The Walking Dead: The little powerful lines of dialogue

Spencer and Father Gabriel. The Walking Dead. AMC.
Spencer and Father Gabriel. The Walking Dead. AMC. /

The Walking Dead has great action, but it has great dialogue, too. And sometimes the lines are so important that they represent larger themes.

The dialogue in The Walking Dead is very tight and emotion filled. Often there is quite a bit expressed without words, but when words are used, they are used judiciously and have layers of purpose for character development and for a deeper understanding of the story as a whole.

Sometimes the lines pop out at us as they are being spoken at the time. Sometimes they hit us much later. Sometimes they are poignant and important to the situation at hand at that time, but then later we see how they can apply to so many other situations from the past.

And sometimes in future episodes we can reflect back on the line and think about it related to this new situation. Spike Lee once said, “A lot of times you get credit for stuff in your movies you didn’t intend to be there.”

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I think the beauty of The Walking Dead is that the dialogue is so tight the story is so filled with beauty and symbolism that things naturally happen that allow us to apply the dialogue to the characters and events even if the applications weren’t always intended.

This season has been so different and interesting. Heath’s exchange with Tara reminded me that the little moments are still part of the overall magic of the show. It was intense and beautiful and reflective.

When Father Gabriel talked to Spencer in the car, there was a line that could get overlooked if this wasn’t The Walking Dead. Father Gabriel told Spencer that we don’t get to know:

"Or maybe other people didn’t die because he got here. Or maybe we shouldn’t have attacked that outpost and then Glenn… We don’t know! We can’t. We don’t get to. We’re here now… and we can look to the future."

So much of trying to figure things out in this crazy next world is about trying to put some order to it. Trying to make rules. Trying to assign blame. Trying to get justice. Making someone pay a price. We’ve heard all of these things in some form or other: domino shit, you have to pay the bill, all life is precious, there are rules, we kill everyone on sight, kill them all, you can’t trust anyone.

Next: Gabriel hears Spencer's confession

Maybe Father Gabriel hit on one of the best ways to keep moving forward in this life that really is the basis of any kind of faith. We don’t know. We can’t We don’t get to. If we stop trying to know what would have happened if we did something different and blaming ourselves or others, which keeps us living in the past, we can look to the future.