So… is Rick going crazy or what in the premiere? We got a hint that things may not be right in the head for Rick in the first half of season 3 after Lori died. But don’t panic; it has less to do with losing one’s marbles than you might think.
It’s PTSD and grief. To varying degrees, they’re all going through stress. Rick’s is more extreme than the rest of the group because he’s taken personal responsibility for the safety of the whole group. And one of the first casualties under the new ‘Rictatorship’? His wife. Rick talking to the ghostly apparition of Lori is just how his subconscious is dealing with the guilt of letting his wife die and how he treated her before she died.
Something tangible is going to have to happen to show him a light at the end of this particular tunnel. Even a little pinprick of a shine. Rick is in need of a lifeline that no one can show him. Or at least, no one knows how to.
It’s going to take someone saving him. Whether it’s physically, metaphysically, or some other manner I haven’t thought to name, it’s going to take Rick being in a vulnerable position and someone coming to relieve him somehow. Maybe he runs out of ammo and Tyrese’s group fights through walkers to save him, maybe he sees forgiveness in the baby’s eyes (I’m reaching), maybe ghost-Lori tells him to get over it.