The episode opens with Sasha suffering from insomnia. The pictures in the house that she now occupies haunt her as she lies awake staring at them, the abyss beginning to stare back. She resolves to take the pictures out to the woods and take some target practice. In the morning she goes to the weapons locker to check out her weapon. The thick woman charged with guarding her gun is mostly concerned with Sasha bagging a boar outside the walls so she can make prosciutto. Here, they ration chocolate, have parties and eat cookies; these people have entirely different concerns than the group. The episode “Forget” echoes last weeks episode “Remember,” but Rick and most of the group seem unable to forget their old way of living. Continue reading
Would you remember? If you lived like this group of people has lived over the past few seasons, would you remember how to live a safe life? That is exactly what the group was tasked with in the latest episode. The viewer is immediately thrust into the interviews that Deanna conducts and she asks Rick if he minds that the interview is filmed for transparency purposes. Rick seems to be skeptical of the entire set up. Who would blame him? These people in Alexandria have been in the safe zone the entire time. Deanna seems to understand that they are weakened by not having people in the community that aren’t hardened survivalists and that is the reasoning she gives for bringing the group in. Continue reading
Salang Pass, the name of this season’s fifth episode, is where a large group of Soviet troops were killed in a tunnel fire during the Soviet war in Afghanistan. It is not known exactly how many perished. Directed by Kevin Dowling and written by Stephen Schiff, this episode felt more focused on specific scenes than the last episode, even when it was jumping around to progress story lines.
The episode opens with Aaron naively asking the group to join him and “audition” for a safe camp. Now, there is no way that Aaron could know what the group has been through and while he makes the accurate assessment that Rick’s group would be valuable assets, he severely underestimates the level of paranoia about outsiders that is ingrained in the group. He tries a joke, which fails. Perhaps he could have left his name on the note attached to the water in the road…never mind, there is absolutely no way that Aaron was approaching the group without eliciting that exact reaction. Aaron doesn’t really doesn’t do himself any favors either; he shows up with a loaded weapon and apparently, it’s not his call if they will be able to stay at the safe community. It is only his job to creep around, spying on the group until he believes he can convince them to return with him…as food? Continue reading
The show opens with the group still on the road, 60 miles away from their destination of Washington, D.C. and they are in dire straits. Maggie is sobbing alone in the woods attempting to deal with her recent loss. Without food or water, we find that Daryl is digging up and eating earthworms and Sasha is combing a dry riverbed for the potential ground water but instead finds a bunch of frogs belly-up, a potent and foreboding biblical symbol. The intro ends with Maggie considering how long they have left to live, rather than how far they have left to go. This is survival.
The group runs out of gas and is forced to walk the remaining distance to Washington. On their walk Gabriel attempts to console Maggie but his attempt Maggie falls flat. In general, I am still uncertain which way Gabriel will go. He is obviously attempting to connect to the group and participate. I feel, however, that this is largely because he knows that his survival is bound up with the survival of the group. It’s hard to tell if he really cares or is just playing the part because it means further survival. There is the potential for a safe-zone ahead; we will see. Continue reading
The latest episode, Open House, was noticeably different from last week’s, Baggage. The scenes seemed much longer and more intimate. At times the anxiety from so much action and extended periods without speaking became unbearable – in a great way. It was a good balance so that the viewer could take in more visual information without being overwhelmed trying to follow what the characters were saying. Maybe that’s just my ADD talking but I found myself responding more to the first outing this season from writer, Stuart Zicherman and director, Thomas Schlamme.
Just to get it out of the way now, nothing happened in this episode to progress Nina’s or Yousaf’s stories, and the goings on at the Rezidentura were minimal.
Now, to the good stuff: spoilers ahead!
An apt title for an episode that grounded us in past tragedies, confronted the viewer with the meaning of many deaths on the show and also firmly planted the idea that tragedy is everywhere, ongoing, oppressive and that willpower, perseverance and a strong moral compass are the essential survival tools in this world. When the show opens, viewers are immediately confronted with the loss of Beth as a montage of the group laying dirt on a coffin is spliced with images of a perilous journey. Noah explains that the plan for him and Beth was to travel to Noah’s old group, hoping for the best. Without many options the group decides it’s worth the risk. The opening sequence ends with Mika and Lizzie, covered in blood, saying “It’s better now” and then blood oozes from an unknown source onto an idyllic portrait of a cabin in the woods. Although the show likes to deviate from the comics when it wants to, there were some serious hints at future episodes filled with death. Yes, death is coming. Spoilers after the jump. Continue reading