Barbara

BarbaraIn Now, the last episode of The Walking Dead, no truly new character has been introduced, but one has been finally named: Barbara, portrayed by Mandi Christine Kerr. She first appeared in Forget as one of the Alexandria Safe-Zone residents who’re chatting during the welcoming party (she’s the one who wishes to have a dentist in the Safe-Zone)…one of the many who ends up irritating Sasha with her casual conversation. As for now, her fate is in jeopardy as the one of everybody else in the Zone, so let’s see how long we’ll have her around…in the meanwhile, let’s see who she is in the comics.

Just as with most survivors, not much is known about Barbara’s life prior to the Outbreak: she most likely lived in Alexandria, or just nearby the city, and ran a relatively normal life, as nothing from her past is known. When the dead started rising hungry for the living’s flesh, however, she was forced to abandon everything she had and was up to that moment, and she started traveling around looking for shelter. We don’t know if she managed to be a part of a group or if she somehow survived alone (even if the second option is quite unlikely), but she was eventually found by Aaron, a man who brought her to what he called Alexandria Safe-Zone, a residential area that had been fortified by former Congressman Douglas Monroe. Monroe wanted to rebuild civilization in his Safe-Zone, and Barbara found exactly what she was looking for: the perfect choice to pretend the world didn’t end, and that everything could come back to normal as it was before. She found a group of friends in the other women of the Zone, especially Olivia, and she enjoyed spending her time cooking for the workers of Alexandria…and especially gossiping on everybody with her new friends. As many other women, she barbaracomics1got interested in Spencer Monroe, the son of Douglas, but just as all the others she got rejected; unlike the others, however, Barbara was more than expert in the art of gossip, so she started spreading the voice that Spencer was gay, and that he even was involved in a threesome with Aaron and Eric…just one among her many hobbies, even if the one that gave her more satisfaction. Despite her best efforts to forget the world outside the walls, however, Barbara would have soon found out that reality was just as stubborn as she could be, and that it would have followed her even within the Safe-Zone…in the form of a particularly large group led by former sheriff Rick Grimes, a group that Douglas welcomed in the community.

In order to make the newcomers feel welcome within the Safe-Zone, Douglas organised a party in his own house, inviting the entire community. Barbara was there, cooking for the new Zoners first, and spending her time gossiping about Douglas and his continuous flirting with the new women, Andrea especially, later. Following her friend Olivia, Barbara tried to have some of the newcomers break the ice, and she tried to have a casual conversation with one of the women from Rick’s group, Michonne. Barbara tried to involve Michonne in all her gossiping about the Monroe men, but the woman didn’t seem to care about who was hitting on who; changing strategy, the woman invited Michonne to start dating somebody, even going as far as suggesting Heath as a possible candidate, but even with that she didn’t obtain much response. Eventually, Barbara mentioned the fact that she had been “worried” because she didn’t know what to cook for Michonne, not knowing her tastes…and at this point the swordswoman snapped, angrily commenting on barbaracomics2how naive Barbara was for “worrying” for such a stupid thing while outside the walls the world was crumbling down. Michonne rushed away from Douglas’ house, and from that point on she and Barbara never spoke again, since the latter didn’t want anybody making her remember that her perfect life was just an illusion created by solid walls. Those walls, eventually, proved to be not as solid as Barbara believed they were: first, the hostile group of the Ravagers broke in, killing many and threatening to destroy the entire community. When the Ravagers’ attack was repelled, a massive horde of walkers invaded the Safe-Zone, nearly slaughtering every single inhabitant. Barbara survived both events, owning her life to Rick’s group only. Now, however, she couldn’t pretend the world was the same as before anymore, not such a pleasurable perspective for a woman such as herself…

Barbara is a normal woman in an abnormal world. After surviving the apocalypse and finding shelter in the Alexandria Safe-Zone, Barbara created a world within her head in which nothing catastrophic ever happened, and everything was normal as always. She lives as she was a member of the cast of Desperate Housewives, still pretending that gossips and recipes are all that matters in her life. Her world of illusion, however, is soon to be shattered…

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