Nobody puts The Ricktator in the corner! Except Scott Gimple. The Walking Dead showrunner can place people wherever he wants.
Season 4 juggled a ton of characters — most of whom are still with us, bless them — but that meant almost every week certain characters had to step back so others could step forward, starting with The Governor’s standalone eps, and continuing once we lost the common ground of the prison. The screen time cuts were applied to all, including Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) himself, which was a bit surprising.
Showrunner Scott recently had a nice interview with Larry King, and Larry asked our commander-in-chief about the unusual move of benching the main character for so much of the season.
"It wasn't deliberate in as much as, like, 'Let's see Rick less,'" Scott said. "It was both driven by the plot, by the circumstance they had, but also an opportunity to play out all of the members of this ensemble's individual stories, and deepen our relation to them even more. I didn't like having to go away from Rick so much, but also the circumstances of the story that we were telling sort of demanded it, and I still think we were able to tell a very satisfying story for Rick, but also for the rest of the characters."
Satisfying, maybe, but they’re not going to do the same thing in Season 5.
In a previous interview with Entertainment Weekly, Scott praised AMC and “The most incredibly generous actor I have ever met in my entire life, Mr. Andy Lincoln” for letting them try such an unusual structure in the second half of Season 4. Scott said he told Andy to chill out and relax with his family in the second half of S4, “because Season 5 there is going to be a whole lot of Rick Grimes and you are not going to be lying unconscious on a couch for any of those episodes.”
Good! Rick is our rock, our anchor, our main focus and tour guide through the zombie apocalypse. It feels weird to be away from him for too long. This show has a kick-ass ensemble, but Rick is the rug that ties the room together.
Were you OK with TWD going away from Rick for so long in Season 4 or are you glad to know he’ll have a stronger focus in Season 5?
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.