Walking Dead Finale Post Mortem: Robert Kirkman Talks [Spoiler]'s Return, Defends Andrea

wdblog2Warning: If you have yet to watch this week’s midseason finale of The Walking Dead, avery your eyes. Everyone else, you may proceed…

Sunday’s Walking Dead midseason finale featured gunfights galore, exploding fish tanks, tense confrontations, surprise comebacks (Shane!), child zombie murder (Penny!), adult human murder (Oscar!) and a doozy of a cliffhanger.

Below, series creator Robert Kirkman helps make sense of what went down during the action-packed hour and offers a peek at what’s to come when the show returns on February 10.

RELATED | Walking Dead Midseason Recap: Highlights From the Action-Packed Hour

TVLINE | I’m impressed you were able to keep Jon Bernthal’s return a secret. How’d you pull that off?
We stepped up security. And everyone is a little more mindful of just how many eyes are on this set and on this production. It was extremely difficult. Jon was working on the Martin Scorsese movie The Wolf of Wall Street and he flew into Atlanta and… we had to guard him at all times. It was quite an undertaking keeping this under wraps.

TVLINE | Shane was conspicuously not among the voices from the past Rick heard on the prison phone a few episodes back. Were you intentionally saving him for this episode?
Exactly. We didn’t want to telegraph things too much. If people knew he was in the mix it would’ve been a little less surprising if he showed up when he did. So it was a little preservation at work there.

TVLINE | Rick went from hearing ghosts to seeing them. Is he completely losing it?
That guy definitely has issues. He’s a person who’s bearing the weight of everyone’s survival on his shoulders, and I think that’s become a little bit unbearable. And his wife died. He’s certainly spiraling out of control. Now he’s starting to see things. It’s definitely a real problem.

TVLINE | Andrea finally started asking some tough questions of the Governor, which may blunt some of the fan grumbling that she’s been utterly clueless this season. Care to defend her state of mind?
There’s a lot of wishful thinking going on there. I will defend to my dying day that if you were in [her] situation and you were presented with Woodbury you would want that to be [real] more than anything else in the world. And it’s about her desire to want the Governor to be the person she wants him to be, and she wants Woodbury to be the place she wants it to be. And it’s clouding her judgment to a certain extent. And I think we’re all guilty of that at times. It is hard for the audience to realize that she is not seeing all of the things that we are seeing. You have to keep that in mind. But now she’s becoming a little bit more aware of what exactly is going on. She’s seen Penny. She’s seen the fish tanks full of severed heads…

michTVLINE | Why did Michonne remain silent during her showdown with Andrea? She had an opportunity to get her up to speed on a few things and she didn’t take it. Why?
Michonne is a very cautious character. She’s not quick to act. She watches her surroundings and makes very informed decisions based on that. This was a moment of heartbreak for her. She was there to get revenge on the Governor but also to save Andrea to a certain extent. By allowing Andrea to see her in that moment out of context she knew that there was nothing she could say that wouldn’t seem like she was trying to hide something or justify her actions in some way. She clearly [looks like] the villain there. As far as Andrea knows, she just came in and totally attacked that guy. That was the moment she [realized] that she lost Andrea forever.

TVLINE | How will Penny’s “death” affect the Governor?
It will radically change the Governor that we’ve come to know. We’ve definitely seen his dark side; we know that he’s definitely not a good person. But we haven’t seen him activated to the extent that he’s going to be activated in the back half of the season. He’s going to be much more engaged and a little bit more aware of the threat that the prison represents and he’s going to be on the warpath to a certain extent.

TVLINE | Wasn’t the Governor taking a risk parading Daryl out in public like that? It’s only going help Andrea connect the dots faster.
That’s entirely true and that might be something that he wants. His tactic now might be to be a lot more open with her and to see where the chips fall. And also to show her, “Hey, look: These are your people and they attacked us.” People died in that attack. It was definitely something that disrupted Woodbury. If anything I would say that it was his first step in testing her loyalty.

TVLINE | Why did you decide that now was the right time to introduce another character from the comics, in this case Tyrese?
You always have to be injecting new blood into the show or else we would have a cast-less show. [Laughs] And moving into the second half of this season, we thought it would be a good time to add in new elements while we’re wrapping up some things and setting up some big conflicts. We thought it was a good time to throw another factor into this two-group conflict. We’re trying to mix things up a bit.

TVLINE | Is TV Tyrese fundamentally the same as Comic Book Tyrese?
Definitely. There’s always going to be deviations on what’s set up in the comic book. But I think Tyrese is going to be one of the characters that’s pretty [similar].

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58 Comments
  1. Kevin says:

    Amazing.

  2. adam says:

    Promo ruined It Daryl WILL LIVE! :)

  3. Venkman007 says:

    F**king Phenomenal episode!!!

  4. adam says:

    Welcome To The Show Tyrese! Hope You Don’t “Lose Your Head” lol.

  5. Mandy says:

    I love Andrea!!! haters gonna hate

    Woooowww Tyresse, they better put Tyresse with Carol, that is the only thing I like about Carol in the comics, I really don’t like Carol in the tv show but if she gets a relationship with Tyresse I will like this. It has to happen js!!!

    • Kevin says:

      Carol’s a flake in the comics. She’s so much better in the show.

      • Mandy says:

        Carol tv show is the same of carol comic but without sophia. Maybe she now knows how to use a gun (no she doesn’t she almost shot rick) but still I don’t like her. Too much Mary Sue like but that is my opinion

  6. Ruby says:

    I have never been so happy to see someone’s face as I was Jon Bernthal’s in this ep. He left a BIG hole and it was nice to have him back, if only for a second.
    .
    I’m less sure about the direction they’ve taken the Governor as compared to the comics…the way it’s played so far, Michonne DOES look kind of paranoid and crazy when it comes to Woodbury, where in the comics it was absolutely clear why she hated that place so much. I have no problem with cloudy motives generally, I just don’t think they’ve pulled that off here. The Governor in the comics struck terror on every page. This Governor is kind of a woobie, though I’m sure he’ll be worse when they come back. (Glad they did away with the graphic rape scenes though, at least in this half of the season.)

    • Chuck Finley (AJ) says:

      As much as I would have liked it, you just can’t have the Governor from the comics o the TV show. Not even on cable. They have a lot of elements of him and his story is pretty similar, but what he did to Michonne in the comics and how she retaliated is one of the high points of the comic.

    • Alan says:

      did you not see the gov at the end, this season has been about how he gets to that point in the comics. anyway while it was cool to see shane again i dont think he left a big hole, the gov took his spot nicely

    • Agreed. I’ve never read the comics, but the way Michonne has been portrayed so far, I’m not loving her. I understand her motivations, but I don’t see a real friendship between her and Andrea. In the show, she seems to want to create standoff situations (much like Merle) when it would be smarter to just avoid them and move on. And that scowl, holy crap. Sunday night’s episode was the first time I saw a different expression on her face (fear). I can’t even make that face without warping my vision and feeling pain after a few seconds.

    • Deion says:

      And there you have it! I was very confused about the Governor, wondering when he would make that snap. But some of the things he did, they just won’t get into on AMC. That’s Game of Thrones level villainy right there. I’m also pretty sure they intend to preserve Andrew Lincoln’s sex appeal, so that cuts out a major plot point there. I will sit stunned looking at my TV if this guy turns into the real Governor.

  7. fiona says:

    They killed one black guy for a new black guy >_<

    Well either way I'll miss oscar, definitely a much better character than axel, but very glad to see Tyrese.

    Oh, hell. I had a feeling the governor would turn on Merle. Time for a redneck brother smack down on Woodbury. Feels like forever waiting for next half of the season -__-

    • Racing says:

      I know right…
      Is there a quota on the show for black males? There has never been more than 2 in the gang for more than one episode. As soon as a new one is introduced, the clock for the previous one is winding down.
      I wish they had found a story for Tdawg and kept him with the group. And yes, we didn’t know Oscar yet but Tyrese is now here, so see ya Oscar.
      If I were Tyrese, I’d start watching my back when the next black male actor shows up on set.

  8. cj says:

    Awesome episode but obviously Andrea will save Daryl and Merle and turn on the governor. Preview showed as much. Can I just say how great Carl and Beth and Herschel are.

    • Jenn says:

      How did you see that in the preview. What I saw in the preview was Andrea still with the governor. If she helps Daryl and Merle she cannot stay there.

      • A says:

        I don’t know if Andrea saves them, but it looks like Daryl and Merle both get out of Woodbury. The first scene of the preview looked like more smoke bombs were going off behind the Gov. in the arena, we saw Daryl, and we saw Glen yelling, “What the hell is he doing here?!” I’m guessing he’s talking about Merle.

    • Alan says:

      carl beth and herschel have been a real highlight for me so far this season

  9. caro says:

    Ugh, I hope he’s joking about Michonne losing Andrea forever. Their (albeit brief) friendship has been one of my favorite things about season 3.

    But yeah…I think if you look at things from Andrea’s POV, Michonne did look a little crazy at that moment, especially since Andrea hadn’t seen the zombie heads or Penny yet. Hopefully now that Andrea’s seen what the Governor has planned for Daryl (and Merle but I doubt Andrea cares about him), she’ll realize she needs to work with the Dixon brothers and they all need to get the heck out of there!

  10. Marlaina says:

    My heart literally stopped when Jon Berthal’s beautiful bearded face appeared on my tv screen. Big surprise there. Couldn’t agree more with his departure leaving a massive hole. I’m hoping he will pop up from time to time now that Rick is hearing and seeing ghosts.

    I was terrified for Daryl at the end of the episode. I can finally breath knowing he will get out of that sticky situation. I just wonder how Merle will affect him and his role within the group.

    • Marlaina says:

      *Bernthal
      I hate when I post something and afterwards find my spelling mistakes, especially names.

    • Alan says:

      shame fx in the uk spoiled it with their promos, i knew it was coming all weekend so it was no surprise for me

    • Amy Coyle says:

      Ohmygod I so agree with you, I was so happy to see Jon aka Shane!!! He’s still hot, even with the beard! That was a nice little surprise!

      • Nory says:

        Ok, soooo… It’s only December 5th and I’m going through withdrawl, so I’m sitting in front of my tv after a day of work, watching the black and white version of the pilot since I have it on my DVR… I have all the episode from season 3 as well for when I get a bit desperate…lol. Anyone else feel the same? Heck I miss my TWD peeps :( come on February!!

  11. Montie says:

    Also, obviously Merle turns up at the prison based on Glenn’s “What the hell is HE doing here?!” reaction.

  12. Babybop says:

    THANK GOD Daryl was in the preview. I was freaking out. I couldn’t wait until February to see if my favorite character lived or died.
    In other news… Another freaking fantastic episode. This show needs an Emmy.

    • Alan says:

      deserves one but wont get one because its a show about zombies and the emmys dont like shows that go outside their little box

  13. JC says:

    If Carol and Daryl hookup and become a couple, it will be hard to come up with a couple nickname for them since their names rhyme. Caryl? Darol? Nothing works.

  14. Nory Garcia says:

    I HATE MID SEASON FINALEEEEEES, AAAAAHHHHH!!! February is too far awayyyyyyy…. Ok now that, that’s out of my system. Uuuhhhh in feel so much better. Not!!

  15. billie says:

    hugghhh ,Can someone please give a clue to Andrea ! I was expecting the whole episode that she might run onto Rick or Maggie but nothing , even though she saw Daryl she can’t to him (yet ? ) .I don’t want her on the governor’s side , she’s my favorite on TWD.

  16. billie says:

    And please give an actual mouth to Michonne , the girl clearly doesn’t know how to use one, can’t she just yell at Andrea ” HEY I FOUND YOUR FRIENDS ,ALSO THE GOVERNOR IS A DICK “

    • Alan says:

      she doesnt care anymore, just like we dont. andrea would have just found some way to rationalise it, so why bother having the arguement

  17. Nory says:

    Billie I sooooo agree with you on the Michonne and Andrea thing!!

  18. Axe handle says:

    Who gets “dibs” on Oscar’s slippers?

  19. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I still haven’t learned that this is the one show I can’t read audience comments for, because those damn comic book readers love to tell everyone exactly what’s going to happen in future episodes. If I miss an episode and get something spoiled, that I know I can’t be mad about, because the episode has aired, but spoiling deaths of characters for future episodes? That’s really uncool. To all those who keep those kinds of tidbits to themselves, I thank you.
    .
    The episode was good. I hate Andrea less and actually feel like I’m starting to get her. It was so awesome to see Shane again, I screamed with joy. But he did look like Wolverine in that scene. I was surprised to learn that Beth was only 17. That actress looks way older. I was really surprised the Governor turned on Merle like that. I think he needs Merle. Merle is the most loyal rabid dog. It’s going to be a long wait to February, but the one good thing about that is it will be a seamless transition into Mad Men when Walking Dead finishes. There shouldn’t be any kind of a wait.

    • LM says:

      I don’t really think the Governor is turning on Merle, actually. Earlier in the episode, they talked about finding Daryl and turning him into a spy for their side. I mean, yeah, the Governor is obviously pissed at Merle for the Michonne situation, but I think Merle’s going to be the spy now.

  20. Nory says:

    I love spoilers!! They help me sleep at night.. LoL ps. Unless someone good is dying :(

  21. shane says:

    Shud defantily find away to bring shane back as part of the group mybe a future episode flashin back to when rick an carl killd him of were shane gets stabd. Passes out stagers towards carl an rick so they think he is a walkker but he isn’t ;)then carls shot graces shane shane drops and scutters off into the woods as the herd of zombies come thru just an idea haha

    • Alan says:

      that is quite possibly the worst idea ive ever read. it would completely negate one of the most powerful moments the show has ever had just to bring back a character who had already run his course by the time he left

  22. Haider says:

    It would be mad if Shane came into the new series some how. Even though rick killed him in season 2

  23. Hope says:

    It is a shame the governor is not as evil in the series as he was in the comic. The part when he raped Michonne should have been used to explain why she hates him so much. Also I want Daryl to have a real relationship with an extremely hot character… He deserves it.

  24. john says:

    I found this while watching episodes on the interweb and found it interesting.

    Next Episode: 9. The Suicide King S03E09 / Air Date: 10 February 2013
    (Scheduled to Air: 10 February 2013)
    Rick, Hershel, and Glenn find themselves trapped and having to battle against new foes, both walkers and living humans. Meanwhile, Shane attempts to bring Lori back to the farm

    So does this mean shane is coming back or are they all seeing his ghost????

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