WARNING: Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead TV AND comic series! Proceed with caution.
After an extended flashback episode last week, focusing solely on Morgan, it was somewhat of a relief to get back to Alexandria in episode 5 of The Walking Dead.
Episode 5, titled 'Now,' saw the return of Rick to Alexandria and the delivery of another rousing speech to the ever-dwindling number of residents in the safe-zone. While episode 5 could simply have been an episode full of padding, waiting for the inevitable return to the Glenn-Nicholas storyline, 'Now' was packed with many interesting moments that we'll almost certainly come back in the mid-season finale.
Obviously there were a couple of big events in the episode, so big I won't cover them in depth in this article, though I will say that after theorizing that Maggie was pregnant in the season premiere, it was a relief to see it finally confirmed. And boy, does that add some extra emotion to the whole Glenn storyline! Other big moments in the episode were the evolving relationships between Denise and Tara, and Jessie and Rick, which will be interesting to see in coming episodes. But while those moments were too big to miss, there were plenty more that were a tad more subtle. Take a look at the 5 things you might have missed in The Walking Dead, 'Now.'
Last time we saw Deanna, she was cowering inside a truck cab, using a dead walker for protection while Rick's group fought for her town and people. Since then, it was like something snapped inside the former Congresswoman because she really started to act like a badass in 'Now.'
Spurred on by the talk she had with Maggie in episode 2 about planting crops, and after seeing the people of Alexandria almost looting their meagre supplies, she began to make a proper longterm plan for her town that would make them self sustainable. At the bottom of that plan she wrote the Latin phrase:
"Dolor hic tibi proderit olim"
The phrase, which is attributed to the Roman poet Ovid, comes from the longer phrase "Perfer et obdura, dolor hic tibi proderit olim" which, when translated, means "be patient and tough; someday this pain will be useful to you."
After the last few weeks of Deanna's life -- losing her youngest son Aidan, and husband Reg (not to mention starting to lose her one remaining family member, Spencer), this quote is particularly poignant for Deanna who really has a choice to do one of two things: give up or soldier on. And after seeing her throughout this episode, I think it's obvious that she's evolving as a character and will be a much more valuable asset to Alexandria in weeks and months to come because of her experiences.
Remember David back in episode 3, the Alexandria resident who unfortunately got torn to pieces by a horde of walker as Michonne, Heath and Scott were forced to look on? Well, surprisingly there was a bit of a follow up to his storyline this week, however it was all bad news.
As you may remember, shortly before Michonne and co set off from the pet store in episode 3, 'JSS,' David revealed a note that he had written to his wife Betsy in the event that he didn't make it back to Alexandria alive. Michonne refused to take the note and we later see it drop onto the ground as David was devoured.
Despite David's note not making it back to Alexandria, it appears as though Betsy was given the bad news of her husband's death, and that, combined with the stress of the incoming herd lead her to take her own life by slashing her wrists. Luckily for Alexandria, Jessie managed to put down the zombified Betsy before she could escape into the township, much to the shock of many other townsfolk.
The more Deanna's mindset improved in this episode, she more clearly she realized that despite being a capable leader in the old world, she lacked the experience to successfully lead in this new world. Following a symbolic moment when Deanna helplessly hacked away at the torso of a walker, only to have Rick come up and stop the zombie with a single blow to the head, Deanna relinquished control of Alexandria to Rick.
Comic book readers will have recognized the phrase Deanna used as the exact phrase that her comic book counterpart Douglas used, "they don't need me Rick...what they need is you."
While we saw one big moment from the comic series mirrored in 'Now,' another moment has possibly been set up for a future episode, likely the mid-season finale.
After Carl and Ron fought (seriously, surely Carl can fight better than that by now?!), Ron spoke to Rick about Carl wanting to leave Alexandria to find Enid, and also about learning to fire a gun, something which Rick started to teach him, despite Jessie asking him not to. Even though Ron seemed calm when speaking to Rick, there's no way that kid has forgotten what Rick did to his father so easily, and he's almost certainly holding on to some deep-seated anger. It also seems strange to me that the show would choose to spend a scene on Ron learning to shoot a gun if it weren't going to come up again in future episodes.
Comic readers may have an inkling of what may come of Ron's new gun skills, and will agree that it's one of the most defining moments of the series -- definitely something worthy of ending the mid-season finale on. If you feel like a potential spoiler then check it out over here, but I take no responsibility for you choosing to click that link!
In the dying moments of 'Now' we were left with the sight of blood pouring through some concerning cracks in the wall panels that protect Alexandria. The first problem with this is that the source of this blood is a mystery -- it's probably most likely that it's blood from the walkers crushing up against it, but then again it could also be fresh blood from someone either being pushed off the wall into the herd, or someone committing suicide. For now, I'm going with the theory that it's walker blood, because let's face it, the fact that the walls are breaking is scary enough!
In my opinion, while this strain on the wall is extremely concerning, I doubt we'll hear about it until the mid-season finale in three weeks' time. Next week it looks like episode 6 will focus on Daryl, Sasha and Abraham, and episode 7 will probably be concerned with finally settling what the hell happened to Glenn and Nicholas in that alleyway. However, when that wall finally is revisited, I'm imagining that it will break apart in spectacular fashion and the people of Alexandria are going to see some absolute shit go down.
Episode 6 of The Walking Dead will air on Sunday on AMC.