THR spoke with Norman Reedus about Episode 6. Story below.
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from episode 606, “Always Accountable,” of AMC’s The Walking Dead.]
AMC’s The Walking Dead continued to follow different factions of the survivors Sunday, putting its spotlight on Daryl (Norman Reedus), Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) this week in an episode that continued to see Steven Yeun’s (Glenn) name omitted from the opening credits.
As the trio continue to lead half of the massive walker herd away from Alexandria, a new group of fellow survivors opens fire on the trio, splitting Daryl (on his beloved motorcycle) and Abraham and Sasha (in their old clunker).
For Abraham and Sasha, the pursuit ends in a car crash and they shoot and kill their attackers. They take refuge in a building and leave a trail of clues for their expert tracker friend Daryl to find them. While they wait, Abraham finds a rocket launcher and, thanks to Sasha, transforms into a man capable of seeing hope in the new world (and hit on her).
Daryl, meanwhile, winds up losing his tail by cutting through the forest. After stashing his bike, Daryl crosses paths with three new strangers — an unnamed man (played by Austin Amelio) and two women who, acting out of fear, knock the surviving Dixon brother out after saying “We earned what we took” and confessing that they no longer feel the need to “kneel.” Daryl later insists that he’s not who the trio thinks he is and breaks free — taking their bag — after they look for someone named Patty in a gated area that has since been overtaken by the undead.
Back on his own, Daryl discovers that their bag contained insulin and opts to help his former captors. Shortly after they’re reunited, another group — this one led by a guy named Wade and lacking the bloody “W” of the killer Wolves — appears in a bid to bring the unnamed trio back to the camp from which they fled. Daryl helps the trio hide from Wade — who cuts off his cohort Cam’s (Matt Lowe) arm after he’s bitten without even flinching.
After ditching Wade (Darin Cooper) and company, Tina (Liz E. Morgan), the diabetic, later dies when they find a burned down house and when one of the bodies returns to live and bites her in the neck. Daryl then attempts to recruit the surviving duo — whose character names and actors are not mentioned in the closing credits in what may be the first nod to Negan and his group of Saviors.
Daryl questions how many walkers they’ve killed and learns that they’ve yet to take the life of any humans — and that they came from a camp where people trade anything and everything in exchange for safety. After Daryl recovers his motorcycle and plans to bring them back to Alexandria, the guy pulls a gun on him and they take off with his bike and crossbow.
As the episode concludes, Daryl — who finds a big rig hidden in the forest — picks up Abraham and Sasha as they begin to drive back to Alexandria and hear someone calling for help on his walkie.
We caught up with Reedus to discuss the episode and preview the final two episodes of 2015.
Whose voice yelled “Help!” on the walkie at the end of the episode? Was that Glenn — or Nicholas?
It’s not Glenn — but it’s somebody at Alexandria.
A lot of this season is about transformation. Daryl tries to bring these two back to Alexandria — and then they effectively carjack him. How will this change his approach to recruiting?
He’s a little less optimistic. That was the first time he did that on his own — and he trusted these people, who were digging a grave for their blonde friend. Daryl sees that they’re broken, too. He knows they’re not bad people but they’ve just been pushed to this limit and you have to look after yourself if you’re alone in this world. He makes his first big call and they screwed him over. It really had to do with that character — he thinks he can trust this guy and girl and Daryl lets them in. The whole time we were filming that, I kept thinking that Daryl let everyone down — including Rick — and he took it personally. You’ll see later on in other storylines that that really bites him on the ass.
One of Wade’s companions is bit in the arm and without missing a beat, asks for and has his arm chopped off — and Wade makes fun of him before going back to take his watch and toss his limb to the side like it’s trash.
That’s the reality — they’ve been around long enough to know that you have to cut that thing off real quick before it spreads and it may still spread. I remember when we cut Hershel’s (Scott Wilson) leg off and that was a wing and a prayer; we didn’t know it’d actually work. The same has happened to them: they’ve clearly done that before.
Daryl has lost his trademark motorcycle and crossbow. What lengths will he go to in order to get them back? He has said as much when the guy says, “I’m sorry,” and Daryl adds, “You will be.”
That had a double meaning. That’s Daryl saying, “I’m going to get you and you’ve pissed me off to the point of no return.” It’s Daryl thinking that if this is your game plan — to steal motorcycles and keep running — you’re just going to keep running. You can only survive in numbers in this world and if that’s your plan, you’ll get caught and will run out of gas and can’t haphazardly steal everybody’s stuff; you’ll never get very far. It had that meaning and it also had the, “I’m going to beat the shit out of you when I find you” [meaning]. No one takes Daryl’s motorcycle and crossbow! C’mon!
There’s a glimmer of hope with a flirtation between Abraham and Sasha; Rick and Jessie have kissed; Maggie is pregnant … . Given where Daryl is now and what he may return to at Alexandria, does he have hope of finding love?
I don’t think it’s the first thing on his mind; but yeah, I think it’s possible and I think he might have already found it and hasn’t realized it. I think maybe he’ll find something else, who knows. It could be one of those things; but there’s definitely hope, especially with who he is now vs. who he was before. He’s turning into someone who would allow that.
He’s become such a leader at Alexandria. Will Daryl still want to be a recruiter going forward or does he want a more active role in guarding their camp?
I don’t think Daryl has ever been type of guy who wants to stay within the walls of anywhere. There was a storyline happening at the beginning of the season where Daryl wanted to go out and Rick said, “I don’t want anybody going out.” Then Daryl disagreed with him and it turned to Rick saying Daryl was right, that we should go get people. And then it bites Daryl on the ass. He’s definitely not overly excited about doing that any longer. But he will probably get to a point where it depends on who you meet; it’s all individual judgment calls. I don’t know that he made a bad judgment call in inviting those two to Alexandria; they were probably hanging on a thread whether they were worthy or not worthy and, because of fear, they made that decision to take his stuff and run and get a jump on him. It’s not like they were bad people and they did that. They were good people and were doing what ever they have to do in order to survive.
Daryl, Sasha and Abraham are heading back to Alexandria — but half this massive walker herd has already arrived there. What might their return to the community look like?
It’s going to look like the end of the world — again. They don’t know; they just heard a horn and a “help!” They know that there’s a large group of walkers that are behind them and it’s a race to find out who that they love is still alive. They don’t know; it could be Wolves No. 2 or it could be a herd, they have no clue. So when they get there, their jaws drop.
Who is the biggest threat to Daryl, Abraham and Sasha right now: the group that Wade belongs to, the Wolves or the walkers?
All three — and they’re all happening right now.
This season has been relentless in the threats to every part of our splintered group; the threats are just everywhere.
You ain’t seen nothing yet. There are no slow episodes left; it’s 100 miles an hour from here on in.
Structurally, this whole season is taking place effectively over one or two days but so much has happened to everyone. Have we seen the end of stand-alone episodes and will the final two episodes of 2015 be moving forward chronologically?
It’s still a chronological story but from here on out it’s 100 percent chronological. If you’re pulling throttle on a motorcycle and you hear it revving up and it gets to the loudest engine noise you can possibly make, we don’t stop there for the rest of the season to the point where the bike is shaking beneath your legs and you think it will just explode. It’s insane from here on in.
Glenn’s fate has not yet been revealed. Several fans are trying to prove that a guy of Glenn’s size can physically hide under a dumpster. What do you think about that theory?
(Laughing) I saw what I saw [in the episode]! You can make theories this way or that way but what ever you see is right. So what ever your take on that is, you saw what you saw and you’re reacting to what you saw. I had the same feeling that everyone else had when they saw it and I was in the episode — I was pissed! I was mad at AMC and mad at everybody — but that’s the point. He’s such a beloved character and I’m rooting for him, too. But I saw what I saw.
How deadly will the final two episodes of this half-season be, including the midseason finale?
There’s a lot of shit coming down. I’m completely blown away by the caliber of what we’re doing right now. I left set [the other night shooting the season finale] at 7 a.m. and talked to Andy on the phone for the entire drive. We’re overly excited; it’s so good. When we first started this and people said, “It’s a zombie show,” it’s not a zombie show right now. We have zombies but it’s totally not a zombie show and everyone will know it. I’m really excited about this episode; it really starts the barometer of skyrocketing straight up into space. It’s a full-throttle show from here on out and this kicks it off. It’s full speed ahead from here.
Beyond The Walking Dead, AMC just ordered your motorcycle docuseries. Will we see anyone from The Walking Dead universe participate? How would you describe the show?
It’s like what Anthony Bourdain does with travel and food. That show was mostly about food when you first saw it and it morphed into him meeting people and having life experiences with them and hearing their stories — with food as the common denominator. And that’s where we’re starting with our show. We’re going to have cool guests, go to cool places and it’s going to be a fun ride. It’s not just for motorcycle enthusiasts; it’s also for people interested in travel and seeing things they wouldn’t normally see. We’re going to try to make it as though they’re on that journey with us. We have really cool places that we’re mapping out right now with cool guests. I’m really excited for it; it’s going to be very fun.
This season is going to be a crazy ride.