The Walking Dead Stars Discuss Daryl, Carol & Negan's Redemption Arc

With Lauren Cohan's Maggie officially marking her return with this past Sunday night's episode "Home Sweet Home," AMC's The Walking Dead has a painfully awkward and potentially deadly situation on its hands. Because if anyone thought Maggie would've forgiven Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) after all this time, they learned within the first few minutes that was not going to be the case. But what about Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride)? They've seen the ex-Saviors leader start down a redemption path that included saving Judith (Cailey Fleming) and Dog and assassinating Alpha (Samantha Morton)- could they be coming around on the "Lucille"-swinger? The pair spoke with EW to offer their thoughts on Maggie's return and if choosing between the two will be difficult for the characters.

The Walking Dead Stars Discuss Daryl, Carol & Negan's Redemption Arc
The Walking Dead (Photo Credit: Josh Stringer/AMC)

"I think just uncertainty," says McBride about Carol's views of where Negan is now as compared to what Maggie knew of him. "What we've experienced from him is friendship with Judith, helping in the community. It's a very different perspective than Maggie's going to have. Yet at the same time, there may be some doubt, and I think the shrug is, well, I don't know, but he did come through. I think the shrug was 'maybe, but maybe not.' I don't know. He has come through." And as for Carol letting Maggie know it was her that let Negan free, that decision came down to respect and past history. "Yeah, I think Carol felt obligated to be the one," McBride said. "She did it and she wanted Maggie to know, and certainly realizing that emotional impact and implications that that would have, and I just had to tell her."

the walking dead
Photo Credit: Jackson Lee Davis/AMC

With Daryl and Maggie, there are levels of pain and forgiveness between them that stretch back to Beth and what went down the night Glenn died. As one of the few remaining from the early days, Maggie represents a sense of family Daryl and the others need in a post-Whisperer War world. So if Daryl has to choose? It's no choice. "If there's a moment where they have to decide whether it's Negan or Maggie, it's Maggie, for sure," Reedus explains. "And I think with Negan, yeah, we saw him do some friendly things, but is he faking? Is he trying to win us over? So, because he wants to survive like Melissa said, I don't think there's a moment where we fully believe him one way or the other. We saw Negan save Daryl and not shoot him with a shotgun. And then we saw Daryl save Negan by killing Beta for him. We saw these things happen, but we don't have a friendship bracelet with Negan right now."

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.