This is a recap/review/discussion post on the latest episode of The Walking Dead so it WILL contain loads of spoilers about the episode. If you haven’t seen this week’s episode yet and you don’t want to read any spoilers I strongly suggest that you skip this post and come back after you’ve seen episode 12 of The Walking Dead Season 5. You’re pre-warned so don’t complain if you read anything that you do not want to know as yet, because that will make you the opposite of Daryl Dixon….
Now, let’s get talking about….
The Walking Dead Season 05 Episode 12 “Remember”
“Molding into a new lifestyle is proving difficult for the group. Has life on the road proven too treacherous to go back to who they once were?”
Written By: Channing Powell
Directed By: Greg Nicotero
So ….. The Survivors made it to Alexandria, in one piece and unharmed by Aaron and his BF. I was looking forward to seeing how the group interacts with the “normal” people inside the community and they reacted exactly how I thought they would. Well, with the exception of Carol, who almost threw me off guard with her housewife routine? These people have been travelling and surviving since the beginning of the apocalypse so I expected that it would be tough for them to go into normal mode again, and I wasn’t wrong. Even though the zombie action was few and far between, it was an intense episode. I was waiting for the “normal” to disappear and for the “crazy” to take over but it never came. It seems like Alexandria is the safe haven that Aaron promised Rick and his crew back in the woods….
As they went in to the community, they were told that they were going to meet with Deanna, the leader of Alexandria. They all get interviewed separately and they are given houses to stay in. Rick is immediately suspicious of the fact that they are being separated and as they go into the house they find a home in immaculate condition with running water. But my favorite part of the opening scene has to be where, just as the gate is being closed, Rick sees a walker coming up towards them and with a single “Sasha!” he commands her to shoot the zombie. She obliges with a dead center head shot which takes out the walker immediately, sending a chilling message to the people from Alexandria. Goosebumps!!!
Rick goes for his interview with Deanna and we see that she films the interviews because “their community is a transparent one”. A big chunk of the episode is watching the interviews she did with the Survivors and we see them the way they look to the people from Alexandria – dirty, feral, tough outlaws. They’re not all that different looking to the group we knew as the Claimers which raises the question: what if the Claimers were also just another group of Survivors? What if we got to know them the way we know the Survivors? Would we still see them as killers? Or will they be Survivors as well, doing what they have to, to survive.
Rick’s interview goes about as good as you expect it to be. He’s restless and he gives evasive answers. The only time I feel that he’s being honest is when he warns Deanna that she shouldn’t allow people to come through the gates of Alexandria. He tells her that the people out there is always sizing you up and checking what they can take from you to survive. He also tells her exactly what’s his done so far to survive and to keep his family safe but it gets the opposite reaction from Deanna that what we thought – she loves it. This is exactly what she wants, she wants people who have lived on the outside and who’s seen the horror up close. She wants them to stay in Alexandria and she asks Rick to consider her offer. She wants him to stay a while and explore the community and see what it’s like, and only then does she want it to make a final decision.
When we see Rick again, he’s taking a well-deserved shower and then he goes about shaving off his beard. This scene immediately reminded me off when Shane shaved his hair in season 2 but you can’t help but feel that the difference between the two scenes is very significant. Shane shaved his head so that he can’t see the man who just used his friend as zombie bait. Rick is doing it to reveal the man he once was and you can actually see the conflict in his eyes as he goes about the ritual of firstly cutting his beard shorter with a scissors and then getting in there with the razor. As he’s finishing off he hears a knock on the door and he meets his neighbor Jessie, a pretty blonde who tells him that she’s also got a son roughly Carl’s age. She offers to give him a haircut and it’s quite painful to watch Rick squirm on the female touch. He’s most definitely not used to a tender touch like this and he looks extremely uncomfortable whilst she’s going about the haircut.
Meanwhile, the other Survivors also do their interviews. One by one they explain their feelings about the safe zone:
Michonne: “If this is how you’re saying it is, then this is what we wanted. We’re ready for this. All of us.”
Daryl: “The boy and the baby, they deserve a roof.”
Carol: “I was like the den mother to these people. They kept me safe and I fed them. And I did some gardening”
Alrighty then Carol…… at least we know the gardening part is not all that far fetched. She showed Lizzy the pretty flowers after all LOL She also tells Deanna about her “dear silly husband” who she “misses everyday”. (Serious side eye for this one yo)But she sounds so convincing that you actually can’t say if she’s pulling a fast one on Deanna or whether she’s being sincere. Turns out she was lying through her teeth so that she can get placed right inside the community, where she’ll be able to get all the intel she needs. In fact, she even puts on a soccer mom outfit, cardigan and all. Too funny when I saw her coming down the stairs.
Now let’s get to Daryl. He’s was all about making friends in this episode …. Except for NOT!! The first they see of Daryl as they open the gates to the safe zone is him taking out a possum with his bow and arrow. “We brought food” he proclaims whilst holding the dead possum by its tail. Next we see him he’s gutting the dead possum on the porch of one of the fancy houses they get to live in. And we also see that during his interview he’s still holding onto the possum for dear life. He is sulking and moping around and out of all the Survivors he’s clearly the one having a tough time adjusting to this new community. We don’t know much about Daryl’s past but we do know that they grew up very poorly and in the rough side of town so it’s easy to understand why he can’t settle down. All the other Survivors must be used to living like this, in comfort and peace, and Daryl never had that growing up with Merle and his rough neck dad. His attitude was on full display when he saw Carol coming out of the house wearing her cardigan and khaki pants. “You look ridiculous!!” he shouts after her as she walks down the road towards the little league folks. Daryl was acting like a kid who gets forced to visit his grandma against his will, and who then acts out to make it as awful as possible for everybody around him.
Deanna assigns jobs to all the Survivors, with the exception of Rick and Michonne, and Glen, Tara and Noah gets assigned to the group of people who goes out on supply runs. Aidan, Deanna’s son is in charge of this group and even though he started out quite nice, we quickly saw that he might be one of the biggest a-holes we’ve seen on The Walking Dead so far. He tells the Survivors that they recently lost four of their own to a walker attack but that they caught one of the zombies and strung him up in a tree, just to get back at him. For obvious reasons Glen and his people are quite disgusted at this, telling Aidan that they should kill the walkers when they get the opportunity. When they get to the tree where they hung the walker, they see that the walker has freed itself and they start whistling and making loud noises to attract it back to where they were. Of course it comes back and almost takes out Aidan, who pushes it onto Tara who then frantically tries to get rid of it. This walker kill is my KILL OF THE WEEK on account of the sheer grossness that we see next. As Tara tries to push the walker away she gets hold of the skin on its back, which then starts to tear off right in her hands. Glen rushes over and with a swift swing of the knife he kills the walker before it can get to Tara. Right then a massive argument breaks out between the Survivors and Aidan and it’s clear that especially Glen is over these two guys playing make-believe zombie apocalypse.
As they get back to the compound, they come to blows and the rest of the Survivors step in to help their friends fend off the attack. Deanna comes up to Rick and tells him that she is appointing him the constable of the compound, with Michonne at his side. She thanks Glen for knocking down Aidan when he attacked him. This means that life has come full circle for Rick, he started out in the zombie apocalypse as a sheriff and he’s back to being a policeman.
In the last scene of the episode Rick comes down the stairs wearing his fancy new police uniform and as he steps out to the porch he gets flanked by Daryl and Carol. This is when you realize that Carol is actually faking the whole scenario of being a soccer mom and that’s she’s worried that they will get weak like the people who lives in Alexandria. We hear a repeat of Rick’s words during his interview and that he was referring to themselves when he told Deanna that she should watch out for outsiders. “We won’t get weak. That’s not in us anymore. We’ll make it work,” he says. “And if they can’t make it… then we’ll just take this place.”
That, to me, was the most powerful moment of the episode, where we see that our wildlings have not been tamed, contrary to what Deanna and her people might think. They’re ready and they’re waiting for the people of Alexandria to make the wrong move… I find myself almost wishing they’ll do that, just to see Rick and the Survivors strike out at them.
* Carl meets a group of young people and amongst them is a girl who only recently joined the safe zone. She was also living on her own outside the compound and obviously she is the one that Carl is drawn to. He sees her sneak out of the compound and he tries to follow her into the woods, but she evades him and disappears.
* What’s up with the imagery of the wall around Alexandria? In almost every shot in this episode we see a part of the wall, whether it’s through the window or behind Rick as he talks to Jessie. It’s almost like there’s a feeling of a false sense of safety. They’re safe because of the wall and it’s like the writers don’t want you to forget it.
* During a late night stroll Rick meets Jessie’s husband and you just know that stuff is going to go down between the two men.
Let us know what you thought of this week's episode. Do you think Daryl will ever calm down and settle or will he eventually leave the compound on his own??