There is no denying it in my opinion, Rick really is becoming more like his deceased friend; the only question that is left in my mind is will he cross that line of no return by killing for what he wants and not what he needs?
We see more of this transformation in episode 12 of season 5. Caedus caught on to this transformation before I did, as we discussed in this episode review of Ep 12. http://sincereignorance.com/2015/03/04/the-walking-dead-episode-12-review/
- Killing is more easier than negotiating. This was first established when Tyrese had to intervene with the plan to trade instead of possibly having to kill innocent people. Rick on the other hand felt it would be better to just kill possible threats to their people's lives and not wanting to risk anyone's safety.
- Rick's philosophy has also changed as hinted in reason 1. Before Rick would rather save lives no matter the cost, believing we could all go back and be who we were before the Walkers graced this earth. That optimistic outlook on life and their situation has vanished. Now is a deeply cynical Rick who doesn't care if the strangers around him can't make it. All that matters is his people; those he consider's family. Rick kills with no remorse now and in this stage of his life, he wouldn't hesitate to kill someone undeserving if it meant saving his family.
- Lastly Rick's desire for another man's wife (Jesse), the chemistry they have between them was palpable and Rick's intentions blatant. This seems like the early stages of how Shane and Laure developed a romantic relationship. Absent the friendship or a sense of loyalty Shane had for Rick at the beginning.