Previously seen covertly legging it from Alexandria every now and then and bonding with Carl (Chandler Riggs), the opening scene gives us a look at what led to Enid (Katelyn Nacon) becoming an inhabitant of the community.
As it turns out, she’d seen her parents killed and devoured, before subsequently surviving on her own (which involves eating a poor old tortoise).
The imagery is fairly on-the-nose, and per what we’ve come to expect so far, the insinuation being that Enid has become just like the undead, as evidenced by the way she gobbles down literally the most harmless mammal you can find.
Despite this sudden instance of character development, her story initially takes a back seat to Carol (Melissa McBride) continuing to pretend to be a domestic goddess. It seems as if it’ll be a fairly conventional episode. Maybe they’ll follow up on last week’s horn-blowing antics at a later date.
And then it all happens.
With a swing of a machete and a hurl of a Molotov, the wolves are through the door. Carol’s earlier pronouncement that “there’s enough things trying to kill us” comes horribly true. No longer is The Walking Dead the kind of show that dangles loose ends. Every action has sudden – and in some cases immediate – ramifications.
We knew the wolves would come, and we knew the people of Alexandria’s lack of battle-readiness would come back to haunt them. We just didn’t think it’d happen so soon.
It’s one of the bloodiest episodes for a while, and there’s barely a walker in sight. Although no major characters lose their lives, it’s never without tension; you’re just waiting for Maggie, or Eugene, or – god forbid – Morgan, whose samurai-esque skills are becoming a highlight.
If there’s a recurring theme, it seems to be to face up to who you are; Enid does, and absconds. Aaron (Ross Marquand) has to face up to the fact that – however inadvertently – his actions have resulted in many deaths, and Carol can no longer hide behind her shield of benign domesticity. Having shown her true colours, she can afford to a bit more open about her ass-kicking capabilities.
Yet while we know the undead horde is on the way, things won’t stay still for long. If this is the shape of The Walking Dead’s new world order, then we can’t wait til next week.