Sunday night's episode of AMC's celebrated series, The Walking Dead, further explored the looming and ubiquitous question of morality in the face of a zombie apocalypse, and at its center was central character and hero (still?) Rick Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, with a big question mark over his head.

While Rick's moral ambiguity is hardly a new thing, his journey toward the dark side took a strident leap on Sunday night, showing him commit a double murder of two living adversaries on the prison grounds that he and his dwindling group of survivors infiltrated and usurped.

Lincoln has some pretty philosophical thoughts on his character's transformation … and not everyone is going to like them. "I think [Rick's] humanity is pretty intact but I think his ruthlessness or his decision-making has very much moved into the Shane point of view," Lincoln told Zap2it. "I don't think he's the most stable. I wanted to play almost a Pavlovian reaction to [the prisoners]. Certainly in season one and season two, I don't think he would've been so quick to make that judgment call."

But recent circumstances have forced things to change for Rick. "Moral ambiguity in the show is not the interesting part for me as an actor. In any other situation that wasn't hell, you wouldn't make these judgment calls, you wouldn't be pushed into this corner. But the thing that dignifies it and helps him justify the decision is that he always has the group's safety as a priority. It is a selfless act even though it's incredibly brutal. But as for his humanity, certainly throughout this season it diminishes and diminishes."

As for his deteriorating relationship with his wife, Lori, played by Sarah Wayne Callies, it could be that not all is lost. "I do think the end of episode two — that's the first time they've touched each other in eight months, that's what we played …. Sarah and I have always [played] that these people, they love each other at a cellular level. They've been sweethearts, they're each other's first and last love. Now that they've found a place that potentially could be the citadel where they can start over for the future … for his wife, for everybody else, for the baby, they have to heal."

Catch The Walking Dead on AMC Sundays at 10 p.m. EST.

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