[Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead. Read at your own risk. ]
Lori has come a long way from housewife-turned-zombie apocalypse survivor. Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead proved she would do just about anything to keep her family intact, even if it means planting the seed in husband Rick's head that his best friend Shane needs to die.
TVGuide.com turned to executive producer and showrunner Glen Mazzara to get the scoop on Lori's "foolish decision." Plus: What will the future hold for Shane, who's long outlived his comic book counterpart? Find out below:
Lori (Sarah Wayne Callies) essentially told Rick (Andrew Lincoln) to kill Shane (Jon Bernthal) in the closing scene. Has she turned evil in a way?
Mazzara: Yes and no. People are very interested in seeing us develop the characters. What's interesting is when you consider that scene, that character is now developing in a way that is going to surprise everybody, and, to me, that scene is pretty clear-cut. We know that Lori makes foolish decisions. We saw her attempt to take morning-after pills as a birth control method. That's clearly not plausible, but she doesn't know that. So, she is a woman who does exercise poor judgment.
So, when she drives off now, she's trapped, and we see that she is actually surprisingly adept in this world, that she can single-handedly kill two zombies with her bare hands. Shane's going out to save her, but she doesn't need to be saved. Yet it's Shane's speech to her saying, "You know what we had was real, that you're trying to rewrite history because you're trying to sanitize the truth," that strikes a chord with her because Shane is right. That frightens her and threatens her and it leads her to that whisper in Rick's ear, à la Lady Macbeth. It's very interesting because she is clearly playing one man against the other, and she favors things in both men. She would think the ultimate man for her would be a combination of the two.
How will this affect Rick, knowing that his wife basically told him to kill his best friend?
Mazzara: It will be played out in the next episode. The next episode is an episode that really puts Shane and Rick at odds, and Rick is tired of secrets, and a lot will come spilling out.
With news that Jon Bernthal is in talks for Frank Darabont's new TNT pilot, it seems that Shane's impending demise is the worst kept secret of this year. What would you say to fans who feel cheated by the news possibly being out there already?
Mazzara: Let's say this: You know the Shane character was killed off in the comic book very, very early. We are a show that is going to surprise people. People can speculate. I haven't read the Frank script, but it is conceivable that Bernthal's character gets offed in that pilot. I haven't read it. So I don't want to say anything about secrets or spoilers or anything like that, but I think fans will be satisfied with our story, and I'm just going to focus on that, not other material.
Shane didn't take too kindly to Hershel (Scott Wilson), telling him to keep his mouth shut. How will Shane fight back?
Mazzara: It never goes well when you confront Shane head-on. He's a hothead. We took Shane back a little bit in the aftermath of the barn massacre and he has that tender moment with Carol (Melissa McBride) where he's washing her hands. Now he's back. Now he's heating up again. Shane is back in his manic angry state that he was before he smashed open the barn. So for Hershel to engage him while he's in that state, I'm sure, could be problematic.
Turning to Carol and Daryl (Norman Reedus), their conversation really spurred him to finally join the group again. Will he begin to realize his worth now?
Mazzara: I think he does. Let's not forget that Episodes 8 and 9 took place within a day of the Barn-mageddon, as we call it. Daryl is rocked by that. He wanted to be Carol's knight in shining armor and take up this quest and be the one to find that girl. He now questions his self-worth. Was he a fool to ever take on that quest? This brings up issues of his upbringing. He actually is going to hit Carol and pulls back his fist because that is his learned behavior and her learned behavior is to take it. Her generous spirit is willing to take that because she cares about him so deeply.
They're both so freaked out that they're in that odd emotional space that he withdraws, but he realizes how much she means to him and how much the group means to him, so he connects. He connects in a way that surprises her. He fits into the group in the last three episodes of the season in an actually very surprising way; I'd even say more violent way, and I think that he finds himself with a new role in the group. Carol has difficulties with the idea that for him to reintegrate into the group, he, in a sense, changes who he is, and she's starts to feel a rift.
Carl (Chandler Riggs) has been losing himself over the course of the last two seasons. The prospect of Lori's baby seemed to bring out his adolescent side again. Will that continue?
Mazzara: In some of the future episodes, Carl does stuff that is surprisingly boyish and childish, and that stuff plays in a very special way in this particular world. When you see particular scenes that Carl's in, it's interesting to see him acting like a little boy. We've forgotten that he's a boy. He is losing his innocence, and it'll be interesting when we cut the other way in surprising ways.
Have we seen the last of Tony and Dave's group?
Mazzara: Well, [the farm group] got that guy. They've got that guy Randall (Michael Zegen).
But will the other group try to get Randall back?
Mazzara: That's the whole thing. This group is terrified that those guys are coming for them.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.