According to the most recent episodes, it’s been about a year since the world went the way of the walker. One has to assume that Darwin’s law has kicked in by this point. All the weak and stupid people should have been the appetizers. It stands to reason that if you’re still walking around with a pulse that you’ve got something to contribute. Some skill or know-how that’s kept you alive thus far.
(Spoiler ahead! You have been warned!)
In the episode “Clear,” we see three of our merry band of walker munchies on a road trip. They pass a guy making his way down the road who begs them for a lift. They pretty much ignore him, at least until the end of the episode when they pass by the blood smear left of him and help themselves to his gear. (Hey, I warned you about a spoiler.)
So, do the old warnings about hitchhiking and picking them up still apply?
On the plus side, there’s strength in numbers. If you were driving by in that world and you saw a Daryl or Michonne, you might be wise to give them a lift when they stick out their thumb. Not so much with Merle. (I can’t imagine anyone stupid enough to give a ride to someone who tries to hitchhike by sticking out a stump with a knife attached to it. Well, except maybe Andrea.)
If someone has survived this long, maybe they’d be a valuable member of the group. Do they have medical knowledge? Are they a good shot? Can they work on cars? Good in a fight? Or has it just been blind, stupid luck?
Who knows what that guy on the road might have brought to the group?
Of course, he might have just been a parasite and sat around all day, eating their food, making a mess and not contributing anything worthwhile. Maybe he was part of another group that got tired of his antics, his snoring or even his picking his nose . Or maybe he killed his own group and ate them himself? You just never know what you’ll get when you pick someone up off the side of the road. Or when you take them into your group. But can you just decide the inn is full? Rick may really regret his flipping his lid and chasing off Tyrese who might just end up siding with the Gov.
So do we still not pick up hitchhikers once the walkers start walking? Do we decide that on a case by case basis? And if so, what other rules should be reconsidered?