‘The Walking Dead’ finally gave us a glimmer of hope in the return of Rick Grimes back bone.
Season 7 mid-season finale of THE WALKING DEAD left many in tears. Not sad tears. Tears of seeing our loved core group reunite. And we saw our leader, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) get his strength back.
What an evolution since the seasons premier. We witnessed the group loosing core members via utter brutality. Members be taken and tortured. And others separating to find needed medical attention.
This season on THE WALKING DEAD, we have also witnessed all the communities having the same evil opposition. Seems like a set-up for a war like we have never seen one before.
Andrew Lincoln sat with The Hollywood Reporter to elaborate on what we may see from Rick Grimes once the season returns in February.
Rick is finally galvanized to fight back. What had to shift for him?
Lincoln: It was the chaos of that final episode. From Rick’s point of view, it was the journey of him really understanding that this is an untenable situation. The Saviors are going to be unrelenting and they’re going to keep squeezing and squeezing until there’s nothing left. They’re going to lie and keep terrorizing the community with no let-up. The experiences of going out on this crazy, daredevil mission [on the lake] with Aaron (Ross Marquand) and returning with this bounty and the seeing Aaron being tortured almost to death. Then the subsequent murder of two of his citizens [Olivia and Spencer], that was a slow drip of him coming to the realization that this was never going to work. The final straw the two murders. Then Michonne was able to articulate what we were already realizing in Rick’s mind with the pep talk scene in the cell.
How does this new, re-awakened Rick compare with the man we’ve seen in the past? How has this experience with Negan changed him?
Lincoln: Rick has had the pride beaten out of him over the last eight episodes. You saw a man last year who was at the peak of his power and hubris got in the way of a lot of his judgment calls. What you’ll see in the back half of this season is a more compassionate, considerate leader and a diplomat; somebody who is more cautious, free, liberated and lighter than he’s ever been. There’s a lot of levity and in playing Rick in the back half of the season. In the back half, Rick leads a group of people who are freed from shackles of oppression. They’ve been beaten so low that there’s no further to go. In that, there’s an almost joy in the fight again. You see a man being able to rebel again and even in that, you see a lightness and a charge that has been reignited in this man. He’s had a lot of pride and impulsiveness beaten out of him this half season.
Comic book readers know the “All Out War” arc is coming. What kind of obstacles might Rick Grimes encounter as he attempts to unite the Kingdom and Hilltop with Alexandria, where he has now seen the entire Monroe family wiped out?
Lincoln: I don’t have much of a track record at Alexandria! (Laughs.) What kind of obstacles? Lots. That’s been some of the thrill of the back eight episodes, which have been trying to honor the All Out War issues of the comic. But some of my most enjoyable parts have been divergent from that. It’s given a sort of free license to push Rick and the other characters into places emotionally that they wouldn’t necessarily go in the comic. I love honoring the big set pieces [from the comics], like Spencer’s death; you have to chime those chords. But there’s been a lot of exciting thrills and potential to see other things happen. Who does that shoe belong to? I wonder! (Laughs.)
February can’t come soon enough!