The Walking Dead: The Distance
February 23, 2015 12:10 PM - Season 5, Episode 11 - Subscribe

A newcomer shows up looking so fresh and so clean, offering hope to our merry band of survivors.

A-Aron and Eric creep on the group to see if they're fit to join a new, supposedly not cannibalistic or torturetastic community. Michonne tries to convince Rick he might want to reel it in a smidge. Maggie backs her up, Glenn gets to fire automatic weapons, and Abraham gets hopeful. Carol is also there.
posted by cashman (51 comments total)
 
Also Michonne does that thing where she looks like she's either going to burst into tears or kill you.
posted by Rat Spatula at 12:30 PM on February 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


My wife asked "Where's Gabriel."
He was there. Just standing around most of the time. Sometimes an ensemble cast can get too big, I guess, but it was nice to not have to watch him mewl about not liking things.

I do have to say that this is the first week in a long damn time that I didn't complain that everyone was mumbling (and no, it's not because I finally cleaned the beans out of my ears).
posted by Seamus at 12:31 PM on February 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is starting to get a Magnificent Seven vibe to it, where the merry band will have to defend Alexandria against the Wolves. If Aaron and Eric are who gets sent out on a scouting party, the people inside the walls must leave a lot to be desired when fighting non-zombies.

The episode did a great job of toying with the trust issues everyone had, not explaining what people were thinking and leaving you to judge by their actions.
posted by cardboard at 12:34 PM on February 23, 2015 [4 favorites]


That episode felt like a season finale. Lotsa splatter ending with a cliff hanger.

There was one scene where the effects felt flat. When Glenn was smashing the zombie head on a rock and it looked like he was tossing back and forth a lightweight scarecrow body, I had to giggle.
posted by Seamus at 12:35 PM on February 23, 2015


I thought that if you were going to try and draw in decent people, you would avoid sending out your hardest, scariest people.

I like how they managed to leave any non-in-group humans out of the previews for next week.
posted by Seamus at 12:37 PM on February 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


My favorite part of the episode was Rick sending everyone else out to do stuff, leaving himself and his toddler alone with the able-bodied, unafraid stranger that just came in off the road who has his hands tied behind his back with like an old rag or two paper towels or something.

She's hungry so Rick is holding her in one arm and trying to mash up acorns to make her food by bashing them repeatedly with the butt of his no-doubt-loaded Colt pistol. I mean that just has to be one of the most irresponsible things I have seen depicted on television in recent memory. I was laughing uncontrollably.
posted by cashman at 12:51 PM on February 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


Truth, cashman.
The shells were still on the acorns.
I was wondering what the hell he was doing, especially since acorns have to have the tannins leached out of them before they are edible. What the hell was he planning to do with the tannin-filled, acorns mushed in their shells?

Then there was Aaron's reluctance to eat a small spoonful of apple sauce, even though it might prove his good intents. I didn't quite get that. You brought it. You are trying to convince him that you brought it for him and that it's all fine. But eating a bite? Nope, that's a step over the line.
posted by Seamus at 1:08 PM on February 23, 2015 [17 favorites]


I'm just here to say how much I enjoyed the Killed By Flare zombie. But I guess that means we've now hit our one creative zombie death for the season so it's all downhill from here.
posted by olinerd at 1:12 PM on February 23, 2015 [8 favorites]


Lol, glad there were other people laughing at the acorn scene. Acorn meal apparently is the secret component for chubby babies.

I have to say that Ross Marquand did a great job as Aaron and I loved his scenes (except for the applesauce one, which I agree was asinine). He was earnest, yet not completely believable, so Rick's caution was warranted, as was Michonne's trust. I was surprised to see no visible guards on the walls, but I suppose they didn't want to undermine the "happy sounds = non-psycho community" line they established earlier in the episode.

I think I probably would have sided with Rick's doubt on this, given the group's experiences. Also the lack of people in Aaron's photos would have made me slam the brakes on real quick - I feel Michonne is so desperate for a safe place after Tyrese's death that she's lost the caution necessary for survival.

Alexandria is about where I stopped reading the comics, although I'm aware of the general outlines of what happens next. Hope the TV showrunners continue to do their own thing when it comes to certain characters.
posted by longdaysjourney at 1:54 PM on February 23, 2015


The flare gun was really Chekhov's gun.
The moment it fell out of the bag, the two of us knew that it was only a matter of time before there was a zombie with a chunk of flaming phosphorous lodged in its body.
Luckily, that was a satisfying scene.
posted by Seamus at 2:00 PM on February 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


Then there was Aaron's reluctance to eat a small spoonful of apple sauce, even though it might prove his good intents. I didn't quite get that. You brought it. You are trying to convince him that you brought it for him and that it's all fine. But eating a bite? Nope, that's a step over the line.

He was a childhood victim of that old sexual trope, applesauce your gay son
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:10 PM on February 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


The Walking Dead Wiki says that she tried to make him more manly by force feeding him certain foods.
That right there is proof of the problems with the crowd-edited model.
Force feeding someone applesauce is someone's idea of how to make a person more manly.
posted by Seamus at 2:12 PM on February 23, 2015 [1 favorite]


So the show's saying that there aren't many people at the new digs. That's odd. How come none of Rick's groups asked how this thing got built?
posted by rdr at 5:22 PM on February 23, 2015


olinerd: "I'm just here to say how much I enjoyed the Killed By Flare zombie. But I guess that means we've now hit our one creative zombie death for the season so it's all downhill from here."

Word. I did jumpy claps for that one.
posted by Dr. Zira at 5:53 PM on February 23, 2015


Fun fact: Andy Serkis appears in this episode, in a subtle but masterful motion capture role as Rick's Beard.

Also, I'm becoming more and more convinced that The Walking Dead is a prequel to The Road.
posted by oulipian at 6:56 PM on February 23, 2015 [3 favorites]


I can see Rick coming to his current way of thinking, but I think that dropping his mental illness arc makes this harder to believe. Loved how the writers gave the core leadership (the PCs) experience points for roleplaying, taking turns standing up to Rick.

The acorn thing was ridiculous. However, while there were a lot of gunshots, Rick plausibly only fired the 6 that were in his Python before holstering it dry. Nice to see attention to continuity.

Could definitely see the applesauce thing if that was some kind of traumatic "aversion therapy" that Aaron had been subjected to, as a sadistic and misguided attempt to cure teh gay. I got a touch of a Kevin Spacey vibe from Ross Marquand. Good job. Also, that's a pretty nifty backstory of being an NGO in a warzone prior to ... does anyone in-show/comics have a name for the day when things went to hell?

How many years has it been since Z day (which they wouldn't call since they don't use the Z word)? A wet lead acid battery might last five years, after that they'll have to start scavenging dry ones (or recondition old ones) and sulfuric acid if they want to keep using cars.
posted by porpoise at 7:33 PM on February 23, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's been long enough that they shouldn't be able to do most of what they're doing on the show. Unleaded fuel starts destablizing in 90 days. Leaded fuel develops algae. Drugs would have degraded in value, especially antibiotics, which can lose effectiveness in a few months.

Not to mention the zombies. They'd be dirt by now.

So part of the trick of continuing to watch the show is to recognize that it grows increasingly divorced from what the world after a cataclysm would look like -- how much it would break down, how much it would be reclaimed by wildlife, how quickly resources would be consumed, how quickly machines would break down. The whole zombie apocalypse will just continue to exist, forever, in a world that's about six months after Z-Day, and that's how the show is going to play it, no matter how long it is on the air.
posted by maxsparber at 7:47 PM on February 23, 2015 [7 favorites]


How many years has it been since Z day (which they wouldn't call since they don't use the Z word)? A wet lead acid battery might last five years, after that they'll have to start scavenging dry ones (or recondition old ones) and sulfuric acid if they want to keep using cars.

That way madness lies - TWD has more than a slight flavor of cozy catastrophe. But to answer your question, it's been at least a year (and probably more), based on Judith's apparent age (this assumes Lori was 8 months pregnant (estimate) when the show begins and Judith is around 12 months old by this point). If you start thinking about batteries, you'll have start thinking about gas and how it doesn't really keep well without stabilizers.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:50 PM on February 23, 2015


Wow, learn something new every day (and learned the term "cozy catastrophe"). I had no idea that gas is so... volatile, although in retrospect that makes total sense. Kinda like how produce at the mom&pop is better and cheaper than the supermarket because of turnover.

maxsparber - Leaded fueld develops algae.
For real?

Yeah, yeah. I know. Given the lack of water, they should all be completely covered in a scaly scab of former zombie fluids.
posted by porpoise at 1:00 AM on February 24, 2015


This was a fun episode. I found myself thinking that the directors are having fun with the show lately. "What Happened and What's Going On" had that Terence Malick vibe, and this one had a very cheesy, cheap splatterfest vibe to it. There was a red glow in the scene where they ran away from the the car after (the most epic scene ever) plowing through a thousand zombies on the road, and I just lol'd at the cheapness of it. I really think they were intentionally going for a B movie feel in this episode.
posted by natteringnabob at 3:59 AM on February 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


The zombies not decaying I think you have to forgive because the nature of the show. While everyone says gasoline is no good after a few months, plenty of people use 1 or 2 year old gasoline in their lawn mower. I'm sure it isn't good on the machine and does go bad eventually, but I think it is longer than you would think. But they do have to address these things eventually.

If you hate Apple sauce, why not bring a few apples?
posted by 2ht at 4:55 AM on February 24, 2015


Not sure I'd trust home canned applesauce from someone I knew in that environment. There was canned food from before in the motor home, why not bring along a can off spaghetti O's? There is obviously something quite off about this guy, they can't reuse the cannibal device. Body part harvesters? Did say there was a surgeon in the new compound.
posted by sammyo at 6:33 AM on February 24, 2015


But to answer your question, it's been at least a year (and probably more), based on Judith's apparent age (this assumes Lori was 8 months pregnant (estimate) when the show begins and Judith is around 12 months old by this point).

It was heavily implied that Shane is/could be Judith's biological father. I thought it was clear that she was conceived in the first few weeks after Z-day, and her reunion with Rick was the outer bound of realistic dates of conception. That's approx. 8-9 months between Z-day and her birth, which coincided with the group taking the prison. I'm less clear on how much time they spent on the prison, but given how established their farm was by the time they had to leave , it seems likely that they were at the prison for around 1 year. It's been maybe 2 months since they left the prison?

As for Judith's actress, I think they are keeping her a "baby" until they are safe at this new location, until such time she can fall victim to SORAS*. I have a 17 month old and the idea of him allowing me to carry him through the apocalypse without screaming and arching his back for me to let him run around is just... lol. Toddlers are not conducive to quietly walking outside during the apocalypse (or filming) so I strongly suspect they are keeping her artificially young.

*Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome
posted by gatorae at 6:39 AM on February 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Seamus: There was one scene where the effects felt flat. When Glenn was smashing the zombie head on a rock and it looked like he was tossing back and forth a lightweight scarecrow body, I had to giggle.

Well, in line with maxsparber's heavy dose of reality, I joked with my wife that zombies are really low on calcium intake at this point, so their bones are probably pretty brittle, and probably drier for it (note: this is completely "talking out of my ass" speculation).


cardboard: If Aaron and Eric are who gets sent out on a scouting party, the people inside the walls must leave a lot to be desired when fighting non-zombies.

I was happy to hear about Aaron's background with an NGO distributing food and goods among hostile, "bad" people. This made his "stalk and evaluate you from a distance, then greet you like we're already best friends" persona make complete sense to me. Then there's his romance and devotion to Eric, which made him a really likable human. But the first fact makes him an ideal candidate for scouting groups and evaluating potential candidates for their group. He and Eric don't need to be fighters, if they know there are some clear roads and are just looking to find more potential people to join their (hopefully!) normal community.


olinerd: I'm just here to say how much I enjoyed the Killed By Flare zombie.

I was going to say how cinematic the lighting was in this episode. I'm not sure if the episode director, Larysa Kondracki, is the one to credit for that. The lighting throughout was really good, but I first noticed the red glow following the GOURANGA!* scene.

I agree with the "season finale feel" sentiment, but there are 5 more episodes to go, so I guess we'll get to meet the wolves first-hand.

*Today I learned that Gauranga is related to the Hare Krishna movement, and can be seen as a call to be happy, so when you drive through a line of Hare Krishna monks and you're greeted with GOURANGA! in GTA, it's some pretty dark humor.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:10 AM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


This timeline puts us at 535 days since the outbreak, where Rick woke up at day 60. That means we're 21 days removed from the hospital showdown, 24 days since the Terminus escape, and 31 days since the Governor overran the prison.

In a 10 day period their home was destroyed and they were scattered to the wind, they were captured by cannibals and barely escaped, and then lost Beth in the hospital fight. This also means that Rick's group has known Abraham and his group, and Tara for less than a month.

In other words, it's probably time for things to slow down a bit.
posted by 2ht at 8:39 AM on February 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


Thanks to the comments in this thread, I'd now like to read some realistic post-Apocalyptic survivalist fiction.

I always sort of kenned to the fact that the Walking Dead's narrative timelines are unrealistic; besides the non-stop PTSD, though, I have no idea when things like gasoline or car batteries -- even those stored in ideal conditions -- would become unusable, and what the best workaround solutions would be.

Home-canned goods last approximately 36-48 months; shelf-stable groceries might last 18 months if they're dry/boxed (depending on the humidity), 36-48 months if they're canned.

Medication lasts longer than the "best by" expiration date, but only if it's stored out of sunlight and in moderate temps.

I don't even want to speculate about things like toothpaste; we've seen them raid drug stores for tampons, shampoo and other non-medical items, but dental hygiene's apparently not their biggest concern. *shudder*

Hopefully, the Alexandrites are situated on a plot of farmland or adjacent to some well-tended orchards. Aaron's applesauce container tells me that there are people in his group who are canning, pickling and preserving fresh food, which is a damn sight better than scavenging two-year-old supplies from roving bands of survivors or whatever.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:49 AM on February 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the timeline info! That's very helpful to me -- Michonne's urgency is even more compelling now that I have a picture of just how much they've been through in such a short time. She's right -- they're about to go completely off the rails if they don't get real R&R soon. Or maybe just some R.
posted by Mogur at 10:31 AM on February 24, 2015


Which R? They're both Rs!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:35 AM on February 24, 2015


I vote that R&R = "Respite from non-stop casualties & abolishing the Ricktatorship."
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:53 AM on February 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


I liked the scene where (I watched it 36 hours ago so my memory might be fuzzy) Glen, Maggie and Michonne (?) go looking for the cars and hear rustling in the trees. They instantly tense up and prepare for danger, but when a zombie wanders out they visibly relax before taking it out. The walkers aren't quite nothing, but they're slowly getting there.
posted by tracicle at 11:12 AM on February 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


But the first fact makes him an ideal candidate for scouting groups and evaluating potential candidates for their group. He and Eric don't need to be fighters, if they know there are some clear roads and are just looking to find more potential people to join their (hopefully!) normal community.

I agree that Aaron is ideally suited to be a fixer and negotiator in the post-civilized environment of the show, but I think unless he was an NGO worker during something on a par with the Rwandan genocide, his survival skills would not be adequate for dealing with large numbers of neither the undead nor the ungood. The road to Alexandria may have been cleared, but he first made contact with the group right near the barn that was, but for the grace of freak weather, almost overrun by a mob of zombies.

If he isn't the best they have to offer, and there are shock troops at Alexandria that are better at dealing with hostiles, I would have expected the group to run into some patrols/checkpoints before they rolled up to the unguarded gates.
posted by cardboard at 12:31 PM on February 24, 2015


> I have to say that Ross Marquand did a great job as Aaron and I loved his scenes [...] He was earnest, yet not completely believable, so Rick's caution was warranted, as was Michonne's trust.

That quality—combined with his Kevin Spacey-ness—reminded me a bit of Ben Linus.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 1:18 PM on February 24, 2015 [7 favorites]


I really want to trust Aaron. He's likeable, and has proven true to his word so far. That said, he has a line that give me pause. He says something about how, if he wanted to ambush the group, he'd just torch the barn and pick off survivors as they "came out the only exit".

He puts forth a hypothetical scenario to make the point that it would have been easier and quicker for him to ambush the group than to try to negotiate with them. That's not the part that gets me. It's that little extra detail about the exit. It doesn't seem like the kind of detail most characters on the show notice or verbalize unless they're in a discussion about security and vulnerabilities.

I suspect Aaron may have a sharp, tactical mind that he keeps hidden beneath a layer of amiability.
posted by Flipping_Hades_Terwilliger at 1:22 PM on February 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


I thought the tension over the trust issue was really well played, and I thoroughly enjoyed this episode, much more so than previous episodes this season.

I agree that it felt like a cliff-hanger and I'm just glad I watched this today so I only have to wait five days to see what's inside the gate.

That quality—combined with his Kevin Spacey-ness—reminded me a bit of Ben Linus.

Yes, that's it! I was about to check if he'd been on Lost because I couldn't put my finger on the vibe I was getting.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:23 PM on February 24, 2015


I had mixed feeling about this episode. (But I do them all). The timeline does make it feel less off about not trusting strangers because the wounds are fresher. I had the impression much more time had passed. I have a hard time with them being so untrusting. But i liked that Aaron says what I've been saying all along, that humans (and creating a society) are our best asset. Forgetting that makes them vulnerable. There was a suggestion in a different thread that maybe the zombie causing virus (or whatever it is) causes people to behave more irrationally. I hope that's it because otherwise I find the actions pretty unbelievable.

A thought occurred while they were in the barn. There certainly should be more pregnancies and babies. I just don't believe they aren't making sex times and not having to deal with the consequences of that. Unless Glenn stocked up on a lot of contraceptives when he went for the pregnancy test way back when. But like other questionable issues, I'm sure it's just a choice the show made. Still, it sure seems like that would be a bigger issue and now I'll have a hard time suspending that disbelief.

I didn't like that they were congratulating themselves over finding a safe place before going in. Yeah, children laughter but the governor's place seemed awful nice at first too (inspire of the reconning about silence). My DH think that the problem with this place will be them, not the people in the encampment. I, on the other hand, took perverse (and probably inappropriate) joy at the idea that maybe they were suggesting the further north they went, the more civilized people were.

I'm not sure where they can go with this new encampment. Either it's the governor's place all over or it's the prison all over. One boring, the other already been there. I suppose the only other option is that they are the problem. Or I suppose they decide they have to move on for some reason. We did have a truck full of zombie torsos that still need explaining though...

Lots of little things I didn't like: Rick's insistence on taking back routes at night- I think I would have been okay with one or the other, but it just seemed like another stupid move that put his people at risk.

Getting upset about Aaron listening to them. Of course they're going to gather as much intell as possible; Rick should have respected or at least recognized that as smart survival instincts.

The apple sauce. Surely with Aaron's NGO history and the expectation that he doesn't know how hostile they'll be that there might be some food tasting required.

The one hour or Rick's going to kill Aaron deadline. It's the fucking zombie apocalypse, an hour is non-time. And hour could mean just a little dust up with walkers and zero foul play.

That everyone thought it was okay to leave Rick and Judith alone with Aaron. If not for how hostile Rick acted and the possibility that he wasn't really on board with letting this guy live.

The scene between Aaron and Eric, while touching, felt out of place and too long. The show has thus far only let us get to know new character's slowly. Here we have a prolonged scene showing us the dynamics of their relationship in a way that felt extremely about of sync with the rest of the show. I know it's fan service and a response to the criticism over the lack of gay characters, but I think they could have had almost the same arc, the same believable "you'll have to kill me to keep me from him" devotion while giving us time to observe them as outsiders (as Rick's group surely still does) before thrusting us into the middle of their relationship. It just seemed too much too quick, and therefor too artificial. (And of course they could be doing it because one of them is going to be killed off, which would make this even worse.)

"Roamers" feels like they're running out of ideas of non-zombie names, and doesn't really feel natural at all to me (unlike most of the other names thus far).

I'm also not sure how I feel about te timeline. That means the terminus folks went cannibal mighty quick or were only freshly minted cannibals. It also suggests that the ride north was rather uneventful and quick, rather than something they just skipped over.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 5:51 PM on February 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh, right. I meant to ask, where was everyone while Rick was watching Aaron and smashing acorns? A few went to find the cars, but I can't remember where everyone else was.

It's about 640 miles from Atlanta to Alexandria, even with Google Maps set to avoid highways. So they averaged around 30 miles a day. They only ditched their cars after finding Noah's home, within 100 miles of DC. That seems like a fairly slow pace even if you make scavenging stops. (And as we've seen, only main roads are blocked with cars and need clearing.)
posted by 2ht at 6:34 PM on February 24, 2015


I can't wait till we get a better look at bucolic Alexandria, Virginia, with its thick forests, lush farmland, and lonely 2-lane highways.
posted by skewed at 7:11 PM on February 24, 2015 [8 favorites]


where was everyone while Rick was watching Aaron and smashing acorns? A few went to find the cars, but I can't remember where everyone else was.

Rick told Daryl and Carl to hit the nest, sent Abraham and Carol to take out the guard, and kept Judith with him for backup. As soon as they were set, Rick was supposed to hit the fuel dump.
posted by cashman at 7:24 PM on February 24, 2015


I'm not sure where they can go with this new encampment. Either it's the governor's place all over or it's the prison all over.

Or it's a small group of nice people who have a good thing going but are undermanned and low on weapons and scared the Roamers will take them out. Aaron needs something from Rick's group, and all they really have to offer is muscle. So the question becomes: will they sign up to be a standing militia or just keep moving?
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:03 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


That right there is proof of the problems with the crowd-edited model. Force feeding someone applesauce is someone's idea of how to make a person more manly.

That's not fan speculation; Aaron said that in the show.

I was wondering what the hell he was doing, especially since acorns have to have the tannins leached out of them before they are edible. What the hell was he planning to do with the tannin-filled, acorns mushed in their shells?

You're right, of course. But I bet it was a deliberate choice to handle the acorns the way they did, not research failure. Most viewers wouldn't know about the tannins and stuff—if they showed Rick putzing about with solvents and a pile of unidentifiable plant matter, people are just going to wonder what the hell's going on. (Unless they use valuable screen time to explain what he's doing, which would only distract from the salient point.)

Showing the whole acorns is less realistic, but it does a far better job at telegraphing the message "Rick's group is pretty desperate in the food department right now".

Of course, at that point, they might as well forget acorns entirely, and use some other food to make the point.

There is obviously something quite off about this guy

You know, I won't be even slightly surprised if Aaron's group do turn out to be antagonists—but I actually thought it was odd how non-creepy he seems. I kept looking for the telltale signs that he hides a Dark Secret behind his amiable exterior, but I just wasn't seeing any. He seemed totally sincere. (The curious lack of people in the photographs is telling, though...)

Then again, my brother (who was watching with me) said "no way dude, that guy is sketchy as hell". So maybe my creepwad detector was poorly calibrated that evening.

There certainly should be more pregnancies and babies.

...and abortions. They flirted with that when Lori was pregnant, and of course she chose to keep the child. This being the US, if they depicted a non-villain character choosing to abort a pregnancy (without suffering some kind of obvious karmic punishment for it), there would be an outcry.

[insert clever name here], I agree with most of your points—and yet, after the idiocy of the hospital arc, I'm willing to forgive the show for them.

Overall, I quite liked this episode. The acorn/applesauce silliness aside, it didn't make any missteps, it kept the story moving along, it developed the new characters and their relationships with the rest of The Group, and it ended on a nicely understated cliffhanger.

They've come within sight of DC now. If the story actually moves into DC, they would almost have to film on location. Has anyone heard anything about that happening? It'd really suck if whatever catastrophe they get into with Aaron's group sends them away from DC as soon as they got there.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 8:09 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


rrrrr, must.. not. talk. about alternative universe(s).

The show and the comic's plot has spiraled around each other, eccentrically. There's no telling where each thread may go. The show's plot has sped up a lot, though, and is catching with up the current comics.

They've come within sight of DC now.
Is DC and the Washington Monument really that iconic from a drive in?
posted by porpoise at 9:08 PM on February 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


rdr: “So the show's saying that there aren't many people at the new digs. That's odd. How come none of Rick's groups asked how this thing got built?”

That's what annoyed me most about this episode. These are simple questions. But apparently Rick forgot to ask even the straightforward questions they always ask when someone joins the group. Beyond those questions, it's easy and even obvious to ask these things: who are your people? What is your set-up like? Aaron said that "it's not my decision" who joins their "community" – well, whose decision is it?

Aaron's actions reek of a clever kind of dissembling through appearing to reveal a lot while revealing very little, and then throwing up hands when people are skeptical, a la "well, I understand of course you won't believe me." It would've taken thirty seconds to rattle off a proposition carefully explaining how many people there were in their camp, what their situation was, how they got food, how they'd built shelter – at least he could have sketched that stuff in outline. Instead, he urges them to look at some terribly developed photographs, which (from what we see) appear to be high school art caliber shots of things like the way the light hits a porch and such, not at all clear informative images to explicate the situation of a community, and which uncannily (as is pointed out to us quite obviously) don't show any people at all. He's intimated that they at least have medical facilities and a surgeon, but beyond that he hasn't given much indication of what this "community" is or offers.

Meanwhile, it could well be that Rick's inability to just ask a few useful questions of someone is largely an illustration of how far gone the group is. Still, it's hard to tell whether it's that, or an attempt by the writers to drag out the action and give us another cliffhanger. It is rather masterful what they've done: given us a situation where it's hard to see where they'll go with this. If the new "community" turns out to be benevolent, it will feel almost like an unreal letdown, a respite they haven't thought was worth giving us for the past three or four seasons. If it turns out to be malicious in some way, it will really be too much, a cruel twisting of one more knife. It might be that they really are just weak and relatively helpless aside from their fancy fence. I'm leaning toward that.
posted by koeselitz at 12:49 AM on February 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Still, would've been nice to have just one scene were they actually asked the guy about what was going on in the city. That would be worthwhile. A simple question like "who's in charge there?" can go a long way.)
posted by koeselitz at 12:50 AM on February 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Huh, makes total sense to me that there aren't pregnancies. Because these women know that it would be a terrible thing to have happen, would actively avoid it and would be sure to let the men know that they will not countenance it. These characters seem to me to be quite capable of having stress relieving and satisfactory sexy fun that did not include anything that might risk impregnation. Avoiding pregnancy would be as valid a survival tactic as all the others we've seen the female characters in this story employ and it seems odd to assume that they would be 'whatevs' about this.
posted by Ness at 3:46 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have been thinking about the lack of pregnancies too -- maybe the show is giving off a vibe that we're picking up without realising. There was a bit where Aaron was watching Rick and Judith, and then the sound of the children's laughter, that made me think they're perhaps fetishising and maybe even selecting children/fertile couples for their settlement. Don't know how Aaron and Eric would fit into that, though, unless they were valuable in some other way. Or...their sperm is?

Oh no, stop thinking about it now.
posted by tracicle at 6:17 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is DC and the Washington Monument really that iconic from a drive in?

Depending on what roads you're taking, sure. I think that particular scene (Abraham driving with Rosita in the front seat besides him) was green-screened though, since the monuments were way too large for the group to still be an hour away (that Streetview link above is right where you cross over from Alexandria into DC for example).

I can't wait till we get a better look at bucolic Alexandria, Virginia, with its thick forests, lush farmland, and lonely 2-lane highways.

Here's some footage of the Alexandria set construction in Georgia. Definitely not Old Town, but that part of Alexandria is overrated, imho ;) I forget where the comic book's Alexandria compound was set though - I don't think you could see the DC monuments in that version of Alexandria either, but then that's true for most of the city. I lived in the far western and mid-south parts of Alexandria for almost twenty years, and on days where I wasn't coming into DC, you could easily go the entire day without seeing anything that would clue you into DC's proximity.
posted by longdaysjourney at 8:48 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Apologies, just need to make this needed edit to my post above: that Streetview link above is right where you cross over from Alexandria Arlington into DC for example.

I have a tendency to conflate south Arlington County, which is where that linked Streetview is located, with the City of Alexandria, since I-395 is usually the quickest way into DC from the western portion of Alexandria and was my daily commute for many years. But that section of I-395 is located in Arlington, not Alexandria. Alexandria has it's own bridge into Maryland, not DC, and the view of DC from eastern Alexandria (photo is taken from the Old Town waterfront) is much different.
posted by longdaysjourney at 9:35 AM on February 25, 2015


Huh, makes total sense to me that there aren't pregnancies

Have we ever seen any post-zombie-apocalypse babies on the show, except Judith? Maybe something about the zombie virus that everyone is now carrying makes it difficult to conceive.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:05 AM on February 25, 2015


Near the end of the WaPo recap it says the road with the view doesn't exist.
posted by cardboard at 10:27 AM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pater Aletheias: “Maybe something about the zombie virus that everyone is now carrying makes it difficult to conceive.”

Well, in at least one sense, it has to, I think: severe stress has major impacts on fertility. I can't imagine what the constant fear of having one's flesh ripped open by mindless roaming corpses would do to one's natural cycles. I guess it's not likely that it would lead to general infertility in the whole population, but I'm guessing it would slow things down a lot.

This is just judging from a number of married, devout Catholic (read: non-birth-control-using) medical residents I know, who work 70-80 hour weeks and are exhausted and somewhat surprised that they haven't ended up conceiving yet.
posted by koeselitz at 11:06 PM on February 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maggie and Glen had a pregnancy scare back at the prison.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:42 AM on February 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


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