UK VOD TV review: The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 12 (Remember)
Haircuts and Showers5
Neil Brazier | On 03, Mar 2015
We’ve had a lot of blatant symbolism thrown at us these past few weeks on The Walking Dead and that trend continues as the survivors enter the Alexandria settlement.
It’s a curious place that seems far too good to be true, with running water, power and pool tables. The group approach with caution, as they should – after all, they haven’t seen a friendly face in quite some time.
We don’t get to meet many of, or learn much about, the Alexandria survivors, but as they interview Rick’s group, we learn more about the toil they’ve suffered, as they try to remember who they were before the apocalypse.
“It’s all about survival now,” Rick (Andrew Lincoln) tells Deanna Monroe (Tovah Feldshuh), but this apparent leader of Alexandria is more interested to know who he was before he and his family had become adept zombie slayers. Perhaps the reason Alexandria needs Rick Grimes is because he’s hardened from having seen true horrors and Alexandria has grown weak hiding behind its walls. Certainly, it is different to any other sanctuary they’ve come across, complete with elderly folks sitting on their porch and everyone given roles to feel part of the community. The jobs are dished out by Deanna after the interviews; as a former politician, she excels in reading people. How well she reads our survivors, though, is in doubt, as each candidate handles the situation differently, from brutal honesty to blatant lying. This transitions into how they handle being in a sanctuary that isn’t trying to eat them; they remain guarded and sceptical.
There is no zombie kill of the week in Remember, thanks to the safety of Alexandria. There are moments involving the undead but these disrupt the flow of the episode; it’s unclear whether one scene is reality or merely the fear inside Rick’s imagination. In another, the reality that Alexandria needs Grimes’ group is further enforced and it is the resulting tensions that lead us into a cliffhanger.
How long will the peace and tranquillity last? Some residents seem decidedly shadier than others, which will undoubtedly rile some feathers in Rick’s camp. Deanna makes it abundantly clear that everyone is supposedly equal, but in this world people will always be looking for the weaknesses in others, and so Rick remains overly protective. But is Alexandria weak already? The giant fortified walls block the outside world of eating road kill and fighting off the undead; it’s clear the inhabitants within and the survivors from outside have travelled two very different roads.
Only four episodes remain this season and little has been shown of a wider, more dangerous threat apart from the early cannibals. It feels more like a journey, watching how these characters have bonded in such dire circumstances, yet there has been little in terms of development. Where there has, it’s been told through obvious metaphor. Will Alexandria prove to be as instrumental in these characters’ lives as the farm, prison, Woodbury and Terminus? Has it changed our survivors already? The pace needs to pick up if we’re to find out.
The Walking Dead: Season 5 is available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.
Where can I buy or rent The Walking Dead: Season 5 online in the UK?
Never seen AMC’s zombie series? Visit Where can I watch The Walking Dead online legally?
Photo: Gene Page / AMC