The Walking Dead: “Forget” is Full of SymbolismMarch 10, 2015
The Walking Dead‘s latest episode called “Forget” may be considered a slow go for many fans that tuned in this past Sunday, but this was an episode full of symbolism and foreshadowing for the events to come. Fans have long since realized that there are clues that tie episodes together, homages to things that have happened in the comic books and little easter eggs that are there if they look hard enough. This last episode was chock full of them and its great fun to tune in and try and guess and connect everything to the past or surmise what it may allude to in the future.
We’ve already taken a look at how civilization is changing and affecting our survivors in one way or another, but there’s more symbolism in the episode than Michonne lamenting over her katana while staring at a sword-shaped olive skewer.
Shooting Family Photos
An interesting thing for Sasha to use as target practice, the symbolism here is strong. Having just lost Bob and her brother, the symbolism of her shooting at family portraits and shattering them could be reminiscent of how she feels inside. Everyone still has someone in the group; maybe not family but they all lean on one another for support. With both Bob and Tyreese gone, Sasha has to first attempt to get over her crushing grief without much help from the other survivors and try to let herself become a part of a community, an ideal that is foreign to all of them.
The ‘W’ on Walkers Foreheads
In the midseason premiere, the group encountered some walkers with a ‘W’ carved into their foreheads in a Richmond community, as well as some spraypainted graffiti that said “Wolves Not Far”. In last weeks Walking Dead episode, we saw Carl pick up a comic called Wolf Fight!. Now, the marked walkers have returned; just a solitary one that Carol kills, but it definitely has some deep symbolism. Lets rule out Negan for a moment (we are just as excited for his arrival as you are but it likely won’t happen anytime soon) and consider the comics. There’s a band of people called Scavengers that are interested in taking the safe-zone from the survivors and their leader, Derek, is even seen saying to Rick, “Little pig, little pig, let me in”. That’s pretty big, bad and wolfish. Also in the comics, the only way the Scavengers are alerted is by the sound of a motorcycle… now remember what Aaron just gave to Daryl to fix up.
The ‘A’ Stamp
The use of the letter A has been prominent in the Walking Dead world for some time (even season 4 episode 16 was titled ‘A’) and it is no surprise when it pops up in Alexandria. When Rick meets Jessie’s kid at a party, he gives Rick a stamp that has a big red letter A on it. Many have hypothesized that this could stand for ‘Alexandria’ or ‘Accepted’, while others were reminded of the train cars in Terminus with the letter A on them. Even others have hypothesized a Scarlet Letter scenario, where a woman has an affair and to brand her an adulteress, she wears a letter A on all of her clothing. Was that kiss on the cheek that Rick gave Jessie a harmless gesture, or was it something more? Either way, we are seeing Rick slowly begin to creep into possessive Shane territory at the end of the episode.
In a very short-lived appearance, Aaron and Daryl are seen trying to track down and capture a horse that Aaron lovingly refers to as Buttons. But, when walkers come too close, the horse knows its best to get out of there than hang around. As we realized in season one of the Walking Dead horses are consumed by the undead and its clear Buttons didn’t want to take her chances. When the horse encounters other walkers, instead of fleeing again, she simply lets the walkers take her, as if she’s given up the fight against the horrors of the world. It could be symbolic, or it could just be an homage to the horse in the comics named Buttons that lived on the Greene farm that Aaron and Eric used to find isolated survivors until she was stolen.
Morgan Street Sign
When Rick hears some noise on a far wall between two homes, it seems that it is a walker banging on the wall and trying to figure out how to get inside. The frame seems solid enough, but Rick still has his reservations about how safe the community actually is. Next time you watch it, look over Rick’s left shoulder and you’ll see a street sign that says “Morgan”. We know that Morgan has many miles to travel (unless he finds reliable transit) and now it looks like he’s closer than we thought. Is Morgan the one that took the gun from the blender? Maybe what the last shot of the episode was trying to tell us that he’s just beyond the walls and a reuniting will be happening very soon.
Did you catch other symbolism in the Walking Dead that we didn’t? Perhaps you noticed Daryl, Carol and Rick going in opposite directions when they arrived back in town as opposed to the previous episode where they banded together, or the offhand remark to Sasha about bringing back ‘a leg’ (a boar’s leg, but still). Not only was this episode filled with symbolism, but there were a lot of throwbacks as well to characters and experiences that are long past.