*WARNING: This review contains spoilers*
Alexandria has finally been revealed, but many secrets still lie behind the steel gates.
As the group meet the community’s leader, former Congresswoman Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh), they are all video interviewed about their experiences in the rotting remains of civilization.
The direction and cinematography of “Remember,” was absolutely brilliant with how the episode combined the live action scenes along with Deanna’s recorded interviews with characters such as Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Carl (Chandler Riggs), Carol (Melissa McBride) and Glenn (Steven Yeun). It gives us insight into each group member’s insight and mentality towards this seemingly pleasant community, yet they are hesitant to be fully trusting towards the Alexandrians due to their past conflicts with the Governor and the Terminus cannibals.
Rick, especially, is extremely doubtful of not only if his apocalyptic family can trust these strangers, but whether or not the strangers can even handle a single walker. Many of them have never spent a night in the zombie-infested world beyond their safe haven as proven by Alexandrians Adrian and Nick’s utter stupidity with handling only one “roamer.” Glenn, Noah (Tyler James Williams) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) are given the job as “runners” and accompany Adrian and Nick while they seek out a walker who killed a fellow community member. The walker managed to wriggle out of the noose around its decomposing neck, and not surprisingly, stumbles into the clearing where the five survivors are. Nick and Adrian, however, want to torture it in their blind rage and try to tie it up again but its skin peels off, literally. With the zombie’s teeth snapping close to Tara’s face, Glenn stabs it to the Alexandrians’ dismay and raw anger.
As the five enter the community, a small fight breaks out between Adrian and Glenn as Glenn comments that Adrian’s inability to lead and be cautious are the reasons why his friend died. Adrian throws a punch, which Glenn dodges and proceeds to nail Adrian in the face as Daryl (Norman Reedus) subdues another Alexandrian, which spurs Rick and Deanna to intervene. The two leaders calm the anger, but only temporarily; Rick, Carl, Glenn and Carol deem the Alexandrians unfit to survive in the new world, and Rick declares that they will take the community if they can’t “make it.”
“Remember” has a clear direction, which lies in the vast differences between Rick’s group and Deanna’s; Rick and the survivors look like untamed, wild animals roaming among the inexperienced, weak Alexandrians who have never dealt with anything but a few mere walkers, which is why Rick warned Deanna about opening their gates to outside people. You must fear the living and fight the dead, and the Alexandrians’ have done neither.
Perhaps the most tragic part of the episode was when Rick shaves his burly beard, revealing a clean-shaved face beneath. Does this symbolize a transformation in the former sheriff, definitely since he has now been given the position as “constable” along with Michonne (Danai Gurara) by Deanna. Or has he devolved into a conqueror, who will truly take the community if the others cannot handle the ugly realities lurking beyond their gates?