"You fought to be here and we have to keep fighting." - Glenn, "The Walking Dead"
"The Walking Dead," at its best, is a meditation on what it takes to survive in a world gone mad. Early in the second half of the season, the question was how could these survivors find the hope they need to survive.
But when you've been on the road so long, when you've been struggling to survive so long, and when you've been burned so many times, how can you give into that hope. That was the struggle for Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his friends when Aaron (Ross Marquand) presents the hope of a future.
Some are skeptical. Rick is borderline hostel. But Michonne (Danai Gurira) sees possibility and a future. Just two episodes earlier, she talked about the need to have one more day with a chance. To her, the promise of Alexandria is that chance.
But for Rick, it's another potential pitfall. Herschel's Farm went bad, so, too, did the Prison. The Governor was a monster, and Terminus was a trap. All he could see was danger, weighed down by the pressure of saving not only his biological family, but the family he'd made on the road.
In a world so full of danger and disappointment, one of the only ways to survive is to harden your shell. Rick's shell is fully hardened, and it's hard to break through. We've seen it time and again.
But to have a life, you have to open yourself to trusting. That was the quandary for Rick and his team. How can you trust in a world gone made. How can you take a chance when you've been burned so many times before.
You do it by trusting those in your family. You do it by remaining cautious, but being hopeful. As Carol (Melissa McBride) said to Rick, "You were wrong, but you weren't wrong." Rick was wrong about Alexandria being a mirage -- at least that's what they'd have you believe right now -- but he wasn't wrong to preach caution.
The question is whether everyone will now have the peace they crave, or if this will be another cautionary tale that hardens Rick, and others, toward the world where they now reside.