The Walking Dead fans have pretty strong feelings about bottle episodes. But “Say Yes” was a great bottle episode for fans of Rick and Michonne as a couple.
Typically fans of The Walking Dead either love or hate bottle episodes. In 7A Tara’s bottle episode “Swear” was not a huge hit with fans. It had the lowest live views of any episode in season 7. Last night’s bottle episode “Say Yes” may come in with low ratings too because it seemed to only make Richonne fans happy.
It’s true there was not a lot of overall story development in “Say Yes” but there was a lot of development of the relationship between Rick and Michonne. Moving forward their relationship is going to be very important as the core of the survivor’s strength. And some important information about Rick’s state of mind was revealed.
This bottle episode wasn’t lacking in action either. Rick and Michonne had a couple very close calls even though they are both extremely capable fighters. It’s always fun to watch those two scavenging and dealing with walkers together.
At the end of the episode when they delivered the guns they found to The Scavengers that put in motion the next phase of the preparations for war. Jadis wasn’t happy with the amount of guns that they found so they need to find more. And Tara decided finally that she needed to tell Rick about Oceanside because of the massive weapons cache that Oceanside has.
In one of the most touching moments of “Say Yes” Rick revealed to Michonne that he hasn’t been sleeping and that he’s feeling a lot of guilt and regret about Glenn’s death. He told her how Glenn saved him at the very beginning of this journey.
Everyone misses Glenn. But was clear that Rick feels responsible for Glenn’s death. Even though Glenn might still be alive if Daryl hadn’t attacked Negan for killing Abe Rick is the one who feels the most responsibility for Glenn’s death.
One of the reasons why Rick was so reluctant to fight earlier in season 7 may have been because he was trying to process the death of Glenn and he couldn’t. He put off going to see Maggie probably for the same reason. He couldn’t face her feeling like he was the one who couldn’t save Glenn.
Rick’s struggled with guilt before. Any leader in a world like The Walking Dead is going to carry guilt and regret for the lives that are lost. It’s impossible to save everyone in that world but that doesn’t make the burden of leadership any easier. Rick made it clear in “Say Yes” that he doesn’t want the responsibility of leadership anymore.
Leading The Communities
Michonne and Rick briefly talked about what would happen when they took down Negan. The communities are going to need to some strong leadership to keep them going. People will be lost in the upcoming war and so some of the communities may end up needing new day-to-day leadership.
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But Rick said that he doesn’t want to lead. He doesn’t want to take on the challenge of integrating the communities and running them. All he wants is to live quietly with Michonne, Judith and Carl.
And at this point he’s entitled to step down. Rick has been the strong leader from the minute he found Glenn, Lori, Carl and the others in Atlanta. He’s made some pretty bad mistakes. But he’s also kept people alive. He kept Alexandria going after the Wolves attacked and walkers overran the community.
If Rick wants to step back now there should be plenty of other people who can step into that leadership role. Maggie can lead very well at The Hilltop. King Ezekiel has The Kingdom thriving. Carl may turn out to be the leader that Alexandria needs now. Rick’s earned a break.
At the end of “Say Yes” Tara presumably told Rick about Oceanside. So before Rick can retire in the challenging world of The Walking Dead he needs to fight this war and take down Negan. Will he be able to convince the women of Oceanside to fight with the survivors? Possibly. But he has to be ready to take their guns if they say no. Oceanside is now the key to winning the war against Negan and The Saviors.