It’s still a Ricktatorship on The Walking Dead.
In a shocking end to the episode entitled “Indifference,” Rick Grimes takes Carol along on a supply run, and uses that as an opportunity to unceremoniously cast her out of the group. Harsh.
Ironically, he’s doing to Carol exactly what his ex-friend Shane tried to do to him in Season Two. Invite a “friend” along on a thinly-veiled “errand”—Shane needed Rick to track down the “escaped” prisoner Randall—and then come back alone. It’s all very Lord of the Flies.
Given how Shane’s little plan backfired, it’s more than a little strange that if Rick thinks Carol is a legitimate threat, he doesn’t consider the possibility that she might a) shoot him b) go all Gus Fring on him and slit his throat 0r c) just run him over with that Taurus station wagon. But then again, Rick doesn’t always think these things through.
Details aside, it’s another example of the former sheriff, even in his current Farmer Rick mode, taking the law into his own hands.
Why didn’t he put Carol’s fate to a “vote?” like a very special episode of Survivor? Rick would say that it was because he was worried Tyreese or someone else would off her on the spot. But a part of him was probably worried about whether the others might actually side with Carol instead of him, and he might find himself voted off the, um, prison.
So I’ll give you the chance that Rick never gave the others at Chez Cell Block H.
Cast your vote. Take sides. Team Rick or Team Carol?
Once you’ve decided who’s right, and by extension who’s the better leader, vote in the comments below, and share your thoughts.
Leader: Rick Grimes, post-apocalyptic Andy Griffith.
Motto: “We don’t kill the living.”
Adherence to Motto: Not so much.
Rebuttal to the Motto: “That’s funny coming from a man who just put a gun to my head”—Daryl
Big Moment: Figuring out that The Governor’s was a loon, and planning and staging the sneaky-cool attacks and counter-attacks on Woodbury.
Epic Fail: His total tone-deafness to the situation with the prisoners. He assumed they were all alike, so he killed Tomas, then left Andrew to die. And we know how that worked out– Andrew survived, opened the gates to walkers, who killed T-Dog, led to Lori’s death, and almost killed Carol. Well, two out of three ain’t bad.
Those He killed: Shane, Dave, Tony, Tomas, Various Woodburians.
Deaths on his head: Sophia, Lori, T-Dog, Oscar, Andrew, Randall, Herschel’s leg.
Rick’s Problem With Carol: Rick seems to be more concerned about Carol’s attitude than her actions. I get the impression that if she had shown remorse and spent half the ride in the puke green Hyundai second-guessing the killing of Karen and David—as Rick would have–he probably would have been inclined to “let her off with a warning.”
Strengths: In some alternate universe, Rick could have been a politician. Despite his lack of skills or good ideas, people seem to follow him and his three-day growth of stubble. Call it leadership, I guess.
Weaknesses: A wavering moral compass. In Seasons one and two, Rick was a law-and-order guy. Do the right thing and all that. That came to a screeching halt with Randall the Hostage where Rick ultimately decided they’d have to kill him mostly because he couldn’t think of anything else to do with him. Since then, Mr. Situational Morality seems to do whatever the writers need him to do at any given moment to move the plot along.
Strategic Planning: Rick’s got all the foresight of Wile E. Coyote. His one attempt to plan ahead, the road trip to the CDC, turned out to be a nightmare, and since then he seems to have given up on the concept altogether. He didn’t anticipate that winter was coming, and that when the swamps froze it would leave Herschel’s farm vulnerable. They stumbled upon the prison, and when they did, Rick failed to consider the possibility of prisoners still alive inside. And once they move in all cozy-like, he didn’t anticipate that the close quarters that protected them from walkers might make them vulnerable to cough, cough, the plague that’s threatening to put them all into the past tense.
Who’ll Miss Him Most: Carl?
Leader: Carol Peletier, not-a-lesbian widow of the late Gross Ed Peletier, not-quite-squeeze of Daryl “Pookie” Dixon.
Motto: “Do something!”
Adherence to Motto: High
Rebuttal to Motto: Rick: “I am doing something! I’m keeping this group together. Alive! I’ve been doing that all along, no matter what; I didn’t ask for this! I killed my best friend for you people, for Christ sake!”
Big Moment: Saved the group by fishing a grenade out of Rick’s clothes, stashing it, and handing it to him as the CDC Doomsday clock is ticking down. Ker-boom!
Epic Fail: Early on in the series Carol was so beaten down that she couldn’t keep her daughter safe from her pedophile husband, and ultimately failed to keep Sofia safe from the zombies that overran them on the highway.
Those She Killed: Karen, David
Deaths on Her Head: Sofia, Ed
Carol’s Problem With Rick: His wavering moral compass. After Rick told everyone they were infected—as a way to deflect attention from his killing of Shane—Carol wondered aloud to Daryl whether Rick could keep them safe, saying that Rick was no longer “a man of honor.” She would come to learn that they’re really two starkly different mandates, but Rick wasn’t great at doing either. And, of course, there was the issue of Rick killing Shane for the supposed good of the group, a killing-one-of-our-own act not all that different than her killing of Karen and David.
Strengths: In a word, Carol is a bad-ass. She can not only survive but adapt, transforming herself, Walter White style, from perhaps the group’s weakest member, to a warrior queen who can go toe-to-toe with Michonne and Daryl when it comes to dispatching zombies, or humans. (I, for one, believed her when she said she could take care of Tyreese.) And her ability to analyze a situation without emotion is downright Spock-esque.
Weaknesses: Spock needed Kirk and McCoy, and Cool-Hand Carol could use some help tempering her survival-at-all-costs decisionmaking.
Strategic Planning: Even though she’s lost everything, Carol actually manages to keep an eye trained on the future. Even as she’s holding story time for the kiddies, she pulls out knives and teaches them how to use them. She was taking an active role in the Camp Council, which Rick wants no part of. And then there’s the Daryl thing….
Who’ll Miss her most: Daryl. And us.
There you have it. Did Rick do the right thing? Or would everyone have been better off if Rick had hit the road?
Which team are you on ONTD?