EW: Now you mentioned this to me just a minute ago but I didn’t catch it. Where again did you say Carol, Tyreese, Judith, and Beth were? If you cold just repeat that for me, that would be great.
GIMPLE: Yes. They are on the road. They are in one of the storage containers. They are hanging out in quarters in Terminus. They were the ones firing on Rick and the group the whole time. Or that’s just a multi-level train car, and they’re just upstairs. I will say that episode 14 was the end of the character story for Tyreese and for Carol and it was important for me and the writers. We thought it was better to end with their emotional story rather than their geographic story, knowing that the finale would be mostly Rick’s story.
EW: So many main characters died in season 3. Was there a conscious decision on your guys’ part as you mapped out season 4 that you wanted to lessen the kill count a bit?
GIMPLE: The kill count is a weird thing because we don’t necessarily want the show to be like Survivor. I like Survivor. I think it’s a cool show. But you don’t want it to be like that. And you don’t place that as the first story victim. So it’s just in telling the stories and seeing where the stories go. You can do that in any episode and even in its least incarnation it has a great deal of power, but you shouldn’t lean on that power. And just in the stories we were telling this season, it really didn’t seem like our stories with these characters were leaning that way. They often do and there are plenty coming up. And I don’t even mean season 5, I mean season 6 and season 7.
But this story in and of itself just didn’t seem to bend that way. I will say though that if it can happen at any time, and it can, I don’t know if it’s great if it always happens in the penultimate episode and then the finale, like every year. Then that’s just sort of a weird type of storytelling. And even in the comic, you don’t see it coming and I think that’s a tribute to Robert not putting it in a regular rhythm. And it was kind of falling into a regular sort of rhythm with the show. Hershel’s death had to happen where it happened because it was about those two stories crashing together. With this, it just didn’t seem to be the story we were telling for this part of the season. We’re so lucky that there are so many fans of the show and it’s doing well that we can look forward to not having to do that every 15th and 16th episode of a season. But that could mean it happens in episode 1 of the firth season, and episode 4. We’re trying to tell the stories and have those moments fall where they may.
That isn’t to say that those things happening aren’t big things and they are very operatic and them happening at half season and season finales does make sense because that is the emotional apex of the story, but it just happened in this go round that it really was about transforming Rick into being the person he needed to be to face the world without angst while still retaining his humanity. Hershel’s death was a huge part of that. But really the biggest part of it in this one was the people that Rick killed rather than the people that Rick lost.
EW: The past two seasons have picked up about 7 or 8 months after the previous one ended. With this cliffhanger, can we assume that we’ll get back to these guys quicker than that?
GIMPLE: I have to say — though I would never want to say anything definitely — if I were a viewer I think it would be a hard thing to skip over whatever happened. I think it would be hard to skip over what the hell is going to happen and how the hell are they going to get out of that? Maybe we start 2 years later and we’re doing Lost style flashbacks every episode. And what’s weird is, everything is cool! The zombie apocalypse has been cleaned up. Everybody is just leading their regular lives. And nobody wants to talk about how they cured the zombie apocalypse and that’s the show. They don’t want to talk about what happened.