There are rumors running about that Merle Dixon — the one-handed redneck played to perfection by veteran character actor Michael Rooker — is heading back to "The Walking Dead" before long, perhaps as soon as this week's installment. Rooker himself won't comment on when he's coming back, but he promises that no matter the time frame, there's no escaping more Merle at some point down the line.
"Nobody expected this level of Merle worship," Rooker told Hero Complex about anticipation for his "Walking Dead" character's return. "He's such an out-there, crazy, anything goes kind of guy. There’s an uncertainty about Merle – like he’ll come back when you least expect it. He’s the boogeyman, and viewers love that suspense. The number one question I’m asked is, 'When is your character coming back?’ I can’t say when, but I promise it’ll be a wild ride."
Rooker added that he's "gotten more heat from the anticipation of my coming back to the show than any other thing I've done," saying that his fans are constantly theorizing about what Merle has been up to lately.
"They're constantly throwing out these theories about Merle secretly stalking the group in the woods or luring zombies to their original camp," he said.
Whether or not Merle is still lurking about, stalking his little brother Daryl (Norman Reedus) from a distance or simply struggling to survive elsewhere in the world, remains to be seen. Just keep watching the show, Dead-heads — chances are very, very good that you won't be disappointed by what's coming down the line.
How do you think Merle will return to "Walking Dead," and when do you think he'll show up? Tell us what you think in the comments section and on Twitter!