Society begins and ends with difficult choices. But, what is a society? This week in our online zombie course from Cal State Fullerton, we are discussing the development of societies from the point of views of philosophers such as Aristotle to Karl Marx. According to Thomas Hobbes, society begins with self-restraint and an agreement to give social justice decisions over to a designated leader. In past seasons of The Walking Dead, that leader has been Sheriff Rick Grimes. He organized the prison-tribe before they were a prison-tribe, he redistributed power at Woodbury and led a hungry, terrified and exhausted group of survivors to safety time and time again. In seasons past, Rick has stated that the group power is not a democracy, and rightfully so. The “Ricktatorship” has worked well in the past, but as Rick began to buckle from the weight of losing Lori not only to Shane, but to childbirth, as well as the knowledge that there is no greater society at work to help the group in times of grave danger, well, the Sheriff began to lose his mind last season, didn’t he? A recovering Rick, gardener Rick, farmer Rick of season 4–doesn’t want to pick up a gun and see his Carl lose his humanity by murdering zombies or even willful, human enemies. Season 4 Rick, at least in episodes 1-3, seemed content to allow the newly formed Council to make the difficult decisions, while he remained safe in the bubble he created for himself. Unfortunately, as Carol notes in this episode, Rick can be a farmer during the zombie apocalypse, but he can’t ONLY be a farmer.
Episode: S04xE04 “Indifference”