Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Walking Dead - Killing Randall

I don’t know what will happen on tonight’s installment of the Walking Dead, and wanted to weigh in on the present issue before it is (or, more likely) is not resolved.

At hand is the fate of Randall, a young man… rescued? Captured? By Rick, Glen and Herschel 3 episodes back (my God this show does move slow). The show’s small band of survivors have been hotly debating (or not) what to do with Randall. Kill him? Free him? Take him in? I’m not sure what the right choice is, but I have come to one conculsion.

Rick cannot shoot Randall.

Not that Randall can’t be shot. Just that Rick can’t be the one to do it. He simply hasn’t earned it.

Think about it – what exactly justifies Rick being at the point where he can shoot a kid who, so far as we know, has done nothing to deserve it?

The rest of the survivors have been through hell, or so we have been told. There’s about a month or so of missing time that we missed, and Rick slept through. From what we’ve been told, those were dark days, and it is possible that Shane, Lori, Andrea, Darryl and the rest have been traumatized enough to justify precautionary executions.

But Rick?

I get Rick is a cop, and I’ve known many people involved in the law (police, parole officers, corrections officers, lawyers) that have become very cynical based on their daily run ins with scum. But Rick doesn’t seem to be one of them. He’s more Andy Taylor than Dirty Harry. Whatever his experiences in Mayberry, it doesn’t seem to have soured him on humanity, even after he was shot in the series opener.

And let’s look at what he has been through since he woke up from his coma. He met Morgan, a very nice man (shovel aside) who nursed him back to health and showed him how to survive in this new world. He rode to Atlanta, and met up with a nice group of survivors who immediately took him in and, almost as quickly, make him their new leader. He met a friendly gang of latino health care employees. He met the nice man at the CDC. And then there was Herschel and his family.

Yes, he met Merle, who was dangerous and crazy, but that resulted in a brief scuffle, and Merle hasn’t been seen since. And there’s Randall’s friends in the bar, who may well have been ****s, but is that reason enough to kill Randall? I mean, didn’t Dale, Glen, and Andrea hang with Merle and Shane?

Really when you think about it Rick hasn’t suffered much at all because of the zombie apocalypse. The only 3 people he seemed to care for are still alive and healthy. Before Dale, he didn’t really know anyone who died in the show long enough to feel their loss (even Sophia, who disappeared probably a week after Rick actually met her), and ALL of those lost up to now have died either by suicide or zombie. Carl almost died thank to Otis, but that wasn’t due to malice. At this moment Rick has far more reason to trust the human survivors than to distrust them, let alone kill them. If the writers have Rick kill a young man like Randall on only the thinnest of suspicions, they are doing the character a great disservice.