On last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes and his motley crew got their first taste of life in the Alexandria Safe Zone, a key port that may serve as the base of operations for quite a while if the comic book storyline is followed.
Due to the importance of Alexandria and what it could mean for the show and its characters, it seemed right to look at the ways that last night’s episode did and didn’t stay in line with its comic book counterpart.
[Warning: There Will Be Walking Dead Comic Book And TV Show Spoilers Here]
When Rick’s group reaches Alexandria in issue #70 of the comic book, Aaron tells him about the community leader’s interview process and says, “Answer all his questions honestly, even if you feel like you shouldn’t, and you’ll be fine.” Though most of the gang did exactly that while being interviewed on the show last night, Carol didn’t listen as she went into “Happy Homemaker” mode after offering nervous smiles while surrendering the small armory on her back at the front gate. Junior League? Finding fulfillment in making her husband dinner? Carol should have told them about her experience with flowers and caring for the sick.
The gender-swap of Douglas Monroe is probably the most noticeable change from the comic book in last night’s episode, but there are other differences that mean more to the story.
Former congressperson Deanna Monroe comes off as tough, but fair and very likeable. Douglas Monroe, on the other hand, was a bit more intense, going to a very dark place in issue #70 when he told Rick Grimes about a child whose father had eaten his eyes before the zombie turn to explain that there has always been evil in the world. Unlike Douglas, Deanna doesn’t cop to killing two people either, but she does admit to exiling three residents.
Will we come to find out that one of those exiles was Davidson? In the comics, Davidson is described as the man who built the fence before Monroe came along, and he’s someone who was cast out by Douglas Monroe after he put people in jeopardy as community leader. You may have noticed last night that Deanna Monroe said that her husband and sons built the fence. Is that a change in the story or a bit of subterfuge on Deanna’s part?
Rick sets his watch as soon as he finds out what time it is from Deanna, but while that isn’t a direct copy of something from the comics, he is quite interested in the date and the way that Douglass has kept a handle on what day it is as the community celebrates Halloween in issue #71.
The Walking Dog
Two episodes ago, Rick’s starving band of survivors found themselves eating a wild dog to stave off hunger. Last night, Rick saw a woman in Alexandria walking her dog down the street while Daryl isolated himself in a corner by bar-like spindles of the front porch (metaphor!). Though it may seem like a minor moment, this was actually pulled from the comic (issue #71) and a scene when Rick and Andrea were standing on the porch reflecting on how weird it is to be someplace normal.
In the comic, Olivia is the pantry manager who delivers goods to Rick and then offers to cut his hair and give him the 411 on the community. On the show, Olivia has seemingly merged with Jessie Anderson, who is played by American Horror Story alum Alexandra Breckenridge.