During the latest episode titled “Try,” every time Rick notices a red balloon, something dark seems to happen to him. Hidden Remote posted on March 23 that the red balloon is “creeptastic” and is representative of Rick’s feelings concerning Jessie. The balloon also seems to serve as a type of warning to Rick that perhaps he is about to lose control or go too far.
The first time he sees a balloon, it is tied to a toy boat floating in a nearby pond. This is right after Carol tells him that Pete is definitely abusing Jessie. Perhaps it is at this point that he decides to take matters into his own hands, and the balloon is a reflection of his own emotions. As he stares at the balloon, Pete comes up to him and Rick warns him to keep walking. He is visibly working hard to maintain control of his anger.
Rick goes to Deanna about Pete, and feels she doesn’t understand exactly what a dangerous situation she has on her hands. He wants to kill Pete, but Deanna refuses. Exile is how she normally handles problems and Rick knows from experience how bad of an idea that is. Pete or anyone else she banished could easily turn on them and attempt to extract revenge by destroying the community.
Right after he confronts Jessie about the abuse, he is trying to calm down when he sees Sam walk by carrying the toy boat with the red balloon still attached. He instantly turns and strides back over to Jessie’s house and walks right in. He tells her that Sam asked for a gun to protect her, and that he wants her to fight or she’s going to die. He tells her that he can keep her and her boys safe, and that all she has to do is say “yes.” When she asks him if he would do this for anyone else he tells her he wouldn’t, thereby revealing his feelings for her. Right before Pete walks in, she says yes to him.
Pete tells Rick to leave and Jessie tries to intervene by telling Pete to go. Rick tells him that they’re both leaving, but Pete goes after him. They begin to fight, eventually going through the window and out into the street. The fight is extremely violent and Rick’s raw emotions rise to the surface. As he unleashes his fury on Pete, Jessie and Carl try to stop them, but both get knocked away. As Rick chokes Pete, he sees the red balloon for the last time, now free and floating up into the sky. Does this mean he is losing touch with reality or does it mean he is letting go of some of his pent-up anger? When Deanna tells him to stop he does, but not after telling Pete he will kill him if he touches Jessie again.
When Deanna repeats her warning again for him to stop, he pulls his gun on the bystanders and delivers what seems to be a crazy speech. He tells them they still don’t get it, that he and his group know what needs to be done. As if to prove his point, Sasha is in the tower taking out walkers at the wall. He tells Deanna and the others that they are pretending that they know what’s going on when they really don’t. After he tells her that he’s not going to stand by and let everything be destroyed, Michonne walks up behind him and knocks him unconscious.
So what exactly does that red balloon mean? According to the Dream Moods website, the color red symbolizes “danger, violence, blood, shame, rejection, sexual impulses and urges. Perhaps you need to stop and think about your actions.” This description is perfect in regard to what is going on with Rick at this time. Although his methods may be wrong for this particular group of people, he does seem to be trying to help the community.
Do you think his warnings are crazy or warranted? Are his pleas for them to wake up falling on deaf ears? Leave your comments and opinions below. The special 90-minute season finale airs next Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.