Well, that didn’t take long. In this week’s The Walking Dead, Rick finally threw any remaining sense of decorum out the window as the cracks in the veneer of both the community at Alexandria and the membership of the survivors began to become more pronounced. “Try” marked the penultimate episode of the fifth season, and we already know that the show’s going to be coming back for a sixth, so while it seems irrational to expect that all the loose ends will be tied up by this time next week, there’s a lot that’s definitely coming to a head. Mostly though, “Try” centered on the growing frustration between those trying to maintain the last vestige of society and those that realize that they’re in a new world.
The plot seemed to turn on the willful ignorance of Deanna, and maybe others in Alexandria, of the personal failings of key personnel. Naturally, this begins with Nicholas, who is quick to blame last week’s bloodbath on Glen, and how he and Eugene made him leave Aiden and Noah to be zombie chow at the warehouse. Even Deanna’s skeptical of Nicholas’ story though, wondering how Nicholas was trying to save both Aiden and Tara at the same time, and if Glen and Eugene were so willing to throw caution, and humanity, to the wind, then why did they all come back together?
In the meantime, it turns out that Deanna also knows about Pete Anderson being a degenerate domestic abuser, but in the wastelands of the dead Earth it’s not like surgeons just grow on trees, so you hope for the best. You hope that the guy who’s got his wife so afraid that she put a deadbolt on the inside of her son’s closet for times when his father gets really angry, learns to be a better man without any help whatsoever. Rick, driven by two parts frontier justice and one part coveting his neighbor’s wife, decides to intervene.
But lest you think that everything else is fine in Rick’s world, it’s not. Sasha’s still spoiling for a fight, since standing guard in the clock tower and picking zombies off the wall is no longer good enough, so she has to go out into the woods on her down time and hunt them there. Michonne and Rosita follow her this time, and are nearly caught by group of hungry walkers. In the moment, Sasha loses her revenge-best-served-cold composure and Michonne suddenly remembers her instincts of survival. Her ambivalence has been interesting to see, even if its an observation made only in the periphery of all the other plots going on. Clearly, despite her steely, war-worn exterior, and the struggle to adapt in Alexandria, she wants to settle as much as anyone.
Michonne’s not alone in struggling to adapt, though. This week, we also get a bit more insight into Enid, the girl Carl met when he first arrived in Alexandria and quickly discovered that she likes to sneak out, go over the wall, and into the woods. And Enid’s pretty sneaky indeed, even more skilled at survival than Carl, who, let’s face it, has seen some things. It’s pretty clear that Carl’s found a love match in Enid, but then again, how many teenage girls have we run into? Scenes where Enid and Carl run free in the woods though, almost unafraid of what may be behind every tree, is a subtle jab at perhaps how silly the obsession with preserving society as it was maybe. Or, as Enid put it, “it’s their [the walkers] world now, we just live in it.”