After spending so much time out in the wilderness, fighting for their lives against walkers and the living, the Tribe has finally come across a civilized town that may allow for them to settle down, establish roots and create a home. Alexandria has potential to be a safe haven for Rick and his group, and yet, they are not just on the defensive, but on the offensive; already thinking ahead to what they may have to do if the people of Alexandria and the Tribe do not share the same values. In a post-apocalyptic world where survival is the only thing that matters, will these two very different factions learn to work together?
Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…
The Tribe has made it’s way to Alexandria and their entrance back into civilization is fraught with doubt and confusion as well as a sense of foreboding. The tension is palpable, with the Tribe struggling to gain footing in a place where they are considered the violent outsiders, while at the same time, realizing that they are the only ones in Alexandria who know how to deal with what is on the other side of the walls. Rick meets with the leader, Deanna, a former congresswoman turned people-reader (shrink?), who sits in videotaped sessions with Tribe members to talk and discern how they can work together with Alexandria. Deanna explains to Rick that Alexandria is “the start of sustainability”, a place where families can grow. Rick tells Deanna,
You should keep your gates closed because it’s all about survival now, at any cost. People out there are always looking for an angle, looking to play on your weakness. They measure you by what they can take from you, by how they can use you to live.
For Rick, who has seen the worst in humanity, Alexandria has potential to be a home for his family but is also at risk of attack by those on the other side of the walls. The town needs protection from walkers and other humans who might come to take from them, and Deanna believes the Tribe and Alexandria can help each other. The fact is, the Tribe has been living on the brink of desperation, fighting for every scrap of food, every night with shelter. They have lost people and they have been used, abused and hurt. They are skittish, all of them, from Carl to Carol to Daryl, and with good reason. When Deanna tells Rick she wants to be part of his “family”, it is because she knows that those outside of the Tribe hold no chance against it. The Tribe is vicious and fierce in their protectiveness over each other. We know they present a threat to those who don’t share their values (read: Woodbury, Terminus). If the townspeople can become an extended “family” to the Tribe, they may have a chance at survival. If not, they are totally screwed.
It isn’t until Rick sets his watch to Deanna’s declaration of the time, that we start to believe the Tribe might actually become part of the Alexandrian community. For the first time in years, Tribe members have electricity, showers, personal hygiene, and clean clothes. The young people read comic books, listen to music and play video games. The neighbor creates art with her sons. These comforts, which have been lost to the Tribe, are as novel and tempting as anything could be. Both Carl and Carol warn Rick about becoming “weak” and too “comfortable” in Alexandria, but this group doesn’t have weakness in them anymore. They are survivors and have been fending for themselves in the wilds of post-apocalyptic America since the outbreak began. Along with the stability of Alexandria, the Tribe has a real chance at creating a community in which Judith and Carl can grow up safely.
Although there is community to be had at Alexandria, the values and strategies of the Tribe may not go down easy with some of the folks there. Carl is an obvious outlier to the group of teens in town. He has lived in a battlefield, and may never fit in with the others in town, more comfortable killing walkers with his father outside the walls than sitting around in one of the “mansions”, hanging out like a regular teenager.
Not only is Carl having trouble adjusting, but Glen and Daryl have already gotten in an altercation and shown they may not quite fit into community life at Alexandria. Still, Deanna proves her desire to have the Tribe stay their walls when she reprimands her son, Aidan, who puts lives in danger by keeping a walker alive for revenge purposes and almost getting Tara killed. In order to survive, Alexandria may have to change the way they do things, not the other way around. Deanna appoints Rick and Michonne constables, and old fashioned word that lets us know Sheriff Rick is back in town and that he and Michonne will now be keeping the peace. It is an interesting move, reiterating this very surreal situation that the group has gotten themselves into. Trying to fit into a “normal” community after everything the Tribe has experienced will not be easy, but it seems each member has an important role to play, which we will watch unfold as the weeks go by.
One last thing. Rick’s gun is gone. Who followed them and who got the gun? I’m worried it might be Enid, who sneaks off into the woods and disappears so that even Carl can’t track her. What is that girl up to?
xoxo The Collectiva Diva