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    The Walking Dead: S5E10: Them Link to this post

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Summary:

    The group is in dire need of water and food. Darryl’s eating worms. They have been wandering around the area between Richmond, VA and Washington DC.

    Someone leaves the group a neat note along with bottles of water in the middle of the road. Eugene offer’s to be the ‘Quality Assurance tester’ and has his bottle of water batted quickly away from his mouth by a quick acting Abraham.

    An actual shower did occur during filming that was warmly welcomed by all.

    At the end of the episode a very well dressed clean man named Aaron appears and asks to speak to Rick by name. It’s pretty clear he has been watching and monitoring the group.

    He probably was the one who left jugs and bottles of water for them in the middle of the episode:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Thoughts:

    It was wonderful to see actors engaging in emotional conversation and interactions. It’s been sorely needed for a while. It’s understandably absent to some extent due to their dire consequences of having to only focus on the bare essentials of food, water and shelter (survival.) This though (emotional conversation), as I mentioned in my previous thought comments in S5E9 has been the shows biggest problems all along. When it is there it is very impactful. One powerful example of this was given to us between Morgan and Rick in the episode ‘Clear’ in the Fourth Season.

    This show delivered to some extent and here are my some things I picked up from interactions in this episode:

    Abraham: Still respects Eugene. His actions of batting down the water bottle prove that. Abraham kept his cool when Sasha nicked him with her knife by accident. I think that shows he’s becoming more level headed or perhaps it's a depressed nature (cue his drinking.)

    Carol: I think she recognizes that Daryl had special bond with Beth and I don’t think she’s motherly as much as she is being very understandingly patient with him and likes what she sees. I am pretty sure Carol and Daryl will be a couple soon.

    Daryl: Finally he is showing his emotions and he is getting in touch with them. Beth did get through to him. She gave him hope in people. I think she symbolizes to him the innocence of a young person who was comfortable knowing she hadn’t much time on this earth, however she was always hopeful of the outcome of mankind. This character has drastically changed since S1E4. I love his development. He has more dimensions then a lot of characters.

    Sasha: I think she has ambivalent feelings about her brother. She doesn’t see herself as him and was quick to point that out to someone in the group. She was veering into a reckless reactionary kind of way of dealing with everything. Michonne tried to correct that with her at the bridge with dealing with the walkers. Perhaps she has a lot of unresolved anger with the death of her brother Tyreese? Perhaps she is giving up on everything? It’s vague. I would put it in the unknown; however her actions kind of paint this range we are seeing.

    Maggie: I believe is still working through her regrets about not caring as much as she should have about her sister Beth. In essence, she is now like Michonne or Daryl because everyone who is in her birth family is now gone, however she does have Glenn for emotional support. Him getting rid of the kidnapped walker was a way of showing how Glenn is helping her get through her feelings of loss and regrets with Beth.

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Red Flag for the show:

    I have strongly felt this way and brought this up in past comments on Walking Dead episodes:

    In order for the Walking Dead TV Show to grow as a show and for the characters to become more complex, the group needs to find some group (or a group of groups) who are making things work for humanity already. That to me is what Aaron represents with his clean cut attire and water bottles and knowing who Rick is *perhaps* because he is watching to see if it the group is worth bringing into the fold. I sure hope so!

    We need to get to the point where there are more complex human interactions between groups of survivors. That's way more interesting than this day to day thing with one group. We have had stability a few times, however nothing has stuck: The quarry camp, Hershel’s Farm and the prison.

    ‘Lost’ started to do this in second season when ‘the others’ got introduced and things got even way more interesting when more groups were added ‘Tail Section Survivors’, ‘Ajira Flight 316 Survivors’, ‘Black Rock members’, ‘DHARMA Initiative Members’, ‘Claudia’s people’, ‘Jacob and his followers’, etc…

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    Symbolism:

    *Kidnapped Walker in the trunk*: To me this symbolized Beth to Maggie. I think closing the trunk on the walker symbolized not wanting to deal with Beth’s death. She tried to open it again and couldn’t. Glenn had to open the trunk and kill the walker since Maggie couldn’t face doing that either. She still has not dealt with Beth’s passing very well.

    *Music Box*: I thought of it as Beth’s music box. Besides it symbolizing Beth I think it symbolizes (even though Carl gave it to her while trying to find supplies). Beth’s hope for perseverance of humanity. (What's more girly human than a pirouetting ballerina?) Darryl tried to fix it and it ended up he did because it started playing when Aaron appeared. This tells me that Aaron is a sign of good things to come (not bad).

    *Clean dressed Aaron*: I want to believe that Aaron’s attire alone (as clean as it was) symbolizes the goodness and brother/sister hood of man/woman kind. Clearly if he’s dressed that well there is some sort of encampment somewhere close by where people have actually reverted to some kind of normalcy within the apocalyptic environment.

    *Gabriel burning his collar*: A loss of faith in god and perhaps himself. At least it’s a step towards showing his acceptance of whatever actions he did to his flock. It appears he believes a true man of god would be selfless to his flock, apparently he did something very selfish and damning instead (whatever that was) and he’s trying to deal with it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Good:

    *Emotional Interactions! (See thoughts above.)

    *I take Aaron as he is. I truly believe he has been watching this group and wants to help. I also believe with the outfit he is wearing that he is part of a big settlement that has learned to survive in this setting. Don’t you? I know…It’s been hard to trust anyone in this world. However, I think the music box going off at the time he arrives is a symbol of the goodness of mankind and hope for living a life in this new ugly world we have watched these characters struggle through. I am going to stay positive and optimistic until I see signs or symbols proving otherwise.

    *I believe the Walking Dead speech is a lift from the Comics. Daryl’s response (which isn’t) I believe is meant to be reactionary positive. He is slowly taking up the mantel Beth had about trusting humanity. The fact that they are survivors doesn’t mean they are dead; it means they are human. This is a mentality he has over on Rick. Perhaps Rick will come around if Aaron proves to be a bringer of good things with a large camp full of good people who have made all of this work.

    *It’s great to see some survival tactics being used: worm eating; following erosion in the ground to track ponds or water collecting areas in the woods; catching rainwater; focuses on expending minimal energy getting rid of walkers, etc…

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Bad:

    *The storm scenes were fuzzy on their events. It was hard to tell if Maggie was having a dream about the walkers at the barn door or if it was for real. It wasn’t until the Maggie and Sasha went outside and we saw the storm damage that I put together that the walkers were actually trying to get into the barn and the group held them back.
    If the winds were strong enough to rip trees out of the ground and blow away walkers (who are relentless by their nature), why isn’t the barn at the very least storm damaged as well?

    *Gabriel: Letting us know through a conversation with another character he has grown to trust would be helpful to giving us more feelings for him and a better understanding of his inner struggles. If you want to keep it fourth wall (and unknown to the other characters) at least show us a flashback of what he did precisely.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Unknown:
    Is Aaron part of a big settlement in the DC area? It appears so. Are they good or bad folks? Is he alone? I don’t think so…

    Was the graffiti comment behind Michonne in Noah's family compound 'Wolves Not Far' in the last episode referring to the dogs that just made a nice mangy meal for Rick and Company or are the Wolves still out there somewhere? Is Aaron a wolf in freshly pressed plaid?

    Who does the title of the episode refer to? Rick’s group or Aaron’s?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Walking Dead Threads on the TV Critic:
    http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/173
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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