There are only four more days until the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead. With every season there is speculation on who will/will not make it out alive, this season is no exception. If you follow the comics you know who was a casualty of ‘All Out War’ and the outcome of the fight between the Survivors and the Saviors. If you have just begun reading the comic or are not quite finished with ‘All Out War,’ there are no spoilers in this article.
Dalton Ross from Entertainment Weekly recently spoke with Andrew Lincoln about what to expect in the upcoming battle with Negan. Lincoln says we are ‘going to see different facets of Rick. You’re going to see a much lighter Rick because the thrill of the fight is on and I think that there’s a freedom that you’re going to see within him and maybe more of a political side to his nature.’
We love to see Rick ready to fight, although it took a little while to get him used to the idea in the first eight episodes that he has to stop Negan. Mr. Lincoln said ‘it’s a very dynamic back eight, certainly in the story, but also in where we travel, how quickly we travel. I think what he realized very quickly is that it’s one thing making a decision to fight, but you need guns and you need people, and at the moment, they’re completely outnumbered and outgunned. So there are a lot of pressures. Also, secrecy is paramount, but within that, there is a great verve and a sense of reclaiming themselves while doing it, which is certainly really good fun to play.’
He also says that ‘because of the speed and the dynamic nature of them and how quickly they move, certainly the themes and the episodes I was involved in felt much more reminiscent of the first season, because they’re exploring new places and meeting a lot of new people. There are also a couple of episodes that certainly had less people and I have no idea what was going on, which was just great, man. There were a couple of times when I just wanted to check the tea that they’ve been brewing in the writer’s room. And it was just a bit like, “What this? What’s happening?” And it was incredibly great fun to play. I mean, I know it sounds absurd, but there were a couple of situations and sequences that I loved doing early in the back eight that I just thought were really exciting and different departure for the show and for the characters. And Rick is really exploring different parts of who he is and I think a lot of it liberated by the thrill of bringing the fight back to Negan.’
With war there are unfortunate losses, so what does this mean for Team Family? ‘These issues have always been faced by anybody leading any community in the world, and certainly in this apocalyptic landscape. Ultimately, everybody knows that when war is called, there’s going to be bloodshed. And interestingly, I think he realizes that this division is going to put him very much in the firing line and it’s incredibly dangerous for everybody concerned, and that is very much part of the discussion in this back eight. And also, it’s going to show what kind of a leader Rick is now, whether or not he’s willing to allow people to choose their own way in this very, very dangerous new world. Then again, some of my favorite scenes were in and around this conflict of interest. He wants this man to be defeated, but at what cost?’
What if Carl wants to join the fight? How would Rick react? ‘It’s definitely complicated and I think that as any parent knows, you start with diapers and then they want their own independence. They want their own choices. They want their own life and their own identity. I think certainly that is very much at the forefront of what’s happening in their relationship at the moment and certainly brought into greater focus by the situation, and this new tyrant, Negan.’
Although we don’t want to lose any (more) of our beloved characters, we are excited this fight to begin! The Walking Dead mid-season premieres this Sunday, February 12 at 9pm EST on AMC.