Last August, before the start of the sixth season, I wrote a piece concerning whether or not Rick Grimes had become a villain using the definition created by Chuck Klosterman in his book, I Wear the Black Hat. According to Klosterman a villain is someone who knows the most, but cares the least. Using that interpretation I went with yes. Or, at least, “yeah, kinda”. He had gone from a man who knew little of what was happening in the world, but was deeply disturbed by it, to a man who’d seen way too much and no longer cared about those around him (outside his core group, but even then he would disregard their feelings and thoughts in favor of his own). I ended on a note of hope that Rick could change, go back to the more heroic guy he once was.
So, with a season passed, has anything changed? Has Rick been redeemed in the arms of Alexandria? A little, perhaps, but not really. While he’s certainly getting along better with others, managed to see the Alexandrians as his people, it took some extreme events to have that happen and he’s generally not any kinder or gentler to those he still considers not “his people”. The biggest difference, really, is that those around him have (mostly) stopped opposing him. The original Alexandria citizens have stopped questioning him; when he says “this is how it has to be”, that is how it has to be. Nowadays Rick might not be considered a villain only because everyone else is just as bad…or there’s someone who’s worse, who knows more and cares even less, like Negan and his Saviors.