This week's episode of "The Walking Dead" saw a measure of revenge, two leaders losing their grip, and even a little bit of heroism. Creator Robert Kirkman spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about last night's shocking episode and its chiller of an ending. Of course, SPOILERS lie ahead, so those of you who have yet to see the new episode should think about hitting the 'Back' button right about now...
After their harrowing experience in Woodbury, we saw Glenn and Maggie's relationship put to the test, with Maggie pulling further away from the increasingly vengeance-minded Glenn. "These are two characters that are very much in love, but have both suffered extreme trauma being put into a situation where they're pretty much helpless and not being able to do anything about it," Kirkman said. "It weighs on the psyche in a big way and both of them are lashing out in ways they'll regret -- and that they wouldn't normally do -- just because they're dealing with so much trauma."
Speaking of relationships, the Dixon brothers reunion was a tense one as viewers probably expected. Their stark difference in character was made evident when Daryl aided a stranded latino family while Merle looked on. Kirkman points out that the strange brotherly relationship is rooted in shared abuse, something that will be touched on more in the weeks to come. "The scene with Daryl's back and having it be this touching moment between he and Merle, these are two very gruff characters who don't often exhibit those kind of emotions toward each other. Merle was very concerned for his brother and hadn't known that he'd endured those things. There's a little bit of history there and you get to see another level of their relationship. There will definitely be more of that kind of stuff coming up," Kirkman explained.
Of course, don't expect Merle's return to the group to be met with anything but resistance, regardless of his assistance to Rick during the assault on the prison. "Merle is definitely complicit -- and all the things that happened with Glenn and to a lesser degree Maggie. He's not a good guy and they know him to not be a good guy. There's going to be huge conflict inside the prison when we come back to the next episode," he said. "I like the fact that Merle is such an unknown; you never really know what he's going to do. He's certainly going back with Daryl, and what comes of that is a big question. That's the beauty of Merle: you just don't know what he's going to do at any time. He could join the group with Rick. He could go back to the Governor. He's very much an X factor."
The climax of the episode saw The Governor gain a measure of revenge on Rick's group, retaliating on the prison with, as Kirkman puts it, "a Trojan Horse filled with zombies -- you move in, you check some things out and then you retreat. The Governor got some really good intel from that, but also, Rick and Glenn know exactly what they're up against. Things are going to be a lot more heated moving forward."
What did you think of last night's episode?