A mysterious, cleanly dressed man named Aaron offers Rick’s group something that may just be too good to be true. At the same time, it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up without investigating.
Continue reading for a spoiler filled reaction and recap of The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 11.
Going The Distance
The Walking Dead rebounds with a stronger episode that sets up the remainder of the season. After spinning its wheels last week, it’s a pleasant surprise how fast the group has made it to Alexandria. Typically the show has a pattern of taking its time to get to the next big story arc.
Carol summed up Rick in a nutshell this episode: “You know you were wrong, but you’re still right”. After dealing with the Governor and Terminus, Rick is understandably hyper vigilant. Surviving on the road has honed Rick’s instincts to be distrustful of strangers. The very instincts that has kept the group safe and alive could eventually “turn on you” as Michonne put it which appeared what was happening to Rick.
One aspect that makes Rick a good leader is that he listens to the advice of others even if it’s against his own instincts. Michonne stepped up to the plate as a leader in her own right by giving counsel and acting as a voice of reason. Previous episodes like “Clear” which built the relationship between Michonne and Rick paid off here. They have a mutual respect for each other but more than that, characters who become apart of Rick’s inner circle work better on the show.
People Like Us
Aaron took quite a bit of abuse and hostility from Rick. It’s interesting that as overly accommodating as Aaron is, the one thing that he’s consistently unwilling to compromise on is Eric’s well-being, which is an effective, quick hand way to establish their relationship.
The fact that Aaron went to great lengths to recruit Rick’s group says one thing. Survivors who have lived through all the dangers out there are the greatest resource for any growing community. Rick’s group are bad-asses, even when starving and having a trail of walkers following them, they remained as a tight unit as seen last week. Who wouldn’t want Daryl and Rick as a part of their crew?
Road To Alexandria
It’s fast becoming an over-used device when someone takes their eyes off the road for a split second a whole bunch of walkers appear out of nowhere. But what it led to was an intense action sequence and Glenn narrowly surviving a close call. No matter what obstacles got in the way, like the low voltage battery on the RV, this episode had this feeling that nothing was going to stop the group from getting to their destination. It just happened a lot faster than expected.
A lot of tension throughout the episode, particularly the scene in the car, is achieved by playing up whether Aaron is leading Rick’s group to a trap or not. The sound of children on the other side of the fence drives home the point that this isn’t going to be another Woodbury or Terminus. The show has done the false sanctuary before, so to avoid repeating themselves it’s reasonable to presume the writers are going to go in a different direction.
To handle a large cast, previous seasons have seen the survivors splinter off into smaller groups or pairings. For a second episode in a row, the entire group is involved. For the most part, this episode is pretty strong and focused as there is no B plot to sidetrack from the main story. It’s a little nitpick though that some characters like Carol didn’t get much to do or say. Next episode will likely spend time on establishing a whole new bunch of people so it’ll be interesting to see how the show balances even more characters to an already sizeable cast.
Was Rick right to be so distrustful of Aaron? What do you like or dislike about this episode?