Who run the world*?
*By world, I mean Alexandria. The answer would be girls, but these is grown-ass women so: WOMEN.
Can we just bask in the glory of the ladies in this episode, the second of the season?
As a woman who is largely cold and dead inside, I appreciated Enid’s backstory. I imagine seeing your parents killed and eaten in front of you would fuck you up a bit. Her parents died, in part, because they didn’t listen to her when she said — not once, but twice — “Mom! Dad! They’re coming,” so she has every right to be a little sullen and withdrawn.
It’s worth noting that it seems like Enid survived the zombie onslaught by closing the car door.
Well, Enid, good riddance. I’m not saying that your parents deserved to die. That would be insensitive. I’m saying the weak can’t survive in the TWD universe. You do the math.
Now beyond that lesson which we’ve learned over and over throughout the full 5 seasons, why did Enid get the full pre-credit spotlight? To set up the cryptic episode title “JSS”? Um, okay. I guess that was worth it. Note: It wasn’t.
Enid’s philosophy/mantra is solid though, and so she we see her hesitate before entering Alexandria and we see her decide to bounce; Alexandria is soft and weak and she is in these streets eating raw turtles. They can’t hang with her.
Ron specifically can’t keep up. Enid is trapped in a unfeeling awkward hug with Ron as Carl walks Judith around. She looks up at Carl like “Help me. This motherfucker is over here talking about feelings like we all ain’t just an aluminum foil wall away from dying.”
Enid might have feelings for Carl. I mean there was that super awesome first date when they almost died inside a hollowed-out tree surrounded by walkers. So clearly, she has to say goodbye to him.
Here’s the exact moment when Carl fucks up:
“Don’t tell me goodbye.”
“Okay. I won’t.”
Oh Carl, she’s already gone. She’s a smokebomb and a blink away from being a memory.
Because the women in this episode are about it.
Even Denise, the new and under-qualified doctor, has a come-to-Jesus-moment as she tries to save Holly. Yes, she doubts herself. Yes, she ultimately loses the patient, but she tries. It important to note that she tries in large part because Tara encourages her. This episode was one song away from being a Spice Girls concert in its prioritization of girl power. Jessie, too, got in on this empowerment action. She’s recently widowed. She stays fending off Rick’s creepy advances. And she is trying to raise two sons — one of which has good instincts and wants to be near Carol and the other of which is angry at everyone. But, like she said to Rick in the last episode: she’s going to fight. Somebody really should have warned the woman who broke into her house and threatened her home.
Now I’m not a drama therapist, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that old girl had years of pent up Pete-inspired rage and she unleashed it on that Wolf. Yeah, Rick, I wouldn’t worry about her. We know another woman who this zombie apocalypse freed from an abusive marriage and she ain’t fucking around either.
Before we get to my beloved Carol, let’s look at the disappointments of this episode: Deanna and Maggie are out in a field planting seeds (I see you boring ass, over-used metaphor). I’m over these two. It’s like Maggie retired from being a fighter. Maggie who was in the 300 formation as they took the prison from the Walkers. Maggie, who had no fucks to give as she got good and dirty with Glenn in the watchtower of the prison. Maggie, who is now the administrative assistant to Deanna.
Speaking of Deanna, I applaud you for your straight hard sell about why you should stay safe and far, far away from danger. Though to be real if her son Spencer is protecting her then, um, I’m just saying you should have a pocket knife or something. (Why is Spencer in a lookout tower with a gun he can’t shoot? You have one job. One. Job. Hint: It’s not to waste bullets shooting wildly and vaguely in the direction of a threat.)
Know who was running into danger? The baddest of asses: Carol. Did someone say “Just survive somehow?” [Cue the Carol I’ve loved and missed.] You had me at the subtle read of the “let’s pretend we live in Tuscany” chick.
Carol is still in Laurence Fishburne levels of deep cover — full-on cardigan and Ladies Home Journal cola canned ham recipes. In fact, the whole ladies’ only pantry scene was a coming out party for the real Carol. She gets called a hero, low-key calls Tuscany disgusting, and foreshadows the death that is about to descend on the town. Everything after this, including her “man up” conversation with Sam (son of shot in the face abusive husband and father, Pete), is that pure, uncut Carol.
She makes sure Judith is safe and goes vigilante on the Wolves. Between mercy-killing Tuscany and killing her killer, Carol manages to don a disguise complete with the W in blood on her forehead so that she can get in close enough to get a high five and then stab a motherfucker in the gut. Will you marry me?
Carol is out here saving lives and Morgan is… conscientiously objecting. Just him and his stick. Carol has a plan. Morgan has his higher moral ground. Once again, fuck you, Morgan.
It’s not just his sanctimonious attitude that annoys me; it’s the inefficiency of it. Carol is leading him down the streets as though she’s captured him and he breaks away to save, of all people, Father Gabriel. Meh. So clearly he doesn’t kill the guy trying to stab the good father. So Carol rolls up like “Look at the Flow– no fuck it look at me” and handles it. He has the nerve to say “You don’t like it.” No, of course she doesn’t like it. But women have been doing what needs to be for their family, for their tribe, for their group forever.
And it’s not always pretty. And it’s not always fun. But it is always necessary.