With the flu outbreak getting worse at the prison and no sign of Daryl's (Norman Reedus) group, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Carol (Melissa McBride) hit the road in search of their own medical supplies -- and food -- during Sunday's The Walking Dead. (Warning: this story contains spoilers about Sunday's episode)
After finding supplies and food, Rick and Carol finally address her decision to kill Karen (Melissa Ponzio) and David (Brandon Carroll). Carol maintains that she stepped up in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the group, while Rick believes they deserved the chance to recover. Ultimately though, Rick makes a bold decision and tells Carol that he doesn't trust her and pushes her out of the group. The move sets Carol on a path of her own, traveling alone with only a car and some supplies to her name.
The Hollywood Reporter caught up with McBride to discuss Rick's decision and how Carol will fare solo. Plus how will Daryl respond to his closest friend at the prison no longer being there?
Q: Rick has kicked Carol out of the prison! What was your first response when you read the script?
A: I didn't see that coming! I was pretty floored and I love it. I liked where it went. I looked at it from the story and thought, "God, how ironic." This choice that Rick has made, there's so much going on and so many parallels. There are so many ways to turn what's going on here to find these parallels between Rick and Carol, between what she's done and what everyone has done in some way. I can't help but really like the way that this went down.
Were you worried that you were being written out of the show? Will Carol be back?
No, I wasn't worried. We don't know if she'll be back! (Laughs.) I can't say! I can't wait until everyone sees how this season plays out. It's going in so many directions.
If this was it for Carol, would you be satisfied?
That's a tough question because I like not knowing. I can only imagine what the hell she's up to out there and what she's going to do. I like that aspect, but then it's so abrupt and weird. It's so hard to understand and to completely banish her, it's flooring.
Do you think Carol deserved to be banished from the group?
No. It's interesting Rick wants to go on this run and bring her along for it. They're testing one another, it seems. She knows what happened to Shane (Jon Bernthal) and questions what's going on there. Rick is feeling the same way and wondering what's going on with her. Obviously when she took the risk, Carol knew there would be consequences if she had to confess or if anyone found out.
It's interesting that you mention the timeline. There's a theory that Carol is covering for Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino), who in this episode reveals that she's not afraid to kill people.
I'm sure Carol did it. But did she want Rick to find out? Hence the episode title, "Indifference." That's an interesting title for this and that attitude toward some of the things that Carol felt had to be done, because there was a more pressing matter that all goes back to the things we have to do in this world to survive and can we come back from them? There's a bit of that at play: Rick pulling Carl (Chandler Riggs) in and taking his gun away after he shot and killed the boy. There's also a part of Rick that obviously doesn't trust Carol because he sees what she's capable of now -- he's seen a lot of what she's capable of in this episode. I don't know what else she's capable of, had it been someone else besides Karen. What if it had been one of our original Atlanta people? What would she have done then? She's going about this with a very single mind and not talking to other council people, and that's frightening. That threatens his position of leadership, even though he had taken a backseat to it and didn't come to the council meetings -- which she and the group really wanted him to attend since his voice is important. She's wanting to be caught and wanting Rick to do something.
Could Carol attempt to return to the prison for Lizzie and Mika (Kyle Kenedy)?
I certainly hope so. She knows someone has to take care of them because that was Ryan's (Victory McKay) dying request. Her heart is broken, and I would hope she finds a way back, but I don't know. Plus she's got the crappy car! Rick took the good one!
How will we see Rick explain her absence when he returns? How will that go over with everyone? Will he tell Tyreese (Chad Coleman)?
That remains to be seen. Is he going to tell them exactly what happened? Will he make something up? Is he going to tell everyone that she killed Karen and David? Is he going to tell them why? Is he going to tell them why he left her? There were other options, and he could have brought her back if he was worried about her killing other people. She told him: Karen and David were suffering. Was it a mercy kill before they had an opportunity to turn? That's what's so weird about that ending: Why is banishing her the only option? I understand he didn't trust her and felt uncomfortable and uncertain about what she's capable of, but is there something else going on with Rick personally about his ability to lead and make decisions and trust himself in the decisions he makes? Have both of them gone too far?
Will Rick struggle with his decision to banish her? Do you think he knew what he was doing when they left the prison together?I hope so! (Laughs.)
I'd like to see him struggle with the decision in terms of how he's going to address how Carol isn't there anymore. I hope he takes more time with that than he did deciding to banish Carl from the group. I think throughout the episode, Rick was making his mind up. The more Carol asserted herself, it seems the more his mind was made up. She doesn't back down; she has a mission and I like that about her.
To read the complete interview, go here.