Walking Dead Carol(Warning: this post includes MAJOR spoilers for last Sunday's Walking Dead.) After 3 action-packed episodes of The Walking Dead, season 4 eased back on the throttle a bit with last week's show, titled "Indifference." There were a few zombie attacks just to keep us on our toes, but overall it was one of those episodes that takes the time to advance the story through relatively quiet character development rather than intestine-flapping mayhem -- until the final moments, that is, when we got the holy-shit-didn't-see-THAT-coming decision by Rick to banish Carol from the prison community.

I've always liked Carol (and have longed hoped for a Carol/Daryl hookup), but Rick's choice made sense to me. It was sad as hell, though, and I think everyone's got to be wondering if we'll ever see her again. That includes actress Melissa McBride, who's been playing Carol brilliantly over the seasons -- check out what she has to say about her character's fate in this interview with Entertainment Weekly.

First things first: was that the last of Carol, for REAL?

I can’t say for sure one way or the other. I hope we do. I hope that’s not the last of her, but you know the way this show is. I don’t know. It’s unpredictable. The show is unpredictable. And we always think, well, if we don’t see them die on camera, there’s always a possibility. And then we do see them die on camera and sometimes they still come back, so who knows?

Dammit, McBride. Way to leave the door open for every single possibility, including the godawful idea of revisiting Carol as a zombie.

What she thinks about the controversial decision:

On one hand I can understand Rick’s point of view. And certainly I can understand Carol’s point of view because I know her. And I know her heart. It’s an interesting divide and it’s an interesting divide among The Walking Dead fans too. That’s what I love about the show. (…) There’s many things about Carol now that proves to be an asset to the group, certainly. But as far as Rick is concerned she is a threat. She is unpredictable, and making these unilateral decisions, and why is she doing this? He can’t quite make out the psyche going on there.

Would she have kicked Carol out?

No, I don’t think I would have. I would have kept it cool on the ride back and maybe I would have put her in a cell until everybody got back and let’s discuss what’s just happened here. (…) I’m seeing a lot of divisiveness and like I said there are people that can understand Rick’s point of view for saying that he is protecting her again. It’s Sheriff Rick being very methodical about his decision. And, in a way, maybe protecting Carol from the consequences of her actions as far as Tyreese is concerned. He does not want to create a big divide among the group. And on the other hand, you have people that think he’s overreacting and to leave this woman old cold on the road is not fair. Rick making this decision on his own to leave her there; Carol having made that decision to put down Karen and David on her own. And each one thinks that they’ve made the right decision at the time. And in a way, each is right. And in a way, each is wrong.

The idea that part of Rick's decision came from his desire to protect her makes a lot of sense -- he's seen how strong she's become, and in addition to his discomfort with her actions, he may truly believe she has a better shot away from the group.

How did she react when she got the news about her character?

It’s one thing when they tell you sort of what’s going to happen. It’s one thing to hear it in a general sense. It’s another thing for me to read it when I get the actual script. And reading that last page floored me as much as it floored Carol. In fact, Carol handled it much better than I did for me. I thought she was a champ. And I was like, ‘What?!?!?‘

But what about Daryl? WHAT ABOUT DARYL????

She didn’t get to say goodbye to him. She didn’t get to say goodbye to anybody. This is great stuff to me. This is important stuff. Devastating stuff. This world that they’re living in is so mean.

McBride went on to say that it's been amazing to play Carol, and that "she has been an actor’s dream for me." I really and truly hope that doesn't mean she's done with the show -- my hope is that Carol goes off and becomes an even-more-badass solo survivor and ends up saving Rick and the gang from a zombie attack later in the season. Or maybe she teams up against the Governor, who we know is returning at some point. (Or … what if she goes to the dark side and joins the Governor? NOOOOO.)

What's your prediction, will we see Carol again?

Image via AMC