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

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is the main protagonist of The Walking Dead, but we saw less of him in Season 4 than usual. We miss The Ricktator when he’s gone! Still, the stuff and thangs we saw were as impressive as ever. We’ve come to expect a lot from Andy Lincoln and he never disappoints. We’re happy to hear Rick will be in greater focus in Season 5, but here are our four favorite Rick scenes from the past 16 episodes.

1. Rick Banishes Carol, Episode 4

We really need more scenes between Rick and Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) in Season 5 because the actors play off each other so well. By Episode 4, "Indifference," Rick had sleuthed out Carol's secret: She killed Karen and David. She even admitted it when Rick asked her. Then he took her on a supply run in the suburbs, to get her away from everyone else, see how she'd act around others, and basically give her his less lethal version of the look at the flowers speech. You have to watch Rick watching Carol in that house, when she interacts with Sam and Ana. He’s judging her, feeling her out — how she acts and maybe how she’ll survive when he leaves her behind.

We were shocked after Rick started his speech by the cars, and we finally realized what he was actually doing. "You’re not that woman who was too scared to be alone,” he told Carol. “Not anymore. You’re going to start over, find others, ones who don’t know, and you’re going to survive out here. You will.”

Melissa is a rock star with her reactions in that scene, but Andy has our focus on his drive back to the prison. Re-watch Episode 4 and just look at his face as he's driving, while Sharon Van Etten's "Serpents" plays over our shock, anger, and grief at this huge break in the Team Prison family. Actors tend to get more attention for the big scenes — crying, screaming, high emotion — but it takes a strong presence to sell those quiet moments.

2. Rick Tries For Peace, Episode 8

This entire season, Rick was like the apprentice to Master Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson). Hershel wanted to pull Rick and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) away from the violence of The Ricktator and into the light of a more hopeful humanity. So Hershel helped to create Farmer Rick. We saw Hershel's lessons play out in Episode 8 when Rick made his speech to The Governor (David Morrissey), saying we can come back from the things we've done. We can change. "We're not too far gone." Hershel looked proud. That was his final moment on the planet, but in that last moment he was proud of the man Rick had become. The Governor, who could’ve used a Hershel-esque mentor, wasn’t buying it. After Hershel was killed, Rick fought The Governor and basically got whupped, then he fell apart with renewed grief when it looked like he lost his baby Judith. But for a minute there, he sold us on the idea that peace was possible, even between enemies.

Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Rick Grimes Scales a Roof in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 11: “Claimed”

3. Rick Kills His Way to Safety, Episode 11

At the time, we had no idea the "Claimed" house would be so pivotal. Rick was just supposed to rest while Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Carl were on their supply run. Instead, Rick's house was invaded by Joe and his Marauders, leading to an incredibly tense episode where Rick had to kill his way free. That scene under the bed, as Rick saw the kind of people he was dealing with and heard their plans for the woman shacking up there — it was terrifying to watch. Rick took matters into his own hands, and was about to kill Joe himself, to protect Carl and Michonne, before Joe ran off to see about his newly turned friend. We know Rick isn't a bad guy and get why he had to do what he did, but taken on its own, we can see why Joe's group may have thought he was the one at fault. Poor Lou. What a way to go.

4. Rick Bites Back, Episode 16

Farmer Rick was dead and buried by Episode 16, especially after Joe's Marauders showed up and tried to hurt Carl. You don't mess with mini Grimes without looking at the flowers. Rick snapped. Not only did he kill The Marauders, he bit Joe in the neck — like a living walker — and sliced up the guy who tried to rape Carl. Rick got truly savage in that scene, as promised, and Andy got pretty method himself. When it came time to shoot the neck bite, Andy said he bit into uncooked chicken because that was closest to flesh. Hippie Rick can sell us peace and camaraderie, but Beast Mode Rick is the guy we love best. Rick got the final line of the season, and even though it didn’t get the deserved f-bomb, Andy got the message across loud and clear: “They’re screwing with the wrong people!” Yes! What a great moment for the character in his season-long evolution. We can’t wait to spend more time with that guy in October.

What were your favorite Rick scenes of Season 4?

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