Nerd Bastards writer Regina Lizik usually does the weekly The Walking Dead write-up, but she’s out this week so I’m filling in. This week’s episode is called Remember. What exactly are our merry band of survivors supposed to be remembering? Before we get into that, I’d like to take a moment to remember an important cast member during the last few seasons that came to an untimely end tonight. Yes, another unsung cast member bit the dust, cut down in the prime of their life, and we watched their life slowly drain away. So consider this your one and only SPOILER WARNING. You click-through and it’s all on you.
Who had more than just a close shave with death tonight? That’s right, I’m talking about Rick Grimes Beard.
You had a good run Rick Grimes Beard… got us through some tough times… but now that there’s hot running water and razor blades… you’ve got to go. Let’s all take a moment, pour a gulp of beer out of our 40, and appreciate Rick Grimes Beard’s sacrifice. He died so that a million Walking Dead Lady Fans, quite a few fellas, and Jessie pictured below, could swoon at a clean-shaven Rick Grimes. He’s bringing clean-shaven-sexy back to the Apocalypse.
* That crazy story about Norman Reedus having Andrew Lincoln‘s beard clippings in a zip lock in his freezer… all true.
Then I remembered that Rick has taken more showers than anyone I’ve ever known in the Zombie Apocalypse. He got one when he took Morgan and son to the local Sheriff’s office, at the CDC he had sexy shower time with his wife Lori before crazy science guy blew it up, at the prison he had to have taken a shower at some point, everyone else did. The only thing more remarkable than the amount of times that Rick Grimes has showered during this Apocalypse is Daryl’s refusal to shower in Alexandria, but we’ll get back to that.
So let’s get back on track. How does Remember come into play with this episode? Well the low hanging fruit of the episode is that the group has to remember what it is like to be off the road, back among others in a community. Remember what luxuries electricity, running water, and shelter are.
At the same time there is a flip side to this. While they enjoy those luxuries, they must also remember what it is really like outside those walls. Both Daryl and Carl express that dread of losing their edge, getting soft and weak like the others inside. This warring duality of survival for the group inside Alexandria will be the focal point of the next few episodes as the group settles in and finds their place.
Carol takes remembering to another extreme. She remembers how dangerous the last two groups they’ve dealt with were. She immediately decides to put up a front. Remember when the group finally turns in their weapons? Carol fumbles with hers, like she doesn’t really know how to handle the rifle. We all know better than that.
When Carol is interviewed by Deanna, the ex-congresswoman from Ohio and leader of Alexandria, Carol puts up a front of helplessness calling herself the den mother of the group and that she is all about community. She’s a people person.
They’ve been nice enough to protect me. I’d like to be involved in the community. … I’m a real people person.
When Carol later comes out in khakis and a sweater, I almost did a spit take at the screen. That scene between Carol and Daryl was fantastic. Take a damn shower Daryl.
Carl may have found true love in Enid, she can’t stay in the damn house as she’s told either. Carl sees her in the window of an abandoned house outside the walls as they first approach Alexandria’s gates at the beginning of the episode, that had to be her. She’s been in Alexandria for 8 months and still hasn’t fully committed to staying there. She climbs the wall and goes outside, Carl of course follows her. I imagine Enid is stashing supplies in that backpack and has a run to location all picked out for when things hit the fan in Alexandria. Most likely because every other place Enid has felt safe in before has the same thing happen to them. Carl tries to fit in when asked to play video games, but you can see him struggling with it. In Carl’s world right now you don’t make friends because friends die.
While Carl is outside he crosses paths with Rick who also went out to recover that gun he stashed in the blender, the gun that is no longer there. Now that could mean two things. One, that Enid took it, which is my guess, or two, that the Alexandria group was watching them as they approached and sent someone to take it.I’d like to offer up a third idea that another group is watching Alexandria and saw Rick’s group getting closer and took the hidden gun. Back to Carl and Rick. Rick doesn’t bat an eye at Carl being outside, no questions, just a quick nod and hey let’s kill Walkers. My thought is that Enid isn’t really a fighter, but knows how to get around Walkers, staying one step ahead and hiding. It wouldn’t surprise me if she was close by to watch that whole thing play out.
Glen has a nice moment when he confronts Deanna’s son Adin about his reckless behavior outside the walls. This is where we really see the difference between the two groups. Adin and his partner are practically clueless when it comes to handling Walkers and just being outside the walls. They both make a ton of noise when their tied up Walker gets loose, that will only attract more. Things finally get to a head when the group returns to Alexandria and Anid take a swing at Glen. Glen is expecting it, hell inviting it at that point, and puts Adin on his ass with one punch. It is interesting to note that Anid’s mother Deanna tells Glen she is glad Glen did what he did. She knows that Anid is going to get others killed as well as himself if he keeps going the way he is.
Let’s talk about Deanna for a bit. She videos the individual interviews she conducts with the group. My first reaction is that she did this so she could look back over them, find the tells of each person to help her read them better. She does say she is good at it and would have been a poker player if she wasn’t a politician. After listening to some thoughts of others who watched the episode, Deanna might be making those tapes to show some one else. Is there another behind Deanna that is the true power in Alexandria? Could Deanna be the political face of Alexandria while another welds the real power?
Just because we didn’t meet, or see many people this episode, there must be more people in the community that we just haven’t seen yet. A lot of people I talked with after the episode thought Rick had a dream sequence in the episode where he saw Pete, the husband of his haircut lady smoking on the porch. I just think this was an editing thing. Yes Rick did wake up suddenly, but that was after he finished his walk and returned to the house. He woke up suddenly because his cop instincts were kicked into over drive while he slept after his talk with Pete, after his mind had time to churn his conversation earlier in the day with Pete’s wife Jessie, who never mentioned him. It was the son who mentioned Pete was at work. Rick knows there is something wrong there without anyone telling him, Cop Radar.
Rick repeatedly warns Deanna about what it is like outside those walls. People are measuring you, by what they can take from you, how they can use you to survive. Well, I hate to tell you this Rick, Deanna already knows this and is doing exactly that to you and your group. She’s sized you up from the moment she met you, using those politician people skills. Before Rick even knows that his wants to stay Deanna knows she wants to make him constable. She even knows enough to want to add Michonne to that mix. Is it because Michonne has a sword? No, it’s because Michonne really wants this to work and knows how to calm and talk with Rick. She will be the bridge to help Rick adapt to the new community.
You can see one moment of trouble that Rick has adapting to Alexandria when the group wants to take a walk around. Rick hangs back for a moment, just long enough for Carl and Judith to get out of his direct line of sight. When Rick realizes this he freaks the hell out. Running through the street looking for them he runs into Jessie again and again , no mention of her husband, just that undercurrent of sexual electric attraction between Rick and Jessie. Jessie shows Rick where Carl and Judith are and Rick calms down a bit.
After Deanna finally does tell Rick she wants him to be the constable, we do get to see Rick back in uniform:
At the end Rick tells Carol and Daryl,
We won’t get weak. That’s not in us anymore. We’ll make it work. If [the people of the Safe-Zone] can’t make it, then we’ll just take this place.
I’m sure there were other parts in the episode some might think more important, if so, let us know in the comments section below. Here’s the promo for next week’s episode “Forget.”