of seeing just how complacent the
residents of Alexandria are. Turns out the answer is “pretty damn
complacent,” since they don’t even have a guard in the clock tower. Deanna
seemed pretty bright last episode and she’s presumably interviewed all the
Ricketeers about the cavalcade of horrors they’ve experienced, so you’d think
security would have tightened up immediately. Now the Alexandrians just seem
extra oblivious, ratcheting up Sasha’s anger and making the Coup Cabal think
they’re justified in possibly taking over.
Rick seems to be heading for the dark side again, as he
starts making serious eyes at Jessie, including fondling his hidden piece when
she and her husband walk past. It could be he’s just lost all abilities to
recognize social cues (cues such as “don’t kiss married women”), or
maybe he figures that if they’re going to take Alexandria, he may as well take
something else. Another very dark path the show could go down.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Carol getting
caught stealing guns by Jessie’s son, Sam. Carol then lays out in explicit
detail exactly what will happen to him if he tells anyone he what he saw her
doing (basically he’ll wake up tied to a tree and zombies will feast on his
still-living body). This should be horrifying, but it’s actually hilarious, and
I’m pretty sure it was meant to play that way. Carol’s closing promise to Sam,
“And you’ll get cookies. Lots of cookies,” is too funny not to be on
A Shred of Humanity
Aaron proves himself the Alexandria MVP by finally getting
Daryl to come out of his shell somewhat. First the two of them unsuccessfully
try to wrangle a wild horse, then Daryl comes over for dinner and Aaron offers
him a new motorcycle and a job as Aaron’s fellow recruiter. Daryl’s one of the
show’s best characters, and it’s great to see him come to an understanding with
a new friend.
Aaron knows Daryl is an outsider, and he sees himself and Eric as
outsiders too, since they’re gay in a largely straight, southern town. (It’s a
little tough to buy, because even though Jessie claims that everyone in
Alexandria is from disparate backgrounds, we’ve only met upper-middle class
white liberal types. Still, might as well take Aaron’s word for it.) Aaron sees
Daryl’s skills as well as his potential, and finds him the one job in
Alexandria he wouldn’t hate. It’s a nice moment of empathy, and Daryl’s touched
enough that by the end of the episode he’s no longer wild about the Coup Cabal
secretly arming themselves. The friction within the group increases.
Man, where to begin with this episode? Michonne literally
hangs up her sword, showing how she’s willing to put the past behind her and
accept her new peacekeeping role, but you figured all that out the moment you
read “Michonne literally hangs up her sword.” Seeing her in the
policeman’s jacket is pretty surreal, though.
The most successful symbol is Buttons the horse, whose
outside-the-walls freedom comes to an end when he’s swarmed by walkers and
messily devoured. Daryl seems to get the message.
The most hilarious moment of the episode is when Sam offers
Rick a stamp, then winds up giving him a scarlet ‘A,’ presumably because he
sees the way Rick looks at his mom. Towards the end of the episode, Jessie
waves at Rick and shows off her own ‘A.’ Looks like a signal, Rick, but stop
Buttons’s disembowelment by walkers is both gross and super-depressing. Brings up bad Artax