The Walking Dead: Is Richard the new Spencer?

Karl Makinen as Richard, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Karl Makinen as Richard, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, The Walking Dead -- AMC /

Richard is fast becoming the guy you don’t want around you in the apocalypse, following in the footsteps of other characters on The Walking Dead.

Richard is a liability. He’s dangerous because he’s willing to do anything to ignite a war with the Saviors. Igniting that war, in his mind, will force Ezekiel’s hand in joining forces with Rick to fight the Saviors.

If not for the fact that Daryl asked a lot of questions, Richard might have started a war on The Walking Dead “New Best Friends.” Richard is so desperate to launch an attack against the Saviors that he was willing to kill an innocent woman–Carol–to make a point, and he seemed really put off when Daryl said he knew Carol because threw a wrench in his plan.

Richard is the kind of guy who goes through life with blinders on once he has his mind set. There is no talking him out of anything. Once he decides to do it, it’s done. In this case, he had already wanted to fight the Saviors, but now that Rick is willing to be the leader, Richard wants to align the Kingdom with Alexandria and take on Negan once and for all. And he’s willing to kill to make it happen.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen someone who is so shortsighted that he’s not seeing how one person’s actions can hurt the rest of the group. We have seen characters on The Walking Dead who have done really stupid things that have had disastrous consequences for the rest of the group. Spencer was one, and Andrea had her moments. Now Richard is moving in the direction of doing stupid things that will very likely cause more harm than good.

It’s like watching a movie where a group of people are trying to keep the bad guys out, but someone decides to open the door and let them in, and then that person later claims he had no idea it would be a problem. That’s Richard. And Spencer. And Andrea. And it’s that characteristic that gets people killed, and it makes fans want to shake some sense into them. (If only television characters had the omniscience that television viewers have!)

Remember that moment when Spencer was talking to Negan, and it was suddenly painfully clear that he was throwing Rick under the bus for his own personal gain? Given Negan’s penchant for hurting other people to punish the offenders, we’re lucky that all he did was kill Spencer. After Deanna started listening to Rick and Maggie and the other newcomers, Spencer started moving in a self-destructive spiral. It didn’t help when Deanna slapped him in front of everyone else. Spencer hid the guns, and that almost got someone killed when Negan noticed they were missing. And so it made things even worse when Spencer tried to make it look like everything was Rick’s fault. Even Negan can see through that, and he got rid of the infection before it spread.

Andrea is a lesser offender, but she had her moments, too. She wanted to prove that her shooting skills were better and she ended up shooting Daryl because she wasn’t paying attention. She also had a chance to get rid of the Governor but didn’t take it, and that led to a lot more death. (Including her own) While she certainly wasn’t as bad as Richard or Spencer, she did make fans clench their fists and yell a lot. (Or maybe that was just me) (And I hear she is a very different character in the comics)

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We’ve seen people like Richard before, people who have wanted something so badly that they are willing to ignore all of the catastrophic side effects. Given the circumstances, and how crystal clear of a catastrophe it would be to poke at the hornet’s nest known as the Saviors without being prepared, Richard might be the worst offender, but there’s time to stop him. He should be locked up before he actually does something really stupid.