Rick Grimes is in full animal mode on 'The Walking Dead' and it's crazy
After last week’s harrowing and will-I-ever-breathe-again-this-so-intense episode of The Walking Dead (major spoilers ahead, so don’t read on if you haven’t watched the most recent episode!!!), I kind of hoped that Deanna would see the error in Alexandria’s ways and we could all feel a little better about Noah and Tara, but if that happened, then The Walking Dead wouldn’t be The Walking Dead, amiright? Last night’s episode wasn’t as graphic, and it wasn’t as horrifying, or emotionally gruesome. But it was a game-changer for sure, and I’m super concerned for my TWK crew. Especially Rick. We NEED to talk about Rick.
Rick Grimes has undoubtedly come a long, long way. His character arc has been one of the most complex and interesting, and it’s very hard NOT to root for him. He’s our protagonist! He’s our guy! He’s our leader! He’s our HERO! But when Rick jumps at Pete like a wild, thirsty animal and then pulls a gun out on the people of Alexandria, we have to take a step back (even though he’s totally right — Pete is an evil, evil man, and Alexandria is in a constant state of keeping their eyes, ears, and mouths blindly shut in a country that is no longer their country). We need to re-examine our faith in Rick Grimes and his motives. Sigh. Where’s Hershel when you need him?
So, here’s what we know: The citizens of Alexandria are totally incapable of protecting themselves, let alone other people. Alexandrians are very much OK with sacrificing the lives of their friends and loved ones if they feel vulnerable, or in danger. This is why Noah was needlessly made into a zombie four-course meal, and why Deanna’s son was abandoned in the warehouse (although let’s be real —dude was toast anyway). Rick knows this way of living is idiotic, but Rick also knows that inside these UNpleasantville walls, his kids are safe and his people have food and water and electricity and there are cookies and casseroles and balloons. But is all of this enough for Rick to abandon his principles?
Jessie, Rick’s super pretty neighbor who gave him a much-needed haircut, is the foil that determines what is going to happen to Rick. Jessie, who is being abused by her awful husband Pete, has agreed to let Rick protect her, and basically the second that happens, Pete walks in and the two start brawling to the death. Their bodies hurdle through the window (nice nod to “The Window Theory,” TWD writers, I see you) and onto the street where townspeople watch and Deanna polices.
This is when Rick Grimes goes full-on feral. “Your way of doing things is done!” He yells, blood streaming down his face like he actually stars in Carrie. “Starting right now, we have to live in the real world. We have to control who lives here,” Rick continues, mirroring Shane (who, if you remember, went kinda psycho) to a T. When Deanna clearly doesn’t agree with Rick, he pulls a gun on her and a few Alexandrians watching the whole thing go down. And this is when Michonne punches him to avoid any further damage. But you guys? The damage is so done. SO DONE.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Andrew Lincoln reveals that it took a lot of him to play the role of a guy with a major god complex: “It feels like the story’s been heading to this point for a few episodes. When I read the script I knew that there was a big thing that needed to be tackled with pretty much everything that I had—like you say, physically and emotionally.”
Although in the exclusive interview, Lincoln doesn’t reveal what’s going to happen to him and his fierce team (duh), I do feel like there is going to be an epic divide between our OG TWK characters. Who will follow Rick IF he gets exiled? And who will stay and abide by Alexandria’s (im)moral code? Is leaving Alexandria worth the hunger and the zombies and the people who have been carving “Ws” into living humans’ heads and then dismembering their bodies? At this point, will Deanna even allow Rick’s clique to stay? We’ll just have to find out this Sunday.