The Tribe has survived multiple attacks from the living and dead, rotating out the weak, with the core members remaining vigilant to the integrity of the group. When they found Alexandria, the fortified walls and welcoming nature of the group solidified the Tribe’s desire to remain. Recent events, including the repeated violent actions of Rick, have caused Alexandrians to not only question the tactics but the loyalty of the Tribe to the rest of Alexandria. Still, the question that continues to rise in this post-apocalyptic setting is, what does one have to do to survive? In the case of Alexandria, survival depends on Rick and his group, because regardless of the morality behind their tactics, the Tribe has survived outside of Alexandrian walls long enough to know that it isn’t always the dead who are the threat. More often than not, it is imperative to fear the living, as well.
Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…
The story of Enid goes much as we might expect. She watches her parents die and get eaten by walkers and wanders through the forest until she comes upon the walls of Alexandria. With obvious trepidation, she finally decides to enter the gates and join the group there, and yet we know that she sneaks outside the walls and has suffered enough to cause her to stop talking the first few weeks during her time in Alexandria. While there isn’t evidence that she is a spy for the Wolves, she is too good at sneaking around and too mentally unstable not to have something secret going on. Within Enid’s story, we see the themes that resonate throughout life during the apocalypse–each individual must make her own choices and be able to justify them. What gets Enid through the day is “JSS” or, Just Survive Somehow, which the girl has done and probably will continue to do, in Alexandria or outside, with the Wolves or travelling on her own.
Regardless if Enid is with them or against them, when the Wolves attack, it is brutal. They have timed their attack perfectly–Rick and the others are herding the walker parade away from Alexandria and the town is almost defenseless.
Carol has been playing a role in order to infiltrate Alexandria and when the Wolves attack, she does what she does best, which is to hide in plain sight and attack from the inside out–an interesting juxtaposition from her time as Cardigan Carol. She disguising herself as a member of the wolf pack, and proceeds to covertly undermine the Wolves’ attack by murdering most of them, performing the task when those around her are not capable. Carol does what comes naturally; she adapts, she survives and she takes care of herself and the Tribe. With the reluctant assistance of Morgan, who doesn’t want to kill, but is more than capable of doing so, Alexandria is protected, but not without a high cost of lives on both sides.
We also get other interesting survival tactics on the part of Alexandrians. Denise, the new doctor after Phil’s very timely demise, gets a lesson in post-apocalyptic medicinal practices, when she’s faced with dying friends and a lack of expertise. Denise wants to freeze up when she discovers the job as town Doctor has passed to her, but she deals with her anxiety and yet, still loses her patient. Death is common, but the Alexandrians have been shielded thus far from the real consequences of the outbreak, which not only includes walkers, but desperate people and dead friends. While the Tribe members have learned to adapt to this new way of living, the Alexandrians are experiences apocalyptic living, most of them, for the first time.
Although Jessie has been inside the walls, Pete was a monster and she uses the same skills she learned hiding from him to keep her boys safe from the Wolves when they come into her home. When she does veer downstairs, it is to protect Ron, who has come home unaware of the threat inside. Jessie and a woman with a “W” on her forehead fight, and Jessie kills the woman viciously, stabbing her over and over again while her son watches.
Jessie reminds me much of Carol, not only because of her ability to survive the abuse of her husband, but because of the anger lying just underneath her surface. Both women seem capable of doing almost anything to protect those they care about. It is a testament to the Tribe that these are the people who survive the Wolves’ attack and will go on to protect and preserve the integrity of the Tribe and all of Alexandria.
Can I just say, I love all these amazing female characters being highlighted on TWD?? Bless you, AMC!
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9pm.
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