At one point during breakfast, his costar Melissa McBride, who plays Carol on the series, stops by to inquire why he was absent from a cast gathering the night before — “I pooped out on everybody,” he admits sheepishly.

“Did he say what a great leader he has been for us all these years?” McBride inquires while hugging Lincoln. “He has carried the burden on his shoulders. I don’t know how he can still stand up straight.” (They make plans to meet up later so she can meet his dog.)

In the episode, the 12th of the current season, Rick had a heartfelt, almost foreboding conversation in a car with Michonne about his possible death.  “I remember him calling me in a total … panic,” costar and friend Norman Reedus, who plays bow-slinging Daryl Dixon, says by telephone. “I had to talk him off the ledge after he read that script. We were on the phone for a couple of hours.”

Andrew Lincoln’s LA Times interview with Melissa McBride/Norman Reedus cameos