Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Daryl Dixon Tries to Calm Rick Grimes Down on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 3: “Isolation”

There aren’t many “aww” moments on The Walking Dead (sorry walkers, you’re not cute) but in last Sunday’s Season 4 finale (“A”), we were treated to heartwarming exchange between Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), who hadn’t seen each other since the fall of the prison in the midseason finale.

This Rick/Daryl moment took place the morning after Rick bit and killed Joe (Jeff Kober) in an effort to save his son, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs). Over the course of the conversation Rick reflects on the person he’s now become and tells Daryl, “You’re my brother.”

The folks over at Entertainment Weekly picked up on that moving moment and noted that it made them realize how much they missed the relationship between Rick and Daryl. Actor Andrew Lincoln was pleased to hear that, noting, “Aw, man. I think that was the intention. Because it was real. We’ve been meeting like ships in the night. We would see one person, but we were so isolated from each other, certainly for the second half of the season. And you’re right: I think that relationship is one of the most exciting, satisfying relationships. I speak for myself but I’m sure Norman would say the same. They just work so well together, these guys. And the writers Angela Kang and Scott have to be commended because you have one of the most brutal acts ever perpetrated the night before, and then that fine moment.”

We couldn’t agree with Andy more. That Rick/Daryl moment would have been significant anyway, but it’s made all the more poignant because it followed such a brutal, game-changing night for Rick. Andy continues, “And so the audience, even though they are appalled, they feel like what Rick says that going through all of last night was worth it because we found you and we’ve got you back again. That’s how important it is that they found one another again for the sake of the group. And that’s the joy of it.”

As viewers we did pick up on an “us vs. the world” mentality, which Andy notes was only heightened because of his incredibly close relationship with Norman. “It was such a laugh to play that scene, just because we don’t even have to rehearse. Me and Norman just sit down and start talking because we’ve lived with these people for so long,” he concluded.

Comic book creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman also spoke about Rick and Daryl’s “brotherly” exchanged to The Hollywood Reporter, though his take on the situation was more cynical. There is a closeness that is growing between all of these characters as they continue to survive together. New bonds have been formed this season between characters that didn't have as strong of a bond before,” Robert says. “We'll continue to see them grow together so that we can tear them apart. That's what's happening here.”

We can’t be positive that Robert is talking specifically about Rick and Daryl in this instance, but basically what he’s saying is that many of our characters were brought together in the Season 4 finale just so they can’t be torn apart at a later date, which is exactly what happened Daryl and Beth Greene (Emily Kinney).

Did you take note of Rick and Daryl’s meaningful exchange in Episode 16? Are you now worried that Robert is just going to tear them apart when he gets the chance? Tell us your thoughts and theories below!

The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.

Sources: Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter