There’s A New Sheriff In Town!

BY Chad Swenor | March 02, 2015

This weeks episode of The Walking Dead starts with the group standing outside the gates of Alexandria. A majority of this episode deals with the group learning how to cope with and live in a community surrounded by others. The episode kicks off with the whole gang sitting outside of the gates of Alexandria, when the gates open the entire group seems reluctant to take the first steps in. Glen takes the initiative and is the first person to enter Alexandria.

Once the whole gang enters Alexandria we see that Deanna the appointed leader who we find out was a former Congresswoman from Ohio's 15th district filming interviews. This is all of course possible because the group has managed to stumble into Alexandria which is described as a sustainable resource with solar power, water cisterns, eco waste disposal, and all for which could be yours for only $800,000. Deanna is taping all of these interviews because the belief of the town is transparency, which means that any of the townspeople could view the interview and know exactly what Deanna is asking all of them.

It is indeed in the first interview, which happens to be Rick that we see what the toll of being on the "outside" has done to Rick. It's my belief that this is one of the most important parts of the entire episode. Rick continuously tells Deanna and the entire town, not to trust him. Not to trust anyone that they might come into contact with. Rick tells Deanna, "You should keep your gates closed." When she asks Rick "Why?", he responds;

"Because it's all about survival now, at any cost," he replies. "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."

"Are you telling me not to bring your people in, or are you already looking after this place?" Deanna replies.


During the interview the biggest thing that stood out for me was when Rick went to look out the window, he put his hand on the window and when he took it away there was a dirty hand print still on the window. This is a stark reminder for me as to just what it is that this group has been through,

Deanna seems to be an understanding, caring, and reasonable person. However, these were traits that The Governor had too when he was at Woodbury. It does appear to me that Deann seems to be a little Naive about things, even though she claims to be a good judge of character. Being naive seems to be a characteristic shared by the entire community of Alexandria. Up until this episode it seems like they have become a little too comfortable inside the safety of the walls, while they have been playing army, Rick and company have been out there living it everyday. This is evidenced by Aiden and company keeping a walker that killed four of their friends while out on patrol to get rations. In what is one of the most impressive walkers yet, Aiden was keeping him chained to a tree in order to "pre-game" before they go out on a raid. Only, when they arrive to the tree and they discover that the walker has escaped only to come up behind him, in an attempt to "play" with the walker it almost gets Glen and Tara killed. Upon returning to Alexandria there is a huge scuffle and Glen rightfully punches Aiden right in the face. Deanna thanks Glen for punching Aiden in the face saying that he needed it. The episode ends with us seeing Rick come out of the house after a fresh shave and haircut in his new uniform. Rick is almost completely unrecognizable, this is a Rick that we haven't seen since the first season. Daryl and the rest of the group are taken aback by Rick's new appearance. Will this be the Rick from the beginning season or is this still the Rick we know and just a wolf in sheep's clothing? The episode leaves us feeling a little ominous with the exchange between Rick and Carol which leads us to believe that our favorite rag tag band of zombie killers could possibly become the new baddies!

WE THINK...

NOT ONLY DOES THE UNIFORM MAKE THE MAN, SO DOES THE BEARD!

The biggest character this week is not a human or a walker, but Rick's GLORIOUS beard! Rick's beard represents all of the hard times and the darkness that the group have been through. It has in essence come to represent what the group has become, dirty and mangy.

SM

After Rick is done with his interview with Deanna Rick is shown to a house, where he takes a long hot shower, in which you can see large amounts of dirt and mud down by the drain. When Rick is out of the shower we see him standing in front of a foggy mirror staring at himself. Next we see Rick pick up a small scissors and start to cut away at that mangy yet glorious beard. Once Rick finishes cutting the beard and becoming clean shaven we find himself just looking at himself in the mirror. Is he staring at himself in the mirror because even he doesn't recognize the old Rick?

Rick also manages to get a haircut from Jessie. While the two are talking we find out that Jesse indeed has two sons, one of which is Carl's age. I have a sneaking suspicion that this could become a love interest for Rick, especially since they are about the same age. One small problem, she's married and Rick meets her husband while out on a midnight stoll. Her husband is creepily sitting out on the porch smoking a cigarette (I guess smoke em' if you got em', hey!) and says "Hi!" to Rick.

At the end of the episode we see Rick come out of the house with his new uniform on because he has been made constable with Michonne as his sidekick thanks to Deanna. However, is this the same Rick in that uniform that woke up in that hospital in the first episode? Is that Rick long gone?

IS ALEXANDRIA AND IT’S PEOPLE REALLY SHANGRI LA?

We finally get inside of Alexandria in this episode and it looks like something straight out of pottery barn, The walls are high and secure and the people of Alexandria enjoy running water, video games, electricity, and the ability to brush their teeth forever! We find out that the town has solar power, water cisterns, and eco waste disposal.

What we have learned from Alexandria is that everyone has become very comfortable. In fact, Carl is scared of growing weak, just like the town has grown weak. It's apparent that Carl doesn't know how to react when he meets a group of kids his own age, especially Enid. Is Enid shaping up to be a love interest for Carl? She has certainly shown Carl a quick escape from the town though, will that come in handy in later episodes? The unease and distrust from the group is apparent when they're all sleeping in the same house, also when Carl and Judith disappear for a second Rick freaks out and chases after them only to find them sitting with an elderly couple pinching Judith's cheeks.

From what we see in the community it appears that Deanna knows exactly what she's doing by enlisting Rick and his group. They've been out there, they're hardened, and they haven't lost their humanity yet. This is exactly what Alexandria needs. One has to think that if someone like The Governor were to show up at the front gates of Alexandria it would fold quickly, maybe not now that the gang is there. Rick and company are exactly what Alexandria needs and they need Alexandria. We also find out that Rick's blender gun has gone missing? Was it Enid since we saw her hop the wall?

A GROUP DIVIDED

Daryl has is completely crazy and hostile right now. he won't give up the crossbow when everyone else gives up their weapons, he has yet to shower. He will never sit down when he is interviewing with Deanna. If you remember back to when they were in the prison Daryl was the hero, here in Alexandria where it is more like before the zombie apocalypse Daryl doesn't fit into this new society. We do have to hand it to Daryl, at least he brought diner, he also brought it to his interview!

Michonne seems to have taken a switch from never trusting anyone, to becoming more willing to trust people. Funny, it almost seemed like Michonne was becoming the new Rick of old. She seems more willing to trust Deanna than Rick, however at night she finds herself awake with insomnia along with Rick.

Carl is having a hard time adjusting to the civilized life and dealing with kids his own age. You can tell that Carl is excited to be around people his own age even though he is scared about growing weak. It appears that Carl would rather be out spending some quality time with his dad tag-teaming some zombies than playing video games.

Carol is the trickster here, she is pretending to be innocent, when in reality she is anything but innocent. I'm not quite sure what to make of Carol when we hear her talking about Ed, saying she "Misses that stupid wonderful man everyday." At first I was confused considering Ed used to abuse her, then I realized it's all part of her game plan to be the self described "Den Mother" of the group. This is all a ploy for Carol to gain the town's trust and hopefully gather some much needed intel.

Tara, Glenn, and Noah all go on a supply run with Aiden who make is clear that he was former ROTC and that it's his way or the highway. Not surprising Noah is in the supply run group and they are the group that comes the closest to getting killed by a walker. Is Noah the Black Angel of Death? It seems like every time someone is with Noah a group member dies! If it were up to me I would stay as far away from that kid as possible. Glen is the hero of the group and possibly of the episode for punching that d-bag right in the face. Glen is also desperate to make it work in Alexandria, in his interview with Deanna he says, "We were almost out there too long."


4/5

"We didn't move too fast or too slow, covered some backstory and got one of the best zombies of the season."

AIR DATE: March 01, 2015 | SEASON NUMBER: 5 | EPISODE NUMBER: 12 | RUNNING TIME: 42:00

OTHER POINTS
|Story - 5/5
|Zombie Deaths - 3/5
|Pace - 4/5
|Score- 3/5
|Surprises - 2/5
FINAL THOUGHTS
| We had some Interesting twists amongst a group divided, now, how will it end up?
| Not many deaths, however the the zombie who lost his skin was awesome.
| We didn’t move too fast or too slow, covered a lot of detail into some specific characters.
| Most effective was the silence during Rick’s shower, powerful moment in the solitude.
| We didn’t learn a whole lot of wow factor, a lot of introspection.