The Walking Dead, S6 Ep5 – Now

“These walls will hold together. Can you?”

Rick makes his way back to Alexandria, sprinting ahead of the walker horde and entering the gates just before the walkers are able to get in. The rest of the community watch in horror as their once-secure town becomes surrounded by more walkers than they could have ever imagined. To be confronted with this gruesome reality so soon after the attack by the Wolves is a heavy blow to the citizens of Alexandria and a long overdue wake-up call. The episode is filled with people making speeches about this being the state of the world right now and the need to be better prepared to survive.

Rick gives another big motivational speech, with the noise of the walkers outside to drive home his points. The Alexandrians listen to him with trepidation, everyone reacting in different ways to these revelations, some panicking and attempting to horde supplies from the pantry, and others deciding to learn to fight and defend themselves. Several Alexandrians get better fleshed out in this episode, which is an effective way for us to get invested in their fates. For my part, I feel partial to Deanna, Aaron, and Denise, but care little about how the rest are going to survive the season. This show tends to breed cold-hearted fans, myself included, and I just feel more invested in the fates of the main cast than any additional Alexandrians, no matter how compelling.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep5 - NowInitially, Deanna seemed to be even more in a daze, unable to deal with all that was happening. She had a glazed look in her eyes for most of the episode, overwhelmed by the situation, but she finally snaps out of it and manages to draw up a detailed plan on how to build a sustainable future for the community, mapping out where crops would be planted, where people would be educated, and other essential details. She also has her first encounter with a walker whom she stabs viciously, but not in the head so she still has a lot to learn. Rick eventually comes to her aid and she admits that he is the one people need. Having finally had blood splattered on her, Deanna seems more prepared to face the horrors.

Jessie also had quite a bit of screen time in this episode, but I am just so indifferent to her as a character that I almost decided to leave her out of this. But it must be mentioned, that she killed a walker in front of her community and stressed the need to be prepared. She tried to coax her younger son out of his room with cookies but he turned down the bait. And at the end of the episode, she and Rick shared a kiss. I get how this was being built up from the moment they met but I just can’t get behind this pairing. Besides, given the nature of this show, the longevity of such hook-ups is quite low and I wouldn’t regret this one coming to an end sooner than later. But that’s just me.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep5 - NowDenise the doctor had some good moments where she panicked again over being unable to tend to the injury of the guy Michonne saved a couple of episodes ago. Being the only doctor around, though a psychiatrist, she felt ill-equipped to handle the responsibilities given to her by the community. Tara steps in to share some words of encouragement, which proved to be effective. Denise finds a solution to her problem and then later shares a sweet kiss with Tara. This is a hook-up I am on board with.

Sadly, we got very little focus on our favorites this week. Other than Rick and Maggie, we didn’t see any of the other “veterans” doing anything. After an episode dedicated to Morgan we hardly see any of him in this episode, and also only get a few glimpses of Michonne and Carol. Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha are still out there but Rick is confident that they will be all right.

Don't trust him, Rick!

Don’t trust him, Rick!

And he keeps a vigil over the wall in the hopes of catching sight of them. At one point, Jessie’s son Ron joins him on the wall, asking for a shooting lesson and mentioning how he convinced Carl not to go out in search of Enid. Rick shows the boy how to shoot, but there’s still something about Ron that puts me on my guard. I don’t trust him. I still feel that he might mess something up, whether intentionally or by accident.

Glenn’s fate, frustratingly, remains unknown and this leads Maggie to try and find out what happened to him. As expected, she could not bear not knowing where he was or whether he was coming back, and even felt some guilt about this. She believes that there was something she could have done to save him, and at first she is determined to do the rescue mission alone.

But Aaron observes her preparing and insists on accompanying her, also out of some guilt over (he believes) being responsible for the Wolves finding Alexandria. He’s come a long way from when we first meet him and I’m glad that someone was there to support Maggie, though I find it a bit strange that neither Carol nor Michonne seemed to know what she was up to, given that it was a pretty predictable plan. Maggie and Aaron try to leave the town through the sewers, encountering possibly the most disgusting walkers we have ever seen on the show. Maggie almost gets bitten but thankfully, Aaron was there to slay the incredibly gross walker.

The Walking Dead, S6 Ep5 - NowBoth of them realize that there is no way for them to leave the settlement safely and Maggie decides to postpone the rescue mission after revealing that she is pregnant. While this doesn’t come as much of a surprise, it is big news that serves to highlight the uncertainty of Glenn’s fate even more. But I’m hopeful, and I have a feeling that the writers of the show are just teasing us. Otherwise, the scene where Maggie and Aaron wipe off Glenn’s name from the “In Our Memory” wall becomes insult to injury.

A relatively quiet episode by The Walking Dead standards, “Now” gave the characters a chance to catch their breath and reconsider their options. With the horde of walkers just outside their walls, they all need to figure out their long-term plans. The people of Alexandria are finally confronted with the scale of the walker problem and have to find ways of coping with it. As much as the new characters’ development is being given attention to, I would still like to see more of the main cast. Luckily, it looks like next week, we will finally be catching up with Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha.