So is Rick (Andrew Lincoln) now Shane (Jon Bernthal)? Was I right all along in championing Shane now that everybody is championing Rick? I kind of think so. I’m not one to say I told you so, but… Seriously, I’ve been preaching this since the first freaking season. New world; new rules. Shane got that, but nobody else was ready to deal with it then. Now that Rick is acting like Shane, the audience seems to have finally bought into the idea that in the apocalypse, different rules apply. Don’t forget one of the central underlying messages of The Walking Dead: civilization is a lie. It’s an implied social agreement. A promise to behave. There are many of us who respect the will of others and could live good lives with no threat of punishment for wrong-doing, but we’re few. The majority of people seem to need that threat to maintain order; to suppress the hostility that lurks just beneath the surface. What the hell do you think Road Rage is? It’s that inner-self taking control and abandoning reason over a minor affront. The savage is lurking just under everybody’s skin. The apocalypse provides the opportunity to either let it out or channel it in new ways. Last week I asked what law Rick was supposed to enforce. And in this episode, “Try,” we find out that there is no law. All there is is the idea of law. The idea of society. The idea of civilization. When Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) admits complicity in Pete’s (Corey Brill) abuse of Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) and Sam (Major Dodson) because he’s a surgeon and they need his skills, she gives voice to the lie of civilization. And Rick isn’t having it. Remember back in the penultimate episode of Season Two, “Better Angels“? Shane felt like he had no choice. He had to kill Rick not only for the sake of keeping the group safe (because let’s face it, Rick was a danger back then), but because he was neglecting his family. Don’t forget, that baby is Shane’s. And as I said in that review: So killing Rick is something he feels he has to do for the good of the group and for selfish reasons. Tell me that’s not what’s going on with Rick and Jessie. Sure, Rick doesn’t nearly force himself on her like Shane did Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) in the Season One finale “TS-19,” but he’s not acting out of pure altruism. He admits it. But he is, coincidentally, acting for the greater good. By turning a blind eye to the abuse, Deanna is setting a precedent that can’t be allowed to stand. Remember Rick’s “Broken Window Theory”? If you keep the windows intact, you keep society intact. If spousal abuse isn’t a major fucking broken window, then what is? This is the exact opposite of Slabtown’s Doctor Problem, where the doctor was valuable, but kept in line with the threat of punishment and/or replacement. Where that scenario made the doc dangerous to anyone else with medical experience, Alexandria’s absolute lack of punishment or responsibility has allowed their doc free rein to do as he will. His value is being used as a shield and Deanna doesn’t have the will to do anything about it. Rick does. And while he goes full-blown crazy-ranting gun-waving Rick before all’s said and done, he’s right that something needs to be done. Maybe not killing him, but definitely a forced separation of some sort. Sacrificing Jessie and Sam to Pete is just another example of the cowardice that lies at the heart of Alexandria. Deanna is cutting and running just like her coward son did before her. While Rick’s paranoia regarding exile is well-founded, and it’s doubtful that Pete would be coming back with an army, part of Alexandria’s survival has been based on luck. Nobody dangerous has stumbled across them yet. And all it would take would be Pete — either out for revenge or possibly just captured and tortured for information — to bring back a group determined to take over the city. Again, the way Rick communicates this threat is unhinged, but the message is still sound. Exile is not a good option. Was Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) knockout blow to Rick a surprise? Not really. Someone had to shut his ass up and Michonne doing it was better than an Alexandrian. She at least maintains the illusion that our group is trying to become a part of the community, regardless of how close to the truth that is. Her time in the woods with Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Rosita (Christian Serratos) earlier was demonstration that at least she’s aware of the fact that living behind the wall is making her soft and she doesn’t like it. Rosita doesn’t seem to have a problem with that. Sasha, not so much. Her hunting expeditions are reckless, bordering on suicidal, but her brother went through the same sort of grieving process and came out the other side. He came out damaged, but he came out, so I have hope for Sasha, especially if she can channel her aggressions and anxiety to maintaining the security of Alexandria. Again, it’s about refocusing the primal in a way that doesn’t weaken the community, but keeps everyone safe in this new world. In a way, what Sasha’s going through is echoed in Enid’s (Katelyn Nacon) excursions into the woods armed with only her dead mother’s knife. I suppose it’s better than cutting herself, although I might prefer that as a story beat to having to listen to Chandler Riggs act like a “normal” teen with raging hormones. If we needed any more proof that outside of Alexandria’s walls is a horrifying, nihilistic moral wasteland, all we have to do is check in with Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand). Somebody is out there in the wilds, tying women to trees as bait for walkers, then cutting off their zombie arms and legs for some unknown reason and taking the torsos with them. If you wanted a graphic representation of Carol’s (Melissa McBride) threat to Sam, we got it this week, and it was every bit as horrifying as she described. In fact, most of the episode was kind of horrifying with a tension that practically dripped out of the TV and ruined the carpet. I’m going to go ahead and give credit for that to this episode’s director, Michael E. Satrazemis, seeing as how the two other episodes he’s responsible for helming (“The Grove” and “Slabtown”) have both also ratcheted up the tension expertly. I don’t know if he was responsible for the musical decision to open the episode to Nine Inch Nails’ “Somewhat Damaged” but it was a truly inspired choice and really set the mood for everything that followed. The Walking Dead 5.15 "Try"Paul's Rating4.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (1 Vote)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.