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Walking Dead EP Unpacks Daryl and Carol's Fractured Friendship: 'There Are Things That Can't Be Unsaid'

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Ahead of Sunday’s new episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead (9/8c), showrunner Angela Kang is looking back to contemplate a way forward for two fan favorites: Daryl and Carol. Since they’ll be the focus of their own spinoff when the franchise’s original series concludes its run in 2022, we know that they’re gonna kiss and make up after their epic blowout. The question is… how? How is he going to forgive his bestie for taking a chance that he believes killed his crush, Connie?

“My feeling is that Daryl is a swirl of emotions,” the EP tells TVLine, “and he’s having a hard time processing them. He cares so deeply for Carol, so [before the March 7 episode,] it’s been hard for him to say anything to her very directly about how he felt about Connie being buried in that cave.”

When he did speak, his words were especially harsh. It was “a pretty big fight,” Kang acknowledges. “In some ways, the truths that come out between people who really care about each other can be the most painful.

“But at the same time, afterwards, Carol’s like, ‘Well, I’ve gotta fix the door, we have to stay here tonight,’” she continues. Carol did the only thing she could: forge on with practical matters. “That sort of speaks to the fact that they’ve had this horrible fight, and it’s painful. There are things that can’t be unsaid that came out of that.”

Now, heads will have to get a whole lot cooler before they can prevail over the duo’s fiery tendencies. “There is repair to be done on both sides,” Kang says, “but at the same time, it’s not like Carol went stomping off into the woods right after that, either.” In other words, like all friends, these two can fight bitterly — and nonetheless remain friends.