Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead
In The Walking Dead, both the comic books and AMC’s hit TV adaptation, protagonist Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) talks about family a lot. But for all his talk, his actions tell a different story. Sure, he braved a zombie-infested Atlanta to find his family, and even killed his best friend over a squabble, but that’s small potatoes. Granted, he did lose his shit when his wife Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) died, but in this moment when his kids needed him the most, where the hell was he? It took him forever to check in with his son Carl (Chandler Riggs) to see if he was okay. Which is fine, it’s not like Carl had to shoot his own mother in the head so she wouldn’t come back as an undead cannibal. Oh wait, that’s exactly what he did. And if a kid doesn’t need his father after going through something like that, when will he ever need him?
If that isn’t enough, Rick completely abandoned his newborn baby daughter in order to go chasing after an imaginary ghost version of his dead wife that only he could see. And when he does finally realize that, holy crap, I have kids I should probably be taking care of, all he does is totally stifle any inclination Carl has to be his own man and decide for himself who wants to be. He sure as hell doesn’t want to be a farmer, like at the beginning of season four. Rick is there, and he cares, but he certainly has a funny way of showing it, and he needs to get his priorities straight. In Robert Kirkman’s comics, he’s a much better, more present father, though he still has his fair share of flaws.
If He Was Our Dad: We’d be totally bummed. He’s kind of a badass, but the charm of that wears thin after a while, and ultimately you’d rather have your father around to tuck you in at night instead of running out, fighting zombies and psychopaths at the drop of a hat, leaving every time anyone else needs anything.
Ideal Father’s Day Gift: What he could really use is a parenting course. For the comic-book version we’d try to fashion him some sort of prosthetic hand, but one with bullets in the fingers or that is full of explosives. He could use this next time he gets into a sticky situation, which, given his track record, shouldn’t be long.