The Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple already teased that Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes will suffer a breakdown in the second half of Season 4. It's understandable, since Rick doesn't know the whereabouts of his daughter Judith after he and his son Carl (Chandler Riggs) were forced to leave the prison behind. But how bad will it get for Rick? Andrew Lincoln revealed in a recent interview that Rick is in the worst place he's ever been in, while expressing how excited he is for fans to see the final 8 episodes this season, hinting at some interesting pairings now that the group is split up.
First up, the actor spoke about how hard it was to watch The Governor (David Morrissey) kill Herschel (Scott Wilson) in the mid-season finale.
"Man, he never gets a break. It's not an easy guy to play. There aren't many calls that he makes that go right, let's be honest. That was the death now to that way of living. That's done, that compromise Rick was attempting to make and had made with the offering of peace to the Governor. Hershel was a father figure and a mentor, he was the bedrock for everybody, he was the moral conscious. I think that Hershel's spirit lives on always. Everybody that has an impact in your life you carry with you always, but I do think that Rick is in a very low ebb. And I think physically, in episode 9, you'll see a man who is frightened for the first time in a long, long time. He's frightened not for himself but for his son because he's weak. He's very, very weak and that makes him belligerent and aggressively challenging towards his son because he's scared. So he's physically weak, spiritually he's lost, mentally he doesn't quite know where to begin because he's just seeing his home demolished. He's in the worst place he's been."
When asked what Rick thinks has happened to baby Judith, Andrew Lincoln revealed his character is assuming the worst possible scenario.
"She's gone. I think, as you've seen in the episode, she's gone. That's it. That's the feeling for Rick and Carl. Rick has been putting so much of his ideology and hope and change on Hershel and the prison. Now these people have been ripped away from him. The back 8 for him are very much a story of self-discovery for him, of finding himself knocked to the floor and finding yet again another way of picking himself up again. And it's about fighting to be a father. I think episode 9 very much explores that - about becoming a man and a man accepting that fact. It's a time-honored story. But it's set under these incredibly difficult circumstances. There's a heck of a lot bubbling for all the characters. They're at the weakest they've ever been probably since I woke up in the coma. Of course, they're incredibly tenacious survivors. Bear in mind, the only other people inhabiting this world who aren't behind walls are also tenacious survivors as well."
The actor also teased how different the final 8 episodes of Season 4 are, when compared to the show as a whole.
"I'm really excited about the back 8 episodes. I think there's a different tone to the back 8, and I think you're going to see a lot of characters that you haven't seen under the microscope as much all have their chance to shine. And people are putting in some tremendous performances. I think there were three scripts that were some of my favorites that I've ever done in the back 8. But it's different, and that's what's so admirable about it with Scott M. Gimple's vision. It's a very different tone for the show and I think you learn a lot. It's very character driven, very soulful - much more reminiscent of the first season, I think, just because they're all out and alone and they're much more vulnerable. And also because they're apart from each other you realize that without each other their family is dying. It's almost like vignettes; it's like character studies in all of the characters. The underpinning of all of this is the great hope they can find each other again."
With the group split up, for the time being, Andrew Lincoln teased that viewers will see some very interesting "pairings" that they normally would not have seen on the show.
"It's not only a change of pace but what it does is it rewards the audience that perhaps doesn't know about certain characters' backstories and histories. There are some very witty pairings is what I will say. Really, really witty."