We’ve all had our theories about who was on the other end of Rick’s rotary phone. Comic book nerds thought it was Lori, based solely on the source material. I’ve heard some talk that it could have been Carol, lost in the prison with a phone book full of prison extensions. And some theories, including the photo posted below via the official Walking Dead Twitter page, have trailed off into the territory of pure comedy gold.
**Warning: There are spoilers below. When I say “spoilers,” I mean spoilers! Like a “This shit will ruin the show for you” kind of spoilers. So, don’t read this if you want to watch this episode!**
Last week I made a joke about Carl rattling off the names of every female causality the show had suffered when he was asked about potential names for his baby sister. If Carl would have gotten his way, his sister’s name would have been Amy Lori Jacqui Sophia Patricia Walsh-Grimes. I felt like I was repeating that Mickey Mouse Clubhouse roll call when realizing who was on the other end of Rick’s Magic Telephone.
At first, after realizing the callers weren’t just calling for shits and giggles or to order a pizza, I thought all of the people on the phone were those who’s deaths Rick regretted the most. However, I’m not completely sure about that. Three of the four voices on the line have been since season one. Amy and Jim both died before leaving the Atlanta camp and Jacqui chose to die at the CDC with Dr. Jenner. But, as for Lori, the way he treated her was quite regrettable.
In the world of The Walking Dead, Lori seems to be the character fans hated the most. I don’t think it was because of her sleeping with Shane (Hey, she thought Rick was dead. She wasn’t dead, if you know what I mean.), but rather her pitting Shane against Rick that earned her the “World’s Worst Mother / Wife” award.
This series of phone calls was Rick’s way of coping with all of the guilt he had towards Lori above all else. Those of us who are married know that sometimes you’ll catch yourself holding on to petty things longer than you should. You’ll sometimes treat your spouse differently and only realize it when either they call you out on it or something happens to them that slaps you back to reality. Seeing that Rick was too busy doing “thangs,” Lori and Rick never got the chance to reconcile before her death.
Sure, my wife didn’t bone my best friend during a zombie outbreak, but I’m sure it wasn’t that bad. Was it?
Despite all of this, I still see Rick as a strong leader. No matter how strong and emotionless a leader may seem, you’d better believe that even the great ones will cry and mourn the ones they lose. That is the burden of being a leader. Although some men will sit and weep in private, others choose to talk to their dead loved ones on a disconnected phone. And, there’s no shame in it. It’s just another way to not let this strange, new world get you down.
In this new world, everyone shares the pain of loss in some form. Every single member of Rick’s group has pain and each deals with it in his or her own way. Daryl has his Cherokee Rose, Maggie has Glenn, The Governor has his room full of zombie heads, and Hershel has his ghost toes that he can wiggle whenever he’d like. So, wiggle away, Hershel. We all have our own personal ghost toes that we have to wiggle sometime.
Hopefully next week I’ll finally get to talk about Andrea, Michonne and the whole Woodbury crew. Seeing that we have only two more episodes left before the mid-season finale, and Michonne just found her way to the prison, something tells me we will be left hanging at a very high energy moment. Perhaps we’ll be left with The Governor and Rick meeting for the first time? Whatever it may be, I’m not sure. But, I am sure that I should have an extra change of Underoos just in case something big goes down.