Review: ‘The Walking Dead” Episode 5.11 “The Distance”

**SPOILER ALERT** We recapped this a couple days late, so you should have already watched the show. Seriously.

In this week’s episode the group reacts to the suspiciously clean Aaron, who emerged out of the woods to startle Sasha and Maggie. He is as charming as the Governor without seeming too condescending. He tells them he understands why they don’t trust them, but shows them pictures of his community and tells them he wants them to “audition” for membership. Rick punches Aaron because he has apparently forgotten how to say “no thanks.” I get it; it is hard to trust anyone in this world especially since they have already faced some nasty people. Its possible that Aaron could be just another Governor, Gareth, or Dawn.

Michonne doesn’t like the first impression Rick has made for the group. Rick thinks that Aaron is just some sort of diversion and that soon they will be faced with another enemy bent on killing them. Aaron tells the group that he has been following them for a while (he was the “friend” who left water for them). He finally tells Rick that there is only one person that came with him. He suggests that they all go check out the community to see for themselves. Rick is very suspicious of this perfectly timed idea. “You can trust me.” Aaron says. Michonne, Maggie, and Glen want the option to check out the vehicles Aaron says are parked a couple miles away. Rick stays behind to get more answers.

On the walk to check out the vehicles, Glen and Michonne discuss why Aaron would want them to be apart of his community. Glen questions whether they can consider themselves good people. Michonne is quick to remind him of all the good they have done, like saving a priest, or Tara, who was technically on the Governor’s side at the prison. How they even “saved a crazy lady with a sword.” Nearby, another male is closely following behind them. It isn’t long until they find a parked car and RV right where Aaron said they would be.

They bring the RV that is packed with can goods back to the barn. Rick claims the food as if he is a bully taking away lunch from another kid. The group debates on whether to trust Aaron, but they ultimately agree to go check it out. They wait until nightfall because Rick is still sure it is a trap. Glen, Rick and Michonne travel with Aaron while the rest of the group rides in the RV. While looking at the photos, Michonne notices there are no people. She grows a little more suspicious and asks him their “three questions.” Rick finds a listening device in the car, which explains how Aaron knew his name. They start to panic a bit and Glen ends up going Grand Theft Auto on a large group of walkers in the road. They loose sight of the RV and the car won’t start. They see a flare go off in the distance and Aaron freaks out and bolts out of the car. They run through the woods trying to catch up to him, but find themselves out numbered by walkers. Glen reluctantly saves Aaron, who convinces him that they need to work together. Rick kills a zombie with a flare gun, which is a clear winner for ‘the zombie kill of the week’. They finally catch up with everyone else, who is safe in an abandoned building, with Aaron’s partner, Eric.

Aaron is very thankful that they have saved Eric and even opens up more about his community of Alexandria. Everything that he has said up to this point has been the truth. At this point, even the more skeptical members of the group have a hard time denying he is trustworthy. The group decides to wait until morning to head to Alexandria. As they drive in the distance they see Washington D.C. which is a little moral victory for Abraham and Rosita. The RV has battery problems, but thankfully Glen has dealt with crappy RVs before. Did anyone else want to tear up at this nod to Dale? Rick is still having a hard time being on ‘high alert,’ but Michonne reminds him that he needs to let things go. Rick takes a walk and stuffs a gun in a pile of trash by a rundown house. (Insurance, I guess?) They finally reach the walls and Rick hears the sounds of children playing in the distance.

My Thoughts:

It seems like most of the group was fine with Rick’s attitude towards newcomer Aaron. I was happy to see that Michonne and Maggie were like Aaron’s legal representatives, trying to convince Rick that they should at least give him a chance. They aren’t naïve, but they also don’t want to give up on the possibility of hope. This whole episode seemed like a debate on whether they should consider themselves worthy of finding something good. Glen didn’t think so, not until Michonne reminded him of all the good things they had done as a group. Rick needed the most convincing and even towards the end of the episode still had a hard time deciding if he was even going to let his family set foot into the gated Alexandria. It wasn’t until he caught the exchange between Aaron and Eric did he start to look at them like they were human beings. Knowing that Aaron has someone that he would do anything for makes it just a bit easier to trust his word. The group isn’t ready to fully trust the concept of Alexandria though. Even next week, when we finally get to see the community for ourselves, the group will have a hard time letting their guard down. I can only hope that what lies behind the walls is nothing like Woodbury or Terminus. That the group can finally get a bit of a break before the next big crisis comes crashing at their door. It almost seems selfish, but the best episodes come after the group starts to feel calm, only to be abruptly reminded that they can never escape the brutal world outside.

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