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The Russians Aren't Evil

posted by Bokor on - Viewed by 4.7K users

The Steinbeck quote that Walter spouts, "All war is a symptom of man's failure as a thinking animal", is apt here. I'm seeing tons of blind hate towards Arvo and his groups for attacking Clementine's group, but little insight into why they did it. Despite having a stereotypical bald-headed tough guy among their ranks, I doubt these Russians are stereotypical villains. They're not as bad as Carver, and they might not even be as evil as the bandits that attacked Christa.

It's clear that Jane was excessive in her mistreatment of Arvo. Despite him mentioning that he has friends in the woods, Jane apparently saw nothing wrong with robbing a crippled man, manhandling him, calling him a liar to his face (probably because she felt only she had a sister worth protecting), ignoring his claims that his family was suffering just as much as he was, threatening to murder him, and disregarding both Clem and Arvo's protests to remain calm. Even if Clementine treated Arvo with humanity, the fact that Jane acted so brutishly to him left him with the impression that Clem's group was run by a bunch of selfish bandits. If he returned to his community with news about a group of intruders who rob anyone they meet, it seems only fair that they be robbed and left to die.

There's also the fact that Arvo doesn't at all seem like the type to survive on his own. He's skinny, myopic and crippled. It can be argued that the group keeps him around simply because he's a translator and they take advantage of his pitiful appearance (he points out that he's not in charge of the group), but the fact remains that a group of hardcore survivalists still take the energy and time to keep a physical weakling and his sister alive in the forest, an effort which Carver and Jane would never have bothered with. I suspect that he was sent alone to the observation deck in order to drop off the medicine there before the rest of the group could arrive (perhaps needing a warm place for their injured woman), not expecting any living person to be there. However, when he told his people about the group that robbed him, they instead bade their time in the forest and waited to ambush them.

I do think Arvo is being honest about having an injured woman to take care of - he doesn't seem like the type to lie with a gun in his face. I doubt it's the woman who accompanies him in the cliffhanger ending, unless she turns out to be a drug addict. Other people have already translated the dialogue of the Russians and revealed that while aggressive, they started to have second thoughts when finding out about the baby. They might have backed off had one of Clem's group not shot the baby's mother - keep in mind that only Clem and Kenny noticed that Rebecca was a zombie during the stand-off.

In short, the Russians may have been more amiable had Jane used her brain and not treated Arvo like shit. Instead, she gets to dodge the consequences while Clementine is left to deal with the anger of a survivalist community that could have helped them get to Wellington.

108 Comments
  • No one is just straight up Evil, everyone has their reasons for things but some are more stricter than others on things, and I just don't like that they are SO the stereotypical Russian antagonist....

    • We've known them for like 3 min at most.

    • I don't think they're evil, but if they hurt/killed somebody in my group I'll be pissed. meh, I'm Russian myself, but it doesn't bother me that they're portrayed as stereotypical Russians.

    • I kinda have to disagree with you when you say no one is straight up evil, because I can name a lot of sick assholes in history who have done some pretty evil things: Adolf Hitler: responsible for the murder of countless men, women and children. Osama bin Laden: Told his supporters to fly planes into the twin towers and murder thousands of U.S citizens. In those cases, I don't think the motive or reason should matter, because nothing can justify what those people did.

      Although I would like to say that I don't think the same of Arvo's group. They could easily have seen the group as a threat, so I can paritially understand their attitude.

      • Wishing neither to defend or further assault the motives of the abovementioned people, I should just like to offer another example which might give doubts as to the (in)defensibility of some very murderous actions: Harry S. Truman for ordering his army to drop atomic bombs on two Japanese cities causing the deaths of between 130,000 and 245,000 men, women, and children.

        I'm just trying to point out that very few people wake up and say "Today I will act in some way simply because that is the evil thing to do". Nobody is motivated in that way. People are likely to try and figure out the right way to act and attempt to do that - but nobody acts in a way because that way is evil. Other things motivate to do actions that are evil. Truman and co. saw the nuclear bombings as the best way to end the war with Japan, whilst showing enough strength to discourage possible Soviet aggression in Europe (and elsewhere). But I reckon that reason didn't matter much to Mr. and Mrs. Nagasaki resident. Much as Bin Laden and co. probably had/have reasons to view the US as the big enemy that must be fought by any means necessary - and if we can symbolically his their center of trade it'll be a great blow. That reasoning did not matter to anyone who lost someone because of the attacks.

        Let me conclude with saying that I hope I haven't offended anyone (too much at least). And if I have offended you - perhaps by discussing 9/11 - then I would also be expecting you to have contacted your political representatives in Washington (if you're American of course) to get the politicians to actually pass laws to support the first responders others who selflessly got involved with helping on that day.

        • Fair point about Truman. Also, I should have worded my statement more clearly. I didn't suggest that people wake up and decided to do the evil thing. Those people such as Hitler,Truman and bin Laden did have motives for doing what the did, but in the case of Hitler and bin Laden, it was their desire to force their belief on their own people that led to that decision. If bin Laden had control of America (which would never and will never happen because... America), would you be surprised if he forced Islam on everyone in the country? The same applies to Hitler. They had evil motives and tried t justify slaughtering millions of innocent people. It's sick that conflict is still driven by religion in the 21st century.

          • I keep being surprised at this forum... I could've sworn this was on the internet - yet people are so level headed and rational!

            You make good points, and I agree in most regards :)

  • Okay, that's fair reasoning. Or the sick sister could have been somewhere else at the time. I guess we'll just have to suffer the wait and see.

  • I'm hopeful that the Russians, despite stereotypical appearances, will turn out to be more fleshed-out antagonists than Carver was. Carver's humanity was already gone by the time Clementine meets him, but the presence of Arvo and the group's hesitation about robbing a group with a baby seems to make them more reasonable than the average bandit. I don't think it's fair to say that they would have robbed Clem's group no matter what.

    Who knows what might have happened had Clem & Jane trusted Arvo and allowed him to return safely - they could have worked together rather than force Clem's group to be at odds with a community that's much more competent than them. Walter may have been naive with his idealism and hospitality, but the point remains that the people who decided to rob Arvo simply repeated the crimes of Bonnie and Kenny's theft of the Stranger's supplies.

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    Ellias BANNED

    OH YESSS because he cares about his "group" and his "sister". He cares SO MUCH that he tries to throw away the medicine! And blames you if you didn't steal them.

    ugh, I thought we already went over this. It's obvious he wants to kill his group or sick member of his group by hiding the medicine and blaming somebody else that they robbed it. What is he going to say? Mike's Raccoon stole it? Boy please. He's lucky he ran into clem and jane, real lucky. He can't just go out on his own, he has to leech off of the goods from his group since like you've said yourself - there's no chance in hell he'd survive by himself.

    Before you reply, look at the video itself. He tries to stuff the damn bag in the trash can 0:54

    Click here

    • It's not "obvious" that he wants to betray his group. Consider that he's still human enough to not want to shoot Clem, and struggles to calm things down once a baby is discovered. And consider that Jane is cold enough to write off a grieving teenage girl as a lost cause, excessively threaten a crippled man in order to look "tough" (just as Michelle took little Clem's gun and bullied her), and then leaves without even bothering to care for Clementine. I want to point out that it's the rash actions of an outsider that turned two groups against each other, when it could have been possible for the Russians to have helped Clem's group instead.

      We don't know enough about the group to really form any conclusions about Arvo's intentions, but I'm presenting an argument so that fans might try to be more reasonable towards the characters. I suspect the Russian community will play an important role in the final episode, and our thoughts on them will see a 180 just as people went from hating Bonnie to loving her. And I'm amazed that people still hate Arvo when it's evident that he's not a malicious person.

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        Ellias BANNED

        The group might not be evil, but Arvo was trying to blame are group because he wanted somebody dead. Yeah he didn't think things through since he did sound hesitant, but he still is the reason why alot of people (his own, and ares) are going to die next episode.

        • Just as it was Bonnie's fault for leading Carver's group to Walter's lodge. Neither she nor Arvo seemed to want things to escalate to such a horrible degree.

          I actually wonder if Kenny will execute Arvo out of revenge, just as Carver had murdered Walter.

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            Ellias BANNED

            Obviously he didn't since he begged for his life, but he should've thought that through. He's still evil for lying to his group and blaming clementine and putting everybody life's at risk.

            • "I wish we could have met differently, Clementine. You were kind. That is not common." - Arvo

              I'm not sure that the Russians are cuddly folks either, considering that their living conditions are likely to be worse than Carver's. But I take it to mean that had Clementine been approached by the Russians, they would have taken her in.

            • Dude you think people in TWD are good and evil?

              • I assume you mean a black and white view of good and evil. I'd be the first to say yes, oh, most certainly. Case in point, the Governor, one of the most straight up "wahahaha I'm evil" villains ever. Or if we're talking mainly about the game, you got Carver and the Save Lots bandits. Meanwhile, you also have characters like Sarah, who has not a single evil bone in her body. So sure, while most characters tend to have shades of grey, there are also a lot of characters in TWD who are straight up good, and straight up evil.

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    kiwi_walking_dead Moderator

    Good post, well said.

    I don't see them as evil either but people just making desperate decisions to survive.

  • They're living is what they are.

    "You're only living or you're dead" ~Chuck.

  • I'm interested to see how it goes with Arvo. Why give a throw away character a cool design (leg brace and broken glasses) and not do something with the person or the injury. He seems like a main character, at least for episode 5.

    • True but The glasses are just a re hash of Sarahs and the leg brace probably comes from tiny tim. I'm not disagreeing with you but there is still a possibility hes just a quick character. I like his voice actor though, it could easily sound stupid

  • he and his friends are trying to rob a group that has only a hand full of bullets baby food they are not nice people also one guy is talking about eating there intrails

  • didn't Maud say something like "Hey! Don't point that thing at me! Put it down" I don't think they wanted to kill anyone until the guy with the bald head started insulting Kenny and saying he could take them.

  • Good point, but, still, I do think, that the Russian group is mere bandits - or "half-bandits", i may say. When they surround you, Buriko says to Arvo "Tell them to put down their - we are taking everything they have" (in Russian). Even if they are just want a revenge for Jane's previous abuse of Arvo, this is not a phrase anyone nice can say - it simply implies, that they are not against robbery (well, Buriko, at least).

    • I agree that it is not nice. We don't know yet if this is standard operating procedure for them, or if it's specifically revenge for Clem treated Arvo. I hope that even if Arvo and the other three get killed off early on, we'll find out a little more about the true nature of the Russian community in the rest of the episode.

      Just another thing - if Arvo really wanted to abandon his 'sick sister', why would he mention that her pain makes her cry out and attract the zombies? He may not happy about being with the group (perhaps he was hoping to sneak away with his sister and meant to drop her medication off at the observation deck first), but he's not dumb enough to not realize he wouldn't last long alone with his leg the way it is.

      • but they might have done this before remember the trailer park i bet arvo and his friends were there that group had all most nothing there i bet they were robbed. arvo and his friends wasn't faraway from there

        • Dawg why assume this group is that group when 400 Days is a year back in the story in Georgia?

          • i'm not talking about 400days the trailer park where clementine and jane found those dead people and jane says search them maybe arvo and his friends robbed them they had no guns but they did have three bullets and a nail file and they hadn't any medicine it's what they didn't have a group dug in like that would have that stuff

      • Arvo's "sister" doesn't exist, simple as. He got called out by Jane when the drugs were discovered. She and Clem both knew he would only distribute them to his group and he and they would abuse the drugs so they could delude themselves into thinking they're doing better than everyone else. They (Clem & Jane) took the painkillers to help Rebecca, and Arvo wouldn't even listen to reason.

        Hope he and his entire f*cking group are shown annihilated and dead on the ground in bits and pieces for the bs they pulled.

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