With its arrival at the Alexandria Safe Zone, The Walking Dead has come to a major turning point. In many ways things are going to be very different from here on out, and we’ll start seeing just how with this episode. Remember to discuss the episode on our special forum!
The episode starts right where the last episode left off, with Rick and crew warily walking into the gates of The Alexandria Safe Zone.
Aaron helps a wounded Eric inside. Carl sees a brief glimpse of a young girl in the window of what appears to be a burned house outside the gates of the safe zone. The group is so jumpy that when a garbage can is knocked over nearby they all start. Daryl shoots the noisemaker, a possum, with his crossbow and picks it up proudly. That’s some fine redneck eating, right there.
So the gates open and the guy opening them, Nicholas, sees about a dozen dirty, heavily armed, badass sons-of-bitches, one of them holding a dead possum. He’s understandably a bit skeptical.
“We brought dinner,” Daryl says. It might be the funniest line in The Walking Dead history, but Nicholas doesn’t laugh.
And then Aaron gestures them in. They close the gates and Aaron asks for their weapons, which starts an argument. Aaron agrees to let the group talk to Deanna, the community leader, starting with Rick. Before he goes rick notices a walker coming up to the gate and motions to Sasha, who takes it out in one expert shot.
“Good thing we’re here,” Rick says.
Rick meets Deanna Monroe, a clean, attractive middle-aged lady with a nice, well-furnished suburban house. She films their talk, saying it’s “about transparency.”
Deanna says she was a congressperson, for Ohio’s 15th district. Rick says it doesn’t matter anymore what he was, but she disagrees.
The Safe Zone was at one point a planned community, with its own solar grid and eco-friendly sewer system and houses starting at $800,000. It was apparently evacuated along with most of the area when the outbreak started.
Deanna was trying to get back to Ohio, but she and her family were sent to the safe zone by the Army because it was too dangerous to travel. The Army was supposed to join them, but that didn’t happen.
Her husband Reg was a professor of architecture, and he and Deanna’s sons used construction materials from a local shopping project to build the first walls. She uses this as illustration of how it is important what a person did before the outbreak. After the walls were built more people started coming in and a community was built, Deanna says.
She says they’ve been inside since, and they recruit because they need people who have lived “out there.” Rick doesn’t believe they should let anyone in at all, that people out there are too dangerous.
“Are you telling me not to bring your people in. Or are you already looking after this place?” Deanna asks.
Rick says he’s killed people, doesn’t know how many, but they’re all dead so his family could be alive.
Deanna admits she’s done things she isn’t proud of, including exiling three men who didn’t work out. What they want from Rick and his group is help with Alexandria’s survival.
“I am exceptionally good at reading people,” she says.
When she tells him it’s time to decide, Rick symbolically winds his watch. This seems to be a call back to a very early scene where Dale winds his watch because he thinks it’s important to keep track of time to keep a connection to civilization.
Rick tells Deanna he was a sheriff. Looks like there’s a new sheriff in town.
So they store all their guns by piling them on a cart, which an Aleandria takes away. They have a lot of guns so it creates a hilarious pile. Rick and his group are given two nice houses by Aaron.
Rick and Carl check one house out warily and Rick finally takes a shower. He sees his mountain man beard in a mirror and shaves it off. This is either a triumph for civilization or a tragedy for sexiness, depending on how you look at.
While Rick is shaved and shirtless (he apparently waxed his chest, too) a nice blond lady, Jessie, comes to the door with some supplies. She says she used to be a stylist and offers Rick a haircut.
She tells him about her kids, finds out he’s doesn’t have a wife any more, sets up a playdate for Carl. She also comforts Rick who’s shocked by the return to modern civilization.
Daryl does his video interview with Deanna is his trademark surly way. He tells Deanna he wants to be there, at least because the boy and the baby deserve a roof. The next thing we see is Daryl gutting a possum on the front porch of their new house.
Carl and Carol go to check out the other house. Carl is impressed by the house. Carol is skeptical. Carol goes outside and she, Carol and Rick decide they’ll all stay in one house that night for safety.
Now Carl is in the house alone. He’s in the house! He hears a noise upstairs and goes up to check it out with his knife drawn. He opens a door. What does he see? A walker? Glenn and Maggie having sex? Glenn and Maggie having sex while Eugene watches?
Nah, it’s an unfinished room with a window tied open with a rope and a bunch of comic books and kids stuff lying around.
So everyone beds down for the night, communally, in the living room of one of the houses. Michonne sees Rick without his beard and smiles.
She tells him she has a good feeling about the the place and he says he hopes she’s right. Deanna comes to visit and check on all the newly cleaned up survivors. She says they are “smart” to stay together and are impressed that they’ve become a family.
We find out everyone a job but Rick, Michonne, Daryl and Sasha, but she’s working on figuring it out.
Rick wakes in the night. Everyone is sleeping. He goes to the kitchen, gets a knife from the kitchen drawer and then stands there awkwardly.
We see Michonne’s video interview. Michonne says Alexandria is what they wanted, and they’re ready for it.
The group goes out to explore the safe zone, except for Daryl and Rick who linger a bit on the porch because Daryl won’t go. Rick says he and and Lori used to dream about having a neighborhood so nice. It’s clear Daryl isn’t fitting in at all.
Rick’s convo with Daryl delays him long enough to lose sight of Carl and Judith. He freaks out and runs down the street. While running past Jessie’s garage he knocks over some of her stuff.
Jesse comes out and helps him find them. Carl is on an old couple’s porch as they play with Judith.
Rick apologizes for breaking what turns out to be a metal owl sculpture Jesse is building with her sons. She asks Rick to send Carl over to meet her son Ron.
Ron is a kid about Carl’s age. He tells Carl about school in the safe zone introduces him to some other kids, Mikey and Enid. Enid is recent arrival to the safe zone who seems a bit damaged and doesn’t talk much. She’s also the girl Carl briefly saw in a house outside the walls as they came in.
It turns out the noise Carl heard upstairs was the kids hanging out in the unfinished room and listening to music, and the comic book was Enid’s.
The boys ask Carl if he wants to play video games or play pool. Carl doesn’t even know what to say, but the boys are nice and say it took Enid three weeks to speak.
“Pull it together, sport,” Enid says sarcastically, and Carl agrees to play video games.
In Carl’s video interview, done with Judith on his lap, Carl admits that he killed Lori.
We cut to Carl lying in bed when Rick comes in. He tells Rick he likes it, and likes the people, but they’re weak and he doesn’t want them to get weak, too.
Michonne wakes up in the middle of the night. She sees Rick staring out the window. She tells him she hasn’t been given a job yet. She says she wants one. Rick says he’s not sure because “that’s signing the papers. Michonne says she isn’t afraid to do that.
“Then why are we both awake?” Rick asks. She’s got no answer. Rick goes for a walk.
Outside Rick meets Pete, Jessie’s husband, who is sitting on his porch and smoking. He welcomes Rick to Alexandria, but not in a particularly nice way.
In Carol’s interview she talks about how she loved being a housewife and says she misses Ed. She says she’s just the group’s “den mother” and they protect her even though she’s got little to offer. She’s lying through her teeth, of course. Deanna asks her where she’ll fit in.
“Well, I’d like to be involved in the community. Do you have anything like a Junior League? I’m a real people person,” Carol says with a big fake smile.
Daryl is working on his crossbow on the porch. Carol comes out dressed for work, says the job she’s been given is making dinner for the older people and those who can’t cook.
She asks Daryl if he’s taken a shower yet. He says he has even though he’s obviously caked in months-old grime.
“Take a shower. I’m going to wash that vest. We need to keep up appearances, even you,” Carol says as she leaves.
When Daryl doesn’t agree she says she’ll hose him down in his sleep. He tells her she looks ridiculous.
In Glenn’s video interview he talks about how they were “almost out there too long” and need to make it work.
Rick walks the walls of Alexandria, checking things out.
Carl is sitting in his living room when he sees Enid approach the walls. She climbs them like a monkey, despite the fact that they are quite high, and slips over.
Glenn, Tara and Noah are introduced to Deanna’s son Aiden and Nicholas, the guy they met at the gate. They talk about making supply runs, which will be the trio’s new job. Aiden was ROTC. Noah’s says his dad was ROTC, and when Aiden asks he says he didn’t make it.
“Sorry. Sorry a lot these days,” Aiden says.
Aiden takes the trio along on a practice supply run. He gives them pistols to defend themselves. Glenn’s used to more hardware and is not impressed.
Carl follows Enid into the woods. She runs off and he loses her.
Rick is walking outside the walls and sees a Walker come out of a barn. He starts to shoot it but just walks away. Instead he goes to the trash pile where he hid a gun in a blender last episode. The gun is gone, which makes Rick immediately ashen and angry.
Carl comes upon the scene as a bunch of walkers that are following the barn walker attack and he and Rick take them on with their knives. They kill them easily, but then a walker hiding under the trash pile crawls out. Rick is about to take it out with a piece of pipe when Carl asks him to hand it over. He gives Carl the pipe and Carl puts it through the walker’s brain.
We catch back up with Aiden’s scavenging group. They have a system mapped out to make it safe as can be, but they still lost four people last month. Aiden admits he’s a “douchebag” but says that what he says he’s in charge and what he says has to be followed.
As a sort of revenge for killing Alexandrians, the scavengers have hung a walker from a tree. They apparently visit it as a “pre-game ritual” but when they come to it has escaped. Glenn wants to just leave it be, but Aiden and Nicholas are determined to recapture it.
When it comes to attack them they won’t even let Noah shoot it. While Nicholas and Aiden foolishly try to chain it it gets loose and almost kills Tara. Glenn takes it out at the last second with his knife.
Glenn and Aiden stare each other down and there’s a big argument. When they return to the camp Aiden says they aren’t ready for runs yet, but Glenn disagrees.
“Yeah, pretty sure you got that backwards,” Glenn say and the argument continues until Aiden starts shoving Glenn. Deana arrives to try to break it up but Glenn gets in a choice word or two and Aiden throws a punch.
Glenn drops Aiden with a quick counter-punch. Daryl attacks Nicholas like a rabid animal and Rick, arriving with Carl, has to pull him off.
Deanna makes a point of saying that Rick and his people are equal parts of the community and scolds her sons. She asks Rick to be the constable to keep the peace.
“That’s what you were. That’s what you are,” Deanna says.
She also offers the same job to Michonne. But not to Daryl, who storms off. And she thanks Glenn for knocking Aiden on his ass.
Enid has snuck back into the camp. Carl looks at her and says “You don’t like me, do you?” and Enid just walks away.
The final scene intercuts Deanna’s video interview with caveman Rick talking about how people are always looking for weakness with scenes of Rick, clean and civilized, dressed in his new constable outfit and showing it off to his family.
Rick goes out to talk to Daryl and Carol on the porch, admits he’s a cop again. Says the can go to their own homes. Carol says they place will make them weak.
“Carl said that, but it’s not going to happen. We won’t get weak. That’s not in us any more. We’ll make it work. And if they can’t make it, then we’ll just take this place,” Rick says. End of episode.