Rick Already Knew…


Rick Grimes knows both Carol and Daryl very well. 

He knows them individually of course and having witnessed the most emotionally taxing moments of both their lives and their relationship, he is in a fairly good position to be able to predict how either one of them would react to the possibility of the other being in danger. 
His track record isn’t exactly stellar but after everything that’s happened in the past 2 seasons, I would expect for Rick to be much better at handling the significance Carol and Daryl acknowledge between one another.
Having been the bearer of bad news to both of them about each other and having seen their reactions to those circumstances first hand, has hopefully given Rick a deeper appreciation of the importance Daryl places on Carol and vice versa….

When he told Carol that Daryl left with Merle in Season 3 he watched her heart break right in front of him…

When he told Daryl that he HE banished Carol (worst decision EVER) from the prison, Daryl’s reaction was one of anger, disappointment…and yes, heartbreak…

The reunion outside Terminus showed everybody that Daryl might be following Rick physically but his emotional lead will always come from Carol. 

They might not be a couple (yet) in the traditional sense but they love each other deeply AND there is no way that Rick doesn’t know that now.

And that’s exactly why nobody had to tell Rick that Daryl had turned around and gone back to Alexandria even after he argued and discouraged him from doing it.
Sasha and Abraham didn’t tell him and neither did Daryl! 

Rick just knew!

He also knew that there was no sense in trying to argue with Daryl again and that if he wanted Daryl to proceed with the original plan he had to inspire and convince him that what they were doing was more important for everyone.
Going back without finishing what they started could result in even more danger for the people/person Daryl was so desperate to get back to.

Nobody said a word to Rick about Daryl leaving the ‘walker parade’ – it was as if he expected it to begin with. 

Earlier Daryl rebutted Rick 3 times about wanting to get back to Alexandria – HOMEand only reluctantly backed off at the very end. 

Rick knows Daryl and he knows how protective he is of Carol, so it seems as if he expected Daryl to not be able to stand not TRYING to get back to her. 

And he was right!

Daryl’s been trying to get back home ever since!