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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In Defense of Rick

I watch The Walking Dead. I think about the zombie apocalypse way too much on way too many levels. Blame the writers.

Season 4b has been completely amazing on just about every level. The writing, the effects, the acting - it's all good. So good, this is the first time I've considering buying a season on DVD. I mean, I like the show, but I'm not completely crazy.

I've started watching Talking Dead because I don't have any real people to talk with about the show (and turtles don't "chat" with strangers on the Internet). I was startled to hear some people have issues with Rick's decision to oust Carol from the prison.

Now, Rick isn't my favorite person on the show. My favorite person is usually the conscience of the group, and usually dies 20 episodes after they assume that role (RIP Dale and Herschel, and I'll be gracious enough to include Andrea because as much as I hated her, I respect her intentions). Rick can't be my favorite because I can't forgive him for the way he holds his revolver. Either build some muscle or get a smaller gun, Rick. You pack like a gangbanger. It's a miracle you hit anything.


Rick has been the official unofficial leader of this group from the moment he stumbled into that cluster of motor homes and tents in season one. Why? Because he was wearing a law enforcement uniform initially, I suspect, but it held because he made good decisions (except about his wife, but that's another post) that benefited the group and individuals.

Rick has the ability to weigh the needs of the many against the needs of the one and come out ahead. Shane (and just about every small group they've encountered) was about survival at any cost. Disagreement with the Governor meant getting your head cut off and stuck in a fish tank. Yes, you can survive that way for a while, but real survival in the zombie apocalypse means finding like-minded people and protecting the snot out of each other. And killing zombies. Nobody seems to understand how many zombies they need to be killing every day, but, again, that's another post.

Carol's crime was murder. Secret murder, but, yes, murder. She killed two people in cold blood. I don't believe she went Hannibal Lector on them, but she made a choice on her own to take two lives.

Her motive was preservation of the group, but she didn't have the right to act on that decision. There was a council in place. She was part of it. She acted alone because the council wouldn't agree with her.

Rick was right to banish her because you can't have a member of the group willing to kill other members of the group whenever they think it benefits the majority. How do you define "benefits"? How do you define "majority"? A year ago Carol would never have gone so far. What will she be like in another year (should she survive that long)?

I understand Carol's reasoning. I sympathize, but she went too far. Rick's solution was just and merciful. He could have killed her himself (which would have been wrong on the same scale as what Carol did in the first place). He could have brought her back to the group for sentencing, which would have created another giant mess and further shattered group cohesion. Instead, he gave Carol a chance to find another group and start over. Again, his choice was for the group and for the individual. And Carol recognized that. Even in that moment, she acknowledged his leadership and accepted the sentence, even if she doesn't appear to accept that she made the wrong choice.

I love Carol, but sometimes love has to be tough. Rick understands that (and it unfortunately makes him a bit crazy now and again). It's why he's a good father and a good leader in the zombie apocalypse. If only he would figure out how to hold a gun.

Happy Wednesday, dear readers. May our zombies be so easy to kill.

1 comment:

  1. You know me and I respectfully disagree :-) I think Carol did the right thing. I think all of the sickies should have been put down or at least taken WAY away from the rest of the group.
    Now that the season is over, how do you feel about her killing Lizzie? Was that just or was it murder? She could have taken Lizzie and dumped her out on her own to find a new group. It is the zombie apocalypse and while I do agree you have to maintain some humanity you also have to take care of things. Times are tough, really tough and had Andrea (that bleep bleep bleep) killed the govnuh when she had the chance the prison would NOT have been attacked and Hershel would still be alive.
    I think Rick is doing the best he can (which in my opinion isn't that great). Unfortunately his buddy Shane turned out to be a wacko and his wife a bitch, but we saw that from the get go. He is stuck with his teenage boy who is a total pain in the ass and this baby, which may or may not (my guess is not)be his. All in all I like the group but the fact of the matter is Rick is not leadership material. YES I love Daryl but I am not certain he should lead either. I think Glen would be great. He has some humanity left, hasn't lost his mind and he can kick butt!! (oh and hold a gun) :-)


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