Monday, March 23, 2015

The Walking Dead 5.15: The Bad Guy

As powerful an episode of The Walking Dead tonight - 5.15 - as we've seen in the entire series, after a relatively quiescent second part of the fifth season.

Let's get right down to it.   Rick pulls a gun on the people in town, especially Deanna, who are trying to talk him out of killing Pete.   This after Pete nearly kills Rick, after Rick tells Pete he's not going to let business continue as usual for Pete and Jessie, which is to say, Pete beating Jessie to the point of at one time leaving her unconscious and bleeding on the floor.   Deanna knows most, maybe all of this, but she can't go along with Rick killing Pete - her policy and therefore that of Alexandria is bad guys are exiled not killed.

But Carl at first tries to stop his father, and Michonne indeed stops him by knocking him out cold from behind.   Why did Michonne do that?   And what was motivating Carl?   The only conceivable explanation is that neither want their life in the town to be disrupted - neither wants their group to be thrown out of the town - because of Deanna's reaction to what Rick was about to do.  Both Carl and Michonne - unlike Carole - desperately want to stay and live in this town.

But does that make their reaction to Rick right?  Carl may in fact have tried to warn his father about Michonne's attack - it sounded like he was calling out to him to warn him - and I think his instincts at that moment were in fact correct.  Because: Rick was right to want to kill Pete and Deanna was wrong.  Yes, a surgeon is very valuable, and it's good not to have to kill wrongdoers, but Pete in his brutality was a step away from killing Jessie - as Rick rightly says - and in that brutal world in which they live, exiling would have left him still a danger to return and kill Jessie and who knows how many else, assuming that he would have even allowed himself to go quietly.

So I once again find myself at least a little in disagreement with the moral dynamic of this series, with the ending of the episode in which Michonne looks like the hero, when in fact I think it was Rick, trying to do the right thing, with almost no support from anyone other than Carole, who was the hero here.   Pete not Rick was the bad guy.

But such moral complexities are the stuff of excellent television, and a great prelude to the 90-minute season finale next week - when maybe we'll also find out the meaning of the "W"s on the foreheads of some of the walkers.

See also: The Walking Dead 5.1: The Redemption of Carole ... The Walking Dead 5.3: Meets Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone ... The Walking Dead 5.4: Hospital of Horror ... The Walking Dead 5.5: Anatomy of a Shattered Dream ... The Walking Dead 5.6-7: Slow ... The Walking Dead 5.8: Killing the Non-Killer ... The Walking Dead 5.9: Another Death in the Family ... The Walking Dead 5.11: The Smiling Stranger ... The Walking Dead 5.12: The Other Shoe ... The Walking Dead 5.13: The Horse and the Party

And see also The Walking Dead 4.1: The New Plague ... The Walking Dead 4.2: The Baby and the Flu ... The Walking Dead 4.3: Death in Every Corner ...The Walking Dead 4.4: Hershel, Carl, and Maggie ... The Walking Dead 4.6: The Good Governor ... The Walking Dead 4.7: The Governor's Other Foot ... The Walking Dead 4.8: Vintage Fall Finale ... The Walking Dead 4.9: A Nightmare on Walking Dead Street ... The Walking Dead 4:14: Too Far ... The Walking Dead Season 4 Finale: From the Gunfire into the Frying Pan


no cannibalism but at least a plague in The Consciousness Plague

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