The Walking Dead‘s “The King, the Widow and Rick” gave us an inside look at the more intimate struggles that leaders have to deal with in their homes, hearts, and minds.
King Ezekiel’s community is lost, the king dealing with a heavy weight of guilt, and in need of a king to meet up with Hilltop and Alexandria. Hilltop is going through a decision that will determine what kind of people they will be after Negan is dead and what kind of world Maggie is building for her future and that of her child. And Rick, well Rick has it going on more than anyone else. He’s got to convince someone who shot him about the merits of working with him before escaping because we all know that’s going to happen.
Needless to say none of these situations actually ended up how we wanted them to be but maybe how it should be. Ezekiel went through a period of mourning that he was shocked out of by Carol and which made him stronger. Maggie jailed up Gregory and only started on a path that is neither like Rick or as gentle as a person she was before. And Rick, he’s not even worried about where he is because it’s exactly where he wants to be. Makes you wonder what the trash people have coming for them.
Let’s talk, “The King, The Widow and Rick”!
The King’s Guilt
For a moment there King Ezekiel lost his fire, his edge, and the thing that enabled him to inspire other people to follow him. It’s all the aftermath of the guilt he feels for leading his people into an ambush and losing Shiva and never actually contemplating that he could lose this big. It honestly something that I have been expecting and waiting for from the very first moment we met Ezekiel.
Though he’s lost his way we must understand that this character that he created isn’t just a stage production. It’s a piece of who he is and it’s why his people believe in him. They know that part of it is a farce to keep them happy and pushing forward in the face of such darkness and destruction. And they take comfort in what he does and know that in his heart he is a true leader that cares for them deeply.
What comes next is a stronger and more capable Ezekiel. Pain molds us into more resilient versions of ourselves. Ezekiel lost a lot of people of the kingdom and he lost his best friend Shiva. There’s no turning back the clock we’re fixing what has been done. The only thing he can do is use that pain and mold it into something powerful that he can use against Negan and the rest of the Savior’s.
The Widow’s Choice
I feel myself stuck in the middle when I think about Maggie and the decision she has to make with the Savior’s that Jesus captured. On one hand Jesus is right. After the war has been won what kind of people will they be if they are known for destroying even the workers and families of the Saviors. On the other hand Maggie needs to protect her people.
The men they have been captured are a liability that she’s not sure that she can afford so early on in the war against Negan. And as a woman she is in an even more vulnerable spot because they think that she’s weak. She has to be harsher and more direct to get her point across and earn the respect that she is due as their leader.
Jailing Gregory was the right step in making her own decisions about the kind of leader that she wants to be. He was poison and a symbol of what he would do as a leader and what many have done in the name of protecting their community long before him. She must travel down a different road that combines what she must do to protect her people and save her humanity.
Rick is playing the long game by going back to the traitorous trash people who shot him and helped Negan kill many of their own. He was previously taking photos of the dead, not to be petty, but to show the trash people what they’re willing to do to stop the Savior’s or anyone standing in their way.
Head garbage person AKA the naked traitor that designs cats made of metal in her spare time, knew what answer she was going to give Rick even before he opened his mouth. She thinks of herself in a position of power and doesn’t know that Rick has something else up his sleeve that will show his true strength.
Honestly I was surprised that he returned to their garbage dump by himself. He’s not scared and he’s not the same person that he was the first time he met with them. He’s got a bigger goal in mind and the garbage people are just a stepping stone to get there a little faster.
If the garbage people help Rick then that’s great. More allies even if they’re treacherous ones means the end of Negan is a little closer than expected. If the garbage people don’t help Rick, that’s fine too. People like them always get what’s coming to them and are only a herd away from being destroyed.
Favorite Scene from “The King, the Widow and Rick”:
Check out the trailer for next week’s episode titled “Time for After”:
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.