The Walking Dead: Nicholas is the dumbass, and not the way you think

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC, The Walking Dead
Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC, The Walking Dead /

“You never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from.” ~Cormac McCarthy

The Walking Dead has not stopped being fearless in its portrayal of death, forgiveness, redemption, cowardice, chance, fate, despair and many other deep themes. You don’t just watch The Walking Dead and move on. It’s part of a big, series long picture and requires multiple viewings to fully appreciate.

The Walking Dead elicits profound emotions and deep thinking in its viewers. We think about it all week. We get epiphanies at odd times. One line can trigger a whole new understanding of things we thought we already understood.

Something incomprehensible happened recently. I have some thoughts that have swirled and landed. They are soft so you might throw your phone or your mouse. Spoilers from Season 6 : Episode 3 ahead.

Call it foolish, naive hope that if I’m ever that far up shit creek, somebody might do the same for me. Guess I’m an even bigger dumbass than you.

Glenn and Nicholas ended up trapped by walkers. Glenn is known for being a helper. Walker bait. Go down in the well. Go to the pharmacy. Go get formula for Judith. He has become stronger and a worthy walker opponent, but has never lost his desire to help people.

We heard Glenn tell Rick, “Good luck, dumbass.” It was an emotional moment of remembering when Glenn saved Rick from the tank and Rick became part of the group because Glenn is a “glass half full kinda guy.” It’s obvious foreshadowing now that Glenn would soon find himself in a parallel situation.

Dumpster. The Walking Dead - AMC
Dumpster. The Walking Dead – AMC /

The tank replaced by a dumpster. Both surrounded by walkers. This time the one Glenn is saving from the situation is Nicholas. But he can’t save him literally. He’s saved him in so many ways already. He helped Nicholas face his fears. He showed Nicholas mercy. He showed Nicholas that he wasn’t the coward he thought himself to be.

Nicholas helped Glenn and Health. Nicholas was able to face what he and Aiden had done. Aiden had made his own confession to Glenn back in the warehouse. Now Nicholas was making confessions to Glenn and Heath. He saved his friend that he left behind from being a walker. He led the group in the town so Michonne, Heath and Scott eventually made it back.

In what people might say is a big stretch, Nicholas’ final act of opting out and thanking Glenn for helping him just might have helped Glenn by making him go quicker and less alone (and thanked) than if he had just killed himself and left Glenn alone and trapped waiting  for days and thinking before the walkers finally got him.

I think Nicholas’ intentions were to opt out because he was afraid, but at least he didn’t go back to his old ways. In the past, he would have pushed Glenn into the walkers, buying more time to think. He thanked Glenn. He was giving Glenn the opportunity to possibly escape without having the burden of having to think about saving Nicholas. Nicholas didn’t consider Glenn catching him; Nicholas isn’t a considerer. The thank you was big. The road to redemption cut short.

Nicholas was a big dumbass in many ways. But he represented what Glenn’s dumbass comment was all about. Helping people even when it seems like the stupidest thing to do. If Glenn hadn’t helped Rick in that situation where Rick almost opted out, that situation where you’d think you’d have no chance at helping, we wouldn’t have Rick Grimes!

Thank you Yvette Nicole Brown for pointing out Galatians 6:9 – Let us not become weary in well-doing.

P.S. Updated later in the day.

If Glenn is indeed alive, my theory still holds. Lol. Nicholas thanked him and gave him the opportunity to save himself without worrying about saving both of them. And he was up shit creek and someone helped him.

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