The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 11 recap
After last week’s filler episode, this week we’re back to stuff happening, sort of. The new guy, Aaron, claims to have a safe settlement and he’s on the road to recruit Rick & Co. to his community. Unfortunately for him, Rick is deeply paranoid at this point and their “audition” turns into “holding Aaron hostage while we debate what to do”. It’s not entirely pointless, like last week, but this is still an episode that takes a little bit of material and stretches past the point of interest in order to sustain the sixteen-episode season. You know what The Walking Dead is? It’s The Hobbit of TV—too little material filling too much time.
Aaron’s community sounds like nirvana. They have walls, water, houses, fruit orchards and food. Judith will be safe, everyone can relax. But Rick seems determined to find fault with Aaron’s offer. He takes Aaron hostage and grills him on his magical home place, and though Rick doesn’t trust him, he ultimately bends to Michonne and Glenn’s urging and they decide to go to Aaron’s community. But Aaron doesn’t want to tell them the directions, and on their way to the town, they run into a horde of zombies and end up running through the Virginia woods—which still look an awfully lot like Georgia—in the dead of night.
I have two main issues with this episode: The decision-making and the amount of filler. People are prone to making dumb decisions on this show. Time has not necessarily made Rick smarter, it’s just made him more paranoid. He doesn’t want to let Aaron dictate how they approach the community—which turns out to be Alexandria—so he decides they’ll go at night on an unfamiliar route. Could we not split the difference? Go at night, when they’re not expecting you, but go the route Aaron says is clear. You’re willing to risk encountering zombies anyway, might as well take the chance he’s telling the truth. The decision-making gets frustrating because at some point I expect characters to start learning, but no one on The Walking Dead ever really learns anything.
And though there is less filler than last week, this episode is still about 50% sh*t that don’t matter. For example, the RV conveying Rick & Co. to Alexandria breaks down, only for Glenn to be like, “Haha, there’s a spare battery right here!” The whole break-down scene exists solely to burn five minutes. Nothing actually happens, nothing of relevance or import is said. It’s just something that took up time and delays us getting to what we really care about—arriving in Alexandria. But they do eventually get there right at the end of the episode, so maybe next week we can just get on with the “Alexandria Safe Zone” part of the story.
Rick – Is it paranoia if he’s always right in the end?
Michonne – In need of a break.
Glenn – So nice to have him back as Rick’s moral compass.
Aaron – So far, so good.
Abraham – Back in Rosita’s good graces.
Worst thing seen/heard this week: Glenn’s rock kill was pretty rough.
Zombie kill of the week: Glenn with a car, and also, Glenn with a rock to the head.