fail The Walking Dead Season 11 Episode 5 to follow.
Aaron, tormented by the nightmare of losing his daughter, awakens to see the Walkers breaking Alexandria through a collapsed wall. Scrambling together, the townspeople grab weapons and equipment to make immediate repairs during the attack. It’s always nice to see that The Walking Dead has a real community among minor characters rather than just the main cast.
To make proper repairs, Aaron, Carol and a few others head to the ruins of the hilltop in hopes of finding working equipment. When the group arrives, there is not much left from the Whisperer siege, except for the faces of old friends, who have now turned into Walkers. After ungratefully putting them down, they discover a whisperer in them.
Aaron, now in a dark place of pain and trauma, begins torturing the whisperer for information, tying him up and instigating him by threatening to walk. After Walker bites the captive, Aaron states that he can save him from turning by cutting off his hand – but only when Whisper confesses to knowing more of his group’s whereabouts.
Carol, having already committed regrettable actions that led to the deaths of her friends and son, puts Walker down and tells Aaron to stop, knowing it will only get worse. He releases the Whisperer and helps him bite the boy’s hand. Before leaving, Whisperer is given food and tries to do some good by telling the group that he saw Connie escaped from a Walker gang nearby. Thinking him dead at first, they immediately went back to Alexandria and set out to search for him.
At the same time, Judith begins teaching the other children to fight, but is interrupted by walkers due to a violation by some of the teens. She tells them to stop, but is pushed to the ground and insulted about her mother leaving her – Judith responds by waving a knife.
Later, Judith shatters her brother Carl’s memento, crying on her porch about everyone leaving. Rosita heartily tells Judith about the loss and remembers those she left behind. After Judith kills Walkers and even people during the events of the show, it’s still a child alive in a difficult world without parents, and a family sense of community shines through in Rosita.
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What are Maggie and Negan doing?
Maggie and Negan pop up briefly, reaching a hidden storehouse of food. Negan prepares to bring the pitiful zodiac back to Alexandria, but Maggie fights him about it, metaphorically and physically. For a moment, Maggie seems to come around to his approach, but when Gabriel and Elijah confirm again that they are waiting for the others, he is out of it.
Meanwhile, the idyllic Commonwealth is opened to us via an in-universe infomercial, as Eugene, Yumiko, the Princess and Ezekiel are being orientated. The glory of clean, safe streets, where happy-go-lucky kids collect ice cream, comes to the fore. The city (town?) looks like a Hollywood set, but it’s on purpose. The entire place is taken aback by American propaganda of the 1950s style, and is shown as a fictional utopia. It is amazing to see the military personnel in every shot, to see the people there all the time.
The group is trying to petition for help for Alexandria. Yumiko meets her brother who works in a bakery, while Eugene Stephanie takes a walk with ice cream in hand.
It all breaks down when the Commonwealth’s dense bureaucracy means they have to wait weeks to ask for help. Stephanie encourages them to keep trying, prompting them to sneak the radio back home at the Comms Center, where Judith and Rosita answer the signal before it dies. Mercer storms in, arrests all of them and prepares them to be sent to trial for violating Commonwealth laws. The infomercial presenter, Hornby, suddenly arrives and wants to help them during their upcoming trial.
Exciting plot threads begin here, enough to keep the episode engaging from time to time, but dividing the story’s focus into four ways means each one feels a little undercooked. An entire episode was dedicated to Daryl last week, so it’s pretty busy by comparison.
However, the highlights are: Callie Fleming plays Judith with such presence and discipline that she really brings her character to life, while level-headed Aaron feels bad and is then pulled back by Carol. , which marks a great moment in the show. Overall, though, this episode leaves us wanting more from The Walking Dead.
The Walking Dead airs on AMC in the US, and is streaming on Disney Plus in the UK.
- Aaron’s Nightmare includes the series’ previous villains, most notably the Savior, the Wolves and the Whisperer group, as well as the Walkers.
- In “Episode Insider”, showrunner Angela Kang hints that Princess and Mercer may be developing a relationship of sorts, as the two have interacted frequently since meeting. The princess believes her confiscated $2 bill was given back despite the Commonwealth’s action on the currency because she believed she was sure it would be.
- Maggie and Negan are introduced to take down the Walkers, the last of which results in both being hit in the head at the same time. Synchronous verbs take in the idea that they are not necessarily at odds and can work together. When we see Maggie staring at Negan about going to Alexandria with some of his supplies, it means that Negan has her ‘warmth’ despite her open resistance to this day.
- As Eugene and Stephanie are getting ice cream, they see another woman collect ice cream for Commonwealth leader Ms. Milton, and he pays attention to Rocky Road ice cream. This is probably a setup for further dialogue with Milton and to show his high status within the settlement, where the people work for him.
- After handing Eugene the ice cream, Stephanie notes that it is ‘not a black raspberry’. In the first conversation between Eugene and Stephanie on the radio in Season 10’s “Bonds,” he mentions a vivid memory of eating that flavor in Stephanie’s hometown.
- Although the Commonwealth is a ‘perfect America’, some of their technology is still rudimentary, given that the world ‘collapsed’ in 2010. They use CRT TVs, VHS video cassette players and the ice cream truck is pulled by a horse.
- Many promotional posters and banners are directly inspired by actual American propaganda, including one imitating the famous Uncle Sam military enlistment poster, with Mercer standing in for Uncle Sam.
- Much of the music played during scenes in Commonwealth is 1950s rock and roll, such as the song played when Yumiko enters the bakery, ‘Three Speed Girl’, performed by Royal Notes.
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