Every week, ETonline selects a scene that is so magical, it demands watching, and re-watching, from fans and non-fans alike. This week, that honor goes to The Walking Dead!
Although audiences have had 14 weeks to come to terms Lori Grimes' tragic death, within the world of The Walking Dead, it's barely been a minute -- which can be tough to remember at times. Thankfully Andrew Lincoln's powerful performance continually reminds of the grief Rick Grimes is constantly struggling to sublimate.
But as we saw in last night's mid-season premiere, the cracks in Rick's steely visage are becoming deep ravines as intense hallucinations begin to set in, leading Rick -- and fans -- to see a wedding dress-clad Lori in the closing minutes of episode 9.
Granted, this isn't the first time the fearless leader's sanity has come into question -- last year, Rick imagined an entire phonecall with Lori and was temporarily sidelined in the assault on Woodbury after Shane appeared to him. And things won't be getting any easier for Rick in the coming weeks as TWD EP Glen Mazzara reveals to EW.com, "The hallucinations are progressing, because they started on the phone. They started as auditory. Now they're visual. And when he sees Shane, it’s in the middle of this chaos. Now he sees Lori in the middle of the group. So they’re progressing."
"If you look at when these hallucinations appear, it's at moments of great stress. And the pressure is increasing on Rick. He's cracking under that pressure, but our group is dependent on Rick to keep it together so they can all survive. That is the story of the back half of the season: What becomes of this group if Rick is at his most fragile point?"
This opens the door for Hershel to take on a much larger role in the coming weeks. "Hershel, who is very astute and a good friend of Rick's and has a lot of insights into that Rick-Lori relationship -- this will be an arc for him, the fact that his friend is slipping away," Massara says. "It activates Hershel in an interesting way. Hershel spent the back half of the first part of the season recovering from his injury. Hershel is now back and he's ready to kick ass with his one good leg. He really needs to save his friend."
Speaking of old friends, audiences might see some dearly departed friends again before the season wraps up. When asked, point blank, if Sarah Wayne Callies' return signals the potential for other killed characters to resurrect via Rick's hallucinations, Mazzara would only say, "It's possible. [long pause] It's possible."
Check out the scene in question below, then peep a preview for next week's episode!
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.