The Walking Dead: Rick Grimes carries the weight of Lucille

Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 4 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Negan arrived in Alexandria last Sunday on The Walking Dead. He handed Lucille over to Rick Grimes and made him carry her. She’s heavy.

In the hands of Negan, Lucille is awesome. In Rick’s hands, she is heavy. Negan called her a vampire bat. When she is in Rick’s hands she is not draining his blood, she is draining him emotionally.

Negan handing over Lucille was a gigantic symbolic gesture by Negan that was wrapped in as much barbed wire as Lucille herself. The line that Negan delivered from the comics was almost the most vulgar symbolism of handing Lucille to Rick and then taking her back.

In one sense, Lucille was simply like Negan’s coat and when he was walking around town, he had Rick holding his coat. He was making Rick his valet. He was acting as if he knew that Rick wouldn’t dare use it against him. He knew his place now. He was like Morgan in Eastman’s cage. The door could be left unlocked.

Related Story: Father Gabriel: Pay your respects

RIck could also feel the power of the bat. He could feel the temptation. Negan knew that although Rick knew his place and wouldn’t fight back. Wouldn’t raise the bat to him. The desire to do so was not dead. It took everything in Rick’s power not to make a move.

More from Undead Walking

Perhaps that’s why Rick thought of Judith and Shane. His memory of what it felt like when he knew about Shane and Lori and didn’t say anything kicked in. How it took everything he had not to confront Shane when Shane challenged him at every turn and he knew that Shane wanted him out of the way to be with his wife and his child.

When Negan carries Lucille, he rests her on his shoulder or swings her playfully as he talks. When Rick carried her, he dragged her. She faced down, like we’re taught to carry scissors.

Then the next level of heaviness is that he was literally carrying the weapon that was used to kill his friends. It’s not like handing someone a gun or a knife to hold. It’s a bat with barbed wired that has a name. Negan knows exactly what he’s doing. He is making Rick hold the weight of his actions.

Rick Grimes. The Walking Dead. AMC.
Rick Grimes. The Walking Dead. AMC. /

Everything that Rick had done to get them into the situation with Negan. That led to losing Glenn and Abraham right in his hands. People punish themselves with their guilt in many ways. Negan didn’t wait for Rick to punish himself; he handed Rick his guilt and grief to hold and walk around with like a scarlet letter.

He didn’t want Rick to just punish himself. He wanted to embarass Rick in front of the people that Rick had led. The people that respected Rick. He had broken Rick in some ways in order to get him to submit to him, but now he wanted Rick to not only be broken, but be broken on display.

Next: Talked about scene: Getting the message

As the audience we wanted Rick to rip that letter off his chest and turn that bat on its owner. We hoped it would turn out like Dorothy tossing the bucket of water on the Wicked Witch of the West and the Saviors would be freed from Negan and so happy that Rick freed them.

But it was not to be. Rick couldn’t take that chance. Dorothy threw the bucket accidentally and The Wizard of Oz is a children’s story. This is The Walking Dead. No more kid’s stuff.