Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Walking Dead Carl, Rick, Maggie, Baby Judith

It was great to see Shane (Jon Bernthal) again, even if he was just a projection from Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) mind on the The Walking Dead Season 3 midseason finale.

Rick is not doing well, and in the promo for what’s next on Season 3 (which returns with Episode 9 on February 10), we see Rick’s son Carl suggest that maybe Rick should stop being the leader. Yikes.

As showrunner Glen Mazzara told TV Guide, “Rick's sanity is really in question. He's really suffering from the trauma of losing his wife in such a horrific way. He's not on the road to health any time soon, OK?” Not OK! Executive producer Robert Kirkman told The Hollywood Reporter, “He's certainly in a bad place. Lori's death has sent him in a downward spiral: he was hearing things, now he's seeing things, and this couldn't happen at a worse time. Whether this continues to escalate — things are going to get worse and worse and worse — or if he's going to get this under control just in time to face the Governor, that all remains to be seen.”

Mazzara continued to THR, “Yeah, he's crazy. He's having hallucinations, and that mental state will continue. As he's under more duress, and as the stakes get higher, there are a lot of different things at play. He has Andrea, he has Michonne, he has Tyreese. The group is split apart. Right now the group is in the prison, he's outside Woodbury, Daryl's in Woodbury. The group's never been so splintered and he has to try and pull everyone together, keep them safe and decide whether they're going to fight the Governor, hunker down in the prison or give up the prison. He's got a lot of choices to make, and he's hallucinating. He's not on the road to mental health anytime soon.”

Yeah, it’s especially tough for Rick since he not only has Michonne (Danai Gurira) in the mix, and he doesn’t trust her yet, he also has Tyreese’s (Chad Coleman) group now at the prison. What to do? “Anytime Rick opens up and lets somebody in, it causes a problem for him,” Mazzara teased to THR. 

“So why would he possibly want to let this woman with a sword into the group? If he returns to the prison and finds Tyreese there, why would he allow that group to stay? You could make the case that he needs soldiers now in his war against the Governor, but Rick has closed himself off. He has a lot of choices to make and it'll be very surprising to see him make those choices when he's suffering from the trauma of losing his wife. He's at his weakest point and he's in no position to make choices.”

Poor Ricktator. He needs Daryl (Norman Reedus)! Daryl needs to fight his way out of Woodbury to save Rick, even as we hope Rick returns to Woodbury to save Daryl. They need each other. We need the bromance.

If Rick stops being the leader, who should step in? Daryl? Glenn? Michonne? Carl? Maggie? Andrea? Carol? Tyreese? Axel and his porn mustache?

Sources:  TV Guide, The Hollywood Reporter

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