“Remember” picks up right where last week left off. Our group is at the gates of Alexandria, which they hope to be their new home. The scene is tense as they feel out their surroundings and maintain the caution that has helped them survive.
Carl sees a phantom woman in one of the windows nearby, and the group all jump at the movement in a bush, which turns out to be a possum that Daryl shoots and offers the first Alexandria rep they see as dinner.
Rick is the first to be interviewed by Alexandria’s leader, Deanna, a former congresswoman who gives She videotapes the interview, and gives Rick a recap of the refuge’s history. Alexandria was a sustainable community that Deanna was sent to after being re-routed from her native Ohio town. As people trickled in, the walls kept danger out and the community has maintained ever since.
Deanna persists that she wants Rick’s group because they have a great deal of experience in the wild and that they would operate a symbiotic relationship: a place to live for help in survival. Rick shows his rising trust by sharing some of himself and decides that he and the group will give Alexandria a trial run.
The group is reluctant, but gives up all of their firearms and are left with just their knives; Carol’s adorable as she smiles and lays down machine guns twice her size. The consummate survivor, we see her quickly adapting a ‘part’ to settle in, and much like the others, she is fully ready to make a turn if and when the time comes.
Assimilation was the biggest question, and although they express in their separate interviews with Deanna that they desperately want to be part of the safety of the community, they find it hard to completely let their guard down.
The rule of thumb is that they may stay in Alexandria, though everyone has their own job and method of contribution. The group is allotted two very large houses. After Rick and Carl admire the photo frames laid out for them and the marvel of running water from a tap, Rick takes a shower and shaves; this is the first time in a long time that we’ve seen Rick’s chin.
There’s a knock at the door; it’s a woman named Jessie who lives nearby and works in the pantry. She offers Rick a haircut and tells him about her two kids, Ron and Sam, whom she invites Carl to meet. We see some sort of romantic tension between Jessie and Rick, largely because of the fact that Rick meets Jessie’s husband later, while he’s on a nighttime stroll. The man is outside smoking a cigarette, and not very keen on Rick or his acquaintance with his wife.
The group is allotted two houses, though they only make use of one, all sleeping in the same living room on the first night. Deanna pays them a visit, as any (possibly deceitful) politician would, expressing her admiration for their decision to stick together. She also tells them that based on her interviews, she has a few jobs ready for some of them. Rick doesn’t get much sleep the first night-his mind is still in the wild.
Steadily we see each member get cleaned up. Each member, except for Daryl, on whom Deanna can’t quite place her finger. Daryl doesn’t shower. Instead, he stays on the porch skinning and gutting his possum and while the others go exploring the town, he waits by the house. He doesn’t feel comfortable, and much like the other encounters he and the others have had with post-apocalyptic humanity, he is expecting a short stay. But, as he expressed in his interview, he feels that Carl and Judith deserve a roof, so he stays with the group.
While the group explores, Rick runs into Jessie again, who invites Carl to meet her sons. Carl meets Ron, who talks to him about school and his scheduling. He introduces Carl to Mikey. They are welcoming, offering Carl video games to play. They are with a quiet girl, Enid, who arrived only a few weeks earlier. She doesn’t seem to want anything to do with Carl, though we see later on that it may very well be just the opposite.
The interviews with Deanna continue. Carl, holding Judith, discusses his having to kill his mother during Judith’s delivery. Michonne expresses that they as a group are ready for this change, and Glenn tells her that Alexandria is necessary for them as they were almost out there too long. During Carol’s interview, she upholds her position, painting herself out to be a ‘den mother’ to the group, who in turn offered her protection, completely leaving out the times she’s saved them and killed for their protection. She comes out of the house later in pastel-colored cardigan and pants, and tells Daryl about her job as a cook for the incapable; Daryl says she looks ridiculous.
Michonne and Rick continue their conversations about settling in: she still is not assigned a role. Rick is, though there is still apprehension that the acceptance of such a role would essentially mean the acceptance of the community as their new home.
Carl sees Enid walking outside of the house, towards the fences. She uses a series of bars to scale the tall wall and makes it to the other side. Intrigued, Carl follows, though loses her in the woods.
Rick is given a security job; he makes a round on the perimeter of Alexandria, checking the fences for weak points and clearing areas of walkers. He runs into the run-down house he visited in last weeks episode, and checks for the gun that he stowed, which is now gone, which leads us to believe that they were watching Rick stow it away and they took it for their own. He’s approached by a few walkers, but receives help from Carl, who stumbles out of the woods, to take them down.
Glenn, Tara, and Noah are the slippery ones of the group, and are assigned to make runs. They join two of Alexandria’s men, Nicholas, whom Daryl offered the possum to at the top of the episode, and Aiden, a self-assured former ROTC. Aiden’s the leader of the supply run group and decides to ‘show them the ropes.’ They go on a test run, where they review their method of steadily increasing their radius with each trip. They also let them know that they lost a few members recently to walkers, one of which they tied up. This, naturally, doesn’t sit well with Glenn and the others.
Aiden says they have a pre-run ritual, which we can assume means either kicking or shooting at the tied up walker; when they get there, however, the walker is gone. Nicholas and Aiden start whistling and calling out to bring the walker back, to Glenn, Tara, and Noah’s dismay. Aiden reminds them that they have to do exactly as he says and continues to call. The walker appears and the two men struggle in controlling it, largely because(awesome moment) the skin is falling right off of it. Tara goes to aid Aiden as he loses control, and when she is nearly bitten, Glenn finishes it off. Aiden is angry and the two are nose to nose.
We see here an example of complacency in the Alexandria group: Aiden has taken this walker in some sort of revenge, making his friend’s deaths personal. This is a personification of the undead that we last saw in Herschel back in season two, who was on his ranch, and also separated from the world outside for the entire period of the apocalypse. Aiden shows us that the people of Alexandria have a detached and inaccurate understanding of the situation outside of their walls, and thus lack an objective instinct to survive.
When they get back to Alexandria, Aiden runs his mouth off on how the three can’t handle runs and aren’t ready because they did not follow orders. Glenn says that it’s quite the opposite and Aiden, a self-professed “douche,” provokes him with pushes. Glenn, who has possibly seen far more death and danger than Aiden, calmly tells him to drop it.
Deanna arrives and breaks things up, though a small crowd has now developed around the scene. Aiden makes another remark to antagonize Glenn, though Glenn suggests that he got his other men killed, at which point Aiden moves to punch Glenn. Glenn ducks the punch and delivers a blow of his own, which knocks Aiden down. Daryl, who was nearby, pounces on Nicholas, and the rift between the groups develops a bit. Rick, however, is at the scene as well and gets Daryl off of Nicholas and diffuses the situation himself.
After the scene dies down, Deanna expresses her appreciation to Glenn for knocking Aiden “on his ass” and to Rick, whom she places as the constable, along with Michonne. They accept her offer.
The final scene plays methodically: we are shown a sample or Rick’s interview tape once more, as he walks through the house in his new constable regalia. He walks onto the patio, where he’s alone with Carol and Daryl. The topic of their settling is brought up: Daryl asks if Rick’s a cop again. Rick says that he is for now. Carol expresses a sentiment that Carl brought up to Rick earlier in the episode, after meeting Ron and his friends: “They’re weak(referring to the group). I don’t want us to get weak too.” Rick says that they won’t get weak; they are beyond that point now. He says that they will make it work, and if they can’t, then they’ll simply take it for themselves.
This last sentiment is an encircling of Rick’s evolution, who has gone through many different stages throughout the series. This line may be perceived as simply fighting the good fight once again, this time in the hopes of also retaining the community; it can be also be traced back to the many groups they’ve met before, and about the lines that have been blurred between who’s ‘good’ and who’s ‘bad’ and what’s ‘right’ and ‘wrong.’ Rick expressed several times that Deanna should have kept the gates shut and that these people do not know him or his group. So, “take it for ourselves” may mean that they will follow in the footsteps of the Governor and Terminus, who simply took and killed as a preemptive and emotionless manner to survive.
In the interview, Rick tells Deanna that he killed people and he knows why he killed those people: to protect his family. He said that the world is now strictly about survival, that people now “measure you by what they can take from you.” But based on Rick’s last words of this episode, it looks like he’s starting to become just that.