Here’s something new to either look forward to or dread in the second half of The Walking Dead Season 4.
Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) talked to Yahoo TV last month and he added this intriguing tease about powerful upcoming episodes:
"And really, trust me, I think that three of the strongest episodes we've done this season are yet to come. Probably four. There are two episodes that I absolutely adore in the back eight, one of which I think is going to be the most controversial episode that we've probably ever been involved in, and that's saying something. [Laughs.]"
That definitely got our attention! “Controversial” how? At the risk of reading too much into it, let’s read way too much into everything he just said, including the laugh.
There are eight episodes in the back half, starting with February 9, 2014’s Episode 9 which looks like it will follow Rick and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) directly after the Episode 8 prison battle. Carl will shoulder a lot of the hour, which Andy was excited about a while ago, saying it was Carl’s episode and it was “cool.” So it’s possible that’s one of the two episodes he “adores.” But will it be the controversial one? Eh. Maybe not.
But if he adored the ep, that doesn’t suggest, say, baby Judith dies. That’s not something you adore. Back when he was teasing the mid-season finale, he said there was a scene that might be as “painful” as when Rick mourned for Lori. So if he’s using a word like “painful” for Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) death and the thought that Judith might be dead, he probably wouldn’t start adoring something as dark as a major character death in the back half … right?
There’s some dark stuff in the comic books that the show may or may not touch on, that could be considered “controversial.”
*Comic book spoilers ahead*
There’s a point where bandits try to rape Carl and he’s saved by Rick and new character Abraham. There’s also a point where Maggie, in her grief, tries to kill herself. But if this controversial ep has anything to do with the comics, we’d guess it’s for The Hunters — a group of survivors-turned-cannibals. Rick’s group meets them on the road as they attempt to get to Washington, D.C. and there’s a bloody takedown. That could fit with Andy’s tease. They’d be crazy to skip some version of The Hunters storyline, it’s just a matter of whether they touch on it in Season 4 or Season 5.
*End of comic book spoilers*
What if the controversial ep has nothing to do with a comics story and involves character relationships? What if he’s laughing about the idea of people being up in arms if, say, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) gets romantic with someone … especially if that someone is not named Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride)?
Or what if this controversy is actually validation for all those fans who still believe Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino) is the one who killed Karen and David and fed the rats at the fence and Carol was just covering for her? Maybe a new truth is revealed in the second half, or something else controversial emerges from Carol/Tyreese storyline? Episode 4, “Indifference” felt like a controversial episode worthy of “adore” praise, so maybe it’s another hour like that.
Maybe the controversial ep is the season finale and something shocking happens that gets us all riled up until October for Season 5? It’s not like the season finale is likely to be ho-hum, and Norman Reedus did say Episode 16 was a “very ambitious episode,” adding, “they went big with it.” What could be bigger and more ambitious than Episode 8? And “ambitious” is an interesting word to use; not amazing or fantastic … ambitious. It attempts something, but does it succeed?
Whatever happens, Andy said he adored the “controversial” ep in question, so it suggests anyone with tastes that match his own will like it. He previously said he felt the two eps he wasn’t in — The Governor standalones — were “the greatest episodes we’ve ever had.” So if you liked them, you may be down with whatever Andy is talking about.
Do you have a theory about this controversial episode? Share your speculation in the comments or you won’t be able to brag if you’re right.
The Walking Dead Season 4 returns on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.