In that issue, Rick, Carl and Abraham are on their way to Rick's old hometown for supplies, as a kind of detour from the Washington, D.C. mission. One night, they are ambushed by bandits/The Marauders, who try to punish Rick for defying them by raping Carl. One of them even gets Carl's pants off. Rick bites the neck of the guy holding him back to kill him, then goes after the one who tried to rape Carl, saying, "He's mine." Let’s just say he makes that guy look at the flowers, and it’s not a quick death ala Lizzie.
Episode 16 promos have hinted to a close adaptation of that story, with Carl’s new BFF Michonne (Danai Gurira) and, maybe to some extent, Daryl Dixon(Norman Reedus) sharing the Abraham role. But will they go down the rape road or not quite take it that far?
The Walking Dead elected to skip the comic book sequence where Michonne was brutally raped by The Governor (thankfully), but Robert Kirkman said we'd see Rick pushed to his absolute limit on the finale, and the man that comes out of this is going to shock people.
Andrew Lincoln also told Yahoo, "I think the story this season begins with a man suppressing his brutality for the sake of his son. I don't want to give too much away, but basically, you will see a side of Rick that you haven't seen before or in a place that he goes to that he's never been before. Like most things he's driven by, it's for the sake of his son." He added, "All I will say is that when I read [the script], I called up Scott Gimple, and I said, 'Scott, we've always been incredibly responsible with where we go and the darkness and the brutality of the world that we inhabit. Do you think we may be going a little bit far on this?' He said, 'No, no, not at all,' and when I did it, when I did the scene, like most things Scott Gimple says, he was right, and it made complete sense. It is a definite evolution."
Andy added to the New York Post that something happens to Rick that will be the most brutal thing he's endured in the show’s history, even accounting the death of his wife Lori and the assumed death of his daughter Judith. He repeated his question to Scott about what happens. “I will say that something happens in the finale that when I read it, I called Scott Gimple, the showrunner, because we’ve always been incredibly responsible with the violence in this show. And I just wanted to ask, ‘Is this a step too far?’”
He previously called "The Grove" the most controversial episode they'd ever done, saying he couldn't believe they were doing what they were doing. That was the one where Lizzie killed Mika and Carol shot Lizzie. So this may be on par with that.
It would make sense if they decided to play out the attempted rape of Carl. And it would also make sense for Chandler Riggs to wish he could be on Talking Dead after the show to discuss his role. Instead, it will just be Andy and Scott. If they elect to pass on the attempted rape, Rick’s brutality could just stem from the Marauders hurting Carl in another way, since a promo does show a knife at Carl’s throat and just scaring him could be enough for Rick to Hulk out.
Do you think the attempted rape of a child would be too much for the show, or is nothing too much anymore?