The walls come tumbling down in Alexandria and all hell breaks loose, so why were we so bored?
Last week, no one noticed the tower falling apart even though huge chunks of wood were dropping off (loudly); Rick made it clear that he HATES the Alexandrians, but they NEED him so he was hit over the head (not literally) by various characters about trust; Glenn was alive but his resurrection was dramatically unsatisfying and strained credulity; Carol busted Morgan’s dirty Wolf secret.
This week, well, a lot happened, but the episode felt like it was spinning its wheels ’til 2016’s introduction of Negan and the Saviors.
Rick Grimes, (Reluctant) Man of the People
Rick is big on ideas, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are good ideas. Sure, herding the walkers out of town was ambitious, but it failed spectacularly and now the Safe-Zone’s property values are about to plummet. This week we continue with the theme of Rick leading the Alexandrians and accepting that they are “his” people too.
The show pushes the idea that Rick is going to save these people, but with a few exceptions, we’ve been shown a group of people that are too useless to live. Why should we care about whether or not Rick helps these people if the show doesn’t care enough to make the Alexandrians three-dimensional characters that might be worth fighting for? If Rick had a compelling critic who presented an alternative way of doing things then his struggle to protect this large community would be a more engaging storyline. Instead, we have characters, including poor dying Deanna, toeing the “Rick is the greatest” party line. Well, the Safe-Zone can no longer be referred to that way, and Rick’s partially responsible for the flower beds being trampled.
In a call back to the first season, Rick gets everyone out of Bland Jessie’s house wearing the latest in Winter 2015’s walker gut collection. Everyone is so concerned about Alexandria falling, but no one worries about the people left out there who may not be able to protect themselves. This is why Deanna is wrong: Rick isn’t the best leader for Alexandria. He’s good in a crisis, but his big picture ideas are reckless, and he either doesn’t include people or dismisses them altogether because he doesn’t trust them. How will this play out in the rest of the season when the remaining residents, for once, have a good reason to complain? Rick isn’t going to convince everyone to wear bloody ponchos, so how is he going to not only lead these people to safety, but also get the hungry new neighbors back outside the walls?