Hopelessness: That’s what loss feels like; that’s what it feels like to lose someone. Your spirit is in an everlasting pain. When it first happens, it’s like a giant hole has swallowed you up and you’re forced to deal with the weight of the darkness. It’s hard to pull yourself up out into the light. However, the love from those who care about you and the thrill of life keep you from getting lost forever. In The Walking Dead, I can’t imagine how hard it must be to lose someone and to continue in this new flesh eating world. But the group carries on despite how tremendously hopeless life has become and still manage to find the light.
After losing yet another member, the group carries on shrouded in despair, exhaustion and hunger. Everyone is torn about losing both Beth and Tyrese, but Maggie, Daryl and Sasha appear to carry the grief the most. The episode starts off with Maggie crying behind a tree to only get interrupted by a walker. She stops her moment in solitude to stab him in the brain and goes back to her time alone. Later on in the episode, the group comes across some cars. Maggie finds a walker who sort of resembles Beth tied up in the trunk of one of the cars. She closes the trunk, but gets the key stuck in the lock. She’s visibly upset about finding the Beth-a-like walker. Glenn helps her open the trunk, takes out the walker himself and consoles her.
Throughout the episode, you see Maggie struggling, but Sasha deals with her grief by not dealing. As they were walking down the stretch of road, some walkers caught up to the famished crew. Half of them they sent falling down a nearby ravine, but the rest they took out the way they know best. Michonne warned Sasha not to fight in order to keep her from making any grave mistakes due to her grief. But fighting is how Sasha survives. Her two loved ones who kept her human, Bob and Tyrese, are now gone. Sasha even quickly took down some ravenous dogs to feed their empty stomachs. She appears strong, but I’m honestly just waiting for her to break down; crying is a part of the healing process. In fact, I hope she does. Thankfully, Daryl actually did break down and cry after he walked off by himself. But just before the stream of tears, he used a rather toxic method to deal with his grief by pressing a burnt cigarette into his hand. He returns to the group like nothing happened. I’m also concerned about how he will deal with his grief in the episodes to follow.
“This is how we survive – we tell ourselves we are the Walking Dead.” – Rick
The three of them close up whenever someone tries to talk to them about what happened. But their restoration of faith seemed to return after the incredible scene in the barn. The skies open up and the rain finally pours just after they turned down a strange gift of filled water bottles in the middle of the road from a “friend.” After finding shelter in a nearby barn, Rick shares with them a remarkable story about his grandfather during the war in which he pretty much says you must pretend to be dead to survive. As the rain comes pouring down, a herd of walkers come knocking on the barn doors. Daryl, Sasha, Maggie and then the rest of the group pushed against the doors whilst the crashing of thunder, rain and aggressive walkers outside. Remarkably, they survive the night and the walkers are all torn, dismembered and are no longer a problem for our survivors. (BTW, this whole scene was one of my favorites throughout the series.) Maggie opens up to Daryl and Sasha and in return they open to her. But as Maggie and Sasha are enjoying a nice moment outside with the once broken music box Carl gave to Maggie earlier in the episode, they encounter a new friend or a possible new threat in the clean presence of Aaron.
In “Them,” the group copes with the loss of more members in their own ways, but still come together to make it just one more day in this horrid land. They learn another lesson on what it takes to survive and how to carry on further just to live another day even with the hopelessness of loss lurking around the corner.