This week’s episode of The Walking Dead begins with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) participating in the 2015 Running of the Walkers. Things have definitely gotten real for the perfect little community of Alexandria. Early on we finally find out how the Wolves were able to find the community and get inside so easily. Aaron (Ross Marquand) admits losing his pack while he and Daryl (Norman Reedus) were trapped at the cannery. However that still doesn’t rule out the possibility of someone on the inside helped the Wolves in some way. Only time will tell.
The community is slowly coming to grips with the losses they’ve faced, the danger looming at the walls and many feel hopeless. This is usually the time one or two of the characters plan on doing something stupid and the candidates line up early…Maggie and Carl are first up. Maggie (Lauren Cohan) at least has a honorable excuse, going after Glenn (who’s name is missing from the credits). Maggie as well as others (myself included) have a strong feeling that Glenn is still alive. Joined by Aaron, they use a secret underground way out of the community and past the walkers at the walls. Carl (Chandler Riggs) wants to find Enid which in spite of everything is also noble, but extremely stupid.
On the subject of the “secret underground tunnels” beneath Alexandria. Although it is entirely logical for them to be there, it was irritating that they were used so conveniently strictly as a plot device. Why weren’t they ever mentioned before? That’s pretty relevant information to hold back for a rainy day emergency. Bad move on the writer’s part but in the end it seemed so minor that it’s easily forgiven. The question now is whether that tunnel will be used again in a future episode or will it be an abandoned story element. It’s hard not to be critical of things like this.
There are plenty of great moments this week, Tara (Alanna Masterson) and Denise (Merritt Wever) share a pretty tender moment as Denise finally gains some confidence in her limited medical abilities. Aaron and Maggie (who we finally get to see a little more of) share some time contemplating whether Glenn is alive and she finally drops the bomb that she’s pregnant, a fact that has been speculated widely among fans. Rick and Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) find a moment to speak honestly and and end up sharing more than just words.
There is something terribly wrong with Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh). She has lost family and friends and the looming threat of losing her home and safety may be weighing too heavily on her. We see her in key scenes that make you question whether she is considering suicide or is just about to do something dumb like let the walkers in. You can see despair in her eyes one moment, then extreme hate the next. It is going to be interesting to see what becomes of her as the season goes on.
Not a lot of action or excitement this week just good and honest dramatic storytelling. The kind of storytelling you’ve come to expect from The Walking Dead. It isn’t just about zombies walking the earth. This episode lacked any groundbreaking moments, and truth be told that is just fine. Just five episodes into the season, a lot has happened already and it is time to slow things down just a bit to let the fans catch their breath and to tell the story. Last week’s episode was a welcomed change of pace and this week was no exception. But it is hard to gauge just what will happen from week to week because the very nature of the world these characters live in is uncertain and highly unpredictable.
In the end, a good solid episode, slipping a bit in marks but that shouldn’t dissuade viewers or fans in any way. The Walking Dead is off to a very strong start and there is no doubt it will remain that way throughout this season.