Season 5 of The Walking Dead ends in anarchy.
Deanna—leader of Alexandria, voice of law and order—abandons her own government the moment she orders, “Do it.” There is no trial, no formal sentence. Exile is forgotten as Rick, covered in blood, commits murder without hesitation.
In some ways, this may look like the Ricktatorship we were all promised this season. “The new world’s gonna need Rick Grimes,” Abraham’s map proclaims. As society struggles to get back on its feet post post-apocalypse, someone will need to step up and lead it, and this might be Rick’s chance. While many fans were quick to cheer Deanna’s decision to let Rick deal swift justice, we have to ask:
Is this really the Ricktatorship we wanted?
Rick has always eschewed leadership, only to find its responsibilities and burdens heaped back on him. In some ways, this makes him an ideal leader; he doesn’t desire power (like Shane) or abuse it (like the Governor). However, Rick has always had one foot firmly in the camp of being anti-government, and with good reason. Time and time again, governmental institutions have let Rick & Co down. From the disastrous refugee camps within Atlanta to the flailing remnants of the CDC, it’s clear that what remains of civilized society cannot be trusted.
And even when humanity begins to rebuild, the results are worse than ever. The leaders of the post-apocalyptic communities are corrupt to the core, from the Governor’s dictatorship in Woodbury to the twisted oligarchy of cops in Grady. It’s no small wonder that Rick didn’t trust Alexandria upon arrival.
Inside Alexandria, Rick immediately suggests taking over the community, but this is not because of any desire to rule. He doesn’t covet Deanna’s position, and he doesn’t want to rewrite the laws—he wants to live by his own rules. He thinks he can improve Alexandria by acting on his instincts, and, to be fair, these are the same instincts that make him such a good leader. However, they are not a substitute for law and order.
For abusing Jessie and for murdering Reg, Pete never faced the law; instead, he faced a gun barrel. And that gun belonged to Rick, who, by all civilized definitions, is now a murderer as well. While Rick may have killed people in the past, Pete’s death was not committed in self-defense. Pete was on the ground, helpless—a threat to order, perhaps, but not to immediate safety. Shouldn’t he have ended up in jail or in exile, not in the ground?
Deanna abandons her fledgling government when she gives in and commands Rick to kill Pete. That is the moment Alexandria falls into anarchy. Because if the law is that murder is now punishable by death, shouldn’t Rick face the same fate as Pete?
In Season 6, do you think Rick will face consequences for killing Pete? Or will he turn around and take charge of Alexandria (aka The Ricktatorship Ascendant)? And just for fun… how would you classify some of the other groups in The Walking Dead? Terminus? The Claimers? Comment below and let us know!
And if you haven’t watch it yet, check out this video where TWD cast & crew wrap up Season 5:
The Governor, The Claimers, The Grady Bunch, Terminus… all these other groups had their ways, which were very limited in the people that they benefited and/or were downright inhumane, & were not willing to change. Alexandria’s different. Alexandria knows they need hardened survivors to help make them stronger while Rick & crew need a community environment to sustain & improve upon their humanity. They are coming to realize they need each other but they have to learn how to come to a happy medium. Upon arriving at Alexandria, Rick & crew had to compromise to Alexandria’s way of life, and they did so… not fully, but there was enough change to say that they gave in a little. When Deanna gives the OK for Rick to kill Pete, we’re seeing the other side of that coin, albeit extreme at the moment: Alexandria coming to understand Rick’s way of thinking. I think Deanna has probably been absorbing everything from Rick, Maggie, & other things that have been happening (Abraham being the hero, Glenn bringing Nicholas back) all along & has considered their own methods in comparison. As indicated to Father Gabriel, she realizes that there are things that had to be done in order for them to survive & it doesn’t hit home until it hits close to home. I think, right now, the scale is tipping erratically, but there will come a time when the scale will balance out. We’ll see a community established that carries the weight rather evenly from both parties. “Rules” in Alexandria can & will be amended accordingly, same way our laws are. I don’t see Rick reprimanded for what he did next season… not when it was Deanna who gave the order. But I do see a “forum” to be had with this event (to include a walker who made it past the wall) being a major kickoff to compromise, leading to that happy medium in the not-so-distant future.
Awesome response!! (as always)
Damn B, i hope you dropped a microphone after writing this hahaha
I was a keyboard fiend.
Picks up Mic… the new season 6 is going to be straight fire. I for 1 can’t wait for Ricks funeral speech. Reading it in the comic made me feel some kinda of way. I think Rick has fully come to terms with the fact he’s a animal. If anything Morgan’s return is going to boost that even more. It’ like “Abraham the hero of motherdick” said. Rick Grimes knows every inch of dirty shit that goes on outside those walls of Alexandria. From saving Maggie and glenn from killing Shane from losing his wife from keeping so many people including a baby alive for so long. On the road. Facing rapists in the claimers. Escaping cannibals because of a real life decision you made for for child sending Carol away. Losing people like Beth. Losing TYREESE. Wolves lurking not to mention there’s a man that’s like in my opinion about 17 times more bad ass than the Governor. Ricks way of rule is needed because outta all the killing that’s has to be done Rick has the right people around so as to where lives don’t have to get lost pointlessly. I was kinda upset with the finale that’s why i haven’t been on post. But Morgan coming back and glenn bringing Nicholas back It’s all coming together where Alexandria can really become a powerful community. Not too mention the 2 coolest mfs in the world are our scouting for Alexandria. I can’t wait for the walking season six I’m going to binge watch season five today.
Nice!! But I gotta ask… what had you disappointed in the finale, KingDead?