The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 12, “Remember”

“Remember”

(All images used in this post are screen caps from AMC’s The Walking Dead unless otherwise specified.)

Well, well, well, my TWD obsessed darlings, it seems there’s a new constable in the walled, sustainable town of Alexandria, and he’s bringing the clean-shaven manliness along with the muscle and the menace…the beard is gone, but the wildness lurks beneath the chiseled surface.

And that’s the way we like it.

There are those who mourn the beard, yes.  I do understand. But remember, darlings, the man makes the beard. The beard does not make the man.

Just think of all those urban scenesters rocking hipster beards across the world at this very moment.  They look pretty cool drinking their PBR’s and shit, but many of them couldn’t change a tire if their life depended on it…maybe with some time, a few more PBR’s, and much discussion, bickering, and cigarette breaks, a group of three or four of them could put their combined brains and brawn together and figure it out.

Maybe. 

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Hipster+Beard

Of course, that’s not what we’re talking about here.  We’re talking about our favorite Deputy of Id, Rick Smash!  Has the primal manbeast that we have all grown to love so well gone down the drain with the lather and the whiskers?

Oh, hell no.

The beard may be gone, yes, but Rick Smash! remains. Don’t worry, darlings. He’s still there.

Rick Smash! has merely gone under the radar, gone rogue. He is showing the outside world his more socially adept manifestation, Rick-In-Charge  (aka. Constable Grimesbut smoldering and simmering under the clean lines of his demigod jawline, Rick Smash! is crouched and waiting.  He needs to be, and he knows it.

Shit’s coming, and if my hunches (and many others’) are correct, Alexandria’s impressive walls will not be able to protect them much longer from what lurks on the outside.

In The Walking Dead’s Season 5, Episode 12, “Remember,” there’s a game of seven card stud being played by two powerful leaders of two very different communities for the highest of stakes: the survival and continuance of their respective tribes, their chosen “families.”

In theory, the two tribes, one led by Rick Grimes,  and the other led by Deanna Monroe, leader of Alexandria (played by Tovah Feldshuh, wielding her usual mastery and grace), can combine and continue, stronger than ever.

It’s a good theory, but there are many variables to consider, and there are many, many questions that have yet to be answered. Until all the cards in each player’s respective hands are revealed, we do not yet know what each player’s motives, intentions, and ultimate goals really are with this arrangement, of Alexandria taking in Rick and his gang.

We know what Rick and his gang need from Alexandria: food, shelter, a safe and secure place for Rick’s children to live, and hopefully, grow up.

But, we still don’t quite know what Deanna Monroe’s true motives in taking Rick’s group in really are, at this point. We can only guess.

As Deanna tells Rick, in their initial interview, it has been a long while since Alexandria took in anybody new to their sheltered, sustainable community, which has served, thus far, to be one of the more powerful barriers we have seen yet in TWD.

Since the walker epidemic’s inception, Alexandria, with its impressive walls, has pretty effectively shut out the horrors of the outside world and encased its inhabitants in a protective bubble.

These days, the citizens of Alexandria seem to be suffering more from boredom and restlessness than anything else.

But, as this month’s full moon in Virgo reminds us, change is inevitable, and the reality bomb seems like it’s about  to drop on Alexandria.

Nobody stays safe for too long these days, especially when they most surely have some pretty choice digs for the taking.

Deanna Monroe seems to know this all too well, and she has sent Aaron and Eric out, at real risk to their lives, to act as the Fabulously Gay Ambassadors of Alexandria.

Aaron and Eric’s mission:  To scour the surrounding area for potential future citizens, survivors who know how to negotiate the savagery of the world outside the walls, but who still embody the ideals of community and humanity that Alexandria has been able to maintain, at least at a surface level, up to this point.

It is a tall order, and if Aaron and Eric actually do find such a group, they are then charged with the task of approaching the group, selling the group the idea of coming back to the community of Alexandria and “auditioning” for membership, and then transporting the group back to the walled community for taped interview with Deanna and tryouts.

It is a big risk, a big gamble, a bold play made by a woman who, by her own admission, would have been a professional poker player had she not become a congresswoman. It’s a risk big enough to be viewed, perhaps, as a last ditch effort, an act of sheer desperation.

Why else would Deanna Monroe make such a play, to let strangers who are well versed in the ways of the savagery of the world outside, into the heart, and underbelly, of her community, at potential risk, and harm, to her and her people? The risk is huge, so the stakes must be very high, indeed.

I have my guesses, as do many. What do you think is coming?

In the first dealing of seven card stud, it’s two cards down and one card up…we see the initial upcard only, at first, its ranking displayed openly. We can only guess at the cards facing down, and how each player’s hand will unfold as the game progresses.

It’s a test of each player’s skill, and will, as the first bets are placed, and then the bluffing, reading, mind-messing, and maneuvering begins.  Ultimately, the game becomes a “two down, four up, one down,” ending in a “showdown,” where each player makes the best five-card poker hand out of the seven cards he/she has been dealt.

Until the time comes for the final “showdown, when all will be revealed, this game of poker being played between Rick Grimes and Deanna Monroe is a taut back-and-forth between two leaders, and their chosen families, who are, in some ways very different, and in some ways, very much alike…the biggest similarity, of course, is that all of these people, sheltered or savage, are fighting for survival in a brutal, post-apocalyptic world.

In TWD’s Episode 512, director Greg Nicotero and the rest of Kirkman’s Army deal us viewers another expertly crafted, game-changing episode that delivers the thrills, chills, surrealism, and iconic images that have become the norm in Season 5, searing themselves upon our collective psyches, social media, and upon pop-culture in general as now-classic TWD moments.

And eye candy.  There was lots of eye candy served up in this episode. Thank you, Andrew Lincoln and Greg Nicotero.  Me, and my married lady friends, thank you very, very much.

#RickPorn  ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Anyhow, regarding Deanna Monroe’s true motives for taking in Rick and the gang, if the many clues, Easter Eggs, and speculations are correct, Kirkman, Gimple, Nicotero, and the rest of Kirkman’s Army are about to get majorly TWD Comic Series on our asses

As I have said before, TWD’s Season 5 is all about bringing it. It’s time to sac up or pack up, people, because Kirkman, Gimple, and Nicotero have been waiting a long time for this moment to arrive.

Four and a half seasons, to be exact.

They have been candy-assing us for long enough. They. Are. Done. With. That. 

The time for tough love is now, and now is the time for tough love. We must prepare ourselves, my WDO darlings.

Remember the drill we have discussed in previous posts. Plan, and implement, your coping methodology.  Stock the fridge, replenish your personal pharmacopeia, secure your Daryl Partner.  

(For more on Daryl Partners, refer to my Season 4 mid-season prepost, “What Happens After?” in the archives.)

Start your own grass-roots Walking Dead support group. Take long walks, outside, and listen to the sounds of the world around you. Hug your children, your partner, your friends, your pets, a lot.  Keep lots of chocolate on hand for when you need a serotonin boost.

Listen to music.  Do your yoga.  Take time for yourself if you need to go have a good cry. You must take good care of yourself and your #TWDFamily around you, because I really feel like we are about to get our asses kicked.

Seriously, people, I am not fucking around here. Kirkman loves nothing more than to slap us up like the little bitches we are, and I think he and his army are about to get jiggy with it…just saying. 

If I’m correct, Kirkman’s Army is about to throw down The Iron Maiden on our asses.

And, maybe I’m wrong.  

Maybe I’m Chicken Fucking Little and the sky isn’t really about to fall on our heads. Anybody who actually reads this tweaker-ass blog knows that I am prone to wild imaginings and am constantly casting out completely wrong theories.

At this point, it’s practically my trademark.

But, as Abraham Ford said, to Tara, one night as they sat against a tree: I’m right, and I’m wrong.  

Sometimes it goes one way, and sometimes it goes the other.

All I’m saying is, if the shit goes down, and the sky does fall on all our heads, and you find yourself shuffling around work, or home, or school, with a haunted, vacant look in your eyes from too little sleep, too many nightmares, and the latest TWD storyline mayhem and can’t-shake-them images (courtesy of Nicotero & Co.) seared into your broken heart and tormented brain, keep telling yourself, darlings, as real as it feels to us TWD fans, and as much as we love our sweet gang, it’s only a show. 

Say it with me. It’s only a show. It isn’t real. It’s only a show.

And, if a beloved character does die, or have some other tragedy befall them on the show, remember that the actors who play them are alive, well, and will remain rich off royalties, guest appearances, and all the fantastic future opportunities that await them.

Playing a major character in a standalone pop culture phenomenon like The Walking Dead pretty much guarantees that any actor who has “suddenly” become available for other projects will be a hot ticket, indeed.

Life will indeed go on, and it really is all good, my TWD obsessed darlings.

I promise. 

Of course, for all my brave talk, I am going to be freaking out just like everyone else if serious shit goes down. But, I will stick to my personal coping methodology.

I will breathe. I will watch Talking Dead and take comfort in Chris Hardwick’s calming manner and funny jokes. I will watch the actors who play the departed, beloved characters laugh and joke and talk about their upcoming projects as they sit on the TD couch.

I will lean on my Daryl Partner, and I will support her when she needs to lean on me. I will attend TWD support group, and I will talk about my feelings, and I will listen as others talk about theirs.  We will laugh, we will cry. We will drink the coffee provided, and we will eat the donuts.  And we will take comfort in our friends and family, in our #TWDFamily.  ❤

And we will keep telling ourselves, It’s only a show. It isn’t real. It’s only a show.

And maybe, maybe one day, we will actually believe it.

_____________________________________________

The Walking Dead’s Episode 512 opens as the gang, along with Aaron and Eric, emerge from their vehicles and approach the gates of AlexandriaAaron supports Eric as he limps gamely on his injured ankle, while Rick, holding Baby Judith, and the others cautiously approach the gate, which slowly, noisily begins to roll open for them.

aaron helps eric

As they approach, Carl looks back at one of the houses which stand outside the gates, and is surprised to see a figure in one of the windows, a girl, looking out at him.

carl looks back girl in the window

Michonne passes, obscuring the window a moment, then when Carl does a double take, once he can see the window again, the figure of the girl is gone.

Carl stays back a moment, looking at the window, before turning and following the others.  The perspective shifts, and we see Carl and the gang walking towards the opening gate from inside the house, looking out through the window.

Carl stays back a moment, looking at the window, before turning and following the others. The perspective shifts, and we see Carl and the gang walking towards the opening gate from inside the house, looking out through the window.

A loud, clattering noise from the side startles the gang, and they whirl in unison, pointing weapons, and we hear the hiss of Daryl’s arrow spearing the offender, a possum who most likely toppled a metal trash can in search of a meal.

The gatekeeper, a  young man, stands watching in silent disbelief as Daryl picks up the possum by the tail, then turns and announces, deadpan, “We brought dinner.”

noise startles gang

brought dinner

Aaron quickly assures the gatekeeper that it’s ok, and bids the gang to come inside. The gang watches as the gates roll closed, and lock behind them.

and they're in

The gatekeeper/guard immediately says, “Before we take this any further, I need you all to turn over your weapons.” At the gang’s looks, he continues, “If you stay, you hand them over.”

Rick steps forward and says, none too friendly, “We don’t know if we wanna stay.”

we don't know if we wanna stay

Man, Papi Grimes is so hot when he plays hardball!

Aaron turns to Nicholas, the gatekeeper, and quietly assures him that it’s ok. Papi Grimes chimes in, informs Nicholas, Aaron, and anybody else in Alexandria who is listening:

“If we wanted to use ’em, we woulda started already. Holding the baby in one arm while he says it just makes Papi Grimes look even more like a badass.

Aaron tells Nicholas to let them talk to Deanna. “Who’s Deanna?” demands Abraham, loudly (and thus, one of Chris Hardwick’s favorite TWD lines was uttered).

Aaron replies that Deanna is the one who can tell them anything they want to know about this place. Aaron turns to Rick, suggests, “Rick? Why don’t you go first?

In response, Rick turns back towards his people, and seeing something beyond the gate’s bars, prompts, “Sasha.” 

sasha takes aim

Sasha turns, sees, takes aim…

right on target

…and with one perfectly aimed shot, splatters an approaching walker’s brains all over the pavement. The walker slumps to the ground, dead for good. (Awesome walker cameo here, played by Shaun Of The Dead’s Nick Frost <3) As the gates roll closed, Rick turns back to Aaron, and Nicholas, who, by their disbelieving stares, have received the unspoken message: Don’t even think about fucking with us.

good thing we're here

As he saunters away, towards his interview with Deanna, Rick says, sarcastically, “It’s a good thing we’re here.”

After the opening credits, we see a shot of Rick, looking around an airy, spacious office with high ceilings and art on the walls. Sunlight pours through the tall windows, which are framed with fine white curtains.

There are many bookshelves in the office, filled with books, and the mantlepiece holds candles, knicknacks, pictures, and other items of interest. There is even a flat screen tv mounted to the wall.

It looks warm, and inviting, and very well used, like an actual, working office of some esteemed, titled individual from days past.

rick in deanna's office 1

As Rick takes this in, a woman comes quietly into the office behind him, regards him for the briefest of seconds before grinning and introducing herself.

hello im deanna monroe

Hello. I’m Deanna Monroe.”

Rick turns to face Deanna.

Rick turns to face Deanna. “Rick Grimes,” he offers, before turning away again, looking once more at the window, the books, the room. I found this interesting, how he chose to play it like this, to turn away , instead to continuing to face, assess Deanna. I guessed maybe he was trying to make himself appear casually indifferent, harder to read, for Deanna Monroe.

Deanna proves herself a worthy match to this tactic by asking Rick, in the next breath, “You mind if I film this?” This gets Rick’s attention, and he quickly turns back to face her.

“What?”

Deanna repeats the question, a little more slowly and with a little more emphasis.

Deanna repeats the question, a little more slowly and with a little more emphasis. “Do you mind if I film our talk?”

Rick, who has recovered himself quickly, says, indifferently, “Go ahead.” He turns back to the window as Deanna walks over to turn on the camera.  Rick peers out the window, at the tall walls and the white steeple of a church. “Why film this?” he asks.

“We’re all about transparency here,” Deanna replies easily. She motions with her head, invites Rick to sit down, “Please.”

The next shot is aimed at the vantage point of the chair, which Rick has not yet sat down in.  We see his legs, his worn black pants, and we hear Deanna’s voice, a trifle tinny…we know that we are seeing through the lens of her camera, and hearing her voice through the recording microphone.  After a moment’s hesitation, Rick sits down, a trifle awkwardly, into the soft living-room style chair.

I guess it has been a long time since Rick has actually gotten to sit in an actual chair...maybe the last time was in

I guess it has been a long time since Rick has actually gotten to sit in an actual chair…maybe the last time was in “Claimed,” before the Downstairs Thug Boys found the house and Rick had to escape them, undetected, and intercept Michonne and Carl before they walked into danger? Can’t remember an actual house he was in since that time...always has been the ground or a floor these days.

“How long have you been out there?” Deanna begins the interview. “Since the beginning,” Rick replies.

“How did you all find each other?” Deanna continues. “Did you all know each other be-…” Rick cuts her off, “We didn’t know each other before.” His voice has a touch of annoyance, as does his manner, as he eases himself slowly, hesitantly, into the chair.

Rather than relaxing into the chair, Rick sits on the edge of it, taking a moment more to look off to the side, at something in the room...

Rather than relaxing into the chair, Rick sits perched on the edge of it, taking a moment more to look off to the side, at something in the room…

...before turning to face Deanna Monroe.

…before turning to face Deanna Monroe.

At this point in the watching, I wondered two things…I wondered, first, if this scene was crafted by Nicotero to be reminiscent of one of my fave movies of all time, Sex, Lies, and Videotape. 

The way Deanna asks Rick if he minds if she films the interview immediately reminded me of how the James Spader character asked in S, L and V, and the shots through the vantage point of the camera hearken back to some of the most riveting imagery of that incredible film.

If so, bravo, Greg Nicotero. It makes me love you, and TWD, even more. Sex, Lies, and Videotape is one of the great ones, and enough homage cannot be paid to that visionary, sexy, disturbing, timeless film.

Second, I also couldn’t help but wonder if Deanna Monroe, like the rest of us, was already crushing hard on Rick Grimes. I mean, man. Like seriously…literally.  Man! ❤ ❤

Sister's playing it cool on the outside, but I bet she's all like,

Sister’s playing it cool on the outside, but I bet she’s all like, Dayummmm!” on the inside. I mean, come on. Look at him!

Deanna tells Rick that she used to be a “congressperson,” before the turn.Ohio, 15th District,” she tells him, with a small smile and a nod.

Deanna motions to Rick, with her head, her eyebrows lifted. “You?”

Rick replies, “I don’t think it matters anymore.” Deanna is quick to disagree. “Oh, I know it does,” she counters.

Rick ignores the question. “What is this place?” he asks. You can hear the smile behind Deanna’s voice. “It’s the ‘start of sustainability,’ she replies. “That’s what the brochures we found say.”

“This was a planned community,” Deanna continues. “With its own solar grid, cisterns, eco-based sewage filtration…starting in the low $800,000’s.” With this, Deanna laughs, adding, “If there is such a thing! And they sold them all.

Rick does not share her laugh, shifts a little in his chair and looks away, asking, “How did you end up here?” Deanna explains that as she and her family tried to get back to Ohio from D.C., so she could help her district manage the crisis, the Army stopped them on a back road and directed them here. The Army was supposed to come later. Deanna looks at Rick with a small shake of her head.

“They didn’t,” she says, softly.

But, Deanna continues, looking around the room, there were supplies here, and they made the best of it. “You put up the wall?” asks Rick. Deanna replies that there was a huge shopping mall in the process of being built nearby, and her husband, Reg, is a professor of architecture.

“And,” Deanna says, leaning forward, “who he was mattered, quite a bit. Reg, along with their sons, put up the first plates of the wall. After a time, more people arrived, they had help, and from there, they built a community.

Rick sits, taking this all in. He cocks his head at Deanna, asks, incredulously, “You’ve been behind these walls this entire time?” 

Deanna graciously does not answer this question directly, but in not answering it, she answers it. Yes.

Deanna graciously does not answer this question directly, but in not answering it, she answers it: Yes.

As they face each other across the table, Deanna mirrors Rick’s posture by sitting forward on the couch, leaning forward, arms resting on the thighs. She tells Rick that they (Alexandria) need people who have been outside.  She tells him that his group is the first group in a long time that they have even considered bringing inside their walls.

“You should keep your gates closed,” Rick tells Deanna bluntly, quietly.

“Why?” she whispers, mirroring his soft tone.

rick lays it down

Rick takes a moment before answering.

“Because it’s all about survival now,” he replies, in the same soft tone, with a strong hint of truth, and menace that carries through the softly spoken message. “At any cost.”

Rick continues, “People out there are always looking for an angle, looking to play on your weakness,”

Looking directly at Deanna, Rick tells her,“They measure you by what they can take from you.”

By how they can use you, to live.”

Rick cocks his head at Deanna, says,”So, bringing people in, to a place like this, now…”

Deanna interrupts him, asks:

“Are you telling me not to bring your people in?”

Deanna blinks, once, then asks, with raised eyebrows and pursed lips,

Deanna blinks, once, then asks, with raised eyebrows and pursed lips, “Or, are you already looking after this place?”

Rick looks at Deanna with a new respect, or regard.  He says nothing, shifts back and forth in the chair, comes back to stillness.

Rick looks at Deanna with a new respect, or regard. He says nothing, shifts back and forth in the chair, comes back to stillness, watches Deanna.

When we hear Deanna’s voice again, it is through the camera, recording. “Aaron says I can trust you.”

Rick’s reply is immediate. “Aaron doesn’t know me. I’ve killed people… Rick looks down, shaking his head. “I don’t even know how many, by now.”

“But I know why they’re all dead. They’re dead so my family, those people out there, can be alive.

“So I can be alive, for them.”

Sitting across from Rick, matching his posture, looking into his face, Deanna says:

“Sounds like I’d want to be part of your family.”  Amen to that, Mrs. Sister!

Deanna continues, addressing Rick by name, telling him that northern Virginia was effectively evacuated, millions of people, gone. For a long time, there’s hardly been anyone here, living or dead, but still, “We’ve lost people,” Deanna says, simply.

She looks down, then at her hands. “And, uh, I’ve done things.”

Rick looks into her face, as they sit across from one another. “What have you done?” he asks her.

Deanna tells Rick that she exiled three people, who “didn’t work out…and we both know that’s as good as killing them.”

(Not so fast, there, Deanna Monroe…I have a sneaking feeling that at least one, if not all, of your exiles have managed to survive, and are planning a return visit, soon, if they haven’t called upon the hallowed steel gates of Alexandria already…and if that isn’t the reason for your sending Aaron and Eric out to scour the surrounding countryside for hardy and seasoned warriors who have managed, thus far, to survive the savagery of the outside world…you may need some muscle, some soldiers for hire, to give yourself and your community a fighting chance at surviving the war that may be coming for you, sooner than later.)

At this, Rick stands, walks over to the window, hands on hips, looking out. “What do you want from us?” he asks.

Deanna stands, walks over to the window, faces Rick.

“These families,” she begins, peering out the window, then facing Rick,“these families should be able to raise their children in a safe environment. Your son, your daughter, should have a place to grow up.”

Deanna takes a step toward Rick. “What do I want? I want you to help us survive. I know you can help us do that.”

“How?” asks Rick, hoarsely. “I am exceptionally good at reading people,” replies Deanna. “If I didn’t win re-election, I was going to become a professional poker player.”

Rick looks away, laughs. “I’m not kidding,” Deanna tells him, in a loud whisper.

Deanna looks down at her watch. “Rick,” she says, “it’s 3:37pm. You’re skeptical...you have a right to be. But it’s time to decide…if you’re the one doing the deciding.

(Man, she’s good! She’s def not kidding around about being a master poker player.  I am thinking, in the brains division, Deanna Monroe would be a major contender in Top Mama Tapout.)

With this, Deanna Monroe steps back, interlaces her fingers behind her back, and waits. Rick says nothing, looks down and sets his watch to the correct time.

We, and Deanna Monroe, can tell how long he's been wanting to find out the correct time, to set his watch to it.

We, and Deanna Monroe, can tell how long he’s been wanting to find out the correct time, to set his watch to it.

Rick looks down at his watch.

Rick looks down at his watch. “I was a sheriff,” he says, simply.

Yeah,” Deanna agrees, softly. “I knew it was something like that.”

In the next sequence, it’s outside, and Deanna is explaining the procedure of turning over the weapons to Rick’s group.

“They’re still your guns,” she tells the group, as they begin to load their weapons onto the waiting cart.

Deanna tells them they can check out their guns at any time when they go outside the walls...

Deanna tells them they can check out their guns at any time when they go outside the walls…

...but while they are within Alexandria's walls, their guns will be

…but while they are within Alexandria’s walls, their guns will be “stored for safety.” The gang exchanges looks, unsure about this. Abraham looks to Rick, who gives a small nod, but who looks ill at ease with the whole setup as well.

The following sequence is hilarious, played perfectly by Melissa McBride…

carol sequence 2

Carol steps forward to the cart, and giving a little smile to the awaiting cart girl, she begins to unload her arsenal onto the weapons cart. It is truly comical to see this tiny woman try to shrug off the huge assault rifle she has strapped across her.

carol sequence 3

With some difficulty, and a shoulder that is probably still tender, Carol finally manages to lift the gun off and place it on the cart.

carol sequence 4

Carol’s whole manner during this is like, “Who, little ol’ me, hefting around this big gun? Why, I barely know how to use it…whoops, easy, stay, big fella…there, that oughta do it. There you go…”

As the cart girl backs away, pulling her fully loaded cart with her, she jokes, “Shoulda brought another bin.”

New Carol gives a big grin at the girl as she wheels their guns away, outwardly in response to the joke, but inwardly, is like,

New Carol gives a big grin at the girl as she wheels their guns away, outwardly in response to the joke, but inwardly, is like, Yeah, you shoulda.”

Once the girl is gone, the smile is too, and Rick steps forward, his face reflecting what they all seem to be feeling right about now…

Rick and his gang aren't feeling it, having their guns taken away.

Rick and his gang aren’t feeling it, having their guns taken away.

Aaron takes Rick to see their new digs, which are pretty damn impressive.

Rick and Carl look at the two huge houses being offered to their group.

Rick and Carl look at the two huge houses being offered to their group. “Both of them?” marvels Rick. “At your disposal,” Aaron replies grandly.

Aaron, who is sporting a pretty damn impressive bruise on the lower corner of his mouth and chin, courtesy of Rick Smash!, tells them that Deanna asked the other residents of the community to hang back and give Rick and his gang some space to get used to their new digs and settle in.

“If you need anything, call me,” Aaron tells them.  At their confused looks, Aaron looks down and laughs at himself, explains awkwardly that of course he doesn’t have a phone… “I’m four houses down,” he tells Rick and Carl, pointing the way towards his residence.

Rick and Carl approach the door to one of the houses, and cautiously step in, in the “clearing” manner they have become so accustomed to.  The house has no walkers, of course, but it does have plenty of space, and furniture, some decorations on the walls, empty picture frames stacked up. There are even throw pillows on the couch.

Carl goes to the kitchen, stands in front of the sink a moment before turning it on…

Running water. Carl looks over at his dad in disbelief.

Running water. Carl looks over at his dad in disbelief.

And speaking of running water, and things that are pretty damn impressive…

As the thick layers of Rick Grime wash down the shower drain, we see our man is rocking some serious 7-11 feet.

As the thick layers of Rick Grime wash down the shower drain, we see our man is rocking some serious 7-11 feet.

Once the shot pans up from the Jiffy toenails, the view begins to get better and better....

Once the shot pans up from the Jiffy toenails, the view begins to get better and better….

Oh, yeah, that's the stuff.

Oh, yeah, that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Once the shower part of the program is done, we get to Act IIThe Shave Sequence.

shave 1

Rick wipes away the steam from the mirror and takes in the grizzled state of his appearance.

shave 2

It’s probably the first time he has really looked at himself in a mirror in a long, long time.

shave 3

shave 4

#RIPRicksBeard

shave 5

Many of the TWD crew grew out, then shaved, their beards in an act of shaving solidarity with Andrew Lincoln/Rick Grimes. Totes adorbs!

shave 6

Mmmmm hmmmm…

shave 7

shave 8

Sweet Baby Jesus, that is a beautiful man. ❤

By this time in the watching, I, and many of my married lady friends, went a little “Mental AWOL” on our marriage vows.  But, the #RickPorn was just beginning, because then this happens…

Rick is finishing up his fine, fine shave when there is an unexpected knock on the door...

Rick is finishing up his fine, fine shave when there is an unexpected knock on the door…

Watching this, my WD buddy and I were both getting all territorial, like,

Watching this, my WD buddy and I were both getting all territorial, like, “Ok, who is this bitch?”

jesse 2

Can’t hate a sister for being at the right place at the right time, I suppose. The look on her face, here, is pretty awesome. I mean, can you blame her?

jesse 3

Ummm, ok, you are definitely not the gentleman I was expecting, and p.s. thank you, God!

jesse 4

Jessie manages to keep her composure, explains that she works in the pantry, and Deanna sent her to deliver some supplies to Rick and his gang. Rick thanks her (in more ways than one, unbeknownst to him), and she has the quick wits to offer her services as a hair stylist to him. Jessie isn’t stupid, I’ll give her that.

As Jessie cuts Rick's hair, she tells him that she has two sons, the eldest, Rowan, being about his son's age.  She offers for the boys to hang soon, if that's ok with Rick, and...?

As Jessie cuts Rick’s hair, she tells him that she has two sons, the eldest, Rowan, being about his son’s age. She offers for the boys to hang soon, if that’s ok with Rick, and…?

jessie cuts ricks hair 2

Rick answers her unspoken question, that it’s just him. (Nice fishing, Jessie, you thirsty B.) Rick quickly tells her that that sounds great, getting the boys together, and then Jessie starts in with a whole lot of hair stroking, gratuitous touching, telling Rick that she’s sorry (about his loss, but no, she’s really not).

jessie cuts ricks hair 3

Rick tells Jessie that he thought things like electricity, running water, haircuts, were things that he would never see again. Jessie jokes that come on, haircuts were never going away. (Come on, unhappily married ladies in the post-apocalypse have to have some angle for being able to paw on hot widowers!)

jessie cuts ricks hair 4

Jessie lays on some more gratuitous touching, placing her hands on Rick’s back (causing him to wince, slightly) and telling him it’s ok if he’s not really feeling alright with all this, yet. At this point, me and my WD buddy were all like,Back off, bitch! That’s Michonne’s man!

new rick

Jessie hands Rick a hand mirror to inspect the finished product. Andrew Lincoln plays this entire episode so beautifully…so much said without words, just facial expression, as Rick processes so much feeling and information, on so many levels, in Episode 512.

Meanwhile, in Deanna’s office…

Daryl is leaned over, fiddling with some polished stones, or dice, or something on Deanna's desk.  We hear Deanna's voice, through the recorder,

Daryl is leaned over, fiddling with some polished stones, or dice, or something on Deanna’s desk. We hear Deanna’s voice, through the recorder, You’re welcome to sit, Daryl. I won’t bite.

daryl in deanna's office 2

Daryl, still holding the dead possum by the tail, demurs, Yeah, I’m alright.” He paces, looking around, throwing attitude. It’s like he’s in the principal’s office. Deanna asks,Daryl? Do you want to be here? Daryl stops a moment, regards her. “Boy and the baby. They deserve a roof…I guess.” Daryl bounces a bit on his toes as he turns and continues pacing, looking around.

Later, Daryl continues his acting out against Alexandria: Vanilla Dream by cleaning his possum right on the porch of one of their assigned houses, tossing the guts right onto the treated wood slats.

daryl cleans possum in porch

Rick, holding Baby Judith, and Carl are wandering around the porch. Carol comes out and joins them. Nobody gives Daryl and the possum a second glance…that’s not what’s unnerving them about their current surroundings. It’s probably the closest thing to normal for them, now.  Carl wants to go check out the house next door, and Rick tells him it’s ok, just make sure to keep it quick

Carl sets off, and Rick and Carol exchange a look.

It is the first, spontaneous convening of what I have come to think of as Episode 512's

It is the first, spontaneous convening of what I have come to think of as Episode 512’s “Porch Council” where Rick, Daryl, and Carol come together and share doubts, hunches, information, and make plans regarding Alexandria.

The look Rick and Carol exchange says it all. They both feel it…something’s weird. There’s something going on that isn’t being said, for all the comforts and hospitality being offered by Deanna Monroe and her community.

Carol leaves the porch and follows Carl to the house next door.  As Carl looks around the downstairs, he marvels, “These are like mansions.” Carol goes over to a window, peers out the horizontal blinds.

“And they’re just giving them away,” Carol muses, doubtfully.

After a moment, Carol turns to go. She asks Carl if he’s coming, and he tells her he will catch up with her in a little bit.  Carol goes outside, and she meets up with Rick, and Daryl,  who are walking in the narrow yard space between the two houses.

Porch Council reconvenes…

Carol weighs in first,

Carol weighs in first, “They’re right next to each other, but…” Rick nods in agreement. “They took our weapons, now they’re splitting us up.” He looks at Daryl, who agrees, “Yup.” “Yeah,” echoes Rick. They stand in silence a moment, digesting all this information.

As Carol grins benignly at a curious passerby, Rick and Daryl try to look casual...just a neighborly yard chat, here.  Looking away, Rick informs them that they will all be sleeping in the same house tonight.

As Carol grins benignly at a curious passerby, Rick and Daryl try to look casual…just a neighborly yard chat, here. Looking away, Rick says that they will all be sleeping in the same house, tonight.

Meanwhile, in the other house, Carl is poking around downstairs when he hears a creaking noise, above.  He makes his way cautiously up the stairs, then draws his knife as he approaches a closed door. Slowly, knife drawn, Carl reaches out and opens the door…

carl at the door, knife

Carl opens the door to an empty, bright, vaulted attic room that looks as if it has been used as a hangout room. There are pads and pens, markers, makeshift pillow setups for sitting on the floor, against the wall. It looks like a teenager’s secret hangout space.

Carl picks up a comic and starts reading.

Carl picks up a comic,Wolf Fight,”and starts reading.

Later, the gang is getting ready to bed down for the night.  They are all camping out downstairs, in the living room, and it becomes apparent that some in this gang are really trying to figure out what to do with themselves in all this quiet..

As Carol sketches in a notepad, Maggie takes a deep whiff of the clean linens...she has probably really missed that smell, and the feel of being clean and comfortable.

As Carol sketches in a notepad, Maggie takes a deep whiff of the clean linens…she has probably really missed that smell, and the feel of being clean and comfortable.

Meanwhile, Eugene seems to be feeling Rosita out, while checking her out, as he sets his bed next to hers.  She does not acknowledge his existence, again. Dream on, Eugene!

Meanwhile, Eugene seems to be feeling Rosita out, while checking her out, again, as he sets his bed next to hers. And, again, Rosita does not acknowledge his existence. Dream on, Dream Weaver! 

Rick sets Baby Judith down in her crib, and Daryl is being so sweet, watching over the baby. Carl reads his comic book.

Rick sets Baby Judith down in her crib, and Daryl is being so sweet, watching over the baby. Carl reads his comic book.

Sasha sits, looking out the window, not talking, while Abraham sits in the corner, sneaking mournful looks over Rosita's way. Poor guy.

Sasha sits, looking out the window, not talking, while Abraham sits in the corner, sneaking mournful looks over Rosita’s way. Poor wounded soldiers.

Michonne, however, has no problem knowing what to do with herself.  Coming into the room, smiling, girly, so fresh and so clean-clean, she laughs and asks the others how long she was in there. Rick guesses, (probably after checking his watch), “Twenty minutes.”

I love seeing this side of Michonne, all laughing and girly and cute.

I love seeing this side of Michonne, all laughing and girly and cute.

I love this pic.

I love this pic…she’s all like, “I could NOT stop brushing.” And then,  as she focuses on Rick, she sees something’s different about him…

Look at how ghostly this pic came out...I got one like this before, of Michonne in the Terry and Mike sequence...it's like the Ghost of Hot Girly Michonne makes her appearance in these posts...bring it, Ghost of Hot Girly Michonne!  <3

Look at how ghostly this pic came out…the moment she sees the clean shave.  (Damn, Richonne…I was rooting for you, hard.)  I got a crazy pic like this before, of Michonne in the Terry and Mike sequence…it’s like the Ghost of Hot Girly Michonne makes her appearance in these posts…bring it, Ghost of Hot Girly Michonne! Bring it, and I will keep taking pics. 

Awwww...look at that girl! She's checking it all out, and she says,

Awwww…look at that girl! She’s checking it all out, and she says, “I’ve never…I’ve never seen your face…like that, before,” in a way that is way more adorable than anything, ever.

In reply, Rick, rubbing his face, mumbles something about his thinking the exact same thing, before, and after, the epic shave, as he starts to walk past her. He was looking all shaven and beautiful, but I kind of didn’t like the way he was acting to Michonne in the moment, so I didn’t take a picture of it.

I swear, if Rick hooks up with that dumb Jessie girl and hurts Michonne’s feelings, I am going to be pissed. It would be tragically disappointing, and it may negatively affect my crush on him, if even for just a little while.

It would suck, like when one of your favorite guy friends, or favorite guys, in general, hooks up with some dumb girl you can’t stand.  Ugh, please, just say no to that shit, Rick Grimes. The haircut wasn’t that great. Michonne could do a way better job, and she’d probably be really good at shaving, too.

I don’t hate Jessie, and I would never begrudge a young woman (raising two sons in the post-apocalypse with an asshole, possibly abusive husband) her hot, unexpected crush and a mild flirtation with her son’s friend’s dad…but…

Bitch needs to recognize that Richonne don’t got any part of “Jessie” in it.

(Now, because this post is super duper late as fuck, I watched Episode 513 last night, as did pretty much all of you, and I now know that Rick Smash! has it bad for Jessie, giving her the hungry eyes at Deanna’s party, and fantasizing about killing her pud husband and shit. I knew it was in the works the moment that chick came to the door, so there, I know.  We all know. There is no Richonne, at least in the romantic sense. I am resigned. Annoyed as hell, but resigned. I’ll get over it. Meh.)

Anyhow, Rick leans in, and Michonne quietly says to him that she understands why they are playing it safe, but…she has a good feeling about this place.

(Yeah, man, I would too, you know?  It’s vanilla postapocalyptic suburbia, a glass castle, but it’s got a wall, and houses, and it’s stocked as anything. It’s like, hey, the whole setup is rife with bullshit, but I get to brush my teeth here, and take a shower, and eat food that isn’t possum and acorns, and sleep more than two hours at a time, and sit on the couch and read comic books. I have a really, really great feeling about this place...I fucking love this place!)

Rick glances around, says,

Rick glances around, before looking back at her, says, “Well, I hope you’re right.” I wonder if he thinks they are using parabolic mikes and listening to themI bet he does.

Michonne's face gets even more serious.

Michonne’s face gets even more serious. “Yeah, me too,” she says, thinking.

Man, there’s always a catch in this cruel, cockblocking zombie apocalypse. It’s exhausting, it truly is.

Suddenly, there is a knock on the door. The gang startles a bit, and Rick goes to the door, opens it, and it is Deanna Monroe, “checking in” on how everyone is doing. Deanna’s face, upon seeing Rick’s clean shaven one, registers her shock.

Wow. I didn’t know what was under there!”

Rick Grimes is clearly uncomfortable with all this praise and comment about his beautiful face.

Rick Grimes is clearly uncomfortable with all this praise and commentary about his facial superiority.

Deanna starts to apologize for interrupting, and then she sees the whole gang, together, camping in the living room. Oh, my,” she says, with a smile in her voice.

Deanna looks at Rick, smiling.

Deanna looks at Rick, smiling. “Staying together,” she says, wonderingly. “Smart.”

“Nobody said we couldn’t,” Rick replies.

“You said you were family, says Deanna to Rick. “That’s what you said.”

Deanna looks around at the gang, remarks,

Deanna looks around at the gang, remarks, “It’s absolutely amazing to me how people with completely different backgrounds and nothing in common can become that…”

“… don’t you think?”

Rick changes the subject, mentions to Deanna that he heard she gave everyone jobs. She agrees, saying that’s “part of this place,” then laughs, joking that it looks like “the communists won after all.”

Rick gives a small, polite laugh at this, then says:

“You didn’t give me one.”

“I have,” says Deanna, smiling up at Rick. “I just haven’t told you yet.”

“Same with Michonne,” Deanna adds.

Deanna then says she's

Deanna then says she’s “closing in on something for Sasha.”

“And, I’m just trying to figure Mr. Dixon out, but I will. Daryl looks away at this, crouched at the window, knife out and at the ready. He’s not settling down into this suburban limbo without a fight.

Deanna turns for one last look at Rick. “You look good,” she says, before walking out the door.

That night, as the others lay sleeping across the living room floor, Rick lay awake with his eyes open.  He gets up, covers Carl’s sleeping form, and makes his way to the kitchen.  He silently opens the knife drawer and pulls out a large chopping knife. He looks at the knife a moment, tests the blade, before bringing it close to his side.  It seems the knife will be beside him, in easy reach, when he goes to lie back down in the living room.

In the next scene, we see Michonne in the frame of Deanna’s recording camera.  She has gone to the bookshelf and selected a volume, then seats herself in the interview chair.

“If this is how you’re saying it is, then this is what we’ve wanted,” says Michonne. You can see her katana leaned up against the chair, and she holds the book she has selected, probably to take for future reading. Michonne seems like she is a well-read, well-versed individual, on many subjects.

“We’re ready for this,” asserts Michonne. We hear Deanna’s voice through the camera’s mic, All of you?” Michonne looks away a moment, shifts in the chair, then composes herself back to stillness, facing the camera.

“All of us,” she asserts.

gang takes a neighborhood walk

Meanwhile, the gang sets off to explore their new neighborhood.

rick says let's explore to daryl

Rick prompts Daryl, “They said explore…let’s explore.” Daryl takes a pass. He’ll stay put.

rick sez he and lori

Rick looks over the upscale neighborhood, where one Alexandria resident is seen walking a dog. Rick tells Daryl,”Lori and me…we used to drive through neighborhoods like this, thinking, ‘One day…'”

daryl sez well here we are

Well, here we are,” says Daryl, succinct as ever.

As soon as he steps out into the road, Rick starts to get freaked when he doesn't see his children around, anywhere.

As soon as he steps out into the road, Rick starts to get freaked when he doesn’t see his children around, anywhere.

Rick be running and bugging.

Rick be running and bugging, looking for his kids.

Mid wack-attack, Rick crashes some big weird metal thing in a driveway.

Mid wack-attack, Rick crashes some big weird metal thing in a driveway.

Jessie runs up, concerned, asks Rick if he's ok...he asks her if she's seen Carl and Judith, as he can't find them.

Jessie runs up, concerned, asks Rick if he’s ok…he asks her if she’s seen Carl and Judith, as he can’t find them.

Jessie has an idea where they might be, and she brings Rick to an elder couple's home, where Carl and Judith are, sure enough, getting exclaimed over by the couple (who had five children, and twelve grandchildren, before...ugh, awful to think about that scope of loss).

Jessie has an idea where they might be, and she brings Rick to an elder couple’s home, where Carl and Judith are, sure enough, getting exclaimed over by the couple (who had five children, and twelve grandchildren, before...ugh, awful to think about that scope of loss).

Jessie tells Rick that it’s been awhile since there’s been a baby in these parts, and that Judith is probably going to have to deal with some pinched cheeks. Rick is majorly rattled, and Jessie assures him that it’s ok, she gets it.

Look, I’m sorry I broke…whatever that was I broke, Rick apologizes. Jessie tells Rick it was an an owl she and the boys were working on…she tells him that she had been having trouble getting the eyes right, and at Rick’s blank, “Oh, right, the eyes, she playfully teases him for not getting a good look at it.

Rick sheepishly admits,

Rick sheepishly admits, “I was in the middle of losing my mind.” (Ok, you two, I get it. You like each other. I am completely annoyed, but I get it.)

Before he turns to go, Jessie asks Rick if Carl can come over to their house, now, as Rowan really wants to meet him, to hang.  Rick agrees, and so Carl goes over to Rowan’s house.

As Rowan brings Carl up to his room, he tells him that they are there almost every day after school, and invites Carl to come over, any time.  Carl marvels that they have school, and Rowan explains to him that it’s just in a garage, and the little kids go in the mornings, while older kids go in the afternoons.

“Probably you too, right?” Rowan asks Carl.  “Probably,” Carl agrees.

In Rowan's room, two teens, a boy and a girl, are hanging out. Rowan introduces Carl to

In Rowan’s room, two teens, a boy and a girl, are hanging out. Rowan introduces Carl to “Mikey” and “Enid.”

While Mikey gets up to greet Carl, Enid doesn't look up from what she's reading.

While Mikey gets up to greet Carl, Enid doesn’t look up from what she’s reading. “Hi,” she says, not looking at Carl.

Rowan goes over and puts a hand on Enid's shoulder. Must be her self-appointed boyfriend...she does have the spot on his bed. As Carl shyly sneaks a look over at Enid, Rowan explains that Enid's from the

Rowan goes over and puts a hand on Enid’s shoulder. Must be her self-appointed boyfriend…she does have the prime spot on Rowan’s bed. As Carl shyly sneaks a look over at Enid, Rowan explains that Enid’s from the “outside” too, that she came to Alexandria just a couple of months ago.

Carl pulls out the “Wolf Fight” comic from his pocket, asks Mikey and Rowan if it is theirs.

Rowan apologizes, says he didn’t know “they” got that house, and Mikey admits that they used to hang up in the attic room and listen to music.  The comic is actually Enid’s, and she quickly snatches it from Carl’s hand and puts it next to her on the bed, then continues reading. Carl watches her a moment, fascinated, take this all in, then looks away.

Rowan, being a good host, offers different activities they can do...they can play video games, or Mikey's house has a pool table (and a strict dad, who luckily is at work at the moment).

Rowan, being a good host, offers different activities they can do…they can play video games, or Mikey’s house has a pool table (and a strict dad, but Mikey is quick to say that his dad’s at work at the moment). They turn to Carl, but he is having trouble processing all this…normalcy.

Poor Carl's like,

Poor Carl’s like, “Um…”

Enid looks up at Carl, seemingly identifying with his shellshock, as she has experienced the horrors of the world outside the walls, herself.  She must know how weird it feels to be planted into this surreal suburban reality after experiencing what she and Carl have, outside.

Enid looks up at Carl, seemingly identifying with his shellshock, as she has experienced the horrors of the world outside the walls, herself. She must know how weird it feels to be planted into this surreal suburban reality after experiencing what she and Carl have, outside.

pull it together sport

Rowan is quick to offer that they don’t have to do anything, that Carl doesn’t have to even “talk, if you don’t want to.” Rowan then says that it took Enid three weeks before she said anything. Enid looks back down at her book, tells Carl to,Pull it together, sport.” Carl recovers himself, puts on a small smile, and suggests that they play video games.

In the next scene, Carl and Judith are in Deanna’s office, sitting in the interview chair, being recorded as Carl “talks” with Deanna.

Looking around, Carl says that this is the kind of place that his mom wanted for them. It made me think of Lori, and how much she would have loved finding Alexandria, and settling there with her family.  So sad. :(

Looking around, Carl says that this is the kind of place that his mom wanted for them. It made me think of Lori, and how much she would have loved finding Alexandria, and settling there with her family. So sad. 😦

carl and judith recording 2

“I’m sorry you lost her,” Deanna says. Carl looks down, and he says, “I didn’t just lose her…I killed her.”

Carl looks up at Deanna.

Carl looks up at Deanna. “It had to be me.” (I am sorry to bust in Carl’s sad, sad moment here, but that baby is such a smoosh…so freakin’ adorable!)

Later, Carl is lying in his bed, and Rick comes into the room, asks how Rowan’s house was.  Carl asks Rick, point blank, what he, Rick, thinks of this place.

Rick sits on the edge of the bed, diplomatically says that the place

Rick sits on the edge of the bed, diplomatically says that the place “seems nice.” He is being a good dad, and a hot dad, despite his super annoying fascination with Jessie.

Carl agrees, saying he likes it here, and the people seem super nice...but they're weak.  Carl tells his dad that he doesn't want them to get weak like these people, here.

Carl agrees, saying he likes it here, and the people seem super nice…but they’re weak. Carl tells his dad that he doesn’t want them to get weak like these people are.

Rick nods, and looks away, processing this.  Seems like he is having his own version of the same thoughts his son is having.

Rick nods, and looks away, processing this. Seems like he is having his own version of the same thoughts his son is having.

Later, that night, Michonne awakes to see Rick standing at the window, looking out. After a moment, she stands up, goes over to the window.

rick and michonne night window

It was hard for me go get exactly how their conversation went down, after repeated playbacks, but the general feeling I got from it was that, if all is as good and orderly and democratic around here as Deanna Monroe is saying, then why are the both of them up, unable to sleep, in that moment? Michonne doesn’t have a reply. Rick tells her he’s going to take a walk, puts his hand on her shoulder, and leaves her there, thinking.

It's a crazy full moon out that night.

It’s a crazy full moon out that night.

As Rick walks down the darkened, empty streets, a voice carries to him from one of the front porches.

As Rick walks down the darkened, empty streets, a voice carries to him from one of the front porches. “You’re Rick,” says the man’s voice. “Yeah,” Rick replies.

wifey mcbeaty

The man on the porch doesn not introduce himself, says instead, “My wife cut your hair.” Rick pauses a moment, then agrees, “Yeah.” An uncomfortable silence follows, then the man says, a trife belligerently, Welcome to Alexandria.” Rick continues on his way, as the man takes a long draw off his cigarette. My WD buddy’s sister texted her, as we watched this scene, “They may as well name that husband guy ‘Wifey McBeaty!‘” Ha ha ha! Spousal abuse is no laughing matter, but that nickname sure is…and ol’ Wifey McBeaty seems like a real a-hole.

Later, Rick lay sleeping…then:

rick wakes

In the next sequence, it’s back to the interview chair in Deanna Monroe’s office, where we all meet: Junior League Carol.

Junior League Carol recounts, for Deanna Monroe and her camera, her life before the turn:

Junior League Carol recounts, for Deanna Monroe and her rolling camera, her life before the turn: “I did laundry, gardened…always had dinner on the table for Ed when he came home…” Junior League Carol looks away here, with a sad smile, blinking back fake tears, says, “I miss that big, stupid, wonderful man every day.” Wow.

Even more wow is when Junior League Carol goes on to say that she didn't really have much to contribute to the group, so she just kind of became their den mother, and they protected her. (I wonder how good of a poker-playing people reader Deanna Monroe actually is...is she buying JL Carol's line, here?)

Even more wow is when Junior League Carol goes on to say that she didn’t really have much to contribute to the group, so she just kind of became their den mother, and they were “nice enough” to protect her. Ha! Rambo Carol pretty much singlehandedly sprung the gang from Terminus. (I wonder how good of a poker-playing people reader Deanna Monroe actually is…is she buying JL Carol’s line, here?)

We hear Deanna Monroe’s voice, through the camera, ask, (a trifle doubtfully, perhaps), “Where do you think you’ll fit in?”

Junior League Carol acts perplexed by this question, looks down, brow knitted, makes some hems, haws and even kind of squeaks a little, “Hmmm?!” before saying, brightly, “Well, I’d like to be involved in the community…do you have anything like a Junior League?

Junior League Carol beams at the camera.

Junior League Carol beams at the camera. “I’m a real people person.”

Later, it gets even more surreal…

Daryl sits at his usual spot on the front porch, tinkering with his crossbow...something pinches his finger, and he winces, sucks on it a moment before getting back to the task at hand.

Daryl sits at his usual spot on the front porch, tinkering with his crossbow…something pinches his thumb, and he winces, sucks the bleed a moment before getting back to the task at hand.

Junior League Carol steps out in her new uniform of uniformity.

Junior League Carol steps out in her new uniform of uniformity. “Time to punch the clock and make the casseroles,” she mock announces, modeling her button-down-cardigan-pants ensemble for Daryl to comment on.

Daryl's look says it all.

Daryl’s look says it all.

Carol explains that one of her duties with her newly assigned job is to make meals for those who cannot: elders, overwhelmed moms, those who can’t cook. “I get to meet a lot of our neighbors that way,” Carol adds.  She’s a woman on a mission…she wants to figure these people out.

Daryl snorts a laugh, goes back to his crossbow. “Alright,” he replies, doubtfully.

Carol narrows her eyes at Daryl, asks him if he's taken a shower yet.

Carol narrows her eyes at Daryl, asks him if he’s taken a shower yet. “Mmmhmmm,” he replies, which of course means he totally hasn’t.

Carol tells Daryl to take a shower, and she’ll wash his vest…they need to keep up appearances, even him. Daryl replies, Hell, I ain’t startin’ now.”

As she marches off to her call of duty, Carol informs Daryl that she’s going to “hose you down in your sleep.”

Daryl calls after her,

Daryl calls after her, “You look ridiculous!”

Ha! Caryl.

Meanwhile, back at Deanna’s office:

Glenn, earnest, says to Deanna, as the camera records,

Glenn, earnest, says to Deanna, as the camera records, “We need to make this work.”

“Why?” Deanna’s voice asks. Glenn pauses a moment, looks back at Deanna, the camera.

We were almost out there too long.”

Meanwhile, Beardless Rick (as Kevin Smith referred to the clean shaven Rick Grimes on Talking Dead) seems to have checked out his weapons from Alexandria’s Gun Lending Library and is going on a walkabout outside the hallowed gates.

Rick looks like a hot badass.

Rick looks like a hot badass.

Damn, are those bracings on the outside of the fence? I thought they were on the inside...that fence may hold off walkers, but a living enemy could pull down those bracings, or use them to scramble up and over the wall. Major design flaw, Reg.

Damn, are those bracings on the outside of the fence? I thought they were on the inside…that fence may hold off walkers, but a living enemy could pull down those bracings, or use them to scramble up and over the wall. Major design flaw, Reg.

Carl, meanwhile, is inside the walls, and the house, trying to figure out what the hell to do with himself…a movement outside the window catches his eye, and he spies:

Enid...giving the sneaky look around, then beginning to climb up the fence...she looks like she's pretty much a pro at it, by now...it's pretty apparent that she's done it before, many times.

Enid, giving the sneaky look around, then beginning to climb up the fence…she looks like she’s pretty much a pro at it, by now…it’s pretty apparent that she’s done it before, many times.

enid goes up and over2

Damn, and then she gets to the top, and uses one of Reg’s patented “outside the wall” bracings to slide or shimmy down the other side. Reg, your fence may have bought you and your people about two years’ worth of protection, but I think your insurance policy with Castles Made Of Sand Home and Life Insurance is about to expire, soon…shit’s pretty bunk, I’m sorry to say. Props for trying, though, Reg, and for getting away with it this long. You bought your peeps some major time, truly.

Carl's like,

Carl’s like, “I love her.”

Meanwhile, speaking of bunk-ass shit…

Meet Deanna and Reg's budussy son, Aidan.

Meet Deanna and Reg’s budussy son, Aidan.

Aidan initally appears nice enough, and cute enough, at first.  He’s friendly, he guesses their names, introduces Nicholas (who was pulling “gate duty,” before).

Glenn asks him, “You’re Deanna’s son?”

Aidan answers this in the affirmative: “That’s right.”

Then, it’s time to get down to business. “I hear you have experience making supply runs.” Glenn remarks to Aidan that he’s seen their pantry, that they seem to do pretty well.  This puffs Aidan up, and he’s very proud to announce that he had some training, “ROTC. Was nearing lieutenant when this shit blew in.

Nicholas looks over at Aidan, with this statement, with the look of someone who’s heard this like a million times, before, but who knows better than to roll his eyes.  Noah speaks up, says his dad was in ROTC. Aidan is perceptive enough to ask, “He didn’t make it?”

Noah looks down, shakes his head, “Nah.”

Aidan looks sorrowful, expresses as much to Noah, but it's more like,

Aidan looks sorrowful, expresses as much to Noah, but it’s more like, “Wow, that would really suck, I can’t imagine that than someone who really knows what loss feels like in this day and age.

Aidan takes a moment more (a true politician’s son), and then gets back to business with a comment, “I’m sorry a lot these days,” and then, it’s chop, chop, kids, because Aidan and his second, Nicholas, are gonna “show them the ropes” and the “terrain” outside the walls.  They are going to make a “dry run,” so Aidan and Nicholas can “see how you do.”

Wow, that is super fucking laughable, Aidan. And, btw, your strapped on knife is making your Members Only jacket look really fucking suburban gangsta, right there, Deanna's son.

Wow, that is super fucking laughable, Aidan. And, btw, that Walmart-issue knife strapped to your belt is totally making your Members Only jacket look really fucking suburban gangsta, right there, Deanna’s son.

Aidan tries some “sac” comment on Tara, which she only mocks slightly, and when Glenn asks about weapons, Aidan says that they picked out “some  sweet-ass biscuits for today.”

Oooooo...awesome.

Oooooo…awesome.

Glenn and Tara manage to keep straight faces as they follow Aidan and Nicholas, along with Noah, out beyond the walls.

Meanwhile, Enid, who could probably show Aidan a thing or two, is making her way through the woods…

...with Carl following close behind.

…with Carl following close behind.

Enid hears a clanging noise in the distance, and bolts through the woods.  Carl tries to go after her, but loses her quickly.

Meanwhile, in another part of the woods, Rick sees a barn in the near distance, hears the clatter of something being crashed inside. Then, making his cameo appearance…

Clanger Banger Walker ambles out of the barn, ready to party.

Clanger Banger Walker ambles out of the barn, ready to fuck some shit up.

Another amazing variation of the now-iconic

Another amazing variation of the now-iconic “Rick Grimes Pointing The Gun” pose…

Rick decides that it’s not worth it, and he heads to the abandoned house where he stashed the gun in the plastic blender, but when Rick looks in the blender…

The gun is gone...who took Rick's gun?

The gun is gone…who took Rick’s gun?

Rick sits back, trying to figure this out.  Whoever took it must have watched as he stashed it, unless some person just happened to look inside an old, useless blender in a trash heap and find it...so not likely, though. Rick's pissed, you can tell. He stands, unsheaths his knife, thinking...and then, he sees that he's not alone.

Rick sits back, trying to figure this out. Whoever took it must have watched as he stashed it, unless some person just happened to look inside an old, useless blender in a trash heap and find it…so not likely. Rick’s pissed, you can tell. He stands, unsheaths his knife, thinking...and then, he sees that he’s not alone. Carl has joined him, and Rick has no time to ask questions, because they have company:

Hey, we were calling you back there to wait up for us!

rick and carl ready to rumble 1

Rick and Carl are ready 2 rumble…

rick and carl ready to rumble

Carl rekills the lady walker.

Carl rekills the lady walker.

Later, Clanger Banger.

Later, Clanger Banger.

Carl, too bad Enid isn't around to see this...you's a walker-killa pimp!

Carl, too bad Enid isn’t around to see this…you’s a walker-killa pimp!

Oh, no, Rick, look out for Grabby Walker!

Oh, no, Rick, look out for Grabby Walker!

CarlFace Walker Killa sez give it up here, Big Poppa. I got this.

CarlFace Walker Killa sez give it up here, Big Poppa…I got this.

Buh bye, Grabby Walker.  Later, on TD, Chris Hardwick and guests speculated on whether whoever stole Rick's gun also planted the walker there as a grabby, bitey booby trap...but how would you make the walker stay put?

Buh bye, Grabby Walker. Later, on TD, Chris Hardwick and guests speculated on whether whoever stole Rick’s gun also planted the walker there as a grabby, bitey booby trap…but how would you make the walker stay put?Stay, Grabby Walker, you stay! Good boy, Grabby…stay!”

Meanwhile, in another part of the woods, Aidan is informing Glenn, Tara, and Noah that they have been increasing their radius outside the walls, mile by mile, when going on runs. Nicholas adds, proudly, that they’ve gotten up to 53 miles away from Alexandria at this point.

Aidan adds that they break up into two groups once they step outside the vehicle…if shit hits, the one group fires a flare, and the other group runs to join them.

“Good system,” Noah comments. “It is,” replies Aidan, who is now fully in Near Lieutenant mode. He goes on to inform them that they are “standing here” because they lost four people last month. Glenn asks what happened.

Aidan replies that they were on a run, “roamers” appeared, and the ones who were lost “didn’t follow the system.”

Nicholas adds that they were “good people,” and Aidan agrees…they were good people, they were just “scared.”

Aidan turns and addresses Glenn, Tara, and Noah.

Aidan turns and addresses Glenn, Tara, and Noah. “Look, I can be a hardass…I know I’m a douchebag. (Yes, Aidan, you know that, and so does everybody else.)

But, Aidan says, “Somebody needs to ‘call the ball’ around here, and that somebody is me. If you are a part of this crew, you do exactly as I say.”

Glenn, Noah, and Tara say nothing in response to this, then Tara says, simply, “I’m sorry you lost your people.”

Aidan says, “Yeah, but we got ours.” He and Nicholas exchange knowing looks, smiles. Nicholas explains that they managed to “snag one of the deadheads” who got their people, and they strung it up.

Glenn asks, horrified, What? Why?”

Nicholas explains that now, they have a little “pregame ritual, to remind us what we’re up against.”

But, when they get to the spot where, supposedly, they had a walker strung up, all they find is this:

D'oh! Walker's gone, just a bloody chain with flies buzzing around it.

D’oh! Walker’s gone, just a bloody chain with flies buzzing around it.

Aidan starts freaking out, Son of a bitch! Help me find it.” Nicholas observes that the blood is still fresh, so it hasn’t been too long since the roamer got free. Great sleuthing, dude.

Nicholas proves himself to be even more of a dumbass by whistling loudly through his finger and thumb, trying to attract back the walker. Starting to see how those four people got killed on that run...

Nicholas proves himself to be even more of a dumbass by whistling loudly through his finger and thumb, trying to attract back the walker. Starting to see how those four people got killed on that run…

Tara whirls and shushes them, and Glenn rushes up to Nicholas,

Tara whirls and shushes them, and Glenn rushes up to Nicholas, “Hey…hey! It’s gone, leave it!” But the Douchebag Duo refuses.”It took down one of our friends!” Aidan says. “It’s nearby…we’re not letting it go.”

As Bugs Bunny would say, “Whatta coupla maroons!”

Nicholas whistles loudly, again, and this time, Houdini Walker comes to the sound of the dinner bell…

Noah raises his pistol, but Nicholas waves him down,  and Aidan is actually trying to chain the walker's rotting hands behind its rotting back, again.  Totally stupid.

Noah raises his pistol, but Nicholas waves him down, and Aidan is actually trying to chain the walker’s rotting hands behind its rotting back, again.  Totally stupid.

houdini walker2

Pure idiocy, Alexandria-style.

Houdini Walker proves itself wiley, snappy, and slippery, figuring out to whirl around and come close to chomping Aidan in the face (that would have been awesome), and Tara is good enough to come to Aidan’s rescue.

Houdini Walker’s rotting skin tears away from its back as Tara tries to grab it back, away from Aidan, and the walker comes dangerously close to chomping her face, when Glenn sinks his knife into the walker’s skull, rekilling it for good.

RIP Houdini Walker.

RIP Houdini Walker.

“What the hell?!” yells Aidan. (In France, they would call him a “douche baguette.”)

Yeah, what the hell??” counters Tara.

Glenn is apeshit. “You almost got her killed!”

Aidan yells like a shrill little schoolboy,

Aidan yells like a shrill little schoolboy, “I told you all to stay back! I told you all to listen to every damn thing I said…I told you that. Glenn bows up on Aidan, and I really am loving how Noah has Glenn’s back in this moment. Noah’s alright.

The next shot shows them walking through the gates, Glenn walking ahead, furious.

Well, that went well...

Well, that went well…

Aidan calls out from behind, “You three need new gigs…you’re not ready for runs yet.” Glenn replies, “Pretty sure you have that backwards.

Aidan charges up behind Glenn, reaches out and stops him,

Aidan charges up behind Glenn, reaches out and stops him, “Hey…hey! Look, we got a way of doing things out there.” “You tied up walkers! exclaims Glenn, still incredulous at the sheer risk and stupidity of such a mindset. “He killed out friend!” Aidan yells. No, Aidan, you fucking killed your friend.

Aidan steps back, says, with a laugh, that he’s not having this conversation. When they are out on runs, they do everything Aidan says. Glenn replies that’s great, then they’ll be as screwed as Aidan’s last group…oooo, burn, Aidan!

Daryl steps up, with a little smile...this is more like it!

Daryl steps up, with a little smile...this is more like it!

Aidan steps up to Glenn.

Aidan steps up to Glenn. “Say that again,” he says, softly.

Glenn doesn’t, and Tara tries to tell Aidan to back off. Instead, Aidan shoves Glenn.

One word...budussy.

Total budussy.

Noah chimes in, tries to tell them each to step back. Instead, Aidan shoves Glenn again.

Glenn does not rise to the bait, but he doesn't back down, either. He says softly,

Glenn does not rise to the bait, but he doesn’t back down, either. He says softly,No one’s impressed, man. Walk away.” From behind, we hear Deanna’s voice yell, “Aidan!” Oh, Aidan, your mommy’s calling you…she’s trying to save your ass.

What is going on?” demands Deanna.

Aidan replies that “this guy has a problem with the way we do things here.” He turns to his mother. “Why’d you let these people in?”

From behind Aidan, Glenn answers,

From behind Aidan, Glenn answers, “Because we actually know what we’re doing out there.” Aidan whirls and swings at Glenn, who ducks it, and comes back with one good punch that drops Aidan to the ground. Nicholas tries to jump in, and is immediately tackled by Daryl.

Before Daryl can unleash some pent-up frustration on Nicholas, Rick grabs him from behind,

Before Daryl can unleash some pent-up frustration on Nicholas, Rick grabs him from behind, “Do not do this now,” he tells Daryl, quietly.

Aidan jumps up, ready for more, and Michonne immediately steps up to him.

“You wanna end up on your ass again?” Michonne asks him. (Watching this, I was all like, Yes, please, I want him to end up on his ass again! Do it, do it!”)

Unfortunately, Aidan backs off, and Deanna announces, loudly, that she wants everyone to hear this…Rick and his people are now a part of this community, as equals. She turns to her shitty son.

“Understood?” Aidan raises his eyebrows, says quietly, “Understood.”

Deanna orders everyone to turn in their weapons, turns to Aidan and Nicholas and tells them that she wants to talk to the both of them in her office.  She then turns to Rick, tells him she has her job for him...she wants him to be the town’s constable.

“That’s what you were,” says Deanna. “That’s what you are.”

Deanna then turns to Michonne. “You too,” she says to her. She looks at Rick and Michonne. “Do you accept?” Rick says he will.

Michonne accepts as well,

Michonne accepts as well, “Yeah, I’m in.”

Daryl, pissed, grabs up his crossbow and stalks off.  Awww. sorry, Daryl, but Michonne did a lot better with the interview!

Daryl, pissed, grabs up his crossbow and stalks off. Awww. sorry, Daryl, but Michonne did a lot better with the interview part of the Alexandria audition!

Deanna turns and quietly thanks Glenn. “For what? asks Glenn. “For knocking him on his ass,” replies Deanna. Glenn nods, and walks away, and Maggie smiles at Deanna before following him.

Deanna Monroe has laid down her full hand in the final showdown of this round of seven card stud. Whatever her full motivation is, it seems she knows that Rick and his gang are her best shot at the longterm survival of her community.  It's a big play, a big risk, by a woman who has weighed the odds.

Deanna Monroe has laid down her full hand in the final showdown of this round of seven card stud. Whatever her full motivation is, it seems she knows that Rick and his gang are her best shot at the long-term survival of her community. It’s a big play, a big risk, by a woman who has weighed the odds, and made her decision.

Carl looks over at Enid, who is watching him.  They regard each other for a moment, and then Carl asks her,

Carl looks over at Enid, who is watching him. They regard each other for a moment, and then Carl asks her, “You don’t like me, do you?” Enid says nothing, turns and walks away.

In the final sequence, we see the footage of Rick’s initial interview with Deanna Monroe.  We hear his voice, which becomes a voice over for the next images, when we get our first glimpse of Constable Grimes in his new uniform:

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Constable Grimes. <3

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Constable Grimes.

Rick: You should keep your gates closed.

Deanna: Why?

Rick: Because it’s all about survival, now. At any cost. People are always looking for an angle, looking to play on your weakness…they measure you by what they can take from you, by how they can use you to live.

When Rick comes out to the porch, Daryl is there. Rick asks Daryl if they’re ok, and Daryl says they are.

Daryl jokes, “You’re a cop again?” and Rick replies that he’s trying it out. Carol steps outside, and the Porch Council has convened, again.

Carol says that if they get comfortable here, they will get weak. Rick says that Carl said they very same thing, but they won't get weak...that's not in them, any more. Rick looks out into the night, says that if they, the Alexandrians, can't make it...

Carol says that if they get comfortable here, they will get weak. Rick says that Carl said the very same thing, but they won’t get weak…that’s not in them, any more. Rick looks out into the night, says that if they, the Alexandrians, can’t make it…

“We’ll take this place.”

Hey, Deanna, he can’t say he didn’t warn you!

Sorry so late, darlings…mommy/wifey thing called in some major time and attention these past couple of weeks. Getting to work on Episode 513, “Forget,” which of course will probably be another 11,000 or so words…we have lots to talk about with that one!

Enjoy the playlist, darlings.  Next post up asap. ❤

Playlist:

Heart, “Barracuda”  (for Deanna Monroe…I think I do see some sharp barracuda teeth gleaming in that lovely smile of yours, Deanna)

Band of Horses, “Our Swords”

Courtney Barnett, “Avant Gardner” (for Junior League Carol)

Flume & Chet Faker, “Drop The Game”

Ariel Pink, “Not Enough Violence”

The Dig, “I Already Forgot Everything You Said”

2 thoughts on “The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 12, “Remember”

  1. Thank goodness Rick shaved that thing off when he did. He looked more and more like Santa from one episode to the next. I’m also grateful that Carl’s getting possible good storyline with him and Enid. I don’t know about anyone else, but she looks like she shampoos her hair every day, which makes it sort of odd, considering they’re in the midst of a zombie apocalypse and running water’s a thing of the past! But, I digress… 🙂 Love everything else you’ve posted! Gosh, every blog post must take you days to complete–links, photos, references–days, I tell you!

    Keep on writing! Good job!

  2. Hey, Jack, As always, thanks for your thoughts and comments 😊 as you have noticed, I am sure, I have been posting later and later this spring WD season. I kind of hate that, but it has truly been challenging to create the time needed to get these posts out. There are many who have questioned if the posts need to be so long, or involved, and I say, yes, if I am going to be true to my style of thinking, and writing. My style manifested itself from the beginning as being very analytical, detailed, and deconstructive. It is truly geared towards the hardcore, obsessed WD fans. Of course, I could, and would, gladly shorten to a 400 word recap style if commissioned to do so, buy judging from my constant gains in readership, it seems I am filling a need in the world for those who want to explore, or re-explore, WD plot lines with added pics, music and other media, and with a side of funny 😊 So, yes, these posts take a while, but I do stand by my crazy product, and if my readers can bear with me, I will keep working on getting them out as soon as I am able…there’s a lot of life happening between these posts!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s