Rick has gone over the edge. He has turned into the uncivilized man who cannot live with 'good' people. Or has he?
This episode was about trying to go back to a way of being that no longer exists for our group and in reality doesn't exist for anyone anymore. We have watched as the vestiges of civilization dropped off the members of our group while they continued to struggle to be human. Now they are back to civilization but they have been radically changed by their experiences. On the other hand they desperately need what Alexandria can offer them - a form of safety, food, shelter and 'good' people, a means to hold onto their humanity.
Noah's death has put a shadow over the illusion of safety Alexandria provides and Pete beating Jessie has shown that civilization comes at a cost. Rick wants safety for his children but is coming to realize that they aren't safe in Alexandria. They might actually be less safe than they were in the woods because the people living there have a false sense of security. They are not prepared to defend themselves and they will get in the way of Rick and his group defending themselves when it becomes necessary. In contrast, it is wonderful that Glenn, who has been most traumatized by Noah's death, is still trying to be a good guy. He knows that the people of Alexandria are ill-prepared but he also understands that they, not just their town, are important to the long-term survival of our group. He doesn't have any illusions, as was evident in his talk with Nicholas. He knows that they somehow have to change how the town runs but he wants to do it peacefully.
Rick is another story. He is trying to act in a civilized manner but he can't hold on when he is pushed. It is interesting that he tries not to kill Pete but I wasn't sure if that was to protect his children's place in Alexandria or because it would be wrong to kill Pete. He tries to come across as wanting to protect Jessie because she is being beaten by her husband but he clearly states that he wouldn't do it for someone else. Rick doesn't belong in Alexandria but is that because of who he is or because of the willful ignorance of its inhabitants, their insistence on the illusion of civilization even if it costs lives? It's clear that something has to give. I can't see our group agreeing with Rick being exiled and I can't see Deanna just letting things continue as they are.
There were two lovely bits of this episode. The first was the kick-ass women looking out for Sasha. They certainly don't need anyone to protect them. Too bad they couldn't teach Jessie to kick Pete's ass herself instead of making it caveman Rick's job. The second was the scenes between Enid and Carl. They are the adolescents of the new world and they are finding a way to be in that death-laden reality. The romantic scene in the hollowed out tree was especially sweet as Carl went to make a move and then reconsidered. As Enid said, "Cool. You're afraid of me too." Adolescent love in a post-apocalyptic world.
Bits and Pieces
Deanna is not dealing with Aiden’s death very well. She rejected the casserole which seemed ominous but then you could tell that she didn't believe the story that Nicholas gave.
Nicholas lied as expected but I thought Glenn was classy. He didn't argue with Nicholas, he just called him out and said he wouldn't let it happen again.
The intro music by Nine Inch Nails was great at setting the mood for the episode.
Daryl and Aaron are following one sick puppy or puppies. They are the ones carving W's in people's heads and then leaving them to die.
The red balloon was an interesting way to symbolize innocence and civilization. Children seem to be safe in Alexandria. Judith was being monitored by an iPhone! But is that the reality? Sam certainly isn't safe if he has to lock himself in his closet.
Nicholas has the gun that Rick hid. I can't see that ending well.
Deanna: “You don’t know what I see, Nicholas, and I see a great deal.”
Glenn: “We are them, Rick. We are now.”
Carol: “If walkers hadn’t gotten Ed I wouldn’t be standing here right now.”
Rick: “Yeah, you would.”
Rick: “Keep walking.”
Deanna: “We don’t kill people. This is civilization, Rick.”
Rick: “Warning someone to stop or die, that is civilized nowadays."
Glenn: “People like you are supposed to be dead but these walls went up just in time so you’re not.”
Enid: “It’s their world. We’re just living in it.”
Sasha: “I’m sick of playing defense.”
Rick: “Jessie, in here you can’t see but it’s the same. It’s the same as out there. We have food and roofs over our heads but you don’t get to just live. You don’t get to put it off or wish it away, Jessie. If you don’t fight, you die.”