The Best and Worst ‘Walking Dead’ Characters This Week (March 5)

The Walking Dead - Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira
Gene Page/AMC
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes, Danai Gurira as Michonne

In a rare departure for The Walking Dead, Sunday’s episode dedicated a majority of its runtime to the show’s main characters. This risky gambit of showing characters audiences care about doing things that actually matter mostly paid off, with some classic zombie-slaying action and a satisfying expansion of Rick and Michonne’s relationship dynamic. But not everything was chili-mac and Richonne romps. A few characters couldn’t help but continue to demonstrate their comically poor decision making. Even Rick, who made this week’s best list for his overall character development, managed to also sneak onto the worst list as a dishonorable mention.

This Week’s Best

Michonne’s confidence in herself and in Rick was refreshing to see this week, even if it might have extended a little too far into irresponsible territory. Since this whole Negan thing got started, Michonne has been a good influence on Rick, encouraging him to fight back and embrace his role as a leader of the community. In this week’s episode, Michonne pushed Rick to look further down the line to what would happen after Negan. She continues to be one of the show’s strongest characters as both a fighter and a voice of reason to the Grimes boys.

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Rick was a surrogate for all of us this week in his hesitance to return to the crushing reality of Alexandria and the conflict with the Saviors. Fighting walkers out on the road hearkened back to a simpler time on the series, and allowed Rick to show that he is actually a highly skilled survivor, capable of leading the combined forces of Alexandria, Hilltop, the Kingdom, whatever Jadis is, and maybe even Oceanside to victory over the Saviors. He made some pretty rookie mistakes in the walker carnival, but as with Michonne, his renewed confidence was nice to see. Also, having come a long way from the Ricktatorship days of yore, Rick wants to share leadership responsibilities with Michonne, which is a nice way to both cement that relationship and show a little bit of Rick’s growth as a person.

Honorable Mention: Tara
Tara had a difficult decision on her hands with her Oceanside dilemma. Her logic for not telling Rick and the others about the community immediately was actually fairly sound, if a bit aggravating. In an important turn, she made the decision that seemed least viewer hostile, if not least hostile to the women of Oceanside, when she decided to have a talk with Rick at the end of the episode. Her moral holdups were legitimate, but the others were eventually going to find out about the hidden community, and keeping up the will she, won’t she idea any longer would have been silly.

This Week’s Worst

Me want more big boomstick. You bring some boomstick, but more boomstick, me fight good. The dialogue choices for Jadis and the other scavengers are contrived to the point of being legitimately difficult to understand (why would a group of full-grown adults talk like this when it’s only been a few years since the outbreak?), which doesn’t help the fact that the whole knockoff Road Warrior tribe they’ve got going on comes across as completely unreasonable. As Rosita discovered in her sulking, guns aren’t something that can just be found littering the ground. To say that 60 guns isn’t enough to honor the deal Rick made is a straight up absurdity, and to stand out as an absurdity in a show like The Walking Dead takes something really special.

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It’s been pretty subtle in the last few episodes, so viewers may not have picked up on it, but Rosita is mad, guys. One could argue that being mad is her defining character trait. Perhaps, one could argue, if one felt so inclined, that it’s her only character trait. Unlike Sasha, whose death wish has waxed and waned with the circumstances, Rosita is all in with her inconsolable pouting. Her excursion to find guns was reckless and fruitless, and she even seemed to forget for a minute that the head, not the big, juicy neck, is where you want to hit a walker to bring it down. She also turned her relentless survivor’s guilt on Gabriel, attempting to blame him for her own dumb decisions. With each episode, it seems more and more like a suicide mission really is the most helpful thing she can do for the group. Hopefully Rosita gets picked off soon, and Sasha comes to her senses.

Dishonorable Mention: Rick
This was a good character development episode for Rick and Michonne, but come on. Taking a break from a life threatening walker purge to climb a rickety carnival ride and attempt to blast a deer with a hand cannon for the sake of an inside joke is not good decision making.