Ever since The Walking Dead has returned for the remainder of its 5th Season, we’ve seen how they came to terms with “What Happened and What’s Going On”; how they characterize “Them” selves and “The Distance” they’d have to travel to find safety. Well now as our heroes come to the gates of Alexandria, we will learn how they must “Remember” everything they were while not losing what they have become.
This episode was packed with tons of comic Easter Eggs and even more set ups for future conflicts and happenings. So let’s jump right in and take a Closer Look at The Walking Dead “Remember”.
Things To ‘Remember’:
As the title suggests, this episode is all about remembering; and now that our heroes have gotten to Alexandria, it’s all about remembering who they were and what’s happened to them. Though this doesn’t just ring true for our heroes; but us the viewers as well.The ‘interview’ portions of the episode offer us a quick recap of where our heroes have been and what shapes them today. From Carl killing his mother to Carol speaking of her husband, we are reminded of how far they’ve come. Additionally, the extreme tension between our heroes and the residents of Alexandria reminds us of many past disputes with other survivors.
As for our heroes, they’ve found themselves back in civilization, which forces them to have to clean up their animalistic appearance and behavior and begin to remember what its like to be human again. At the same time though, they must also remember where these past ‘sanctuaries’ have gotten them. They know at any moment this could end or make them weak. So they must stay vigilante and know that if things go south – one way or another – they will take this place if the residents of Alexandria can’t keep it together.
Playing Possum – Sweet Innocent Carol:
There were some pretty WTF Carol moments this episode. From her fumbling with the gun to talking about how she missed her abusive husband and became the groups den mother, there were many moments we though we – or the writers – were missing something. Well folks, that’s not bad writing or forgetting the character; but actually BEAUTFUL acting on Carol’s part. That’s right, I said Carol.
Darryl Dixon might have killed one possum in Alexandria; but that just opened up room for Carol to play possum herself and feign being a weak character. In case this place does go south and they need to act, Monroe and the others would expect Darryl and some of the others to be the fighters to be threats. If Carol – one of the most badass of the group – pretended to be all-innocent, they’d never expect her. This even explains the “ridiculous’ outfit she wears. Though Carol might not be the only one hiding things at Alexandria.
To Trust Monroe Or Not:
So, do we trust Monroe or not? Her role as a part of Congress could have many distrustful connotations in our world; but we have to take it at face value of the show. Though the last time we met any ‘politically’ titled character, it was the Governor. Could Deanna be playing our group and trying to split them up? This would explain why she made Glenn, Tara and Noah (3 of the most unassuming characters of the group) runners – even more ironic because of Noah’s inability to run that much. Meanwhile, she looks at Darryl like an animal she wants to cage up.
Then again, her forces aren’t exactly that strong. With overzealous teens and egotistical do-nothings, Noah and Eric are the only members of Alexandria that seem competent. Monroe might not have any other motives because she realizes that they are literally THAT unprepared for what lies beyond the wall – Game of Thrones reference intended.
Playing At War – The Alexandria Not-So-Safe-Zone:
While the kids at Alexandria are busy playing video games, those on the other side of the wall are living one. From the moment our heroes walk in and Nicholas jaw drops when he sees Sasha one-shot headshot a walker from a ways away that they are VASTLY underprepared or trained. These aren’t the militia men and warmongers of Woodbury; but children and young adults basically “playing at war”. Take Monroe’s cocky son Aiden for example.
He thinks being an ROTC recruit makes him a master of this new world; but we the viewers know better. We saw how the military fell to the threat of walkers in the first episode. You can’t fight walkers with the same tactics you do people; and Aiden’s tactics are awful for people as well. We first get a hint of this when he calls very standard guns “sweet ass biscuits” when the group walked in with fire power 10x that; but its his actions in the field that really make you cringe.
He’s too narrow minded and only sees the short term and overly confident aspects of what he does and none of the gravity of the situation. He ‘target practices’ on the walker not realizing it’s a waste of bullets. He whistles to attract the caged walker not thinking it could attract other walkers. He tries to hang it and hand cuff it when we’ve seen walkers rips their own arms off and this one literally peel out of its own skin. His flare recon skills might be nice; but everything else – especially his people skills – are severely lacking.
It’s no wonder Monroe is happy Glenn punched him. Perhaps this will knock him down a peg so that he can ACTUALLY learn how to survive out there. There’s no room for pride in this world; survival is all that is left. With this much ego in one episode, one can only imagine what kind of overly privileged ego other residents of proclaimed ‘importance’ might have.
The Grimes Boys – Love & Walkers:
Seeing Rick and Carl tag team takedown all those walkers was absolutely brilliant. These two have come a long way from the over protective father and rebellious son; and this scene embodied their new relationship as equals. Though it’s not just walkers who want to get their hands on the Grimes boys; but the ladies too it seems. For the first time in forever, Rick has shaved his beard and taken a shower; and the result is getting attention from friends old and new – most notably, Jessie.
From their first interaction, you can sense a little bit of a vibe between these two. Now I personally like Michonne and Rick better together – of which there was also a clean shaven remark -; but this episode truly tried to set up the Rick and Jessie dynamic to at least be ‘imagined’ as romantic. Even if nothing ever happens between these two and they’re just friends, there’s just enough of a mislead in there to set up an upcoming fight between Rick and Jessie’s husband Pete. If you’ve read the comics, then you know there might be some other reasons for this fight; but for now we just know something will happen – and that Pete’s not a good guy.
As for Carl, he’s busy exploring the town and realizing just how ‘out of it’ this town is. Sure this could be a great thing; but it could also make them weak with the only ‘threat’ kids think about is video games. The one exception to this is a mysterious girl named Enid. Despite Carl thinking Enid doesn’t like him, there is a certain affinity between the two. They realize that the other is the only one who truly ‘gets’ what it’s like outside the walls. What Enid’s true allegiances are and whether or not there’s another reason for her to travel outside the walls remains to be seen; but there could be some upcoming moments between these two children of the apocalypse. Either way, Rick and Carl’s interactions with these two women could lead down some very dangerous paths.
Quick Bites – Easter Eggs, References & Other Important Moments:
- Olivia – the girl who took the guns – is also from the comics, as is almost everyone from this episode.
- Deanna Monroe actually exists in the comics; but just a different gender. Instead of Deanna Monroe and her husband Reg, in the comics they are Douglass Monroe and his wife Regina. Despite the sex change, Douglass and Deanna are both Ohio Congressmen/women.
- Deanna mentioned exiling 3 men. Did these men simply die or was this an Easter Egg of an upcoming threat to the group to find vengeance on Alexandria?
- The other runner/man who first greets them is named Nicholas, who might be the same ‘strict father’ Nicholas Mikey referred to.
- The Alexandria scenes are actually shot in a real town
- When the apocalypse hit, time basically stopped. So Rick resetting his watch this episode signifies that this town makes it seem like all is normal and they can go back to their original lives
- Yes, Jessie’s husband is the same Pete that Aaron mentioned to Noah last episode.
- The Logo on Rick’s Jacket is Latin for “We Will Rise Again”, which not only symbolizes that his group will rise again; but is also a famous line of the Governor’s. This could be the chance to see what Rick would do in the Governor’s role of power.
- With her affinity for hanging outside the walls and climbing, Enid was the girl Carl saw outside the walls and heard upstairs.
- Additionally, since Enid was seen outside the walls before the group entered, it’s possible that she saw Rick hide his gun and is the one who stole it.
- Up in the attic, Carl read a comic book titled “Wolf Fight”. Could this be ANOTHER Wolf reference like we saw written in “What Happened and What’s Going On” https://theinsightfulpanda.com/2015/02/09/a-closer-look-the-walking-dead-what-happened-and-whats-going-on/ and each episode since – whether written or literal wolves/wild dogs. Seriosuly, it’s like Dr Who “Bad Wolf” all over again.
Panda Prediction: At some point, Carl will follow Enid into the woods again and whether by accident or her own plan, he’ll get taken by someone.
This episode might have brought us and the group a lot of things to ‘remember’; but with next episode titled ‘forget’ we’ll learn which is forgotten – their humanity or survival instincts. Will the group take Alexandria for themselves or will it make them weak as they fear? We’ll find out next week. So stay tuned here, Follow Me on Facebook, and I hope you enjoyed this “Closer Look”.
*Special thanks to Allanah Faherty at Moviepilot for the photos and reaffirming many of my thoughts on this episode 🙂