Previously! We open with our group approaching the gate at Alexandria, which opens for them. Carl sees a young girl watching them from one of the damage houses at the entrance. Love interest, spotted! Also spotted: opossum in the trashcan, which Daryl quickly puts down, telling the guys at the gate, “We brought dinner.” Ahahaha.
They have to turn over their weapons to stay. Yeah, that’s not gonna fly just yet, so they’re going to go talk to “Deanna” about this whole thing to figure it all out. Sasha takes out a shambling Walker before the gate closes, prompting Rick to say, “Good thing we’re here.”
Hmm. I like the idea of our group maybe being perceived as the bad guys, the Danger.
He meets with Deanna—a former congresswoman with the squared shoulders and jaw and silver-tongue to prove it—who asks if she can film this. (Uh, with what resources?) She believes in transparency. Her place is clean, tidy. Practically normal. It’s hard for Rick to settle in. She wants to know what he used to do before… all of this. Rick doesn’t think still matters.
“Oh, I know it does,” she replies. And… I like this. I like her. (Which means I’m going to get bit in the ass, doesn’t it?) She explains that this place they’re in was a gated community meant to be eco-groovy. Sanitation, solar-power grid, grey-water recycling, all of it designed to be self-sufficient, and for the low, low cost of just under a million dollars a home! (Great commentary on our present society and how it takes a significant amount of money to be self-sufficient.)
She and her family have been there since the beginning, and everyone had an important job Before, and it mattered. Rick’s group is the first they’ve ever considered adding, because they need people who know what it’s like outside. (Remember this, because we learn potential Carl Love Interest was from Outside, as well.)
“You should keep your gates closed,” Rick says. Why? “Because it’s all about survival now. People are looking for an angle, looking to prey on your weakness.” He’s not wrong. (And my hinky meter is going off, sorry.) He assumes they want him to use them.
“Sounds like I’d want to be a part of your family,” she says. She admits to exiling people who didn’t contribute, and they both know that means a death sentence. (They can’t all be Carol Peletier.) She wants him to help them survive. She knows he’s the kind of man who can do that. Because she’s exceptionally good at reading people. I’m guessing she had a lot of lobby money in her SuperPac.
He tells her he once was a sheriff.
“Yeah. I knew it was something like that.”
Everyone hands over their weapons, Deanna reassuring them that they still belong to them, it’s just a safety issue. A librarian-type collects them all with a grin, telling Carol (after she unloads three or four weapons), “Should have brought another bin.”
Carol’s giggle at that is everything I’m living for, okay? Carol is really playing down her badassness, and if you have forgotten, Carol is the best. Deanna’s good at reading people? Imma just put out there that I think Carol is better.
Ay-Ay-ron shows them to their two large houses, fully furnished with the best from Restoration Hardware, and he and Carl don’t know quite what to do with the running water. Wait, SHOWER TIME! Rain-shower heads, too, damn! Those are super wasteful!
Rick does some much needed manscaping, and my lands, WHO IS THAT HANDSOME DEVIL? Sheriff Rick, that’s who! Mmm, I’ve missed season 1 sexy Sheriff, lemme tell you.
A pretty lady who works at The Pantry, Jesse, shows up with some goods and a little eyebrow waggle for freshly shaven, sexy Rick. She offers to cut his hair, which is pretty damn smooth, lady.
Rick: Electricity, shower, hair cuts… I never thought I’d see that again.
Jesse: Yeah, clearly. [eyes the massive pile of cut hair at her feet]
It’s a lot to take in, this stability, this normalcy.
Daryl has his filmed-interview with Deanna, and he’s like a toddler, touching everything, unable to settle. [Why does he have his cross bow? They’re only taking guns? I mean, they all have their knives, which means the folks at Alexandria are pretty dumb, imo. These are seasoned warriors.] He admits Carl and Judith deserve normalcy, but he’d rather be gutting that possum on the porch, thanks.
Carl and Carol check out the other house, marveling at them just being given away. Rick, Daryl and Carol note that while they’re being given a place, they don’t like being split up, so they’ll all stay together that first night.
Carl, still in house #2, hears thumping upstairs. He draws his knife and investigates, finding an unfinished room that looked like a cool teen hang. [WHAT WAS THE BUMPING, THEN? Did I miss something?]
Everyone crashes at Rick’s place, all of them sitting at the windows keeping watch. Michonne took a twenty minute bathroom break, marveling at how good it felt, then smiling at Rick’s clean-shaven face, which she’s never seen. She also maintains her good feeling about Alexandria.
Deanna drops by, notes them all staying together. “Family. That’s what you said.” She’s gonna work out jobs for everyone. (That is, if they stay.)
Rick wakes up in the middle of the night when everyone’s asleep, makes sure they’re all covered, and grabs a kitchen knife for a nighttime stroll. Just checking the perimeter, I guess.
Michonne’s recorded interview is shown, as she grabs a copy of Crime and Punishment (oho! A novel that focuses on proving that some murder is justified, all from the POV of a protagonist who refuses outside help, whaaaat?) and tells Deanna “We’re all ready for this.”
The next morning, the group joins in with the locals to explore the area, but Daryl hangs back (and looking like he hasn’t showered). He doesn’t play well with others. Rick loses sight of his kids, panics and runs off to look for them only to run into Jesse, who knows where they are. Everyone apparently is really excited to see a baby, it seems. (Built in babysitters!)
Carl meets her son, Ron, who informs him that there’s school in the Walker Apocalypse (sorry, bro!). But there’s also Xbox, comic books and a girl, so. Apparently Enid is from the outside, too. Turns out that cool hang Carl found is their hideout. (And Enid is a closed-off hardcase. She’s not interested in the boys. Good for you, Enid!) Carl doesn’t quite now how to deal with all of this; Enid gets it, though. When you’ve had nothing and are suddenly given everything, it’s a lot to take in, it’s hard to take in. Can he trust it? Poor kid.
Carl’s interview with Judith in his lap features him telling Deanna that he had to kill his mom. And how this place was everything his mom wanted for them. But Carl understands that the people living here are weak. And he doesn’t want to be weakened by the comfort. Innnnnteresting. Goddammit, Carl. Look at you being wise. GET IN THE HOUSE, CORL. THERE’S XBOX, CORL. THEY GOT SNOOKER TABLES, CORL.
Michonne and Rick have a late night chat while everyone sleeps; she wants to stay, he’s still not sure and wants to know why she’s so sure. And why she’s up in the middle of the night. (She just is, I guess.) He takes a walk and meets Jesse’s husband smoking on his porch. He welcomes Rick, but it sure doesn’t sound like a welcome. Jealousy? Or something else? (My money is on jealousy.)
Carol’s recorded interview: she says all the jobs she had before where she makes it sound like she was a just a silly ol’ housewife, and she talks about missing Ed every day (calling him a stupid, wonderful man whom she misses daily. OH REALLY). She’s totally disarming them with the whole “den mother” act and I love her for it. Also, Melissa McBride has amazing shoulders. When asked what job would be best fitted to her skill sets, she says she thinks she’d best fit in with Junior League. Ahahahahaha. I assume they don’t have a Knife Skill: Expert Level course she could teach. But yeah, How To Add M&Ms To Sugar Cookies is good, too.
She dresses up in the best PTO/Junior League clothes she can find, which cracks Daryl up (who finally admits he hasn’t showered yet), and she goes off to mingle. Man, she’s smart. Disarming them, learning their weaknesses, boy I love me some Carol Peletier.
Glenn’s interview is him saying this needs to work, because “we were almost out there too long.” I think a break is a good thing for everyone, yes, but man, the locals are really complacent.
Rick takes a trip out of the gates—which I guess means he got to check out his six shooter from the lie-berry?—checking their walls and security first hand, while Carl sees Enid scaling the wall to escape. He follows her over the wall, but loses her in the woods.
Tara, Noah and Glenn get picked by Deanna’s son Aiden—head of scavenging, I guess—for a “dry run” to test their mettle, and it’s laughable how hardcore the Alexandria peeps think they are.
Rick, out in the clear with a gun, realizes he doesn’t need to kill the Walker that approaches him, and walks to the house where he hid the gun last episode. Which isn’t there. …shit. And more Walkers approach. …double shit. He puts his six shooter away, grabs his knife, and goes old school—
PROTIP: When infiltrating a potential stronghold, alerting the residents of danger by gunfire isn’t recommended. Using a knife, flag pole, other silent weapon is highly recommended to maintain your cover.
—Carl showing up and pitching in. Aww, father and son time! They’re not soft, we’re reminded.
We also learn that Alexandria has established a 53 mile diameter of safety so far, to answer that “how far away was our group when they were tracked?” question we had last week. And Deanna’s son, Aiden is a dickbag. He says he knows he is, (ugh, with that douchey frat boy false self-effacing crap) but he doesn’t really know just how douchey he is. He thinks he’s hard, but he’s had hot showers and walls since this all went down. Yeah, he had some ROTC training, but Abraham has chunks in his stool that are bigger than Aiden’s ROTC training, so….
These dummies are making noise and attracting Walkers on purpose, then get mad when Tara and Glenn protect themselves.
They get back to Alexandria:
Aiden: So you guys are a bunch of jerkwads who can’t follow directions
Glenn: piece of shit leader says what?
Aiden: How about I shove you?
Glenn: [is shoved, sighs] No one is impressed by you, white boy.
Aiden: MOM, THEY ARE SMELLY BUTTS AND I’M A GOOD BOY WHY DID YOU LET THEM IN I DON’T LIKE IT
Glenn: Wow dude
Aiden: [throws a shitty punch that Glenn easily dodges]
Glenn: [handles this shit easily with a solid hook]
Michone: YOU WANT MORE?
Deanna: Yeah, so they’re who we really need, Aiden. So quit being a dick, son. Turn in your weapons, everyone, and Aiden: you’re grounded.
She then asks Rick to be their constable. “That’s what you were, that’s what you are. And you, too,” she says to Michonne. “Will you accept?” They both agree. Daryl isn’t happy. He’s too wild for these small town shenanigans, you know?
Cut to Voice Over of Rick saying how rotten people are, how they’re using each other for survival at any cost as he comes downstairs in their house dressed like a cop. Everyone sits up and notices (I love Carol in her cardigan sitting calmly in the background). Daryl still doesn’t like it, but he supports Rick because they’re bros for life. Rick tells Carol that they can settle in, even though she knows they’ll become weak. Rick doesn’t think so, though. It’s not in them anymore.
They’ll make it work, and they’ll remember. If the others can’t make it, then they’ll just take this place. Daryl likes that—that makes sense to someone like him. He’s not carrying no candy-ass upper class white folks around, not any more.
And I love that my first thought of our guys being the “bad guys” is coming true. (Even though we know it isn’t true. …or is it?)