Last week we were all left wondering just what was going to be beyond the gate at Alexandria (if you don’t read the comic at least) and now we get to find out! It’s a new episode of The Walking Dead!
We are RIGHT where we left off: the group heading in through the gates. Carl looks at a house outside the gates and sees a girl in the window who then disappears. Hmm, is Carl seeing things now? A loud bang startles the group but it’s just an opossum falling out of a trash can. Daryl shoots it. “Brought dinner,” he tells the dubious-looking guard at the gate.
Aaron shepherds them in. The group watches the gate close behind them like a prison cell. The guard tells them to turn over their gates. “If we were gonna use them, we’d have started already,” says Rick, the new King of Bad Ass. Aaron tells Rick he’s up first to meet Deanna, the leader of Alexandria. A walker approaches and Rick has Sasha coolly put it down as a second security gate closes.
Rick meets with the kind and smart Deanna Monroe, who asks to film the meeting. Rick looks very out of place in the clean, well-appointed living room. Deanna tells Rick that she was a Congresswoman for Ohio. She tells Rick that Alexandria was a planned community, completely self-contained. Power, water, sewage. Deanna’s husband—an architect—was able to scrap a mall construction site to build the walls. The walls were built almost immediately, so Alexandria has been very isolated from the outbreak.
Rick tries to warn her about the dangers outside the wall. He pulls no punches, even alluding that it would stupid to even let his group in. Deanna sees Rick for who he is: someone who wants to protect the community. She doesn’t mind his violence as it was committed in the act of protecting his loved ones. Deanna admits to exiling 3 men, effectively handing them a death sentence.
“I want YOU to help us survive,” says Deanna. “I was a sheriff,” Rick says. “Yeah, I knew it was something like that.”
The group checks their weapons with the supply keeper. Carol hams it up while taking off her assault rifle, like she’s completely uncomfortable with it. Rick shoots her a questioning glance. After that, Aaron shows Rick and Carl the two houses they can pick from and tells them to take their time to look around and check everything out.
Rick and Carl go inside and it’s like bizarro world. Fresh blankets and towels on the table waiting for them. Everything is clean. It’s safe. Rick takes a shower and shaves, finally. He’s practically unrecognizable when a knock comes at the door. He answers the door shirtless (wolf whistle). It’s Jessie, a neighbor and Pete (the surgeon’s) wife. She has food from the pantry. She offers to cut Rick’s hair since she used to be a stylist. We learn that Jessie has two boys, the oldest about Carl’s age. Rick is still in utter disbelief at how normal everything is.
Back to Deanna and her interviews. Daryl’s turn. He’s still carrying the possum around. Pacing. Clearly uncomfortable.
Back on the porch at the house Daryl guts and cleans the possum. Carl heads next door to check on Carol. Carol leaves him and meets Rick and Daryl. “They took our weapons and now they’re splittin’ us up. We’ll all be sleeping in the same house tonight,” Rick says.
Meanwhile, Carl hears footsteps upstairs at Carol’s house. He goes up and pulls his knife. He finds an unfinished room that’s been turned into a de facto clubhouse by the neighborhood kids. He picks up a comic (Invincible you see later. And pretty sure that’s an “Astounding Wolf-Man” ad on the back of it).
That night, everyone’s bunking down in the living room in one of the houses. Carol’s diagramming something. Carl’s reading comics. Michonne basks in the glow of freshly brushed teeth and then admires Rick’s new face (which she’s never seen). She says that she understands their wariness but she has a good feeling. Hm…
Deanna stops by and she’s a little surprised that everyone is staying in the same room, but she approves of how they’re being safe and sticking together. Deanna has given (almost) everyone jobs. She tells Rick that she’s picked his and Michonne’s jobs but hasn’t told them yet. She’s close to picking a job for Sasha, and she’s still trying to figure Daryl out (good luck).
Rick wakes up in the middle of the night and pulls a knife from the kitchen drawer. Clearly uneasy.
We see Michonne telling Deanna in her interview video that the group is ready for this. That Alexandria is what they needed.
The next day Rick asks Daryl if he wants to check the place out. Daryl just wants to hang out on the porch. I love how uncomfortable Daryl is in this world (more on this later).
Rick loses sight of Carl and Judith and panics. He runs down the street, knocks over one of Jessie’s sculptures. She takes Rick to a neighbor’s house. It’s an older couple who had a lot of children and grandchildren who are ecstatic to have a baby around.
At some point we should probably point out that Jessie is a very attractive blond. Who is married.
Jessie again invites Carl over to meet her son, Ron, and Rick goes to get him.
Ron is bringing Carl to his room to meet Mikey and Enid. It turns out Enid was also outside the wall until recently. Carl pulls out the copy of Invincible, folded in half (CARL YOU ANIMAL) and asks if it’s theirs. Mikey says it’s Enid’s. A girl that’s into Invincible?! Carl’s in love.
They ask if Carl wants to play video games, or maybe play pool at Mikey’s house. Carl’s mind is completely blown. He just stares.
Now we see Carl’s interview. He tells Deanna pretty matter-of-factly that he killed his mom. “It had to be me.”
Later, Carl asks Rick what he thinks of the town and says that he thinks the people there are weak, and he’s scared of getting weak also. Wise words.
That night Michonne laments not having a job yet. She wants to fit in and settle down. Rick is glad for it. He’s worried about accepting it. He goes for a walk and runs into Pete, Jessie’s husband. He’s in the shadows, smoking. He doesn’t get up. “Welcome to Alexandria.”
Carol’s interview video. She plays up her status as a housewife and says she misses her husband every day. Says she was den-mother to the group and wants to be part of a community group. What the hell is Carol up to?
Later, we see Carol leaving the house in a smart button-down and cardigan combo, playing her part to the fullest. Daryl’s still sitting on the porch, adjusting his crossbow. She asks Daryl if he’s showered yet, and he lies and says he has. Gross, Daryl.
Glenn’s video. He says they need to make it work. That they were almost out there too long.
Rick heads outside the walls, alone. He goes to the house where he stashed his gun. When he opens the blender, nothing. The gun’s gone. A walker approaches. Carl, who had been following Enid as she snuck over the wall, arrives as three more walkers show up. They tag team the walkers without too much problem, including one that pops out from the garbage heap the blender was in.
Glenn, Noah, and Tara are walking down the street when they run into the gate guard guy and Aidan, Deanna’s son. He says he’s heard that Glenn used to be good at supply runs. Aidan takes them on a test run, nothing big. As they walk through the forest Aidan tells them how they scout in a system of twos, using a flare if they get in trouble. Aidan admits to being a douchebag. Points for honesty I guess.
He tells them that the month previous they lost 4 people when they didn’t follow their system but “we got ours” he says and then takes them to a walker they have strung up. Or used to anyway. It’s managed to get free of its chains. They start whistling and clapping for it, to Glenn’s shock. Instead of killing it they go to chain it up again but struggle with it’s decomposing skin. They end up pushing it onto Tara and Glenn knifes it. Aidan is pissed that he disobeyed his orders.
When they get back Aidan starts berating them and tells them they aren’t ready and need new gigs. Glenn goes, “Pretty sure you got that backwards.” Aidan gets in Glenn’s face. Shoves him. Deanna shows up and asks Aidan what the problem is. “Why’d you let these people in?” Aidan asks. “Because we actually know what we’re doing out there.” Aidan takes a swing at Glenn who ducks it and answers with his own. Guard Guy advances on Glenn but gets tackled by a recently arrived Daryl. Just then Rick and Carl get back and the fight gets broken up.
Deanna addresses everyone. She lets them know that Rick and his people are part of them now. When everyone goes their separate ways, Deanna addresses Rick and his group. She tells Rick that she wants him to be their constable. “That’s what you were. That’s what you are.” And she wants Michonne to be one as well. Rick and Michonne accept. Daryl snorts and walks off.
Deanna thanks Glenn for knocking her son on his ass. I guess she wants/needs her people to toughen up a bit.
Enid gets back and Carl catches her staring. “You don’t like do you,” he asks her. She just walks off.
Over the audio from Rick’s interview about how desperate and dangerous people are now, we see Rick come downstairs in his uniform. Daryl asks him if he’s a cop again. “So we’re staying? … If we get comfortable here, if we let our guard down, this place is gonna make us weak,” Carol says. Rick replies: “We won’t get weak. That’s not in us anymore. We’ll make it work. And if they can’t make it, then we’ll just take this place.”
We didn’t see much of Abraham, Eugene, Rosita, Sasha, or Maggie this week. But everyone else’s reaction to Alexandria is pretty interesting. Carol goes undercover. Daryl refuses to adjust. Carl doesn’t know what to make of it. Rick is ready to take over. Michonne wants to adapt. Etc. What do you guys make of everyone’s reaction?
I think Daryl’s is the most interesting. Here’s a guy who never fit in until the apocalypse (where he thrived) and now he’s thrust into what he must see as suburban hell. His best friend is even a cop. He pretty much turns into a sulking teen. What’s going to happen to him?
What’s Enid’s deal? What’s she doing on the other side of that wall?
For those people we didn’t see much of this week (Abraham, Eugene, etc) how do you think each of them will react to life behind the walls?