We did it, everybody! After fighting through Atlanta, Woodbury, Terminus, and other various and sundry locales, we’ve finally reached a safe spot. Alexandria, here we are, and we’re here to stay! After all, it’s not like there’s about a month left in this current season, or plenty of story to draw from in the comic version. Besides, if we’ve learned anything over our time with Rick Grimes and company, we know that we’re overdue for a nice, quiet life, complete with home-cooked meals, free barbering, and maybe even a visit from a doctor or two.
Yeah, about that. Rick clearly isn’t the type to just rest easy now that he’s found what appears to be a safe and upstanding community. He’s been living on the road too long, as has the rest of his group, and they just aren’t really willing to settle down quite yet. The most blatant example of that is Daryl in the most recent episode, but even Michonne seems to be having some misgivings. That is, of course, provided that her insomnia isn’t just being triggered by the fact that the group got to take actual showers with running water for the first time in a very long, sweaty voyage. All of the group is seemingly having some issues integrating into Alexandria, and a lot of the foolish decisions in this episode were more tied to their inability to accept that they might actually be safe for a little while. That said, this episode also showcased just how cunning (or is it devious) Carol has become, with her entire “den mother” act. Acting as though her entire time being hardened didn’t happen should allow her to land a pretty sweet gig closer to the inner circle of the community, and she’s the only one of the group that’s showing that level of craftiness in their relatively short time inside the walls.
That being said, we just can’t get through an entire episode of The Walking Dead without some real head-scratching moments, even if a few of them almost felt shoe-horned in to underline character traits that we’ve grown to know like the back of our hands. Let’s take some time to “Remember”.
Just prior to entering the gates of Alexandria, Daryl shoots an opossum, and, in true Dixon fashion, decides that he’s going to take it into town with him, toting it like a trophy even through his interview session with Deanna Monroe. In fact, the animal’s carcass makes it all the way through to the gang getting set up with some pretty sweet houses, notably equipped with things like kitchens and running water. It is at this point that Daryl decides he’s going to butcher the creature, because Tuesday is clearly opossum night on his calendar. But, instead of using the kitchen, Daryl just cleans the corpse on the front steps of the very nice house the survivors have been given. It’s clear that he isn’t trusting the situation, and seems to be bristling at the idea of being around that many new people, but you’re never going to make friends if you spend your afternoons cutting up vermin on your front step.
Rick is very cautious about Alexandria (that is, of course, unless you’re a pretty girl offering to cut his hair), and doesn’t seem willing to believe what’s right before his eyes. He’s also afraid that the residents of the community are too soft, going so far as to admit at the end of the episode that, should things start going south, the Ricktocracy should just take over the community. In many ways, Rick has forgotten the lessons he learned with the previous settlements, or at least seems blind to the fact that he might be the kind of chaotic outside presence that could bring danger back where it had been eradicated. So what was Rick’s mistake? Not going through the wall to try to retrieve his gun, but something that happened during the interview. Rick and company just made it hundreds of miles, and were clearly at death’s door, when they were allowed entrance into Alexandria. He immediately tells Deanna that they should keep the gates closed, because you can’t trust anyone who’s been outside of the walls. Luckily for Rick, Deanna sees more positive in the group than negative, or else he might have just punched a one-way ticket back into the wilderness.
Speaking of people from the outside, Enid is set up as being one of the people from the last group of survivors to be given entrance into Alexandria. She clearly sees a little too much of herself in Carl’s almost feral reactions to the other teens, and she seems intent on pushing him away. However, her moment happens a little later in the episode, when she scampers over the wall, all by her lonesome. Let’s ignore that there clearly aren’t a lot of guards watching the walls, why would Enid, who is supposed to know what the outside world is like, voluntarily climb the wall alone? Does she have some sort of secret lair out in the woods? Is she trying to prove that she’s the best scavenger there is? Or does she just have a bit of a death wish? Besides, she’s got teenage boys at her disposal. They’re almost ALWAYS up for doing something dangerous.
Lo and behold, one teenage boy does exactly that. Carl first stalked a noise in the house (alone, because Carl), armed with a knife. This allowed him to find the hang-out space of the other kids in town, complete with their comic books and other assorted teenage things. Later, Carl watches as Enid goes over the wall, but does he tell anyone? Of course not (because Carl). Instead, he hopes the fence himself (seriously, is NOBODY watching the perimeter?) to try to find her. It doesn’t take too long before Carl loses track of Enid, and wanders off on his own. Luckily for him, he runs into Daddy Dearest, and the two of them join forces to take out a few walkers so that they don’t grow “soft”. Nice bonding moment, but terrible parenting. Clearly, Carl should be given a time-out where he is forced to eat pudding and play Call of Duty or something.
Don’t think that Enid was the only one of the newly minted cast members to run afoul of the laws of intelligence. Aiden clearly decided to pick up the stupid ball and run with it. In fact, just about the only things Aiden did right were picking his new recruits, and calling himself a douchebag. But then he followed up by deciding he knew more about scavenging for supplies than people who literally had to daily just to make it through, he called guns “biscuits”, and he and his buddy decided that killing a walker wasn’t in the cards, because they wanted to exact a level of revenge for some of their previous group getting eaten. To top it all off, he refused to back down from a fight, only stopping when Glenn punched him in the fact. With the amount of stupid Aiden packed into his relatively short amount of screen time, it’s almost like he’s auditioning to be the newest regular cast member. That said, he’s not going to have a good time if he thinks that picking a fight with the guy who skins animals on his front porch is a great plan.