Daryl: "No, they're worse."
This episode gave our group and us a breather. After the death and destruction at Terminus our group reforms and they give each other and themselves a fresh start.
One of the things I appreciate about this show is its depth. Last week I talked about how I didn't notice the death at Terminus because it didn't include anyone from our little group. Just like them, I've become desensitized to the deaths outside the characters I am invested in. And this week, just like our group I felt like I could dial down the adrenaline a little bit and have a bit of hope that things might actually turn out okay. Until the end, of course, when it appears that the human mercy that Rick was convinced to show to the survivors of Terminus will now bite him and his 'family' in the ass -- literally. There are many layers to the viewing of this show and I appreciate almost all of them (it's pretty obvious I don't watch it for the gore).
I know that some people will complain that this episode was too slow, but I really appreciated it. You would expect that after such a harrowing experience, after finally coming together again, that people will have to work through some issues. It is true that their experiences have worked to dehumanize them but they have also made them appreciate each other and let go of issues that even a few months ago would have divided them. Rick banished Carol from the prison because she was capable of murder, but now knows that he is just as vicious when it is called for. Maggie, along with everyone else, forgives Tara for being with the Governor. Carl has grown past being a possible devil child and has found a way to hang on to his humanity. Michonne has moved from berserker to warrior woman. I hope that Carl is right. That the group is strong enough to remain human and survive because as Bob points out, even if someone does return the world to what it was before, too many people will have moved past the point of return. They won't be able to live in such a world.
I am a little surprised to find that Carol has become one of my favourite characters. She is such a badass but still feels that she can't be part of the group. Although the group will forgive her, it seems that she can't forgive herself. I think she sees herself as irredeemable. There hasn't been time for people like Rick to talk about the things they have done so she can see that she is not as far outside the lines as she thinks. I was very glad that Daryl showed up when he did, even if it means that our group is now split again. I just hope it doesn't take a whole season to get them back or to find Beth. I don't mind slow progressions, but there is a limit.
The other somewhat problematic story line is the push to go to Washington. Eugene manages to sound like he knows a thing or two, but I find it all a little fishy. If there are places that can withstand a pandemic of this "fubar magnitude", then there are already people in it and they are already working on the cure. Besides, have they forgotten what happened at the CDC? I really hope that somewhere, at the end of all this, there is a somewhat happy ending, but I am certainly not counting on it.
Bits and Pieces
I enjoyed the beginning of the episode with the slow motion shots of the group interspersed with bits of group development.
Are they drinking water straight from the streams? One of the things this show hasn't really addressed is how many people would die from other diseases and things like untreated water and spoiled food.
There were some great moments of humour in this episode, all the more enjoyable because they are unusual. The fist bump between Tara and Rick was priceless.
It's pretty clear that Gabriel is a coward who let people die, including his own wife. Although that is an act of omission rather than commission, I think that he has a lot of blood on his hands.
Was Bob bitten? I can only hope he is, and the cannibals get very sick from eating him.
Abe: "Right there is why we're waiting for our moment."
Rosita: "Yeah, fair enough."
Rick to Carol: "Will you have us?" (one of my favourite moments from this episode)
Rick: "Can we take a look around first? We just want to hold onto our squirrels."
Abe: "We slow down, shit inevitably goes down."
Rick: "You are not safe. No matter how many people are around, no matter how clear the area is, no matter what anybody says, no matter what you think, you are not safe."
Carl: "We"re strong enough that we can still help people and we can handle ourselves if things go wrong. And we're strong enough that we don’t have to be afraid and we don't have to hide."
Bob: "If a sewer could puke, this is what it'd smell like."
Michonne: "Stumbling around in three feet of slime for some peas and carrots, that's living."
Rick: "This is the real world, Bob."
Bob: "Naw, this is a nightmare. And nightmares end."