From the beginning, The Walking Dead‘s been a show about humanity. At the center of it, of course, is Rick Grimes’ often-silent existential battle with himself, a man of law slowly folding to the pressures of an anarchistic, sadistic world. Time and time again, The Walking Dead‘s punished Rick’s “good” heart, each act of violence another metaphysical nail in his coffin, whether with Shane, The Governor, or Joe, the cowboy with a code who puts a gun to Rick’s head in the opening scene of tonight’s “A”.
Needless to say, The Walking Dead‘s relentless pursuit of stripping Rick’s humanity hasn’t exactly been approached with nuance: in “A”, he becomes “The Walking Dead”, ripping the artery from Joe’s neck with his teeth, a man whose only instinct is to kill, kill, kill – which he does once again at Terminus, after noticing Herschel’s watch (which had been given by him, to Glenn) in the hand of a Terminus ‘employee’ (another was wearing Maggie’s wrap, for good measure) in his hand. It’s only a matter of seconds before Rick puts a bullet in the side of his head, leaving the group of four sprinting away from the worst group of snipers in television history (then again, this could be intentional: the vague hints that these people are eating newcomers suggests they might not want to shoot anyone, for the sake of ruining good meat).