“The Walking Dead” followed up on the theme of hope with “Remember.” Taking a step back with what felt like a decompression of sorts for the main players in the group. Alexandria is almost too good to be true, and the adjustment seems easier for some to make than others, but by the end of the episode almost everyone has settled into their new roles to play and for better or worse Rick has ulterior motives. It’s clear that the cast of this show is starting to outgrow the 45 minute running time.
Once safely inside the walls of Alexandria we’re treated to a whole host of new faces who make varying degrees of impact, while older characters like Abraham, Eugene, Maggie and Rosita feel completely lost in the shuffle. This isn’t really a complaint so much as it is an observation. Rick got the most screen time this week as he made a visual transformation into the man he used to be. Although he’s slow to trust in virtually every other situation it’s a wonder what a hot shower and a haircut can do for the man. He’s ushered into this new society with a sense of hope and a obvious degree of post traumatic stress disorder.
I mean, he’s having trouble sleeping and gets the group to collect in one house. I was a little skeptical of his complete character overhaul and that final line really brought it all in line, Rick is always 3 steps ahead. Whether or not his plan is a great idea we’ll soon find out, but there is sure to be some clashing egos as we go foreword. I couldn’t help but see Darryl as the loyal dog this week, almost to a fault. He can’t seem to use his words to articulate himself and not once during the running time of the episode did he look comfortable. I think the obvious place for him is out on the road with Aaron, and we may get a taste of that next week. But, Darryl can’t be walled in.
Michonne has really blossomed in this back half of the season. Not only does it feel that she has more of a voice, but she has more agency within the group. She’s becoming a leader, and the folks in Alexandria recognize that within her. It’s nice to see her character become more nuanced than the woman with the samurai sword. Overall the theme of the week seemed to follow that glimmer of hope, but pushed it against our characters who have become almost inhuman.
They don’t know what warmth feels like and despite being a family of their own, they are quite used to a different set of comforts. Rick running like a maniac because he believed he lost Judith and Carl was a great moment in selling this. The final showdown, stemming from the walker who almost walked out of his skin was quite tastefully done. It’s obvious we’d meet another alpha male in the town but I loved that it was Glenn who challenged his status quo.
Throughout the series we’ve lost the sense that Glenn was a great forager and had the means to gather material in the outside world. Mostly because Darryl has nicely filled that roll, but here we get to see his earned confidence against a set of vengeful idiots. Reminding us that even though mankind has largely died off, the ego of man still reigns supreme. What is a shame is the severe lack of the supporting characters. Maggie was reduced to a supportive smirk in the climax of the episode. Abraham had maybe two lines, albeit very angry lines and Rosita was nowhere to be found.
It’s hard to juggle this many people around, but when they’re all in such close proximity every character at least needs a reaction line or two. Sadly we were given much too much focus on Carl’s character for my liking. The writing team needs to do more with the character than make him a kid who doesn’t want to play video games for his story to be interesting.
Finally in the speculation zone, who the hell took Rick’s stashed weapon? Was it the zombie under the sheet metal he somehow missed last week? My money is on Morgan, but how does that crazy bastard fit into all this and where the hell is he? I would love to see some of his story each week, but perhaps he’ll find his own group of saviors.