Synopsis: The group joins The Real World: Alexandria Safe Zone, but not everyone is intent on fitting in, nor are they assimilating quite as well as they probably should be.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

After being out on the road so long, there were bound to be some adjustments that the group needed to make to fit in – whether or not they were willing to make them remains to be seen. A possum startles them, only for Daryl to shoot it with his crossbow and announce that they brought dinner. Sasha shoots a walker in the head on Rick’s order, who boldly proclaims, “It’s a good thing we’re here.”

He is swiftly introduced to Deanna Monroe in a scene reminiscent of Mary and Terminus, though she immediately asks if she can film their discussion in the interest of transparency. He’s gruff and curt with his answers to her questions, while she’s more than eager to hear about how his group survived. She’s amazed that the group didn’t know each other before and informs Rick that she used to be a Congressperson. Just say woman, come on.

From Governor to Congressperson. Maybe the group should just avoid political figures from now on? [AMC]
From Governor to Congressperson. Maybe the group should just avoid political figures from now on? [AMC]
She was trying to go home to help her constituents in Ohio, but the army re-directed her and her family to the Alexandria Safe Zone – where, conveniently, the whole neighborhood was set up hippie-style with self-sustaining capabilities. Her husband helped to design and put up the wall that surrounds the community and Rick’s group is the first one in a long while that they’ve thought about letting behind the gate.

Rather than thank her, he tells her that she should keep the gates closed because humanity isn’t what it once was. People will come in and take this place if they know it’s here, he tells her and she asks if he’s not already trying to look at what’s best for this community. She admits that she has exiled people in the past, for how they didn’t mesh with everyone else, and that she only wants Rick’s group to help, with their survival expertise, to keep this place safe. He finally admits he used to be a sheriff, as he winds his watch and resets it to the time she gives him, and she admits she knew it was something like that.

Reluctantly, their group gives up their guns to a relatively normal, if not slightly uncomfortable, looking woman. Carol especially does her best to look unassuming and pleasant. When they’ve relinquished all of their weapons (but Daryl gets to keep his crossbow, so there’s that?), the woman remarks about how she should have brought a second bin.

Mostly, this was hilarious. [AMC]
Mostly, this was hilarious. [AMC]
Aaron proceeds to show Rick two houses that now belong, collectively, to their group. He tries to make Rick feel comfortable and explains that he’s four houses down if they need anything. Rick finally takes a shower and shaves off that homeless man beard, just in time to answer the door shirtless for a woman bringing him supplies. The woman, Jessie, offers to cut the rest of Rick’s hair and to introduce her two boys to Carl. Can he get in on this haircut action too though? Poor kid has helmet hair.

In Daryl’s taped interview, he still has his dead possum and acts very much the caged animal that he seemed like when Rick first met him. Later he’s cleaning the possum right on the steps of their new home as Rick and Carol discuss their next steps. Rick decides they’re all staying in the same house for the night while Carl shows us he’s not exactly kid-friendly anymore. Hearing a noise in the house, he immediately draws his knife and goes to investigate. It’s nothing, but still – the boy is intense.

Michonne spent twenty minutes brushing her teeth and is shocked to see baby-faced Love Actually Rick. She has a good feeling about this place, even as Deanna shows up and marvels at their solidarity of all staying in one house. Later, during Michonne’s interview, she admits to Deanna that she’s ready for this, they’re all ready for this new opportunity.

Goodbye crazy beard, you'll be missed. [AMC]
Goodbye crazy beard, you’ll be missed. [AMC]
The group takes to exploring the next day, getting ahead of Rick as he tries to convince Daryl to assimilate with them, and he freaks out when he can’t see Carl or Judith. Jessie finds him running around like a crazy person and she points him to where her elderly neighbors are fawning over baby Judith. She asks again about Carl meeting up with her son Ron and it gets set up.

Ron introduces Carl to Mikey and Enid, who is new to the safe zone too. He talks about how she struggled to adjust for the first few weeks and then offered to play videogames or pool with Carl, who seemed just as overwhelmed by the onslaught. Eventually, he snaps out of it and wants to play videogames with them, but later he tells his dad that he’s afraid that they’ll get weak like the people here. In his interview with Deanna, he’s holding Judith and telling her about how he had to kill his mom.

Rick has another sleepless night and, in his wandering, he meets Jessie’s husband on the porch. The guy is a douche and Rick will definitely have to put him down later.

In Carol’s interview, she’s bubbly and personable and shares how she became the “den mother” of the group. She even goes so far as to pretend that she misses Ed of all people, her abusive husband who was walker chow in the first season. Later she comes out of the house dressed in new fancy clothes and tries to convince Daryl to play along. He merely tells her she looks ridiculous.

You tried, Carol, you really tried hard. [AMC]
You tried, Carol, you really tried hard. [AMC]
Glenn’s interview has him revealing that they need to make the Alexandria Safe Zone work because they were nearly out there too long.

Gun back in hand, Rick walks the wall of the safe zone, while Carl watches Enid easily scale the wall and head outside herself. He loses sight of Enid, but eventually comes upon his dad – who went back for his blender gun and found it missing. They have some father-son bonding time by killing a few walkers that found them. Rick even does the dad thing and let’s Carl have the last kill.

Glenn, Noah, and Tara meet Aiden, who is cocky and pompous and in charge of supply runs. He calls the guns that he gives to them “sweet ass biscuits” and takes them out to give them the rundown of how supply runs work. He keeps stressing that he’s in charge of these missions and that they have a new ritual to start them off involving something with a chained up walker that killed their friends. The walker’s loose when they get to it and Aiden calls it back to them, almost shoving it off onto Tara before Glenn swoops in and kills it. Aiden is not pleased.

When they make it back to the safe zone, Aiden is still huffing and puffing when his mom finds them. He wants Glenn, Noah, and Tara off the supply run team and takes a swing at Glenn, who was trying to get him to stand down. Glenn knocks him down and Daryl takes out the other guy before Deanna and Rick make everyone stand down.

There was no way for this to go right. [AMC]
There was no way for this to go right. [AMC]
As things settle, she tells Rick that she wants him to be their constable, with Michonne’s help, and Rick strangely, easily agrees to it. Daryl scoffs about that and leaves the scene. Deanna also thanks Glenn for knocking her douchebag son down a peg.

Later, Rick’s wearing his(?) sheriff’s uniform and we’re reminded that it’s about survival at any cost these days from his interview. He tells Carol and Daryl that they won’t get weak here and if things don’t work out, well… they’ll simply take this place. Crazy beard gone, but the crazy train is still out of the station.

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