Ok, let's get this out of the way. I mean, do we blame Rick? There's a reason why we love the Ricktatorship, he's usually correct.
Come on now, let's look at a couple people who "messed" with the wrong guy:
|You can totally trust me.|
Yeah... trusting the Governor, is like...well. Like this:
Ok, not everyone is like the Governor. I mean, look at this fine gentlemen in the apocalypse:
There can't be anything wrong with him? Can there...
Yeah... Ok, so like I said. Rick is usually right. So when a clean L.L. Bean catalogue model happens upon you in the zombie apocalypse, you're all like:
So how do we, the audience, know that we can trust Aaron? It's in the symbols!
Our current survivors have been through a lot lately. Besides all of the welcoming fold turning out to be sociopaths, everything has failed them. Even Eugene's promise of a cure in D.C. was a lie. Last week's "Them" watched the crew fall apart. They were tired, hungry, and weak, but they didn't turn on each other. The worked together to overcome an insurmountable task (with a little help, for more, check out last week's blog) The crew and especially their de facto leader, Rick, have fallen on dark times. (Thank you Danai Gurira for shedding some light on it during Talking Dead...and yes, every pun is fully intended.) This episode not only had Rick and the crew in a dark place metaphorically, but literally as well.
Often, darkness and light represent two opposing forces. It could be good versus evil. Just think of the archetypal symbols involving black and white. Black: evil and death. White: innocence and purity. I don't think Rick and the groups are evil. However, I feel the light and dark represent knowledge and ignorance. In the opening sequence, even though it is daylight, almost every character is miserable, and their faces are cast in shadows:
Ok, maybe I'm taking one opening sequence a little too far, right? There's no electricity and they are in a freaking barn that somehow survived a treacherous storm. When Sasha and Maggie bring Aaron into the barn, we see a change:
It's like a little halo shining on his perfectly clean head. Does Aaron have knowledge that the group is still searching for? Is he the next Fugue??? (I hope not, I don't think I could take that disappointment again) He imparts his knowledge of a safe community. There are walls that are fifteen feet high made of solid steel. It's the zombie apocalypse ultimate safe haven. I swear, I could the Governor dancing behind his eyes. Does someone else need to get introduced to a red handled machete? Seriously, who falls in love with a weapon... (cough cough Negan cough couch). So, Rick does the most rational thing in the zombie apocalypse. And as Mr. Tucker once said:
There's no way that anyone could be genuine. Yet, OMG... (Oh My [scott] Gimple).
He's still sitting pretty in the ray of light. Compare his face to everyone else's in the image. They all rest in a shadow. Symbols I tell ya! Dark vs. Light. Dude, he's telling the truth. Rick is so sure that he lying, but Michonne and a few others aren't so sure. They set out to seek the validity of Arron-gate.
Oh, Rick... it's like someone's keeping him from what's so plain to see:
But this isn't Poltergeist.. Rick needs to be out in the open in the light. Nope, he keeps himself in the shadows. Symbolically, Rick won't open himself to the light, or truth. What is the one truth (oh for the love of puns) we have seen in the Walking Dead? Don't travel at night! They always set up camp before it's dark...always. So Mr. Grimes, why for the love of all that is good would you suggest to leave at night? It's simple, you see. He hasn't seen the truth yet; he's unwilling to let knowledge fall upon him.
Glenn, Rick, Michonne, and Aaron ride in the dark.
I'm pretty sure anyone with a head for plot can figure out what comes next...A heard of walkers. Not that they were easy to see with the lack of light because who travels at night in this damn show! Only people who want to die. It also didn't help that from the camera's pov, we couldn't really see out of the windows:
All seems lost: a heard is bearing down, the RV that had the rest of the crew has disappeared, and the car has been imbued with rotting limbs that the engine won't turn over. The palling cloud of darkness won't cease. Wait, what is that in the distance?
A flare is literally a signal for help, and in this case it turns out to symbolize the beginning of the group's willingness to listen to truth. They aren't fully aware yet, they need some more signs to help lead them on the right path. Aaron runs into the woods and the group follows them. Good ol' Faerie Queen taught me that when someone is in the woods, they have lost their way (we're talking symbolically of course). Glenn gets separated from Michonne and Rick, and they are running out of options as an approaching heard (albeit a much smaller one than we saw earlier) gets closer by the second. With ammo running low, Rick and Michonne's despair is written all over their faces. The scene cuts to Glenn looking for Aaron, but he can't find him until...
A full moon, seriously. Yes, the same full moon which stereotypically symbolizes transformation. (Ironically, in the episode where Noah makes it back to his community their is phrase spray painted on the wall "Wolves are near"... could be coincidental... maybe). Once we see the moon, Glenn realizes he's not as cold hearted as he once thought (Last episode, "Them"). He saves Aaron, and knows he has to help Rick and Michonne.
Back to Rick, he and Michonne are out of bullets, all that's left is the flare gun. What a "coincidence" that we are seeing this again. By "coincidence", I mean not a coincidence. We do get to see one of the coolest walker death's in show history:
This brings enough light for Glenn and Aaron to save them. Every time it looks like the crew is lost in this episode, some form of light comes out to help guide them. Finally as the night ends, almost everyone is ready to be "enlightened" by Aaron. (Who we see one of the most honest and emotional greetings the show has ever seen)
Lit by candles, the two are quite clear. But, the cinematography is on point:
Arron and Eric are well lit, and Rick is finally starting to emerge from the shadows. He's still skeptical of course. But, we start to see that he is ready to let the light in. The following day shows us the crew on the way to Alexandria, and compared to the opening scenes their is certainly a different mood.
Once Rick hears the children behind the walls of Alexandria, there's a certain light (this could be the most cliche filled piece I have ever written) in his eyes:
When he takes Judith out of the backseat of the car, we know that he is opening up. He will do anything to protect his family. Once he decides to expose Judith, we know he's letting the light in. In case we didn't get it, the final shot of the episode has the sun shining bright on Rick and his crew
That's it for this week's episode. Leave a comment if there's anything you want me to explore! By the way, a big Happy Birthday to Stacey!!! You're the best, love ya, babe!!