Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Rick Grimes Is Pensive in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 16: “A”

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) may have started off Season 4 of The Walking Dead planting veggies and talking to his pigs, but by last Sunday’s finale, he was back with a vengeance and more ferocious than ever before. We guess taking a bite out of human flesh and killing a dude will do that to you!

It makes sense that Rick got the last line of Season 4, and we’d be lying if we said his declaration of “They’re screwing with the wrong people!” didn’t get us especially pumped up for Season 5, which is set to premiere in October 2014. As comic book creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman explains to TVLine, Rick’s savage encounter with Joe has made him into a different person.

“He’s resigned to the fact that he’s going to have to be a different person in order to survive. He’s really accepted the fact that he is that guy,” Robert says of his protagonist. “He’s the guy that can take that on, that can be that leader, that can go to those levels if he needs to.”

As brutal and violent as Rick’ encounter with Joe was, we’re thankful for it because it showed Rick that he has what it takes to fight the people of Terminus, “Now that he knows that that’s in him, there’s a confidence to him now that he hasn’t had before. And that confidence will carry with him into Season 5 and, theoretically, get them out of that horrible situation,” Robert continues.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Robert reiterates the point that you wouldn’t want to be on Rick’s bad side at this point.“Rick Grimes’ evolution has come at the exact right point. This is the Rick Grimes that they need in that train car. And this is the Rick Grimes that the people of Terminus should not have encountered. It is the exact wrong time for them to encounter this guy.”

So even though Rick and the rest of our survivors are trapped in a train car with no foreseeable way out, Episode 16: “A” did end on a hopeful note as promised. “It is supposed to be a somewhat uplifting kind of cliffhanger because you should get a sense that this guy is now ready for anything. He can handle absolutely whatever the word is going to throw at him and that is something we’re going to be exploring in Season 5,” Robert concludes.

Do you think the people of Terminus should fear Rick? Weigh in below!

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

Sources: TVLine, Entertainment Weekly