Who's the boss in the zombie apocalypse? The Ricktator (Andrew Lincoln) abdicated his throne at the prison, but he may reclaim it in The Walking Dead Season 5. If you get to stand by the train car door and growl “They’re screwing with the wrong people!” that pretty much puts you in charge. Still, he's not the only one who doesn’t like being told what to do...
Melissa McBride (Carol), Chad Coleman (Tyreese), Emily Kinney (Beth), and Scott Gimple talked to IGN at Comic-Con (see the video below) and the conversation eventually got to leadership roles. IGN said, last season, we saw if people are going to lead they have to make really tough decisions. Carol really stepped up, so at this point is she not maybe the most fit person to lead in this world?
Scott turned to Melissa, "Or is she the most fit person?" IGN asked the actors for their take on Carol as leader. Chad "absolutely" agreed, saying, "We talked about that a lot [in Season 4]." Melissa said, "I don't think I can answer that question." She turned to Scott, the boss, to check. No one wants to give too much away! Chad said, "Even that last seen, that pivotal scene at the grove. I mean, we talked off screen a lot — she was teaching Tyreese the bottom line, and that was huge." Scott said, "I'd say, leadership is about making very, very difficult calls and then taking responsibility for the outcome of those calls, and I do believe that's what Carol did."
She did ultimately fess up to killing Karen and David, putting her fate in Tyreese’s hands, and throughout Season 4 she showed the kind of pragmatic, occasionally harsh attitude it may take to survive in this world. But Rick has a lot of the same traits, and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) is also the task-master of his own group. With all of these alpha types together (eventually) in Season 5, we're expecting some tension. (And Andrew Lincoln did recently mention that Rick would be an "uncompromising" leader this season.)
Ideally they'll all end up on the same team, but we know the trailer shows Abe and Rick in a heated moment. And obviously, Carol and Rick didn't part on the best terms, but the trailer also spoils a Rick/Judith reunion, and it’s hard to believe that Rick wouldn't at least bury the hatchet with Carol for that, even if they don't instantly become close again.
Some fans even suspect that the "very special surprise" waiting for us at the end of Episode 1 is a glimpse of the reunion — Carol/Ty/Judith and Rick/Carl/Michonne/Daryl/etc. If that’s true, we may see early on how the group dynamic works, and who falls where in the all-important “hierarchy.”
What's your take on Carol as leader?
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres Sunday, October 12 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.