Season 5, Episode 12
Adjusting into a new lifestyle is proving difficult for the group. Has life on the road proven too treacherous to go back to who they once were?
Rick’s group walks through Alexandria’s front gate. They’re met by a guard, Nicholas, who orders them to hand over their weapons. They refuse, but Aaron intervenes and insists they can keep their guns until after they speak with the community’s leader, Deanna.
In a well-furnished living room, Deanna videotapes Rick as she questions him about his group. She explains that Alexandria was previously a sustainable community complete with its own solar grid, cisterns and eco-based sewage filtration. Rick asks Deanna -- a former congresswoman from Ohio -- what she wants. “I want you to help us survive,” she says.
Rick’s people surrender their guns to Olivia, who manages the armory. Olivia says they can sign out their guns whenever they go outside the walls. Carol feigns struggling to unshoulder her rifle and then meekly places it on the pile.
Aaron brings Rick and Carl to the group’s assigned homes — two picturesque colonial houses next door to each other. Inside, Rick and Carl find immaculate rooms with running water.
Rick takes a hot shower and shaves his overgrown beard. One of the neighbors, Jessie, stops by with a bin of food from the town pantry. Noticing his unruly hair, Jessie offers to give Rick a haircut. While cutting his hair, she mentions that her son Ron is Carl’s age and suggests they meet.
In her interview with Daryl, Deanna asks if he wants to be in Alexandria. He evades the question, but says that Carl and Judith deserve a nice home.
Carl and Carol explore the second house. Carol is suspicious that Deanna would just give away such luxurious accommodations. She meets with Rick and Daryl on the front lawn. They worry about splitting the group between two houses and agree they should all sleep in the same house.
That night, as the group prepares their beds on the living room floor, Deanna stops by. “Staying together,” she observes, “Smart.” Rick notes that she hasn't assigned him a job yet. Deanna says she has a job in mind for him, but is still trying to figure out Michonne, Sasha and Daryl.
That night, Rick finds himself unable to sleep. He goes to the kitchen and grabs a knife from the drawer.
The next day, Deanna interviews Michonne, who says that the group is ready to join the community.
Meanwhile, the group leaves their house to explore the neighborhood. Rick urges Daryl to join them but Daryl hangs back.
As they’re out walking, Rick loses track of Carl and Judith. In a panic, he finds Jessie, who takes him to a nearby house where Carl and Judith are meeting some elderly neighbors. Jessie suggests that they introduce Carl to Ron now.
In his bedroom, Ron introduces Carl to his friends Mikey and Enid and suggests they play video games. Carl can only stare back in disbelief. Ron apologizes and urges Carl to take his time adjusting to this new reality. He says it took Enid – another recent addition from outside the walls -- three weeks to open up. Carl looks curiously at Enid.
During his interview, Carl says his mom always wanted them to live in this sort of community. Later, at the house, he tells Rick that he likes the people in Alexandria, but “they’re weak, and I don’t want us to get weak, too.”
That night, Rick tells Michonne that his guard is still up. Michonne argues there’s nothing to be concerned about. “Then why are we both awake?” he asks. Still restless, Rick takes a nighttime stroll and sees Jessie’s husband Pete quietly smoking on his porch. Pete calls out to Rick, noting that his wife cut Rick’s hair. “Welcome to Alexandria,” he says.
In her interview, Carol puts on a front as a doting, domestic housewife who became the den mother of Rick’s group. She asks for a job that would allow her to be involved in the community.
Later, Carol steps out of her house dressed in khakis and a cardigan sweater. She tells Daryl that her job — making meals for people — will allow her to get close to the neighbors. She urges Daryl to clean himself up to keep up appearances. He shrugs her off.
In his interview, Glenn says they need to make things work with the new community. “We were almost out there too long,” he says.
Meanwhile, Carl watches Enid sneak over the wall. Intrigued, he follows her into the woods, but eventually loses her.
Rick goes outside the gate to examine the perimeter wall. He backtracks to look for the gun that he stashed outside the abandoned house, but discovers that it’s missing. Carl runs into Rick as a group of walkers approaches. Together, they take down the dead.
Glenn, Tara and Noah meet with Nicholas and Aiden, Deanna’s son, to begin their job helping with supply runs. As they carry out a dry run, Aiden explains that they must follow his orders at all times if they want to avoid getting killed by walkers, like his previous team.
Aiden and Nicholas lead the group to a site where they had chained up a walker that killed their former crew. They find that the walker has escaped, but are able to track it down. The walker attacks Tara, prompting Glenn to stab it through the head. Aiden yells at Glenn for killing his trophy.
As they storm back inside the walls, Glenn accuses Aiden of incompetence. Aiden takes a swing at Glenn and they fight, drawing a crowd. Deanna intervenes and announces that Rick and his group are to be treated as equals. She then asks Rick and Michonne to be the town’s constables. They accept.
At the house, Rick walks downstairs in his constable uniform and tells Carol and Daryl that it’s safe enough to sleep in two houses now. Carol repeats Carl's concern that Alexandria will make them weak. “We won’t get weak,” Rick assures her. "That's not in us anymore. We'll make it work. And if they can't make it? Then we'll just take this place.”