I spent the weekend visiting family in Florida with no access to cable or any web streaming. Monday, I spent over 14 hours in a car and by the time we got home, I passed out. Tuesday, I finally watched episode 12. I had every intention of posting commentary at that point, but life got in the way. So, here we are…Wednesday. I’m already so late posting this, I can probably ditch the “spoilers” disclaimer. As such, I’ll keep this one brief and to the point.
First things first…If you need a refresher on what went down during Sunday night’s episode, you can Click Here for a spoiler-filled recap. All caught up? Good.
This episode was good. The end.
Just kidding. It’s not the end. But, for the sake of brevity, this week’s recap will just jump from point-to-point observations as the thoughts pop into my head, rather than a play-by-play analysis.
Okay, so in all of the exterior Alexandria group shots, Gabriel can be seen. However, once the episode moves inside the walls, Gabriel is noticeably missing. I cannot recall seeing him in any of our group’s slumber party scenes, nor do I recall Deanna assigning him the (obvious) job of pastor. What in the world are you up to, Gabriel?
When Rick is first taking in all of the details of Deanna’s house, did anyone else suddenly remember what it felt like the first time the cameras panned the inside of Juliette’s home on LOST?
The symbolism of Rick synchronizing his watch with Deanna’s stayed with me. Was it a sign of them “synching” up? Are they on the same page, so to speak? Or, is Rick just noting the time so that he can better keep track of how long it will take them to win this place?
I loved the look on Rick’s face when Deanna discussed her guilt over exiling three men from their safe zone, presumably dooming them to die. Rick knows first hand how that can come back to haunt you. First, Rick exiled Andrew from the prison (rather than killing him firsthand as he had done with Tomas). Andrew later came back and flooded the prison with walkers, ultimately costing them the lives of Lori and T-Dog. Then, Rick exiled Carol. Carol, too, avoided death and came back. But, Carol didn’t harm them; she saved all of their asses and filled Rick with much guilt. Again, Rick knows all too well that what goes around comes back around.
Which leads me to Michonne’s interview. Was that a copy of CRIME and PUNISHMENT she chose from the bookcase? Hmmm…
Let’s talk about Carol’s interview for a minute. Could this woman be any smarter? When they first turned in their weapons and she had difficulty removing her large automatic, I chalked it up to that shoulder injury she sustained from the wholly-impossible bridge fall in Atlanta followed by being nailed by a moving car. It’s only been three weeks, they said. Surely, her arm still hurts a little. Even Rick looked at her concerned. But, when Carol’s face turned from embarrassed and clumsy to cold and calculating, I actually cheered. Pure genius. Without even discussing that angle of a game plan, Rick knew he could count on her. Carol is quite used to being underestimated, and she is playing that to their advantage. In her interview, she delivered an earnest and sympathetic character to Deanna. After what Carol witnessed at Grady Memorial (and Noah, too, for that matter) she knew it was better to present herself as weak. Carol has positioned herself as someone soft and trustworthy. She is already the eyes and ears of this place, as evidenced by her sketching a map on a legal pad their first night there.
Daryl, on the other hand, is not playing the game well. He sees how easily Carol can make herself fit in there. He observed the return of ‘Officer Friendly’. This world is alien to Daryl. He is actually more accustomed to the ZA than suburbia. He didn’t know a khaki front porch life before hand and he feels trapped in one now. He won’t give up his crossbow, even though all weapons were confiscated (I still don’t get that). His personal hangups are going to get him into a lot of trouble. Soon.
Does anyone else feel like putting Noah–who has a gimpy leg–on the ‘away team’ is like handing him a red Star Trek uniform shirt? Talk about setting someone up for failure! It’s okay…he was just cast in another series. He’ll be fine.
I was told in advance that there would be a sweet “booty shot” of Rick. I’m sorry. You call that a “booty shot”? The Governor showed more skin than that. Though, I did enjoy a wet, topless, clean-shaven Rick opening the front door. I wish he hadn’t cut his hair, though. I was digging the new look.
Carl and Carol sharing the same opinions about not wanting the group to become as weak as the residents; just keep hammering the point home until Officer Friendly concurs.
Speaking of Carl…Dude…I get that there is a shortage of teenage girls in the ZA, but do you have to be fascinated by the one little street rat who will cause you the most grief? They said she’d only been there a couple of weeks and that, like them, she was also from ‘out there’. She looks like she’s been doing well enough, though. She’s not starving, that’s for sure. And, the speed with which she maneuvers from within the safe zone to the outside world is a little unsettling. Do we think she just doesn’t trust the community yet? Is she like Daryl–an outdoor cat that thinks he’s an indoor cat–just itching to get back to the woods? Or…is she a mole like Carol? Think about it…Carol is playing cooperatively in order to report back to Rick on the goings on of Alexandria. Could this girl, Enid, be doing the same thing for someone else? Someone who uses disembodied walkers to secure the factory where he is holed up? Someone with a penchant for baseball bats? Hmmm….
I think it’s highly plausible that this Enid is the one who took Rick’s handgun that he hid in the blender just before they approached the gates of Alexandria. If you recall, as they are about to walk in, Carl notices her in the window of a home outside the compound. She definitely has something to do with that. I did love the father/son bonding moment, letting off some steam and keeping their skills sharp on a few walkers. Precious!
Oh, and about those walkers. I would like to go on record as calling bullshit. I literally looked at my TV and yelled, “I call bullshit.” A walker literally buried under a pile of household debris reaches out and grabs Rick’s foot. It does this from almost exactly the spot where Rick had dug and pulled out the dirty blender to hide the gun in the first place and then later dug to retrieve it. But, the walker decides now is the best time to reveal itself like some spooky Jack-in-the-Box? Nope.
I grew up in NY. Our dirt and mud was brown. I currently live in SC. Our dirt and mud here is red (clay), same as GA. Are there any Virginians who can clarify for me, is your mud brown or red? Because, if it isn’t red, then this episode gave me my first faux-pas of filming in one state and passing it off as another. (I admit, I keep looking around at the details within each home, hoping to spot an out of place piece of electronics or something). Also, now that they are in “VA” there best be some snow at some point. Come on guys, you can do it. Go, Go Hollywood Magic!
Now, at no point did Jessie mention to Rick that she had a husband. She just kept going on about her sons. We see Rick walking around in the middle of the night and a man on a porch ominously introduces himself as her husband. Almost instantly we see Rick wake up on the floor of his new ‘home’ and exhale as if waking from a frightening dream. Was that just weird editing or was something else implied? The entire thing felt like a dream sequence. Thankfully, I know enough about the source material on this story to trust where it’s going. But, to see it presented that way felt somewhat disjointed.
In a nutshell, I loved this episode. I feel like episodes 11 and 12 have redeemed this season and taken it to new heights. I always enjoy psychological and emotional tension. I’ll be curious to see where the writers choose to go with this; will they follow the comics more closely or weave a new web of nerve-wracking story for us? Readers of the comics know that Alexandria will be the group’s home for a very long time. Let’s see if their TV counterparts enjoy the same fate.
Until next time…