The Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman and several cast members took the stage at PaleyFest 2013 on Friday to sneak-peek upcoming scenes, ponder the personality clashes that have arisen among the survivors in Season 3 and preview Rick’s dire need to step up and be a great leader again.
The Dead panel livened up straight away with fresh footage from this Sunday’s episode, in which Rick finally softens toward Michonne a bit (though he tells Carl it’s just conditional). The trio also encounters a crazy, booby-trap-filled new town.
The episode also features the aftermath of Carl calling out his father on his “new,” un-leaderlike mindset. “[Carl] needs a firm hand,” Andrew Lincoln said with a laugh. “He has a point, though. Rick has been making some terrible calls [and] after that scene it puts him into a different gear. Something happens this week that really holds a mirror up to Rick and he realizes he’s got to step up.’
Addressing the Grimes boy’s ‘tude, Kirkman said, “Carl really is one of my fave aspects in the comic and the show… Where we’re going to go with this kid are some pretty exciting places.” This season, he stressed, is “just the beginning” of Carl’s journey.
Other topics touched on during the PaleyFest Q&A:
FOLLOW THE LEADER…? | “To push one of the central characters off the cliff’s edge is really bold,” Lincoln said of Rick’s deteriorating sanity. ” Even if it means conjuring ghosts? “That’s quite a common thing,” Lincoln noted. “His brain’s short circuiting [from] guilt.”
IS THERE GOOD IN THE GOVERNOR? | “The Governor and Rick are both facing the same problems,” said EP David Alpert. “For the Governor, there is something in him that’s good…. But the darkness has allowed him to grow and prosper.”
DOES THE GOV’ STILL GET ANDREA’S VOTE? | “She did [have feelings for him] until she went back to the prison,” said Laurie Holden. But “at this point, [she thinks he’s] a bad man. When she goes back and sleeps with him, that’s not because she thinks he’s handsome,” she explained with a laugh. Holden notes that Andrea “thought she could follow through” with what moderator and Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick has coined “Carol’s vagina warfare plan.”
A NEW HITCH | Danai Gurira said a scene airing this Sunday where Michonne and Rick coldly (yet understandably) blow off a hitchhiker is “a brilliant moment because it’s so real and so brutal… It’s like a war zone, so you can’t trust people easily.” Observed Lincoln, “You could squeeze all those [hitchhiker] scenes together and it’s a perfect short film for their mental state.”
THE FEMALE FEUD | “Here’s the deal: Andrea and Michonne are two adult women who wanted different things,” Holden said of the BFFs’ estrangement. “Andrea didn’t choose a guy over her; she chose a life and community.” Nonetheless, Gurira chimed in, “In Michonne’s mind, it’s got a lot to do with loyalty.”
CAN MERLE BE TRUSTED? | And no, it’s not a rhetorical question. “[Daryl] knows there’s good in his brother — but then again he’s tried to kill half the people on this stage,” Norman Reedus said. “But I think he hopes.”
ISN’T IT ROMANTIC? | Surveying the never-easy Glenn/Maggie relationship, Steven Yeun said, “He’s young and that love is young. And a love like that is hard to keep down. So he’s coming at this [situation] very selfishly and I think that’s very appropriate for what a 20something would do.” Meanwhile, on the Daryl/Carol front, Reedus opined, “I like these two damaged people gravitating toward each other. If it happens, it might happen. I don’t want to make the first move!”
WATCH THE FULL WALKING DEAD PALEYFEST PANEL HERE: