For the readers of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comics, the fact that Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) was nearly raped in the March 30 Season 4 finale of the television show comes as no surprise. That intense storyline comes straight from the books, though it was adapted slightly for TV.
In the comics Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Carl, and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) head back to Rick’s hometown and encounter a group of bandits/marauders who attempt to rape Carl after Rick tried to attack them. One of the bandits even gets Carl’s pants off, but Rick bites the guy in the neck and kills him before things go any further, which is exactly what played out between Rick and Joe (Jeff Kober) in “A,” though Carl’s clothes stayed on.
Robert spoke to TVLine after last night’s finale and opened up specifically about that intense sequence that was taken straight from the source material. “That was a tough one. That scene has always been a really difficult one,” Robert began. “When I was writing the original comics, in the panel description for artist Charlie Adlard I [wrote], ‘Carl is on his back, and the guy is pulling his pants off – but don’t worry Charlie, he’s not going to get raped!’ I actually included that in the panel description because it is such a heavy and dark scene, and I didn’t want Charlie to be freaking out while he was trying to draw that.”
Robert goes on to say when it came to adapting that part of comics for the show, it wasn’t about pushing boundaries and being sensational, but instead about trying to create an accurate portrayal of what a lawless world might look like at this point. “We are trying to realistically portray the kind of things that would happen after the fall of civilization. We try not to shy away from the depths that people can sink to in various situations,” Robert continues. “It’s not like we’re portraying things that don’t, unfortunately, happen in real life. We’re not really pushing the envelope too far. It is a fine line that we’re trying to walk here, between being realistic and also being unrelentingly dark and morbid. I hope that we’re walking that line well. And I hope that people still see the entertainment value of watching these people survive. I do feel like we did push things to the edge in that episode, [but] I don’t think we went quite over the edge.”
We value Robert’s take on that scene and understand his reasons for including it as part of the Season 4 finale, but do you think it went just a tad too far, especially given the fact that two other children, Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy), were brutally murdered in separate instances in Episode 14? Feel free to share your thoughts on this sensitive subject below.
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.