This episode isn’t exclusively a Sasha episode, but her character does deliver the main question of this arc of the story: What happens to warriors when you take them off of the battlefield? We would all like to think that they can adjust to “normal” society easily. We want that for them and they want it too, but murder, death, loss and years of constant terror aren’t things easily forgotten.
They’ve lived this for so long that it’s become instinct. Instincts like that are hard to get out of your system. They become a part of your body, your DNA.
It almost seems as if the present haunts Sasha more than the past. She can’t sleep in her new home. It’s comfortable, comfortable is disturbing. To her, it’s like playing pretend.
She checks her gun out from the storehouse, saying she wants to go hunting. Her intent is not to hunt for food. She wants to hunt walkers. That is her normal.
It’s how she attracts the walkers to her that is telling; she shoots all of the framed photographs that were in her home. She kills the pretense of the Alexandria Safe Zone.
Carol, Daryl and Rick meet in the woods and hatch a plan to take back some of their guns. History has taught them to be prepared. At the same time, they agree to not tell the rest of their group because they don’t want to discourage them from trying to make a go of it here.
This is a shame because I think this group is past the point where they keep secrets from one another.
Michonne and Rick discuss Deanna’s reasoning for making them “the law” of the town. It does seem strange or at the very least naive to trust two people you’ve never met with that level of authority. On the other hand, it’s a smart move, because giving someone that level of power makes it easier for them to trust you and for the community to trust them.
The latter seems to be behind Deanna’s reasoning. She tells Rick and Michonne:
“People will listen to you because I’m telling them to.”
This is an interesting line because it’s something you could imagine Rick saying, but it’s also something you could hear the Governor say. Which side of the line is Deanna on?
We discover that she wants to build a full government. We also find out that Maggie is going to play a big part in that, but just like last week, we don’t see much of Maggie this episode.
Rick and Deanna walk the perimeter to discuss security. Sasha and Rick advocate for a lookout in the tower. Deanna objects, unless Sasha agrees to come to what is essentially a block party. She’s not above bribing them to become members of the community.
Carol, in a floral cardigan, and Rick know the party will be the perfect distraction, allowing them to get their guns.
Carol’s disguise is so smart. Smarter than obtaining a stash of guns. I’m sure Deanna expects Rick, Daryl and Michonne to have a few weapons hidden away. She’s not going to expect it from Carol, who claims she’s never handled more than a handgun.
Aaron, supposedly hunting rabbits, meets Daryl in the woods. They have some bromance bonding time hunting. Aaron leads Daryl to a horse, whom the kids in the town have named Buttons.
Zombies show up, of course, and scare off the horse. While the two look for it, Aaron drops some great wisdom.
“The more scared people get, the stupider they become.”
Of course, none of this bonding was by accident. Daryl is the most resistant to the community and Aaron is very good at reading and communicating with people. He’s a great choice to reel Daryl in.
Meanwhile at the party, there’s plenty of wine and beer, so sign me up to live in Alexandria!
Deanna’s husband heaps the compliments on Rick for his ability to keep everyone in his crew safe. It’s so difficult not to be suspicious of everyone in this town. Like our group of survivors, we want to believe that this will work, but my shoulders tense up as Deanna’s husband pours Rick a drink. Is it poisoned?
Back in the woods, several zombies attack Buttons and eat him alive. (Damn you show.) Aaron and Daryl bond over dispatching the Buttons-eating zombies. (Yay!)
Once they get back to town and it’s obvious Daryl isn’t going to the party, Aaron invites him in for spaghetti with Eric, who’s still laid up with a broken ankle.
After dinner, Aaron’s true motives are revealed. He wants Daryl to become a recruiter for the town.
Aaron is smart in the way that he asks him. He takes Daryl to the garage where there is a disassembled motorcycle. Supposedly, the parts were all there when Aaron moved in. Daryl can put the bike together and keep it, if he accepts the job.
Aaron also understands Daryl in a way that no one else in the town does:
“Right now, you need to be out there sometimes. So do I.”
That line makes me wonder if Aaron is playing the same game as Carol. There’s more to him than we know.
And like Carol, he understands that Daryl has a good heart underneath all of that dirty exterior.
“You do know the difference between a good person and a bad person.”
At the party, we meet Jessie’s husband, the town doctor. Jessie reminds Rick that the people of his group aren’t the only ones to go through a lot of dark shit. Rick needs that reminder. He does think he and his family are the end all be all of survival. They’re strong, that’s not in question, but they aren’t special snowflakes. Rick needs that reality check.
This episode is titled Forget, but that’s not what anyone in the town wants them to do. Putting down your burdens doesn’t mean forgetting them and it doesn’t mean living in denial either. It does take a long time to come to that realization, and some people never make it there, but I hope everyone in our group does.
Rick may be adjusting to Alexandria life faster than he realizes. There is a scene where he hands Judith to Jessie and they have a moment. Rick leans in and kisses her on the cheek. It’s clear he wanted to do more. It’s not clear how she feels about it.
His attraction to her may seem random, but she is a mother and a wife. She represents normalcy, in the same way that Lori represented the normalcy of the past for him.
Sasha’s time at the party turns into a disaster. She can’t cope with not having to worry. She can’t cope with not having to be afraid. Like I said earlier, she can’t shut off what’s become her psychological DNA.
Carol sneaks in to get the guns but she is followed by Sam, Jessie’s son. He’s hoping to get cookies. Poor kid. She asks him to keep him finding her a secret. He says he won’t do it because he can’t lie to his mother.
This is when Carol becomes someone we don’t know. Someone we have never met.
I’m not going to say that she threatens Sam’s life. That’s not what she does. She terrifies him – and even that isn’t a strong enough word.
She tells him that one day he will wake up and not be in his bed. He’ll be outside of the town wall and no one will hear him scream. Then walkers will come. They’ll eat him piece by piece, all the while he’ll scream and no one will save him.
Up until now, I’ve loved Carol’s journey. Yes, we’ve seen her kill a child, but she killed a murderous child and it destroyed her. Perhaps it destroyed her so much that it evaporated any good she had left. It is very difficult for me to see any good in this woman now.
Rick patrols the town and waves to Jessie and her husband. When he sees Jessie’s husband put his arm around her, he reaches back and touches his gun. It’s not just the town he’ll take if he wants it.
Then, hears a walker on the other side of the wall. He goes to where it is and leans against the wall. It’s almost as if he’s craving war and the destruction of the town.
It does seem like that is what he and Carol want and if they keep up with their current behavior, that’s exactly what will happen.
What do you think? Has of this terror turned out heroes into villains? (Please no comic book spoilers in the comments!)
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 on AMC.