‘The Walking Dead’ Review: ‘Forget’
The Walking Dead season 5 brings its 13th episode to life with Sunday’s “Forget,” as the group attempts to settle into Alexandria, secretly plotting to take back some of their guns, while Daryl and Aaron bond outside the walls.
Last week’s The Walking Dead installment, “Remember,” saw Rick's group meeting the inhabitants of Alexandria, and deciding whether or not to join the mysterious community. So, what does the latest episode of season 5 bring?
Read on for your in-depth review of everything you need to know about The Walking Dead season 5, episode 13, “Forget”!
I’ll try to keep this brief, as entry into Alexandria has brought with it so much fresh air to a stagnant premise, I could spend pages upon the Walking Dead’s transformation over only a few weeks, or even a season ago, when too often it seemed eight episode increments always built to the proverbial football of salvation being snatched away. Here, “Forget” actually allows us to breath in and deepen our understanding of how the group readjusts to new lives, not only on the surface, but also with those like Sasha and Daryl, who have a harder time letting their guard down.
There’s a clear appempt to bookend the hour with Sasha as an extreme PTSD example of returning to a “normal” existence, but the past few seasons have only lent so much time to developing her character, it’s hard to separate the specificity of her grief from that of Tyreese or Bob’s loss, which saw Sasha similarly standoffish before ever even arriving at Alexandria. Instead, it was a bit more interesting to see how Rick continually plotted against those who might threaten the group’s investment in Alexandria, or to spend time watching Daryl find a place within their new home.
The cocktail party itself arrives as a particular scene from the books I’d longed to see in live-action, and it’s of interest to chart Rick’s reactions thoruhout the hour, whether by allowing himself to relax with a drink, or seeming so unrestrained in his interactions with Jesse. For years now, the group has relied on instinct and taken whatever they need to survive, and it’s fascinating to see that dynamic reflected with another man’s wife, almost as if Rick has forgotten the boundaries of community and marriage, much like Shane and Lori once gave into.
Not only that, but boundaries tend only to have the meaning we assign them, and “Forget” wasn’t willing to land on either extreme. Deanna’s husband Reggie downplays the significance of his building the wall, a thin divider tenuously reinforced by the overhead shot of Rick just barely separated from a walker, though someone like Deanna recognizes the wall’s figurative meaning, and the future it might represent. Words like “adultery” or “sheriff” share a superfluous concept that means little outside the wall, and the myriad interactions of the party afforded ample opportunity to reflect on how the group selectively chooses its rules in the new order.
Daryl’s side of the hour felt similarly steeped in deciding one’s place, and while the wild horse proved a bit on the nose as a metaphor for Daryl’s isolation, the pairing of he and Aaron was an intriguing one. Last week made it easy to see that Daryl felt unwelcome among suburban settings that he’d never have been accepted prior to the apocalypse, and the extra attention paid by Aaron and Eric led to a particularly sweet, and fitting resolution of Daryl becoming a new recruiter, and with a new motorcycle to boot.
Considering the recurring issue of servicing such a large cast, “Forget” only afforded a few brief asides to check in with ancillary figures (Noah gets a brief appearance, but no Gabriel or Eugene, who look to get a larger spotlight next week), at least affording some strong material to play. In particular, the interaction between Abraham and Michonne represents an interesting pairing we might not otherwise have had time to explore, while Carol fans will certainly be relieved to see her doting den mother act from last week given such a menacing reversal. I worry for Carol now, given how adept she’s become at manipulating everyone around her, but the threat against young Sam offered an exceptional highlight to an already- strong hour.
I could understand familiar complaints that Alexandria has cut down on the weekly walker action, the same necessary evil that befell the group’s time at the prison, but watching everyone adjust to life inside affords some of the most fascinating character work the series has ever undertaken. There’s plenty of conflict bubbling up within the walls, as Rick seems more and more like a ticking time bom, whether plotting to retake his gun, or hovering over its handle in the presence of Jessie’s husband, but we’ve still plenty of threats beyond the wall as well. After all, Rick wouldn’t insist on a sniper above without reason, and there’s also those mysteriously recurring “W”s on certain walkers.
AND ANOTHER THING…
- Would it strike no one as odd, that Rick so frequently left Alexandria’s walls, or that he, Daryl and Carol would all return at the same time?
- We saw much less of Rosita then Abraham, though her reaction to his interest in the beer was well worth the brief stay.
- Rick and Jessie, the only two seen wearing the scarlet A. Subtle, guys.
- If you haven’t already, take a moment to give Melissa McBride a standing ovation. Yes, by your computer.
Stay tuned for more coverage of The Walking Dead season 5's latest, and join us next week for our review of The Walking Dead‘s next episode, “Spend” on AMC!