Andrew Lincoln Floats A Bleak ‘Walking Dead’ Theory About The Fate Of Rick Grimes

Entertainment Features
12.05.14 38 Comments

SPOILERS

Once viewers got over their grief about losing Beth (and Emily Kinney) in the midseason finale of The Walking Dead, much of the conversation since has turned toward the continued transformation of Rick Grimes. He’s clearly not the same man he was when the show began.

The question, though, is whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy now?

Recall the opening sequence in the midseason finale, which saw Rick chase down Bob in a police car, knock him down, and shoot him in the head.

The line Rick delivered before shooting Bob, obviously, echoed the same line that Gareth delivered to the other Bob.

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(Although, how great would it have been if the line echoed this one?)

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Anyway, the implication here, of course, is that Rick — who is getting more brutal and ruthless as the series progresses — may be turning into Gareth. In fact, after he shot Bob, Rick said, “Shut up.” But he obviously wasn’t talking to Bob. Bob was dead. As he explained to EW, he was talking to the voice in his head, and that voice was coming from Gareth.

So what does it mean? Is Rick really turning into a Terminite? A claimer? Lincoln certainly hints at it:

It’s interesting because when Rick says that same line Gareth said with “Cant go back, Bob” — that made me worry for Rick and is this guy going to that place and going that far to where Gareth was?

That’s what I love about this show and the writing the past few years are the echoes. And its almost like there are certain moments and things that we do that resemble the Claimers. Like we’re whistling a lot this season, which is what they did. There’s a scene on the rooftop where I signal to the family that the deal is on, which is that hand clench that Gareth did as well. There are a lot of echoes that we’re putting in that makes you ask: How far gone are these people? How far gone is Rick? Is he too far gone? Is he becoming one of these people? And that’s the exciting thing going on in this journey. The writers keep throwing in these strange moments where you ask yourself: Who are we rooting for here? What line have we crossed?

Huh. I hadn’t really picked up on the other echoes between Rick and the Terminites, but knowing that, I’m intrigued by the possibility of a full-blown evil Rick. We’ve seen this villainous characters like The Governor, Dawn, and Gareth after they’re already fully-formed villains. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see the complete evolution of a character into a villain over the course of the series a la Walter White? It may not arrive for another season or two or three or four, but if Andrew Lincoln is ever written out of the show, that’s the perfect way to do it: Transform him from leader to bad guy and then sic Daryl on him.

Maybe leave the cannibalism out of it, though.

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