#4 – Can We Please Focus on the People Who Matter?
For a season that spent so much time on character development there were a whole lot of characters that got lost in the shuffle, or got built up only to disappear. Look, the cast of The Walking Dead is huge like a walker pit, but there are certain characters that either we already know well and want to stay with or elsa are new and have potentially intriguing storylines to explore.
There was not enough Carol. The show’s resident bada** got to show Alexandria just how lethal she was. Seriously, why did no one ever talk about the Carol reveal? That was like Batman taking off his mask in the middle of Gotham City. And then we didn’t see her again ’til we were basically at the midseason break, when she had a lame throw down with Morgan over the captive Wolf. Come on, show, don’t do us like that.
Michonne was barely in this season and we were sadder for it. Despite providing an opposing view to Rick’s refusal to settle into his new home and play nice with the neighbors, Michonne’s friendship with Rick was sidelined. When Michonne put on her constable’s jacket and symbolically hung up her katana last season, it showed us that she was ready to move on and embrace the suburban life. Sure she shared some quality time with the dying Deanna, but those scenes would have had more of a dramatic punch if these two characters had spent some significant time together prior to the finale. Don’t let one of your MVP’s ride the bench.
Remember our complaints about the crummy characterization of Alexandrians? Well, Aaron is pretty great when he doesn’t disappear from our screens for episodes at a time. Putting Aaron last season with Daryl and this season with Maggie developed him into a character that we could root for (tough but kind) and someone who brought out new sides to characters that we know well.
What about Heath? You know Heath, right? Yeah, we forgot about him ’til this article too. He was built up to be an interesting character that could handle himself on the outside but also challenged Rick (and later Michonne) in a way that wasn’t irritating. Did he die? Take a nap? Go on vacation? No idea, we haven’t seen him since episode three.
#3 – Show Me A Hero. Are There Any Other Options?
Look sometimes you gotta think big, but Rick’s master plan to corral thousands of walkers needed a LOT of work. Sometimes Rick’s hair-brained schemes work out, but this is a guy who has walked into obvious traps and made bad calls like believing The Governor and banishing Carol. Rick attacked Pete in front of everyone in the Safe-Zone (the guy was a jerk, but there is a time and place for attacking abusive a**holes) and generally acts like a crazy person. Doesn’t matter that Rick doesn’t hide his dislike of his neighbors, but everyone from Deanna to Tobin are all sporting “We Love Rick” buttons.
Why? Sure, Rick knows how to fight but it’s not like most of these people can trust him. Let’s not pretend that the great walker drive of 2016 wasn’t a big old fail. Alexandria has other leadership options: Michonne, anyone? With the wall crashing down, the Alexandrians don’t have time to think about who’s in charge, but Rick isn’t exactly a master tactician. The show and the characters should probably stop making it seem like he is.