The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 11, “The Distance”
Sunday, February 22, 2015, 9pm (EST), AMC
At the end of last week’s episode we were introduced to a new character, Aaron, who seemed to know quite a bit about the group. Needless to say, Rick wasn’t going to mess around figuring out what Aaron’s true intentions were in tonight’s episode, “The Distance.”
Aaron right away seems incredibly willing to answer any questions and doesn’t give up a fight when his stuff is taken from him. Apparently he talks too much for Rick’s taste as he knocks him out cold. Once Aaron regains consciousness, Rick immediately goes into full blown paranoia, questioning how many people are out there, having everyone check their surrounds in case the barn is encircled. Despite Aaron saying only one other person is out there, Rick gets a small group to go look for the cars Aaron says are hidden. Michonne once again stands up to Rick and questions whether he needs to go this far considering Aaron had several opportunities to ambush the group if he wanted and didn’t. Rick doesn’t want to walk into another Woodbury or Terminus, understandably so.
Michonne, Glenn, Maggie, Abraham and Rosita head out and discover Aaron was, in fact, telling the truth about the cars. Interestingly enough, while they head out, Glenn takes on Rick’s mentality of shoot first, ask questions later, though he’s quickly shot down by Michonne and Maggie. When they return and report their findings, Rick is still skeptical about trusting Aaron. Only after both Carl, Michonne and Daryl speak up does Rick agree to go. Of course, he can’t do things easy as Aaron tells him to take Route 16 to get to the camp, Rick decides they’ll take Route 23, which Aaron advises against, saying they haven’t cleared it of roamers yet. Leave it to Rick to be difficult, yet again. We understand where he’s coming from, and that he not only has his family, but the group to keep safe. This is a side of Rick we haven’t seen in quite some time. Perhaps the losses of Beth and Tyreese are affecting him harder than we originally thought.
Well, apparently Rick should’ve listened to Aaron. Route 23 proves to be extremely hazardous, as Rick, Michonne, Glenn and Aaron smash into so many walkers that it clogs up the engine. Aaron escapes out of the car as walkers surround the group. Glenn gets separated from Rick and Michonne, ultimately finding and rescuing Aaron. They, in turn, help Rick and Michonne finish off a few walkers before escaping and reuniting with the remainder of the group. We discover the group found the other person Aaron was with, Eric. Very quickly we realize they are together. It’s a sweet moment to see them reunite, glad that the other is safe. Aaron finally tells the group about Alexandria, the town they came from to scout Rick’s group.
In the end, the group arrives at the front gates of Alexandria. Rick, apprehensive as always, seems to finally breathe a sigh of relief when he hears children playing behind the walls. This is the first time he actually appears to have hope that this place is not another Woodbury or Terminus. As he stated to Michonne earlier, both those towns had silence behind their walls. Carol, who we haven’t heard from much since Grady Memorial, tells Rick even though he was wrong, he was still right. The group stands at the entrance as we wait to see if they’ll finally have a place to call home, or if it’s an elaborate ruse again.
- Michonne appears to be the new voice of reason, and she isn’t afraid to question Rick’s authority. Rick also respects and listens to her.
- Despite Glenn trying to act like Rick earlier, he ultimately still has a conscious when he saves Aaron from the walker. I’m not so sure Rick would’ve done the same.
- I really liked the nod to Gale when Abraham asks Glenn how he knew where to look for the extra battery for the RV. It reminds us that people they’ve lost so long ago still have an impact on how the group is surviving today.
- Despite Rick seeming to be ok with how things may turn out with Alexandria, the fact that he hides a spare gun in a blender near an abandoned house suggests otherwise.
- Getting so close to D.C. must be a huge sigh of relief for Abraham. His personal quest is almost at an end. Does this mean he and Rosita may split from the group once things settle down?
- The walker getting the flare gun to the face was a great scene and use of special effects.
Aaron tells the group of Alexandria, their home. Despite not trusting him initially, the group realizes he isn’t a threat and ultimately head off to Alexandria. Their arrival seems like it could be a new beginning for the group, but only time will tell.