The Walking Dead season 6 premiere flashback: Quarry queries

Katelyn Nacon as Enid, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
Katelyn Nacon as Enid, Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes and Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes - The Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 15 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC /

Rick’s plan in the season 6 premiere of The Walking Dead seems flawed, and it offers food for thought.

With the season 6 premiere of The Walking Dead, there aren’t as many rifts taking shape as one might expect. In fact, even the episode’s main rift, between Carter and Rick, becomes a mere backstory to Rick’s overarching plan to (hopefully) divert the massive walker horde at a nearby rock quarry. Yes, there’s the possibility of treachery afoot with Carter, but it never successfully takes shape. Instead, this episode uniquely focuses on the growing herd of walkers that could enter Alexandria in a bloodthirsty, ambling swarm.

Carter’s deeds aren’t quite as pathetic as what Shane did to Otis. Nor does he appear to be particularly mentally unstable when he doubts Rick’s leadership ideas and strategies. In other words, he isn’t quite like Sasha was in season 5 (and credit to Sonequa Martin-Green for bringing those moments to life!). In fact, it seems like Carter views Rick the same way he had viewed Pete. So what’s the likely function of these moments? They show that, no matter what happens, there’s always the risk of a fracture among the group.

The Walking Dead: Rick’s bad plan

Unlike some episodes of The Walking Dead, this episode is considerably more focused on situations, with individual characters almost taking a backseat. For example, Carol Peletier and Maggie Greene only appear in moments (though Melissa McBride and Lauren Cohan still make them count). Alexandrians head out of the safe-zone to a rock quarry where a large number of walkers are stuck. They seek to lead the walkers away on a bizarre 20-mile journey, rather than do something simple like set the walkers in the quarry on fire (which might have been possible).

While it’s great Alexandria knows about the quarry’s location and the problem, Rick’s plan seems truly untenable. At any step along the way, they are all but begging to be attacked and killed by walkers. While it makes for faster-paced action than events at Hershel’s farmhouse, Rick’s plan is like throwing out the baby with the bathwater (or, in more brutal detail, assuring that the baby is killed one way or another).

What’s one thing Rick should have learned by now? If something can go wrong, it probably will. They all would have been better off simply drafting a thorough evacuation plan and scouting additional locations while increasing lookouts at Alexandria. This could have happened while still occasionally eliminating walkers at the quarry, in extensive shifts.

Why no single person should be “the leader” of the quarry plan

Had I been an Alexandria resident, I would not trust Rick at this point, either, and not just because I wouldn’t “have what it takes to survive.” After having witnessed Pete and Reg’s deaths, I would have seen the whole affair as a failure of both leadership and the residents.

Basically, I would have been questioning the whole setup at Alexandria. I doubt I would challenge Rick in a threatening manner like Carter, but I would have definitely poked some holes in his theory (as others have noted, why not just set a bunch of the quarry walkers on fire, or something less crazy than parading the walkers for miles?).

Other options

If you’ve watched The Walking Dead, you know one danger with walkers involves walking through the woods, then having one or more “biter” sneak up on ya’. If you encounter a pack of walkers and realizes that they are headed in his direction, you might not be able to kill them all and retreat, but couldn’t you use their behavior to an advantage?

So here’s what I am thinking, just based on a general premise: If you’re going to lead the walkers, couldn’t you somehow just lead them to a precipice (like the quarry itself), then basically force them to jump to their death? It seems like that idea could have worked, or how about simply walling off the quarry area, or blocking it off, or any number of things? It just seems like Rick and Alexandria weren’t operating on all cylinders with this plan.

What are your thoughts on Rick’s leadership in this Walking Dead episode?  Let us know in the comments!

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