You know the drill. Spoilers from Sunday night’s Walking Dead episode are below.
The majority of the conversation after “Thank You,” the most recent episode of The Walking Dead, revolved around the deaths that occurred. No, we’re not talking about Annie. While everyone (including myself) was going off about what THAT SCENE meant for Glenn, a few minds were churning over something potentially major that happened to another one of the leads. And it all has to do with Rick’s hand.
There’s a moment in the episode when Rick is running around on his way to the RV when he comes across a pack of walkers chowing down on a body in the road, and one of them had a machete sticking out of its neck. Rather than taking care of it in any other manner possible, Rick pushes back on the walker in order to stab it, inadvertently cutting his hand on the machete in the process. A hand injury isn’t good news on the best of days, but the bad feeling are compounded when you consider there was probably zombie blood on that machete, and zombie blood entering a human’s blood stream is definitely a bad sign. And if that’s the case, then there’s only one way for Rick to avoid being turned into a walker: chopping that hand off.
Comic fans know that Rick getting his hand lopped off by the Governor is one of the character’s most recognizable characteristics, and it’s something that Andrew Lincoln tried to convince the producers to bring to the show at some point in the past, although his request was denied due to effects costs. But could it be that they’re willing to go there now that the show has become even more popular than it was during the Governor’s days?
Here’s what executive producer Dave Alpert had to say about that moment to TV Insider.
It's definitely played as ambiguous and I've seen a lot of pickup online of people saying, ‘Hey, is this a nod to the comic where he's going to cut off his hand?’ I would say that if it is zombie blood, either he's going to have to cut off his hand or he's going to have to die. Those are the rules of the world. But we'll see that play out fairly quickly.
I’m all about getting answers to this question sooner rather than later, and it would be an interesting twist on the source material if Rick had to cut his own hand off to avoid becoming a zombie, rather than just falling victim to a villain. I mean, there’s obviously the chance that there wasn’t any infected blood on that blade, and that Rick’s hand only needs some Neosporin and gauze. But how could there not be any walker blood on it, considering where it’s placed?
I guess there’s also the chance that the show will deviate from the comic books in laying out just how dangerous zombie blood is to humans. In the books, Negan gives his followers weapons covered in walker viscera so that when they attack, their victims are slowly forced to turn into zombies. That doesn’t seem like it’d be the best way to switch up the adaptation though. And Alpert’s words seem to imply that the show is keeping that aspect intact.
Do you guys think Rick is going to lose his hand? Find out hopefully soon when The Walking Dead returns to AMC next weekend for a 90-minute Morgan-centric episode.