If there ever was a show that could constantly give me chills, it would have to be The Walking Dead. Tonight’s episode had countless special moments, most of which made me look at the entire show from a new perspective. (spoilers ahead!)
From the opening scene, we knew something was off. Sasha takes a few pictures from her house and ventures into the woods where she starts using them for target practice. It’s a little disturbing how she’s shooting these photographs of random civilians, but as the show progressed, it made sense. At first, I assumed she was using the pictures because she was feeling doubts about the people of Alexandria. She may have been trying to condition herself for a possible quarrel in the future. By the end of the episode, my thoughts had changed, but I won’t get into that just yet.
Daryl has become a pariah in the Alexandria community, possibly because of his hand in the fight from the last episode, and possibly because of his unwillingness to integrate into the society. The way that his character is acting (and based on what fellow viewers have said), it’s almost like the producers are trying to write Daryl as an unlikable figure. If that is the case, then it’s not working. If anything, I completely agree with him. After what happened with Woodbury and Terminus, it’s understandable that he’d be paranoid. I give him major credit for standing his ground and refusing to conform. He’s looking out for himself and his crew as much as possible.
Throughout the episode, Daryl builds a friendship with Aaron as the two go hunting together. Afterwards, Aaron invites him to have dinner with him and Eric. Daryl finds out that his hosts have been rebuilding a bike for him and are attempting to turn him into a new recruiter for Alexandria. Aaron points to how Daryl is a good judge of character. What if Aaron is hinting to Daryl that his paranoia about Alexandria is justified? It seems like a coincidence that these concepts would intertwine in such a manner.
Deanna Moore, the supposed leader of Alexandria, throws a welcome party for Rick’s group. All seems well and good. Rick and his friends seem to be getting the hang of interacting with other people once again, except for Sasha. There’s one moment where Sasha is overwhelmed by the gathering of people and suffers from a panic attack. This was the high point of the episode, and really sucked me in. As a sufferer of the occasional panic attack and social anxiety, I knew almost exactly how Sasha felt at the moment. Granted, her panic attack was built on months of zombie attacks and close friends dying, but I think I can empathize with her. The camera work and cinematic presentation of the scene truly captured what an attack feels like. I almost felt my own palms get sweaty and my heartbeat soar! Even Sonequa Martin-Green‘s reaction from the attack seemed genuine.
Another scene that deserves credit involves Carol. Her mission in this episode was to sneak into the supply house to steal guns while the whole town is at Deanna’s party. Unfortunately, one of the town’s children followed Carol because he wanted to ask her about cookies.
For a split-second, I thought Carol was going to kill the kid right then and there. We’ve seen how ruthless she can be, especially with children. She doesn’t give a $%^&. However, she avoids shedding blood tonight and instead casually threatens the kid to keep his mouth shut. I can’t do the speech justice, but it has to rank in the top 3 of the most intense speeches on the show. I loved every second of it. I don’t care how crazy or psychotic Carol can be; she doesn’t mess around.
At Deanna’s party, Rick meets Jessie’s husband Pete. We briefly met Pete last episode when he was smoking on the porch and told Rick “Welcome to Alexandria”. This encounter made it appear as if Pete was going to be a hostile opposition to Rick. In fact, I wouldn’t have been surprised if there was a fight between the two at Deanna’s party. Then we meet good ol’ Pete and he turns out to be super nice and apparently intelligent (he’s a doctor). We don’t get much out of Pete this episode, but this cannot be the last we see of him.
Almost every episode of The Walking Dead now ends on a huge cliff-hanger that is meant to get viewers thinking about what will happen next. This week’s episode ended with Rick watching Pete and Jessie walk down the street. Rick fingers his gun, then walks away. Weird, right? Back at Deanna’s party, Rick actually kissed Jessie’s cheek. Even weirder, right?
This is what I meant by Sasha’s weird behavior at the start of the episode. What if this time around, it’s Rick’s group that becomes the villains? In the past, the main characters were always the good guys. Are our heroes no longer the decent people we once thought we knew? Rick’s moral compass has gone haywire in the past two seasons, so it wouldn’t be completely unreasonable for him to kill Pete, especially if he’s crushing on Jessie. We know that Carol isn’t exactly encumbered by any ethical obligations. Sasha lost her boyfriend and her brother, so what has she got to lose? Things are different now…
The episode was all over the place, but it finished off on a good note. There are now only three episodes left in the season, so whatever is going on with our characters, it better be leading to a solid finale.
Final Grade: B +
+ Carol’s threat was pure awesomeness.
+ I was impressed with how they portrayed Sasha’s panic attack.
+ I enjoyed watching the friendship develop between Daryl and Aaron and Eric.
– The episode was a little scattered all over the place and had me confused once or twice.
– I’m wondering what happened with Father Gabriel; he was at the gates to Alexandria but we haven’t seen him at all since then.
– Carol, Rick, and Daryl kill a random walker that has a W carved into its forehead. Many of the walkers in Noah’s old neighborhood had the same disfigurement. There was also some graffiti referencing a group called the “Wolves” in that episode. Are the Wolves close to Alexandria, or are they hidden among the sheep – I mean citizens?
What were your thoughts on tonight’s episode? Think that Rick is turning to the dark side? Let us know in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!