Monday, March 9, 2015

The Walking Dead Recap, Episode 5.13: Forget

Episode 13: Forget

These recaps are just a discussion tool and a chance for me to geek out about my favorite show and do some over-analyzing. Maybe throw out a few theories. Remember, spoilers run rampant below. Don't read if you haven't watched!

This post is going up late for a couple of reasons. (All moved into my house and made it through the weekend, but not unpacked yet.:D) Part of it was that I really didn't know how I felt about this episode. I had to think about it a while before I wrote the post.

This episode begins with Sasha. She's lying in bed, supposed to be sleeping, but instead looking at the pictures on the walls. They're all of happy people, and they obviously disturb her. In the morning she goes to see a woman named Olivia who keeps the community's inventory of guns and food. Sasha takes a gun and the photos and goes outside the walls. There, she uses the photos for target practice. And she freaks out a little bit. It's unclear at this point why. It's almost like she wants walkers to converge on her, but none do. She's obviously not quite right in the head yet.

Also out in the woods, Rick, Daryl, and Carol meet at the little wood cabin where Rick originally hid a gun in the blender, which subsequently disappeared. They hatch a plan to secretly arm themselves without Deanna and the rest of the community knowing. Carol will get into the gun locker (Olivia's place again) and open the window latch. She doubts anyone will notice. Rick says the Alexandrians are ridiculously lucky (because with as little security as they have, they're still around).

A walker staggers up and Carol kills it. She shoots it a handful of times first. Apparently the cover story for the meeting was that they were taking Carol shooting, so she didn't want to come back with a full clip. After killing it, they notice a W carved into its forehead. (W for wolves, perhaps?)

They go back to the community and go their separate ways. Rick goes to see Michonne, who has put on a police coat similar to Rick's. They wonder if Deanna is playing a game, giving authority to strangers so quickly. Later they talk to Deanna. She explains what she wants them to do (watch out for the kids, solve conflicts between the residents, walk old ladies across the street, etc.) and that she envisions a magnificent future for the community, complete with government, police force, and everything else. Maggie is also there. Apparently she'll be working with Deanna in some kind of government capacity. 

Then Rick asks about security. He wants more of it. He explains that right outside the wall, people can walk right up to the supports and compromise them. He says that people, rather than walkers, are the real threat they face. Sasha approaches and volunteers to be one of the lookouts in the watch tower. Deanna says they don't have any lookouts in the watch tower. Everybody freaks out, asking why. Deanna says one of her sons, Spencer, sometimes mans it, but not regularly. Rick and Michonne tell her they have to have lookouts. She still doesn't want to arm everyone inside the walls, but Rick assures her that if she makes the changes he suggests to security, they won't have to. Deanna says she'll consider making Sasha their primary lookout, but only if she and the others agree to attend a welcome party Deanna is holding in their honor.

Meanwhile, out in the woods, Daryl is hunting, but realizes someone (not a walker) is following him. He demands they come out, and it turns out to be Aaron. Aaron is surprised at how good Daryl is--that he can tell a living person from a walker just by sound. When asked, he says he wasn't following Daryl, but was out hunting rabbits. (Yeah right.) He asks if he can join Daryl. Daryl agrees (in his surliest manner, or course) and they head off. Eventually, they come to a clearing where a beautiful black horse is munching the grass. Aaron says the community has been wanting to capture the animal. One of the children saw it run past the gate at some point and named it Buttons. Daryl takes a rope from Aaron to try and capture the horse. He says, "The longer they're out there the more they become what they really are." This was an interesting line because he was talking about the horse, but I think it applies both to him, and to the group at large. And perhaps to a more evil group that may be in the area (responsible for the W and the dismembered torsos in 5x09). Daryl tries to capture the horse (hot guy and horse moment!) and comes close but walkers show up and the horse gets spooked and runs. In trying to coax the horse closer, Daryl says, "You used to be somebody's, huh? Now you're just yours." I couldn't help but wonder if this applied to him as well, as he's still grieving for Beth. Sad line, if so.

Inside Alexandria, Carol goes to see Olivia. Under the pretense of needing food to make stuff for the party at Deanna's, she manages to get to the window and turn the latch. While there, two men come to take some guns. They say Deanna wants them to fix part of the wall (I think) so they need some protection. Carol once again does her fake fear of guns thing--of big guns at least--and one of the men, Tobin, offers to teach her. 

At one point, Carol tells Rick that the nice thing about Alexandria is that she gets to be invisible again. I love that she's taking something that was once so negative (she was invisible in her marriage because her husband abused and overshadowed her) and is turning it into a weapon. Subtle awesomeness! 

When the party starts, all of Team Family (except Daryl who's still outside the walls with Aaron) attends. It's awkward because it's just so normal and they obviously have no idea how to act in a pot luck type setting anymore. Rick meets Deanna's husband, Reggie. Reggie says he admires Rick for being able to keep Team Family alive for so long. Rick also meets Jessie's family . (He actually met her husband, Pete, last episode in the dark, while Pete talked creepily to Rick from his porch, but this was more formal.) The entire time, Rick is seriously crushing on Jessie. He stares openly at her (not subtle, Rick) and is nice to her kids, one of whom gives him an "A" stamp on the hand. (I assume for "Alexandria.") We also get a very brief glimpse of Jessie's relationship with her husband, which doesn't appear to be very good. (Pete is the surgeon Aaron told Noah about in 5x11.) Meanwhile, Glen and Maggie fellowship Noah further into the group, telling him they're in this together and no way he can just bail and leave the party. (I'm sure this was at least party selfish. As in, if we can't leave you can't leave, Pal. But it was still kind of sweet.)

Meanwhile, outside the walls, Aaron tells Daryl he should at least attempt to attend the party. He asks if Daryl rides, to which Daryl replies that he rides bikes. Aaron knows he doesn't mean 10-speeds. (Technically, we did see Daryl ride a horse back in season 2, so denying that he does isn't exactly the truth.) Eventually they catch up to the horse again, which is surrounded by walkers. They start putting them down, still hoping to bring the horse into Alexandria, but they aren't able to do it. The walkers swarm the horse and begin to eat it. Daryl and Aaron kill the rest of them and then shoot Buttons. Obviously sad about it, Aaron says, "He always ran." Daryl replies, "You were trying to help him." I think this is Daryl applying the situation to himself. He doesn't want to be the horse, and he knows the way he's going, he'll become it before long: too wild for anyone to help until he eventually dies. He and Aaron head back to Alexandria.

Later, Daryl watches the party from outside, but doesn't go in. It looks like he's finally showered and cleaned himself up, but he can't quite bring himself to join the others. While walking back to Team Family's house, Aaron calls out to him. Daryl asks why he isn't at the party. Aaron says he never planned to go because Eric's ankle is still healing and he couldn't go. He says Daryl tried to go, and that's what's important. He invites Daryl in for dinner.

At the party, Sasha shows up. In terms of her clothes, she's cleaned up for the party, but her face says her frame of mind hasn't changed at all. She meets Spencer, Deanna's son who sometimes mans the lookout tower. He's friendly to her, but she gives him a talk-to-the-hand sort of reaction and walks away. Out on the porch, Michonne and Abraham talk. (He and Rosita clean up especially well.) They have an interesting discussion about the duality of the lives they live. He talks about her sword, about how she should live by it, die by it, protect with it, but hope she never has to lose it again. And also pray she never forgets how to use it. He says it'll always be on her back, even when it's not. Then he says he figures things have worked out pretty well for him, all things considered. He asks her what she's done. She says she put on a party dress. He says, "Try again." Not sure exactly what he meant here. Maybe just that he wanted her to do more to fit in. To try harder to adapt to Alexandria. It was very much her that brought them to Alexandria, so she should set an example for the rest of the group. It probably leads to a decision about her sword later in the episode.

In Aaron and Eric's house, Daryl eats spaghetti like a neanderthal. He thanks them for it, though. Suddenly Eric starts talking and nothing he says makes sense. He says, while Daryl is "out there on his travels" if he every finds a pasta maker, someone in the community wants one. Aaron throws Eric warning looks, but Eric doesn't notice. At first, it seems like maybe he just means whenever Daryl is out hunting, but both men are being weird, so obviously there's more to it. Then Eric realizes that Aaron is giving him the stink eye. He says, "Oh, you haven't asked him yet. I thought you had."

When Daryl says, "Ask me what?" Aaron takes him into their garage, where there is a motorcycle frame under a tarp and tons of bike parts. Aaron says he's been collecting them for some time, but doesn't know how to rebuild the bike, but he has the feeling Daryl does. (True story, dude! I'm so excited for this. I've said since last season when the prison went down that I'm sad he no longer has his motorcycle. It was kind of a signature thing for him. Now he's getting one again! Yea!) 

Aaron says Daryl will need one anyway if he agrees to the job Aaron wants him to take. He says he asked Deanna not to give Daryl another job because he wants Daryl to take Eric's place as the other recruiter for Alexandria. He will rove around and find people to bring in, just as Aaron did for Team Family. Saying he has nothing better to do anyway, Daryl accepts. Even that is very telling. Daryl really needs something to do if they want him to acclimate to this community. This will play into a new theory of mine, but I'll discuss this below.

As planned, Carol slips out of the party to steal the guns. (And was it just me or did she also thug some extra chocolate, LOL.) Jessie's youngest son, Sam, follows her. He was hoping she was going to get more cookies for the party, but obviously that's not the case. Carol tells Sam she can't tell anyone that he saw her at Olivia's. He says he'll have to tell his mom. Carol then goes into full terrorist intimidation tactics. She tells him that if he tells, one day he'll wake up outside the walls, tied to a tree, and no one will hear him scream, except the monsters, who will eat him alive. Jeez, Carol! Creepy much? It appears to work on the kid, though. As far as we see in this episode, he doesn't tell. She's come a long way since season 4 when she asked Carl nicely not to tell Rick she was teaching the children at the prison to defend themselves. Now the gloves come off... I especially loved the final whisper. "And you'll get cookies. Lots of cookies." Wow.

At the party, Rick and Jessie talk more. She holds Judith and when she hands the baby back to Rick, he kisses her (Jessie's) cheek. Ah, the obligatory sexual tension.

Meanwhile, Deanna asks Sasha to join the party rather than just watching on the outskirts. Sasha tries, but the freaking out begins again immediately. She sees flashes of both Beth and Tyrese's deaths. At this point, if it wasn't already, it's obvious that she's battling some pretty serious PTSD. It's worse for her than for the rest of the group. Neither Maggie nor Daryl are completely over what's happened, but at least they're trying to move forward. Sasha, not so much. One of the women at the party says she wants to cook meals for all of the new people (Rick's group) and asks Sasha what her favorite meal is. She says she doesn't want to cook something Sasha will hate. Sasha gets angry and screams at the woman, "That's what you're worried about?" Cue the awkward silence and stares.

The next morning, Sasha is heading out. Deanna meets her at the gate and says she really wants to help and just is trying to figure out what exactly what is tormenting Sasha so. Sasha tells her that Alexandria, everything about it, isn't real. This angers Deanna and she says that's bull. I thought it was kind of interesting that Deanna got so angry here. She's been nothing but understanding and compassionate so far. You'd think that, even given what Sasha said about it not being real, she'd just say something kind (maybe even somewhat condescending). Something like, "I know it must seem that way to you because of the life you've lived, but I promise it's real and you'll come to believe it eventually." But no, instead, she gets angry. It makes me think that there may be some literal truth in what Sasha said, some nerve she hit. There's just no way to tell what it was yet.

Daryl, Carol, and Rick meet at the small cabin in the woods again, where Carol hands out the guns she successfully stole. Daryl ends up declining. He says they want him to try, and he doesn't need the gun. Not sure if he's told the others about his "job" yet, but he's obviously feeling better about his role in the Alexandria community. Rick still takes one. Meanwhile, Michonne mounts her sword on the wall. As much as I love Michonne with her sword, I didn't mind this. It'll be there when she needs it, and it'll just help us look forward to the day when things go bad and she has to go get it and start beheading things again. Again, I think this is a result of the conversation she had with Abraham.

Then the ending. The end of this episode was really bizarre to me. Because this was a slow episode, action-wise, I figured it would be one of those that was pretty slow throughout, but had something really shocking happen right at the end. Yeah, not so much. Rick walks through town, sees Jessie and her husband, and watches her walk away. Again, not subtly. He even reaches for his gun for a moment. There is some talk about Rick maybe becoming unhinged. Perhaps this is the beginning of Rick sliding into madness. I don't know. Rick crosses to the wall. On the other side is a walker he could obviously hear. He presses his ear to the wall, listening to it. But it's not an ominous thing. It's more goofy. Even jolly. Just kind of weird. Yeah that was end. 

Okay. Couple of things. 

1) This was a weird episode all around. A few interesting developments with Daryl's job, which I'll talk about below, and Rick and Carol now armed, but nothing big happened. Nothing at all. I still feel like I don't totally know what the point of this episode was. Maybe it's just the calm before the storm (the promo for next week looks pretty intense) but I was honestly expecting more. Sometimes episodes like this that feel out of place just have to happen in order to get to the next segment of the story, but I still wish they'd given us a little something more. 

One thing I heard discussed was kind of the opposite of what I said above about Daryl being the wild animal and not wanting to end up like the horse. Maybe the point of this episode is that by trying to be "domesticated," they're losing their edge, and perhaps their sanity, and it will kill them just as surely as anything else. Maybe we're seeing the group slip away from sanity in a lot of ways. 

2) Not sure how I feel about Rick and Jesse. She's married, which will no doubt be complicated. Even if they hook up, I don't see it being a long term, love-of-his-life kind of relationship, but even so, not sure I like it. It definitely seems like they're headed that way, though, so I guess we'll see what develops.

3) Beth theories. Lots of people thought she'd be back in episode 12 or 13. Obviously not. (Sasha's flashback doesn't count.) As I told my sister back after episode 10 (the one with the music box that suddenly sprang to life at the end) I don't think it's been long enough to be plausible. If that music box really did represent her waking up, well it's only been a handful of days since then. What are the chances she could cover all 500 miles (which took Team Family three weeks) and walk right up to the walls where they're staying, when she doesn't know where they are? Even if she has a general idea of the direction they headed in, while Alexandria is near D.C., I get the feeling it's off the beaten path, which is probably why it's stayed safe so long. Anyway, the longer we go, the more it seems that we won't see her until the season finale, which may explain why it will be 90 minutes long. They're going to have a lot of story to cover, showing what happened to her, as well as whatever else they have cooked up for the finale. 

Also, something else I pointed out after episode 10: In order for the music box to "work," to spring back to life for Maggie, Daryl had to fix it. Actually, he just cleaned some dirt out of it, but if he hadn't, it wouldn't have worked at all. I remember telling my sisters, yeah, I'm okay with that. Maybe that means he'll have to go find/rescue Beth. Now, I wasn't sure that theory was sound, as they've now found a community to stay in. But what do you know? Daryl is now going to be roving around looking for groups to bring in. And it makes more sense that maybe she'd find the general area, but not the exact spot Alexandria is in. She could rove around for months without knowing where they are. But if Daryl's out looking, that's something else entirely. And it means he'd have a hand in bringing Beth back to Maggie. So, they symbolism fits pretty darn well too. Just a theory. I hope it pans out. :D

4) Finally, I still think there's a lot we don't know about Alexandria. Deanna getting mad at Sasha was a big red flag for me. What about it isn't real? As I said last week, I feel like maybe the people of Alexandria went out and found Rick's group to protect them for enemies they've made. But now it looks like they're going to keep recruiting, and Deanna's talking about future government and such. But why are they just doing this kind of planning now? What's changed? Perhaps I could accept that they just got excited after having such success bringing in Rick's group, but again there's that anger after Sasha said it wasn't real.

Last week, my sister put forth a theory: Deanna said she'd exiled three men to the outside which was the same as sentencing them to death. My sister wondered if maybe one of them was Enid's father or other family member, and she was sneaking out of Alexandria to bring them food/supplies. Great theory. (If it's true then Deanna is just stupid for not watching Enid more closely.) But I'd like to take that theory a little farther. Maybe these "wolves" who were responsible for the dismembered walker corpses in 5x09 aren't just bad people who've discovered Alexandria and are now threatening it. Maybe they once were part of Alexandria somehow and Rick and his people have landed themselves smack in the middle of a civil war. Again, just a theory, but until we learn more about what's going on behind the scenes here, my imagination is just gonna keep firing.

P.S. Can't wait until Carol has to do something totally badass and shocks the crap out of everyone at Alexandria.

What did everyone else think of this episode?

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