In The Walking Dead's 'A New Beginning' (season 9 episode 1 / S09E01), a team led by Rick Grimes enters the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, in order to find useful materials and tools for their settlements.

The most prominent scene is the one in which the group hauls an old and bulky wooden wagon down a large staircase onto the glass tiling that covers the central part of the floor. At this point, it has already been established that underneath the glass there is a horde of undead. Logically, the group cautiously lead the wagon down the stairs, with some of the men pulling the vehicle with ropes from a distance, and others guiding it with their hands (or very short ropes).

The team leading the wagon down the stairs

But: once the wagon is safely led onto the glass flooring, the latter keep guiding it alongside across the glass, which seems to me to be completely unnecessary, especially once some of them notice how the glass is cracking underneath them: even if the direction of the wagon would be harder to control, the object could easily be pulled along the floor without anyone taking the risk of falling through it.

After the wagon, Daryl and Rick carry a massive wooden canoe, and Carol and Ezekiel carry a heavy plough across the same floor - in blatant defiance of the gods of survival - traversing, moreover, the glass flooring (see the shocking obviousness of the point I'm making in the image underneath) diagonally, where they could have moved towards the side immediately to continue over the regular stone floor. Why not pull these objects in from a distance?

An overview of the glass floor. Notice how one only has to cross three tiles to reach the much stronger tiled floor.

Here is a video of that particular scene.

So why did the group take these risks?

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    If characters didn't make poor choices we wouldn't have a horror genre. – Skek Tek Dec 5 at 14:08
  • Assuming all horror comes from bad choices made by characters, but yes, I get your point. However, this series seems to want to rely a lot on realism and authenticity. – Joachim Dec 5 at 16:13

Flat out, dramatic license. I don't think they really needed anything they took from that museum, but it filled up the episode.

However, assuming it was life or death, the wagon (with its metal wheels) would be difficult to steer and Rick clearly steers it off to the side as quickly as possible, but the metal wheel ground into the glass and caused it to weaken.

After that, the first plough and canoe were shuffled off to the right side as quickly as possible, staying as close to the edge as possible so as not to weaken the glass further.

The last plough was carried by Carol and Ezekiel, and for some reason Carol decided to move in a diagonal direction. Perhaps she wasn't as perceptive as Rick and Daryl and didn't think to stick to the sides of the glass? None of the characters specifically pointed out which direction to move in, and it's possible Carol felt that direction was her best option.

  • I realized dramatic license is probably the only reason for the event to take place, but not an in-universe explanation. If increasing the risk of the wagon falling through means decreasing the risk of someone falling through, only pulling it seems a logical solution. And watching the video, they do steer to the side, but stay on the glass nonetheless (in front of the pillars). And since they are all cooperating, the last past of your answer is also not satisfactory. – Joachim Dec 5 at 16:02
  • Not with metal wheels, no. And I don't: I fully expect it to be hard to steer and to grind. My point is: they don't even make a 90 degree turn in this scenario, and, again, if not risking anyone's life means having to pull the wagon straight across the glass floor, that is still the most viable option. – Joachim Dec 5 at 16:07
  • The wagon, IMO, took the most direct route across the floor as possible, and whether they were pushing, pulling or whatever, I don't think the end result of the wagon would have differed. The glass cracked because of the wagon's wheel, that wouldn't change anything. The next 2 pieces came off as quickly as possible, it was only the last plough that was the problem. Carol picked it up and ran it diagonally. I'm not sure how that makes that part of the answer unsatisfactory, it's what her character did and that's what caused Ezekiel to go through the floor. Bad decision on her part. – Johnny Bones Dec 5 at 16:10
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    Keep in mind, sometimes people just make bad decisions. Without bad decisions, Carl, Rick and every other character who has died on the show would still be alive. Sometimes that's the only answer, whether it sounds satisfactory or not. – Johnny Bones Dec 5 at 16:13
  • Exactly: the glass cracked because of the weight of the wagon. They noticed. Why take that extra risk at all, then? And again, why didn't they carry the last two pieces quickly around the newels at the end? But you are right about Carol: I interpreted your answer the wrong way the first time. My apologies. – Joachim Dec 5 at 16:18

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