Air Date: Sunday, February 15, 2015 at 9/8c on AMC
“Don’t think, just eat.” – Sasha
I’m totally digging the artistic approach to filming in this second half of The Walking Dead’s season five but it is also wigging me out. I find myself questioning what is real more than I ever did before. Where are the writers taking us on this journey? Right now, we’re going through stages of denial and have ended up at grief. After so much loss, so many deaths, emotions are running high and have reached fever pitch. The thing is, the outbursts of rage, guilt, and helplessness might end up getting someone killed. Daryl (Norman Reedus) takes a moment for himself; Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Greene) sheds her ‘everything’s OK’ façade; and Maggie (Lauren Cohan) reaches her breaking point. These survivors need a respite from not only the road, but themselves.
Walking the Line
Have you ever been so thirsty you wanted to drink your tears? No? Me neither. When faced with dire straits during the zombie apocalypse, it’s necessary for the rules to change. Desperation unleashes the baser nature in human beings. What will the survivors do knowing they might be facing their demise? Make hot dogs (too soon)? I joke, but I’m ready to move on from the desperate times plaguing Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the group. With Beth’s (Emily Kinney) murder still fresh on everyone’s mind and losing Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) just last week, is there anyone who can say, ‘My grief is greater than yours?’ Who hasn’t lost someone? Every character has lost a loved one or friend at some point in their journey. The positive that comes from those losses is every single person in this group of survivors sees each other as family. And what does family do best—they stick together.
Sasha has been a background character for the most part, so seeing her have a little more screen time is interesting. While I wasn’t too excited about her relationship with Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), I liked getting to see another side to Sasha. She’s still quite the mystery to me but I feel like I know her a little more now, traveling with her through her grief. Daryl is carrying so much baggage, he sheds a few tears to relieve his frustration. His role as second hand to Rick is a good one for Daryl, but taxing. He’s used to being the younger brother who followed directions; now, he gives them and steps up at every turn. But in “Them,” you can tell Daryl is fighting a losing battle and he’s not winning. I don’t know who this new Maggie is. She’s always been a little on the tough side but I see a difference in her character that wasn’t there before. It is possible she’s given up because she doesn’t see the point living in a world where death lurks right outside the door. She has no family but the group of survivors and even Glenn (Steven Yeun) isn’t enough. A part of her has been ripped away that she’ll never be able to get back.
Maggie: “How much longer do we got?”
Sasha: “60 miles.”
Maggie: “I wasn’t talking about that.”
Hang in there, Maggie. Hang in there. It would appear the gang has come to the end of their rope. Is there any hope in sight?
Maggie to Glenn about Beth, after finding a kidnapped walker in the trunk of a car: “I never thought she was alive; I just didn’t. After daddy, I don’t know…”
Glen to Maggie: “You want to be here. We have to keep fighting.”
At this stage, everyone is wondering, what’s the point? What are they fighting for? Their loved ones keep dying and grief makes itself comfy in the hearts of all. It’s interesting to see how everyone deals with their loss.
Rick: “Because this is how we survive. We tell ourselves, we are the walking dead.”
Things to make you go hmm…
I now know the origination of the term ‘hot dog’ in the zombie apocalypse, and eww.
The scene of the survivors trudging along down the road with a zombie horde following them is quite the parallel. The slow gait, shuffling along toward the unknown, hoping to bump into something to quell an unending hunger—it points to the group slowly becoming “the walking dead” as Rick so eloquently puts it.
Gotta mention it: why does Rick’s beard look fake? First half of the season, it was very becoming. Now, it looks like Lincoln has to sit in a chair for four hours and have the thing glued into place.
I find myself wondering where Rick would be without Daryl watching his back, literally. Do you think Daryl sees Rick as more of a brother than a leader? Rick has taken Daryl under his wing, giving him responsibilities, and looking to Daryl to make decisions on his own. I’m enjoying the dynamic of their relationship and looking forward to seeing how much closer the two become. Daryl needs a good role model.
Did you notice Sasha cutting a walker’s throat and subsequently cutting Abraham’s (Michael Cudlitz) arm too? Is that as bad as a bite? Will we see a zombie Abraham soon?
So who is this new group we have yet to meet providing the episode’s aptly named title, “Them?” Friends or foes? You know how the survivors look at new people since Terminus. Don’t trust anyone—especially clean, well mannered people who know who you are. Who didn’t find it suspicious that a much needed gift was left for the survivors without provocation? My Spidey senses are tingling.
The barn scene evokes so much emotion in me. I love seeing everyone come together as a group, without anyone having to say a word. It is that kind of silent agreement that shows just how united these people are. Heck, even Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) the ’fraidy cat steps up to help.
With “stranger danger” sneaking up on the ladies and asking for Rick by name, the nerves are kicking into high gear. You can’t trust anyone, especially those who call themselves “a friend.” I enjoyed “Them” and love how Reedus, Cohan, and Martin-Greene peel back the layers on their characters. You never know how much a person can take until they reach their limit and finally snap. Let me know what you think about “Them” by dropping me a line in the comments section below or tweet me @ellemoe.
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Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC © 2010-2015 American Movie Classics Company, LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2015, Elle. All rights reserved.
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