In the last few episodes of The Walking Dead, we’ve first seen a glimpse of the sedate world of Alexandria and then a reminder of the reality outside of it. ‘Try’ felt like the part where Rick’s instincts got the better of him, and those two worlds collided.
Given the ramifications it could have for the series, it’s probably best to start with that ending, and what a great scene it was. The use of location in particular – taken from the very start as Rick went to talk to Jessie – was superb, as the key setting slowly expanded from the garage, to the house, to finally the open street, the imagery conveying the bubble of civility that was about to burst. It also allowed Andrew Lincoln some great moments. In amongst the ensemble, Rick sometimes feels like a facilitator for other character arcs; as mentioned in a previous review, treading the same path from dominance to psychosis over and over.
Yet here, Rick’s specific instability was clear to see. Throughout the scene, we witnessed the true rationale behind his decision making. For all the talk of Pete’s wrongdoing, it was clearly not justice or duty that was driving Rick’s actions, but something rather more primal – lust. Perhaps not simply lust for Jessie herself, but also for what she represented to him. Depending on one’s opinion of Rick as a character, this could range from a damsel in distress to a reminder of his police past, to a romantic and sexual conquest. And slowly, it also became clear that this all lead back to his underlying disdain for the community he was now a part of.
It felt like Rick truly resented the Alexandria group for surviving as they had, after what he and the group have had to go through to get to that very same moment in time. It also became clear that there was no going back for him, and Michonne’s act puts the show in a rather problematic situation. Ironically, true to Rick’s own logic, the only real solution at this point would be his death. Imprisonment wouldn’t last long with Carol, Daryl and Carl still around and exile would likely end up tearing Alexandria apart. Yet if Rick was killed off, it strikes me that there would be as much of a resolution as is possible on TWD.
For all the logic in this route, it would make the future plot that bit less compelling, meaning we’ll likely see a resolution next week that goes against logic. All one can hope for is that it doesn’t play out in a way that’s too frustrating, as that would be a disappointing ending to a very strong arc.
Elsewhere, while Sasha’s rage over Noah was a bit sudden, it did facilitate some good development for Michonne leading up to Rick’s downfall, as she appeared to accept her responsibilities as part of Alexandria, even if it came about by way of Sasha’s resentment of her fitting in.
The other two threads picked up on aren’t really that discussion-friendly. Carl’s scene was at odds with the rest of the episode, simply reaffirming his transition back to adolescence as seen in the past weeks, while Daryl and Aaron’s scene is probably something that won’t take on much meaning till next year.
Roll on the finale!