ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Speaking of pairings, it seems like whenever Eugene and Rosita get together, vomit is involved, but this time Rosita is doing the spewing and we learn through it that she is pregnant with Siddiq’s baby. This was a love triangle situation in the comic, but because you all are insane you now have an extra person involved here with Gabriel. How tricky is this going to be moving forward with Rosita, Siddiq, Gabriel, and a lovesick Eugene all involved? This is a mess.
ANGELA KANG: [Laughs] It’s a mess, and we call it the love quadrangle because we had to make things difficult for ourselves and add another part to this triangle. You’re absolutely right. So yeah, that’s definitely part of the story, that we’re playing with these four characters and how they navigate these murky waters. It’s based on some stuff from the comic, but we put our own twist on it. We just thought it was really interesting from a human perspective as they get deeper, and people think about family, and what happens if there’s a pregnancy? What happens when these relationships end? We just wanted to explore that with them.
I personally really enjoy the work that Josh and Christian have done as the lovesick Eugene and Rosita, and how Eugene is constantly wanting to declare his love, and Rosita is sort of not having it. I think those two, they came into the show together. They have such a great energy together. We wrote these little scenes going, “I think these will be fun.” And they just bring such humanity and comedy to it. It’s been interesting to see that. Then, I think we have some pretty fun scenes coming up as members of the quadrangle deal with each other. I’m looking forward to seeing what you think about that.
You have a very dramatic ending here as Alden and Luke are following the arrows to find their buddies, but it turns out they’ve been duped by Alpha who shows up with a shotgun. What does this tell us about the strategic chops of this new adversary?
I mean, they are so dangerous, and scary, and weird. They’re absolutely strategic. I think at the end of the episode you meet the formidable leader of this group. Our people are going to quickly find that they’re up against sort of a crazy situation with a group where the leader is incredibly smart, formidable, just scary as all hell. Just the fact that they were able to construct this ruse to trap two of our people, and the fact that they can move about the world without being noticed in that way, it’s really a problem for our people going forward.
Over the course of this season, we’ll see that every time they even encounter one walker on the road now, it’s suddenly fraught with dangerous intention in a way that maybe it hasn’t been in a long time. Because now, anybody who’s lived this long into the apocalypse, they’re pretty confident. It’s not that dealing with walkers is ever easy, but there are certainly situations that don’t scare them the way that it used to at the very beginning of things.
But now, if you think like, “Oh, my gosh, any walker might be some crazy person wearing a skin, and they actually have weapons under there.” It just suddenly makes every interaction going forward very different, very scary. So that’s been a really interesting thing to play with in the back half of the season.
I feel like you guys have done a really good job this season where every episode is ending on a huge exclamation point. It kind of reminds me of the glory days of 24, which always ended each episode with a big bang.
I have to tell you that that, from my perspective, is really an homage to the comic books, because Robert Kirkman is a master of the plot twist, and it’s a real page-turner. Even when he does an issue that feels like, “Oh, look, this is really just about people’s relationships,” and we’re getting these kind of fun scenes of people having conversations about philosophy, or here they are having lunch, whatever — there’s always that twist at the end that makes you go, “I can’t wait for the next issue.”
That was one of the story values that I was like, okay, for me, this is one of the things that equals being true to our source material, is having that feeling for every episode, looking for the thing that’s the big thing that you remember at the end of every episode that takes you into the next episode or issue. So I’m glad that you’ve enjoyed it. It’s something that we were very purposely trying to do because I think it’s just a rhythm that tends to work well for our show. Let’s just have kind of our quiet moments as long as you have that plot engine pulling you into the next piece of it.
As we’re talking about creating that feeling of needing to know what’s happening next, I guess I’ll just ask you: Angela, what’s coming up next?
We’re going to do some pretty interesting stories. In the next episode, we take a dive into a different kind of story structure than we’ve done on the show. It was really challenging for us to work on, but in a way that I hope has paid off because I think there’s just some incredible performances, and things coming up, and some interesting mystery.
Then the season as a whole, we’ve seen these communities split with each other, and something as big as Jesus’ death — which is really the thing that Alexandria, Michonne, and that group was always afraid was going to happen if people went out there and were engaging with each other — we see how that starts to spin people in different directions as this new threat kind of comes in. I’m really excited about the story going forward.