*** SPOILER Warning for folks who aren’t caught up with The Walking Dead ***
Last night’s episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead left fans with a rather difficult cliffhanger to deal with. Though much of the hour was concerned with various members of Alexandria’s best fighters going out in search of lone wolves Carol and Daryl, the final seconds elicited an audible gasp from this viewer, a reaction that was likely repeated throughout the fandom. (If you’re still not caught up on The Walking Dead but are reading despite the spoiler warning, this is your last chance to turn back.)
With Daryl and Rosita in sight of the captured Glenn and Michonne, it looked for a moment as if our heroes were going to be safely rescued; it’s a pattern the show has been repeating all season long if not all series long. However, the writers changed things up at the last second when the increasingly villainous Dwight (Austin Amelio) got the drop on Daryl and shot him point blank. As the camera went to black, after a blood spray on the lens, we hear Dwight say, “You’ll be alright.” Obviously this left viewers with lots of questions, some of which Daryl himself, Norman Reedus, answered for THR.
First up, Reedus sets us straight on one very important fact: Dwight definitely shot Daryl.
You don’t know where he shoots him but that definitely is his blood right there. Dwight knows if Daryl spins around, he’s not spinning around to say something; he’s spinning around to attack. Dwight knows if Daryl turning around Daryl is going to end him. But that’s definitely Daryl’s blood.
As to whether or not Daryl’s dead, that’s a condition to which Reedus won’t confirm nor deny. However, he does talk about what his reaction to his character’s death would be:
I don’t think I’m ever going to be happy with that decision ever (laughing). Like every character on this show, there’s always more story to tell. We really in the last two, maybe three years paid attention to some of the characters more than others — and some of the characters haven’t had much screen time at all. I can’t say that I would be happy. I can’t say that I would not understand but you see what happens and he does get shot. It’s his blood that’s on the camera.
And as for what Dwight said, if it was directed at Daryl at all, and if it was even said in the moments just after he shot him, Reedus shares his thoughts on the shifty Savior and his own character’s peril:
You should be very worried about Daryl. At the end of the episode, there’s a comment that Dwight makes [“You’ll be alright”] — and we’re really good about throwing you off base. That comment might not even be to Daryl. It could be to Rosita — or to anybody there. Or it could be to something that some scuffle that happens directly afterward. Do you trust that guy? Anyone automatically assuming that’s the obvious play is trusting words that come out of that guy’s mouth and we’re really good at throwing you for a loop. So… food for thought.
Now, about the upcoming season finale…
That episode is the most hardcore episode you’ve ever seen on the show. Ever. And it’s so well directed [by exec producer Greg Nicotero] and it’s so well played out. And so terrifying. It’s so good. A lot of effort went into making that the best episode we’ve ever shot on this show … It’s super shocking and it’s pretty hardcore. Andy said he was late for work because he read it all night; Josh said he threw the script; Lauren threw up. It’s gnarly. I was instantly curious. I had ideas what would happen and it made you feel sick and it was painful.
Reedus talks at length about the sixth season’s theme of “to kill or not to kill” concerning Daryl’s own thoughts as well as those of Carol and Morgan, so be sure to check out THR’s full interview for more. For more on Daryl, also check out TV Line’s interview with Reedus, even if it’s only in the futile hopes that Daryl makes it out of Season 6 alive. (Or is it all a smokescreen to take the attention off of another character? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!