Until the first commercial break, this week’s The Walking Dead episode, “JSS,” felt like it might be a breather from last week’s premiere, providing us with a glimpse of Alexandria while Rick and his crew were diverting zombies. That proved not to be the case. The action and intensity kicked in immediately after the first break and didn’t let up until the final seconds. Written by The Walking Dead regular Seth Hoffman and directed by Jennifer Lynch (daughter of David), “JSS” was anxiety-inducing, terrifying, and bloody, as a new threat — a crew of murdering thugs with no apparent motive beyond the desire to kill — broke through Alexandria’s walls and raised hell.
By the end of the episode, Alexandria had lost several more citizens, the community was left in shambles, and a new conflict had emerged. Here are the questions we have left open as we head into next week’s episode.
1. What does “JSS” stand for?
We finally got a glimpse of Enid’s backstory in The Walking Dead cold open this week. We learned that her parents — who apparently had no fight-or-flight instincts, or any ability to panic — calmly attempted to repair their car as zombies shambled toward them, right up until the point that the zombies feasted on them, orphaning Enid. Enid walked around aimlessly, slept in cars, and ate raw turtles until she finally found her way to Alexandria. Along the way, she drew JSS onto various things, as a kind of mantra to herself: “Just Survive Somehow.”
2. Is Enid gone for good?
I don’t think so. Before running into Carl during the chaos with the wolves, Enid confessed that she was going to leave Alexandria, fearing that the walls couldn’t protect her. She felt like she was better off alone. Carl told her that she was not allowed to say “goodbye.” She agreed. At the end of the episode, she left behind a note to Carl with the above mantra: “Just Survive Somehow.” Did she leave Alexandria without saying goodbye? (Because Carl wouldn’t let her?) Or did she go back to her house? I suspect, given her relationship with Carl now, that she plans to stick around (also spoilers: IMDb has her listed in episodes for the rest of the season, although IMDb is notoriously unreliable in this regard).
Fun aside: The actress who plays Enid, Katelyn Nacon, was also in that short, Too Many Cooks, that made the rounds last year.
3. Where did the horde of zombies from last week’s episode go?
The focus of this week’s episode was entirely on Alexandria. Morgan was the only person to travel from the other party to Alexandria, where he discovered that the Wolves were responsible for the horn, however, accidentally. They crashed an 18-wheeler into the Alexandria fence. We were not privy to the action going on elsewhere with the horde of zombies. However, because they never arrived in Alexandria, it’s safe to assume that Rick somehow managed to redirect the zombies back on track once the horn stopped blowing. We’ll find out more on that next week. In this sneak peek, we see that whatever is happening, Rick is very angry.
4. Is Morgan still a little messed up in the head?
Morgan prevented two of the Wolves from killing him last season. He saved Daryl and Aaron from a zombie trap laid by the Wolves. He also, in this episode, witnessed several members of the Wolves brutally murder residents of Alexandria. Yet, he is still reluctant to kill any of them. I appreciate Morgan’s respect for life to a point, and that point is when his respect for the lives of murderers endangers the lives of those who are his friends and allies. Morgan’s refusal to kill cost him some respect from the audience at home and Carol. It goes beyond respect for life and into recklessness and negligence. #TeamCarol