It’s often been said that, in the world of The Walking Dead, you shouldn’t trust anyone.
Of course, that’s not necessarily true. Indeed, if you don’t trust anyone, you’re actually probably increasing the odds that you’ll end up getting eaten by walkers or killed by Reapers or Whisperers or whoever the main villain of the season happens to be. You have to be willing to join up with some sort of community and that requires taking a leap of faith and putting your trust in the survival and leadership capabilities of someone who, under normal circumstances, would probably forever be a stranger to you.
That said, the world of The Walking Dead does require a certain amount of weariness. As the past 11 seasons have shown us, not everyone is worth the trouble. Some people insist on trying to apply reason to a chaotic world. Some people simply aren’t strong enough mentally or emotionally to survive the harsh reality of the apocalypse. Some people are just mean. And, of course, some people are just too annoying to keep around. Trust is important but trust also has to be earned.
Last Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead was all about trust. In fact, it was so much about trust that it was a little boring. This was one of those episodes that you could appreciate because it was laying the groundwork for whatever the finale is going to be but, at the same time, you also find yourself wishing that the show would just get on with it.
But, back to the issue of trust:
Hornsy has to decide if he trusted Gabriel and Aaron’s version about what happened at the Apartment Complex. Hornsby decided that he did not and with good reason because both Gabriel and Aaron were obviously lying. Aaron can get away with that but Gabriel just broke a Commandment. As others have pointed out, Gabriel’s not a very good priest.
Maggie had to decide whether or not to trust Daryl when he promised her that the Commonwealth soldiers would only be inside Hillside for a brief moment of time. She trusted Daryl but, obviously, she still doesn’t trust Hornsby and that’s definitely the right call on her part. Hornsby is so villainous that you have to admire the show’s restraint in not putting a black hat on his head.
The Hillside residents are trusting Maggie to give them a safe place to live but I couldn’t help but notice that Hillside looks worse and worse every time the show spends any time there. Would it kill someone to mow the grass and take care of the weeds? Everything about Hillside just reeks of mosquitos and tetanus shots.
Hornsby had to decide whether or not to trust little Herschel when the kid tried to pretend like his mom hadn’t gone to the Apartment Complex. Hornsby obviously knew better than to believe a word that kid had to say.
At the Commonwealth, Eugene has decided to trust Max. Yay!
Mercer has decided to trust Princess. Yay!
Mercer has decided that he does not trust Hornsby. That’s a smart decision but Mercer seriously needs to hurry up and announce whose side he is on.
Finally, the sick of the Commonwealth have decided to trust Ezekiel’s surgical skills. That seems like something that could go wrong but …. well, we’ll see what happens.
Anyway, with this episode, we finally reached the flashforward from the 9th episode. We finally learned why the Commonwealth showed up at Hillside and why Daryl was with them. For all of the speculation, it turns out that Daryl and Maggie are not enemies and, as Daryl showed when Hornsby threatened Herschel, Daryl will probably be on Team Hillside when the inevitable war breaks out. To be honest, I think we all secretly suspected that was what was going to happen. Still, it’s hard not to be a little bit disappointed that things worked out so simply and so obviously. It makes sense, though. Daryl trusts Maggie.
And, in the end, it’s all about trust.