Episode 13, titled “The Same Boat,” of The Walking Dead’s Season 6 was filled with those moments when the audience had to question just who were the good guys in the show. For Walking Dead fans who have followed the journey of Rick Grimes and his group since Season 1, it seemed pretty straight forward; but, perhaps there really are no more good guys in the post-apocalyptic world? Perhaps they really are all in the same boat?
SPOILER ALERT: This article discusses Episode 13 (“The Same Boat”) of Season 6 of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.
Episode 13 of The Walking Dead’s sixth season was interesting in that it brought to the fore the fact that fans are rooting for Rick’s group because they know their back story, they can identify with why decisions are made. In effect, they can sympathize and empathize when events occur that are brutal and morally corrupt.
Walking Dead fans are already anti-Negan, not only for the comic book fans who know why it is important to be anti-Negan, but for TV fans who got to see just how ruthless this group can be with newcomer, Paula (Alicia Witt), being both cold and dedicated to Negan’s group after she left her boyfriend for dead in order to escape and survive.
But what if fans are just anti-Negan because they do not know the backstory behind his reasoning and rationale?
Imagine if AMC had started The Walking Dead from the prospective of Negan’s group (or the Governor’s, or the Terminus group, for that matter)? If fans had watched Negan (to be played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan in the TV series) as he fought his way through the initial outbreak. Could Negan have just as many reasons and justifications for creating a group of post-apocalyptic survivors that are so ruthless?
After all, in Episode 13 of The Walking Dead, fans got a look into the backstory of both Paula and Michelle (Jeananne Goossen). Paula, while quite ruthless, seemed to have been that way from the start, after she told Carol (Melissa McBride) that she had to kill her boss in order to survive. But, in all honesty, fans have seen many of their favorite Walking Dead characters do the same thing. After all, even back in the first season, Rick’s group left Merle (Michael Rooker) behind–presumably to die–but considering how unliked Merle was, many fans glossed over that decision. Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) even shot a character before asking any questions in Season 3. While fans were outraged at this, they could also understand why Carl, a child raised in the zombie apocalypse, would make this decision. The difference is that fans got to see these characters anguish over their decisions. With Paula, fans only got to see the cold way in which she described killing her boss in order to survive.
Michelle’s backstory was even more involved. She–like Maggie–had been pregnant; although, while it was assumed she was no longer pregnant, there was no indication how the baby was lost. But, for a moment, Walking Dead fans could see the similarity between Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Michelle. Both had been pregnant and both were doing everything they could to survive in the new world they had found themselves in. Michelle even pointed that point out to Maggie, stating that they were not the good guys. Rick’s group murdered their group in cold blood.
It was something that was also brought up between Paula and Carol. As Paula pointed out, their group had been decimated by Rick’s group. Carol tried to justify it by pointing out their group was ambushed by Negan’s group and they were only trying to survive by taking down the group. This was, essentially, exactly what Negan’s group was also doing. In the post-apocalyptic world, it is kill or be killed, regardless of whether you are a walker or human.
Episode 13 of The Walking Dead managed to get under the skin of both groups and point out exactly how similar they really were, showing how they were both in the same boat. Imagine if fans had watched Negan’s group evolve from the very start, if they had seen the evolution from outbreak to what was witnessed in Episode 13. What would have happened if AMC had placed the two groups side by side, justifying their actions to the audience over six seasons of The Walking Dead and then pitted the two groups against each other in Episode 13–which side would you pick?
Do you think Rick’s group are still the good guys in The Walking Dead? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.
Season 6 of The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 14 (entitled “Twice As Far”) on Sunday March 20 at 9 p.m. ET. You can check out teasers for this episode here.
[Image via AMC]