Is the title of this episode, “Remember,” meant to remind us of the last gated community Rick and the others were invited to join, i.e., Woodbury? Or is it meant to remind Rick and the rest of the tribe of the pre-outbreak world?
Whatever the intent, this was one Bizarro-meets-The-Twilight-Zone episode of . Essentially, nothing happened on the surface, but underneath it all there’s a spider egg sac bulging to explode with a thousand and one problems.
So, what didn’t happen this week? Basically, Rick and the tribe entered Alexandria, which is run by Deanna, a former congresswoman. Upon entry, they’re asked to turn over their weapons, and the scene plays out like the weapons check scene in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome:
Turning over your weapons is pretty much SOP when dealing with any gated community, so the tribe willingly complies, but Carol’s ear-to-ear smile here is simply the best. Her awkwardness with her big guns is also the first indication of the game of deception she’s about to play. The rest of that game comes into play during herinterview and she recounts fond memories of her abusive husband, omits her daughter, Sophia, and casts herself as a doting housewife. And it’s just over-the-top hilarious how she happily accepts her “job” to take care of the elderly and infirm as a member of the Junior League.
Yes, Carol does have a nurturing, maternal instinct; we saw that in the prison when she ran the “school.” But she also taught those kids how to kill and defend themselves. Truth is, Carol has survived, and in the process she’s become a badass, cold-blooded killer.
Rick played it pretty straight in his video interview. However, he did say that Deanna shouldn’t let anyone inside the community, along with the following piece of wisdom:
It’s all about survival now, at any cost. People out there are always looking for an angle, looking to play on your weakness. They measure you by what they can take from you, by how they can use you to live.
Is there a bit of duality in this statement? Could Rick and the others be sizing up Alexandria? Or is it likely that the purpose of the video interviews is to find the weaknesses of everyone in Rick’s tribe? For example, when Deanna discovered that Rick was a Sheriff, she made him the constable of Alexandria. Is her hope that he’ll toe the line or be controlled if he’s in a role that he’s familiar with? Rick certainly dressed the part in a hurry, but it shouldn’t even enter your mind that he would be manipulated so easily. The only logical assumption that can be made is that this is Rick’s deception.
Rick is a hardass, and isn’t about to trust anyone outside his group further than he can throw them. Sure, he might have gotten a shave and a cut, a new house, and a new uniform, but he also went on a little walkabout within Alexandria, freaked out when he lost sight of Carl and Judith, and went outside the perimeter to reclaim the gun that he hid. As well, he had his whole group sleep in his house on their first night.
Daryl’s interview was a little hard to read. Nervous, suspicious, anxious… all these describe his behavior. Again, is that his deception though?
At this point, one has to wonder if the members of Rick’s group planned to deceive, to play roles that give a false impression of who they really are.
Aiden is a total douchebag. And as the son of Deanna, it’s no wonder he’s got a chip on his shoulder. Nepotism is good for that. As the leader of the group that goes on supply runs — oh, and he was in ROTC, so naturally he’s got military skills (please note the sarcasm) — he took Glenn, Noah, and Tara on a test run to gauge their skills. Well, it turns out that Aiden expects blind obedience from his team.
Upon their return to Alexandria things come to blows, and Glenn puts Aiden on his ass. And it was impressive the way the tribe rallied together in support. However, Deanna intervenes and announces to her community that Rick’s group is to be treated as equals. She then sends her son on his way, like sending a petulant child to his room, and thanks Glenn for putting him on his ass. But, was this all staged to gain the trust of Rick and his group?
Clearly we’ve all been well trained by the show not to trust anyone.
The scene with Carl and the other kids of Alexandria was pretty interesting. The contrast between the two existences was so telling. Alexandria kids play video games, watch movies, listen to music, take showers, sleep in houses, etc. Carl kills people and, nearly gets eaten by cannibals, kills his mother when she turned into a zombie, takes care of his baby sister, and doesn’t bitch that his feet hurt, that he’s hungry, or that he’s sleeping outside again. Play video games! What’s he gonna play, Left 4 Dead?
Carl and Carol, separately, made interesting points to Rick about getting soft and weak inside Alexandria. But Rick claims that they’ve changed too much to get weak. He’s probably right. At this point their survival gene has fully been awakened and they’d likely have a hard time readjusting to normal life. As if they all have permanent PTSD.
So let’s bring this thing back to what Rick said in his video interview about looking for an angle, finding weakness, and using people to live. As I said, he might have been describing his group, which rings especially true with what he says at the close of the episode: “We’ll make it work, and if they can’t make it, then we’ll just take this place.”
Now, I’ve said in previous reviews that Rick and the tribe have become “bad,” but I don’t believe that they’re inherently bad. They’re doing what they have to to survive, but along the way they’ve also become very distrusting. But what Rick said makes them all sound very bad, like the villains. It kind of reminds me of Battlestar Galactica, when the writers turned us viewers into al-Qaeda sympathizers.
Of course it could be a simple self-preservation statement. If Alexandria turns out to be like Woodbury, where Daryl was forced to battle his brother, then perhaps taking the place wouldn’t be such a bad thing.
It’ll definitely be interesting to see where the remaining four episodes take us.
Rock Hard \m/