Before we get started, I apologize for how late this is getting up. It seems to be a common thread with me! However, last night, I had the wonderful distinction of winning the National Junior Honors Society Teacher of the Year Award. I was so humbled by my nomination. Back to the Dead!!!
Look at the banner. Just look at the images on there. Beth, Dale, Andrea... man how far have we come? What I really want you to focus on is Shane and Rick. In the first two seasons, Rick wears his uniform with pride, while Shane shed his, symbolically showing us how far he came and so quickly too. In the early seasons, we are constantly reminded that Rick believes:
But somewhere between Farmer Rick and I'm about to be eaten Rick, that changes.
First, let's look at what really changed him. Rick had his prison with it's walls, sustainable food, and the semblance of society. He knew what was right and wrong. When Carol killed Karen because she was sick, Rick exiles her. Why? Because he believed that killing the living was wrong. Then he met the Governor. Man, did that change everything. For the first time, Rick sees how the world has changed. The Governor destroys the prison like a petulant child:
If the Governor couldn't have the prison no one could:
Then Rick is on the road and sees what the world has truly become. He meets the Claimers. Rick realizes that he has to do whatever it takes to protect his family:
When you have to bite someone's neck to stop someone form sodomizing your son, man, you know what it's like. For Rick, there's no going back. It can't be done, the world as we knew is gone. Just to put a nail in humanity, we meet the boys at Terminus. Join us or become dinner. What's for dinner... mmmm, you.
That's so gross! But, now we know why Rick has changed so much. If we compare Deanna to Rick, there is a stark similarity between Farmer Rick and Deanna. They both interviewed everyone before they came into the community. The famous three questions:
Deanna doesn't get it. How many times has she said that she is trying to restore civilization? But, she hasn't been outside the walls. Even Rick who spent a year or so outside the walls before they found the prison had that sense of civilization. After spending almost two years (may be off on my time frame), Rick knows what people are like, he knows what they are after, and he knows that outsiders will do anything and everything to get what they want. However, he certainly does TRY to keep it together. (eh hem... title of the episode... eh hem extended metaphor)
First, who is not trying: Sasha.
|That is what worries you!|
Why is Rick staring at a ballon that is attached to a remote controlled boat in the middle of the night? What the heck could that mean? First, a balloon is a symbol of someone trying to hold onto something. A helium filled ballon (by the way, where is there helium in Alexandria?) by nature is trying to always escape. If you don't hold on tight enough, it will leave you. Rick is desperately trying to hold onto the concept of civilization. He loves the idea of it, but he has seen it doesn't work. Also, the balloon is red. Most people will tell you that red is a symbol of either love or hate. Actually, it's both. Red is a symbol of passion. Rick is trying to hold onto his passion because he's ready to boil over. In this very scene, Pete walks by:
Rick has his gun pulled, but he keeps it together; he reigns in his passion. He holds onto the ballon full force.
As the episodes progresses, he sees more and more of Alexandria's facade. Deanna knows the sins of the community, but she let's it go.
She knew what was going on, and now Rick has to just deal with it. He has to reign everything in bottle it up. At least he tries... for a little while.
When he finally tries to help Jessie, she turns him down.
She turns and leaves him. But, what Rick sees next pushes him further:
He sees normalcy: a boy walking a dog, people talking on a stoop, a woman reading off in a corner, and a boy (Sam) running with his toy and balloon. Did you notice that balloon again? There's that color red again, right. Passion. He holds his passion tight to him, but now the balloon is flopping precariously behind Sam. He realizes that he's got go talk to Jessie again.
This time, both sides of passion rear its head: love and hate.
First, he finally admits to himself and Jessie, yeah, that kiss on the cheek and my tilted head... I dig ya:
Oh wait, wrong picture:
Jessie asks Rick if he would do this for anyone and he says, "No. No." This is what drives him, and if you don't fight for what you need to have, you die.
Behind Jessie, "Live" is clearly scene. Jessie finally drops the whole enabling Pete act... I'm like finally! Just kiss already! Nope, not yet. Stupid Pete has to show up and has to ruin my entire plan for Jessie and Rick. The perfect facade comes crumbling down, but Rick still holds on to that balloon.
Do you really think you could win in a fight against Rick Grimes? C'mon now:
That ballon is fighting to let go, his passion, his anger or wrath (look at "Forget") needs to be explode
Rick has Pete in a choke hold, and what does the camera cut to?
The balloon finally escaping. That's it, Rick is gone. As I said last week, he's gone full Shane. The balloon takes flight, and Rick can't try anymore. He tells Deanna and the town exactly what they don't wan to hear. There is no more semblance of normal:
This brings us right to the next person who is TRYing, Michonne:
If we look at the first couple of seasons, Rick and Shane were both partners. As the apocalypse continues, Rick has to reign in Shane. Now, Michonne and Rick are partners, and she has to reign in Rick. Another interesting parallel that Chris Hardwick brought up on the Talking Dead: Shane shaves his head as he loses it; Rick shaves his beard and loses it as well. What's this say about Rick? Is he going to lose it completely, is his best friend going to have to kill him?
There's no way he is going to co completely crazy like Shane. I personally feel that this is going to be a wake up call for him. He can't live exactly the way he was before, he has to find that middle ground.
I've discussed that Michonne really needed some place to call a home. She was losing all hope out in the open. Once she got to Alexandria, she had difficulty adjusting as well. But at the end of this episode, she seems to have come to terms with what society has become and what is best. Knocking Rick out cemented that point.
Let's look at Michonne's transformation in this episode to see how she got to be the town's savior:
First she can't wear the uniform. She has it laid out on the bed, but won't put it on. When Rosita comes to tell her Sasha is missing, she leaves it on the bed:
*Fun Fact: That's not Danai Gurira... they didn't have her cast.
She realizes, yes, I was a savage until I found people I care about. Yes, I will fight for them, and protect them.
Sasha says, "I don't need your help." Michonne's response sums up her transformation, "I'm not doing it for you; I'm doing it for me." She gets it. In this new world, we have to remember what we are fighting for, and do it the right way. Hence, knocking Rick out and potentially saving the whole group from Deanna's impending exile.
Season Finale Predictions
There are so many pieces form the previous week's episodes that we have to put together to predict what is going to happen. Let's look at the W walkers. (There's no way that it's the M for Morgan).
First off. Remember in the episode where the crew went to Noah's home town. We saw the spray painted wall: Wolves Not Far
Then we had all the dead walkers who were dismembered in the back of the truck.
We've seen quite a few walkers with W on their heads:
This week's episode gave us some pretty clear answers:
For some reason, bodies are being dismembered. What are we to assume from this? Is this because a Walker came and tore it to shreds? Since this is not the first time we are seeing this, I say no. Then we have the girl tied to the tree.
Maybe the W group (who I will refer to as Wolves), tied up a walker like Aiden and Nicholas. But, when Daryl lifts the head, she clearly has not turned. She's not snarling or anything. But then her eyes open and she starts to snarl. She must have just turned. Also, look at the W, it's pretty fresh wound.
What is going on here? A good friend of mine, Chris, came up with an interesting theory. We've seen throughout the series that the scent of the dead mask the scent of the living. (Remember Season One, Episode Two: "Guts") Or, what about Michonne. She walked around with her "pets" and they kept the other walkers away from her. Quite coincidentally, there is a shot of Michonne flashing-back to them. The Wolves could be keeping the dismembered body parts to help protect the.
But, in this episode, we see that they took a girl who was clearly alive and tortured her. To what purpose? My friend thinks that once again, the Wolves could be using fresh meat to protect themselves. If the walkers are dining on someone else, what do they care?
What about Nicholas? He took the J gun that I initially hypothesized was Enid.
Is he part of the Wolves? Quite possibly. He may have met them in the woods with Aiden on their weak excuse of runs. I still think Enid is part of that group.
If it's their world, then you have to adapt any way can. If that means dismember bodies to feed them, then so be it. Also, In this week's episode she admits to Carl that she love to be out in the forest, and loves to run. That is quite the characteristic of a wolf.
Maybe she was part of the group and got away from them. She does admit that she's scared, but she just says, "me too." Maybe she ran from the Wolves! Either way, it's going to be a great finale.
We've seen The Wolves terrorize Noah's community. It was safely behind their walls from walkers. In this society we need to Fight the Dead and Fear the Living. Deanna is clearly not capable of making those types of decisions. She will see that the civilization that she so desires cannot be achieved. Yes, her people may think it's possible because they've been behind walls since the beginning. Deanna will see Rick was right. They need to protect their community at all costs. Can't wait to write next week!!!
Oh, Let's not forget about Morgan who was teased earlier in the season. What is his whole role in this? They wouldn't show him if he wasn't going to do something. I mean someone's going to have to save Aaron and Daryl from the Wolves when they capture them. Well, if you've read my blogs, he'll at least save Aaron.