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‘The Walking Dead’: Andrew Lincoln Talks Rick and Michonne’s Future

Read no further if you haven’t seen Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” “Say Yes.” Spoilers ahead!

It wasn’t a monumental moment, exactly, at least not by “The Walking Dead” standards — no one actually died, or revealed some vital secret while being tortured. Instead, viewers watched Michonne (Danai Gurira) — aloof, unbreakable Michonne — break down after Rick (Andrew Lincoln) seemed to fall afoul of a pack of walkers. But they also saw the two in the closest approximation to a normal day in a normal relationship as we’re ever like to get on the show. Lincoln called up Variety to discuss the episode.

Not only do you get to smile and laugh, Rick gets to just have some adventures with Michonne. It’s weirdly idyllic.

It’s an unusual feeling! It’s just as unnerving for the crew as for the rest of us. It was barmy. It was this whole new area, it was magical. At the same time, it’s like, this is as good as it gets. This really is, essentially, their honeymoon — falling through the roof, that’s it, that’s the high point for their lives.

The whole episode, really, is them both trying to hold on to this magic moment they’re sharing. “Not now,” let’s not allow the spell to be broken. “I want to stay in this perfect state with you as long as I possibly can.” The interesting thing with Michonne is she’s the one who brought him back. This is an exploration of who Rick is and what she can do for him and he for her.

What’s going through his head when he sees just how much the possibility of his death unmans Michonne?

They’re able to in a way unlock each other. They’re much more engaged with each other than they have been with anything in a long, long time. It something you haven’t seen in Rick since probably Season 1 or 2, if ever. It’s a very similar thing to how he feels at the end of the mid-season where he realizes it could happen, she could be taken from him. But they need to keep moving forward, to move on. It’s this galvanizing moment.

The thing that stuck out most to me was when he was telling Michonne, “You can lose me. And I can lose you.” Was that something he was just realizing at the time?

It’s that moment where she is incredibly vulnerable, she’s shocked by what just happened and how much she feels for Rick and how undone she is by what just happened, by essentially seeing him die. So Rick in exchange — it is an exchange — he tells her about the fact that he feels haunted by the death of Glenn. It’s a sort of exchange of vulnerability which enables them to become stronger. They become more whole. I think that’s basically their relationship: They become more human, more whole, with each other.

She knows that if he does die — and he will die at some point — the community has to go forward. And she is an absolutely qualified leader in her own right. Rick is no fool. He’s in the firing line. He’s going to war with the Big Bad Wolf and there’s going to be collateral damage.

We’re sort of hurtling toward the end of the season now, with just four episodes left. Who do you think should kill Negan at this point?

There’s sort of a line around the block now, isn’t there? But we’ve got to get the Kingdom on our side first, or somebody else, so there’s a long ways to go before we can even really think about that question.

Who should kill Negan? Frankly, I’d love to kill him. I get people from 18 years old to 88 stopping me in the street, thinking I’m the character, and going, “When are you going to kill Negan?!” Whether or not we do this season is another matter. And whether or not it even happens, even. He’s a formidable force in the show. I think there’s a long way to go yet before we are anything like the army that we need to be in order to challenge him or take him down.

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