A few things to consider on The Walking Dead

TWD Rick and Lori

An even more satisfying 2nd episode in the new season continues to keep us in suspense and build dynamically while leading us down a more intriguing path than its source material (the comic) ever did. But it has me thinking, too …


What would you do if you were Rick, given his immediate situation with the inmates? With Lori? With the group?

“For the record … I don’t think you’re a bad mother …” — Rick to Lori

As events unfolded on “Sick,” I wouldn’t have done anything differently. At least not where the inmates were concerned. Tomas was a wild card … and a bad one at that. If I thought someone skeptical from the get go, someone who tried taking a swipe at me, missed, then unceremoniously “introduced” me face-first to a walker in an effort to get rid of me, I’d take that rather personally. I’d ape what Rick did: Extract a little information from him, then wallop him with deadly force in the kanoodle for insubordination. Mission: Accomplished. I didn’t really see a problem there.

With Lori, however, that’s a whole different can of worms. As I mentioned from last episode, the power play Rick continues to lord over her is steadfast and seemingly unwavering. But we saw a little chink in the armor, didn’t we? Really, though, when you think about it it’s not exactly a weakness.  I mean, she is his wife, pain in the ass that she’s been. It was just a little glimmer of compassion in the midst of all the madness and conflict Rick’s lived through and, additionally, taken on. At one point, he wanted to be the man she saw he could be, but not now … not in light of her past defiance and drama. He doesn’t have time to deal with that. It’s secondary to staying alive and staying safe. Could Rick be a little more compassionate? Of course he could, but it’s paramount to get the group’s “house” in order and take up the secondary (yet annoyingly niggling) business of marital relationship later. After all … he did give Lori’s shoulder a squeeze. Something’s still there between them.

But let’s take a different approach to Rick. Let him get compassionate and let’s see him break that wall down he’s built between himself and Lori. What happens? He’d go soft, his focus would slip from his “game” he’s worked to this point. You take that edge away from him and there’s no one left to lead the group … right?

Daryl you say? Naw. He’s a good soldier, but I don’t see him as a leader … at least not in the long run. Daryl is out more for himself than anyone else. He’s got an unwritten bond with Rick, however, and that’s why he hasn’t high-tailed it out on his own. (Besides, he knows there’s strength in numbers.) Hershel is obviously in no condition to take any reins. Neither Glenn nor T-Dog have the wherewithal to lead. Rick goes soft, the group goes down.

“Look: I know I’m a shitty wife and I’m not winning any mother of the year awards … but I need you to know that, not for one second, do I think there’s malice in your heart … Better or worse, right? I mean what are we going to do? Hire lawyers, get divorced, split our assets?” — Lori to Rick

Meanwhile, we have some interesting and further (off camera) adventures from Little Mr. Independent, Carl. As if Lori didn’t have enough stress and strife to handle between Rick’s demeanor and her pregnancy, she’s got her son sniping at her on the back end. Things are really coming at her from all sides, aren’t they? At this point, the naysayers who denigrated Lori for her whining, crying ways can’t really fault her for whining and crying now. There’s valid reason for it, not just the “nagging wife syndrome” we’ve all come to know and love from the recent past. Personally, I’m kind of digging the situation Lori is in currently. The Walking Dead has always turned my crank when it’s come to the relationships between the characters, so I’m a pretty happy camper right now. I didn’t see this conflict coming quite the way it’s been laid out so far.

Now, here’s something many of you in the “I’m not a fan of Lori” club might be on board with: We all know she’s pretty adept at burying her feelings, right? Why not simply continue to do that, especially in front of Rick? Stop tearing up when he’s around and quash those feelings of longing or whatever it is she’s feeling for him. Who knows? Maybe by becoming a little more independent she might get Rick to take notice of the strife he’s causing her. Still, even if she could take such a stance, I don’t believe Rick would be moved by it — he’s too fixed on his goals. But … stranger things have happened.

And … Hello! Remember the conversation Lori had with one of the school moms in the flashback where Shane announced Rick had been shot? Just prior to that announcement she’d wished he’d just have it out with her. What happened to that Lori? Her pregnancy has given her different reflection. But if that Lori was still around, there would be an entirely different set of circumstances, I’m sure. In that scenario, I might even want to be the standard bearer for her to slip and fall while running from a herd of undead.

These hypotheticals aside, I rather enjoyed this chapter more so than the premiere last week. Between the inmates and many of their demises (something that strayed vastly from the comic), Rick’s decision to shackle Hershel to his bunk as a “walker” precaution, Carol’s obvious contributions to the group (courtesy of her mentor Hershel) along with everything mentioned above, there was simply more bang for the buck this time around.

Now … let’s get to next week and see who this “watcher in the woods” is who was spying on Carol. It’s got to be a Woodbury scout …


Photo Credit: AMC

3 Comments on “A few things to consider on The Walking Dead

  1. I am in the “I hate Lori and Carl” camp. However, I am hating them less this year. Maybe because Carl has become a “soldier”. I don’t know.

    As for Rick, I was surprised this episode about how hard he has actually become. I understood killing Tomas but what he did to the other guy was just cold. I was one of those people that actually understood some of Shane’s opinions even though I didn’t agree with his methods. I am hoping that Rick does not go down the Shane road however.

  2. I agree with Ricks treatment of Thomas, but the inmate in the yard was uncalled for and way too Shane like for my taste. The reason to root for this group is the tantalizing dose of humanity they offer as opposed to most other groups we (do or would) encounter (in this type of catastrophe)… I do not want to see this compromised (no matter how far fetched that notion may be). it is what makes this group unique and their story interesting.

    Having said all of that, Rick’s failings and accomplishments in “crunch time” are part of what makes this series “must watch” for me. You cannot bank on him always doing the right thing and as such you cannot sleep-watch through an episode “knowing” what will happen next. That was one of the main reasons I liked Shane’s demise so much… it allowed Rick to be far more flawed than he had the liberty of being with Shane around.

    As for Lori, as you know i’m no Lori apologist and I’m not about to start being one. I’m actually fine with her “infidelity” (always have been). She thought her husband was dead and moved on in a world where – emotionally – I can’t even imagine what kind of coping mechanisms might be in play… let alone simple human nature. However, as a mother, I can afford her no quarter. In this environment, especially with Rick taking on the role that he has (that she encourages him to have)… her number 1, 2 and 3 commitments should be to Carl, and in that she has consistently failed.

    She may not be the worlds worst wife (or even close to it, honestly)… but, in my opinion, Rick was deluded or outright lying when he said she was not a good mother. I think his personal anger has led him to be more graceful than he should in an area where it is not really deserved; and far less forgiving in an area where she really didn’t to much wrong.

    I’ll stop rambling now :)

    • Soren? You weren’t rambling in the least.

      Regarding Andrew – the inmate Rick chased immediately after killing Tomas – I’m not with you … and here’s why:

      The inmates are unknowns at this point. Andrew was about to slug Rick with his bat, but Rick beat him to the punch … or “kick” as it were. Andrew meant Rick deadly harm and Rick took that for what it was. Thus, the reason he closed the bars when Andrew escaped into the prison yard … and into a throng of walkers.

      No … it wasn’t humane in the least. But we know Rick has “changed.” But he didn’t pull that action out of his ass – it came only after Andrew made the move him, so I’m all right with it.

      Glad you’re enjoying TWD as much as I am …

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