The Walking Dead‘s “Still Gotta Mean Something” saw the humanization of Negan (not sure how I feel about that one,) our characters struggling with who they are after the loss of their children and loved ones (I just want to wrap them up in blankets and protect them from the world,) and the first time I’ve been legitimately scared of who Rick Grimes is without his son (I don’t like it.)
Let’s dive into The Walking Dead‘s “Still Gotta Mean Something”!
We Are All Like Carol, Rick, Morgan, Michonne
One of the biggest complaints I hear when people tell me about how much they dislike The Walking Dead is that it’s repetitive. The main characters are the good guys for a bit, stumble, fall, change into different people, before finding their way again. This cycle bores them and they don’t want to be a part of it.
What these people don’t realize is that they are already part of it and will be for the rest of their lives.
The Walking Dead reflects the never ending struggle against forces that want to tear us down and change us. Like the characters we struggle to push forward, do the right thing, and make a billion choices that will benefit you and those around you while struggling with how to pay the rent, get a better paying job, or even rise up after having your heart broken. We struggle, we stumble, we rise.
Carol lost everything in her life and yet found herself with these people. She struggled for years to define who she was, her limits, and how far she’d go. And that journey isn’t over yet. She will face so many different things and the person she is now will be tested. Same thing goes for Rick, for Morgan, for Michonne. And like Carol they’ll rise once more because they choose to or will stumble until they find the right support system to build them back up.
The Walking Dead isn’t a struggle against zombies. The Walking Dead is the struggle of surviving who you are when surrounded by loved ones, when alone, when deprived, when bountiful. It’s the struggle of the human condition and who we are deep deep deeeeeep down inside. And it’s never going to be the same. You are not the person you were yesterday and you will continue to grow and fight like these people do.
You are The Walking Dead.
First Time I’ve Ever Been Scared of Rick
Keeping everything I said above in mind, this is probably the first time I’ve been legit scared of Rick. Like…he’s done some sketchy ass shit before like killing all those Saviors while they were sleeping. Definitely not honorable actions there. But he always had a counterbalance, Carl, to guide him home. It’s not to say that Michonne doesn’t matter and that she’s not enough. But we’re talking about the loss of his son here.
Nothing will compare to the loss of his Carl. Maybe not even the loss of Lori.
Rick wanted to make the world a better place for Carl. He wanted to make sure that the boy he knew pre-apocalypse didn’t disappear. And now that he’s gone there’s this unhinged nature that I can’t wrap my head around and that scares me when I look at Rick. He’s so focused on the grand loss he experienced that he can’t even process, understand, or recognize that he’s not alone, that he has someone else (Judith and Michonne) to protect and make the world a better place for.
Right now this is a Rick who has lost his purpose and guiding light. He’s got to start working on making the world a better place for Judith and Michonne, but also for himself. It’s time to be a little selfish, be a little happy, and look towards a future where he can be a little content, a little less afraid, and a little less like the scary person I just witnessed in “Still Gotta Mean Something.”
The Humanization of Negan
I knew this was coming, I could see it a mile away, but I’m not sure how I feel about the humanization of Negan. I mean…if we can allow characters like Dwight to get a second chance, why is it that someone like Negan can’t get that opportunity as well? Now, this isn’t me campaigning for Negan. I still remember what that bastard did too.
I’m just interested in the process that a villain goes through to become understandable and where sympathy is applied to who he is and his actions from then on.
He’s still an evil son of an asshole. But even I know I will see him differently after the way he reacted to Jadis and what had been done to his people. There was genuine sadness and, “Oh my fucking god I’m going to kill Simon because of what he did to these people and the promise I made,” all over his face. That was genuine.
Negan is human. The moment we understand that he can empathize with people and has shit that he went through in his past that tore him apart, is when we have to draw the line for ourselves. If we let Rick come back so many times, if we let Tara come back, if we let Morgan come back, if we let Dwight come back…why can’t Negan? Where do we draw the line? When is it too much?
Think about it (and this line) and let me know because I’m still at a loss on this development and where we go next with the man that brutally killed Glenn and Abraham.
Favorite moment from The Walking Dead‘s “Still Gotta Mean Something”:
It means something, that at the end of the world, when stuff is still turning to shit day in and day out, Rick Grimes tell Michonne (hopefully soon will have his last name) that he loves her. It’s important and it needs saying because you never know when your last moments can come in a world like this.
Check out the trailer for next week’s The Walking Dead titled “Worth”:
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.