A Look at The Walking Dead- Season 5, Episode 15: “Try”

Well, we didn’t get fireworks, but something close to it as the residents of Alexandria deal with the losses of Aiden and Noah this week, Rick confronts Pete and Jessie, Daryl and Aaron are still on the hunt, Carl pursues Enid because he has nothing else to do, and Michonne and Rosita find out if Sasha needs help with her target practice.  That and possibly saving her soul.  This is “Try.”

Try- Deanna, Reg, and Spencer listen to Nine Inch Nails' 'Somewhat Damaged' on a RunMix CD

The episode begins with a small montage: Deanna, Reg, and Spencer listening to Nine Inch Nails’ “Somewhat Damaged” on a RunMix CD.  Alexandria has CD players, apparently.

Try- Carol whips up a casserole

Carol cooks up a casserole and leaves a condolences note for Deanna.

Try- Sasha takes aim

Sasha channels Andrea’s marksmanship and takes out walkers with skill.

Try- Daryl and Aaron spot a light in the distance

And Daryl and Aaron spot a light in the distance.

Try- Nicholas tells his side of what happened to Aiden and Noah

We then see Nicholas and Glenn interviewed separately concerning the events of the previous episode.  Nicholas, the asshole that he is, claims that he tried to stay and help Aiden while the others wanted to leave.  He blames the others for this, yet Deanna points out that they all still returned together.

Nicholas’ interview appears to be the only one of the two that is recorded.  Deanna forbids the two from holding firearms or going outside until she can further review this matter.  Why no one bothers to get Eugene’s input on the situation, I don’t know.  Anyway, Deanna still sees great potential in them, even if Nicholas wants them gone.

Try- Glenn tells Rick what happened to Noah and Aiden

Glenn, however, relays his story to Rick- how he saw the grenades on the walker that Aiden shot, how he watched Noah die before his eyes, how he tried to save him, how much Noah believed in Alexandria, it tears him apart.

Rick is ready to take action.  After all, the people of Alexandria are still too relaxed in his eyes.  They haven’t caught up with the rest of society because they’ve been too complacent.  Glenn, however, believes that the people can be shown a better way, but not by force.

Try- Carol and Rick watch Jessie from afar

Sometime later, Carol catches up with Rick and the two watch Jessie and her kids on their porch.  Carol talked some more with Sam and learned that Jessie placed a bolt inside his door.  At times, she’ll tell him to lock himself inside.  He would hear the sounds of Pete yelling and once walked out to find his mother unconscious while his father just sat on the porch.

Rick asks why Carol even cares about this, but she responds that he already knows.  Though that’s not really an answer, she then turns it on Rick and asks why he cares, but she can figure that out.  After all, she’s seen the way that Rick talks to her.  If the walkers didn’t come in, Carol says, she wouldn’t be there right now.  Rick disagrees.

Try- Rick advises Pete to keep walking

Then Rick heads to the water, gun in hand.  His trigger finger is itchy and when Pete comes by, Rick warns him to keep walking.

Try- Rosita fills Michonne in on Tara's condition

The next day, Michonne prepares to get ready for the day when Rosita enters and informs her that Tara’s condition is stable.  Rosita is worried about Sasha, though, as she spent the night in the tower.  Rosita just saw her go out one day.

Try- Rosita and Michonne on their guard

So Rosita and Michonne take their first time outside of the Alexandria gates since they arrived and it already feels different, though the two are still on their guard.  Rosita thinks that’s a good thing.  After Eugene’s life, she’s felt screwed up since she lost something, but for Michonne, it’s because she found something.  Noah’s still dead, though, and it’d be simple to forget, but the two don’t plan on that.

Try- Rick visits Deanna to talk about Pete and Jessie

Deanna visits the graves when she receives a visit from Rick, who first apologizes, but also addresses the problem with Pete.  Deanna had hoped it would get better, indicating that she knew about the abuse all along.  Rick tells her that this situation won’t get any better and action must be taken, but Deanna needs Pete’s skills as a surgeon.  He has saved lives, after all.  True, but he’s still beating his wife.

While Deanna suggests separating the two, Rick is wary that Pete just won’t comply with that when he doesn’t have to.  So then why not just kill him, Rick then suggests.  Deanna shoots that down without a thought.  This is a civilization.  Even still, Rick says, you either stop this kind of stuff or someone dies.  If Pete was exiled, Deanna would make the community vulnerable since he could return.

Tired of this, Deanna puts her foot down- Rick will not execute Pete.  Grimes is visibly angry with this decision.  People are dying. These are times when you can decide when or life can decide for her.  Deanna already has, though, since she wouldn’t kill Rick.  Again, foot down- no execution.

Try- Michonne and Rosita find a walker executed by Sasha

Michonne and Rosita find numerous walkers that have been shot in the back of the head- she’s hunting the roamers.

Try- Enid knows Carl is following her

Because Carl needs something to do, he follows Enid some more.  Well, he’s not good at being stealthy because she can hear his every move.  People always die, she says, so why go back to Alexandria?  When Carl asks what she’s doing out there, she responds that it’s for the same reason as him.  With that, she breaks into a run.  But not just any run.  This run is in slow motion.

Try- Enid and Carl find a walker

The two happen upon a walker, but keep their distance.  Enid readies a timer and throws it to distract the walker.

Try- Glenn confronts Nicholas over what happened to Noah and Aiden

Glenn confronts Nicholas to tell him that not only are the four previous scouting members’ deaths on him, now he has to carry the burden of letting Noah die.  People like Nicholas are supposed to die, but he got in before the walls went up.  He now survives by not going outside.  Nicholas doesn’t take this sitting down, saying that he’s protected people for a long time, while Glenn and his group just got there.  He takes Glenn’s words as a threat, but they’re not.  Glenn says that he’s saving Nicholas’ life.

Try- Enid and Carl talk about their pasts

Carl and Enid rest on a log.  She likes being out and running because, in her mind, people are supposed to feel like this.  She doesn’t want to forget and running makes her feel better.  While Enid uses her mother’s knife to carve into a log, Carl asks what happened to her before she arrived in Alexandria.  Enid doesn’t think that matters, but Carl still wants to know since bad things have happened to him, too.

Try- Enid and Carl, standing in a tree, w-a-t-c-h-i-n-g walkers go by

At the sound of walkers, the two hide in a tree.  This could only be more cliché of the two started kissing.  They don’t, however, though Carl does brush Enid’s hand as the walkers pass them by.  Oh, and more walkers with W’s on their foreheads.

Try- Rosita, Sasha, and Michonne take out walkers

While Nicholas digs up a gun, Sasha continues to pick off walkers.  She’s soon joined by Michonne and Rosita, but Sasha rejects their help.  She’s tired of playing defense and continues taking out walker after walker.  As Michonne sees flashes of her former, loner self in Sasha, she continues helping.  In a bit of realism, though, Sasha actually runs out of ammunition.  She’s still got a knife, but a walker downs her and almost bites her before she’s saved.

When it’s all said and done, though, Sasha still claims she didn’t need help.  They can’t do anything for her.  Things worked out for Michonne, but no one can help Sasha.  After all, she told Noah that he wouldn’t make it.  That’s true, Sasha, you did do that.

Try- Aaron and Daryl find a woman tied to a tree

Daryl and Aaron find more limbs and decapitated bodies.  As the two continue along, they find a woman tied to a tree and a W carved on her forehead.  She’s eliminated for good just as she begins to reanimate.

Try- Rick talks to Jessie about Pete

Rick visits Jessie, who offers her condolences about Noah.  And Tara, but her fate is up in the air.  Anyway, Rick confronts Jessie about Pete abusing her.  It has to stop, he says.  She says that it will, since it already has before.  She got Pete help.  Rick argues that he can fix this problem a lot better than her.  If things get worse, then Pete has already killed Jessie.  Rick won’t let that happen.  Despite Rick’s good intentions, Jessie rejects his help.  As a married woman, she can take care of this herself.

Try- Rick pleads Jessie to let him help her

After stepping outside for a bit, Rick returns and tells Jessie about Sam asking for a gun.  The life inside these walls is the same outside.  You don’t get to just live.  You can’t put off or wish away the inevitable.  You have to fight.  And if you don’t, you die.  Rick doesn’t want Jessie to die.  Just say yes and all will be well.  When Jessie asks if Rick would do this for someone else, he says no.  So Jessie’s answer is yes.

Try- Pete finds Rick talking with Jessie

But there’s Pete, who wants Rick out.  The brewing confrontation explodes as the words between Rick and Pete turn physical.

Try- Exterior shot before

Oh, we get a brief shot outside as we hear the fight take place in the house.  Why?

Try- Exterior shot after, the fight

That’s why.

Try- Pete versus Rick

So yeah, while Sasha picks off more walkers outside the walls, Rick and Pete’s fight spills into the street and attracts a crowd.  Jessie and Carl are knocked off when trying to break up the brawl.  Even Deanna is unable to calm the two men.

Try- Rick points his gun at Deanna and folks

Rick eventually draws his gun and waves it around.  The people of Alexandria just don’t get it.  They just sit around, hesitate, and pretend to know how to live.  Rick and company, though?  They know what needs to be done.  They’ve lived.  The way of life for the people of Alexandria is done.  It’s time to understand that they live in the real world.  That’s all very clear to Deanna right now.

But Rick’s not done.  He believes that Deanna’s way gets people killed.  Rick won’t let that happen.

Try- Michonne knocks out Rick

Okay, Michonne’s had enough.  Good night, Rick.

So we’re one episode away from the season finale and “Try” had a lot of setup.  For the longest time, the residents of the Alexandria Safe Zone have lived in relative peace.  Not total peace, but it’s more than what Rick and company have had.

Try- And then Rick pulled out his gun

The problem, as Rick and others have pointed out, is that they’ve become too comfortable.  The newcomers feel that Alexandria’s residents hesitate and are cowards.  They just live as opposed to fighting for their lives.  That doesn’t apply to all of them, to be sure, but from what we’ve seen, it applies to a good number of them.  Life isn’t the way it was before the world went to hell, yes, but they act as if things are close to normal.  Beyond those walls, though, they aren’t.

Since the arrival of Rick and pals, we’ve seen them question the foundation of the society that Alexandria is trying to build.  We had Sasha’s outburst during the dinner party, Carl’s concern that the group will grow weak, and Rick flat out waving a gun around and calling out the ridiculousness of Deanna’s rules.  All he needed to do was call himself the law, but I’m guessing Michonne sensed that was coming next.

Try- Deanna listens to Rick rant

Because of Rick’s outburst, the folks of Alexandria now know what the newcomers think of them.  It remains to be seen whether there’s complete distrust or whether they now just question Rick’s motives since he is de-facto leader of the group.  With Gabriel’s admission to Deanna as well, the lines between Rick’s group and the Alexandria residents are deepening.  And, as expected, not everyone in Rick’s group shares the same frame of mind as Rick.

Try- Deanna with Rick at the graves

Deanna is very similar to Dawn: she knows that horrible things happen under her watch, but she allows certain people to stay because she values their skills and abilities.  Pete may hit his wife, but he’s also a surgeon that’s responsible for saving people’s lives, including working on Tara right now.  Deanna is focusing more on the future of the community.  If she allows Rick to execute Pete, it sets a bad precedent and shows that there is no law.

Try- Deanna watches Nicholas' confession

I do think Deanna has the best of intentions as the leader and we’ve yet to see everything that she’s capable of, but she’s in a difficult position.  She knows that actions should be taken against perpetrators and that the people of Alexandria are too relaxed, but she’s focusing on growing the community.  She lacks the real world experience that the others have been through, so she doesn’t see a need for the excessive violence that Rick advocates.

To her, there’s a better way.  Even if that means letting someone like Pete stay or exiling him when he could return and endanger the safe zone, Deanna won’t allow herself to cross a certain line, or she’d just become a part of the problem.  And yet, she told us that she sent others out before, so we know she has the potential to get rid of issues in the community.

Try- Deanna burns the sympathy note

For my money, I still think we have a lot to see from Deanna’s character.  We get to see her grieve Aiden’s loss, but we also know that she’s taken Gabriel’s words to heart when she burns Carol’s sympathy note.  Deanna isn’t looking for apologizes; she wants the truth.  Given her ability to read people, I have to wonder if she’s a few steps ahead of the others.  She knew that Pete was hitting Jessie and she thanked Glenn for knocking Aiden on his ass, so I’m curious whether she believes Nicholas’ version of the story or if she knows that he’s full of shit.

Try- Glenn isn't threatening Nicholas

Speaking of Nicholas and Glenn, I appreciate that the events of the previous episode weren’t just glossed over.  It’s clear that the deaths of Aiden and Noah have touched the community, but they hit Glenn hard because he had to watch Noah be killed, but could do nothing to help.  Glenn also had a real point.  Even if Nicholas was telling the truth about being a vital part of the community before, he and Aiden still abandoned other members to die and did the exact same thing that led to Noah’s death.

Try- Nicholas feels threatened by Glenn

For us, people like Nicholas would be expected to die because of his cowardice, but fate and Alexandria’s walls have spared him for the time being.  It doesn’t matter how much Nicholas has helped out because he now has five deaths on his hands.  That’s something he’ll never forget.

Try- Enid uses her mother's knife to carve into a log

In fact, this episode dealt a lot with characters struggling to either forget about the past or holding onto it.  The outbreak has claimed and changed many people’s lives.  As Jessie once told Rick, everyone has suffered the pain of loss, but that’s what also brought them together.  Enid and Carl, for example, don’t want to forget.  They can’t and, hell, probably never will forget.  I like the idea of Enid running outside just so she can feel something, but my hope is that she’s more cautious when fooling with walkers and throwing timers at them.  I’d expect that from Lizzie, but hopefully Enid is smarter than that.  However, she’s smart enough to know that it’s better to feel something than just be complacent and feel little.

Try- Carl and Enid on a log

We still don’t know much about Enid’s past before the outbreak, and I’m fine with that for now because it leaves her background shrouded in mystery.  It gives Carl a challenge as he tries to get someone else to open up, but at the same time, the two can relate to one another because, unlike some of the other kids, they don’t want to forget what it’s like to feel.

Try- Sasha doesn't want Michonne or Rosita's help

Same goes with Sasha, who is using walkers as target practice for some catharsis.  It’d be different if she just shot a bunch of walkers, but she’s both targeting and executing them like she’s on a mission.  She’s lost Bob, Tyreese, and now Noah after bluntly telling him that he wouldn’t make it in this world.  Sasha is in a dark place right now and is constantly on edge, which would explain why she holed herself in the tower.  Chances are she’d hurt someone if they attempted to get close, as she almost did when she almost struck Abraham and Michonne during “Them.”  Right now, she just needs to be by herself.

Try- Michonne sees shades of her former self in Sasha

The problem is she’s going down the same dark path that Michonne was just on and I liked the use of quick cuts to show the emptiness Michonne felt when she was on her own and just cut down walkers to survive.  Because of her being with the group, Michonne has regained her humanity and isn’t so distant.  Michonne doesn’t want the same darkness and solitude that defined her for so long to suddenly inhabit Sasha, and that could very well happen if Sasha doesn’t let people in.

Try- Rosita

I like the parallels between the two and this probably would have been a lot stronger if it had just been two of them so they could talk more, but I guess the show has to give Rosita something else to do.

Try- Daryl and Aaron find a woman

Let’s talk briefly about Aaron and Daryl, though.  It’s nice to see the two working together as a team and this puts Daryl back in his element.  He’s more suited to this than being in Alexandria.  The scenes are brief enough that we get the gist of what they’re doing, but we’re still left up in the air about the walkers with the Ws carved into their heads, not to mention the limbs.

Try- Rick tells Jessie that Sam wanted a gun

Meanwhile, Rick gets to play Judge, Jury, and Executioner.  It’s interesting that Deanna put him in this position, yet she now has issues with his rule.  I mean, she made him an officer again, so let him exercise some discipline, especially to shake these people out of apathy.  Rick has the best of intentions, even if one of those reasons is his feelings for Jessie.  That said, he did show genuine concern for her when he told her that Sam wanted a gun.  Maybe Carol should have just handled this since she knows what it’s like to be a battered housewife.

Try- Bloody Rick

I did enjoy Rick’s rant at the end and he has a good point.  Deanna’s methods have gotten people killed.  Granted, Rick must have short term memory loss since his route to Alexandria almost got him, Michonne, Aaron, and Glenn killed, though.  Rick has lost many people around him and had to make tough decisions as a leader.  He knows what it’s like to try and keep a group of people alive, but also how to make them stronger.  As Rick said to both Deanna and Jessie, without any sort of order or willing to kill to survive, the world within Alexandria’s walls is no different than outside.  That goes in hand with Enid’s line about this world belong to the walkers and humans just live in it.  It’s a hellish world, but you do what you must to survive.

For Alexandria, he feels that Deanna’s ways have made them weaker.  He vows not to let that happen, but he’s taking it to an extreme by waving his gun around at a bunch of people that still don’t know much about him.

Try- The Walking Dead #75, Comic book Rick rants to Douglas

Try- The Walking Dead #75, Michonne knocks down Rick

This may end up making the others in Rick’s group look bad by association, but that could be why Michonne, as she did in the comic, knocked him out, if only to show that not everyone is as rage-filled as him.  The final confrontation as a whole was a great page to screen translation of The Walking Dead #75.

Hell, Jessie getting hit during the fight I could see happening since Pete has that pattern of abuse, but for Rick to strike Carl shows he wasn’t thinking straight either.  He just wanted to hurt Pete.

Try- The Walking Dead #75, Rick goes to Pete and Jessie's place

Though, like his comic book counterpart, Rick did try to talk things out, but this was a lot more visceral, I think.

Try- Rick clashes with Deanna

Sure, Rick and his merry sidekicks may have unorthodox methods, but they’re the ones making a difference in Alexandria.  Rick takes it upon himself to stop Pete’s violent antics in a very brutal fight.  Hell, Pete may be a surgeon and an asshole, but he put up a good fight, I’ll give him that.  In the end, we didn’t even get a clear winner, so we’ll just call this one a draw.  The same applies to Rick and Deanna’s warring ideologies.  Right now, there’s no fine balance or middle ground, but because of Rick’s outburst, I wouldn’t be surprised if people sided with Deanna.

Try- Keep walking, Rick to Pete

All that said, that scene where Rick told Pete to keep walking and kept his cool while trying not to shoot him was damn effective and definitely a great moment.

“Try” was a strong episode and left enough threads up in the air as we head into the season finale.  Walkers are approaching the safe zone, but Sasha, even with her fractured, psyche, is able to pick them off for now.  Aaron and Daryl continue their search while making grim discoveries.  Rick, for all his power and respect, causes a scene and has most definitely earned some mistrust among the Alexandria community.  Plus, Nicholas did dig up a gun, so what’s that all about?  What happens from here?  We’ll find out in the season finale.

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