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Why The Walking Dead's Latest Death Is A Really Good Thing

Spoilers are crashing through the walls of Alexandria below. If you haven’t watched The Walking Dead Season 6 midseason finale yet, well…shit.

Rick Grimes started this series out as a leader, even though he woke up clueless and without anyone to lead. There have been many times in the past when he’s had that position challenged, with him taking the win every single time, and now he’s in charge (more or less) of his biggest group yet. How did he get this inevitable promotion? Deanna’s existence took a turn for the worse, and she won’t be around to lead anything for the remainder of Season 6. Or anything else. All her bases belong to Rick, and that’s exactly how it should be.

Deanna just didn’t have a chance, did she? She was the in-charge person of a bunch of relatively pampered survivors, without either the physical or the mental wherewithal to sustain the community for the future. Which is a shame, as I really enjoy Tovah Feldshuh’s performances. But the character just didn’t get to bring much to the table, beyond some slight antagonism, some inspiration for Maggie, and some reaction shots to a plethora of tragedies plaguing her life. Alexandria needs Rick at the top of the food chain if everyone in that place expects to make it to…the next downright awful walker-filled day. Kind of a “pick your poison” situation, I guess.

the walking dead

Deanna was a notable symbol, though, and her having to pass the torch to Rick will only make his life more difficult, which in turn makes viewers’ lives more enriched. His kind of leading works a lot better in small groups, as mutinies tend to form wherever he goes. We saw a little bit of that earlier this season with Carter, which was only like the day before tonight’s events (I think), so hopefully there’s a brief wait before the next dipshit tries to upend the almighty Grimes elder. Rick is bound to make people pissed off before he makes them happy, but at least he keeps people alive…sometimes. Often, even. Maybe Deanna could have learned how to get her Rick Grimes on, but we’ll never know now.

Speaking of things unknown, I legitimately have no idea what this show would be like if Rick just took a backseat to everything. This first chunk of Season 6 was kind of like that, since each episode was dedicated to different characters, but it still ended with him running around and barking orders. Perhaps I’m too connected to the comic in that respect.

In the end, I do wish the show could have given Deanna a more substantial arc before killing her off, but it probably would have meant more wheel-spinning before she died. Because she had to die. At least she got to deliver some good speeches before going out in a respectable manner. And no lines were more important than these.

They're all your people, Rick. They are.

Maybe she just meant they were all survivors. Eh. We’ll definitely get to see just how well Rick does with that new responsibility, but we’ve got a long wait to deal with first. The Walking Dead. The remainder of Season 6 will debut on AMC on Sunday, February 14.

Nick Venable

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.