NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of The Walking Dead are present in this review
The rising tension between Rick’s group and the citizens of Alexandria has inevitably boiled over. Losses were sustained on both sides last week, as Aiden perished, followed by Noah, both largely due to the cowardice of Nicholas. Aiden’s loss has left a grief-stricken Deanna wondering what’s to be done with Rick’s group, while Rick’s group finds themselves distrusting of Alexandria’s ways, after one of their citizens fleeing led to Noah being killed by Walkers.
The episode begins with a brilliant contrast of testimonials between Nicholas and Glenn, with Nicholas inventing a lie that implicates Rick’s group, while Glenn tells the straight-faced truth. It’s a mystery as to what Deanna is initially thinking, as she studies the testimony of Nicholas, but it’s evident that the loss of her son will no doubt impair her judgment. She’s going to look for a reason to seek retribution from Rick’s group.
Being the penultimate episode of Season Five, “Try” seems to spell the beginning of the end for Alexandria, with Michonne and Rosita also re-entering proceedings to notice that Sasha has gone missing. The two eventually find her, as Daryl and Aaron find evidence of a rather gruesome murder scene, one that is no doubt setting up a new villain of some sort for Season Six. If you look carefully, most of the Walkers in this episode had a ‘W’ carved onto their forehead, even the ones wandering far from Daryl and Aaron. It seems like unrest in Alexandria might soon be small potatoes compared to a new problem that’s right around the corner.
Currently though, while they are intriguing, both of these scenes didn’t go anywhere of note. There is one emotional scene of Sasha, Michonne and Rosita fighting off some Walkers together, before Sasha unloads on Michonne about things working out better for Michonne than her, and lamenting that she correctly predicted that Noah would die after joining them. This whole scene did inject some action and drama into the episode, but it largely felt like filler. Sasha found her way back up to the guard tower by the end of the episode, and then just resumed her job as normal, with no consequences resulting from her words or actions. It felt like the episode was just fishing for drama here, and Sasha seems like a bit of an odd choice to get especially bent out of shape over Noah, if I’m being honest. Yes, I know she is still hurting over the loss of Bob and Tyreese, but was she really that close with Noah?
Another filler scene came from Carl, randomly showing up again this week, who is following Enid in the woods. The two appear to bond for a bit, then hide from Walkers, and sort of hold hands. It’s a bit sweet, but again, it doesn’t go anywhere, and this scene feels awkwardly crowbarred in for the penultimate episode of the season. If the show was going to explore a romantic arc between Carl and Enid, it might have been better off doing it a bit sooner.
Meanwhile, Carol once again brings up the possibility that Rick will need to kill Pete, which Rick wisely goes to Deanna with. Rick tries to explain that people like Pete need to be dealt with, as they can’t be allowed to menace a struggling society, while Deanna claims that Pete’s skills as a surgeon make him valuable to Alexandria, and her hands are tied when it comes to preventing Pete from abusing his wife and child. This was another effective scene that didn’t really present a right answer. Both Rick and Deanna raise valid points, and it’s nice to see that The Walking Dead doesn’t try and pretend like it has an easy fix for the whole Pete problem.
This leads to a nicely tense follow-up scene, where Rick visits Jess, and finally urges her to leave Pete. Jess initially appears to agree, telling Pete to leave the house when he returns, only for Pete to attack Rick, leading to a very public melee that draws the attention of the entire community. Jess tries to pull Pete away, only to get smacked aside, and it was even more dramatic when Rick does the same to Carl, whom he doesn’t even have a history of abusing! The hatred between these two men was very powerful and terrifying, and Rick’s subsequent speech to the town about having to live in the real world was chilling stuff.
It really seemed like Rick might have ended up being his own worst enemy here, until Michonne knocks him out, which is what the episode ends on. Is Michonne betraying Rick for Alexandria? Is she just trying to save Rick from digging his own grave in a fit of rage? One thing’s for sure, it will be very interesting to see what Rick thinks of Michonne’s actions during the season finale next week!
“Try” was a very good episode overall, and set up next week’s season finale quite well. Rick’s breakdown is bound to fracture the group, as even his own people saw him come apart in a pretty bad way. We’ll see where these many cards fall at the conclusion of the season next week though.
- Deanna and Rick's debate
- Teases of a new bad guy with Daryl and Aaron
- Rick's intense brawl with Pete
- Sasha's and Carl's scenes felt like filler