The Walking Dead has undergone an incredible transformation this season. From the time jumps to Rick and Maggie’s departures to the Whisperers, the show feels like a reboot done right. And we’re not the only ones who think that. “The performances in the back eight are just ridiculous,” Norman Reedus recently told Entertainment Weekly.
“We really sort of got this show to a point where it’s so direct and it’s so honest. The chaos is all there, but it’s a different vibe right now, and it’s a different sort of storytelling. It’s very interesting. There are no dull moments. There’s no grandiose gestures of importance coming from anybody. Everyone’s on the hoof, so to speak. It’s a brand-new back eight, and it’s super good. Super, super good.” He’s right, the back half trims a lot of fat and focuses on the main problems at hand, namely the Whisperers.
So with Maggie gone and Jesus dead, it seems natural that Daryl, who has been here since the beginning, will have to assume a bigger role. “I’ve always said Daryl’s not the type of guy that’s going to build a soapbox and get up and give inspirational speeches to large groups of people,” Reedus told EW. “That’s just not who he is. He’s an observer. He listens and he figures out a way to cut that distance in half. He’s a no-bullshit guy. All of a sudden, all of these things have happened. We’ve lost Jesus. We’re bringing Jesus back. You kind of have a glimpse into the world of the Whisperers a little bit through this back door. He’s trying to figure things out.”
Even though Tara is technically in charge of Hilltop, fans will get to see Daryl co-lead the community, but it’s not the Daryl you might be accustomed to. “I mean, there are certain moments in the next two episodes where Daryl didn’t get in someone’s face. He kind of took a step back, and he’s watching,” Reedus said.
“He’s waiting for a little crack to happen in that dam to get in there and open it up and let those waters out. He’s very clever in a way that he’s going to play both sides, in a way. He’s going to try to get into the psychology of that mindset, of what it takes to live a life in a dead man’s face and walk among the dead. He’s trying to figure out a way to keep the people safe, but also try to crack that egg and figure out what’s happening, you know? It’s very complicated, and there’s a lot of moving parts.”
For more, catch the rest of the interview over at Entertainment Weekly. The Walking Dead returns for the second half of the season this Sunday, February 10th @9PM.