Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride discuss that big Walking Dead fight between Daryl and Carol
Well, that was awkward.
Sunday's "Find Me" episode of The Walking Dead told the story of what happened to Daryl (Norman Reedus) during the five years he separated himself from the group to go live in the woods and hunt for clues as to Rick's disappearance. Throughout the course of various flashbacks, we learned how Daryl met Dog, and we also met Dog's original owner — a woman named Leah (Lynn Collins) with whom Daryl had some sort of romantic connection (one that made Reedus nervous about filming).
But just as shocking as that flashback love interest was an argument between post-apocalyptic BFFs Daryl and Carol (Melissa McBride), with the former telling the latter that he would not stop her from running away again and the latter shooting back that "I was right, our luck's run out you and me." It was a jarring scene, especially looking back at the start of the season when the two were joking about hopping on Daryl's bike and riding off to New Mexico together.
According to McBride, the end-of-episode explosion is a culmination of what happened earlier in the season when Carol's actions of going rogue led to Connie going missing. "There was that thing with Connie," the actress tells EW. "The choices that Carol's made have big repercussions, and there's a lot of tension and Carol is trying to mend that, asserting herself in whatever private time Daryl needs to himself."
To McBride, that explains the seemingly playful scene at the start of the episode when Carol hops on Daryl's bike to join him on his outing. "Carol just hopping on the bike like she did, is kind of almost like she's a third wheel in Daryl's head somehow," explains McBride. "From what I felt, reading the script, Daryl already had to go out and look and do things. And she's just kind of inviting herself along like a third wheel between himself and his thoughts or whatever he needed to do. She was very annoying, and just hoping for that playful thing, like everything is going to be okay, right? And it's not working."
While Carol is looking to reestablish her support network, the connection from the other side is simply not there. "I think she's just needing her ally," McBride says. "She's needing to know she's still got the ally, but she can't get it out of him. And then, he's acting a bit more strange than what the circumstances would have called for. I mean, there's something else. There's some other little thing in there. And then when we get to the cabin, all the stuff just pours out."
McBride feels the Leah situation in the past is — intentionally or not — throwing a wedge into their current friendship: "I feel like Daryl's sort of projecting some of that, maybe projecting a little bit about running. She's there. And they both have a tendency to take off at different times when they need to. But then, the whole revelation of her feeling like, why couldn't he have told me that? Yeah, there's a lot more to explore and discover between these two."
As for Norman Reedus, when asked why Daryl is pushing Carol away, the actor compares it to a favorite food dish. "I think it's like, there's a frozen pizza in my freezer right there, and I know it's there," says Reedus. "I know I shouldn't eat it, but then like in five minutes I find myself a foot closer. Then five more minutes, I'm a foot closer. The next thing I know, it's in the oven."
Wait… what?!? Explain more, please. "I feel like there's a lot of guilt with him with this Leah circumstance," Reedus clarifies. "And it might've been his fault. I mean, it's a very sad story. People might look at it like 'Ooooooh!' but it's not. It's kind of the opposite of that. And it's really sad to see Daryl in a situation where someone's going, 'Here's a nice thing,' and he's like, 'I don't think I deserve nice things'. And, the constant looking for Rick and it's a lot like what happens to Carol when she becomes obsessed about something and she's on a mission and you can't stop her and she's checked out and she was headed in that direction. He was doing the same thing."
Reedus echoes McBride's thoughts that Daryl is still hiding things from Carol. "I feel like Daryl and Carol tell each other everything and he just told her part of it," he says. "And when he gets close to the area where that cabin is, he knows exactly where he is. And somehow indirectly, now they're in it and the pizza's in the oven and now he's got to eat it. And the thing with with Leah and him is, it could have been, would have been, might've been, should have, but he can't go there. He can't take a step in that direction. And it's just, now it's his fault. And that's the part of the story that has kept him from telling anybody."
While showrunner Angela Kang has teased there is more to come with the Leah story, what remains to be seen is what the future holds for Daryl and Carol (beyond their impending Walking Dead spin-off, that is), and how this figure from the past might play into it.
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AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.