The Walking Dead just introduced a total Jerky McJerkface
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Sunday's episode of The Walking Dead, "Promises Broken."
Our heroes on The Walking Dead have encountered a lot of terrible people over the years: the Governor, Gareth, Joe, Negan, Alpha, Beta… the list goes on. But while we may not have met the most terrifying villain of them all on Sunday's episode, "Promises Broken," we certainly may have met the jerkiest.
Ladies and gentlemen, meet Sebastian Milton, played to perfection by Teo Rapp-Olsson. It's as if TWD producers entered their secret laboratory and created the perfect Jerky McJerkface using all the worst traits of every preppy a-hole in every teen 1980s movie ever created. Imagine Steff from Pretty in Pink mixed with Hardy Jenns from Some Kind of Wonderful mixed with Roy Stalin from Better off Dead mixed with pretty much every 1980s character ever played by William Zabka (The Karate Kind, Just One of The Guys, Back to School, etc.).
Not only does Sebastian's super-preppy ensemble make him look like a permanent resident and favored golf partner of Judge Smails at Bushwood Country Club, but his over-the-top entitlement over being the son of Commonwealth leader Pamela Milton is a perfect chef's kiss when it comes to people you want to immediately punch in the face — as Eugene did after being on the receiving end of some of the jerkiest remarks ever recorded on this show. Comments like:
"What the hell was that about? You just disrupted our date!"
"You have no idea who you are talking to!"
"You stupid bitch! Look what you just did to my girlfriend."
Keep in mind all the aforementioned remarks were uttered after Eugene and Stephanie had saved this little snot-nosed bastard's life! That was because Sebastian was too busy sucking face with his girlfriend to notice the encroaching zombies ready to have their own picnic on his flesh.
We spoke to showrunner Angela Kang to get her take on the latest entrant to the Walking Dead universe (who ends up playing a massive role in the comic book on which the show is based). We also had Kang weigh in on all the other big developments of the latest episode, from Lance Hornsby's endgame to Father Gabriel's hesitation to Negan uttering another bombshell to Maggie.
ENTERTAINMENT WEKELY: What kind of game is Lance Hornsby playing here with having our group clearing out buildings of walkers, and then putting Eugene close to Pamela Milton's son, and then taking Yumiko's brother and asking her to hold off for a few hours. What's his angle here?
ANGELA KANG: I think for Hornsby, there's much more to learn over time, of course, but this guy, he wheels and deals. It's a different sort of a character than our people really have had to deal with because they're not really dealing with big communities like this that have the kind of government that this place has and has somebody who is kind of a fixer and gets favors from people and moves the levers of power. And he's definitely somebody that, if he's on your side, really, really good things can happen for you. And so I think for all of our people, they're like, "Well it seems like so far what he is doing is helping us out."
But all of our characters, they're always keeping an eye out for like, "Is this legit? What is this place about?" But so far, no harm, no foul. So they're kind of going along with it. Yumiko obviously is like, "You just took my brother. What is that, dude?" And he's like, "No, no, no. It's all part of a plan." Josh Hamilton, who plays Hornsby, is really fun for us to have on set. And I think he's such a sweet guy and he's good at playing this character because he is a guy who, it's all chess moves to him, and he's just trying to figure out, "If I push on this and I pull on that and I get this person do that, and I just line it up this way, then all the dominoes will fall."
All right. we need to talk more about Pamela's son. First of all, I don't even think his name was said unless I missed it, but I'm assuming it's Sebastian.
It is Sebastian. I can't remember if it's said or not.
This guy, just from the first second we saw him on screen, just walking, before he even opened his mouth, looked like the biggest Jerky McJerkface. Can you tell us how you all envisioned this character?
This character, in the comic book, he's a little s‑‑‑. And so we just thought that's kind of a fun element to have, the spoiled rich son of the leader of this place. Clearly [Walking Dead comic book creator Robert Kirkman] has a problem with the children of people in power, as we found out with Deanna's son too. But this actor, Teo Rapp-Olsson, again, think he's great. And again, such a sweet guy, really, really fun having him. But he's just good at putting on this thing of like, "I think I'm better than all of you." But there's moments where, honestly, I even feel a little sorry for him because he can never measure up in some ways. So it's just this weird thing, there's kind of the patheticness, but he's also quite dangerous in the way that he's just willing to use his position to do whatever he wants to do.
The costuming is so perfect on him.
I agree. Our costumer, Vera [Chow], she did an amazing job pulling together his look. It just looks like, "I'm at a country club in the apocalypse." Which is ridiculous.
Tell me about the interaction between Gabriel and the Reapers religious figure and how that might impact Gabriel moving forward.
For Gabriel, he's been on this long journey where there are times where he is questioning his faith and other times when he feels like he feels the presence of God. And there are times when he feels like God is not with him. And I think that for somebody who's leaned on his faith for so long, feeling like he doesn't hear the voice of God is really disturbing to him and it's sad. And I think he's somebody that's just finding his way in the world and embracing the warrior side of himself. But when he sees this person who clearly is a religious figure attached to these Reapers, it shakes him a bit and it shakes him that it appears that this guy is able to converse with God. Like what does that all mean?
So for Gabriel, just in the moment, he's like, "Am I seeing this because I was supposed to? Is this a message of some sort? What am I supposed to take from it?" This person who is coming into this graveyard is not coming as an enemy, ready to kill. It seems like it is a man of faith who was there to meditate and think on God, and so for Gabriel it leads him to an interesting crossroads because he can't even admit to Maggie later that he let somebody go. But I think just the fact that it was not a warrior but a minister that came out just made him pause for a moment.
I didn't think it could get more brutal than Negan's "Glenn being put down a dog" line. But then he says to Maggie here, "If I could do it all over again, I would've killed every single one of you." What does he mean by that? Does he mean because of payback for what they did at the satellite station, or because he would still be in power and have his home at the Sanctuary?
I think all of it. In Negan's own weird way, this is him being honest and talking leader to leader with Maggie. I think if you're just talking purely from a strategic standpoint, he should have killed them all. If he killed all of those leaders that were in that lineup, he'd probably still be leading the Sanctuary. He thought, "I'm just going to make a lesson with a couple of people, and then you all will bow to me."
Strategically speaking, from Negan's point of view, that did not work out well. So the thing that we felt was true to Negan is that he has his regrets, but I think he feels honesty really just includes, "I'm going to tell you all the things I think, even if you don't want to hear it, and even if it's harsh, but we're talking now about a military mission and, and this is what I want you to know about what I think about the past and what I might have done wrong and what strategic regrets I had."
And not all of the people who were in the Saviors were bad. By and large, I do think that the Saviors did a lot of evil things, but there were a lot of normal people that were living at the Sanctuary and they were not well-treated by the Saviors, by any means, but he did keep them alive for a long time. And I think there's still a part of him that's like, "Yeah, maybe my system was broken, but everybody lived to see a lot of days." We always thought that that was interesting. And the great thing was, when I talked to [Negan actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan], I was like, "You're going to have to sit across from Maggie and tell her that you would've killed them all." And he was like, "But that's what I would think." I was like, "Great. So we're on the same page."
And Lauren had such an interesting reaction to it afterwards, too. You can just really see her mind working, thinking it all through for a really long time before she's like, "Why would you say that?" And it was not the performance we expected, but it's a performance that I just loved.
Where did this idea came from to have our group of Maggie and Negan here adopt the tactics of the Whisperers and use them against the Reapers?
It all came out of a [writers' room] discussion. And one of the things we talk about is that with every group they encounter, everybody has slightly different tactics. And for our heroes, there are tactics that they don't want to use necessarily. I don't think they think that the Whisperer thing is really a healthy way to do anything, but they've got small numbers going up against a really tough crew. The mission could not be more important for their communities back at home, and so I think they're just in a place of, "We have to do whatever it takes. And we've learned that this can be effective with people who don't know what's coming. So let's use it." At this point, anything that they've learned over the course of the apocalypse is fair game for them to use as a tactic if it helps the larger cause. So yeah, it came out of a discussion that was, "What are the things that they've learned from all of their enemies, and what can they use now?"
We see that Daryl's about to tell Leah something at the end here before they get radioed back What was he going to tell her?
He was considering whether he should let her in on it anything, but I think in some ways he had an instinct like, "Oh, there's that person I thought I knew. She doesn't just follow orders. She does have a heart. She is moved by human tragedy." And so that starts to change a little bit of his calculus. Whereas if she had followed Pope's order on the radio to just kill them and killed that child, then he probably would've killed her right there on the spot. So he's really seeing some conflicting signs because he can tell that she is bothered by the things that Pope is doing. The whole episode is him feeling out where she really stands, and can she be an ally or has she drunk all the Kool-Aid?
Okay, just one more episode left until he head into a break here. What ca you tell us about it, and did you approach it any differently since it is not a full midseason finale but rather the end of the first third of the season?
What I can tease is this conflict between the Reapers and our team on the outside, which includes Maggie, Negan, Gabriel, and Elijah at this point, and then our person on the inside, Daryl — all those things are starting to converge on each other. Also, we're going to see that things in Alexandria are being pushed even more to the brink.
So the way we approached it actually was kind of like a normal midseason finale, because we had worked on the general shape of episodes 1 through 9 before we knew that this was the last season. And then there some things that had to change along the way once we went and did the season 10 extension episodes. And then there are a lot of things that changed along the way because we're trying to hide our pandemic limitations, but there's pandemic limitations in every single episode that we've produced and are producing. So there are certain things that we had planned to do in episode 8 that we just simply could not. But other than that, we're trying to deliver on a big fun story line there. It's not going to totally close out all the stories because we've got a lot of threads going, but it we'll see things starting to crash together and get to a really a high point in the drama.
Will we meet Pamela Milton in episode 8?
We will not, but she will have her entrance soon.