Our heroes are scattered. A hulking mass of undead now surround Alexandria. The community members: trapped on the inside, losing hope by the minute. Rick’s been in dire situations with his team before, but now he’s got a whole village of people to lead from the darkness.
Rather than advancing the plot as a whole, “Now” focused on characters’ reactions in the aftermath of Rick’s failed “walker operation” and The Wolves attack. Deanna is still in her daze, basically turning complete control of Alexandria over to Rick. He’s seemed to have calmed down a little out of no where really; all of a sudden has more patience with the Alexandrians. The episode opens with Rick hauling ass toward Alexandria, a massive horde of zombies on his tail. I hope we eventually go back in the timeline to see how Rick got out of the predicament he was in at the end of “Thank You.”
Again, this was a filler episode more than anything else. Nonetheless, “Now” had poignant moments between periphery characters like Aaron, Jesse, and Denise that will be important going forward.
Aaron come clean to the community, taking responsibility for the attack. He admits it was his forgotten pack, which we saw him leave at The Wolves’ cannery at the end of season 5, that brought lead them to Alexandria. While the people look exasperated by this news, Rick shrugs it off for the time being. Aaron didn’t have to admit anything to the group, he could have lived with his secret. It show’s how truly good this character is, after Glenn, probably the only totally compassionate person left. His admission only adds to Rick’s list of proven points of view about how Alexandria and its citizens should conduct business – going out recruiting is a poor idea. With Rick’s new patient disposition, I doubt any consequences will befall Aaron, other than his own personal anguish, which I’m sure will influence his decisions moving forward.
Spencer had some good and some bad moments this episode. I can’t get a good read on his character, whether he stands with Rick and leads his community members, or whether he’s only looking out for himself. He does stop a group of Alexandrians from raiding the community pantry, which is of course a good thing. He showed leadership and better foresight than everyone else in that moment. But, just as soon as we’re praising Spencer, he turns around and takes a bunch of stuff from the pantry for himself, including a big ol’ bottle of booze. He reasons only him taking food won’t drastically affect the community as long as nobody knows about it. He’s a fine member on the surface, maybe even emerging as a leader, but as he gains confidence, I suspect he’ll take issue with Rick seizing power of Alexandria from his mother.
In this midst of feeling sorry for herself, Deanna has a moment of clarity. She pulls out a blueprint of Alexandria and draws all over it what looks to be plans for crops and new buildings and all sort of other structures to turn Alexandria into a self-sustaining community. It seems her bleak attitude towards life actually has a bright future.
Few of you probably remember who Denise is. She’s Alexandria’s new “doctor” I guess, though her incompetence for the job was blinding during “JSS.” She’s clearly not qualified to treat people medically, but she’s the closest thing Alexandria’s got now. But she is trying to get better, I’ll give her that. By sticking her nose in volumes of medical books, she manages to save Scott’s (the other new black dude) life, greatly boosting her confidence. She walks right over to Tara afterwards, her new best buddy, and plants a big wet kiss on her lips. Turns out Denise is a lesbian, which is great. I’m not saying that to be overly p.c., I just think that the nonchalant way in which TWD handles their stereotype breaking moments and characters is fantastic. They’re not in your face about a woman being the most badass character on the show, she’s just in the background being the most badass character on the show (Michonne). There are gay people among the Alexandrian survivors. TWD isn’t in your face screaming “LOOK AT OUR DIVERSITY.” The gays in the show aren’t distinguishable from everyone else because why would they be? They’re every bit as capable of mass murder as Rick or Daryl. It’s just a given that yes, some people are gay, and I love that.
Denise and Tara weren’t the only characters to feel a love connection this episode. Since going full mama bear in “JSS,” Jesse is shaping up to be a female Rick of sorts. After killing a zombified neighbor, she gives a “this is how the world is” speech to shocked community onlookers. Jesse, like Spencer, is developing into a viable player in Rick’s army of soldiers. While before she, like everyone else, thought Rick was nuts, she finally sees the world as it is. And that’s crystal clear when Rick saunters up to a very vulnerable Jesse and tongue wrestles her into submission. It’ll be interesting to see how Ron (Jesse’s older son) reacts to his mom sleeping with the guy who killed his dad.
The last, but certainly not least, bit of news in “Now” is the revelation thaw Maggie’s pregnant, making “Glenn’s death” extra heart breaking. She wants to go out and look for him, but ultimately decides against it knowing she’s not just living for herself anymore. I think it’s clear that he’s not actually dead, that we’re gearing up for a mid-season finale surprise in which Glenn, possibly followed by everyone else still on the road, comes back safe and sound just in time to meet a new friend – somebody sent from God, if you will 😉