Looking at keeping score in both Walking Dead shows

Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh, The Walking Dead - AMC
Jon Bernthal as Shane Walsh, The Walking Dead – AMC /

On The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead the characters are surviving and part of survival includes saving the lives of those around you. Your own survival sometimes is dependent upon others.

Recently, on Fear the Walking Dead, Victor Strand tells Nick that he didn’t save him, he obligated him. Technically, he didn’t.  Nick can go on his merry way without paying him back, if he chooses. But that’s an interesting philosophy that I want to see in season 2.

Keeping score is something that I’ve never liked in life. I try not to keep score. I think things even out in ways that can’t be measured or recorded. Keeping score was the thing I found least appealing about Shane. He had some very smart approaches to things and I could feel compassion for him in many ways.

I think where he went wrong was keeping score and wanting credit. His score keeping philosophy came out in many of his lines. He asked Dale what he did to keep the camp safe. He asked Lori how many times Rick had saved her life. He told her by his count he saved her life 4 times.

Daniel and Griselda Salazar, Fear The Walking Dead - AMC
Daniel and Griselda Salazar, Fear The Walking Dead – AMC /

Travis told Daniel Salazar to stop keeping score. Salazar calmly said he was not the one to start. Travis realized quickly through this interaction that is he was helping Daniel out of guilt and that by reminding Salazar that he wanted to help started the score keeping. Salazar countered by reminding him that he helped by taking him in. Frustrated, Travis said he just saved his life and then realized the score keeping was crazy.

The survivors that are surviving don’t keep score. They say things like “that’s what we do.”  They might feel like they owe each other. But they don’t live with debts and check them off with every good deed.

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They’ve all survived because of the others. They all owe each other and they all know it. Carol saved them all in the CDC with Rick’s grenade. Who gets credit for that?  Carol saved them from Terminus, but she might have been in the train car if Rick hadn’t banished her.

Michonne saving Andrea and leaving Woodbury saved Maggie and Glenn from being captured by Merle. If we constantly kept score, we’d never pay everybody back for the things that people have done for us in our lives. Sure if people are consistently doing things that take away from the quality of our relationship, we might abandon that relationship.

But when we have a strong relationship or want to create a strong bond, which is what is happening in the extreme circumstances of the apocalypse, keeping score will just erode the bond.

Frank Dillane talks The Walking Dead, Nick's Addiction, Accents Image Credit: Screencapped.net - Raina
Frank Dillane talks The Walking Dead, Nick’s Addiction, Accents Image Credit: Screencapped.net – Raina /

Even in Fear the Walking Dead’s short time, we have Liza saving Nick and Strand with her swipe card, Travis saving Daniel by stopping Adams from shooting him. Madison allowed Daniel to get the information about Cobalt, which allowed her to get her son back. Do we start assigning points and credit for all these things? When will these debts be paid?

Abraham was on the verge of suicide. A lie from Eugene saved his life. It gave him a mission. Eugene almost lost his life when he confessed his lie. Eugene’s lie that saved Abraham saved Glenn and Tara. Where to we send the bills?

Think about Merle and Daryl saving the baby and the 3 people on that bridge. Merle expected payment immediately and not in the form of a gracious thank you and perhaps an “is there anything we can do for you?” No, he was going to take his payment by force. They owed him.

Chad Coleman as Tyreese - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 9 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Chad Coleman as Tyreese – The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 9 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

The dominos that Martin talked about and the bills that The Governor talked about in Tyreese’s death hallucinations are another misguided attempt at keeping score and receiving credit. We are not responsible for dominoes that we cause that have consequences that we cannot foresee. And what bills we need to pay are not based on generous actions that you do to obligate me without my solicitation. That’s coercion.

In order to survive, people need each other. Keeping score keeps you down. Surviving is about lifting each other up so you can keep going. In Latin sur- means over, above and -viv is life. Survival is to live on. To outlive. Stop keeping score!

Next: The Walking Dead: A Timeline of Events-From Morgan to Morgan

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