Team Rick meets the leader of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, and they struggle to adjust to a new way of life
In “Remember,” Glenn (Steven Yeun) said it best when he told the survivors’ de facto new leader: “We need to make this work. … We were almost out there too long.”
It wasn’t new information, of course, but that reality was present in every single one of Team Rick’s interactions with the denizens of the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Led by Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh), their new home was almost too idyllic for any of them to trust.
“People out there are always looking for an angle,” Rick (Andrew Lincoln) told Deanna. “Looking to play on your weakness. They measure you by what they can take from you.” Indeed, on this week’s episode of The Walking Dead, we were reminded that Team Rick is still very much the “people out there.”
"We’re About Transparency Here"
To learn more about the survivors and to give them most appropriate jobs within the community, Deanna held separate interviews with Glenn, Rick, Daryl (Norman Reedus), Carol (Melissa McBride) and Michonne (Danai Gurira).
She filmed the interviews because “we’re about transparency here.”
Deanna revealed a little bit about herself, too: She used to be an Ohio congressperson before the crisis struck. She was shepherded to the community and decided to make a home there with her husband and two sons. A nearby shopping mall that was in the process of being built provided the materials that turned the community into the fortress that it is.
“I want you to help us survive,” she told Rick. “I know you can help us do that.”
Rick was candid as he could be with her, telling her that he wasn’t sure whether his people would be a good fit for the Safe-Zone given how long they had been “out there.”
Deanna predictably got almost nothing out of Daryl – crossbow strapped to his back, he refused to even sit down. “The boy and the baby. They deserve a roof,” he said. “I guess.”
Michonne, consistent with what we’ve seen from her in the past few episodes, remained ready to settle down. “If this place is what you’re saying it is, then this is what we wanted,” she told Deanna. “We’re ready for this.” Naturally, her optimism was at odds with the rest of her group, but she was nonetheless eager for a place to call home.
Glenn was, too (“We need to make this work,” he told the others), but his interview was tinged with desperation rather than optimism; he knew Maggie (Lauren Cohan) was at her wits’ end.
Finally, Carol was absolutely hilarious in her interview with Deanna, acting like an innocent weakling and claiming she has been just a simple “den mother” up to this point. When asked what she used to do before the outbreak, she said, “I did laundry, gardened, always had dinner on the table for Ed when he came home. I miss that stupid wonderful man every day,” she said with a smile on her face, likely remembering the time she drove a pickaxe into his abusive, misogynistic skull before he could reanimate as a walker.
“They’ve been nice enough to protect me,” Carol said of Team Rick, adding that she’d “like to be involved in the community. … I’m a real people person.”
(Later, Daryl did a double-take at seeing her in a pair of khakis and a demure blue cardigan over a striped blouse. “We need to keep up appearances,” Carol told him, then insisted he take a damn shower already.)
A New Home and Neighbors Friendly and Otherwise
Team Rick was granted two enormous homes to share between the survivors, but they were naturally suspicious. “They took our weapons, and now they’re splitting us up,” said Rick, almost amusingly – if understandably – paranoid considering the houses were within two feet of each other. He decided they’d all sleep in one house, and everyone (save for Daryl) showered. Rick even shaved and was granted a haircut courtesy of neighbor Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge). It was like we were watching Love Actually.
Carl (Chandler Riggs) met some kids his age, but he had no idea what to do with them, couldn’t relate to their idea of fun activities and stared sullenly, silently at them. A girl named Enid (Katelyn Nacon) appeared equally unimpressed, and two boys revealed that she hadn’t spoken a word until she’d been in the Safe-Zone three weeks. (Later, Carl spied her hopping the fence to venture out into the woods. She’s about as integrated into the community as Team Rick, it would seem.)
Aiden Is a Twit Who Is Going to Get Himself and Others Killed
Deanna’s son Aiden (Daniel Bonjour) was in charge of the supply runs. He is an idiot.
With Glenn, Noah (Tyler James Williams) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) in tow, Aiden led a charge outside the community and explained how things work in Alexandria. Basically, it would be his way or the highway beyond the fence.
However, his way had already gotten people killed. When a walker took out one of his comrades, Aiden decided to chain it to a tree instead of killing it – to “remind us what we’re up against.” Glenn was totally bewildered by that mentality, and it just went to show how weak the people of Alexandria were compared to Team Rick: There’s no time for emotional grudges against non-thinking entities when every day is a fight for basic survival.
Of course the walker escaped, and, as Aiden tried to trap it once again, it nearly killed Tara before Glenn stabbed it in the head. Aiden became absolutely furious over the betrayal of his orders, walking them back to the community and telling everyone that Glenn and the others “need new gigs because they’re not ready for runs yet.”
Listening to Aiden shout at him, Glenn calmly, wearily, tried to tell him that “no one’s impressed” and that he should just walk away. When Aiden swung a punch, Glenn neatly blocked it and knocked him on his ass.
At the commotion, Deanna arrived to remind everyone that “Rick and his people are a part of this community now, okay? In all ways. As equals. Understood?”
Before thanking Glenn for punching her son, she made both Rick and Michonne constables for the community. Rick is officially a lawkeeper once again – as if that role was ever really in question.
Later, Rick told his people that they could sleep in their own homes. Carol expressed her concern that they might become weak in this community. However, Rick – always looking for his own angle – assured, “We won’t get weak. That’s not in us anymore. We’ll make it work. If [the people of the Safe-Zone] can’t make it, then we’ll just take this place.”
Also Worth Noting
• When Deanna told Rick the time, he reset his watch. When did he last even know the time? When did the concept of time even matter last?
• Daryl was a one-man sitcom this episode; when Deanna promised (without malice) that she would “figure [him] out,” he turned and stared mutinously out a window.
• Daryl also shot some sort of rodent (a possum?) immediately upon entering the Safe-Zone (“we brought dinner”) and chose to gut it on his new front porch.
• At one point, Rick ventured outside and got ambushed by walkers; when he went to go find the gun he had hidden in a blender, it had disappeared. Where’d you go, Chekhov’s Gun?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays (9 p.m. ET) on AMC.