Review by Gene
Rick and company start to get cozy in Alexandria. Rick is a cop again, Carl is making friends, Michonne puts up here katana, and Daryl and Aaron make television’s new odd couple. (spoilers ahead)
I thought this episode was quite a mixed bag, but when it was strong it was the women holding it down. Between Carol and Sasha, we got a terrific look at a woman scheming and in control (Carol), and a woman on the brink of losing control (Sasha). Sasha has the feeling of a wild animal trying to adjust to being tamed, but unable to handle the drastic change of environment. She can’t sleep, she uses family photos for target practice, and she sits alone whispering, “come and get me”. Carol on the other hand seems fully aware of the “dangers” in extending full trust to the Alexandrians, and is in full planning mode for when, not if, things go wrong. To the extent that she puts the fear of God into a little boy who caught her stealing guns.
To be honest, Carol seems to be the only one with a grasp on exactly how she feels about Alexandria. Michonne wants it to work but is clearly still bothered. Daryl is seemingly won over by Aaron to become the new recruit with him. Even Rick is getting googley-eyes for Jessie and you can just see him imagining a future with her. But Carol has clear eyes and is not being swayed. This could be a good thing if her instincts and suspicions are proven true. Or it could be a bad thing if it gets her in hot water and forces Rick’s hand as constable. We shall see.
There were two developments from this episode that I think will have a long-lasting effects. The first is the liking that Rick has taken to Jessie, a married woman. If I have my timing correct, I believe it was almost exactly 3 seasons ago when Rick found out about Shane and Lori. Rick always said he “understood” why the two of them got together when they suspected he had died, but of course he never really got over that. Neither did Shane, which ultimately led to his death. Now we see Rick making a bit of a move on Jessie despite the fact that her husband, Tobie, is alive and well with them in Alexandria. Is Rick becoming a more flippant version of Shane? It’s hard to argue the merits of his actions with Jessie on this episode, especially considering that short pause with his hand on his gun when he saw Tobie and Jesse walking together. It’s like all he needs is an excuse to fire that thing in Tobie’s direction.
The second most interesting development I think is Daryl’s new role with Aaron. Talk about an odd couple! Daryl does not seem to me to be the recruiter type. But the minute he sees the motorcycle in Aaron’s garage he softens up a bit and agrees to Aaron’s proposal. I really want to trust Aaron. He has been nothing but nice and gracious to our group, but I can’t help but feel he’s setting Daryl up for something because he won’t quite work in this community. Maybe that’s just the skeptic talking in me, but I am very interested to see how this duo works out.
This episode was all about our group adapting to a lifestyle which they felt was gone forever. Almost every member of the group had their own moment, however short, of reflection and adjustment. Some handle it well, others are barely able to handle it at all. That ability to handle the adjustment may be the ultimate line in the sand determining who can stay and who needs to be out on the road.
My Rating: B-
This was one of those episodes where, the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. So much so that I bumped it up a whole letter grade from what I was originally thinking. These episodes taking place within Alexandria have the potential to get boring. Lots of politics going on and people playing angles. It will be a challenge for the show directors to keep it interesting and play to the stronger characters. Hopefully they can make some of these lesser characters more interesting as well. However, the work done with Sasha and Daryl in this episode was really good. Carol’s scheme and her intimidation of children has me hooked. Rick’s progression into whatever he becomes was also worth noting here. I think this episode did a solid job of handling some individual character developments.
Prior predictions: Previously I predicted that Jessie’s husband will reveal something major about Alexandria to Rick or someone else in the group. That remains. I predicted that Enid is the one that actually took Rick’s blender gun with the ‘J’ on the handle. There was a brief mention of her on Talking Dead, that she may be a mole for an outside group. Interesting! Finally, I predicted Rick’s new position as constable will put him in a position to administer a rule or law against one of his own.
New predictions: Nothing this week. Let’s see how the above items play out.
I’d love to hear some of your thoughts of this episode or any predictions moving forward.