With season 4 of The Walking Dead now in the bag I thought it was a good chance to go back and post this little note about Dale. If you recognize the illustration it’s because I used Dale as an example of a particular type of survivor I called wizards. You can check that post out here.
The reason I thought of Dale at the end of Season four is that maybe, just MAYBE Rick will finally start being a decent leader for the group. For the longest time Dale was sort of the moral center of the group. While everyone else was losing their heads and contemplating suicide and killing each other and who was sleeping with who, Dale was going along looking out for people, helping where he could and being steady. He wasn’t the leader but he had what Rick lacked. This is what happened with Herschel too. While all the panic and craze of the events on the farm and in the prison were happening, Rick was losing it and not holding the group together. Herschel had replaced Dale as the moral center of the group and the sort of steady hand that everyone needed.
That’s what Rick has always lacked. He’s the leader but he’s angry and he tends to lose it sometimes. He’s basically just like Jack on Lost. Jack was a terrible leader. He seems like such a good guy but when you really look at the show he never listened to people around him and didn’t think very much about his actions.
So now, with both Dale and Herschel gone there is no moral center of the group. And that’s what Rick needs to step up and be. We’ve been waiting a long time for him to do that and really become the heart of the group and now it looks like he MIGHT be poised to do just that. It all depends on what he does next.