I was so wrong when I thought that this season of the Walking Dead would be better than the the last few, that we would leave behind the monologues, the empty story building and the ‘our group is the best’ cliches. This episode continued in the vein of last week – a lot of the same nonsensical distancing from the potential death of Glen. Again, there is no issue with this if the filler episodes are full of tension, drama, or legitimate story building – but these episodes have been just that – filler.

On there drive back to safety Daryl, Abraham and Sasha are shot at by random marauders and separated. Daryl limping through the woods, injured and Abraham and Sasha holed up in a building together. Daryl limps around and comes across two women cowering, only to be pistol whipped from behind.

Psychology of The Walking Dead

– The Walking Dead _ Season 6, Episode 6 – Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

The next 20 mins or so has a bit of story building, about who these three are running from, Daryl building trust with them, showing that he isn’t one of the search party. He teaches them to trust again by saving them, Daryl is the Messiah, he is the saviour.. But it isn’t to be, given the next opportunity he is again held at gun point and his bike and crossbow taken (oh-no!). This is a major frustration that I have had with the show, it is the protagonists versus everyone else. It is not a surprise any more when the ‘others’ lack morality and turn on the protagonists, when ‘others’ are ‘bad’ it is just the norm for this show. There is never a mystery, just a matter of time until people turn on our heroic main cast.

There was some overture of romance between Abraham and Sasha, which didn’t really build to anything, just flopped around for a bit, filling in time we could have been following Daryl. There was tense scene where Abraham tried to retrieve a RPG from a hanging walker, but it lost it’s intensity due to having Glen out there, we know that they aren’t going to be killing off main characters in the absence of his story ending.

To quote Abraham this week “Loose ends make my ass itch” but it seems that finally, next week, we may be looking at the closure of Glen’s story one way or another. Actually, maybe not, just saw the promo for next week and it looks like we will be back at Alexandria again next week…yay…

There was a quote in there this week “People will do anything to feel safe” and I think that is true for both our protagonists and the others in this post-apocalypse world, but why is it that no-one ever feels safe with the protagonists and that they are always going against them? I suppose this comes down to group psychology and the ideals that each groups holds dear to them. I have spoken a little about the Psychology of The Walking Dead in a previous post, and I think that the same holds true, that when groups form they tend to go through a process to get there. As a result, we don’t easily let go of the thoughts and ideals of our original group. But in a situation like this, is it adaptive or foolhardy to be clinging to the ideals of a group of people who are essentially only just surviving?

Next week, I feel we are in for much of the same, maybe there will be some talk of the Glen rescue/recon, however I am not all that hopeful. What are your thoughts for next week?

Written by The Psychologist



Okay, so I just stumbled upon this website for the first time. I have to say I have never agreed with someone’s opinion of the show like I have with you.
Now I’ll begin from the end, my predictions for the next episodes of the show. Judging by how early on they “killed Glenn” and how the chapters built from that point onwards I dare to guess next episode will NOT note Glenn at all. There are only two more episodes until the mid-season break, so if anything they will get back to Glenn’s possible death at the episode after the next and my guess only at the last quarter of the chapter with a shock development to keep us hyped until February.
Now about the season in general, putting Glenn’s death aside, was pretty much like the last season. Nothing really new here, Zombies, Evil survivors and bla bla bla..
Psychologically speaking, I am more interested in the mental development of the protagonists, which is really good. Like any show I learned to not expect much from other characters, but that is their purpose really, to further develop the main characters and their personality.
The last episode showed a good possible development on Abraham’s mental state of mind – wanting to ditch the main group was the essence of his and Sasha’s part of the episode. They hid it really well, and IMO his “romance” with Sasha was just that – Abraham is incapable of surviving on his own, he needs someone, preferably a woman. Sasha just happened to be there, that’s it. There were no hints leading to this. He is a man who needs his ego stroked, he needs to fuck, he needs to feel strong, he needs to feel dependable. His mental breakdown at the last season when Eugene told them that there is no big plan and he lied to survive pretty much crossed him from the “dependable” part of Rick’s group. Again, hidden really well (or just my wierd take on the events), but he and Rosita “split” (or was it before the breakdown? Can’t recall exactly) and bunch of other little events around him made me come to this conclusion. He maybe do or maybe do not respect Rick in the depths of his heart but his social status unmistakeably was shaken. (For those here who interested in psychology and sociology please refer to Erwan Goffman’s texts about group psychology, he explains it better than I can ATM, he talks about social status and what happens when it’s shaken to the core in his text “The View of Oneself in the daily life” – I am not an English language native speaker, so it may have a different name though). Ultimately his will to leave is deeper than what meets the eye. (Again, in my opinion. Psychology students tend to see everything from this point.)
This is the only reason I gave the episode 8/10 and not a 5 or 6.

About why the other survivors don’t feel safe around Rick’s group is really simple in most cases. Rick is not a welcoming person. He is wary of others and tend to be brutal towards them. His world of view is hard core survivor’s view and if he wasn’t the main character of the show it is most likely he would be seen pretty much like the Marshall. Loved and hated. He would do anything to survive, anyone who betrays his trust (which is feeble at best to begin with…) Even if it is some one from his group. As I see it, he has two circles – the close circle that consists of his son Carl, his daughter Judith, Glenn, Deryl, perhaps Carol and Maggie. The 2nd circle is the rest of the group. He seem like he gives a damn about them, but in reality, a person like him if you stick to pure psychology, deep in his heart he does not give two damns about them. One damn – yes, two is already too much.

Bottom line this is what makes this show so fucking great that it stays 10/10 for me (the only two other shows ever to receive this rating from beginning to end from me is GoT and Death Note.)
Me and my fellow students can debate for days on psychology of the show. I grew to adore the man or woman that created the series, be it the comic series it is based upon and be it the TV series creator.

Sorry for long post. Never intended to write so much but it just came out when I began the reply.

The Psychologist

Wow, Nik, thanks for the in depth comments.
I agree with all you say and on Rick I also think that he acts somewhat out of grief for those that he has lost, especially his wife and best friend. He lost them both, and not only that he wasn’t able to process the betrayal of their infidelity in the time before their deaths. As a way to not only protect himself and his family physically, he also protects himself psychologically by keeping them at a distance and making them answer the ‘3 questions’ to prove themselves.
You may be interested in The Walking Dead Psychology: Psych of the Living Dead if you are also interested in the psychology of the show.


I skip introductions this time,
I never even thought about the 3 questions. But he really started to ask those sometime after the death of Lorry. Maybe becasue almost every other character soon started asking the same questions as well (Daryl in the last episode..)
Rick also is kind of a really grateful guy at his core, like he was with Glenn and Morgan. They both saved him at the start and look to what lenghts he went to ensure they are okay. Or Hershal, that also saved him and his group and Rick concidered him a really close friend, or at least it seem that way to me.
Anyway, Rick is a fantastic character. Maybe one of the more complex characters in cinema out there


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