The Walking Dead
, now in its 13th episode of season 5, could not feel more different than anything that's come before (well, except for the previous episode that I did not get a chance to recap).
It's a great, freeing thing to see the show continue to experiment and try new things. The show definitely feels slow and like it's treading water as it did at Herschel's farm -- but that just means when Alexandria does fall, it could be mind-blowing. The idea that Rick, Daryl and Carol are the threat also continues to be fascinating.
Preparing for a Party
Rick is hell-bent on possibly taking over Alexandria. At the beginning of the episode, Daryl, Carol and Rick are meeting at the house where Rick tried to hide his guns outside of town before they disappeared. They're discussing their plan for possibly taking over the town if it comes to that.
Before leaving, they encounter a walker that Carol kills. But he oddly has a W carved into his forehead -- and it looks freshly carved, possibly after the man was turned into a walker.
The three of them then split up. In the woods, Daryl runs into Aaron, who wants to tag along. Rick, meanwhile, runs into Michonne back in town and she's wearing her new officer uniform.
Michone, Rick and Maggie meet with Deanna, who shares her plan for revitalizing the town. Apparently, Maggie is going to help her with the government, while Rick takes them on a tour of the surroundings. He reminds Deanna that people are the real threat, not walkers.
Sasha walks over and asks to be a lookout in the tower. Even though everything appears to be safe inside Alexandria, Sasha kicks off the episode with some target practice in the woods. Her targets? Picture frames from the home she's staying in. With some reluctance, Deanna agrees to let her be a lookout in the tower, after inviting everyone to a dinner celebration at her home that night.
Carol, meanwhile, keeps up the act that she's a bored former housewife and starts helping prepare the meal for that night. Tobin, one of the townspeople, offers to teach Carol how to use a gun. (She pretends like all she's ever fired is a handgun.) More importantly, Carol uses an opportunity to unlock the window to the room where all the guns are being kept.
Later that afternoon, members of Rick's crew slowly make their appearances at the party. It's still kind of surprising to see how nice everyone looks all cleaned up.
Rick meets Reg, Deanna's husband, who thinks Rick is quite something special for being able to save 14 lives out there. At first, Rick refuses a drink, but ultimately takes one in celebration as Jessie, her husband and two kids enter.
Meanwhile, after returning from an impromptu hunting trip with Aaron where a poor horse that Aaron had nicknamed Buttons got killed, Daryl refuses to go to the party. Aaron and Daryl bonded on their little hunting excursion, especially since both of them were disappointed that walkers were able to kill Buttons. So when Aaron spots Daryl on the street, not going to the party, he invites HIM in to have some spaghetti with him and his partner, Eric.
Back at the party, Rick meets Jessie's husband, Pete, who is a doctor. While Pete goes to get a drink, Rick and Jessie flirt a little bit, while Rick surveys the room, seeing all his friends enjoying what used to be a quiet, ordinary life. Jessie reminds Rick that while everyone lost something, they all got something back -- basically, friends and family they wouldn't have ever known otherwise.
One of Jessie's kids then comes over and puts an 'A' stamp on Rick's hand. If 'A' stands for Alexandria, what does 'W' stand for? (Reminder: I haven't kept up with comics spoilers, so I honestly have no idea and don't want to know.)
Across town, after the spaghetti dinner, Daryl takes a tour of Aaron's garage and sees motorcycle parts and a bike that needs to be fixed. Aaron tells Daryl that he has a job for him -- he wants him to be Alexandria's other recruiter. "You do know the difference between a good person and a bad person," Aaron tells him. Daryl accepts, saying he's got nothing else to do.
Carol is stealing weapons from storage when one of the kids in town comes across her. Carol tells him that he can't tell his mom where he found her because otherwise one morning he'll wake up, he won't be in his bed and he'll be stuck outside the walls, tied to a tree. Wow, Carol, that is evil and scary (and the type of monologue I thought only Command could deliver on Scandal).
And in that moment, I start to realize that Rick and Carol have started to become the bad guys of this show, which is utterly brilliant, even if the show has definitely slowed to a crawl as of late. In kind of a hilarious twist, Rick isn't taking advantage of the situation at the party to try and arm up as well. Instead, he is too busy hitting on Jessie -- and flat-out kissing her.
Sasha, meanwhile, is on the verge of a panic attack. You can't go through what you went through on the road and then try and live a normal life only a few days after losing your brother. She then yells at a woman who offered to cook her a nice meal. Sasha doesn't think everyone should be living normal lives given what's happened in the world.
The next morning, Daryl is having regrets about preparing to take over the town if they have to. He tells Rick and Carol that he's good; he doesn't want one of Carol's stolen guns. Rick takes one, though.
Back in town, Rick hears a walker pounding on the wall and places his hand up against the wall so he can hear better. He then notices the 'A' on his own hand and probably starts to realize what Daryl has already realized -- he's happy in Alexandria and this can be a home for them.
Other Odds and Ends
- There are a lot of nice, quiet character moments that I didn't put in the full recap. I'm especially fond of the one between Abraham and Michonne on the porch during the party.
- Even though I quite enjoyed the previous episode, I'm also glad I didn't have to recap it since it was very, very plot heavy and would have required quite a bit of note taking.
- I know that it's probably meant to be moving, but I also find it hysterical when Michonne hangs up her katana on nails above the mantle in her home.
- Anyone else creeped out when Rick slightly reaches for his hidden weapon when seeing Pete with his wife Jessie on the street? A jealous Rick in this environment is probably a scary Rick.
- I was totally expecting that someone was going to die in this episode because Chris Hardwick kept plugging that they'd have a special guest on Talking Dead. But nope, no one dies. Nice fake-out.
The Walking Dead
airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.
(Image courtesy of AMC)