So despite last night’s The Walking Dead being titled “Indifference”, I’m definitely not indifferent to what took place. For most of the episode there was a lot to be indifferent to, like Tyreese working through his rage, or even Daryl’s anger at Bob for picking up the alcohol (wait I’m not indifferent to that, his bag had tons of room, why didn’t he take the alcohol AND get some more meds, I don’t think alcoholism is ok… it just felt like a bit of a plot device). Where was I… ah yes indifference, I also didn’t care that much about the newbies that almost joined the group, but I will mention them, and the other events in relation to what did elicit a great deal of interest, Rick’s choice.
So, regarding the group that went out last week. I didn’t feel any concern while they were in the vet school. Michonne’s got her amazing katana, Tyreese (despite his anger making him “stupid”) can certainly take care of himself, and Daryl is Daryl. The only one we hadn’t seen much action with was Bob. Now, what about Bob? Well his choice of cargo created some tension between him and Daryl, and I think Daryl’s reaction was warranted. The only thing that caught me off guard was when he reached for his gun, at that moment I’m pretty sure I said “Really dude?!?! Way to waste the earlier pep talk!” out loud.Anyway, that’s all I really have for that half of the episode. On to Rick’s choice.
Now Rick’s choice wasn’t a shock to me. I felt like I knew what was coming before Carol ever tried pulling on that door handle. Everything Rick did, starting with walking the hallway where Karen and What’s-His-Name had been, showed that he was trying to figure out what to do, not that he knew who was responsible. Even though his choice wasn’t that surprising, I’m not siding with Rick. I think that it was the wrong choice to make.
Here are three reasons that I disagree with Rick’s choice, in order of (for me anyway) least to most important.
First, Carol isn’t just a person, she’s a valuable resource. She’s learned and grown a lot, and has a lot to offer a group. Who knew she could relocate… un-dislocate… whatever a shoulder? I didn’t and I think that’s a very helpful skill in a zombie apocalypse.
The second is that Rick created a double standard, which (though he made the type of hard choice a leader would make, double standards make for poor leaders) has to do with his three questions. If the answers to his three questions were enough to let these two people we know virtually nothing about join the group and know where the prison is then they should be good enough for Carol. Before I dive into that though, am I the only one concerned that some random, possibly still living, dude knows their location now, I guess it doesn’t matter much if the Governor already knew, and he’s the “big bad”.
Anyway, Rick knew why Carol did what she did, and while I don’t fully agree with it, especially because she did it on her own initiative, I have to say I feel like it would have been a good enough reason for question #3. Now this ties into the third reason I disagree with Rick’s choice, like Carol, he did this on his own initiative, and based on assumptions. Carol assumed that if she let them live it would be merciless and would spread the disease, she thought she was ending their suffering and protecting others. Those may be considered noble reasons, and Rick was certainly humane giving Carol a car, gas and supplies. However, he handed over leadership, and he CAN step back into it, but just as Carol shouldn’t have made her choice alone, he shouldn’t have made this choice without discussing it with the others back at the prison, and assuming Tyreese would kill her feels like a flimsy excuse. I felt like telling Rick the same thing he said to Carol when she explained her reasoning, “You don’t know that”. From what we saw with the other group Tyreese was starting to get himself under control.
If nothing else, I was fine with this episode being character and dialogue heavy because it’s in a lot of ways what Carol’s character deserved. I appreciated that we saw the woman who started out abused, dependent and afraid, grow in strength and confidence, even if it didn’t mean that she made the best choice.
Also, regarding character growth, I’m happy to see that we’ll be seeing more of Michonne in upcoming episodes as she’s decided to cease hunting the Governor and stay at the prison, and while she may fill the gap in Carol’s absence, she can’t replace Carol, and on that note I’ll add that I don’t think Carol’s gone for good.
Leave your thoughts on last night’s episode in the comments. Do you agree with Rick’s choice, and how he carried it out, and do you think we’ll see Carol again?
Thanks for reading, and happy watching.