Last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, “Forget,” wasn’t an episode with a tremendous amount of action, but it was interestingly one of my favorite episodes of the run. It almost felt like an episode of Breaking Bad or even Mad Men set in a zombie apocalypse. From the themes about suburban malaise (IN A WORLD OVERRUN BY ZOMBIES) to the Carol “Cookie Monster” Peletier treacherous conversation with a kid (which was more frightening than any zombie scene) to that masterful final scene with a song straight out of the Mad Men soundtrack playing over Rick essentially lamenting the loss of their freedom to roam, to run free, to explore, and to survive. Comfort and security are nice, but it comes at a cost, and right now, much of Rick’s camp must feel like Brooks Hatlen from Shawshank Redemption, the prison librarian who spent his whole life in behind bars and hung himself when he finally got out because he couldn’t cope with the real world.
1. What’s Going On With Sasha? Nobody feels more like Brooks Hatlen than Sasha, who is having a harder time than anyone else adjusting to Alexandria. I get it, too: She’s been out there, struggling to survive, and in the last few weeks, she’s lost both her boyfriend and her brother to walkers, and people have the audacity to ask her what she wants for dinner? Because they’re worried they might make her something she doesn’t like. She’s a few days removed from EATING DOGS. A well-prepared meal is the least of her concerns. This is why she wants to be on look-out. She can’t stand to be around people anymore. I am legitimately concerned that she may end up with the same fate as Brooks Hatlen. She can’t handle life in suburbia. She is falling apart.
2. Will Carol’s Threat Come Back To Haunt Her? No one has had a bigger transformation over the course of the series than Carol, who has morphed from dowdy domestic-abuse victim to a woman child-killer posing as a Junior Leaguer. Last night, she gave Jesse’s son — who caught her pilfering from the armory — a terrifying threat that vaguely mirrored the death of her own daughter:
“The monsters will come, the ones out there, and you won’t be able to run away when they come for you. And they will tear you apart and eat you up all while you’re still alive, all while you can still feel it. And then afterward no one will know what happened to you.”
Take the goddamn cookie, kid. Trust her, too. This is a woman who burned Tyreese’s girlfriend to protect her family and told Tyreese about it. This is a woman who shot a girl in the head because she’d gone mad. LOOK AT THE FLOWERS:
Will that threat come back to bite Carol in the ass? Fear of death or not, kids are terrible at keeping secrets from their mothers, and Jessie’s son may eventually crack, which may cost Rick’s camp their security or at least force a confrontation.
In the meantime, everyone just needs to eat the cookies and shut up.
3. Is Rick Going To Kill Jessie’s Husband? This is the look that Rick directed at Jessie’s husband before feeling for his gun:
Is Rick going to kill Jessie’s husband? Is he that far gone now that he’s willing to kill not just to protect his family, but to get laid? Andrew Lincoln has been teasing a villainous turn for Rick since the midseason finale, and Rick’s character — who shot a guy in the head and told him to shut-up because he wouldn’t stop talking — has been leaning that way. He’s clearly smitten with Jessie, and it feels like he’s becoming a little Shane-like in his obsession with her. Who could blame him? Have you seen her on a sex swing?
Also, she likes it deep, and she won’t tell.
4. Daryl May Get His Gay Moment, After All. Don’t lie, but when Eric smiled at Aaron over spaghetti dinner with Daryl and said, “You didn’t ask him already?,” how many of you thought that they were going to ask Daryl for a threesome? With the energy in that room, and all the rumors surrounding Daryl’s sexuality on the show, how could that not pop into your mind?
I’m glad they didn’t because this is not that kind of show, but there is certainly some interesting tension between Daryl and Aaron, who are going to be spending a lot of time together outside the walls of Alexandria now that Daryl has agreed to be Aaron’s co-recruiter. And you know Daryl is going to get that motorcycle running, and that Aaron will end up behind him with his arms wrapped around him, as they zoom off in search of a pasta maker. Plus, they’ve already bonded over the death of poor Buttons, who — of course — was a black horse.
5. Where the hell is Father Gabriel? Seriously, the man hasn’t been seen inside the gates of Alexandria. Literally, the last time that Father Gabriel was seen is here, right before they entered Alexandria in the opening seconds of last week’s episode:
You’d think that Alexandria could use a man of God, but Gabriel has been completely MIA. Of course, Tara, Rosita, and Eugene haven’t had more than a few seconds of screen time, either. This is the problem when you introduce a bunch of new characters into a series that’s already overstuffed: Characters are invariably going to be crowded out. That will have to be corrected in the episodes to come, which doesn’t bode well for Sasha, Gabriel, and either Daryl or Abraham. The show has to fix the Daryl problem, after all.