AMC's "The Walking Dead" returned from hiatus last night, bringing with it one particularly unexpected face. Creator and writer of the comic book series, Robert Kirkman, spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about what went down and where Rick and company go from here. Of course, SPOILERS lie ahead, so those of you who have yet to see "The Suicide King" should go ahead and click that 'Back' button right about now.
Daryl and Merle's narrow escape from The Pit opened the episode in exciting fashion, only to lead to the brothers venturing off by themselves. Don't expect the series to sweep them under the rug for the remainder of the season, however. "It'd be a disservice to have those guys off the table for too long. We're definitely going to follow Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Merle's (Michael Rooker) journey and see the interaction between those two. We haven't really seen very much interaction between them aside from a vision in the second season. These are characters that have changed very much while they were away from each other," Kirkman said.
He continued, teasing possible dissention between the brothers. "Now that they're back together, they're almost two completely different people. Daryl has always been more subservient to Merle, who is more of an overbearing individual. He was clearly lost without him a bit in the first season," he explained. "Now that Daryl has had time to become his own man and find himself, it's a question of whether or not he's going to wash away that progress and go back to the status quo or if he's going to use the progress to try and affect Merle."
Not only is Rick's character being altered in a big, but after their torturous stay in Woodbury expect Maggie and particularly Glenn's image to harden as a result of the experience. "Glenn's evolution and change has been jumpstarted by the Governor. We've seen him already be more confrontational than we have in the past, and that's going to continue and is going to creep into his relationship with Maggie," the creator teased. "Coming out of their encounter in Woodbury, these two have a lot to deal with. Whether or not they're going to deal with it together or allow it to drive them apart, that's what we're going to find out."
With threats emerging both within the prison with Tyreese's splinter group and outside the prison with the Woodbury residents, the pressure cooker that is Rick's sanity started to give way. According to Kirkman, the outburst the group leader showed at the end of the episode will not be glossed over, and could lead to further splintering of the group when unity is key to their survival. "Things are going to be somewhat more out in the open. Everyone saw that and was wondering what the heck was actually going on there. It seemed like part of the wall was making faces of him!" Kirkman joked. "People are going to be really wary of him, moving forward and what's exactly is going on with Rick. If you see the undercurrent of this episode, you see that forces are moving in Woodbury and there's definitely a confrontation ahead and it's happening at the exact wrong time. This is a guy who's clearly going through some stuff and having a bad time with it. People are going to be unable to look at Rick as a leader at a time when they need him most."
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