1. Welcome to Tell It to the Dead. We're a discussion forum for AMC's The Walking Dead. Please don't hesitate to ping staff with any questions or concerns. Have fun and watch out for walkers!
    Dismiss Notice

Discussion/Meta The Pessimist, the Optimist, the Realist

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Doctor Grimes, Jan 5, 2017.

  1. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Messages:
    10,372
    Likes Received:
    56,625
    Walker Pets:
    113
    Location:
    Bottom of the trash can
    Custom Banner
    In "The Cell", Ezekiel talks to Morgan about Benjamin needing to adjust his path. He describes three types of people: pessimist, optimist, and realist:

    There's a saying -- the pessimist looks down and hits his head. The optimist looks up... and loses his footing. The realist looks forward and adjusts his path accordingly.

    It's safe to say this probably has broader implication for the series as a whole (since, ya know, Gimple). In which case -- what do you think this is referring to?

    Possibly the various leaders? If so, which ones? Gregory, Ezekiel, and Rick? It would make sense. Gregory is rather pessimistic (and this well end poorly for him), Ezekiel is operating with (what could be assumed) his "head in the clouds", making him the optimist. And then there's Rick.

    What other implications do you think this statement could have for the series?
     
  2. gmc_vitamind

    gmc_vitamind Nestled in Rick's Beard

    Joined:
    May 16, 2016
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Walker Pets:
    93
    Rick is definitely the realist. Every season he has a philosophy and every season the events that happen to him prove why he's wrong. The "adjust his path accordingly" really struck me.

    Season 1 and 2: Naive, hopeful Rick. Has to kill Shane and loses farm and he loses his mind
    Season 3: Ricktatorship. Loses Lori, guilty, the events of Woodbury show him why he has to take in the opinions of his family.
    Season 4: Farmer, peaceful Rick. Too Far Gone/Hershel show him why he was wrong there.
    Season 5: Savage Rick. Michonne and the events of Alexandria show him why society and peace is okay to have.
    Season 6: Cocky Rick. "The day will come when you won't be." Pretty obvious there.

    I think this season Rick has finally found his balance. I think that was the whole point of the past six seasons of amazing character development. Rick has finally found his philosophy. The past influences his present and his future. He is both optimistic and pessimistic and a realist. I think that's why it would have been wiser to end the comic/tv show after all out war because Rick is finally there. But watching all this happen makes me love Rick all the more.
     
  3. Walkingonsunshine

    Walkingonsunshine One of the good things
    Patron Bunker Resident

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    Messages:
    2,255
    Likes Received:
    13,158
    Walker Pets:
    113
    Location:
    Trotting in the dark
    Custom Banner
    Oh that's easy

    Rick = The Realist
    Gregory = The Pessimist
    Zeke = The Optimist (though I think he's a realist masquerading as an Optimist)

    I'm also starting to think this could be applied to the 'Three Queens' reference we've discussed.

    Michonne = The Realist
    Maggie = The Optimist
    Carol = The Pessimist
     
  4. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Messages:
    10,372
    Likes Received:
    56,625
    Walker Pets:
    113
    Location:
    Bottom of the trash can
    Custom Banner
    In which case, Ezekiel and Carol would offset each other if it does end up they rule together.
     
  5. MamaGrimes

    MamaGrimes 100% Certified Shipper Trash
    Staff Member Moderator Patron

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,847
    Likes Received:
    25,226
    Walker Pets:
    113
    Location:
    Nevertheless, she persisted
    Custom Banner
    I believe that this quote is in reference to Rick and the various outlooks he's adopted as he's adapted to living in the new world. I'll add to @gmc_vitamind's terrific post with some thoughts of my own.

    We know that Rick's Achille's heel is his mental stability or, at times, instability. He's a mercurial, emotional creature and many times over his 2 year (ZA time) journey, he has gone down absolute paths, extreme paths, instead of finding the center.

    He had hope in Season 1- hope of finding his family, hope of finding government help, hoping of finding safety and answers. Then the marital challenges and the break down of his friendship with Shane in Season 2 veered him down the path towards the grittiness of just surviving, toughing it out. He was starting to build his shield of pessimism but the unborn child Lori was carrying kept that glimmer of hope alive.

    Season 3 saw Rick lose his mind after losing Lori and he didn't have time to be optimistic or pessimistic...it was all he could do to stay sane. This is the season his young son told him to step down as leader. The season Hershel took him to task like a misbehaving child. Interestingly, it was also the season he met a crazy lady with a sword, a person who would have her own battles to get to her current realist state.

    Season 4, Rick was once again down that extreme path. He hung up his gun and was modeling non-violent behavior for his son. I wouldn't call it optimism exactly as I didn't see Rick as someone who was 'pie in the sky we have it all figured out' as much as someone who was hiding, who was still in limbo.

    Season 5 Rick was definitely at his most feral, his most raw and his most dangerous. The loss of his home, deaths of so many loved ones and the horror of Terminus stripped away so much of his humanity and he was all about kill or be killed. Could he have been considered pessimistic at this point? Possibly. I still think he was in limbo, finding his way.

    Season 6 was, oddly, one of optimism for Rick. No, he wasn't Mr. Sunshine, but I think for a great part of the season, was someone who thought he had figured it all out. He would control a herd. He would protect Alexandria. He would resurrect his dead wife. He knew more than the people he was protecting and then, when he fell in love? Oh he was King of the World and nothing was going to stop him. More extreme behavior. No center of the road here. Rick was positive he and Michonne had everything right there behind their walls. So, optimist, yes, but that wasn't a good look for Rick, or a safe one.

    I think the whole arc for Rick has been about him learning to navigate the new world, Achille's heel and all, in a way that would be grounded, practical, smart and strategic. He needed two years of constant struggle and battles and losses to help him find that center. That safe middle of the road. While future trauma may send Rick spiraling backwards, for now, he is on his way to becoming a Realist.

    Someone who uses their brain, remembers their heart, protects their body and never forgets what got them there.
     
  6. gmc_vitamind

    gmc_vitamind Nestled in Rick's Beard

    Joined:
    May 16, 2016
    Messages:
    319
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    Walker Pets:
    93
    This was perfect! You said it better than I ever could!
     
    MamaGrimes likes this.
  7. Doctor Grimes

    Doctor Grimes Not Your Governor
    Staff Member Admin

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2016
    Messages:
    10,372
    Likes Received:
    56,625
    Walker Pets:
    113
    Location:
    Bottom of the trash can
    Custom Banner
    I hadn't thought of it this way! Brilliant analysis, Mama. I think this might be what the show has been hitting at -- and Andy said something similar in one of his recent interviews. That all the experience and trauma Rick has been through has been slowly shaping him into the perfect leader.
     
  8. Patty Ran

    Patty Ran Survivor of Many Disasters

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    816
    Walker Pets:
    93
    This is really good analyses!!
     
    gmc_vitamind likes this.
  9. Patty Ran

    Patty Ran Survivor of Many Disasters

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2016
    Messages:
    234
    Likes Received:
    816
    Walker Pets:
    93
    Wow, wonderfully written! I agree Rick is shaping up to be a true leader. He was thrust in the role, tried to get into it in extremes. But now he is actually becoming a leader in all the different ways.
     
    MamaGrimes and lovingdead like this.