Norman Reedus says there's no 'friendship bracelet' with Negan on The Walking Dead
The recent Feb. 28 "Home Sweet Home" episode of The Walking Dead featured the long-awaited super awkward reunion between Maggie and Negan, and Lauren Cohan explained to EW how Maggie is dealing with not only being back, but bringing young Hershel into a community with the man who murdered his father. But while there does not appear to be any thawing in Maggie's feelings towards Negan, Sunday's episode left open how two other important folks — Carol and Daryl —feel about the villain-turned-ally.
We spoke to Melissa McBride and Norman Reedus to get their take on how their characters see Negan now. In the episode, Daryl even asked Carol point-blank if she had come around on Negan after she freed him to kill Alpha and he did exactly that. Carol responded to that question with a simple shrug, but what did the shrug mean?
"I think just uncertainty," says McBride. "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 what does McBride make of Carol's move to tell Maggie that she was the one who let Negan out of his cell. Was that a better-she-hear-it-from-me situation? "Yeah, I think Carol felt obligated to be the one," McBride says. "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."
But what about Daryl? He worked together with Negan to take out Beta, but is less quick to forgive grudges. And now he's got Carol on one side who's maybe moving past it, but Maggie back on the other side, whose husband was murdered at Negan's hand. So where is Daryl coming down on this whole issue?
"Maggie and Daryl definitely share something, and that was Glenn," says Reedus. "Daryl really took it hard, as did Maggie, but he took it upon himself that it was his fault that it happened. And he took that with him into the whole next season with the torture and all of that stuff. And they had conversations, Maggie and Daryl, about forgiveness and it's not your fault and all of these things. I think it gave them a closer bond. Having Maggie come back, it's a reminder of better times and of the people that we've lost."
That's not the only impact Maggie's return has on Daryl: "There's a familiarity there with her that brings Beth, that brings her soul, that brings Glenn, and having her back — they've been through all of this, and this Whisperer war and it's just been brutal, and it brings the sense of family back into it."
So what's the bottom line for Daryl Dixon? "If there's a moment where they have to decide whether it's Negan or Maggie, it's Maggie, for sure," says Reedus. 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."
Maybe not, but if they could introduce friendship bracelets ASAP on The Walking Dead that would be fantastic, thanks.