The Walking Dead: Why did Carl handle Ron without Rick?

Carl Grimes and Ron Anderson, The Walking Dead - AMC
Carl Grimes and Ron Anderson, The Walking Dead - AMC /

Ron Anderson and Carl Grimes fought again in the midseason finale of AMC’s The Walking Dead. This time it lead to walkers invading the home forcing them to plan an escape.

The last time Carl and Ron fought, Ron told Rick about the fight to gain favor with Rick and ask him to teach him to shoot.  This time Ron lied to Rick about it and Carl covered up for him. Let’s look at why this might be the case.

One reason is simple teenage behavior. Often as teenagers we like to hide things from our parents. Even if it means sticking up for friends or classmates that we don’t like or who do things we don’t like. It’s a wacky teenage logic that by parents criticizing any teenagers, they are criticizing all teenagers so we jump to their defense.

In the case of The Walking Dead, there are additional reasons at play.  Ron is Jessie’s son. Carl knows Rick and Jessie are friends. Carl is smart enough to know that telling on Ron at this moment would cause all kinds of confusion and emotions and this is not the time for any distractions or hesitations.

Carl Grimes and Ron Anderson, The Walking Dead - AMC
Carl Grimes and Ron Anderson, The Walking Dead – AMC /

Carl is being mature. He took Ron’s gun. He disarmed him, literally and figuratively, while they take care of the situation at hand. They need each other to deal with the walker issue that Ron created. They need to get clear of the bigger enemy before they address the issues that will take much more time to solve.

Carl could have killed Ron once he got his gun and when he got him alone in that room. This is a different Carl from the angry Carl who shot the Governor’s “soldier” who was handing over his gun so Carl could prove he was capable and could prevent bad from happening. Carl has learned lessons from the farm and from Terminus,

Carl has learned that not everyone is bad. Lots of people are, but as he told Rick in the church, We’re strong enough that we can still help people. We’re strong enough that we don’t have to be afraid.” Carl is working from a point of strength rather than fear.

Carl has also learned that you can’t do things alone. He faced that fear when he almost lost his dad, lost his shoe and overdosed on pudding. He knows in order to get away from these walkers, they all need to work together.

As with many things, Carl, himself, may not be fully aware of all of these thoughts and reasons when he makes these split second decisions, but thankfully, those inclinations are built into his behavior now.

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We will find out in February if Carl decides to include Rick in his future dealings with Ron when the walker situation calms down and we see who is breathing at that point. I think perhaps Carl will find it appropriate to warn Rick about trusting Ron, but maybe he will deal with Ron the way Glenn dealt with Nicholas.

Bravo to Carl for such quick thinking. Telling on Ron could have caused more fights or arguments that could have delayed the plans to escape or even thrown off the controlling of the immediate threat at the garage door.