One of the more infuriating moments during last night’s season eight premiere of The Walking Dead occurred when Rick stopped to take a Polaroid picture.
[Warning: The following contains spoiler for The Walking Dead’s season 8 premiere.]
The scene occurs after Rick and his group of miscreants descend upon the Sanctuary, where Negan and his fellow cohorts are stationed. Running in, guns blazing, the battle ended with Negan running away in retreat. As an army of walkers approach, Rick stops to snap a photo with the Polaroid camera that he’s found. It may seem like a strange occurrence for Rick, who’s never shown any interest in a photography career before this moment, but it’s not without precedence.
When Negan made his debut in The Walking Dead’s seventh season, we were also introduced to his habit of snapping Polaroid pictures of his victims. In one particularly gruesome scene, Dwight, a former member of Negan’s group, comes into the cell that Daryl, Rick’s longtime pal, is imprisoned in. Dwight hands Daryl a photo of his friend, Glenn, reminding Daryl that it’s his fault he’s in this situation. Negan has a tendency to use old Polaroid snapshots for his own personal, sadistic pleasure.
Rick picking up the Polaroid and deciding to do the same thing isn’t just a one-off, nonsensical decision; it’s plotted vengeance. This is someone who wants to wreak havoc on the monstrous man who assaulted and killed his makeshift family. Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick in the show, told Entertainment Weekly that scene will come to play a bigger role in upcoming episodes.
“That will be answered in a little bit,” Lincoln said. “The cutaway to an important purpose, is all I will say.”
The decision to pick up the Polaroid camera marks a major shift in character for the newly vindictive Rick Grimes, but fans of the show couldn’t help pointing how ridiculous the scene played in comparison to the rest of the episode. One fan remarked that he could buy into the post-apocalyptic setting where zombies run rampant and humanity has broken down, but couldn’t fathom a world where someone finds an old-school Polaroid camera that easily.
Still, those looking to watch Grimes finally get revenge for the pain Negan caused him and his friends last season are sure to be in for a treat.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.