The Walking Dead’s Alexandria survivors reel from the savage Wolf attack while loyal viewers continue to stew over Glenn’s fate, but Episode 605, “Now,” shows no signs of slowing down. The series wastes no time bringing Rick back to the Alexandria compound, half a herd of walkers hot on his heels. In an ominous moment, Rick says his people will be back– Glenn and Nicholas will walk through the gates. Will the two join the ranks of the herd at the gates, or will Glenn arrive safe, somehow, before the midseason finale?
Rick and his group seem to have a positive influence on the sheltered Alexandrians. Before the remaining Alexandrians turn on Rick for bringing half a herd to their gates, Aaron takes ownership for leading the Wolves to their shelter and later Spencer echoes Rosita, who told him survival depends on having something worth dying for, when he stops a group of panicked townspeople from looting the pantry.
Even Deanna shows signs of coming around, writing an excerpt, in Latin, from Ovid’s Elegy XI, “Someday this pain will be useful to you.” The pain seems to have already empowered Deanna. When she’s accosted by a Wolf turned walker inside Alexandria, she charges it with a broken bottle and hacks away at its chest. Her rage and courage are impressive, but they don’t guarantee her survival. Rick had to finish the job and urge the blood soaked Deanna to lead the town. She knows better– she knows the town needs Rick.
Jesse, too, taps into her inner Rick when she tells the town’s people, who stand horrified as she kills a walker, that if they don’t fight, they will die. Will Jesse emerge as Rick’s co-leader?
Later, Jesse tells Rick there’s a future when he tries to explain that he wanted to wait for Glenn (and the others) to return before they buried the enemy within Alexandria’s gates. Why would Rick want to wait for Glenn’s return before burying the dead? Is he lost without his moral compass? Rick and Jesse close the conversation with a kiss. Is this a signal of hope, or does this new beginning signal Glenn’s end as Jesse, a widow, moves on?
Speaking of moral compass, another potential hint of Glenn’s fate occurred in the opening credits, and it isn’t the absence of Steven Yeun’s name. Hershel’s pocket watch, bequeathed to Glenn, was featured in the opening sequence. Is this meant to signal that Glenn shares Hershel’s fate, or is the watch holding Yeun’s place in the opening credits?
The episode offers some other new hints of Glenn’s survival. Maggie, secretly pregnant and distraught, sets out to find Glenn with the assistance of Aaron. In the aftermath of Glenn’s harrowing “death” scene, Scott Gimple said we would again see Glenn in some new form. Is baby Glenn the form he alluded to?
Maggie quickly realizes that she can’t save everyone and she can’t put Aaron in danger. In a heartbreaking monologue, she retreats from her mission. Later, Maggie goes to Alexandria’s memorial wall to scrub off Glenn’s name. Aaron joins her and scrubs Nicholas’s name from the wall before viewers could read Maggie’s action as evidence of Glenn’s survival. Series writers are going out of their way to keep viewers in suspense, which seems to indicate Glenn will indeed rejoin his family.
Evidence of Glenn’s eminent return continue throughout the episode. Each time Rick mentions the return of the group still outside of the gates, he mentions Glenn first. Does this foreshadow Glenn’s return, or is this an example of false hope? Denise’s scene with Tara, pre-kiss, may also hold some answers for Glenn’s fate.
As Denise freaks out about being in over her head and terrified, she says her patient will likely die. Tara tells her that he’s alive now and kicks a medical book back towards her. Low and behold, Denise saves her patient’s life. Just as she was certain her patient would die, the audience is led to be certain that Glenn was consumed by ravenous walkers. She was wrong, so chances are the audience was also deceived by appearances.
At the close of “Now,” Deanna, infuriated, skulks to the gate and bats at it. She is ready to fight. As she huffs off into the darkness of the Alexandria Safe Zone, the camera cuts to the gates- the bleeding gates. Does this blood imply Alexandria pulsates with life, or does it indicate future bloodshed? Does it imply life will spill into the gates, namely Glenn will return alive and well?
Next week’s episode will focus on Daryl’s fight for survival. Will his struggle somehow connect to Glenn? Will the two stranded fan favorites help each other find their ways back to their new home?
The Walking Dead airs next Sunday at 9PM. Until then, you can post your questions and predictions in the comment section.