TV Show Review

TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD: Season 5, Episode 13: Forget [AMC]

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AMC‘s The Walking Dead Forget TV Show ReviewThe Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 13: ‘Forget,’ made for an interesting shift in perspective, for the survivors of the ZA. Characters once concerned with adjusting to the new normal, of Walker World, now found themselves having to re-adjust to some semblance of civilization.

The ‘new’ new normal just wasn’t doing it for Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green); leaving her seeking the original new normal: firing her signature suppressed AR, at faces that no longer mattered, and waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I understand that Sasha was meant to be the inheritor of Ty’s rage, within the group; but where his exhibited pain, hers shows only menace (I swear, at some points, I half expect her to break into a screaming blur of a roundhouse – courtesy of a passing resemblance to Bruce Lee, at his most intense). Not the sort of thing to go unnoticed, by Alexandria’s chief civil engineer.

The group’s hard core, Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl (Norman Reedus), and Carol (Melissa McBride) continued to prep for the worst, while giving the rest a chance to work at the best; but it was on the matter of Alexandria’s security – lack, thereof, anyway – that Rick & Sasha’s problem converged, presenting community head, Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh), with an opportunity to deal with them both by way of a single solution: meet & greet mixer.

How do you assimilate a feral dog into life in a family home, again? From the dog’s perspective, it usually involves making your own space, knowing where all the exits are, and working out which member of the household you tolerate, which you give a wide birth to, and which needs a good bite. For Daryl & Carol, the very notion of Alexandria assimilation was a problem, but they went about dealing with it in polar opposite ways.

In Daryl’s case, isolation was the default solution. Daryl was an outsider to civilization back when there was civilization (and a white supremacist, IIRC), so the ‘new’ new normal was no more of an option than just… normal. After crossing paths with another outsider, of sorts, however, Daryl’s deal became something of a bonding exercise with Aaron (Ross Marquand). Unfortunately, some of that bonding came over a heart-breaking effort to save a horse (poor Buttons – Daryl’s whisper technique took the spirit out of your step at the worst possible time). The rest amounted to a recruitment effort, by Aaron.

I could feel the shippers uncoiling, at Aaron wanting to recruit Daryl – in any capacity – but it was a legitimate pitch, people. Throw in some familiar preoccupation material, to sweeten the deal, and Daryl found his in, while managing to stay out. That, and Aaron really knows how to recruit (ge-shush, shippers! “Hunting rabbits” means hunting rabbits – Kevin Smith be damned).

Carol continues to impress/ scare with her measure for dealing with Alexandrian domesticity: infiltration. What’s scary is that her ability to go from stone killer, to ‘Martha Stewart’ mole, would’ve made her a superstar in cold-war era KGB/ NKVD circles (if you’re too young to remember those days, see The Americans). For all her pod-person proficiency, however, she may have already overreached, when her ZA cookie recipe brought her under scrutiny from an unlikely source.

Hilarious, scary, and an all-around WTF moment, her addressing of the breech  left the biggest hole in their contingency plan, short of letter carved Walkers, or Rick going all beard on a certain porch dick. Even if the kid does keep quiet, bed wetting, and other manifestations of trauma, might be a tip-off that something was up. Then again, the kid could turn out to be a total cookie-fiend sell-out….

On the subject of porch dicks (damn you, Chris Hardwick), Deanna’s mixer gave us our first real look at Welcome Wife, Jessie’s (Alexandra Breckenridge), husband – and inevitable Rick foil – Pete (Corey Brill). Never mind Pete’s palpable tension with the wife, never mind Rick seeming to have murderous thoughts, at the sight of them together, I thought the real telegraphing, to a possible Rick-Pete conflict, came from Rick refusing to look him in the eye.

Now, when you’re an animal (like bearded Rick), eye contact is a matter of dominance. If Rick means to take the return of Officer Friendly seriously, then avoiding eye contact would be the surest way of protecting Pete (and Alexandria, by extension) from the wrath of Rick’s beard.

Deanna’s mixer, in addition to putting Rick & Sasha on the spot, also made the change of state starkly clear to Michonne (Danai Gurira). If Deanna’s plans were to be anything more than pie-in-the-sky, Roadsters, like Michonne, had to do more than just put on the trappings of civilization, they needed to shed the stuff of the road at the door. Cornering PTSD Sasha in a social session, on the other hand, forced the issue of blending those who have been on the road too long, with those who may not have been on it, at all. That might have been Deanna’s intention (she has been cagey, like that), but the evening served its purpose. Sasha & Daryl earned their place on the outer reaches of Deanna’s community; Rick & Carol cemented their stations within it. It also convinced Michonne to make a break from the road, in as symbolic a fashion as Rick had. Michonne literally hanging up her sword was every bit as symbolic (if not more so) than Rick removing the beard-of-wrath.

Of course, Rick was left pawing at a Walker, on the other side of a wall section, like a dog baying at the moon; but more telling, of what’s to come, was Rick trigger itch, towards Pete. Is it just me, or did Rick – in no uncertain manner – call “claimed” on Jessie?

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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