Michonne is every geek boy's wet dream. There's a character like her in almost every GN these days - think of Lara Croft, etc. She's here until the end of the series. They don't dare change her too much from the GN, or they'll lose that dream demographic (men 18-49).
Maggie, too, is safe - she's becoming the white version of Michonne.
I think Glenn will stick by Carol, he seems to be pretty passionate about the original group being his family and it would put him in direct conflict with Maggie, which I think could be an interesting twist.
I'm looking forward to see Daryl's reaction to the news.
I think I'm in the minority because I am not upset that Rick decided to leave Carol behinde. I do like Carol but I don't like the choices shes made> I remember all the problems caused in season 2 from keeping secrets and first thing we see is Carol and her secret knife school. She does admit to Rick that she killed the 2 sick people but she doesnt want im to mention it. Rick made it clear that he was making the choice of not bringing her back for himself and his kids. He left Carol with supplies and a car, nothing is stopping Carol from driving back to the prison herself, she knows the way and has the means. Rick isnt the "king" of the prison his word is not law. I feel that Carol doesnt want to face the others (yet) since Rick will tell them what Carol did. She may have admitted to Rick because in the past he has made choices that turned out bad, but he always admitted them, even killing Shane. I hope Carol is staying away to give everyone time to deal with what she did (especially Tyreese) and eventually she will be back.
Im starting to hope that rick did this mostly for carols protection even thiugh i think rick fewrs the worst becaus he knows himself what he is capable of and it is t pretty. Sometimes we fewr those that we see somthing of ourselves in them. But i dont think the whole group wouldve been like ok no problem. I j ust feel rick was cold More cold than carol actually
That's all part of it though. One of the big themes in season 2 was that keeping secrets can get you killed. Lori tried to keep secrets - sleeping with Shane and being pregnant - and doing so only made the situation with Shane worse. Hershel and his family/friends tried to keep the walkers in the barn a secret and that situation escalated because of it. Rick chose to wait until he got some kind of confirmation before telling them about what Jenner said - and that put everyone at risk because they weren't taking precautions they should have or would have if they had known it didn't matter how a person died. Shane kept secrets because he was plotting against Rick - which not only led to Rick being forced to kill him in self defense, but also put the group in danger. They all had reasons for keeping those secrets, but they all learned in the end that secrets can get get you killed.
That lesson was why Rick decided to step down as leader after he came so close to crossing that line with Michonne. He did tell Hershel, Daryl, and Merle, but kept the plan a secret from the rest of the group. That led to Merle jumping the gun and leaving before Rick could stop him after he realized it was wrong and changed his mind. Keeping that secret put both Michonne and Merle in danger and Merle was killed. Rick accepted that he made mistakes and that those mistakes endangered the group so he removed himself - and, really, I think the only reason that Rick didn't actually leave the prison himself was because of Carl and Judith. But he did isolate himself and avoided being part of anything that would make him responsible for other people's lives. He stopped trusting himself and needed that time to heal and come back to the man he should be. The group gave him that time because they understood. Rick has to learn how to trust himself again and being forced to step up and take action when the council was out of commission because of this flu was part of that.
That's why I don't see Rick's actions as cold. Carol wasn't willing or able to do what Rick did. She couldn't accept or admit that what she did was wrong. She asked Rick to lie for her and keep it a secret because she knew Rick was right about how everyone else will feel about her actions. Carol made the mistake of assuming that Rick would go along with that because of his own mistakes in the past. What she failed to realize or accept is the fact that Rick learned from those mistakes so she wasn't prepared for him to refuse to help her make the same mistakes or endanger the group because she has decided that she's always right and they're always wrong and that justifies her lying to them and keeping secrets from them. Rick knows from personal experience how that kind of thinking can lead to bigger problems and endanger everyone.
Bullit makes an excellent point about Rick leaving that up to Carol though. He can't stop Carol from going back to the prison on her own - and he knows that. He could only refuse to take her back to the prison with him. He could give her a car, gas, and other supplies, but he couldn't force her to go somewhere else if she didn't want to. He has learned from his own mistakes and the first thing he did after returning to the prison was tell Maggie and Hershel. He'll tell the others the truth as well because he knows he can't stop Carol from coming back to the prison on her own. He knows that lying and keeping what she did a secret won't help anyone so he's telling them the truth so they can be prepared if/when Carol does show up. What Carol does now and where she goes is up to her. She knows that Rick won't lie for her or keep what she did a secret so going back to the prison will mean facing up to her crime as well as her lies and dealing with the consequences of both. It's not a question of what choices Rick made or will make. It's a question of whether or not Carol is willing or able to face up to her own mistakes and learn from them. Carol has to come to that on her own - nobody can force her to do that. In that respect, Rick standing his ground and refusing to lie for her or keep secrets for her might be the push Carol needed to be able to own up to her own mistakes and learn from them the way Rick did.