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Andrew Lincoln Discusses THE WALKING DEAD Season 4 Finale

TV The Walking Dead by Joey Paur

The season finale of The Walking Dead was literally bloody insane! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. They should have known that Terminus was going to be a shitstorm! That place was a cannibal's house of horror dream. Those people in that place are evil as hell, but come next season, Rick and his group are going to show them how real survivors do it. In a recent interview with THR, series star Andrew Lincoln discusses the season finale and what we might see next season. Obviously, spoilers abound. Here's an excerpt of the Q&A went down, and it's definitely worth your time to read it. I thought I would hate how they ended the season, but I actually ended up loving it. 

What was it like taking a "bite" out of Jeff Kober's neck?

It was brutal. It was 4:30 in the morning. We did 95 setups or so of that scene alone leading up to the bite. I remember [EP and VFX guru] Greg Nicotero looking at me earlier in the day and saying, "We're doing the gag. Do you want chicken or beef?" I asked for the chicken, and Greg asked if I wanted it cooked or raw. I asked which was the closest to flesh. He said uncooked, and that is what we went with. It was a rite of passage. It was the gnarliest thing I've ever had to do. I didn't realize how my body would feel with raw chicken flesh in my mouth among all the other blood gags in the scene. There was one take where I felt close to a wretch. After that, I picked up the knife and stabbed this other guy, and he kept spitting a full mouth of blood into my eyes every take. (Laughs.) It was beyond gruesome. Sometimes that happens in this show and it just became wrong again. It was so shocking reading it that I actually asked [showrunner] Scott M. Gimple if we were overstepping a mark. "Is there a line in the sand that we're going over?" When I did the scene and saw my son being attacked by these guys, it just made sense. He had this completely animalistic reaction. 

Rick savagely killed the man who tried to rape Carl -- with his son watching that whole attack. How will seeing that impact Carl considering the kid already thinks he's a monster?

That scene was supposed to be more graphic, and we played it more graphic than that, which was a justification for the throat rip and everything, because it's something any father seeing his son about to be raped would probably do. It's interesting territory to explore: Can the man and the monster live in the same body? How does that work? Is it possible? Can that schizophrenic idea exist? It's very disturbing; the gloves came off in a couple of these episodes in the back eight. The child witnessing that and saying it didn't affect me. Carl has that scene with Michonne where she thinks he was frightened by his father. Carl says it's the opposite; that he wasn't disturbed or frightened by it; he wanted to watch. That's a deeply disturbing area that we're possibly heading toward next season.

How much darker can we expect Rick to get?

That reminds me of Spinal Tap: "How much more black could this be?" "None more black." So none more dark than we've just seen. (Laughs.) We've had these ridiculously grand and Greek tragedy kind of moments in our show -- the death of Lori, Sophia coming out of the barn and having to be put down -- and you think, "No way can we buy this." That's been the scale of the writing on the show; they find a way to make it justified. When I bit Joe's throat, it made sense to me when I did it. It may not have made sense on the page, but the intention of it was telling everybody that he's like a wolf; he's so primal. It was so guttural and animalistic. The short answer is we're trapped by these guys, and I imagine it'll get pretty messy. Frankly, there's nothing I like more than playing crazy badass Rick Grimes -- and he is pissed at the moment. I don't know what Scott has planned, but I've been texting other castmembers, and we should improvise a few scenes because these kids -- we call those who live at Terminus the Termites -- are going to get it! 

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