Change comes slowly
"I want to show you the new world." Rick, "The Walking Dead."
One of my favorite parts about season five of "The Walking Dead" was a moment when they were talking about being out on the road yet again. Michonne warned that if they stayed out too long, they'd lose themselves to the road.
Then they found Alexandria. But that change from feral life on the road to suburb dweller was easier for some than others. While Michonne and Daryl advocated for a change in perspective, Rick couldn't let go of his inner warrior. His walls were up.
Deanna noted that, too, in the first half of the season. She told Rick everyone in Alexandria was "his people." But it didn't sink in until tragedy struck. When he saw the frailty of life, and nearly lost his son. He ended the episode with a tearful plea to his son. He wanted to show him the beauty of the new world they could make.
Though only six days passed between episodes, about two months passed in the TWD world. And the Rick we saw last night had, indeed, changed. He advocated for finding people, giving them second chances, and building a more beautiful world. He opened himself up, let his guard down, and even found love.
Many fans seem to like angry and guarded Rick better, but I am always drawn to the TWD world when it finds a way to find hope and optimism in such a grim world. It never lasts, but it's nice to see they humanity hasn't completely gone. There's still room for hope, healing, and change — even if change comes slowly.
My favorite episode of the season so far has been the bottle episode with Morgan. He was grizzled and broken, but the kindness, patience, and compassion of an individual changed his outlook on life. He's been a voice for that change since he re-joined the group, and we're seeing that now, in Rick.
There's six hours left this season, and I expect the change to be fleeting, but it's nice to see a glimpse of the man Rick wants to be. Even if it doesn't last.