The Walking Dead 5.13 Recap

Walking Dead 5.13 Recap

Pretend I've been doing this all along....

Rick and the gang are playing at being domesticated in Alexandria. It's clearly not sitting well with most of them. 

Sasha tries to cool off by blasting the shit out of some framed pictures of strangers. My guess is, she's just trying to keep her "edge" and not let her hard-won marksmanship skills fall into disuse. Maybe she's symbolically destroying some false depiction of happy family life. Anyway, it doesn't seem to help much - she has what appears to be a "someone's watching me" freak out, and the rest of her appearances in the episode are high-tension. 

Rick, Daryl and Carol meet up at the abandoned house outside of town, where Rick stashed his backup Glock which was later stolen, presumably by the people of Alexandria, but possibly by some other group. I'm guessing it's the people carving the W's into the zombie foreheads. I haven't read the comics, so the comic-readers will know better than I do, but on the Talking Dead after, Kevin Smith hinted at "the Wolves," so I'm guessing that's who is watching Sasha during her target practice, scavenging Rick's cached guns and carving W's into foreheads. This is the second appearance of that phenomena - the truck full of torsos outside of Noah's devastated hometown also featured the W brand. 

I like Daryl's blossoming friendship with the gay dudes. I don't imagine he's buying the line about "we're both outsiders," because no matter how marginalized Aaron might claim he feels at times, he still strikes me as a sweater-around-the-shoulders type. But Daryl and Aaron bonded over the doomed horse hunt, and plus the gay dudes have a motorcycle project on the go in their garage. 

The cocktail party was super not-awesome. For the characters, I mean - for us watching, it was a dense tapestry of conflicting psychology and melodrama. Rick making a play for the doctor's hot wife Jessie, Noah feeling like an animal in the wrong pen, Glen and Maggie toughing it out and putting on a nice public face, Sasha having an anxiety attack from the forced banality, Abraham getting loaded, Carol being awesome....

TWD 5.13 - Carol

Carol is pretty much my favorite character now. Every character has evolved over time - in some cases that's been very interesting to watch, in other cases it's been really subtle. But Carol's journey has been among the most fascinating and consistent. She's like Walter White - started out as a grey, damp, weeping thing with no colour and no personality of her own, and has been flame-tempered with each major event until she becomes the stone-cold badass she is now. She's also the only female character left from season 1. Her interaction tomight with Jessie's kid was her "I am the one who knocks" speech. That poor kid.

The end scene where Rick greets Jessie and her husband out in the street, then reaches around to the little revolver tucked away in his pants - there are so many ways we can interpret that. I think the most popular idea is, he's planning on killing the husband and taking the woman. I don't think it's as simple as that, because Rick is still a deeply principled man. He has had to make some hard decisions and do some unpleasant things to keep his people alive, but underneath that is the leader, the cop. That stuff is still switched on. Terminus darkened him, the Atlanta hospital sharpened him, but I don't think he's considering killing a man just to steal the guy's wife. 

My take on that scene: he's reminding himself that he needs to keep his shit together at all times. He sees Jessie and it makes him think about succumbing to what Alexandria represents. He touches the hidden pistol to remind himself that he can't give in to that seduction. And possibly because something about Mr. Jessie has his hackles up. Obviously, that situation isn't going to end well - there's no question about it. But I think it is survival/protection instinct kicking in, rather than "I'm gonna kill you and take your woman" caveman shit. He's reacting to danger, not a hard-on. 

That's more or less how I see his scene at the wall, too. The walker is outside scratching at the steel - he's reminding himself that the seduction of Alexandria is an illusion. The threat is still out there, and he has to stay sharp. He needs to be reminded so he doesn't go soft.

Same thing with Michonne hanging her katana over the mantle. It's not in a scabbard. She can see the blade, she can grab it any time she needs it. It's there to remind her of the danger - she can't be carrying it around if she's going to be a cop, but she needs to know it's there, and what that sword represents to her. 

The preview for next week shows some Father Gabriel stuff, and had some Eugene dialogue. We haven't really checked in with those guys since they hit Alexandria. I reckon Father Gabe will come up against yet another crisis of faith in the face of temptation, and it looks like Eugene might have to shoot someone and be useful for a change. Since tonight's episode was mostly talk-y drama, I'm expecting ep. 14 to be a little more murdery. 


Awesome review

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