The greatest lesson you and I can learn from watching this episode is that, whether you are a determined Prepper with a fully stocked-survival retreat or simply someone who possesses the skills needed to thrive and find a home among a group of like-minded survivors in the event of a societal collapse, someone out there is inevitably going to want what you have. In the aftermath of a true TEOTWAWKI event, every person who has managed to keep themselves alive is going to be looking for a place that affords them a greater level of safety than being on the open road or in a soft target situation like your average residential tract home. And, you better believe, the blood, sweat, and tears you and yours have poured into carving out your little spot for survival is going to look pretty good to them.
But, as I said, you need to be willing and able to do what is necessary to defend the infrastructure that helps you and the people you love to survive. For the record, though, if the people attacking you have a tank, you might want to speak to them very, very politely and try to work something out. Just sayin'.
Yet, he also truly loves his new adopted family and simply wants to make sure that they are safe, no matter what he has to do to achieve that safety. He knows (and he is correct) that the way their group has been surviving is a temporary situation, wherein they will continue to be steadily picked-off, needled down, and kept weak until finally a herd of Walkers passes through and simply wipes them out in one fell stroke. It could happen next week or next year, but the odds are that it is going to happen eventually. He knows that they need a stronghold in order to thrive. He was previously instrumental in building Woodbury as a bulwark of civilization, behind the walls of which people lived in a state of almost peace and normalcy, and he knows that is key. If you recall, he had originally wanted the prison in the first place but was assured that it was far too overrun with Walkers, and so the town was taken and fortified as a second choice.
Well, now he wants the prison again.
I'm sure there is an element of revenge present, but it is obviously secondary to his wanting to keep his new family safe. He could have killed Michonne immediately, instead of using her as a bargaining chip, but he let her live because – as much as he might like to see her dead – the goal of getting his adopted family inside the safety of those walls is paramount in his mind. And, despite all the bad he is done, there is a certain nobility in what he is doing. He is willing to do whatever it takes, including setting aside his own anger, in order to do what must be done to achieve the safety of those for whom he has accepted responsibility.
Unfortunately, it seems the one forward thinking thing they failed to do was to set a rally point somewhere a few miles distant where all survivors are supposed to meet and regroup in the event of an evacuation... also now a part of my personal survival retreat planning.
The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]
The Walking Dead: The Complete Second Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]
The Walking Dead: The Complete Third Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]
The Walking Dead: The Complete Fourth Season [Blu-ray] --- [DVD]
My previous reviews for this series can be accessed by clicking the links below: