The Walking Dead, “Too Far Gone”
Rick and his survivors are finding their new home life oddly comfortable and while the concrete walls may have blocked off the nightmares outside, it isn’t long before old habits crop up. While Rick and Glenn formulate a plan to get their weapons back, Abraham goes out with several people to help expand the community walls. A zombie attack causes chaos until Abraham takes charge and defends the group (to their admiration) and shames the leader, Tobin. With the work completed, Tobin tells Douglas about the incident and suggests that Abraham be the new leader of the work crew given his helplessness during the attack. Father Gabriel shares private council with Douglas and recommends that Rick and his group be forced to leave because of the terrible things they’ve done. The community leader disagrees with Gabriel’s opinion, believing that Rick had to do bad things in order to survive.
Heath, one of Douglas’ scouts, announces that he is going off into the city for a supply run and Glenn, much to Maggie’s displeasure, decides to go with him. During their run, the two men spot another group of survivors that wantonly sacrifice one of their own in order to escape, an act that shocks Glenn. The two camp out for the night on a roof and share stories. Back home, Rick gets in the middle of a domestic dispute involving Pete, a father who may have hit his son (as evidence by the boy’s black eye). After speaking to Jessie (Pete’s wife), Rick brings the matter to Douglas’ attention and wonders why nothing has been done about it. Douglas admits that nothing has been done because Pete is one of the community’s medical specialists and has been afforded some measure of special treatment. This angers Rick to the point where he gets into a brutal fist fight with Pete and pulls a gun on him. Michonne steps in and admonishes Rick, who is shocked by his own behavior.
While Rick hides himself away, Douglas finds him and tells the story of Davidson, the original leader of the community. Although he initially was a well meaning person, Davidson allowed the power to get to him to the point where Douglas forced him out, effectively killing him. For the next several days, Rick becomes a social pariah and resorts to talking with Lori on the disconnected phone. Carl walks in on Rick and gets upset, believing his father might be going crazy.
Pete, who has been forced to live in a different house, grows increasingly angry with Rick and decides to take matters into his own hands. Grabbing a knife, Pete finds Rick walking with Douglas and his wife and threatens the pair to move out of the way so he can attack the man who dishonored him. Regina tries to shame Pete into dropping the weapon, but the two scuffle and Regina’s throat is cut. While Rick keeps a gun pointed at Pete, the man blubbers an apology. Douglas orders Rick to shoot, which he does without hesitation.
During a funeral service the next morning, gunfire attracts the enclave to the front gates where a solitary man threateningly asks for his crew to be let in. While Rick tells the stranger to leave, he sees a laser dot sight trained on his chest, allowing the stranger a moment to gloat over his supposed superiority over the situation. Andrea comes to the rescue and takes out the sniper as well as the bandit leader which causes a firefight to break about between the two groups. The battle is brief and while Abraham and his crew clean up, Douglas spends a moment with Rick and confesses his newfound fear of what would have happened if Rick hadn’t shown up. He admits that he has failed as a leader and suggests Rick should take over.
Pondering this development, Rick and the Alexandria survivors are unaware that the recent spat of violence has attracted the attention of a zombie horde.
Adults: Rick, Andrea, Glenn, Spencer, Maggie, Morgan, Michonne, Abraham, Rosita, Eugene, Douglas, Aaron, Heath, Regina, Jessie, misc families
Children: Carl, Sophia, Ron
Once again, zombies take a backseat to the action while human struggles get in the way of peace. It isn’t long before conflict begins to get in the way of comfort as Rick falls into “cop mode” when he suspects abuse being done against a boy. However, because of the experiences that have reshaped who he is and what he values and believes in, Rick takes things to the extreme by dishing out punishment as he sees fit instead of trusting in a higher authority – because, let’s face it: there is none. Does Rick overreact in this situation? He proceeds to beat the man without provocation and nearly shoots him. Pete’s medical skills make him a valuable asset, but that certainly doesn’t give him leave to beat his child. That’s the problem with this new world, there really is no black and white as everything is enshrouded in a “gray area.” Outside of the walls, Rick’s killing of Pete is easily justified, but having punishment of this caliber unleashed within the confines of the enclave is enough to force people out of the bubble they’ve been living in and realize that the world is a dangerous place, no matter how strong the walls are.
The appearance of the bandits further drives the point home that these people are not safe. They can hold Halloween parties and social get togethers, but the fact remains there are forces outside that seek to do them harm and that they must protect what is theirs. Trust doesn’t come easy now and Douglas brings up a very important point. What if Rick didn’t show up? Andrea wouldn’t have been able to shoot the bandits and the community would have been overrun. Although it is easy to say that Rick and his crew manage to bring trouble wherever they go, they also happen to show up at just the right moment. He can almost be seen as a catalyst for change. Although we’re only getting one story in these comics, it would be interesting to see how other people are getting along. Are there more people out there like Rick? The Governor? Douglas? We’ll probably never know, but it is certainly fun to speculate.
There isn’t anything too notable in this volume artistically speaking, although “Too Far Gone” probably has the least number of zombie appearances. Much like the volumes involving Woodbury, both “Life Among Them” and “Too Far Gone” show that there are far worse and deadlier things in the world than zombies.