Times, they are a-changing in Alexandria, and we finally get to see what the citizens of this tribe are capable of. There are walkers all around the city walls but Rick back, and he is ready to lead the town to victory–which only means they live, not that they necessarily get to keep the town. To do that, he needs the help of his Tribe, Deanna and the rest of Alexandria. This week, I’m recapping two episodes in one post, people, so keep up.
Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…
“Now” keeps us inside the walls of Alexandria, after the half the horde has veered in their direction and the other half has taken out some of those who attempted to help Rick. This story moves us away from the time loop we’ve been in thus far, into the mundane days of a post-horde parade and Wolf attacked Alexandria. Individuals are disheartened, and no one more so than Deanna and her son, who hash it out over stolen crackers from the cannery. They’re both cowards, as is pretty much everyone in Alexandria, which is why, when they die, it’s really hard to feel sympathy for them.
What is even more emotional than when they die is when an Alexandrian suceeds. Jesse gives her neighbors a rousing speech about post-apocalyptic life which doesn’t seem to inspire as much as terrify and depress her peers. Doctor Denise is discouraged because she’s not really a doctor, and is ME when she tells Tara that she’d rather the roamers go away and a real doctor show up at the gates, so that she can go back to her apartment and read “War and Peace”. Tara encourages Denise to continue to help people even though she’s afraid, and when Denise ends up saving the man she thought was going to die, she rewards herself (and Tara) with a kiss. We all know love in the world of walkers isn’t easy, but I am gunning for these two cute kids.
While new love is blossoming in Alexandria, Maggie is working with Aaron to find her husband, Glen, who hassn’t returned from the walker parade. Last we saw, he was underneath a bunch of hungry zombies, but we didn’t see him die and neither did anyone else. This ambiguity isn’t uncommon in a post-apocalyptic scene, and yet, it feels wrong to leave Glen’s fate unknown. His wife is pregnant, which is a surprise and yet, not really, because they’re married, having lots of sex and probably not using protection. Maggie tells Aaron her secret, and I am reminded on Glen’s secret knowledge of Laurie’s pregnancy, way back when. This is sure to bring even more emotional weight to the fates of Glen and Maggie, who wants her husband but also needs to keep herself alive. When she decides that lack of closure regarding Glen’s death will have to be enough, and stays behind the walls, it is a sad but poignant moment that reminds us how many people in a post-apocalyptic world truly do not know the fate (and never will) of the people they love.
Meanwhile, “Always Accountable” takes us back outside the wall, to Sasha, Abraham and Daryl, who come across another group, who decidedly aren’t the Wolves, and who have guns, cars, and a lot of people. Sasha and Abraham crash the car they’d been using to lead the walker parade, and Daryl is separated from them, left to roam a desolate, charred forest, alone.
Sasha and Abraham stay in town, holing themselves up in a space and writing “Dixon” on the door, as they wait inside for him to show up. While Abraham wants to leave and head back (carless and probably in the wrong direction), Sasha makes a good point when she says the best way to find a tracker is to stay put. Daryl is one of (if not THE) best warrior in the Tribe, not only because of his skill with a bow and arrow but also beause his heart continues to guide him to do the right thing.
It’s been obvious over the length of the story that both Sasha and Abraham deal with post-apocalyptic life very differently than the rest of the Tribe. We witnessed Sasha in the midst of a mental breakdown after Bo’s death at at the hands of the Terminus tribe. On the other hand, Abraham has struggled with his disappointments silently, as he continues to function in the same capacity as he always has, including risking his life by climbing out onto that fence to get the rocket launcher in the walker’s backback (yikes!). Make no mistake. Both of these soldiers suffer from PTSD, and it seems that on this trip, the two have disovered a comraderie in that pain. Whether that turns romantic or not remains to be seen, but both will benefit from the support and undestanding they can offer one another.
While Sasha and Abraham are working out their issues, Daryl is left to wander through a burned down forest alone, until he is found, and subsequently kocked out, by 3 strangers. The man, woman and younger woman seem to be a family running from a larger threat–another group that probably don’t hold the high moral standards of the kind people in Alexandria and who probably want to kill everybody. Whoever they are, it seems the family think Daryl is one of them, and so they tie him up and hold him hostange. When he finally gets a chance, he takes off, grabbing his bow, which is in the same pack as the young woman’s insulin.
Of course Daryl goes back, because, as he puts it, he’s “stupid”, but we all know his heart is usually in the right place and that he is a big softie. He helps the family escape the threatening group and asks them Rick’s 3 questions (!!!), determined to bring them to safety at Alexandria. We have to remember, Daryl ahs been travelling with Aaron, recruiting people because he is a good judge of character and a decent, smart, resourceful man. Unfortunately, the family doesn’t trust Daryl as much as the violent group who wants to drag them back to camp against their will, and, when the young diabetic woman is bitten by a walker and dies, they decide Daryl’s protection can’t compare to the group they left, steal his bike, and return. Daryl, who is a survivor through and through, finds the fuel truck the family had been looking for and drives through the nearest town to find Sasha and Abraham. He does, they all live, and are on their way back to what is left of Alexandria with a few new revalations about themselves and the world around them.
There are a few things to note here–the family seemed to claim responsibility for the fire that burned down the forest and they didn’t seem to be Wolves beause they lacked the distinct craziness and “W” on the forehead. They also come from a tribe with resources, and who seem to be intelligent and less crazy than the Wolves. The story, while slow so far, is picking up momentum as we begin to get a glimpse into the larger world around Alexandria. I seriously wonder how the Alexandrians lived so long without encountering any of these tribes before RIck showed up. It’s a bit incredulous. Regardless, it looks like only the strongest Alexandrians will make it out alive, past the walkers and this new ominous group that is just on the other side of those safe walls.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC Sundays at 9pm.
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