Norman Reedus says Daryl and Carol are 'not the same relationship anymore' on The Walking Dead
The star also calls out Jeffrey Dean Morgan for his naked scene.
Warning: This article contains spoilers about Sunday’s midseason premiere of The Walking Dead titled “Squeeze.”
It wasn’t long ago when Daryl was calling Carol his best friend and the duo were talking about getting on the Daryl’s motorcycle and riding off into the sunset. My how times have changed. In Sunday’s “Squeeze” midseason premiere of The Walking Dead, we saw the relationship at perhaps its most frayed. The problems began in the midseason finale when Carol took Alpha’s bait and followed her into the woods and into a trap — causing the group to be caught in a cave with a horde of zombies below.
When things picked back, they only got worse. Daryl confronted Carol, telling her, “I can’t even turn my back on you. I don’t even know what to do anymore.” Carol admitted she was obsessed with taking down the woman who put her adopted son Henry’s head on a pike. “I don’t want to just kill Alpha, I want to hurt her. I want to make her regret everything. I want her to beg for forgiveness, and then I want to kill her.”
That burning desire for destruction led Carol to once again abandon the plan for escape as she doubled back with dynamite in an attempt to take down the horde. That delay cost the group dearly when the roof collapsed, trapping Connie and Magna inside after the others had exited, and leaving Carol in tears begging Daryl to blame her out loud for what happened — a request he did not honor as he left to seek another way in to save the others.
We spoke with Norman Reedus to get his take about the fractured relationship and how Carol has put their friendship — and the safety of the group — in danger in her quest for vengeance. “We went through the whole season with me having her back as I always do,” says Reedus. “But she’s just gone rogue. She’s doing her own thing and she’s getting people hurt. She’s getting people killed and she doesn’t care.”
Reedus draws parallels from what we’re seeing now to what happened with Andrew Lincoln’s Rick Grimes after the death of son Carl. “It’s very similar to the story that we told with Andy before Andy left that just this blind rage that losing his son had,” Reedus says. “He was making decisions for everybody and pretty much everybody was against his decisions. Nobody agreed with him. And he was getting people hurt. The death of Carl just put him under this thing and he wanted to connect these two groups— this good group and this bad group. He wanted to connect them ‘cause that’s what Carl wanted in the end. And nobody agreed with him.”
Reedus feels what’s happening with Carol is along the same trajectory. “Carol’s storyline is very similar to that one. Her son was beheaded by this Alpha and she just sees red. She’s making poor decisions. I have that line, ‘We don’t fight for revenge. We fight for our future.’ And it’s me constantly picking up what she’s dropping down and I’m not agreeing with it. And she’s not listening. And it’s poor decision making. It’s when you make decisions that are from an emotional place and they’re not thought out and she doesn’t care who gets hurt. And after so many of these decisions — again, like what I went through was Rick — it’s just this blind rage that’s leading her down at the start the path and it’s not good for anybody.”
That has led to frustration for Daryl as he is trying to be there for his best friend, but that friend keeps making the wrong decisions that put the greater group in dancer. “We think we’re cool,” says Reedus, “and then she f—s it up. Then you think we’re cool again, and she f—s it up again.” And I’m like, ‘Yeah, I have your back, but this is getting ridiculous.’ And it ends up with this dynamite that she just won’t let go and she has to sneak away in the dark and plant it on the rock formation that’s going to come down and kill this horde. And it ends up that she almost gets herself killed. And it ends up getting two beloved characters trapped.”
So why won’t Daryl yell at Carol at the end like she asks? “She’s like, ‘Just say it, just tell me, tell me I’m a f— up.’ I’m so pissed, but I won’t even give her that satisfaction. But, then again, in true Daryl form, I’m like, I won’t give up. I’m going to go find a way back into this death trap. But the relationship is definitely not the same relationship anymore.”
Speaking of relationships, Reedus has a major gripe with that freaky-deaky Negan and Alpha naked pre-sex scene, and the gripe has to do with co-star and BFF Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Allow him to explain as he good-naturedly ribs his buddy: “I do remember when that was written and I was like, ‘Jeff!’ And he’s like, ‘What? What? Samantha doesn’t want to get naked so I don’t really have to get naked.’ And I’m like, ‘That’s not what I heard. I heard Samantha wants to but you don’t want to.’ And he’s like, ‘Well no, you know, I’d….’ He was just stumbling on his words and I was like, ‘You know what? I’ve been butt naked on this show several times in front of everybody! And he ends up wearing this like flesh colored ballerina bottoms and these ballet bottoms! And not only that, then he’s got like a beige colored diaper on top of that. You can’t see anything! And I was like, this is so unfair! I was like, ‘You chicken, get in there, rip those pants off!’ But he wouldn’t do it. I think me and Cudlitz are the only one that have been naked so far on this show.”