The Walking Dead: Rosita, the philosopher

Rosita Espinosa. The Walking Dead. AMC.
Rosita Espinosa. The Walking Dead. AMC. /

There has been much discussion about Carol and Morgan on The Walking Dead and their philosophies. They should all look to the Rosita Espinosa philosophy.

Most psychologists will warn people against all or nothing thinking. In the apocalypse the survivors are grasping at anything to give them some order in the chaos. They are creating rules for the new world. Rules to live by. Kill or be killed. Where there is life there’s possibility. 

This is classic all or nothing thinking. People are worried that Morgan’s all life is precious philosophy is going to get somebody they love killed. So much so that any glimpse of humanity in Carol seems evil. People not only fear it will get her or others killed, it makes her less likeable.

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Father Gabriel became respected and badass when he killed. Not when he got Judith to safety, but when he went out and fought and especially when he killed. We fear any emotion in the apocalypse will make us weak. The irony is we want them strong so they won’t die and WE won’t have to feel.

Rosita has not been a main character in many ways, but she has quietly participated in the battles that the group has fought. She’s been a lookout and a teacher and a sniper. She’s also a damn good philosopher.

She has said three things that the group would do well to use as a philosophy that might work better than either kill or be killed or all life is precious. 

Make sure you have something worth dying for

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At this point, I think this is Morgan’s biggest sticking point. He doesn’t have much worth dying for anymore. He went to find Rick, but his friendship with Rick isn’t worth dying for anymore. So he’s creating a mission, much like Abraham did. Much like Abraham, he’s too laser focused because the mission isn’t authentic.

He’s not listening. Nobody is listening to him. Until something comes along to expose the lie to his mission, Morgan won’t break free of it, like Abraham did.

Carol was like Abraham as well, her mission the group and now Maggie’s baby. She needs to find something that is more dear to her own heart that she can die for and that will break her free.

What you should be scared of is living knowing that you didn’t do everything you could to keep them here.

Rosita and Eugene. The Walking Dead. AMC
Rosita and Eugene, The Walking Dead. AMC /

That is a great mantra for apocalyptic survivors. Instead of trying to figure out what’s right or wrong or making rules about killing or not killing, all or nothing. You just do the best you can with what you know and what you have. You do everything you can to try to keep those you love with you as long as you can.

Then you deal with the emotional turmoil from any failures you have the best way you can. Face the idea that not everything is in your control. And you understand that Bob Stookey was right about domino shit…it’s bullshit. It will make you crazy to make up fake theories for what might have happened if one domino were shifted.

Dying is simple. It all just stops. You’re dead. The people around you dying, that’s the hard part. Okay? ‘Cause you keep living knowing that they’re gone and you’re still here. What you should be scared of is living knowing that you didn’t do everything you could to keep them here.

We don’t like killing. It happens.

Morgan told Carol she didn’t like it. This may have started Carol thinking. It may have broken through her hard shell that allowed her to kill without thinking. Was she headed toward becoming just a killer for the sake of clearing like Morgan did.

Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa and Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa and Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier, The Walking Dead — AMC /

Morgan killed to rid the world of monsters. To rid the world of the humanity that was stolen from him. But clearing never cleared a space in his heart to allow humanity back in. Eastman did that. So that became his mission, his Washington, DC.

But when your mission is to save the world, whether by getting to Washington DC or by teaching the survivors not to kill, you lose your own way. You stop being concerned with the very people you want to save. Macroeconomics vs. microeconomics.

Rosita is right. We don’t like killing. It happens. Morgan and Carol need to stop worrying about to kill or not to kill and worry about dealing with making sure they don’t like it.

Next: Humanity and Survival

The Rosita Espinosa philosophy might be summarized as this: do everything you can for those you love. Make sure you keep things alive that are worth all the dying. Stay compassionate and human enough not to like the killing, but accept that it may be part of this ugly new world.

I can get behind that.