“They’re weak, and I don’t want us to get weak too.” – Carl Grimes
It has been approximately twenty episodes since the gang of The Walking Dead were holed up in their last safest venture, the prison. There are some minor tones of familiarity through the episode to those early prison episodes. Jobs, for one, a necessity to keep a community strong. With the houses come a place to sleep that they can call their own. Though at the prison it was cells, the idea is there.
The similarities end there. The dynamic in Alexandria is completely different, because our survivors are joining a group of people who are not exposed to the outside world. The difference is immediate and almost unsettling. Rick stands outside two perfect houses. Aaron tells him that that’s where they’ll live. Just like that.
The survivors meet Deanna, Alexandria’s leader and a previous congresswoman. There was something immediately likeable about both the actress and the character, at least to me. It’s always nice to have new faces on the show, and especially nice when the characters are instantly interesting. Her son Aidan, on the other hand, is exactly what you’d expect: a douche.
As mentioned, everyone is assigned jobs. For some reason, Glenn, Tara, and a limping Noah are being assigned to going on runs outside of Alexandria. Wouldn’t Sergeant Abraham Ford be better suited for this, and in fact, better suited to take over smarmy Aidan’s job? Abraham was sadly shunned this week, but I’m interested to see what role he takes on. Meanwhile, Glenn continues to prove his worth by knocking Aidan out when they return to Alexandria.
Carol and Daryl have different ways of adjusting to Alexandria. While Daryl is reluctant, doesn’t shower the entire episode, and is generally dismissive about being there, Carol has taken on the role of ultra-sleuth. In a moment that might rival Carol’s badass takedown at Terminus, she sits in front of the camera as a wide-eyed widow, says she loves and misses her husband, and asks for a job for her “people-person” personality. Points to the writers for this clever gem.
And in what might be the most alternate-universe sounding plot from the episode, Carl has to choose between playing pool or playing video games. That’s not the entire thing, but really, that’s the whole basis of the episode. The people of Alexandria are not like the people from outside. Choosing between games is a trivial decision. Of course this is disorienting for Carl, who is used to the more survival-instinct-based decisions at this point.
Besides Aidan and Deanna, we’re also introduced to Jessie, a woman who lives on their street and has a husband and two boys. She cuts Rick’s hair and witnesses him break down after losing sight of Carl. It seems like they might be setting something up here, and the ominous conversation between Rick and her husband only fuels the suspicions.
The episode ends with Deanna asking Rick if he’ll be the constable. She asks Michonne as well, and though it feels kind of tacked on, I suspect that Aaron would have told Deanna that Michonne was the other side of the coin when they were debating coming to Alexandria. Unfortunately, this leaves Daryl in a tough spot – left out of their special group. Indeed, where in the pre-apocalypse world, Daryl’s job as a tracker allowed him a sort of wildness that thrived in the post-apocalyptic world, it doesn’t seem to fit in here in Alexandria. We’ll have to see if anything can make him feel at home.
Just to make sure we know that our group isn’t getting weak, Rick Grimes gets the best episode of the night. “If they don’t make it… Then we’ll just take this place.”
- Father Gabriel was almost completely MIA.
- No jobs mentioned for Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, or Maggie, though Deanna specifically says that she’s working on Sasha’s job. I’m curious to see how this all plays out.
- “I brought dinner.” – Daryl bringing the dead possum in was classic.
- I really enjoyed the moment when Rick set his watch to the correct time. I can only assume he hadn’t gotten the right time on it for a long while.
- There’s a great shot the first night in Alexandria, when the camera pans along to all our survivors (minus Father Gabriel, who maybe hopped in the shower right after Michonne.)
- What are the thoughts on the missing gun?
- What are the thoughts on the girl that runs away?
- Rick tells Carl to “Get ready” when the walkers are approaching. I mean, I hope at this point that he’s got that lesson down.
- RIP Rick’s beard.
Episode Grade: B+