By RODNEY HOemail@example.com, originally filed Sunday, March 8, 2015
Is Alexandria a potentially thriving revitalization of human civilization or inevitably doomed?
For now, it's simply surreal. That's what it feels like watching Rick's camp at an Alexandria Safe Zone welcome party for them. People are drinking beer in red and green Solo cups and fine wine in glass, picking at appetizers from sword-shaped toothpicks and munching cookies while gabbing about pasta makers, book clubs and dentists.
Some people are adjusting better than others. Maggie is willing to join leader Deanna in designing a government. ("You're here with family," Maggie tells a wary Noah.) At the party, Abraham decides to imbibe and happens to be a happy drunk. Michonne hangs her sword up on the wall above the fireplace (probably temporarily) as she becomes a "cop."
Sasha? She's on the verge of madness. Early on, she goes out and shoots framed photos of a now dead family and says "come and get me" to walkers who don't ultimately come. She has traumatic flashbacks during the welcome party and questions whether these Alexandria folks are simply deluded and will eventually face a terrible fate. That's reality to her now that she has lost her boyfriend and brother in quick succession.
Out hunting, Daryl sniffs out Aaron, thinking he's being followed. (Maybe, maybe not.) He and Aaron try to track a horse called Buttons. "The more they're out there, the more they become who they really are," Daryl says of the horse (though he could be talking about himself.) The two actually work well together dispatching walkers. But sadly, it's too late for the horse. Walkers get Buttons instead, the first time we've seen that hideousness since the first episode of "The Walking Dead." Later, Aaron invites Daryl to dinner (slurpin' spaghetti!). Aaron shows him a motorcycle and asks Daryl to join him as a recruiter. He thinks Daryl would be more comfortable spending time outside anyway.
"You do know the difference between a good person and a bad person," Aaron says, rationalizing why he picked Daryl.
"I have nothing else to do," Daryl says. "Thanks."
[During "Talking Dead," host Chris Hardwick suggested this is a strategic move on Aaron's part to divert Daryl's attention away from his group.]
Is this a true alliance or not?
Rick, Daryl and Carol (curiously minus Michonne) hatch a secret back-up plan - as in extra weapons in case things go down. Rick already knows something suspicious is going on because someone had taken the gun he had hidden in the blender. Carol is definitely up for stocking up on weapons even more so than Rick and Daryl. "Do we really need these? " Daryl says.
Carol is enjoying her con playing sweet suburban mom to a tee and being "invisible."
"Girl has only so many secrets," Carol says cheerfully to Olivia, the nerdy woman who oversees the arms.
Alexandrians feed Carol recipes. Carol returns the favor, offering tips on how to make cookies without eggs (apple sauce!). She claims relative ignorance about weapons. She dresses like she really wants to be part of the Junior League.
So she volunteers to slip out during the party and grab some guns Olivia would never miss.
What's hilarious is her cookies are what gets her caught. She knew Olivia was at the party so she snuck out. But Jessie's young son Sam didn't get a cookie so he decides to innocently follow Carol. (That seems like an odd decision for Sam to make. Was that just a convenient plot excuse by the writers or does the boy have "spy" written all over him?)
Carol tries to play nice at first, telling Sam she'll make more cookies but he has to keep this secret - even from his mom. He says he'd have to tell his mom. He tells her everything!
Now Carol has to go all low-key menace: "You can never tell anyone especially your mom because if you do, one morning, you'll wake up and you won't be in your bed."
A petrified Sam: "Where will I be?"
Carol: "You'll be outside the walls, far far away, tied to a tree and you'll scream and scream because you'll be so afraid, no one will come to help because no one will hear you. The monsters will come... You want to be able to run away and when they come for you, they will tear you up and eat you up while you're still alive, while you can still feel it. Then afterwards, no one will ever know what happened to you."
"Or you can promise to ever tell anyone what you saw here. Then nothing will happen. And you'll get cookies. Lots of cookies. I know what I think you should do."
Umm... yah. Cookies, please!
During the party, Rick is clearly hot for Jessie, who cut Rick's hair last episode and is married to a doctor Pete, who greeted Rick a couple days earlier while on his porch. "Ordinary life like before," Jessie muses to Rick during the party, then adds. "Not like before." She notes it's better in here than outside and has been steadily empathetic to his situation despite the fact she has not experienced remotely the horrors Rick has. "Everyone has been through it somehow and a lot of things disappeared," she says.
Later, Rick gives Jessie a kiss on the cheek after she hands back Judith. It's a surprise move. She is fine with it so the interest is mutual. Later, he sees her on the street with her husband. He has this primal, almost scary, look on his face and even grabs for his gun momentarily. This clearly will not end well for Jessie's hubby Dave.
"The more afraid they get, the more stupid they get. Fear shrinks the brain." - Aaron to Daryl
"A lot of bad people here. A lot of bad s***. I ain't afraid of nothin' " - Daryl to Aaron
"It's on your back even when it's off your back." - Abraham to Michonne, referencing their weapons or the weight of survival
"This. It isn't real." - Sasha to Deanna
"That's bull****." - Deanna back to Sasha.
"You want me to try? I'm good." Daryl to Carol and Rick
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.