Los Angeles, Feb 17: “The Walking Dead” is turning darker and bloodier now that it's back from its hiatus. Andrew Lincoln who stars as Sheriff Rick Grimes says in his character's case - the reality of their lives in a zombie-ridden world is starting to take hold.
“When Sophia dies something dies in him and I think he's been holding out a lot of hope that they would find this girl and of course it doesn't work out that way and I think that's when Rick certainly starts to reevaluate the way he's been conducting himself in this new world and possibly he sees that it's been unrealistic,” he said.
In the meantime, tensions between a number of the survivors in Sheriff Rick's group are growing. In particular, things are heating up between Rick and his former best friend and fellow sheriff's deputy Shane Walsh.
Last season viewers learned that Shane lied to Rick's wife Lori, telling her Rick was dead when he didn't know for sure. Lori then began an affair with Shane after she believed her husband was dead. Even though Lori's gone back to Rick, Shane remains convinced she loves him and believes the baby Lori's carrying is his rather than Rick's.
Lincoln says to expect things to come to a head between the two men.
“There was a coming together between Lori and Rick. A secret was told and it was accepted and forgiven but there's one thing saying it and another thing doing it...the situation has not been resolved and certainly with Shane constantly snapping at his heels and challenging Rick for leadership and for decision-making and for the good of the group I don't know if that can sustain the way it's going.”
As for the bloodier part, fans of the flesh eating zombies created by the famed Greg Nicotero should be pleased. Lincoln says the next episode (SUN FEB 19) features the goriest scene of the series so far - which he was present for when it was filmed.
“I mean it was the most bewitching kind of - it was like magic. It was like conjuring and then I don't know how they did it but it was incredibly distressing and I watched that sequence because we were just about, (laughs), and it constantly surprises me this show because I said, ‘We're not going to be allowed to show this,' and I said, ‘Because it's alright with a Walker; with a zombie. He's still alive. He's still a guy, man but apparently it's all in there.”
Of the many outstanding questions in the series is the fate of Merle Dixon - Daryl's brother - who disappeared after Rick handcuffed him to a pipe on the roof of a building besieged by zombies. When they returned to rescue him, Merle was gone and only his severed hand remained. Lincoln confirms that Merle will be seen in ‘The Walking Dead' again this season.
“What can I tell you about Merle is that I'm truly sorry that I locked him to the rooftop because even when we were filming the scene prior to that Mike Rooker hit me three times - unintentionally I must add - but he did hit me three times and kept going, ‘Oh man, I'm sorry. I'm sorry.' Who knows what's going to happen when we meet on the show. I think Rick and Merle have got some unsung business but I don't know if he's going to appear necessarily in the next four, five but, oh, he'll be back.”