This past March 8th season five episode 13 of The Walking Dead titled, "Forget," may have just as well also been titled, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner." Like the previous episode titled, "Remember," this episode was also light in action, though also no less both engrossing as well as entertaining. So much so which proves again the enduring resonating quality of this show.
Since their arrival at the end of episode 11 at the fortified Alexandria Safe Zone Community, those of Rick's group are now seen trying to accept each in their own way this new supposedly tranquil environment. This episode continues just like the previous, titled "Remember," to illustrate all the more the distinguishing characteristics between Rick's group whom all 15 were recently given two mansion homes next to each other, homes beautifully similar to the rest of the community, and those community inhabitants. The new scenery also lends to illustrate the contrasting behavioral characteristics of each group of people.
Deanna Monroe, leader of the Alexandria community and wonderfully acted by Tovah Feldshuh, knows that Rick and his group are a remarkable people to have survived the zombie apocalypse beyond the fortified walls of her sprawling, beautifully-maintained community. She seems sincere in her intentions, though also firm in her belief in maintaining the sustainability of the community. A former Congresswoman before the world had changed, she also tells Rick, Michonne and Maggie in a scene while sharing her vision which is not only to maintain safety, but also as she says, "I see a vibrant community here with industry, commerce, civilization. Real lives." And she looked to all three for agreement in her vision, for a leader has to have a vision, because without a vision among other things a person cannot become a leader.
Both groups of people know of the horrors beyond the protected walls. Yet because Rick's group have survived outside for so long, compared to those of the Alexandria community who have felt safe from the beginning, Deanna sees Rick and those of his group as invaluable. Yet even she needs to be occasionally reminded of this, where Rick tells her of the importance of maintaining a lookout at the clock-tower. For before that after he inspected the fortified walls he says to her, "People are the real threat now." Because if the Governor and his minions can come back to the prison-enclave with a tank in season four, after losing an earlier skirmish against Rick's group, cannot something similar also happen to the Alexandria community? For Rick's group are used to living by the motto, "Fight the dead, fear the living."
Even so, anytime there are group interactions, there may arise suspicions of Machiavellian intentions. Be that as it may, and seeing that Rick's group are new to the community, to take the edge off some, Deanna invites Rick and his group to an evening dinner party at her home. And from there that's when things really got interesting, in every way.
Soon after Rick arrives at the dinner party while carrying his baby daughter Judith, with also his son Carl, to meet Deanna and her husband Reg who built the fortified walls, both Abraham and Rosita also arrive together as a couple. Both looked unsure, that is at first, just before Abraham says, "I don't know about this." For both see those community neighbors who've showed up within Deanna and her husband's beautifully decorated and spacious home. Then Rosita says, "They have beer." Which Abraham follows saying, "I'm gonna try." And from there both began to relax and enjoy.
Next, Noah arrives, and as a somewhat newer member of Rick's group he too, like Abraham and Rosita, also looked unsure. Though unlike Abraham and Rosita, Noah appeared ready to leave soon after he arrived. Yet he was stopped by Glenn and Maggie, as Glenn says, "No way, you're not bailin. We're in this together man." Which Maggie follows with saying, "You're here with us now. You're here with family."
And that, is what it's all about, family. That and more, for the woman named Jessie, played by Alexandra Breckenridge, who cut Rick's hair in the previous episode, said further. As she says,
A lot of things disappeared. But a lot of bulls--t went with it. They're all from totally different backgrounds, different places. They never would have even met. And now they're apart of each other's lives. They are each other's lives. I'm just saying we all lost things, but we got something back. It isn't enough, but it's something.
What she had said, echoed nearly to what Deanna said to Rick, when she later in the day paid a visit to Rick at his new mansion home in a scene in the previous episode. While in the scene not only was Deanna surprised to see a clean-cut and clean-shaven Rick, she was also surprised to see all of his group resting together within a spacious living room on their first night. To which she later says to him, "You said you're a family. That's what you said. Absolutely amazing to me how people with completely different backgrounds and nothing in common can become that." Rick's group we're given two mansion homes, yet Rick as a precaution had wanted everyone together on their first night.
What the character Jessie had said to Rick reminded me of what America was going through just after the September 11, 2001 attacks. In the days that followed, it seemed not to matter what side of the tracks you came from, or were from, nor seemingly for the most part at least, what color you were. Everybody for the most part shared a commonality. Not long after coming home from a workout, I channel surfed and caught Senator John McCain, I believe it was him, on Oprah. Oprah had shared with Sen. McCain before an audience, that a member of her staff had asked her, "When will things get back to normal?" Not long after hearing that, I said to myself, "We don't need no normal. We need abnormal." We need that continued abnormality of commonality that seemed to last at least a month after the September 11th attacks. So what the Jessie character had said in the dinner party scene does resonate. And this is a further testament, to why The Walking Dead is such a great and enduring show. For again it's not all only about zombies, but mostly about humanity.
Carol does a Luca Brasi, from The Godfather film, in this episode. Carol gives the son of Jessie named Sam, the boy who caught her lifting some guns from the armory during the dinner party, an offer he can't refuse. She tells him in her soft-spoken way, that as long as you don't tell anyone what you saw, you'll get cookies, many delicious cookies and you'll stay safe. She offered him a win-win. For earlier Rick, Daryl and Carol planned stealing of some weapons from the armory as a precaution.
I've also come to like Aaron, played by Ross Marquand, in this episode. He seems a decent, honorable chap. The scene where he asks Daryl to take his partner Eric's place as a recruiter because he can tell the difference between a good person and a bad person, echoes from a scene two episodes ago when he tells Rick, "Bad people pointed guns at my face every other week. You're not bad people." For Aaron used to work at an NGO (non-governmental organization) that delivered medicine and food to the Niger River Delta in western-northern Africa.
Then there's Sasha, who seems to be the only one of Rick's group who hasn't accepted their new surroundings. Yet I actually believe she will later. Because that's also what The Walking Dead show is about: character growth and continually evolving story lines. Long live The Walking Dead.