The Walking Dead : An Appreciation of Rick Grimes, Part I of III

He's led his group from Atlanta, Georgia to Richmond, VA to finally Alexandria, VA with losses along the way. This begins part I, an appreciation of Rick Grimes and his close-knit group in The Walking Dead, seasons 1 and 2.

Rick Grimes, husband, father and sheriff's deputy of King County (fictional), Georgia, wakes up from a coma, after having been shot by a robber, in an abandoned hospital nearby Atlanta. He also eventually realizes that he has just awakened into a living nightmare.

In the pilot, titled, "Days Gone Bye," after exiting the hospital to also discover many body bags outside and an abandoned Army helicopter, while still wearing a hospital gown, Rick finds a bicycle at a park. The same place, where he also sees a gaunt horribly decayed woman, though not then realizing she's a living dead, missing all of her lower half while growling at him. Quickly after the gristly sight, he speeds off homeward only to find both wife and son gone. Yet fortunately later, Rick is also cared for by a father and son, Morgan Jones and Duane, telling him that the world has become an apocalypse where the dead have reanimated into flesh eaters, called walkers. That a bite or even a scratch from the dead will lead from infection to reanimation, and furthermore, that the only way to kill a walker is by a gunshot, stab, or trauma blow to the brain.

Later, Rick, Morgan and Duane arrive at the police station where Rick had worked. After they showered, Rick now dressed in his police uniform takes a duffel bag of full weapons, and says parting words to Morgan. Intending to find his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) in Atlanta, Rick also says he will maintain contact by walkie-talkie. The roles of Rick and Morgan are both played by British actors Andrew Lincoln and Lennie James.

In episode 2, titled, "Guts," Rick is guided to safety by Glenn (Steven Yeun) into an Atlanta department store and is berated by Andrea (Laurie Holden). Morales (Juan Gabriel Pareja) tries to calm Andrea because of Rick's gunshots. Then Morales says, "Every geek for miles around heard you popping off rounds." Thus Rick learns another lesson, keep quiet around walkers.

On the roof, Rick meets the rest of the small group of survivors whose intent was to scavenge for supplies. He also sees Merle (Michael Rooker) terrorizing the group, and then attacks T-Dog (IronE Singleton) with a gun while mouthing the n-word. Soon after, Merle is surprisingly hit on the head with the butt of a rifle by Rick. After handcuffing Merle to a pipe, Rick says the following, "Look here Merle. Things are different now. There are no n----rs anymore. No dumb-ass-sh-- white tr--h fools either. Only dark meat and white meat. There's us and the dead. We survive this by pulling together, not apart." Thus was born that day the maxim of Rick Grimes.

In episode 3, titled, "Tell it to the Frogs," Rick is reunited with wife and son, and best friend former police colleague Shane (Jon Bernthal). Now among a larger group at a higher elevation at a camp in the woods, Shane questions Rick about retrieving Merle. For during the hasty escape, T-Dog accidentally lost the key to the handcuffs Rick had given him. "Why would you risk your life for a douchebag like Merle Dixon?" asks Shane. "Hey! Choose your words more carefully," exclaims Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), younger brother of Merle. "No, I did," says Shane, who also adds, "The guy wouldn't give you a glass of water if you were dying of thirst." Rick then tells Lori and Shane, besides being inhumane to leave Merle, he has two other reasons. He owes a debt to Morgan and his son to warn them to stay away from Atlanta, and to retrieve his duffel bag full of six shotguns, two high-powered rifles and over a dozen handguns including ammo.

Within the next remaining three episodes of season 1, the survivors suffered more losses. Walkers had invaded the camp. Shane again confronts Rick, who had teamed with Glenn, Daryl, and T-Dog as all returned from Atlanta failing to find Merle, saying they could have used their manpower. Rick replies that if they hadn't gone back to also retrieve the guns they perhaps could have lost the entire camp. In episode 5, Rick makes the decision to forgo the Army base Fort Benning and head to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) HQ in Atlanta. Morales then says, "We have family in Birmingham," who will be going there. After hearing that, Rick gives Mr. Morales a gun, ammo, and a walkie-talkie, followed by others embracing the Morales family.

At the CDC they meet Dr. Edwin Jenner. After all enjoyed showers, rest and meals, Jenner explains that there is no cure. Later, Rick and his group realize they are trapped as Jenner had initiated a self-destruct. Rick pleads. Finally, Jenner shows them a way out as Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott) decides to stay, the only one remaining behind with Jenner in the control room, holding hands before the bomb goes off after Andrea and Dale (Jeffrey DeMunn) are the last to escape.

In season 2, episode 1, titled, "What Lies Ahead," begins as Rick speaks into a walkie-talkie, among the words intended for Morgan, saying, "Maybe we'll see you in Fort Benning someday." While driving, they encounter a herd of walkers. All remain quiet while hiding. After the herd passes, a walker grabs at 12 year old Sophia, daughter of Carol (Melissa McBride), who panics and runs into the woods followed by two walkers. Rick finds her, and tells her how to get back to the road before he draws them off. He returns to the others, yet sees that Sophia is still missing. A search has engaged, as Rick, Shane and Carl later see a deer in the woods. Then Carl is shot.

The next few episodes Carl is treated at the sprawling farm of Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson). It was his foreman Otis, whose bullet went through the deer to also hit Carl. As Rick stayed to give blood, Otis and Shane go into town to get a respirator for Carl and encounter walkers. On his last bullet, Shane shoots Otis in the leg. The two men struggle until Shane breaks free before Otis is attacked. Arriving with the device, Shane lies, saying Otis's death was sacrificial.

In episode 5, the search continues for Sophia. After Daryl's search who finds Sophia's doll, Shane still believes the search is a waste, even after Rick saying they now have evidence. Shane then meets Lori, saying Rick has got to make the tough calls. Then Lori says, "It's the easiest thing in the world to cut our losses and to not help." For Shane also believes he's in love with Lori, and that they all should have gone onto Fort Benning by now instead of staying at the farm.

Yet in episode 8, Rick, Glenn and Hershel find out about Fort Benning from Dave and Tony while in town. Both heard from a soldier that Benning was overrun. So Rick's initial decision to forgo Benning for the CDC, was validated, before he had to shoot the two dangerous men.

By episode 9, Rick had dealt with a lot. Carl shot, Sophia found as a walker in episode 7, Lori's pregnancy and her affair with Shane as she thought Rick died, and their prisoner Randall formerly with Dave and Tony. Then Lori tells Rick she thinks Shane killed Otis as told by Dale, he believes she and the baby are his, to finally saying, "He's dangerous Rick, and he won't stop."

Then in episode 10, Rick gives Shane three chances. After Rick stops the car with Randall bound in the back, he talks to Shane. Later, he saves Shane's life after the two had fought, going back to rescue Shane trapped in a school bus surrounded by walkers. And lastly, he gives Shane his gun back, as Rick says, "It's time for you to come back." After all that, Shane wouldn't yield.

Later, all mourn the loss of Dale, as done for Otis and Sophia, who was killed by a walker. Shane then sets up a ruse. He sets Randall free, kills him, then yells out he's on the loose. During a search, Rick is aware of Shane's ploy to kill him. After being magnanimous with Shane, in the end, Rick had to kill Shane before being killed. After Carl shows up to kill Shane as a walker, the farm is overrun by a horde. This ends Part I's appreciation of Rick Grimes of The Walking Dead.