Somewhere inside an empty prison, a rotary phone rings. Who do you want answering it? From what we’ve seen these past few episodes, probably not Rick Grimes, because he’s crazy. Or maybe the phone didn’t ring at all? Maybe it was just Rick practicing his voice throwing skills? Why is there a phone sitting on an old pipe in the prison’s underbelly?
Scene ends. It’s just Tommy shaking a snow globe with the prison inside. The doctors wonder what he’s thinking, but the boy never says…
It was pretty evident from the previews that Rick was about to lose his mind. For the first time in three seasons, he knows tragedy. Sure, he knows that much of his family was gone already. His mother and father, if not dead before the outbreak, surely died during the initial wave of zombie attacks. But, that didn’t matter, because he wasn’t there to witness it. So, as he is ripping into the belly of a bloated walker in search of Lori, the zombie apocalypse finally hit him square in the jaw.
There were probably a few things going through Rick’s mind as he tore through those zombies like a bad burrito through a good colon. One of those being how much of an ass he had been to Lori in the months leading up to this point. For whatever reason, between seasons 2 and 3, Rick took back his forgiveness for Lori and replaced it with anger and loathing. As I’ve said in a previous post, this could have been a sort of coping mechanism for him. Perhaps if he pushed her away, then he wouldn’t hurt so much if / when she died? Perhaps he knew she wouldn’t make it through this childbirth?
If that was his plan, though, it obviously didn’t work. In the matter of some twenty to thirty minutes, he has become delusional, or so we are led to believe. In the comics (spoilers) it is Lori on the other end of that phone. But, that’s only because that phone is connected directly to Heaven. Why? Because, Lori is dead and dead people don’t make phone call, do they? Rick used that phone as a coping mechanism; as a way to stay connected to the life and wife he once had. It is his weakness and inability to cope materialized.
This moment has come to be a test of Rick’s power as the leader of the group. So far, he has failed. When his baby needed him, he failed. Daryl had to step up, which made Rick look horrible, because when the greasy biker cares more for you baby than you do, you’ve got problems. Rick has become reckless and that could have very dangerous consequences for the group. As time goes on, there will come some major challenges to his power, and not all of them will come from the outside…
I know I haven’t talked much about Andrea and Michonne in Woodbury, and I apologize. But, as of right now, I don’t feel like I should talk about them just yet. Perhaps I’ll save the whole Woodbury fiasco for it’s own post? It seems like this upcoming episode will deal more with Woodbury, so I’ll catch up then.