Last night, Walking Dead fans were treated to another in-depth and story-centric episode with “Them”. Warning: some spoilers for last nights episode, as well as the previous episode “What Happened and What’s Going On”, and the Walking Dead comics.
In this half of Season 5, we have seen the show take a very different approach in terms of cinematics and storytelling. Some fans love it, and others may find it off-putting. Nonetheless, the Walking Dead continues its high ratings as fans tune in to see what faces their survivors next. This week it was a problem they couldn’t kill: a shortage of food and water. Having left Atlanta three weeks ago, the group was struggling to find a water and food source as they jump from car to car until the fuel runs out.
Their luck seems to turn around when they happen upon three jugs and several bottles of water in the middle of the road with a note that reads, “From a friend”. The group, however, knows better and steers clear. As some of the group are doubled over with emotion and forced to keep going, the sky seems to open up and it rains, filling the desperate survivors hope for water that isn’t from ‘a friend.’
After surviving a force of nature (and a swarm of walkers) in a barn, Maggie and Sasha emerge to realize just how lucky they have been. They enjoy the sunrise for only a moment when a new face shows up, stating that he’s a friend, and his name is Aaron. The Walking Dead has just took a very interesting turn.
Here’s what we do know about Aaron so far: he’s a little too clean cut and he has ‘good news’ for the survivors. He’s played by actor Ross Marquand and he seems to fit the bill for ‘a very prominent gay character from the comics’ that creator Robert Kirkman had teased about in December.
Aaron is a very important person in the Walking Dead comics, and appears in issue 67 working as a recruiting agent for the Alexandria Safe-Zone community. It is his job to find suitable candidates for the community, and after staking out the group in the comics, he makes an approach to offer them all safe haven, a song and dance they’ve heard before. Whether the group will go with Aaron in the show is yet to be determined, but it is a potential lead up to a very large story arc that many fans have been waiting for: the arrival of The Saviors.
Aaron is a catalyst for the group’s future and survival, and it looks like the Walking Dead will be back to its usual frantic, pulse-pounding self by the next episode. He ushers in what could be the security and safety the group so desperately wants, but also the dangers of what Walking Dead comic fans know is coming.
So what is the good news that Aaron brings on the Walking Dead? The Alexandria Safe-Zone of course, but there is also the possibility that someone Rick knows is alive and well in Alexandria, and that’s why Aaron goes out in the first place. While we know Morgan was destined to meet up with his friend again in Washington D.C., it is possible that Aaron has already recruited him and perhaps he can tell Rick that Morgan is alive and well in order to instill a little trust into the battered ex-sheriff.