The countdown to the midseason finale of AMC's "The Walking Dead" is nearing midnight. Writer and executive producer of the series Robert Kirkman spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the set-up for the inevitable Woodbury Wolverines vs Prisonville Pirates showdown.
The series has never shied away from gruesome, uncomfortable scenes, but this week's torture of fan favorites Glenn and Maggie at the hand's of Merle left some squirming. Kirkman insists that whatever viewers are feeling, the writers are feeling ten-fold. "I think that’s really the thing to note. When you work on something like [the Walking Dead], a lot of people think, 'Oh, these sick and twisted people doing these crazy TV shows and comics and whatever...' But we’re feeling that stuff in the writers’ room as much as hopefully you are when you’re sitting on your couch. But you’ve got to show that Woodbury is a dangerous place and these are the kind of things that would happen if they took these people captive. But we like Lauren Cohan, we like Steven Yeun. It’s not easy for us either," he said.
In Kirkman's comic series, Rick and Michonne took the place of Glenn and Maggie as The Governor's torture subjects. The writer points to adapting similar scenes to new characters as one part of the creative process that keeps him on his toes. "That’s my most favorite aspect of working on this show. Being able to tell the same story, adapt the story, but tweak it in a way so that it is fresh and original for me. Glenn was there in the mix in the comic book series but having Maggie there instead [of Michonne and Rick] is cool because it not only changes the story you’re writing it also changes the road map a little bit moving forward so there’s new things that can come out of it, which is very exciting," Kirkman said. "I really like that there is a significant portion of our audience that is very familiar with the comic book series and when you do these things and you change things up it puts them on their toes too. It takes away that air of 'Oh, I know what’s coming because I’m a comic book fan.' I think that’s a lot of fun."
One of the more puzzling scenes featured a crazed hermit endangering the group when a herd of walkers swarms on his shack. Kirkman points out that his dialogue was meant to point out that he was clearly losing his marbles. He explained, "That’s the reason Michonne killed him. He was clearly losing his mind and was not all there and was not only a clear danger to them in that moment but would have been dangerous to have around in the future as well. That guy had completely lost it--that’s what we were trying to convey with that dialog."
I for one am not looking forward to the lull after the next week's midseason finale, especially given the more frenetic pace the series has been going at this season. What did you think of the latest episode?