WARNING: Spoilers for The Walking Dead TV and comic series ahead!
As The Walking Dead careens toward the season finale, Season 5 has once again proved that it may be the best of the entire series, with an awesome 15th episode entitled "Try."
As Deanna grieved for her son and the group mourned Noah, Nicholas spun an unbelievable yarn about the circumstances surrounding Aidan's death, placing a huge question mark over the entire group's future in Alexandria. We saw the hints of a first love between Carl and Enid, found Rick's missing gun, and also got closer to finding the group behind those mystery 'W' (or is it 'M'?) walkers. Finally, the episode culminated in something we all wanted to see: Pete's well deserved ass-kicking, but we also got more than we bargained for when a blood smeared Rick seemed to have gone completely crazy.
There was a lot packed in, and as we all know The Walking Dead has become quite brilliant at sneaking in subtle references and foreshadowing, so check out these 5 things you may have missed in The Walking Dead "Try":
1. The Broken Window Theory was tested to its limit
In last week's episode, "Spend," following the destruction of Jessie's owl sculpture, Rick told her about the broken windows theory, a criminological theory which Rick described simply as:
If you keep the windows intact, you keep society intact. . .
Well, Rick really proved this theory when civilized society came crashing down in the form of a fight between Constable Rick and abusing douchebag Pete where the two literally smashed through a window.
The fight definitely looked like some sort of wild animal fight, rather than something that should be happening between two civilized grown men. The brawl also served to show just how vulnerable the balance is in this new society where all the rules have to be rewritten after a period of total upheaval. Here's hoping Alexandria can once again manage to get back on track and doesn't remain broken for too long.
2. Michonne did Rick a favor
Following the brawl with Pete, Rick basically went fully crazy. Although he was definitely the one in the right, it was like Rick's grip on reality just loosened and he unleashed everything that he had wanted to say about Alexandria. After brandishing his gun at Deanna, Michonne decided enough was enough and took him down with a rock to the back of the head.
While it might be easy to think that Michonne was siding with the Alexandrians and had turned on Rick, I actually think she was looking out for him. Although I doubt that Rick would have ever used the gun, and he only pulled it out for shock tactics, he definitely came across like a raving mad man. Considering that Rick and the group have already put actions in motion to take control of the town and better look after its citizens, ranting, raving and waving a gun around is definitely not the best way to win the trust and respect of those you hope to lead. Rick is damn lucky he had Michonne, who once again proved that she has become the voice of reason to the group following the death of Tyreese.
3. "Everything I see is red"
You might have noticed a red balloon made a cameo appearance in this week's episode. The balloon, which we later learned belonged to Sam, acted as a great visual gauge to Rick's state of mind through the episode. At first it was calmly floatings attached to the toy boat in the pond, similar to how Rick was keeping a hold over his emotions and the situation with Pete. However, the second time we saw the balloon it was being dragged by Sam, tugging to get free - it was just after this scene that Rick snapped and went back to Jessie and Pete's house which resulted in the fight. The final appearance by the balloon came as Rick was choking Pete and he looked up and noticed it had broken free of what had been grounding it, much like Rick himself had lost his grip on reality.
The second point of significance about the balloon came from Reddit user KeyTBoi, who pointed out that the color of the balloon, red, was a reoccurring theme in Season 5, and was something which all went back to Morgan.
Back in Season 3 Morgan made a crazed speech that all he saw was red (see the video above) and as KeyTBoi points out, we have seen an awful lot of red this season: the red boxcar that the group were held in at Terminus, Rick's red handled machete, the red 'A', plenty of blood both from enemies and loved ones and now this red balloon.
We're all hoping to see Morgan reappear before the end of the season, though I can't help but wonder if maybe we did briefly spot him in this episode when Daryl and Aaron came across the light from someone's campfire. Unfortunately we'll have to wait to find out, though with the tension mounting over the disfigured walkers with the W's or M's carved into their foreheads, who knows what kind of person we'll meet.
4. There were some great scenes straight out of the comics
Showing just how close the TV show is sticking to its original source material this season, we had a huge portion of "Try" that came pretty much straight from the comic series.
The whole fight scene was extremely close to Issue 75 of the comics, beginning with Rick talking to Jessie before being interrupted by Pete, to that amazing window smash.
But the comparisons don't stop there: Rick waving his gun in the face of Deanna was also extremely similar to the comics, (though the comic equivalent of Deanna is a man named Douglas), and finally the end scene with Michonne cracking Rick over the head with a rock, and knocking him out (or knocking some sense into him?) was almost exactly the same.
With the strong similarities between the comics and the TV show, it will be very interesting to see if the Season 5 finale bears any resemblance to Issues 76-78, which basically ends with Rick being named leader of Alexandria after he (and the rest of his group) demonstrates great ability and leadership during an attack from another group. This would be my best guess of what will happen in the next episode, especially as we have already theorized that the Wolves in the TV series are the equivalent of Derek and the scavengers from the comics.
5. Has Rick become Shane?
Over the last few episodes Rick's behavior has started to mirror his former best friends, Shane, in many ways, but it wasn't until the end of "Try" that we truly saw how far this had come.
His whole relationship with Jessie has hints of what Shane and Lori had through Seasons 1 and 2, not to mention Shane beat the crap out of Carol's abusive husband, Ed, in much the same way that Rick did to Pete. Finally, what really made the transformation complete was the speech Rick gave to Deanna, shortly before Michonne took him down. As Reddit user mborn pointed out, the speech Rick gave had some crazy parallels to the speech that Shane gave back in Season 2 just before he opened the barn doors. Take a look and see what you think:
Pretty close right? Personally I doubt Rick has it in him to go as dark as Shane did. By the time Shane was killed he didn't seem to value human life, and luckily Rick still does. However, if he doesn't make some changes soon, who knows what will happen.