If you bought one of those life-size cutouts of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), hold it tight next week ‘cause our Ricktator will be in a bit of a pickle on The Walking Dead Season 4 finale, Episode 16, “A.”
Here are some TV listing synopses for Ep 16: “Many paths collide; Rick faces sheer brutality; the group struggles to survive,” "Rick comes face-to-face with sheer brutality when multiple paths collide,” "Factions begin to near an inevitable collision, which brings Rick face to face with a shocking form of brutality that threatens the lives of everyone he has become responsible for, so the group must find a way to survive the oncoming storm."
You can check your own listings for whatever version your cable provider has, but the common denominator is Rick facing brutality as groups collide. On the upside, it sounds like a Team Prison reunion, whether at Terminus or not. On the downside, the word “brutality” is repeated for Rick, which still makes us think he could be headed for a face-off with the marauder/bandit guys from the “Claimed” house. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) is currently with those guys and one of them should recognize Rick. It would be weird to have gone through the trouble of introducing those guys in Ep 11 and bringing them back if there was no confrontation coming.
There’s also this to add to the worries: Robert Kirkman had his Reddit AMA on March 19 and he was asked to sum up the season finale in one word. He was game to answer, and said, “SAVAGE. Honestly... people are going to be talking about this one. The cliffhanger at the end of season 4 will make the wait between seasons 4 and 5 the hardest wait we've ever had. ENJOY!”
Sadist! Cliffhangers are the worst — and if it’s a savage one, that lends credence to the theory that we’ll get a taste (haha) of The Hunters on the season finale, and have to wait for details in October. Maybe someone loses a limb? Will it be Rick himself? In the comics (comics spoilers!) Rick has already lost a hand at this point; we’re not really expecting the TV show to go down that road (it’s expensive to show on TV), but if Rick is facing brutality in the finale and things get “savage” and The Hunters belong in the storyline trajectory right about now … maybe?
As part of his AMA, Robert was asked, “Is Rick Grimes a 'safe' character?” and RK answered, “ABSOLUTELY NOT. Although when I look in Andrew Lincoln's piercing blue eyes I FEEL safe.” Yeah, his eyes are super dreamy… don’t hurt them!
What “brutality” do you think poor Rick will face in the end? Where will the season leave us? How many of us will want to throw something at the TV around 10 p.m. ET on March 30, knowing answers won’t come until October? Take your blood pressure medication now!
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.