"The Walking Dead" won't open the gates of Alexandria again for several more months yet, but when it does, we'll see the survivors of the zombie apocalypse taking sides within the walled-in community.
The San Diego Comic-Con poster for "Walking Dead" season six makes it clear that there's a rift brewing between Rick Grimes and Morgan Jones, two of the very first people we met in the entire series, reunited after many seasons away from one another. Both men are very different from when they first met: Rick has no problem killing his enemies by any means necessary, throat-biting included...
...and while Morgan used to operate at similar levels of bloodlust, he now speaks softly and carries a big stick, only using it to subdue threats, not outright eliminate them.
Who do you side with here? The man we've traveled with since the very first episode of the series, the man who has kept most of our favorite characters alive all along the way thanks to his brutal take-no-prisoners attitude? Or the man we've wanted to travel with since the very first episode of the series, but has only emerged here and there since then — and now seems to be at total peace within himself?
There are pros and cons in each situation. With Rick, we have familiarity. We have a proven leader. We have someone who isn't afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty and bloody when the need arises. This is the type of person who survives the zombie apocalypse because his ability to trust others is greatly impaired, making him cautious and skeptical and ready to do what's necessary to protect the people he cares about the most.
Then again, it's that same caution and skepticism that makes Rick an unattractive leader in the apocalypse. If Alexandria represents hope, the possibility that civilization can start anew, then is Rick really the man to get that done? Are his tactics too extreme for a civilized world?
That's why someone like Morgan might be so attractive to the original Alexandrians, many of whom are on his side in the SDCC poster. He's experienced as much loss as anyone in the apocalypse, and went through his own craziness crucible, emerging on the other side covered in blood, but open to the idea that all life is precious — even walking, rotting afterlife. With survival experience under his belt and optimism in his heart, is Morgan the right man to move everyone forward in the apocalypse?
Then again, there are the Wolves to consider. Granted, there are only two of these murderous psychopaths as far as we know, but two murderous psychopaths can do a whole lot of damage to a big community like Alexandria, especially considering they have all of Aaron's intelligence on the place in their possession. Is Morgan the right guy to lead the way against these people? Surely a few stick-punches to the face aren't enough to keep them at bay forever, right?
In other words, Rick versus Morgan represents the central dilemma of "The Walking Dead." It's not just that we like both of these people individually. It's also that we see value in both of their ideologies and methods for surviving in an unsurvivable world. We want to see them both succeed. We want them to work together. Hopefully, in the end, they can. But hope costs a premium price in the zombie apocalypse. For now, we must choose.
Whose side are you on, Rick or Morgan's? Let us know in the comments below!