“Found” builds upon and heightens the tension from issue #135. We get some immediate follow-up to Gregory’s proposal on how to deal with Maggie, Carl and Lydia bond, and hey, we get a brief look at what’s happening back at Alexandria.
Seems like small potatoes, but we do get some pretty substantive stuff from these separate storylines.
Oh, and Alex kisses Jesus. Sure, I guess. Now onto the important stuff.
Gregory wants to be back in charge because he’s not a fan of how Maggie runs things. This is a running trend both on the Hilltop and the people in the Alexandria Safe Zone. New folks come in and run things their way. Sounds like encroaching on their territory, but if it weren’t for Rick and company, Negan would still be free and the Hilltop folks would still live in fear while having to pay tribute to a man they’d never seen.
Are some of Maggie’s leadership qualities questionable and a cause for concern? Of course, but I do believe she’s earned a chance to prove her worth. That’s coming from the perspective of someone who has followed the character, but the folks at the Hilltop still see people like Maggie and Carl as strangers. They don’t understand one another yet, but the fact remains that the Hilltop folks owe quite a bit to our main characters. It doesn’t seem that everyone is on board with Gregory’s plan, so there’s already some division there. We’ll see how this plays out soon.
Back at Alexandria for a second, it looks like Magna’s crew has settled in with everyone else, given the cordial conversation between her and Andrea. While it may seem like a jump forward, we were given small snippets of conversation between Andrea and Magna’s team leading up to this moment, so right now, it looks like any of the antagonism between the two sides has dissipated. Plus, it wasn’t just for show, as we did get some lip service on the difficult relationship between Eugene and Rosita, as well as Rick’s return.
And sticking with the Grimes’ for now, this chapter was one of the most significant moments of character development for Carl. He has been in Lydia’s shoes before and knows what it’s like to constantly fear for your life. The biggest difference between Carl’s family and The Whisperers is that Lydia has never been able to know stability. Whether on Hershel’s farm, the prison, or out in the woods, Rick and company have taken the time to slow down, assess their situation, and take in some much needed down-time before moving on. Not so for The Whisperers. They are always on the move and, despite remaining together, fear for their lives.
After all, they embrace the skin of the very roamers they hate and fear. They walk amongst the dead, becoming dead themselves, and rarely have a chance to rest. That’s why things like never killing again or staying in one place seem so foreign to Lydia. Being among The Whisperers for so long has conditioned her into believing that people must keep moving. She’s in an unknown environment and can’t comprehend why she’d be left alive after The Whisperers have caused harm to the folks at The Hilltop. And even worse than being captured, she’s being held on her own.
As young as Carl is, he knows that feeling. After everyone fled the prison during the Governor’s assault, Carl had to fend for himself. He started off as a boy, but he’s developed into a young man who knows fear, but he doesn’t let that overpower him. Now part of me wonders whether he’s truly bought into the idea of no more killing, given how he nearly did the same thing to the two kids who attacked him and Sophia. Is it narrative convenience that he feels Lydia, despite what she may have done, could be a productive member, but he felt different about the two boys? It’s possible, but Carl has more reason to care about Lydia’s well-being than the boys, given what he learns about her.
For Lydia to say she’s never been at someone else’s mercy or even been alone like this makes me wonder how she even made it this far. Like Beth in the television series, she doesn’t come as too timid or fearful, but you question how she would be able to survive on her own. And this is only when she’s being held as a prisoner and no harm has come to her yet.
Carl takes this newfound friendship to a new level fast when he opens up to her about how he lost his eye and how he had the support of others around him. Carl and Lydia are torn between two sides, but they look to be trying to bridge the gap. Carl is placing a lot of trust in Lydia, especially when you consider that he hasn’t seen her face yet (ironic, considering this issue’s title), but to give her the hat- the very item that Rick trusted to him, is very telling. Carl, both in the comic book and television series, loves that hat. He doesn’t just give it to anyone. Even though he doesn’t believe in magic, he can’t deny feeling some sort of protection or security from it.
I certainly hope that Lydia turns out be some girl looking for guidance, because Carl could be going down a dangerous path by opening up to someone he hasn’t seen. We don’t know everything there is to know about her yet. Carl has good intentions, but he’s not stupid. If something goes south, he’ll be prepared, but for now, this is the start of what looks to be a longstanding friendship.
But then, there’s trouble brewing right outside…