Well, I loved this episode of The Walking Dead. I just had to get that right out there first thing, because I’m sure that there will be a ton of commenters across the Internet bemoaning that The Distance was just another filler episode. People, there is no such thing as a filler episode. That is an Internet myth created by people who don’t really want character development, just guns, guts, and explosions. What this whole episode boiled down to was trust. Who could you trust, when could you trust them, and how do you build that trust.
*NB.com writer Regina Lizik usually does the weekly Walking Dead write ups but she’s out this week so I’m filling in. This recap/review isn’t going to just recap the episode in shot by shot order. That’s kinda boring, instead I am going to give you my impressions of what I saw as the important themes and moments in the episode. And yes this review will contain SPOILERS!
The big question for Rick was could he trust Aaron, because it wasn’t just Rick, Carl, and Judith that would be at risk if placing his trust in Aaron played out wrong. It would affect the entire group, or better still the rest of Rick’s family, because that is what they are now.
Abraham and Rosa have a moment or trust re-building in the RV. Abraham brings up the moment when they found out that Eugene was lying about Washington and Abraham lost it and beat him senseless. There was a moment there that Rosa and Abraham came to heads, right before Maggie stepped in and put a gun in Abraham’s face to calm him down. Abraham was worried that Rosa might have thought he would have hurt her in that moment. You might remember that Abraham’s wife was scared of him in the grocery store where Abraham beat those men to death in front of her and their children.
When the group returns to the barn with the car and RV they take out all the food and Rick claims it. Much like the “Claimers” group that Daryl traveled with. That was a moment when I wondered how far Rick would go, not that he would eat people, or do the things that Claimers group did and tried to do, but it reminded me what others might do.
Glen and Aaron have a moment of trust when the Horde stops the car and the flare goes off. Aaron knows it is Eric signaling that he is in trouble and Aaron wants to go to save him. He jumps out of the car and the group is separated by the horde as they follow after Aaron to catch him. Glen catches up to Aaron, who is still tied up with his hands behind him, but managing to keep a walker off with only his feet. Glen sighs, and then decides he has to help Aaron. He cuts Aaron’s bonds and gives him a gun, trusting him further with his life, and basically the rest of the group as well.
Rick, Michonne, Glen, and Aaron finally meet back up with the group that was in the RV where they fins Eric, who has broken his ankle. That caused him to shoot off the flare for help. Aaron is beside himself with relief that Eric is alive and well besides the ankle problem. Rick ease drops on their conversation and you can almost see a look of embarrassment when Aaron and Eric realize Rick has been listening the whole time. Rick has seen an unguarded moment between two people who really love each other. Most of us would be a little abashed at witnessing that kind of scene and would feel like we intruded. Seeing Rick feel that was a good moment for me. I have felt that Rick might be losing it in his desperation to protect the group. Seeing him appreciate that moment and recognize it for what it was settled some of those fears for me.
Michonne talks with Rick about his current inability to trust, recalling how difficult it was for her to come back off the road when she found Rick and group at the prison. She reminds Rick that he made the move to trust her enough to let her in. Carol had one real line in this episode towards the end and it hit Rick, and me, like a ton of bricks. She tells Rick that even though he was wrong, he was right. Meaning that she agreed with not trusting too easily or too fast. Even as the arrive at the gates, it’s not until Rick hears the children playing inside that he allows himself a glimmer of hope and perhaps trust.
Now here is where I have perhaps a different view on the ending. They come to the gate and there is no guard, or watcher. I don’t care how strong they feel that gate is, anyone could ram a car through it and then what good is that gate or wall? I am more worried that the people in Alexandria are a danger to the group because they don’t know what they hell they are doing. So dependent on those walls that they have no other security? Now those of you that read the comics know what is in store for our group at Alexandria, but we also know that between the comic book panel and the television screen there are changes. My trust of the people at Alexandria falls short when I consider that they may be a danger to the group because they are not as strong as Rick’s group when it comes to doing what they have to do. The pendulum seems to have swung to the other side from the group at Termiunus that was going to do whatever they had to in order for them to survive, including eating human meat.
Couple of interesting bits from the episode:
Solar panels in the pictures means electricity.
The Applesauce showed not only that Alexandria has food but has fresh food.
Aaron mentions a doctor, which is a real plus.
Glen fixes the RV, but doesn’t mention Dale. You didn’t need to hear him say it, but you knew he was thinking of Dale and was thankful of all the things Dale did,and taught him before he died in that moment.
It was interesting to see Washington without a trial of smoke from numerous burning buildings. Every time we saw the Atlanta skyline we saw fires. Did Washington come through with less damage to the buildings?
There was one last moment of trust for Rick in episode when the RV broke down. Rick asks for a moment before they head out again and goes off by himself to a nearby home. He rummaged around in the back yard and finds an old blender in which he hides a gun. Rick isn’t ready to let all his distrust go yet. I’m guessing he’ll hide the blender with the gun in the RV somewhere, or the car so he can come back for it if he needs it.
Did I leave anything out that you thought was important? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear what you think about the episode.. and this recap/review.
Here’s the teaser and a promo video for next week’s episode: Remember.