A lot of people have been questioning Rick’s sacrifice, especially as it ended with the quote “I found em”. Firstly, I want to talk about Negan’s conversation with Michonne. That scene was so powerful, Negan spoke some very important words in there that didn’t only relate to Michonne. But also related to Rick.
“Connected to the dead”
This is one of the quotes that we hear Negan say to Michonne, as he compares his loss with Lucille to her loss with Andre. They both lost someone they loved very dearly, but that only made them stronger. However, this didn’t have the same effect on Rick as it did with Carl. And for the first time in the whole series, we saw disagreements with other veterans like Daryl and Maggie. Carol was also in disagreement but in a more pacifying way.
Rick’s last episodes were all about rebuilding something for Carl. What he envisioned, all of the communities together. Getting back to Negan, he told Michonne that it was the right thing for them to die at the start of it all, or even before it happened. Because it would have made them weaker, and Negan is correct here when he says it. I explain this further in my review of Episode 4.
But why was it the opposite for Rick when Carl died? It’s because everything that Rick had done since he found him back in Season one, was all for him. He admits this to Carl in the sewer as the Saviours destroy Alexandria. He also tells him that it still is all for him. Which he proves in Season 9, rebuilding the bridge to connect all of the communities together.
Ricks connection to the dead made him weak (Note when I say it makes him weak, it’s in no way to do with his physical capability, only mentally). He ignored all of the “Warning Signs” and problems that were occurring in doing so. It took being trapped with his brother Daryl, in a pit for him to finally understand it.
But once they both escape the pit, why do we hear Rick say that he’s not giving up on the bridge yet? As Daryl tells him to lead the herd there. It’s because he STILL didn’t want to drop Carls envision. And that eventually made him weak. Which gets me onto my next point of Ricks “Connection to the dead”. The horse that was on scene was from the camp. And what made the horse run all the way to where Rick and Daryl were? Gunshots. Gunshots from the Saviours as they opened fire on Carl, Beatrice, Jerry and the other remaining people there. This whole time, the Saviours were still the problem. But Rick didn’t want to see that, he only saw what Carl saw.
That horse came to Rick for a reason. And even then, what happened? He still believed that he could divert the herd from the bridge. But he was thrown off the horse right onto a bar, trapping him. It was almost as if everything was happening for a reason. As he pulled himself from the bar and remounting the horse. We saw a number of hallucinations, and notice how he didn’t really control that horse. He didn’t lead it anywhere, it was leading him. To his family. It leads him to a cabin, where the front door is labelled with “Come face me assholes”, which is aimed at Rick in a sense that it’s finally time for Rick to face his demons and to realise that he needs to let go of Carl.
Now, Rick faces four hallucinations. And each one of these hallucinations show one of Rick’s strengths.
Shane – Cunning
Hershel – Diplomat
Sasha – Compassion
Michonne – Intuition
This is why the writers chose these four characters, in particular, to talk to Rick in his hallucinations. It’s because Rick holds all four of these strengths. Don’t get me wrong he holds many more, but these four define him indefinitely.
As he finally sees his family show up. Daryl, and the rest of them he evidently realises that this is it, he’s finally found his family. This is it for Rick. So he does so in such a way it brings EVERYONE to tears.
“I found em”.
And this even goes on after the bridge is destroyed, and how he’s finally let his connection to the dead go. He SURVIVES. Which shows that if he wasn’t taken away in that helicopter and his family got to him first. He would have indeed gone back to his true self. So I have high hopes for the movies, to see Rick how he was before the death of his son, Carl.
I could go on and on about how great the writers did in the leading up to Ricks departure, so if anyone has any other questions please let me know.
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