Forget Plot Summary:
With new jobs and comfortable living, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his group attempt to hit some level of normalcy. They refuse to be complacent though, with Rick, Daryl (Norman Reedus), and Carol (Melissa McBride) planning for the worst. Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) meanwhile is having the most difficulty fitting in.
Change is very rarely easy to go through. It’s especially harder when you’re pulled out of a nightmare and into a living dream. Whether or not our group can actually be normal is put on the spotlight in “Forget.” This is the very first time we’re seeing them as legitimate members in Alexandria, not just newcomers. It’s a little jarring, honestly. This environment is so different than anything we’ve witnessed on this show. People smiling, grabbing drinks at a party, fancy chandeliers instead of candles. This isn’t The Walking Dead that we know. Of course, if it’s a little weird for the viewers, you can’t even imagine what it’s like for the survivors. It is that focus on moving forward that gives “Forget” the emotional beats it needs to be a truly gripping hour.
A lot of the main cast veered in different directions since their arrival in Alexandria. As we saw last night, Sasha is the one who is doing the worst. She clearly is suffering from extreme levels of PTSD, which makes absolute sense. I’m surprised she’s the only one apparently. They have all come from a complete warzone that has completely warped their sense of society. Sasha is probably the most far gone out of everyone. When Rick berates Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) about the unmanned clocktower, Sasha jumps right on it so she can stay away. That cocktail party meltdown is proof that she just can’t do this anymore. It was incredibly painful to watch, and Martin-Green absolutely nailed the performance. It’s not often that she gets the spotlight, so I loved watching her completely soaking in it.
Comic book readers also received a nice connection to the material. Sasha, an original character on the show, is without a doubt the TV version of what Andrea was in print. The watchtower is a dead giveaway. That version of Andrea was the group deadshot, always taking point up in the tower to give Rick the best damn coverage imaginable. It’s lead to some pretty awesome scenes. Sasha is definitely taking up that role now. As if to really hammer the point home, Spencer Monroe (Austin Nichols) has a small scene with Sasha too. A little inconsequential, but a definite nod to what happened originally on paper.
Carol was another insane showstopper, basically taking her ruthlessness to another level. “Forget” confirmed that she is hiding her hardcore persona to remain invisible to everyone. She has experience doing this too, being a survivor of domestic violence and all. Carol knows how to play the doting mother who bakes cookies for people. As Rick is re-arming his group for the inevitable shit storm, Carol takes point because she knows how to play the game. It’s a crazy power play that actually, in some capacity, reminds me of Walter White. We see her dark side too in the episode’s stand out moment where Carol, very openly I might add, threatens Jessie’s (Alexandra Breckenridge) son Sam. Actually, threatened puts it mildy. She said she would kidnap the kid and tie him to a tree for walkers if he rats. If he doesn’t, he gets cookies! I mean…shit. That was rough to watch, but also unbelievably well done.
The scenes between Daryl and Aaron (Ross Marquand) took a bit to get off the ground. I was into them trying to lasso that horse, but it getting devoured by walkers was a bit predictable. Of course things wouldn’t go well, right? Yet even this paid off too because it gave Aaron plenty of insight into who Daryl is. As we clearly saw last week, Daryl is unconformable with this place. It’s not like Sasha. This is more of what would happen if you pulled someone who has been living in the woods for years and brought them to a fancy party. They’re not used to the civility. Daryl has never known the nice side of life so he’s having difficulty fitting in. Fortunately Aaron comes with the answer: Daryl will be a recruiter. It’s absolutely perfect. Daryl is better sneaking around than interacting, and really does have an eye for people. He has stuck with Rick and fought against The Governor after all. Watching Daryl thank Aaron nearly brought a tear to my eye too. That was just nice.
We got some pretty decent headway on multiple fronts involving Rick too. Obviously, there’s the whole “We’re plotting to take over eventually” story involving Carol and Daryl. With that is Rick rising up as Constable, along with Michonne (Danai Gurira) I might add. Both fit into their roles well and quickly take charge, which was great. Rick at that party was an interesting character study for him too. He may be the leader, but he certainly is having difficulty connecting with the normal people around him. He, and everyone else with him actually, were the odd people out. Reg (Steve Coulter) praising Rick for his work was a good moment though. It almost made their lives actually feel normal.
There also is the Rick/Jessie relationship that was moved forward with Rick making a move. Why he did so makes sense. Jessie is the first new and pretty face Rick has seen since Lori died a long time ago. She is his first chance for a another romance. Of course, they have only known eachother for a little bit, but that kiss cheek echoes his difficulty with current romantic cues. Why Jessie is so hopped up on Rick is a bit unknown though. She is clearly sending some vibes over, which felt a little strange while they were at a party with her husband Pete (Corey Brill) present. Her constant attention to Rick is getting a little heavy handed.
Lastly, not much was done with it, but the letters “A” and “W” clearly mean something outside of “Alexandria” and “Walker.” It’s unknown why any of those even exist. Are the stamps a sort of badge for people to recognize who really lives there in case someone sneaks in? That would make sense. Who or why someone is carving a “W” on walker foreheads is even stranger though. It could very well be the same person who thought of the stamp idea, but why? I have some theories and I’m onboard to see if they turn out to be true.
“Forget” made some pretty big strides with its storytelling. We’re now completely in Alexandria and watching the group get acclimated is fascinating. Sasha is not connecting at all and Carol is lying to everyone for a strong bit of cover, but Daryl is starting to blend in and Rick is getting a little comfortable. Michonne is probably the most ready to move on though. She hung up her sword, her main source of protection from the undead. Hanging it up is symbolic because it represents her giving up her barrier. She even went to a party in a dress, something the very drunk Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) pointed out. Whether or not any of this happiness can stay is unknown, but it’s clear that some people are doing better with change than others.
Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television and every Saturday afternoon you can read his retro video game column, Remembering the Classics. He covers Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Walking Dead (amongst others) every week. As for as his career and literary standing goes — take the best parts of Spider-man, Captain America and Luke Skywalker and you will fully understand his origin story.