Did you notice how much forgiveness is going on in this episode? Not only does Tyreese forgive Carol, he will insist that everyone else must as well. Then Carol forgives Rick for banishing her. Then, in the church, Tara asks Maggie to forgive her for being with the Governor in the attack on the prison. The good news is, that everyone forgives everyone.
Given that this season has begun with the tension between being human and not, this episode suggests that forgiveness is an essential part of being human. Given that human beings seem to need to be in community, and given the universal principal that others will necessarily wrong you, and given that you will still have to live with them after they’ve wronged you (unless they turn), forgiveness, although counter-intuitive, makes perfect sense if we are to live with each other. So, I guess I would have to agree; forgiveness is an essential part of being human.
My first reaction to the priest is “Really?!” I mean he’s as cliché as his collar, which he still wears after 17 months of the zombie apocalypse. If it was me, I would have taken the thing off long before I opened the first can of beans. And, he doesn’t need weapons because “the word of God is all I need”? And he doesn’t kill zombies because “the Lord abhors violence.” And Gabriel? Give me a break.
My second reaction is that this can’t be bad writing. I’m with Rick. He’s hiding something really serious and he’s doing it with cliché. Glen said it: “There’s nothing left in this world that isn’t hidden.” Tara and the others are exposing what is hidden and being forgiven. What’s Gabe hiding?
He does speak the truth on one occasion: “Nowadays, people are just as dangerous as the dead. Don’t you think?”
Darrel replies, “No, people are worse.”
Darrel’s right. That’s the thing about people. They will amaze you with their forgiveness, or they will be far worse than a zombie. It’s like two things are always going on in human nature. The good and the evil.
That brings us to the former Terminus gang who has begun to eat Bob. These dudes are bad in the most profound sense of the word. Gareth says that the cannibalism of Terminus is the next step in evolution–adapting to the environment so as to survive.
So this season continues to ask, “What is a human being?” Gareth offers us one answer, “We are a product of a long process of adaptation for survival.” Against that is a community of forgiveness and self sacrifice.
I wonder which one the priest will choose.