In the Walking Dead season 5 premiere, Rick Grimes made a promise to Gareth when he was the one in a deadly situation and on his knees. In this week’s episode, “Four Walls and a Roof,” their positions were reversed, and Rick followed through and killed Gareth with the machete. Andrew J. West, who played Gareth, spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his death scene.
West said that “it’s pretty shocking” that Gareth was killed in the third episode of the season, but he added, “I love the way it all went down” and called his death scene on The Walking Dead “intense,” “brutal” and “scary.”
“It’s the climax of these first few episodes. It’s a brutal scene. To be knelt before Andy Lincoln like he was before me in the premiere was an interesting reversal of roles, and it’s scary to be in that position. And I’m not talking about Gareth. I’m talking about me to play that scene because he’s in it, I’m in it, everyone is very much involved in what’s going on. It was brutal and bloody.”
While Gareth did try to talk his way out of his situation, even promising to not cross paths again, Rick didn’t even entertain the thought. Instead, he and the others slaughtered the remaining members of Terminus, putting an end to their cannibalism and that threat to the group. You can rewatch that moment from The Walking Dead episode 503 in the video below.
West himself admitted that “Gareth needed to go,” but he thinks that how their experience with Gareth and the people from Terminus will affect “the psyche of our heroes” going forward. It’s something that has to change them as people, even with everything else that has happened to them up until now.
“What’s interesting going forward is to see how Rick and the rest of his people maintain their humanity after seeing horror upon horror. Gareth and the Termites are the latest expression of that horror; this is a new thing for them. They’ve lost many members of the group, but they never had a member of the group kidnapped, had his leg chopped off and eaten in front of him. That has to take a toll. It has to change the way you think about what people are capable of.”
But what about Rick’s perspective of what went down in that church? TV Guide spoke to Andrew Lincoln about Rick’s “brutal killing” of Gareth and what his actions mean for how the group views him now. Lincoln too was “surprised” that the problem of Terminus the “Termites,” as West called them, is dealt with as early as it is in The Walking Dead Season 5. “I think there was a decision made in the writers’ room that was, ‘Let’s push it on,'” he explained.
There’s really no word except for “brutal” to use how Rick fulfills his promise to Gareth, and while it’s not shocking since he ripped Joe’s throat out with his teeth in the Season 4 finale, Lincoln pointed out that not everyone saw that, and so for people like Maggie and Glenn, “they don’t recognize this [Rick].” That is something that is going to be addressed, and it’s something Lincoln called “a very interesting area.”
“Bear in mind, not everybody witnessed it. That’s an important story point. Those that did, some of them came with Rick. Rick is one of these people that we’ve seen throughout the years who’s willing to step into the abyss. I think perhaps a lot of the story arcs this season for the rest of the characters are whether or not they’re willing to go with him. That may cause conflict and opposition and stresses and strain and fear within the group.”
The group did split up at the end of this week’s Walking Dead, with Maggie, Glenn and Tara heading for Washington with Abraham. Rick and the others stayed behind to find out what happened to Carol and Daryl, and Lincoln said that their “loyalty” is something that Abraham can “understand.” As the Inquisitr previously reported, Daryl and Carol chased after a car similar to the one that took Beth and only Daryl has returned on-screen. You can see what the cast had to say about the episode, including Rick and Abraham’s disagreement, in the video below.
The Walking Dead Season 5 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
[Image via AMC]