The Walking Dead
Last night brought us a new episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead. The 13th episode of the season was titled “Forget,” and centered on the group’s adjustment to the Alexandria Safe Zone. The episode had three major plots going on:
- The Welcoming Party
- Daryl and Aaron
- Rick, Carol, and Daryl’s plan to secure their guns
There was a fourth subplot going on with Sasha, who continues to struggle after the deaths of Bob and Tyreese. She’s having a hard time adjusting to life in Alexandria, building to a blowup at the welcoming party when an Alexandrian comments she’s worried about making Sasha a dish she won’t like. In a world with the dead walk among the living, not making Sasha’s favorite dish is apparently a stupid thing to worry about.
The welcoming party was the largest part of the episode. Deanna, the leader of Alexandria, throws a get together for the community to welcome Rick’s group. Most of the group attend the party. Rick seems to to adjust quite well to his new role, smiling at the comments and getting involved with the kids (apparently, you’re not a true Alexandrian until you have the Scarlet Letter on the back of your hand). Rick is flirting with Jessie and even steals a kiss. It was unexpected, but considering Jessie’s smile afterwards, I don’t think she hated it. I wonder how Jessie’s husband, Pete, would think about that. Speaking of Pete, he doesn’t seem like quite the asshole he tabbed him for last episode. That said, he still showed signs of being controlling and possessive, but I think trouble is still on the horizon with him.
It was very strange to see the group dressed in nice clothes. When Abraham and Rosita arrived, I didn’t recognize Rosita at first. But they had beer, so Abraham was happy. Noah was thinking about bailing, but Glenn and Maggie wouldn’t let him.
The second major plot was the story of Daryl and Aaron. In the previous episode, Daryl was the one guy who hasn’t showered yet, and hasn’t gotten a job yet.
This time, he’s hunting outside the gates when Aaron shows up, innocently hunting for rabbits (although considering Carol later states that the Alexandrians always have an eye on Daryl, maybe not so innocently). Together, the two start to build a bit of a bond. Despite his role in the community, Aaron still feels like an outsider, due to his sexual orientation (he’s gay, in case you forgot). He recognizes that Daryl still feels like an outsider. Considering Norman Reedus’s comment that he would be fine playing Daryl as gay, this was an interesting comparison between Aaron and Daryl.
The two hide a black wild horse the children of Alexandria have affectionately named “Buttons.” Aaron has unsuccessfully been trying to catch it for months. Daryl’s own attempt nearly succeeded, before a few walkers show up and spook the horse. They catch up with the horse shortly after, but this time it gets surrounded and consumed by walkers. After Daryl and Aaron take care of the walkers, it’s Aaron who sadly puts the horse down.
Back at the community, Daryl considers attending the party but thinks better of it. Instead, he’s invited to eat dinner with Aaron and Eric, who is still recovering from his broken ankle. After Daryl eats his spaghetti like a 5-year-old, Aaron shows him his collection of random motorcycle parts, suggesting Daryl build himself a bike so he replace Eric as the second Alexandria recruiter.
Rise of the Cookie Maker
In different intervals of the episode, Rick, Carol, Daryl meet outside the gates to discuss a plan to take back their guns from the armory. Carol does the pre-work, visiting the armory to subtly unlock the window while under the guise of collecting supplies for his special cookie recipe. It’s still awkward to see Carol acting all innocent around weapons (although this pales in her awkward ratio for this episode). Carol later sneaks out of the party, which the trio have seen as a perfect opportunity to do some undisturbed weapon shopping.
The fly in the ointment, however, occurs as the party. Around the same time that Rick gets the tramp stamp on the back of his hand, Deanna’s 10-year-old son Sam laments that the cookies are all gone. As part of his kinder, gentler Constable Grimes, Rick tells Sam that he personally knows the cookie maker, and she can bake some cookies especially for him. Sam is happy after, but then goes off in search of the cookie maker.
Carol sneaks into the armory, stops to gran some chocolate, and then starts shoveling guns into a bag. Unfortunately, Sam wants his cookies, and catches her in the act. Carol agrees to make Sam some more cookies, but he has an issue with the condition of not telling anyone about what he just saw. And that leads us to the creepiest part of the episode. It’s best to just use Carol’s own words.
“You can never tell anyone, especially your mom. Because if you do, one morning you’ll wake up and you won’t be in your bed. You’ll be outside the walls. Far, far away, tied to a tree, and you’ll scream and scream because you’ll be so afraid. No one will come to help because no one will hear you. Well, something will hear you. The monsters will come. The ones out there. And you won’t be able to run away when they come for you. And they will tear you apart and eat you up, all while you’re still alive. All while you can still feel it. And then afterwards, no one will ever know what happened to you. Or you can promise not to ever tell anyone what you saw here. And then nothing will happen. And you’ll get cookies.”
It’s safe to say that Carol just went to a very dark place. One wonders how she’ll explain it when Sam wets his pants every single time he sees her.
This episode had a few similarities to Issue 72 of the comic series. In that Issue, the residents of Alexandria thrown a welcoming party for Rick and his group. Glenn, like Abraham on the show, gets drunk at the party. Michonne flips out an a resident who offers to make Michonne dinner and worries that she’ll make something that Michonne doesn’t like. Michonne responds by saying, “Worried?! This is what you worry about?”
- I wonder what is with the W carved onto the dead walker’s forehead. One theory is that is stands for “wolves.” Recall in Noah’s gated neighborhood near Richmond, their was a spray-painted sign that said “Wolves Not Far.” Also on the walls of the barn where Rick’s group took refuse during the thunderstorm is written “Wolves.” It’s possibly a group called “The Wolves” destroyed that neighborhood and are now living near Alexandria.
- Rick having a touching moment with a walker on the other side of the wall was strange. I’m not sure if the scene was supposed to convey the safety the walls present, of the danger that still lurks on the other side of a metal sheet.
- I was wondering if Norman Reedus’s comments of playing Daryl gas was supposed to allude to something in this episode. I was half expecting Daryl to start kissing Aaron.
- Speaking to Daryl, when Aaron told him he needed a motorcycle, I thought he was about to tell Daryl that he wasn’t accepted into the community. That said, his new job will keep him away from Alexandria for stretches of time.
- Where was Gabriel… again?!
If you don’t want to be potentially spoiled, stop now! This section will look at how the current events might translate to future events, based on the comics. If you are so brave as to continue, highlight the invisible text below to reveal.
- In the comics, there was an attraction between Rick and Jessie, while Pete was revealed to be an abusive husband. Rick beats him up and later shoots him when Pete tries to retaliate with the knife.
- The gunshot attracts a band of dangerous scavengers, who threaten to force their way into Alexandria. These scavengers could possibly be the Wolves. In fact, the leader of the scavengers introduces himself with the classic line, “Little pig, little pig, let me come in.” How’s that for symbolism? Rick’s group engages in a firefight with the scavengers, with Alexandria winning. Unfortunately, the noise attracts a massive herd of walkers and leads them to Alexandria.
- Rick’s comment about how lucky Alexandria is that they are there is very telling. Rick’s group gets a big head, thinking themselves superior after clashes with the Governor and the Hunters. So when they encounter another friendly community who is dealing with a tyrant, Rick offers to take care of the tyrant in exchange for some food and supplies. But their aura of superiority evaporates when Glenn’s head tragically meets the end of that tyrant’s barbed wire-encased baseball bat. Remember Glenn almost getting brained by a baseball bat in the season premiere? And how about Glenn picking up the baseball bat in Noah’s neighborhood? If that’s not foreshadowing, I don’t know what is.
- In the fourth episode of the first season of the show, Dale has a quote. “I give you a mausoleum of all hope and desire which will fit your individual needs, no better than it did mine and my father before me. I give it to you not that you may remember time, but that you may forget it. For a moment, now and then, and not spend all of your breath trying to conquer it.” The bolded words are the names of the final five episode titles of the season.
In next week’s episode, titled “Spend,” Rick and his group face many challenges, some life threatening while trying to secure their new home. Is this really the utopia it seems to be?