Team Carol, Team Morgan, or Team Batsh*t Machete Axe?
In last week’s season premiere, we saw Rick put together a daring plan to herd thousands of walkers out of the nearby rock quarry and send them miles away from Alexandria. Things seemed to be going according to plan (despite a new character, Carter, who wouldn’t shut up about Rick being “the danger”), but then a mysterious air horn sounded out from back old Alexandria way, and everything went all to hell.
This week, the focus is on what happens back in Alexandria, and for some reason we begin (and end) the episode with Enid. For those who don’t remember Enid, well, that’s understandable because nobody likes teenage characters on TV. Are you reading this, writers?
Anyway, Enid is Carl’s emo lady love, and was kind of a forgettable character. We see her journey to Alexandria which involved watching her dead dad become walker chow, writing “JSS” on every possible surface, and just wandering about until she finds Alexandria. It is all very scintillating stuff.
Forget Enid, because there was a ton of action this episode, so let’s get to the good stuff, shall we?
The Wolves Finally Make an Appearance at the Party (a.k.a. “Let’s blow it up!”)
Well there go the property values…
After much anticipation and many “W” carvings, the Wolves finally made their move on Alexandria and the great air horn conspiracy of last week’s episode is solved. The Wolves sent a big rig truck into one of the walls of the Safety-Zone, and that horn kept going like it was rush hour on the interstate.
As I speculated in last week’s article on upcoming villains, it seems like Spencer Monroe is being set up either to rise up against Rick or just sells Rick and his people out. Right now, I’m leaning towards the more cowardly approach. This episode sees Spencer busy picking off Wolves from the watchtower when the horn sounds, but he hesitates rather than actually trying to shut off the horn, a task that falls to the newly arrived Morgan. Spencer is going to hang back, thank you very much, and leave the zombie poking to others.
But the real question of the truck is what the Wolves are after. We know that the Wolves are scavengers, but the episode never shows what it is that they are stealing. We can assume that they want basic necessities like food, but there’s only so much of that. The Wolves don’t carry guns, so Rick and co.’s weapons are safe. Why target Alexandria? These are model homes that wouldn’t look out of place in a catalog. Unless the Wolves want matching side table lamps and candy dishes, it’s unclear what exactly they want (other than to cause mayhem). Shouldn’t you have a purpose when you scavenge?
The Wolves attack highlights just how woefully unprepared the people of Alexandria are to deal with a major attack on their community. Once again, Rick is proved to be correct about these people that he holds in such contempt. This almost feels like a necessary evil for the show. It’s constantly reinforcing that Rick is crazy and nihilistic, but also that he’s pretty spot on in his assessment of the collective survival skills of the Alexandrian residents. It feels like there is no gray area. You either lose your humanity, or you die.
Though I will say that dark Rick is a more interesting Rick, and the more often he’s right about things, the more the writers leave themselves fertile ground given Rick’s potential for unadulterated villainy.
This was an exciting episode, but it was a little disappointing that the Wolves were dispatched in the amount of time it took for Carol’s casserole – she’s a whiz with water chestnuts and murder – to finish cooking. There’s no doubt that the Wolves will return, probably because of Morgan, but will they come up with a more daring attack? Or could the remaining members join the Saviors (who have yet to make their appearance)?