The second half of Season 05 continues to be a faithful adaptation to the comics in many ways with a few twists and turns here and there. Personally I wish the writing was like this for the Governor Timeline but this all sets the stage for the arrival of my favorite villain Negan (TBD). Rick and the gang finally arrive just outside of Washington DC at a location known as Alexandria – its a real city just south of DC go and check it out.
Alexandria is a surprisingly well preserved township with showers, food, clothing, medical services. Almost like a dream come true, enclosed within the confines of a weak wall. Let’s review some of the major differences and similarities between the comic and tv show. Fist the images above when Michonne decides to give normal life a second chance and hangs up her sword. While at first glance this may seem like a pure panel to frame moment there is one major difference that in the end may be a mistake by the production crew. If you notice Michonne hangs the sword with the handle on the left side in the comic and on the right side in the tv show. This may not be a big deal for many of us but here is some interesting Japanese history for you. During the feudal wars and the days of Samurai there was a specific etiquette to follow when displaying or hanging your sword. When you hang the sword with the handle to the left it means it is time of peace, no wars or you trust the visitors in your home. Swords hung with the handle to the right is a clear sign of readiness to fight. There is no peace or there is suspicions of visitors in your home. Why? One reason could be that Japanese sword fighting is all right handed. With the handle on the right side it would be very easy to grab the sword and fight right away. In the comic the message was correct. Michonne no longer wanted to fight walkers. She wanted peace in Alexandria. But in the tv show there is a huge conflict of what her thinking is. Again could be just an oversight of the crew. (Can anyone confirm this for me or not?)
Another well done scene was when Abraham was doing construction work at the old Mall. The workers get overrun with Walkers and Abraham has to fight them off. This was pretty much pure panel to frame with a couple easter eggs and some colorful add libbing by actor Micheal Cudlitz. Cudlitz already popular for coining the phrase Son of a Dick added in a just as potent Mother Dick battle cry while killing off the hoarding walkers. Speaking of which. With all of the gun shots and gun fights in Season 5 why is there no major herd of zombies at Alexandria yet?
If you watched the scene closely you would have noticed Walker Stalkers James and Eric in the scene under the tractor as walkers. James and Eric are the founders of the now popular Walker Stalker Convention. Some of the major differences are the characters of Carol and Sasha. Both not in comics at all during this timeline. Both exhibit some erratic behavior and seem to be not dealing with normal life well at all. The concept of the Wolves is another major difference. Something not in the comics. And I hope that tv is not going to merge 2 coming groups into one under the name Wolves (that would suck). One moment I found interesting in the season finale was when Father Gabriel tried to surrender himself to a Walker. This was very reminiscent of what comic Carol did during the prison timeline, thus ending her own life. Gabriel does not though follow through and decides to keep living.
One of the messages Rick wanted to get across is for how long can a society cling to the old ways believing everything is ok while the world outside is crumbling or gone? When do you open your eyes and see the decaying flesh of stagnation and the decrepit processes and laws that do not mean anything anymore? At what point do you tear it all down and live for the present? To create new ways, adapt to new changes. To live life in the here and now. Alexandria is a battle of the state of mind for everyone. Rick wanted the residents of Alexandria that it is not healthy or productive to rest on your laurels to just assume everything will be ok. That our luck will run out eventually. Which is very very true but also sets up a great conflict for season 06. Did you notice and remember what item Morgan took from the car?? The lucky rabbits foot.