ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We know Simon has been chafing under Negan’s rules and has been looking to do things his own way, but what do you make of Dwight’s role and reaction here, because Simon puts him in a very tricky spot of basically advocating — or at least agreeing — for mutiny.
GREG NICOTERO: Simon’s a really smart guy. He’s testing the waters to see even how much of this plan that he’s sort of hatching is possible, but unfortunately for Dwight, Dwight takes the bait. Whether it’s because Dwight really does want to find a way for these guys to resolve the conflict, he falls into Simon’s trap. So he’s thinking as they’re walking, Maybe Simon’s being honest and maybe he really does want to just walk away from his whole conflict, cut our losses, and everybody goes their own direction.
He’s really selling that and he’s selling it hard, and it doesn’t even become apparent to Dwight until the very last sequence when he realizes that that’s not what Simon was saying, that Simon basically got him onboard so that they can now go in, and as Simon says, expunge them. Now he realizes that they’re in trouble because the whole point was that Dwight was trying to find a way to minimize this battle and this war, and now Simon’s just taken it to a whole new level.
What can you say about these mysterious new strangers — Georgie, Hilda, and Midge — who show up offering a key to the future in exchange for food and records?
A key to the future. Crazy, right? First of all, I love Lauren Cohan, I love Christian Serratos, and I love Katelyn Nacon in this storyline because everybody has a very different viewpoint as to how they’re going to move forward. When they meet Georgie, each one of them is in a little bit of a struggle to come to grips with each other’s opinion and each other’s position.
Enid’s got a very specific position as does Rosita, as does Maggie, as does Michonne, and they’re slightly conflicting. I think the women did a great job. I love the scene in the crossroads where Jayne Atkinson, who played Georgie, steps out and you see Maggie say, “We’re not making a deal, we’re taking all your stuff.” It’s very unlike the Maggie that we’ve seen before in that she realizes that in order for them to survive, it can’t all be roses. They can’t take in the people that they want to take in because they’re at odds and they’re in jeopardy and losing everything that they fought for.
By the end, when she looks at baby Gracie and Judith, and then she sees the POWs, and Michonne comes in and talks about Carl and talks about everything that they’ve all lost… Michonne really is the only one that is actively pursuing following Carl’s wishes, because clearly Rick’s out to kill Negan and really hasn’t taken much of what Carl had said to heart. It’s kind of a little odd he’s not honoring his son’s wishes, but he’s blinded by this rage that he just feels like Negan needs to die.
I think everybody did a great job. I’m a big fan of Jayne [Atkinson, who plays Georgie]. I love House of Cards, and I was really excited to get a chance to work with her on this character. She’s so out of her element. She steps out of that van and they’re talking like there isn’t a zombie apocalypse going on. She’s well-dressed, she has these two girls with her, and they’re kind of throwing out weird quirky jokes and you really look at her and you’re like, How have you survived in this world for so long? How long have you been surviving? It’s so out of left field, that we see someone basically coming to them without animosity or aggression, but saying “I see good in you, and we have to figure out how to proceed in the future in a way that is going to result in life and not death.”
Georgie says, “I’ll be back,” so will we be seeing her again?
In true Walking Dead fashion, when characters say that, most of them, they do, so who knows. It was a really interesting moment to have her just say “Listen, we just want records. We’ll trade.” Nobody trades. What are you talking about? People kill each other and take their stuff. When Maggie’s got her gun up and she’s like, “There’s no deal, we’re taking your stuff, and we’re going back to Hilltop,” Georgie doesn’t fight it. There’s no standoff or no tension. I think Georgie really is confident, more so than even Maggie, that Maggie ultimately is going to come around.
What can you say about what’s coming up in this final run of four episodes on season 8 of The Walking Dead?
As we continue our forward momentum, considering where Simon left us, I feel like it’s pretty safe to say that the Saviors — who are now taking the war to our heroes’ doorstep — have the upper hand. Listen, They want to inflict some damage, so I think the tide is going to turn and we’re going to see some serious retribution coming up.