The Walking Dead: It’s a Ricktatorship even when it’s not

Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead - AMC
Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead - AMC /

Rick Grimes once said it wasn’t a democracy anymore, but then told the group he wasn’t their Governor. But on The Walking Dead, they always look to Rick.

Whether he wants it or not, Rick is the leader of the group. And as such, he feels the heaviness of that responsibility. He’s very lucky to have honest, and loyal friends around him, but he’s still the leader.

I wrote recently about how Rick Grimes is not always right. That was not a criticism. It was a compliment to the show writers that they made a hero that makes mistakes, has a conscience and is human.

I laughed and got mad at Rick when he shot down Gabriel at the meeting and when he tore down Gabe’s signs, but Rick has only had a day or two to process Gabe’s betrayal. He didn’t witness Maggie and Sasha’s experience. As much as I’m a “cheerleader” for the underdog according to my fellow writers, Rick has bigger things on his mind than dealing with Gabe.

Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead - AMC/Gene Page
Rick Grimes, The Walking Dead – AMC/Gene Page /

As much as Rick knows he has to include the Alexandrians in his plans, he doesn’t have the luxury of time to deal with them, and he also has the weight of the consequences of their actions and their lives. He knows that whether he likes it or not, people are looking to him for guidance and blaming him when things go wrong. Even if nobody actually blames him, he still blames himself.

Rick can let Rosita help train the Alexandrians and Eugene. He can let Michonne talk to him and help him understand things. He can try to talk to Morgan, but he can’t worry about their friendship right now when the herd is out there and Abe, Sasha, Glenn, Nicholas and Daryl are still out there. He can let Tara flip him off and Deanna talk to him. He’s open to all of that.

But the weight, the guilt, the eyes still fall on Rick.  At the end of last season it was so great to see so many people sticking up for Rick at the meeting Deanna had to exile Rick. This season our group supported Rick and his plan.  The Alexandrians have finally come around. But things have gone wrong, because things will go wrong.

Going into the midseason finale, I’m so excited to see what will happen now that the herd is coming into Alexandria after the tower came crashing down.

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No matter what actually happens, I’m sure Rick will be able to help the people help themselves to save as much as they can of the town and as many people as they can. And when it’s all over, they will still look to Rick for leadership. And Rick will still feel the weight of those lives and the plan.

Carol has said it before in her own words. Rick’s right even when he’s not right and he’s the leader when he’s not the leader. It’s a Ricktatorship even when it’s not.