[WARNING: The following story contains spoilers from Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead. Read at your own risk.]
Although The Walking Dead's Rick might have assumed taking over Alexandria would be an easy task,on Sunday's episode, he got a taste of opposition — including some people in his own group!
While the entire community was rocked by the deaths of Aiden and Noah in the previous episode, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) became obsessed with stopping Pete (Corey Brill) from continuing to hurt Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge) and their son Sam. But even though Carol (Melissa McBride) continued to encourage Rick to intervene ("If walkers hadn't gotten Ed, I wouldn't be standing here right now," she said, reminding us why she is so invested in Pete's abuse), Glenn (Steven Yeun) urged Rick to exercise some caution. "We are them, Rick. We are now. Noah believed in this place. We gotta make this work."
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Perhaps unconvinced, Rick took his issues to Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh), who defended Pete as the community surgeon. When Rick suggested that he should separate Pete and Jessie, Deanna — no doubt carefully choosing every word after what Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) told her about Rick & Co. last week — asked Rick what would happen if Pete refused to go quietly. When Rick suggested with little hesitation that he would kill him, Deanna made it clear that wasn't an option. "We don't kill people," she said. "This is civilization, Rick. You are not executing anyone. Don't ever suggest it again. That sort of thinking doesn't belong in here. ... I wouldn't kill you. I'd just send you away."
Finally, Rick confronted Jessie, who at first resisted Rick's help, claiming that Pete would get better. But Rick persisted. "In here... it's the same as out there here," he said. "We have food and roofs over our heads, but you don't get to just live. You can't put it off or wish it away. If you don't fight, you die. I don't want you to die. I can help you. I can keep you and your boys safe. All you have to do is say yes." Conveniently enough, as soon as Jessie agreed, Pete walked in. When Jessie asked Pete to leave — and then Rick said he would be taking Pete with him — the two men's word of wars quickly turned into a knock-down-drag-out fight that soon tumbled out of Jessie's window and into the street.
As the men wrestled on the asphalt, the entire community gathered around them. Although Rick eventually gained the advantage, Deanna finally brought the fight to an end. But Rick, with his scary, bloody face, decided to outline the rules of his new Ricktatorship. "You still don't get it. None of you do. We know what needs to be done and we do it. We're the ones who live. You just sit and plan and hesitate. You pretend like you know when you don't. You wish things weren't what they are.
"Your way of doing things is done," Rick continued. "Things don't get better because you want them to. Starting right now, we have to live in the real world. We have to control who lives here. Your way is going to destroy this place. It's going to get people killed; it's already gotten people killed. I'm not going to stand by and let it happen. If you don't fight, you die." But before Rick could continue, Michonne (Danai Gurira) — fresh off her PTSD-fueled hunting adventure in the woods with Saha (Sonequa Martin-Green) stepped up and knocked Rick out cold!
It remains to be seen exactly what motivated Michonne's actions. Sure, Rick was babbling like a mad man. So, was Michonne just doing damage control and shutting Rick up? Or has she turned against her former friend?
This episode also set up some other threads to be dealt with in next week's finale. First, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Aaron (Ross Marquand) seemed to find a camp close by that tired up a young woman for the walkers to feed on. Also, some of the walkers nearby were missing body parts. Safe to say this group is the one carving Ws on zombies heads? And just what other brutality are they capable of?
Finally, Glenn had words with Nicholas, whom Glenn blames for Noah's death. After giving a Rick-like set of rules to Nicholas, Glenn left him with these words. "People like you are supposed to be dead. But these walls went up just in time. I know who you are. I know what you did. And it's not going to happen again." Nick didn't take kindly to the threat, and quickly dug up a gun — presumably the one Rick hid a few episodes ago that went missing. So, that's another loose cannon to keep your eyes on next week.
What did you think of the episode? Has Rick officially snapped? And has he gone too far this time? What do you think this means for Rick and Michonne's relationship? And what do you think will happen in the finale. Hit the comments!