Three guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Walking Dead 5x11: The Distance


Trust. Trust is tough to earn and even tougher to give. How do you know who is trustworthy? What can someone do to gain a person's trust? Especially when the people whose trust they're trying to earn have been burned by trusting others so many times before.

In the zombie apocalypse, trust is even harder to give. If you trust the wrong person you could very well end up dead. Sure, Rick's group's incredible distrust of everyone can be annoying a lot of the time but I do sympathize with their dilemma. For the most part, Rick's group just runs into cannibals, kidnappers and megalomaniacs. So when a stranger named Aaron arrives offering to take them to a safe haven, who can blame them for being a bit suspicious?

Maggie and, somewhat surprisingly, Michonne are the first to trust Aaron. (And by trust, I mean, they want to check out and validate what he's saying instead of straight up murder him and take whatever he has.) I think their trust is more born out of desperation than anything else. Rick's group is barely surviving and don't have much positive to look forward to. Any glimmer of hope must be very tempting.

The rest of the group slowly but surely begins to trust Aaron. Or, at least, they want to see where he leads them. Well, everyone but Rick. He refuses to trust Aaron under nearly any circumstance.

In case you didn't know, Rick is super untrusting. I get it to a point. He's the only person who is in charge of two kids. He also has taken on a leadership role and feels responsible for the group. Any wrong decision that could cost lives and weigh heavy on him. Trusting someone means leaving the group vulnerable and that's hard on Rick.

But, despite me understanding Rick's trepidation, he annoyed me, a lot. Just because someone you don't know could be a rapist, murderer or thief doesn't mean you have to treat them like they already have raped, murdered and stolen. There's a fine line between being cautious and being an asshole. When Rick coldcocked Aaron before he finished his introduction speech my eyes nearly rolled out of their socket.

The second super annoying part was when Rick insisted on taking a different route. The entire audience (and Aaron) knew that it would be trouble but Rick decided to go the other route anyway. Predictably, he drove them right into a zombie stampede. It was a suitably tense and enjoyable scene but it was undercut by the fact that Rick stupidly put them in that situation.

In the end, though, even Rick was forced to start trusting, little. At least he's seeing where things go. Even after entering the promised walled city I still don't think Rick trusts them, but at least this episode gave us viewers something even more valuable than trust, hope.

Other Thoughts:
Sorry for the delay in this recap. A combination of The Academy Awards, life, work and laziness got in the way. Better late than...never?

For being a person from Atlanta, Rick has an amazing knowledge of the roads around Washington D.C.

Aaron is kind of in a no win situation. If he acts like an asshole then he's an asshole. If he acts nice, like he did, then it seems suspicious.

I liked Aaron's little monologue on if it matters how many people he says are out there. Aaron makes a lot of logical points about him having many opportunities to kill them before if he wanted. Then again, all those points are valid unless Aaron and his group are cannibals. I don't think they are but you know that has to be on Rick and Company's mind.

Ill-fated highway journey aside, I didn't mind Rick's stratagems regarding investigating what Aaron was saying. I just wish Rick came up with the plan because he wanted to trust Aaron and not because he was forced to by others in the group.

I don't care if Aaron hates apple sauce. He should have sucked it up and eaten the apple sauce.

Also, after practically forcing the apple sauce down Aaron's throat, he didn't wait very long to see if there are any ill-effects before feeding it to Judith.

I did find Rick saying he's unsure if anything can convince him to trust was interesting. At least he's being honest with himself.

Glenn and Aaron's shooting was WAY to accurate.

In the Star Trek episode Mirror, Mirror, Spock (RIP) said "It was far easier for you as civilized men to behave like barbarians, than it was for them to behave like civilized men." I wonder if Rick and Company will have similar issues now they have found themselves in a walled city that, at this point, seems civilized.

3 comments:


  1. // If he acts like an asshole then he's an asshole. If he acts nice, like he did, then it seems suspicious. //

    It doesn't help that Aaron has this whole Kevin-Spacey-as-Ben-Linus vibe. His preternaturally calm demeanor and demonstration that he's thought through all the angles reads as sociopathic — for me, anyway — to an extent that reinforces the legitimacy of Rick's borderline (?) paranoid distrust. The entire gestalt of the show frankly makes it hard to even tell what's reasonable behavior anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm always so torn on these kinds of episodes. Because Rick and company have every reason to be uber suspicious, since literally every large group of people they've encountered since Hershel's farm have turned out to be terrible, at best, but at the same time, I want them to find an actual decent community and just do something *different*, so their suspicion becomes grating to watch. Yet at the same time, I have zero confidence the show won't, eventually, drop them into some kind of sociopathic rape zone, so I want them to continue to be suspicious.

    So basically, I want them to be trusting until the shit hits the fan, at which point I want them to have been right all along about being suspicious. Which I obviously realize is impossible...

    Part of the problem, I think, is that ultimately the show wants us to side with Rick, and the show also never wants there to be another group that could be possibly be good, so even when it presents a narrative like this, where we're supposed to be thinking that Rick is going too far, the show also wants us thinking he's not at the same time. Because they're so afraid of legitimate safe haven, Rick always has to be right to distrust others, even when they wants us to think otherwise.

    Maggie and, somewhat surprisingly, Michonne are the first to trust Aaron.

    Michonne is emerging in this half season as the new voice of compassion/reason/there's more to life than killing everything that's not us, which is disheartening since it means it's only a matter of time before she dies a la Dale, Hershel and Tyreese.

    There's a fine line between being cautious and being an asshole.

    Yes. I too was annoyed. There's nothing wrong with being cautious and checking out the guy's story. It's another thing to just stick your fingers in your ears and say "la la I can't hear you" no matter what.

    I liked Aaron's little monologue on if it matters how many people he says are out there.

    Yeah. It even seemed a bit meta, the writers acknowledging there's no answer that would make Rick happy.

    Then again, all those points are valid unless Aaron and his group are cannibals.

    I wish someone would have brought up Terminus to Aaron. Said like, "you make a great offer, but the last group to offer us shelter, food and a place to rest did so in a friendly way too but turned out to be cannibals who tried to eat us, so you'll forgive our extra caution even in the face of your seemingly genuine and generous offer."

    It wouldn't have changed anything, but it might have made Aaron a bit more sympathetic to their reluctance/distrust.

    I don't care if Aaron hates apple sauce. He should have sucked it up and eaten the apple sauce.

    Yes. Or bring some other food crop as proof of how awesome your city is, one you'll actually eat. Cuz Rick's not unreasonable in wanting him to eat some first. That was just some lame, manufactured tension.

    Also, after practically forcing the apple sauce down Aaron's throat, he didn't wait very long to see if there are any ill-effects before feeding it to Judith.

    Right? Apparently he was only concerned with all those super fast acting poisons being in it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @Blam: "It doesn't help that Aaron has this whole Kevin-Spacey-as-Ben-Linus vibe."

    You're right, he DOES seem like Ben Linus. Do you think he'll give vague answers to questions that will never be answered satisfactorily?

    @Austin: "I want them to be trusting until the shit hits the fan, at which point I want them to have been right all along about being suspicious"

    I just want them to ACT trusting. Like, maybe they're trying to figure if this guy is on the level but at least pretend to cautiously trust him in the mean time and, you know, not be assholes.

    "which is disheartening since it means it's only a matter of time before she dies a la Dale, Hershel and Tyreese."

    I'm still having a hard time believing The Walking Dead would have the guts to kill off Michonne.

    "I wish someone would have brought up Terminus to Aaron."

    It would've been interesting to see what Aaron would've said if they told him to prove that he wasn't a cannibal.

    "Right? Apparently he was only concerned with all those super fast acting poisons being in it."

    And he never stopped to consider if Aaron laced the apple sauce with iocane powder but had spent the past few years building up an immunity to it!

    ReplyDelete

Comment. Please. Love it? Hate it? Am mildly indifferent to it? Let us know!