As suspected at the conclusion of the season premiere, this week’s entry of ‘The Walking Dead’ is all about what happened back at Alexandria while Rick and the gang were herding Walkers. But then, just when you think this is going to be a filler episode, all hell breaks loose inside the town’s walls.
Before the episode catches us up on Alexandria, it spends the pre-title scene showing us how Enid found her way into the community, starting with having to watch her parents get eaten by Walkers. As she spends day and night alone trying to get by (including eating a tortoise raw!), she keeps scribbling “JSS” everywhere she goes. What does it mean? We’ll find out by episode’s end.
Carol is still playing Suzy Homemaker around the other women in the community, although she takes a moment to show us the real Carol when she comes across young Sam feeling down in the dumps about his father’s death and basically tells the kid to suck it up and get over it. She doesn’t even offer him any cookies this time around! Jesse tries to give Ron a haircut, but he refuses and doesn’t like the fact that his mom has been all chummy with Rick. Meanwhile, Gabriel goes to talk to Carl and wants to apologize for the way he’s acted. Carl says it’s a good idea to tell everyone else as well, and promises to show Gabe how to use a machete later in the day. After Gabriel leaves, Carl notices Enid hugging another boy, and seems pretty jealous about it.
While cooking in the kitchen, Carol notices one of her neighbors outside getting ready to light up a cigarette. All of the sudden, the woman gets attacked by a guy with a machete. Up in one of Alexandria’s watchtowers, Spencer (Deanna’s son) sees other rough-looking people running into the town, all carrying various forms of weaponry (knifes, sharp sticks, etc.), but without any guns.
Back at her house, Jesse hides in the closet with Sam. Over at the Grimes’ residence, Carl has already gotten his machine gun and he and Enid stay inside to protect baby Judith. A large semi-truck comes barreling down the road and crashes into the Alexandria gate, causing its horn to go off. Now we know where the loud noise that distracted the herd of Walkers came from from.
While most of our Alexandria residents get involved in the action in one way or another, this episode is really all about Carol. She mercy-kills a neighbor who’d been stabbed and then camouflages herself as one of the Wolves (yes, that’s who’s attacking), including using blood to draw a ‘W’ on her forehead.
Spencer goes to stop the horn from blaring, but the driver has already turned into a Walker and Spencer has trouble getting to the horn. All of a sudden, Morgan appears on the other side of the cab and kills the Walker with his staff. The horn is now silent, but the attack on Alexandria is far from over.
Morgan runs into Carol and is less than pleased with the way she’s acting. Morgan tells her that she doesn’t need to kill everyone, but that’s not stopping Carol. Later, however, Morgan faces off against a Wolf who recognizes him. Morgan tells the Wolf and his companions that they don’t have guns and will wind up dead if they keep doing the things they do. Toward the conclusion of the episode, Morgan gets into another fight with a Wolf who also recognizes him. I believe this is the same Wolf Morgan had an encounter with in an earlier episode.
The citizens of Alexandria are able to drive the Wolves out, but not without a lot of losses (basically a bunch of characters we don’t really know well, if at all). New community doctor Denise (Merritt Wever from ‘Nurse Jackie’) – whose scenes seem somewhat inconsequential – loses her first patient on the operating table as Eugene and Tara look on. Jesse has to stab a female Wolf to death in her kitchen with a pair of scissors. Carol laments (probably not too long, though) about the people she had to kill. Finally, it looks like Enid deserts Carl and the others… but she left a note behind for him: “Just Survive Somehow.” Now we know what “JSS” stands for.
Fans will spend all week raving about how badass Carol is in this episode, and I agree… but the continuing development of Morgan is far more interesting to me. Will his opposition to killing lead to some bad blood between himself and the others? Hopefully it won’t be too long before we start getting some answers. For now, we know that there are a whole lot of Walkers still heading in the direction of Alexandria, and a lot of people there already exhausted from one fight.
I liked the episode, but it’s held back from greatness by:
1) Morgan being a complete dumbass, sticking to his moral code about not killing anyone even though he knows how dangerous this situation is. How much time did he waste and how many innocent people could he have saved while he was busy tying up the one Wolf? I loved that Carol just walked right up and shot the dude. She’s not putting up with that crap.
2) Ultimately, no characters of significance were ever seriously endangered, much less killed. The only people who died were Wolves or disposable Alexandrian redshirts.
3) Enid. I just don’t care about this girl. Why did we need to waste so much time on her backstory? So her family was killed – I guess that makes her exactly the same thing as every other person surviving in the zombie apocalypse.
Otherwise, again, I did like the episode.
Keeping at least one of them alive to question would’ve been the smart thing to do though. So Carol was kind of wrong about killing them all.
And I also like an interpretation of Morgan’s behaviour that I like. Morgan himself was just as far gone as they were yet was able to come back. That’s why he doesn’t want to kill anyone. He sees himself in them. Remember, this is the guy who tried to rob Rick, Carl and Michonne the last time he met with them.
If Morgan had killed the two wolves that had captured him to begin with this would have probably never happened in the first place. Also, letting those Wolves go, who now have at least one gun is just going to get someone else killed later. By being passive Morgan is killing “innocent” people. So lame. Maybe Morgan’s story arc will end with him getting killed by someone who let live earlier.
I’m wondering if Morgan knows he will snap permanently by killing, or at least he’s afraid he might. That’s the only justification I can come up with for him and these choices. Why is Carol so mean to that kid? Is it tough love or is she doing the “abused becomes the abusive” subconsciously? I didn’t watch Talking Dead so I don’t know if anyone discussed these topics, but just these are just my theories. Very intense episode.