Over the first six seasons of The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes has set himself apart as one of the baddest dudes on television. Guys like Walter White and Jackson Teller have made their violent marks on the world of cable TV, but none of them have done it in the midst of a decaying world like that of The Walking Dead.
In season one, Rick came up with the idea to cover himself in zombie guts to get through a crew of walkers, and concept that has been copied time and time again. In season six, he pummels an abusive husband in the middle of a crowded street. It didn't matter who was around to see him, Rick was on a mission.
Each and every season, Rick proves to audiences that he has earned his spot atop the hill of bad-assery, but it looks like he may have a challenger.
After this week's season two finale of Fear The Walking Dead, Travis Manawa proved that he deserves to be in this conversation.
If you missed the episode, let's recap. Just a warning: major spoilers ahead for Fear The Walking Dead.
After Travis and his son, Chris, were separated from the rest of their group. Chris had been on a steep slope toward insanity, but meeting a crew of young Americans sent him over the edge. He tricked his father, assisted in the murder of another boy, and abandoned his father at a barn.
The kid sucked, but his death still struck a chord with his dad.
When it was revealed to Travis that those same Americans had killed Chris, all hell broke loose. In a Rick-esque moment, Travis stayed calm as he locked the door to the room they were in. As much as Madison pleaded for him to open up, and stop what he was doing, his mind was set.
The next several minutes saw one of the most brutal beatings in the history of The Walking Dead Universe, as Travis annihilated these helpless souls. He broke bones, stomped faces, and even killed another man who tried to interfere by slamming his head in a door. Nothing was going to keep Travis from exacting revenge on his son's murderers, and it was nothing short of epic.
This fight, albeit just one scene, begs the question: is Travis a bigger bad-ass than Rick Grimes?
Yeah, Rick has had plenty of moments to earn his title, but let's think about it. Many of Rick's greatest moments as a warrior were taken one notch higher in this fight scene. Travis' insanity in the scene also plays a major role.
In the times that Rick went dark, he still seemed to hold on to a small chunk of reality. In this fight, Travis was completely lost. there was no emotion, no words, just a blank stare as he slaughtered Brandon and Derek.
This was the shining moment for Travis throughout the series, and his character will only get darker.
So, does this 180 make Travis a badder man than Rick? No. At least, not yet.
Rick has had multiple seasons of character building to show us exactly what it is he can do. He has had too many moments of brilliant and devilish insanity for one brutal fight to steal the crown. This doesn't mean Travis isn't coming for the number one spot.
Travis is much darker after two seasons than Rick was, and the loss of Chris might propel him even further. Imagine how wild Rick would be if Carl was killed?
That thought alone is enough to make Fear The Walking Dead's third season one of the most anticipated events on television.