[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched the season finale of The Walking Dead.]
The Walking Dead ended season 4 with a good news/bad news situation. The bad news: Most of our survivors had been captured and were being held in a train car by the folks at Terminus, who may have just exaggerated their hospitality by a weeeeeeee bit. The good news: They have their leader back. There will be no more shunning of violence by Rick Grimes, who got the party started by biting marauder Joe’s neck off and then gutting the thug who had Carl pinned down. Now he needs to get his group out their latest jam. We spoke with Walking Dead showrunner Scott M. Gimple to get his take on the finale, the return of Rick, whether the folks of Terminus may indeed be cannibals as speculated, the location of Carol, Tyreese, Judith, and Beth, and what may be in store in season 5. (Read though both pages for the entire interview. Also make sure to read our finale interviews with star Andrew Lincoln and creator Robert Kirkman.)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Let’s start with the unique framing you gave this episode. You’ve done flashbacks before but never as much back-and-forth between present and past as you did here. How did you come upon the decision to go that route and really frame not just the episode but the entire season as this evolution of Rick Grimes?
SCOTT M. GIMPLE: Yeah, there you go. Actually, I think that’s it. It was really to show that evolution of Rick. If he had wound up in that train car at any earlier in the season or in his story he would not have been prepared for what he might need to do to get out. He would not be as confident as he is at the end. And this was all about that journey to that moment and really it was to show the contrast of where he was at the beginning of the season. READ FULL STORY