The Tribe is still separated, Alexandria remains vulnerable and survivors continue to evolve and change who they are in order to make it through another day. The story is moving slowly toward the inevitable; fear the walkers, fear the living and don’t ever get too comfortable.  For those inside the walls, safety is as precarious as it is for those outside, and there are no guarantees on who will make it out alive. This week, I’m recapping two episodes in one post, people, so keep up.

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…

While we are gaining insight into the intimate moments of our characters’ lives, time is moving very slowly in the Walking Dead universe and it seems as if we are looking at the quarry herd parade from numerous angles, our only reprieve from that story, an insightful peek into Morgan’s history. This week, I’m recapping two episodes in one post, people, so keep up.

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie…

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…

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S05xE06 “Consumed” & S05xE07 “Crossed”

As the Tribe continues to establish their unity and strength, we also begin to see cracks in the chassis (so to speak) in regards to leadership, and the question of a values hierarchy is once again addressed in terms of who deserves to survive and what determines one’s worth. We return to Slabtown, and now that we have seen what goes on inside and the dual roles of the hospital (haven and hell), it is not difficult to gauge what the Tribe will be willing to do to keep themselves and the ones they care for safe.

Since I missed a post and this is going up rather late, we will take a quick and dirty look at the themes in both episodes by focusing on one particular person–Carol.

Spoilers ahead, Sweetie!

Within survivors of the disease that created the walkers, there are people of varying polarities of age, race, morality, honor, bravery, sense of self. Sympathy and hope lie with the innocent, but the realities of post-apocalyptic life reveal a harsh truth. Many of those who make it past the initial chaos are suspicious, ruthless, battle-seasoned and hard hearted people. Even Sheriff Rick, who started as a hero trying to save everyone he could, has since revealed in himself a gray scale when it comes to helping/hurting others, based on his experiences and those around him. Everyone has a past and each member of the former prison tribe has made mistakes on the path to Terminus. For Daryl and Glen, this path includes determining where on the humanity scale they lie. What choices must be made to maintain status as part of a tribe? What needs to be done to keep one’s humanity in the face of violence and anarchy? What type of person wields the most power and influence in a dystopic universe and what must take place to hold on to a position of power? What is the end game and when is the mission over? As the different factions travel closer to Terminus, one must take into consideration all these elements as part of the BIG question–what has humanity become?

image property of AMC
image property of AMC

Episode: So4xE15 “Us”

In a dystopic world, in which food, shelter and kindness are rarities, our factions are looking for stability. This includes, not only health, safety and companionship but also a sense of home. An environment in which occupants are able to rest and reflect is essential to the mental and physical health of our tribe members. This is why Rick was able to heal his mind after Lori’s death–he had work to keep him busy (Farmer Rick!) and a place to recuperate safely. After the confrontation with the Governor, the destruction of the prison and ultimately, the tribe rupture, factions are not only searching for each other, but meaning and purpose in a very violent and changed world.

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S04xE14 “The Grove”

The zombie apocalypse must be a lonely, tired experience. After a time, watching friends, strangers, children and lovers die would take it’s toll on any person, and we see the solitude of dystopia as very real in the distinctly solitary tales of the broken prison-tribe. We begin this episode with Beth and Daryl fleeing a horde of walkers, with Beth narrating the scene by reading pages from the diary we watched her keep at the prison in season 3. She talks about hope, home and family, and it is depressing as shit. There is no home, not for Beth and Daryl. They are alone and on the run, constantly forced to move so as to escape the threat that lurks at their heels. There is no hope. Beth is desperate and Daryl is resigned. They track the living and continuously come up short. It is a lesson in futility. There is no family. The group is splintered and no one knows who is alive and who is dead. This episode, we see the former prison-tribe moving towards one another (we hope). It seems that the group is slowly coming together, in parts, but it may take a few more episodes for the entire tribe to be reunited. In the meantime, each small faction of the former prison tribe has their own challenges and victories, which will hopefully climax in some awesome zombie ass kicking by the end of the season.

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Episode S04xE10 “Inmates”

As the prison-tribe begins to establish concrete roles in terms of leaders, nurturers and warriors, we see individuals strengthened by the choices they make. The expectations of life pre-apocalypse do not exist. Hershel is not just a veterinarian, but the group healer, with the patience and skills to help those in need; Maggie is not only the farmer’s daughter, but a warrior woman who protects the camp bravely and efficiently; Carl is not just a dumb kid mindlessly following around his mother, he is a savvy soldier who follows his father’s orders (much better than he ever followed Lori’s). Since the beginning of the show, audiences have watched racial, gender and ageist stereotypes shift as individuals in the group prove themselves able to accomplish more than pre-apocalyptic archetypes allow.

The Prison-Tribe (and the Gov).
Prison-tribe selfie (plus, the Gov).

Episode: S04xE05 “Internment”