TV Recap: The Walking Dead, ‘Try’

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Try Plot Summary:

As Alexandria’s darkest truths slowly come to light, Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) finds her community splitting at the seams. Is Rick (Andrew Lincoln) to blame, or is the harsh world finally crashing down onto them?

Over the past couple episodes, Rick’s moral compass has been put into question. We all know he has dabbled in some hard shit in the past. The term “Ricktatorship” didn’t spawn out of thin air. Yet even if it was Rick leading his group solo or letting a small council take charge, you always got the sense that what he was doing was generally right. At the very least, he maintained an authoritative demeanor that lent his thought process some credence. We saw that a few weeks back when he first met Aaron (Ross Marquand). His destroyed opinion of the world clearly put his loved ones in danger, but there was justification to what he was trying to do. Safety is of the utmost importance after all.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The Rick we saw at the end of “Try” was something else entirely. Covered in blood after getting into a ruthless fight with Pete (Corey Brill), Rick began spouting out the truth about Alexandria. These people, despite their walls and fancy homes, are absolutely not meant to survive in this world. They don’t have what it takes. It was something that, quite frankly, everyone needed to hear. But making that statement while looking like a total psychopath does not sell the point. How can the citizens of Alexandria possibly believe Rick is best for them if Deanna is the one composed while Rick is swinging a gun wildly? The man is definitely drunk with authority, believing he is some savior who can stop Alexandria from falling apart. Experience dictates that he is a better force of protection than Deanna, but current events make it not seem that way.

That entire final scene was incredibly well done, successfully erupting the slowly built up tensions. This all began the moment Deanna let Rick in and incidentally brought him face to face with Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge). From that moment on, it was only a matter of time before everything went to hell. Watching it all unfold was wonderfully intense, and twisting it to make Rick look like the bad guy, despite doing the right thing and confronting Pete, was exceptionally clever. As was Michonne (Danai Gurira) completely knocking Rick out. The nods to Michonne on the same leadership level as Rick weren’t subtle (took charge going to Alexandria, also an officer, people go to her for help), but this is the best example of why she needs to take over for a bit. At least until Rick calms down and realizes there are much better ways to handle things.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Take Glenn (Steven Yeun) for example! You can tell he is just barely holding back from beating Nicholas (Michael Traynor) to a pulp. Who can blame him too? The guy is proof that Alexandria is staffed by too many weaklings to really remain powerful. It is the same argument Rick tried to make near the end. Glenn however presented it in a much better and calmer manner. He knows that he’s better at surviving than Nicholas or anyone else there. When he tells Nicholas to stay behind the walls for good, he makes a point that he’s trying to save him. That’s all these people want right? To feel safe? Glenn is actually making that his main focus. Rick wants that too, but exclaims it in the manner that says, “I’m right and you’re wrong and there is NOTHING ELSE TO IT!” That’s not how a leader or a community should operate. Like Glenn himself said, “We are them Rick. We have to make this work.”

Outside of all the craziness within Alexandria (really, everything else took place outside the walls), we had some pretty average coverage on a good clump of other characters. The better of them all, though not by much, was focused on Carl (Chandler Riggs). I’m finding it very difficult to care about Enid (Katelyn Nacon) at the moment. We have received very little information about her and yet are supposed to chalk her experiences up to the same standard as Carl’s. That’s an exceptionally hard sell when you have several years of examples of why Carl’s are very unique. The same can be said about her comfort in the woods. We can only believe that because it’s being set up as comparable to what we saw Carl go through. Enid just can’t exist on her own as a character and it makes me not care. That being said, it is nice to see Carl actually become close to another girl his age. I don’t expect Enid to stay very long, but comic book readers know there is a Sophia-sized void that was originally filled in print.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

I didn’t feel much connection to Sasha’s (Sonequa Martin-Green) troubles too. When we first saw her go a little nuts, I chalked that up to her in a brand new and uncomfortable world. She clearly just isn’t meant for a contemporary society anymore. “Try” brought this back in an entire subplot about her hunting walkers and being chased by Michonne and Rosita (Christian Serratos). It was a clever way to increase the walker bodycount with some awesomely gory scenes, but we’re ultimately left in the dark as to why Sasha feels this way. The show even tried to explain it but completely failed. She’s upset about Noah’s death because she reassured him that they will be okay? I don’t doubt her emotions but she was prepared to do this stuff before so it’s not much of an explanation. Then she starts spouting off this belief that no one can help her with her deep issues. Last time I checked though, this exact group she’s been with has seen enough shit to connect with her. I want to feel the real emotional weight of Sasha’s turmoil, but right now the show hasn’t given us a concrete reason why this is happening.

“Try” was a very solid hour of television that really put a spotlight on Rick’s destabilizing moral structure. Clearly Alexandria has a lot of issues that need to be worked on, but there is a right and a wrong way to presenting a solution. Rick unquestionably picked the latter. I mean, there really is only one way you can take a guy covered in blood, swinging a gun around, and having certifiable crazy eyes. Michonne needed to knock him out so hard. The stage is set though for everything to collapse. Deanna is ready to remove Rick from power, Glenn and Nicholas are at odds, and Rick is preparing to bring his own sense of justice to the town. Of course, none of this will matter if what Daryl and Aaron found signals what I think it does. Until we find that out next week in the finale, the penultimate episode “Try” was a great lead in.

Rating: 8.5/10

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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.
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