Tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead was probably a good example of something being “too good to be true”. While it looks like Rick’s gang may have finally found a safe haven, there is doubt as to whether everything about Alexandria is as great as it seems. (spoilers ahead!)
First off, I want to say that the previews for tonight’s episode were completely misleading. After seeing the preview clips, it looked like Alexandria was totally abandoned and that Aaron possibly led Rick’s gang into a trap. However, we find out within the first few minutes of the episode that it is a legit, well-structured community. The previews lied! Not cool, AMC. Not cool.
But on a serious note, the episode was damn good. Not only that, but it was satisfying in a different way. One of the things I enjoyed the most was seeing everyone enjoy the amenities of civilized society. Remember, this is the first time in years that the group has gotten a chance to experience things like hot showers and shaving, which we often take for granted. Michonne comments how she spent 20 minutes just brushing her teeth over and over. And what about Rick finally shaving his iconic beard and cutting his hair? This is stuff we consider annoying daily chores, but which characters in the zombie apocalypse cherish.
That being said, I want to draw a bit more attention to Rick’s trimming, and the fact that he was made constable of Alexandria. I feel like this symbolizes Rick back in the beginning of the series. He was clean-shaven, a bit inexperienced, yet with a good head on his shoulders. But at the time, he was diving into a new world where things had changed. He had to transform his way of thinking and how he handled situations. Now, Rick is going through a similar change. Once again, Rick has to adapt to this strange new world. Will it be easy for him to make the transition?
Throughout the episode, each of the core characters are interviewed by Deanna Monroe, who is seemingly the head of Alexandria. In these interviews, they reveal a bit about themselves, but they remain on their guard and try not to divulge too much. My favorite interview had to be Carol’s. She goes on about how she misses her ex-husband and how she was the “mother” of the group who took care of laundry and other chores. She’s downplaying her own skills and toughness. I think she’s got the same mindset as Rick and doesn’t fully trust the community. Very smart move. I can see this paying off for her in future episodes when she finally reveals her bad-ass side to someone who crosses her.
Carl has grown on me over the years. I think he’s being groomed into a man who could potentially take his father’s place as leader in case anything happens to him. Carl is introduced to some neighborhood children, and while most of them seem friendly, one young girl named Enid appears to be a little off. One day, Carl spots her sneaking over the walls and into the wilderness, but soon loses her. He ends up running into Rick and the two fight off a group of walkers. Rick was patrolling the walls and decided to check on the gun he had hidden before the group ventured into Alexandria last episode. Big surprise: the gun vanished from the hiding spot! Putting two and two together, I’m guessing Enid took the gun for one reason or another (it’s hinted that she was watching the group as they entered the community, so she could’ve easily spotted Rick hiding the weapon).
Rick’s fellows are all assigned jobs in Alexandria. Glenn, Tara, and Noah are tasked with making supply runs with this cocky Abercrombie-looking douche named Aiden. All seems well and good until Aiden reveals that he has a walker tied up in the woods, and occasionally uses it for a pre-supply-run ritual. Because this is a television show that needs conflict, we discover that the walker escaped (personally, I think Enid did it). When the walker comes back, Aiden tries to tie it back up, but it gets really close to biting Tara, so Glenn stabs it in the head. This causes major tension between Rick’s group and some of the Alexandria folk, which culminates in a mini-fight. Actually, I wouldn’t call it so much a fight as it is Glenn delivering an awesome punch to Aiden.
I think this event spoke a lot about the development of Glenn’s character. This kid was a pizza boy prior to the apocalypse and probably couldn’t shoot a gun if his life depended on it. Now he’s demonstrating his expertise in walker-handling and openly calls out Aiden for his tactlessness. Let’s not forget that he even punched Abraham Ford in the face last season. Glenn is turning into a bad-ass along the ranks of Carol and Daryl.
I can see people complaining about this episode because it may have been slow, but I’ll tell them what I’ve been saying all along: this show can’t be about killing zombies 24/7. There has to be development with the characters and the plot. The Walking Dead provides this kind of development 90% of the time, and the annoyingly tedious storylines are rare. Tonight’s episode was excellent, and definitely paves the right path for the future of the Alexandria storyline.
Final Grade: A –
+ Loved Carol’s deception during her interview.
+ Glenn standing up to Aiden and giving him a piece of his mind was satisfying.
+ The characters properly demonstrated how much we take simple things like shaving and brushing our teeth for granted. It was a weird satisfaction watching them enjoy these amenities once more.
– I didn’t understand why they took away everyone’s guns, but they let Michonne keep her sword, Daryl his crossbow, Carol her knife, etc.
– At one point, Rick passes by a man in the shadows who is smoking a cigar and tells him “Welcome to Alexandria”. Who could this be? Is he a major character or just a random citizen foreshadowing imminent danger?
What were your thoughts on tonight’s episode of the Walking Dead? Did you enjoy it or should it have moved faster? Do you think the community is safe? Let us know in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!