[SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sunday’s “Them” episode of the Walking Dead.]
A few months back, The Walking Dead star Andrew Lincoln told EW that episode 10 of this season was “the episode I always wanted to make.” Now that the episode—titled “Them”—has aired, we asked Lincoln what he meant by that. “Well, what I meant was that I’m a huge admirer of Cormac McCarthy,” says Lincoln. “When I was preparing for the first season of this show I read a few things and The Road was one of them. I just thought that is a modern parable. I mean that’s what it is: It’s a kind of classic parable and that’s the closest thing I can equate it to. I think there’s a simplicity, a directness, and a poetry in that book. Certainly the script had it and I hope we’ve managed to capture that in episode 10.”
The climactic moment of the group’s physical and emotional devolution occurs when Lincoln’s Rick Grimes delivers the following speech to the group while seeking shelter from a storm in a barn:
“When I was a kid, I asked my grandpa once if he ever killed any Germans in the war. He wouldn’t answer. He said that was grown up stuff, so…. So I asked if the Germans ever tried to kill him, but he got real quiet. He said he was dead the minute he steeped into enemy territory. Every day he woke up he told himself, ‘rest in peace—now get up and go to war.’ And then after a few years of pretending he was dead, he made it out alive. And that’s the trick of it, I think. We do what we need to do, and then we get to live. But no matter what we find in DC I know we’ll be okay, because this is how we survive. We tell ourselves that we are the walking dead.”
That speech really hit home for Lincoln when he first read it due to a personal connection from the past. “When I read it, it reminded me of something that happened in my life when I spoke to someone in a fight,” says Lincoln. “It almost had the same speech, so it resonated on a really, really profoundly, deep, familial level. I remember when I read it, I just cried. When I read the script I couldn’t…because I always to tend to read my words out loud and I just couldn’t. I got something caught in my throat when I read this speech. It’s just a very bold episode and I hope we got it right.”
What do you think? Did the show get it right?
For more ‘Walking Dead’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.