Warning: This article contains spoilers for The Walking Dead Issue 191.
The Walking Dead 191 – The Last Stand
Issue 191 of The Walking Dead came out on 5/1/2019 and is entitled “The Last Stand”. The story picks up right where it left off. Pamela is about to end the citizen’s revolt by force.
The Commonwealth Riots
Rick is pleading with Pamela to not commit the authoritarian act of violence that is about to happen. Pamela is hoping to regain control of The Commonwealth, and is willing to do so by any means necessary. This includes using The Commonwealth army to slaughter her own people.
Pamela is unwilling to back down at first. However, her armed guards are not too excited about slaughtering the people they promised to protect. Rick sees this and uses it as an example. He explains to Pamela that no one wants to fight.
Everything Rick has learned is coming full circle. He now understands that civilization can be rebuilt. Rick sees The Commonwealth, regardless of the problems with its government, as a symbol of hope for the future.
Rick explains that he used to believe in savage authoritarianism as well. It was needed during a time where people were hurt and desperate. However, we are far enough into the zombie apocalypse where the surviving humans can begin to tackle bigger societal issues, such as justice, government, industry, and labor.
Rick continues to lecture both his loved ones, and the citizens of The Commonwealth. He holds up the stump where his hand should be, and tells the groups that they are damaged from the world. The scars should serve as a reminder that they need to be working toward building a better world.
“WE ARE NOT THE WALKING DEAD, ” Rick screams as he pleas for peace.
He wants people to be able to enjoy life instead of merely surviving. I absolutely love this panel. It is an excellent throwback to issue 24. That speech seems like it is so long ago.
Pamela Is Dethroned
Rick is done with authoritarian power, and hierarchical power structures. He wants to live in a liberated world where people can represent themselves. It seems as though he is calling for a democratic process to take over The Commonwealth’s current dictatorship.
There is no violence, but the crowd is still completely worked up. Mercer decides that it is best for Pamela to spend some time in jail. She no longer has power over her community, but there are probably a few citizens that want revenge for what she has done.
Sebastian, Pamela’s spoiled rich son, obviously has a meltdown over his mother’s arrest. Pamela, understanding that they have lost, tells Sebastian to calm down before he gets hurt. Mercer takes Pamela off to prison.
The Commonwealth begins rebuilding, both physically and socially. Everyone is pitching in and helping clean up the mess. The class structure of The Commonwealth seems to have broken down. Higher officials are doing the dirty work alongside the working class citizens.
Rick visits Pamela in jail. She is obviously upset at Rick with the coup he just achieved. He has empathy for Pamela. I think Rick sees a bit of himself in her. Rick has not been perfect when it comes to being a leader.
Over the past 191 issues we have seen him be savage, mean, and even insane (how are you going to lead a group while talking to a disconnected phone, haha). We have also seen him be loving, caring, and an advocate for justice.
Pamela is released from her cell. She is powerless and defeated. She has no resources to regain control of The Commonwealth. Rick sees this and decides that it is best to let her go.
It seems like he has learned a thing or two from keeping Negan captive. I thought that releasing Pamela from her cell was a nice little parallel to the years he kept a defeated Negan locked up.
The Commonwealth Needs A Leader
Rick goes to see Michonne for a bit. The Commonwealth is looking for a new leader. Obviously, the man that helped them escape their oppressive government is their first choice.
Rick, however, does not feel this way. While he loves what The Commonwealth represents, Alexandria is still his home. That is where he belongs.
He also understands that it wouldn’t look good for him to take power after overthrowing their authoritarian leader. He wants the citizens of The Commonwealth to build their own society.
It is nighttime now and Rick is walking Carl to his building. Like a lot of their recent interactions, Rick and his son have a heart to heart. They discuss their views on morality. They don’t always know the best course of action, but their gut feelings are usually enough to get them through.
Rick and Carl tell each other that they are proud of each other. They say good night, and head off to bed.
Rick Gets A Visitor
Rick wakes up in the middle of the night to find Sebastian hovering over him. Sebastian is holding a silenced pistol and is ready to get revenge on Rick.
Sebastian is obviously upset and irrational. I would say the irrational behavior is due to being upset, but we know Sebastian better than that. He is the spoiled brat of a wealthy bureaucrat.
He doesn’t understand what it is like to be oppressed and dominated by an authoritarian regime. He family, up until today, was that regime.
This next part is hard to write. Regardless of Rick’s please, Sebastian takes his shot. Rick is shot in the chest. Looking at the wound, it looks like it is in Rick’s lung, close to his heart.
The issue ends with Rick on his bed, bleeding out. He is spitting up blood, which possibly means he was hit in the lungs. He asks Sebastian “What did you do?” before the issue cuts to black.
Wow. I know that Kirkman has teased Rick’s death before, but I think it is for real this time. This issue was filled with sappy and heartfelt sentiments. The characters almost didn’t seem like themselves. The dialogue seemed overly dramatic and corny (in a good way). It definitely seems like this is Rick’s “Last Stand”, which is also the title of this issue.
Well, this is going to be an agonizing month for me. I thought waiting week to week for Game of Thrones was bad. However, all the dragons in the world can’t make up for losing my man Rick.
What Did You Think?
How did you react to The Walking Dead issue 191? Do you think that Rick Grimes is dead? We won’t know for a few weeks, but I personally think he is done for (as sad as that is). The Walking Dead won’t be the same without him.