Remember The Name
Season 5B has had its ups and downs throughout the first three episode but it finally found its identity Sunday night with “Remember”, an hour that kick started a nice collection of sub plots, created conflict moving forward, and brought us several familiar faces from the comics. While it wasn’t action packed, this episode was as good as it could get for a plot and character heavy episode. It reminded me of the earlier seasons, a simpler time when the only threat was walkers. The Alexandria that we were introduced to was what the prison would have been had the living not overtaken the dead as the biggest threats roaming the lands. Alexandria would have been a great fit for Rick and company had they not been through Woodbury, the hunters, Terminus, and Grady. It would have been perfect then, it isn’t perfect now.
What made this episode great is that it gave meaning to the past two and a half seasons, we got to see the night and day comparison to how the group was and what they now were. Rick and Carl saw the Alexandria denizens as weak, Carol saw staying there as a means to become weaker themselves but everyone seems to be aware of that pitfall. They don’t want to conform to Alexandria’s standards, they want to improve them or eliminate them. Where the show is now and where the show will go moving forward is not in question anymore. There’s no more need to worry about traveling to vague places that may or may not be worth the wait, there’s no more wondering about inner conflict and split groups. We know what the Walking Dead will be now, it solved the identity crisis it has struggled with for some time.
Director Greg Nicotero always does a great job juggling multiple concepts but “Remember” is one of his finest outings yet. It was a full team effort as the writing and acting were just as enjoyable as the directing. I’m always hard on Walking Dead episodes that take it easy, episodes where it’s almost insulting how it thinks we can’t handle more than what it is spoon feeding us. Let’s take a look at some of the big things we got in the latest episode:
- Introduction to a huge location from the comics.
- Multiple new characters.
- Conflict moving forward in the form of the group not immediately fitting in with the locals.
- Sub conflicts featuring Rick struggling with getting back into a “normal” society and Jessie’s creepy husband.
- Inner conflict with ourselves on who to trust, it seems like we might not even be able to trust Rick at this point.
It could have taken half a season to just establish all of that but we got it in one dose making it the second straight week where the road forward got a huge boost in potential.
While there’s a lot to choose from, the highlight(s) of the night for me were the recorded interviews. These gave us a mix of throwbacks to the past and glimpses of the future and the short dialogue was very well written. Rick plays a verbal match of chess with Dianna, Carol does some self reflecting, and Carl talks about killing his mother while holding his baby sister. A great recap of where the characters were and where they are now, but all of this was perfectly wrapped up with Glenn who had my favorite line of the night. After telling Dianna that they need to make Alexandria work, he tells her it’s because “we were almost out there too long.” What a perfect summation of the post prison Walking Dead and how broken the characters were becoming, not to mention how cynical fans were (rightfully) becoming.
Remember Final Takeaways
While great for the most part, the writing was a little iffy for the new characters. Dianna was, overall, ok in her introductory episode but Rick clearly carried that initial interview. I also feel like Peter could have been given a much creepier and intimidating introduction than “My wife cut your hair” as he sat in darkness.
- Carl saw Lori in one of the houses when first arriving at Alexandria, will we see him have mental struggles similar to Rick and his phone calls? Like father like son.
- The only bit of action we got was a small street brawl dominated by Glenn and Daryl, a simple conflict that paled vastly in comparison to other obstacles the group had overcome but this one seemed real. Another well done moment that brought the show full circle to the early days.
- There was an abnormal amount of humor contrasting the eery vibe we felt for most of the hour. While it wasn’t all top notch comedy (Dianna’s big joke fell flat), it was refreshing and nice to see. We can thank most of it to Rick’s baby smooth face and fresh cut.
What were your thoughts on “Remember”? Can we trust Alexandria or is another Woodbury? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to rate the episode!