Last week, the group was faced with the opportunity to join the community of Alexandria. This week, we get to see how they are adjusting to this seemingly perfect place. There is an eerie calm as the group enters the streets of Alexandria. They don’t know what to except and probably seem like a Rick seems kind of cocky, like he is the hero (oh, wait, he is) as he tells them, “It’s a good thing we’re here.” You tell them Rick…
Rick meets with Deanna Monroe, the leader of the community. Her house is super nice like pre-apocalypse nice. She films her first encounters with the group as she grills them about their past. She was a Congressman, which means she is smart and a little charismatic. Rick learns a lot of about how Alexandria came to be. Most of the people have been sheltered from the horrors of outside. That is why Deanna is so interested in having more members with “survival experience.” Rick warns her “people out there are always looking for an angle.” Translation, people out there are really f***** up. She wants to put her trust in Rick, but he was to make the decision to stay first.
The group, choosing to stay on trial basis, are given two large houses to divide amongst themselves. They get hot showers and clean cloths, for the first time in forever. Rick shaves off his mountain men beard and gets a haircut by new neighbor Jesse, reverting back to the clean-cut season one Rick Grimes look. Jesse offers to introduce Carl to her son, who is about the same age. Everyone seems to be taking advantage of the new amenities except for Daryl who is still slicing up possums and refusing to take showers. The group still doesn’t completely trust the new situation, so they decide to all stay together in one house for the time being. Deanna all gives them jobs around town and everything really seems perfect.
Carl gets a taste of being a normal kid when he meets Jesse’s son and his friends. It seems like he is almost overwhelmed, but the kids are super supportive. He takes interest in a girl named Enid, who like him, comes from the “outside.” Rick meets the first creepy person in the town, Jesse’s husband, and it puts him back into survival mode (not 100%, more like 75%). He goes back to where he stashed his gun last episode and finds it missing. Carl joins him near the house where they run into some walkers. It is like a father-son hunting trip as they take each one down, almost gleefully. During Carol’s interview she reverts back to acting like Suzy Homemaker and not the badass that she has come to be. It is all a play so that the people will no doubt underestimate her.
Glen, Tara, Noah are given the jobs to help do runs, they are sent to train with Deanna’s son Aiden. During a dry run, Aiden tells them they had lost a few people a couple of months ago. He takes them to where they strung up one of the guilty walkers that they now torture as a pre-game ritual. It escaped, but quickly shows up to attack the group. Glen takes it down and Aiden is pissed because he didn’t follow his orders. He basically fires him for not “being ready,” which really pisses of Glen AKA the guy who has survived years on the outside. Back inside the town the two are at odds as the rest of the group comes to defend Glen. Aiden doesn’t want them there, but Deanna shut him and anyone else questioning her decisions down.
Deanna tells Rick and Michonne she wants him to be the town constables. At the end of the episode, Rick is back in a uniform. He tells Daryl and Carol that they should settle in and that they all need to try to make this work. He ends their conversation saying that if the townspeople can’t make it work, they will just take the town for themselves.
As far as gripping emotional losses and bloody violence goes, this episode was, well, pretty tame. We did, however, lose something that had been a constant staple in the show’s last three seasons. This episode, we said goodbye to Rick’s unruly beard and welcomed in a couple of new characters, including a self-described douchebag.
For the most part, the group seemed to take advantage of “being safe.” I know the majority of them want to believe that Alexandria is safe haven. As much as they would love to just accept this new situation and adapt like normal people would, they cant. They have seen and done too much. At the end of the episode, Rick tells Carol and Daryl that they could never really be weakened by this experience, but if they must they will take over the town to survive. It is a totally understandable reaction. They are just waiting for the other shoe to drop or for people’s bad intentions to be shown.
Alexandria is seemingly a paradise and that leaves almost everyone feeling kind of uneasy. Michonne seems to be the only one that has a good feeling about the community. I trust her instincts since she saw through Woodbury’s façade easily. Besides Aiden and Jesse’s creepy husband, the townspeople seem like they all mean well. Rick and his group are like wild animals that have a hard time trusting a good situation. Even if you come at them gently or even clean them up (hello handsome Rick!), they still will have that survivalist mentality. Hopefully next week we can get a bit more clarity on Deanna’s intentions. Also, I hope that Carol makes good on her threat to force the reluctant Daryl to take a shower.