Today is Valentine’s Day and everyone around the world are celebrating love all day long. When love is in the air, it is a great feeling to see couples embracing that they are together and even yourself if you have a significant other. In the world of The Walking Dead, nobody knows when Valentine’s Day arrives since many people in the post-apocalyptic world does not keep track on what month it is depending on where they are located. In The Walking Dead, Daryl Dixon and Connie are not officially in a relationship. But due to their chemistry together, fans have wanted them to be together (including Angela Kang) so much, that they were unofficially called “Donnie.” But what would a normal date between these two would look like in the world of The Walking Dead?
Daryl wields a crossbow and it has been his signature weapon since the start of the show. In fact, he has had three different crossbows during the series. We have yet to see Connie use Daryl’s crossbows during their time together, so these two can go in a quiet area, tie down a walker to a tree, and use that walker as a target for all of the crossbow bolts to pierce. Maybe Connie could turn this into a game to see who gets the most points. Side note, why have I not seen the PSE Fang model that Daryl temporary had from seasons 7-8? It is my favorite crossbow model!
If Rick and Michonne could have a date at the carnival while trying to save a CGI deer, then so can Daryl and Connie as they can both go to that abandoned carnival that Rick and Michonne were once in. Connie could also most likely get Eugene to turn on the power so that way, they could enjoy the rides and games that are over there!
Fishing at The Oceanside
Daryl and Connie could not only enjoy the beach area at The Oceanside, they could also enjoy fishing over there too. Maybe Connie would also come up with a good idea to borrow one of their boats so that way, her and Daryl could be alone and away from every walker on land and away from the daily drama that stresses both of them out. Plus, not only would this date be good, but they would also bring home more fish for everyone.
I know that this would involve almost everyone at every community, but the thought of Daryl and Connie playing dress up for a party would be interesting. Who knows, maybe Connie might joke with Daryl and tell him to put on the Savior prisoner jumpsuit and Daryl could respond by telling her to put on a Whisperer mask or Negan’s jacket before they go to a costume party at Alexandria. Fun for a thought would you think?
A day in the park with Judith
Daryl, Connie, and Judith at the park would be a great day as this would be bonding time with all three of them. In fact, maybe add RJ to the mix too along with all of the children in each community. Daryl and Connie could watch them all play kids games that they used to do when they were their age and before the world went bad. Of course, Judith would not play tag with any walkers at all. Speaking of which, We need more scenes with Connie and Judith on the show!
These are some of the ideas I had in my head and I am sure that there are more that I can think of after this article is published. I also asked everyone on twitter who is their favorite The Walking Dead couple and the responses have been more Donnie in favor of the others. To be fair, Before Donnie existed, the fans were either Caryl (Carol and Daryl), or Beth and Daryl. I do like these responses however!
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Last fall, the mid-season finale of the tenth season of The Walking Dead ended with some of our fan favorite characters stuck in a cave as Alpha lured the group into a deadly trap. The mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead is in a matter of a few weeks away and I got a chance to watch the first two episodes of the second half. Here are my non-spoiler thoughts of The Walking Dead season 10, episode 9 titled “Squeeze” and the following episode “Stalker.”
The Daryl and Carol scenes on this episode were done really well and I am glad that the writers acknowledge that Carol is claustrophobic which was first mentioned a long time ago in the earlier seasons. Now that Carol is in a life and death situation, she had to overcome her fear of it during this episode. The scenes of everyone going through the tight spaces of the cave made me claustrophobic myself just by watching it. Daryl was the lead of the escape of the cave, but everyone played a good part of coming up with ideas on how to escape while they were trapped down there.
There were also times where two characters got into a near death experience in this episode and one of them happened at the middle of the episode. I was convinced that this person was going to be gone due to the very tight space. However, not everyone makes it out of the cave as the fate of some characters were left unknown after the escape. I wish I can say who it is, but I cannot so you will have to wait until the episode airs. Also to note, there is a head-shaking (and also tense) moment involving Carol in this episode that would make you question why would she do that in the first place. I have praised Melissa McBride in my past reviews with Carol’s mental state following how much Alpha put her through. But this time, I just hope that the payoff would be worth all the questionable decisions she has done so far this season. I know that previous characters were put in thye same situation as her and I called it out, but it is frustrating to see it happen with Carol episode after episode.
The Negan and Alpha scenes were very good and some of the dialouge were straight from the source materiel (Issues #155 and #156). There is one moment however that will be talked about through The Walking Dead community after this controversail scene will be shown to the world. In fact, I believe it will be the most memorable scene of the entire season as far as shock value it will be. I will also warn everyone to not watch this scene with your children too. I will give it a slight praise since it fits who Alpha is as a person and as the leader of The Whisperers.
Overall, “Squeeze” is a great episode and it does not waste any time to get back to where it left off. And Kudos to Beta for just being there towering over everyone.
I have to get this out of the way right now, Beta in this episode is fantastic! Not only does he stalks from within like he is Michael Myers, but he also does brutal killings in this episode. Also, he is involved with two of the three fights on this episode. Also, I noted on my review of 9×13 that Beta has armor under his clothes during his fight with Daryl which is a detail that mostly everyone missed at the time, but it will be useful again in this episode too (Side note, my review of 9×13 is shorter due to me traveling that week). Gabriel will also get high praise from me on this episode too as his advice from Negan earlier this season is starting to really showcase for him especially his conversations with Gamma. Speaking of Gamma, you will all love it when Rosita does what Rick did to Aaron when he first meet him.
Daryl has a fight in this episode with Alpha and I not only loved that scene, I love how the VFX team used the blood on the cameras for Daryl’s eyesight during that fight. Alpha also has a great scene later in the episode as she is finally able to accept what she could not earlier this season. There are also spooky moments that happen at night on this episode too that I cannot give away, but the theme of paranormia returns on this episode too and Rosita will experience that on this episode. I wish I can say more of the episode, but it will be more spoilery than the last episode, but I liked this episode over “Squeeze” and it felt like the first half of the season was the buildup like a bomb fuse being light up and the beginning of the second half is the explosion.
Be sure to check out my full review of “Squeeze” on Feburary 23rd after the episode airs.
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Kelley Mack is known on The Walking Dead as Adeline who was a resident at The Hiltop. Adeline meet her demise back in season 9 as part of Alpha’s pike border victims. But before she was on the hit AMC series, she has directed and produced films such as A Knock at the Door, The Printer, and The Perfect One. She also has won awards for her roles including winning the award for the best leading actress on Simón, at the Madrid International Film Festival, the Student Visionary Award and Best Actress for her role on The Elephant Garden at the Tribeca Film Festival and the First Run Festival. With all of those accomplishments to her name plus more, Kelley Mack’s future is very bright. I recently got the chance to interview Kelley Mack as we go over her time on The Walking Dead and much more on this exclusive interview!
I would like to get to know more about you. What was it like for you to grow up in Ohio and what drew you into acting?
KM: “I was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and most of my extended family lives in the Midwest. But I actually moved around a lot because of my dad’s jobs, so I grew up in several different states around the country! I think that upbringing caused me to be really adaptable to new situations and people, which translates really well to acting/constantly playing different characters and always working in different locations/environments. My mom was a theater minor in college, and she was the one who got my brother, sister and I into acting and taking us to auditions. Since I was so young, I didn’t totally understand what was happening, just that it was tons of fun and I got to meet a wide variety of people, which I absolutely loved and still do. Learning about different types of people, cultures, places, etc. (the research) is probably my favorite part of the acting process now.”
After you won your award from Tisch School of the Arts, you decided to step away from acting for a while and started to study film production. Was it because you found another passion, or was it for another reason that you stepped away for a while?
KM: “I think part of it was rebellion against my mom, who really wanted me to pursue acting because she thought I had a talent for it. But I also loved playing with cameras around that time. I was the one with video camera off to the side at family holidays and get togethers, just loving being a fly on the wall and capturing candid moments. So I went on to study film production & cinematography in college, where I realized a passion for cameras and pulling focus, but not so much for lighting. It’s such a challenging, important position on set (like every role), and it just didn’t click with me. I also did several internships at production companies and talent agencies, which by process of elimination, really, revealed to me that acting was my main true passion.”
What were some new things that you had to adjust to when you started producing films compared to acting at the time?
KM: “I started producing and taking my first official acting classes right around the same time, so I was really adjusting to both. Spending hours & hours preparing auditions, coordinating a film from beginning to end as a producer all while being a freelancer jumping from gig to gig to pay the bills. I have produced four shorts mostly so I could have more footage for my acting reel, but I discovered how much I enjoy producing and am quite good at it. Producing is definitely more of a left-brain job, which actually makes sense for me since I’m kind of type A. I love filling out paperwork, scheduling, spreadsheets, the whole thing… haha. So in that regard, it’s different from acting, which is way less concrete and of course doesn’t deal as much (at least in auditioning) with all the other areas of production. I’m still adjusting to both & learning every day, which is my favorite!”
How did you get your role as Adeline (Addy) on The Walking Dead?
KM: “My agent sent me a self tape audition email, I read for a character different than Addy, and then didn’t hear anything for a few weeks. I then got another self tape request, with the same lines, but the character description was a bit different. So I re-taped the same scene with the differences in mind (Addy was described as a bit more bookish and good-hearted than the previous character), then sent it in. My agent called me about a week later on a Monday morning saying that I was the pick for the role, then they asked for my demo reel, which we immediately sent over to the TWD team. A few hours later, they said I was booked and to fly to Atlanta for my fitting the very next day – which happened to be my birthday!”
What are some of your favorite memories being at The Hilltop and did you see any of the other communities during your time on the show?
KM: “The clearest memory is when Jackson Pace and I were driven to Hilltop for the first time – the crops leading up to the big fence and smelling all the food cooking and hearing all the animals – it just felt like woah, I’m home! It was really cool – such a spectacular set. I also of course loved my scenes with Norman Reedus – he’s a cool guy, and so kind. And other than working with people from the Kingdom and the Whisperer communities, we (Jackson, Joe Andi-Hirsh and I) also shot a short scene with the Highwaymen. Our shots when the Hilltop community meets them on the road were cut but it was really cool working with them & the horses that episode.”
You have any stories working with Alanna Masterson and Matt Lintz?
KM: “I don’t really have any crazy stories, but if I had to describe Alanna in a few words, I’d say she’s a chill badass. Matt is really sweet and kinda quiet & shy. He is in a family of actors, and because he was a minor, his parents were closeby on set most of the time. It was cool getting to know them more and seeing their unconditional support of him and his siblings’ careers.”
When did you know that Addy was going to be one of Alpha’s pike victims?
KM: “I found out via a phone call from one of the SFX makeup people while I was on set filming episode 913. It was pretty last minute! I was only supposed to be in 2 episodes originally, so I was grateful to have been able to work on five of them and hadn’t anticipated that I’d stay on the show for too long.”
How did you prepare for the scene at the barn where the tragedy took place over there?
KM: “I just did my normal script work preparation for the scene emotionally, and the stunt choreography all just happened right before we shot it, so there was nothing to really prepare in that regard. I mostly prepped myself for shooting my last episode of the show! The barn scene was actually the very last scene I shot and wrap was really emotional. Even though it was FREEZING that night, everyone waited until the very end of all the coverage so that all the characters killed off could say their goodbyes in a big circle; some people who have been involved in the show for a long time gave speeches… it was really intense and so sad!”
KM: “Well it was heartbreaking, of course! I get completely wrapped up in character stories, and when one is killed off in such a brutal and unimaginable way, it hits you. And also, from an acting perspective, the actors I admire & respect are truly feeling the emotions the character is going through on screen (in one way or another), so seeing someone experience loss, pain, etc. really reveals parts of that actor as a human-being. And that’s just so touching to be let into that person’s psyche a little bit and be able to connect with them on an emotional level, even if it’s via a television screen.”
Another film you have been part of is Profile and being that I am into the horror genre of that movie type (Other examples such as The Den, Unfriended, etc), I am intrigued to see it. Do you know when it will be available here in the United States?
KM: “I actually don’t! I know it has done quite well overseas in various festivals, but I haven’t even seen it myself yet!”
What are your upcoming projects that you would like to share?
KM: “I recently shot a film in Chicago called Broadcast Signal Intrusion, with Harry Shum Jr. and Chris Sullivan. I was hooked on the story and my character from the moment I got the audition. It could be described as a technological conspiracy thriller, and was inspired by actual broadcast signal hijackings in 1980s Chicago (the Max Headroom Incidents), which were never solved by the FBI. My character Alice is kind of a lost soul on a string of terrible luck, all while being a total street-smart badass. It was a super fun & challenging character to play, and I’m excited for the movie to come out, probably in late 2020!”
What are some of your hobbies that you enjoy outside of acting and producing film?
KM: “I played tennis competitively from age 8 through college, and now, I enjoy playing for fun when I can find someone to hit with. I also play piano and have a keyboard in my bedroom. I mostly play 90’s pop ballads and classical music haha, with some movie scores mixed in there. And of course reading, watching tv & movies, and I love hiking!”
What are some goals that you would like to accomplish within the next few years?
KM: “I would love to be part of producing a feature in the next few years. I’ve produced several shorts, but want to find the right script that I’m passionate about to make the jump to full-length film. Also, personally, I have a pretty long bucket list, so I’m planning to cross more of those off – hopefully several of the ones that involve traveling!”
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The comic book series of The Walking Dead has come to an end many months ago and it was sad to see it end out of nowhere. As a reader since 2004, this hit me the hardest. But with that out of the way, there are a number of issues that were released that leads up to the final issue and those issue had very important moments that needs to be discussed. Here are my top 10 moments of 2019 of The Walking Dead comic book series. Here is also my list for 2018 and 2017.
10. Time Skip (#193: The Farm House)
After Rick Grimes’ death on Issue #192, we did not know where the story would go next. But after a few pages in the next issue, We see that Carl Grimes aged about twenty years. This made my jaw drop and not only we see him, but we see most of the other characters aged too and are currently living at The Commonwealth. However, the person that made this all happen to begin with Stephanie, did not make it as Eugene mentioned that she has died. Speaking of Eugene, he and the repair unit finally got the train to run. There are many great things that we have seen in this issue after the time jump.
9. The Breakout (#189: Lines Are Drawn)
The cover of this issue had to be looked at twice because I initinally did not realize that the explosion was from the cell Mercer was stationed at. Laura came up with a plan to use explosives to break Mercer out. She did exactly that and everyone heard it. This of course lead to Mercer and The Commonwealth soldiers staging an uprising to dethrow Pamela once in for all, but that did not work……yet.
8. Taking out Walkers with a Fire Extinguisher (#189: Lines Are Drawn)
The end of issue #188 shows us that there is a horde approaching while Eugene and Stephanie are fixing the train. On this issue, they not only take out the walkers, but they use a fire extinguisher to help take out the walkers too. This was a cool moment as Eugene thought what could be the quickest way to take them out on the spot. He is very resourceful and he proved it there at that moment.
7. The Standoff (#190: Storm The Gates)
After Rick and members of his group help clear walkers that were inside an area of The Commonwealth, Rick and Maggie talk for a second and then, Pamela and her soldiers arrive on the opposite side. Pamela thinks that Rick is lying about taking over The Commonwealth and Rick assured her that he did not know that Maggie and the rest were coming and that he was not going to try to take over. So what does Pamela do after hearing enough of Rick Grimes? She orders an attach on Rick Grimes and his entire group. Fun fact, the ending of this issue is similar to the ending of issue #119 where Negan calls for an attack after the zombified Holly was revealed.
6. Rick and Michonne (#187: The Road Back)
After Rick had to kill Dwight for attempting to kills Pamela, She congradulates him at the gathering at The Commonwealth. Michonne apologized to Rick for having him do that but Rick would not accept her apology (at first). Michonne said that it was her fault for creating that bad situation but Rick told her that he was going to die no matter what since he is a lose cannon. What they both agreed on is that they both do not want to bring chaos to The Commonwealth at all as they both want to change things over there for the better.
5. “We are NOT The Walking Dead” (#191: The Last Stand)
This is one of the best callbacks I have seen in the comic book series in quite some time and this time, this line is far better executed than in issue #24. Rick says this line due to the fact that he believes in The Commonwealth and that he would fight and kill for it since he sees the potential that they have. He also believes that the place has a gift to bring back how things were before the apoclapse and that they do not have to go back to the brutal beginnings of the apoclapse of how they survive and how the old ways of The Comonwealth were used for everyone that is not in the same ranking as the higher ups. He wants everyone to be equal and this lead to her soldiers turning on her and putting her in jail temporary. The words of Rick Grimes can affect everyone he is surrounded by.
4. The Princess’ Backstory (#187: The Road Back)
Since her debut issue at #171, little is known about The Princess. Here on this issue, we finally get a backstory to who she is. While her and Mercer were talking, this is where her baackstory begins. Her parents divorced and her mom married someone else. Also, she was abused by her stepfather and stepbrother when she was younger and would also be tied up and being put in a closet. It was these events that made her believe that men are monsters which affected her until her and Mercer meet.
3. Sabastain Shoots Rick Grimes (#191: The Last Stand)
By the end of this shocking issue, Sebastain is very angry at Rick for having Pamela getting arrested for attempting to attacking his entire group. So what does Sebastain do, He points his gun at Rick, and shoots him at his chest. I thought that he would survive, but this lead to…..
2. Rick Grimes’ Death (#192: Aftermath)
That is right, Rick’s death. I know this may be unpopular, but I like how his death was handled. No character was safe ever since the series started and every year before this issue, we envisioned how Rick would die in the comic book series. It is very realistic for this to happen as I compare Sebastain to Joffrey of Game of Thrones and they both wanted to rule over a large establishment. So after Sebastain continues to shoot Rick, he dies on the bed and in the morning, it was Carl that found Rick who is now a walker as he put him down.
1.The Trials (#193: The Farm House)
The final issue of the series comes with a happy ending and that is, Carl telling his daughter Andrea “The Trials” of what the world was like at the beginning of the apoclapse to right now. Those stories included what Rick Grimes would do to protect everyone and how he is seen as a leader. As Carl was telling her the tsory from the book, we have a page montage of almost every character in different locations of The Commonwealth enjoying life at the current timeline while Sebastain is still in jail for killing Rick. Side note, we finally seen Negan again for the first time since issue #174 and he is at The Commonwealth near Lucille’s grave. This was a great ending to the series.
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The first half of the current season is coming to an end tonight and with that end, we see that some of our favorite characters are caught in a very life or death situation at the end of the episode. With that, we got major developments with Michonne, Gabriel, and Aaron. Here is my recap and review of “The World Before.”
The episode opens with a flashback showing us how Dante infiltrated Alexandria shortly after the barn slayings. Alpha and Dante were at the border and it is noted that he recently became a Whisperer at the time. Dante also does not know Lydia and Dante was the one spray painting “Silence The Whisperers” all over Alexandria. He also left Alpha messages for her to recieve inside a tree and after that, we are shown that he acted like a survivor in trouble and that is when he was rescued by Connie and the rest. We also find out that Dante is the one pulling all of the water switches to undrinkable so that way, Gamma could poison the water. Dante is also the person that killed Cheryl in the previous episode as well. Flashforward to the current time and Dante closed Siddiq’s eyes after he killed him. He was about to put him down incase if he turns, but Rosita with Coco opens the door. They talk about Coco needing more rest and Dante tries to buy enough time for him to get back to what he was about to do. Siddiq then turned and Dante pulls out a knife and tried to attack Rosita. While this was going on, Siddiq who is now a walker, was about to devour Coco. Rosita got the upperhand and attacked him back and even stabs him. Rosita puts down walker Siddiq.
Aaron has a conversation with Gamma and she asks about her nephew. Aaron told Gamma that they named him Adam and he will not allow her to see him because her sister left him behind. Gamma purposes a trade. Adam, for information. Aaron told her that she will have to give him information first before he decides to go with the trade. Gamma takes off her mask and told Aaron that her birth name was Mary. Daryl begins to interrogate Dante and he punches him until he gets an answer. Rosita, Carol, and Gabriel are watching this happen and they all ask why he killed Siddiq. Dante said that he wanted a chance to be heard and also brings up the the heads on pikes which then caused for Rosita to kick him until he fell. Aaron arrives and tells them that Gamma told Aaron where the location of the horde is. Daryl told Aaron that they will go to Hiltop to get Adam and then they will look for Lydia. Michonne, Judith, Luke, and Scott are heading to Oceanside. While they are going there, Luke makes a whistle and Judith wanted to know what it was. Judith was also writing in her book and what she is writing is the story of the group. Luke mentioned that there is a library not too far and that they can also get history books there too. Michonne also told Judith that they have to be as quiet as possible and they decide to make a pit stop at the library. At the library, Judith finds a book about a satellite and she told Michonne that Eugene would love it. Rosita also calls Michonne over the radio. Luke goes off on his own to observe the area and he finds a sheet music book. A walker grabs him by the leg, and another grabs his shoulder. A survivor (we learn later in the episode that his name is Virgil) saves Luke by killing the behind walker and leaves the library. Luke killed the walker that grabbed his leg and told Michonne of what happened. Michonne informs everyone that Siddiq is dead and that they must go to Oceanside now.
The funeral of Siddiq takes place at Alexandria and Gabriel is the one to hold it. After Gabriel gives his euliogy, Carol and Ezekiel speak and he could not believe that Siddiq is gone. Ezekiel was convinced that Siddiq would survive forever. Ezekiel then asked Carol if she needed help with taking down Alpha’s herd and she told him that she could handle it. Ezekiel told her “good luck” as they parted ways. Rosita was by herself until she heard walkers banging on the wall. She killed two of them, but she had a hard time taking down the walker with the helmet because she is still hurt from losing Siddiq. Eugene helps her take that walker down and gives his condolences too. Gabriel is watching Dante’s arrival interview and Rosita and him get into a heated argument. On Rosita’s side, she is angry that he is not listening to her vent about her being used to taking down walkers and that she could have died. On Gabriel’s side, he has more important things to deal with at the moment and that her venting, added more uneeded stress as her feelings cannot predict the future. Rosita thinks that Dante was right about everyone at Alexandria right now that they are very weak in the inside. Aaron is with his daughter Gracie and she wanted to hear him talk about California. He told her a story of his boyfriend and where they used to travel along with the village that they were in before he went to Alexandria. I think that I want to see these two interract more. Michonne and the rest arrive at Oceanside and she asks Jules and Rachel how long has it been since they had new people there and they said since before the fire. Michonne wanted them to be on high alert. A few members of Oceanside captured Virgil and Michonne wanted to know where he is from and if he was a Whisperer. Luke told Michonne that he saved him, but Jules also told Michonne that he was trying to steal a boat. Virgil told them all that he was just trying to go home. Michonne told him that he will tell her everything. Before they could continue, walkers are approaching and they begin to take them down and Michonne is yelling Judith’s name.
Gabriel enters the cell area to question Why Dante killed Siddiq and if the stories that he told him on the interview were true. Dante told him why, but Gabriel asked him if he think that people could get a second chance. He also says that he loved Siddiq as a brother. Gabriel then stabbed Dante to death until he died. Rosita with Coco did however see Gabriel leave the cell area through the window. Virgil tried to run while everyone else is killing walkers and Judith stopped him by cutting his leg. She called for Michonne and she arrives as they captured him. Daryl, Carol, and Aaron meets up with Jerry, Connie, Kelly, and Magna. Daryl thanks Connie and she told him via a message “anything for us.” At night, they cross one of Alpha’s borders and Carol almost got caught in a bear trap. Daryl saved her and Daryl was concerned for her mental state as he told her that it felt like he was talking to a ghost ever since she got off the boat. Carol told him that she is doing the best that she can and Daryl told her that he is the one that she tells. The both hug after this as he understands why she is the way she is right now and told her that Alpha is not worth risking her life over. Gabriel is burning Dante’s corpse and Rosita watches it too by coming to his side. Virgil wakes up and told Judith to not go through his belongings. He tried to grab it back, but he fell and Judith told him that his stitches would get affected if he keeps doing that. Michonne finally speaks with Virgil and we learn that he is there for supplies and does not want to hurt anyone.He even says that mercy’s in short supplies these days and Michonne told him that it reminded her of what Rick Grimes used to say (“my mercy previails over my wrath”). Virgil does not want to tell her where he lives to protect his family, but Michonne assured him that he will get back safe and that he should not make his family suffer while he is away. Virgil told her that he lives in a naval base on an island. Virgil thinks that he can help Michonne out in exchange of him getting home in which that he has weapons big enough to take out Alpha’s horde. Michonne tells Judith this and that she has to do this mission alone. In the morning, Daryl and everyone are at the location of Alpha’s horde but there are no walkers there. Aaron and Daryl argue if what Gamma said was true or not and Daryl decides that it is time to look for Lydia. Michonne told Virgil that the offer is accepted and that the weapons will pay his debt in order for him to go home. Michonne says her goodbyes to everyone and told them and Judith to radio her every hour and every day if she wants as she is only a few days away. While Daryl and the rest are looking for Lydia, Carol sees Alpha. Alpha runs away and Carol chases her. Daryl, Jerry, Magna, Kelly, and Aaron runs to get Carol back and they killed a few walkers away. Alpha is luring them into a cave and they all followed. Daryl was by himself for a few moments inside the cave until he fell through a trap that Alpha set (I assume that everyone fell as well) and they are all trapped at the bottom of the cave to see Alpha’s mega horde which consists of thousands and thousands of walkers and there is no way out. The noises of the walkers are so loud, that you cannot even hear the ending music as the episode ends.
I like what they are building here as it reminded me of 6×08 and 6×09 as it is setting up for a huge payoff for the next episode and for the rest of the season. Gabriel and Michonne are my two favorites of this episode and I believe that they are setting up Michonne’s exit within the next few episodes. I also did not expect to see Dante die this quick at all. Carol is still hurt and suffering from the loss of Henry and Melissa McBribe is doing an excellent job of showcasing the pain and damage one person can go through for losing your own children. I also like how all of my questions about Dante was answered within the first three minutes of the episode too. The giant horde that Carol wanted to see is now infront of her so lets see how in the hell everyone will get out of this when The Walking Dead returns in a few months.
This first half of the tenth season has been great despite it’s hiccups and my favorite episodes are the fifth, second, and the first episode of the season. I am loving this season as a whole and to me, the breakout performances this season so far goes to Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Seth Gilliam, Norman Reedus, Samantha Morton, Thora Birch, Ryan Hurst, Avi Nash, Khary Payton, and Ross Marquand. I like the entire cast, but these performances stood out for me.
My weekly recaps of The Walking Dead will return in three more months and next week, I will count down the top The Walking Dead comic book moments of 2019. My lists for 2017 and 2018 are below too along with my interviews I have done this season.
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Lindsley Register is known as portraying Laura on AMC’s The Walking Dead. Laura was a Savior that eventually turned into not only a resident of Alexandria, but a member of The Council as well. But there is more to Lindsley other than The Walking Dead as she has more credits to her name such as House of Cards, Six, and Outcast. Not only has she been acting, but she also produced her upcoming film Scorn which is set to release in early 2020. I recently got the chance to speak with her and got to know more about her in this exclusive interview!
Before we get to The Walking Dead, you were raised in Virginia. What was it like for you when you grew up over there with your family and what are some of your great family memories that you cherish?
LR: “I was so normal hahaha. I grew up in a really conservative baptist Christian family. I was very invested in my highschool. I was captain of the cheerleading squad, I was in student government, I went to a lot of basketball games, etc. I really cherish holiday meals with my family. My mom is the best cook ever (isn’t everyones?). She always went all out for Christmas and thanksgiving. Every thanksgiving we’d go stay in these cabins on a beautiful lake and eat great food.”
How did your family react when you told them that you would like to pursue a career in acting?
LR: “I can’t say they were thrilled. I think they were surprised and maybe a little scared. They agreed to pay for my schooling as long as I was studying to be a teacher or a nurse. I got around the rules by getting a degree in acting simultaneously while I got my teaching license. I think they’re still kind of confused by what I do!”
Have you always wanted to act? If you were not acting, what would have been the career path for you?
LR: “I remember when I was super young, I said once that I wanted to be an actor. But I also said I wanted to be a super model, a missionary, a painter, and lots of things. I’ve known that I’ve always been a performer, but I never revisited acting until college. I always saw that as an unattainable career and not practical at all. I learned Spanish when I was a preteen and decided that I wanted to work with the Latino immigrant community in some way. Maybe teaching English as a second language, translating, or something.”
The first time I have seen you was on Netflix’s House of Cards. How did you get the opportunity to be part of the show?
LR: “I got my first agent when I was a senior in college and was auditioning for professional projects for the first time then. I had auditioned for that show multiple times before for much smaller roles, and I’m so thankful that’s the role that worked out for me. It was momentous for me, and I felt like my dreams were coming true during that time. They were and still are. I made a selftape in my childhood bedroom while I was visiting my parents in VA. I gave the scene everything I had and played it with lots of conviction. Casting said they liked my tape and wanted to see me do it six different ways so I sent in six more tapes. They liked me and booked me, giving me my first real professional opportunity.”
When you were auditioning for The Walking Dead, did you know which character you would audition for?
LR: “No, I didn’t. It’s a super secretive process. I remember auditioning for a fake character with fake sides. If I remember correctly, I was playing a scene where I shot some guy and was “bummed” afterwards because he was cute. I played it with lots of dry humor.”
Laura was one of Negan’s lieutenants during season 7 and 8 of The Walking Dead. How did it feel for you to be part of The Saviors during that time?
LR: “It always the most fun to play the bad guy. They’re always infinitely complicated. This role was so different from anything I’d ever played so I was flattered to get the chance to play someone I felt was at the far end of my range.”
Laura also tried to intimidate Eugene many times while he was in The Sanctuary including when she made him watch Negan threw Dr. Carson at the burning furnace. Do you remember how many takes it took for that scene to finish?
LR: “That scene took most of the day. There were lots of practical and special effects to make it work which meant it was very time consuming. However, it was so cool seeing all the moving pieces. We’d be pausing the scene all the time to switch out the real bat for a plastic one, and then switching it out with a rubber one. Then we’d pause to grab stunt double Carson and then pause to get a dummy Carson. It’s insane all the work that goes into those scenes.”
Laura was also the one to tell Negan that Dwight (Austin Amelio) has double-crossed The Saviors. I love how that scene played out on camera as Dwight returned to his room to find you there. Do you have any great stories working with both Austin Amelio and Jeffrey Dean Morgan?
LR: “Austin Amelio was one of the coolest people I met doing that show. He’s so down to earth and like this sweet polite cowboy. I really respected him as an actor and he was also just very kind to me. JDM and I didn’t interact much. I never got the impression that he was a very open and chit chatty person.”
In the comic book series, Laura has a tattoo on her neck at the same place as her TV counterpart but they are different tattoos. Did you have any input to what the tattoo would look like?
LR: “Oh my gosh! I didn’t know that! Now I’ll have to look her picture up again. I just found out that she makes it to the very final comics (Issue #193) which was exciting for me. During my hair makeup test, I got to have input into my character’s look and I loved the tattoo and voted to keep it. I’ll be posting a youtube video soon about the neck tattoo so keep an eye out.”
After the final battle at the season 8 finale, Laura becomes a resident of Alexandria. She is also a current member of the council. Do you believe that everyone can fully trust her more than ever since she is no longer a Savior?
LR: “Every now and then, we’ll be filming a council scene and Ross Marquand will look over at me and be like “I can’t believe you got here.” And I’ll be like, “Yeah, honestly me either” and we’ll have a good laugh. I’m surprised that Laura has come as far as she has, and if I were an Alexandrian, I’m not sure I would trust her. But she really is a contributing member of the community now.”
We have not seen Laura and Negan interracted while he was in the cell. If he was still in the cell, what would you believe that Laura would tell him if she visited him?
LR: “Oh this is a great writing prompt. I’d love to write this scene just for fun. I think it would be such a still and powerful moment. I think she’d tell him that she followed him because she thought he was strong, but she knows now that he was weak. His way of doing things never could’ve lasted. He was a dictator and her life is so much better in Alexandria now.”
What has been your best fan experiences since you have been part of The Walking Dead?
LR: “It’s really difficult to pinpoint just one. I believe The Walking Dead fans are the best. I’ve experienced so much kindness, so much support for what I do and my other projects from them. Whenever I go to cons, people are so sweet and just easy to hang out with. I love seeing how much joy the show brings them and how caught up in the drama everyone gets. It’s just fun.”
Within the next few years, what are some goals you would like to accomplish?
LR: “I want to do more comedy. I’m currently writing some projects that I’m excited to refine and eventually start pitching. I’m excited to challenge myself by playing a role that is very far removed from both Laura and myself. I’m ready to get caught up in a new character. I’m hoping to learn French and improve at the piano. I love a good challenge.”
Below is where you can find and contact Lindsley Register
On this season of The Walking Dead, we were introduced a new character from the comic book series and his name is Dante. But the television version of Dante is much different than his comic book counterpart. Here to talk about the role is Dante himself Juan Javier Cardenas.
When you first appeared earlier this season, many fans including myself were surprised to see that Dante is a doctor over his comic book counterpart. How long did you know in advance did you know that Dante would be a doctor on the television series?
Juan: “I was made aware of that when I first received the script for the first episode which came like a couple of weeks before my first day of work. My experience auditioning for a show like The Walking Dead is that you have to kind of assume that you’re on a need to know basis and that information will come when it’s given. If you’re like me and you kind of embrace that process, you have a really great time because, it’s exciting going through the process as somebody who’s watching the show. When I auditioned for the character of Dante, the audition materials were different than what I acted in the show as far as like the scene work that I was given I auditioned for a character that was not even named Dante. I was under a different name so when I finally got the script, all those differences really shot out at me because I was familiar with the source material with The Walking Dead and I knew the Dante character from the books. But all those changes from the book to the show would normally throw you off but what that does typically, it invigorates you because you get excited about saying that ‘okay, I have a chance now to kind of pay hommage to the source material’ but actually, I’m getting a lot of leway now to build a kind of a unique character that can kind of stand on its own within this universe so to have a hand in that, that’s actually a super exciting thing and very fun to do. Plus, I get to play doctor on T. V. That’s always fun. Now I can brag and say I played a doctor.”
You and Avi Nash (Siddiq) had many scenes during this season. What was it like for you to work with Avi on the development of your characters for this season especially since it is the aftermath of Alpha slaying her victims?
Juan: “Avi Nash, I can’t say enough about the guy. I had a fantastic time working with him. It’s kind of interesting working on a show like The Walking Dead depending on what character you’re playing because, as you know as an audience member, the world is extremely diverse and it’s really compartmentalized. There’s different communities, there’s different story lines, and there’s multiple characters. So when you watch the show, you realize that certain characters really inhabit different worlds and they kind of interact with these characters over here and etc. Every day when I was going to work, I went with a smile on my face because it was a fantastic environment. Avi Nash and me tend to have a lot of similarities in our background. As far as our training, we both come from a theater background and we both kind of approach things with kind of a similar kind of intensity too. We are trying to tell whatever these lines mean and what does it mean for these characters and really kind of go the extra mile as far as committing to it. I love working with Avi and I feel like it was mutual so I had a great time working with him and happy of the development of Siddiq and Dante.”
Was there more to Dante’s backstory that we have not seen on screen that you know of?
Juan: “I’ll tell you that I personally have backstory that I’ve thought about with the character of Dante. Things that I kind of keep close to myself. There might be possible backstory ideas that were running around production and the writer’s room. What I like about the shortness of Dante’s character of this time of this season, is that it makes the character of Dante even more kind of mysterious and unnerving because we don’t get to see a lot of him. All we have are these moments leading up obviously to the tragedy in episode 8 of his death. But there’s so much that’s unanswered about the character that I think makes the character much more interesting because, sometimes you don’t know what’s scary or the devil you know is what you don’t know so having the audience only get the snippets of this character in trying to piece together what’s true, and what’s not true. I think that’s actually part of the fun so I’ve got my ideas, but I don’t know if I’ll tell people about it.”
How did you prepare for your death scene?
Juan: “I did a lot of stretching and put on elbow pads and knee pads because I knew it could be a rough afternoon. but in all seriousness, all you all you can do is read the material and you try to play the honesty of the moment by moment in the scene and you just concentrate on what that character is trying to cheat at the moment because the character of Dante doesn’t know that he’s seconds away from being killed. He doesn’t know that his death is around the corner so what is Dante trying to convey to Gabriel in those last moments that we see a doctor’s life so I concentrated on that and I just try to present the idea of what possibly propelled Gabriel to act out so violently and to drop all level of stability and all levels of emotional control that we see Gabriel doing for the majority of time is him reacting to Dante’s unerving and frightening certainty that all this civilization that they’ve built, all the civility that they’ve built, all these laws and all of these kind of semblance of normalcy that they’ve built in Alexandria is a facade and that eventually, it’s going to rot from the inside. And I’m an agent of that rock and that’s an unerving and a frightening thing to present to Gabriel. So if I just knew in that day that I just had to push and push and to finally give the straw that broke the camel’s back and to force to have Gabriel to not see any other way out, but to extinguish me as a threat to the community and in that way, breaking down something very integral piece of Gabriel’s character and shocking the audience in seeing how someone like Gabriel could end up acting that way or committing to intentionally murder someone.”
I find it poetic that Dante told Siddiq to open his eyes to see the last moments of his friends lives at the barn and then in the opening of 10×08, Dante closes Siddiq’s eyes after he killed him. Do you feel that way too with the way it was presented to you?
Juan: (Laughs) “I think you really did pick up on something! At the end of episode 7 when Dante’s alone in that room with Siddiq at those final moments of his life, this whole season audience members have been watching Dante interacting with people while he’s on call like under cover so it’s up to the audience to kind of decipher when Dante was saying this, or when he was speaking in this way, how much of that is true, and how much it is not. And you have to think about who he was talking to, who was he talking with in front of people. I think about which is what you’re talking about, is that in those last moments of Siddiq’s cyclical life, it’s just Dante and Siddiq alone in that room and Dante doesn’t have to say anything in those final moments. The fact that it comes out of him, I think that’sa totally legitimate moment and more expressing himself. That’s a reveal of something very true. I think that it’s a sad coda ending to the story of Siddiq and Dante that started with an act of brutality, and it ends with an act of brutality. There’s pain there for both people and there’s a sense of regret and there’s a sense of sadness on both sides. So I do find it very poetic from all sides and that could also be written in a book too.”
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This week on The Walking Dead, we got a glimpse on what happened at the barn where Siddiq was forced to watch Alpha slay the pike victims. We also got to see a huge plot twist as it was revealed that Dante is a Whisperer the entire time he has been at Alexandria. Although there are many questions to how he got there, what is more important is that Siddiq has been killed. Avi Nash breaks down the shocking plot twist of that episode along with more topics on this exclusive interview!
How did you react when you seen the script of your death scene?And also, were there any hints that gave away that Dante was a Whisperer?
AN: “I knew from the top of the season because Angela Kang is an extremely gracious leader and she let me know prior to starting season 10 that this would Siddiq’s swan song. But I was actually very excited about it because we got into all the complexities of what he was going to go through with PTSD and survivor’s guilt and having a new child. And I was really excited because I’ve played a character who’s been instrumental to the storytelling and the arc of the season as a whole. So for me, the chance to serve that story in such a significant way was very exciting. And it gave me a lot of work to look forward to the day that I finally got the script for the episode. If anything it was just like ‘oh shit, I’m in a lot of scenes I’ve got to get to work’. And yes, There are hints that was right in everyone’s faces on the earlier episodes of the season. I think Siddiq was slowly piecing it together and that is sort of a dual-tragedy for him in this because, I think on one hand, it was the first person he’s sort of able to open back up to about what he’s going through because he’s a brother in arms of a fellow medical professional that has been through PTSD himself and reached out to Siddiq. And I think truthfully, they’re were forming a friendship now from Dante’s point of view. Maybe that’s all fake or maybe based on some of the language that he uses, he had romantic feelings for Siddiq. I’m not sure what the tragedy being that Siddiq is starting to open up to this guy, while meanwhile in his subconscious, something about this guy is off to him. And you see that starts to affect him you know whether it’s in the first episode when he focuses on his mouth or in the later episode when they’re performing surgery on Carol and Dante sort of makes that verbal tick-tick sound and Siddiq then has a bit of a flashback. He’s not quite able to realize that he is causing those flashbacks, But it’s definitely happening and it’s only at that final moment when Dante is in the same physical space behind Siddiq, he put it all together because that’s also a great layer of the tragedy for Siddiq which is that he’s carrying around the guilt that after they all fought back a little, but it was not enough. Alpha lined them up and started to decapitate them and he was actually unable to move when in fact because of Dante holding him down as a whisperer. He was trying to move and scream and shout and get up and fight back again. But they were all held down by Whisperers and his eyes were forced to open by Dante to see how these other people he cares about decapitated. And so all those pieces of memory coming together I think are there in the season but he is only able to put it together too late.”
Will we see an explaniation on how Dante came into Alexandria?
AM: “Angela and her team of writers are great and they know how to craft good storytelling without sort of sacrificing character development and without sacrificing suspense, terror, and the comedy and all these things that make us fall in love with The Walking Dead and that have kept us tuned in for ten years. So I can’t tell you exactly what you may or may not see, but I can tell you that you will hopefully be satisfied when it does get revealed.”
What was it like to work with Samantha Morton on those PTSD scenes of the barn flashbacks?
AN: “You know, that woman should get nominated for an Emmy or Oscar. She is an incredible actress. When she gets into character and comes on the set, all the air is sucked out because she goes from being a lovely bubbly Sam to being cold and deadlyy Alpha for us. I remember in particular there was a night that we shot majority of those flashbacks where Siddiq in his mind, he thinks he’s sitting there on his own and it’s frozen. But in actuality, it’s Dante behind him holding him down and turning his head and ripping his eyes open the watch. And we shot both versions of me on my knees, on my own struggling just sort of with my mind not able to move and then a version where Dante was behind me literally ripping me forward and holding me down and stopping me from moving and screaming and shoving his hands all in my face. And during all of that, Samantha was on the other side scaring the shit out of me. And we were there probably four or five hours one evening and she is the most gracious actress. She might not be in every one of those shots, but she’s there giving a thousand percent. And I hope I tried to return the favor. There were takes were I wasn’t in the shot because I was just on her coverage and she was like ‘You know darling, you don’t need to do this. Like you’ve just you’ve just been through so much’ because I’m over there crying in my snot. And I was like ‘Samantha snot aside, I got to be there for you because that’s you how I was trained. You know, this is British theater and this is frankly a generous act’. You’re there for your partner. And so, we got to share a really nice moment together giving each other fear and terror and ultimately though compassion.”
If Carl Grimes was still alive, what do you think he would say to Siddiq?
AN: “I think if he was alive, he would have definitely been somebody that Siddiq would have tried to open up to. I feel like there was the beginning of a very beautiful friendship that would have kept developing. He was sort of adopted into that Grimes family and so, I think those two would have been brothers. Hopefully Saddiq has been a character with enough of a legacy and enough love on the show and enough powerful storytelling that he can stand along with Carl, Glenn, and Abraham shoulder to shoulder and look down on the rest of The Walking Dead survivors.”
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The first half of the current season of The Walking Dead will conclude next weekend and after that, we will have to wait about three months for the next episode. But I do not want to talk about the end of the first half yet as this week, we finally get some insight on how Alpha slain the victims. Here is my review and recap of “Open Your Eyes.”
We first see a flashback to the barn where Alpha is about to slay the pike victims and then Siddiq wakes up and gives Sheryl water. Cheryl is getting more sicker as the time goes by and Siddiq also gives water to everyone at the infarmy. He also sees Alpha outside the door as an hallucination. At night, he was writing on his notebook and he fell asleep. He also has a dream of being chocked. We will get back to this.
In the morning, Daryl tells Lydia to get out of the cell so that way, they can place the one Whisperer in the cell that Carol captured the previous night. Carol asks Lydia if she seen him before and she told her that he watches over the mega herd which means that Lydia does know him. Gabriel thinks that it is a bad idea to have him in the cell as it will put everyone at risk. But Daryl and Caryl told him that Alpha’s herd needed to be found. Carol also thanked Daryl for having her back in that situation. Daryl takes off his shirt and many scars are visible on him including from the previous season. Dog runs up to him to greet him. Carol is on her investigative mode as she asks Lydia more about The Whisperers. Lydia says that she hates them and that her mom twists people to make them obey her because they have no choice but to do it. Dante and Siddiq checks on the Whisperer since he also has a stab wound. The Whisperer also says that he knows Siddiq indicating that he was there when he seen the pike victims got killed. Gabriel tells Siddiq to go and told him that Dante will watch over him. When Siddiq looks at the top of the gate that resembles the pikes, he has another flashback of Alpha decapitating DJ of The Highwaymen. At one of Alpha’s borders, Gamma and Aaron talk and she asked how do they have bread every day and he told her that they have a lot of flour. Aaron shows Gamma a piece of paper that has a drawing that his daughter made (I believe it is the one that he adopted during season 8). He asked her if she had any brothers or sisters or a family and Gamma told him that she is the only child.
At the cell, Carol, Daryl, and Siddiq begin their interrogation of that Whisperer. She brings a steel sheet covered and we are lead to believe that it is sharp objects, but it is bread with different types of jam and peanut butter. She asks him what does he prefer and he says “all of it.” He wanted to talk about what does she want and she says that they are having fish for lunch. After he took a bite of the sandwhich, she asks if it was good and then, he spits the food out right at her face and said “no.” Siddiq and Rosita talk about Eugene as she does not want Eugene to think that she is dissing him. She also did not think that she would be a mom, but they are proud parents. Right when they were about to kiss, she coughs and Siddiq gives her more water. Back at the cell, Carol asks him about the herd and placed the knife on his wound. He does not give an answer and then, she puts on her wedding ring and started to punch him. Daryl told her to stop, and then the Whisperer told them that they are all weak. Daryl then took out his knife and threatened to cut out his fingers and ears. He then displays his loyalty to Alpha and The Whisperer life as he is not going to say a word. He even thinks that Lydia is dead. Daryl and Carol then have a debate about using Lydia to get to him but Daryl is against this. Back to Gamma and Aaron as he lets her look at the drawing his daughter dew and he told a story about his brother. He does this to try to get her to open up but she walks away from him. The Whisperer at the cell is heating up and then he was bleeding from the mouth and died moments later. Daryl, Siddiq, Dante, and Gabriel tried to save him however, but Siddiq asked Dante how did this happen and Dante told Siddiq that he packed the hemlock which was the wrong medicine.
Gamma is by herself and she killed an approaching walker. Alpha is also there and she asked Gamma about the intel she gathered from Aaron. After Gamma told Alpha that he has a daughter, Alpha told her to remove her mask and she did that along with opening her sleeve. Alpha proceeded to whip her wrist with a small branch and Alpha told her to not lose her focus and to not give in to what Aaron is telling her. Alpha told Gamma that she believes in her. Carol and Lydia are on a horse and here is where you think that Carol did not listen to Daryl. Daryl and stabbed the Whisperer at the head so that way, he would not turn. Gabriel thinks that Alpha will find out, but Daryl assures him that she won’t. Siddiq enters Cheryl’s room to see that she is gone and he then goes outside to see that Dante is burying her dead body. Siddiq then had another barn flashback and he ran to jump in the water. Rosita saved him and they talk about what he is going through. Siddiq told Rosita that he misses Enid and that he blames himself for not stopping what Alpha did. He also says that many people died in front of him then and it still continues now. Rosita told him to not blame himself and that he is the smartest person she knows. Siddiq asked her why is everyone sick even when they do not live with each other. He realizes that it is the water that is making everyone sick.
He checks the plumbing and notices that they are all switched to undrinkable. He then has a breakdown (poor Siddiq). At night, Gamma told Aaron to never come near her ever again. She then holds him hostage until Carol and Lydia show up. Gamma sees Lydia and runs away and Lydia not only argued with Carol about her being used, but also hits her with the stick. Lydia crosses over Alpha’s border. Siddiq is looking through the window and Dante walks in and apologizes to Siddiq about earlier. He says that he is a friend to him, but Siddiq does not want to hear it. Dante then said something that triggered Siddiq’s barn flashback and this is where we find out that not only that Dante is a Whisperer that has been planted there, but he also was there at the barn slayings and also made Siddiq watch the slayings. Siddiq realizes this and had a scuffle with Dante. Dante proceeded to choke him out until he dies as the episode ends.
The pacing of this episode was all over the place and there are a few dialogue choices that I have mixed feelings about. The Carol and Lydia dynamic does not fit for me as the Daryl and Lydia dynamic. It seems like she was the reverse Alpha in this episode in some ways and it just did not work. That is my only harsh criticism of the episode. I like the plot twist of Dante being a Whisperer as I did not see it coming at all since he was a completely different character in the comic book series. Avi Nash stole the entire show in this episode as this is the best episode of the series that I have seen him play as Siddiq. My only thing is that how will they explain how he got to Alexandria and when did he tell Alpha that they crossed the border during the winter (since Alpha planted him there). Hopefully, this will be explained in another episode. Also, being that I used to watch 24, the interrogation scene at the cell was great and once that Whisperer spit her food at Carol, it was all over for him. Another solid episode!
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Eugene has finally made contact with someone over the radio that is not conected with their communities and that is a big development. Here to talk about that big moment of the episode and much more is Josh McDermitt.
We seen that Eugene has taken much interest in the satellite ever since it crashed down. Will some of the parts of the satellite be put to great use for the rest of the season?
JM: “Other than what he’s already used for the radio, Yes. It kind of got mangled you know, and a lot of it is on fire. He was trying to salvage as much of it as he could. And he probably had a singular mindset thinking he could just use it for radio parts. I imagine Eugene’s got like some sort of junkyard set up somewhere with parts that he doesn’t need right now but could need in the future. And anytime people are out scavenging are like ‘hey, I found an old radiator’ and he’s like, ‘go just put it out with the junk’. I kind of imagine him doing that. I think it’s really cool that we were able to kind of start the season with that satellite crashing to Earth because if you think about it, how many satellites are in outer space? I would venture to say hundreds, if not thousands. And it would be completely plausible that one of whom would just fall to earth. And I just thought it was just cool way to open the field. And so I hope that aside from the radio, we could see more of it.”
What do you believe is Eugene’s biggest character evolution since his debut back in Season 4?
JM: “I think every season he’s had a nice arc and has done a 180 from where he started off at the top of that particular season. I think the fact that he was a coward, he was scared, he was lying, he was not an honest person. And he is 180 degrees opposite of that now. He is a guy who is completely capable. to handle himself. He’s got confidence. I think that’s kind of the biggest evolution for him, is that he is kind of content with living in this world where before it was just constant fear.”
You also had great scenes with Christian Serratos and as well as Coco so far this season. Do you have any great stories on how the both of you developed those scenes together along with bonding with Coco?
JM: I love babies, man! And these kids were super sweet. And i’m not fussy at all. And it’s like I just wanted to do more stuff with them, you know? And it’s fun seeing Christian, who has a daughter of her own, take on the role of mother as Rosita and to really bring things from her own life to this character. We had a good time with that. I think everybody was always, all hands on deck, so to speak. Just trying to make sure that these these kids playing Coco were cared for and that sort of thing. We did use the dolls a couple of times. So I think we had more fun probably with the dolls than with the kids because you never want to get wild and crazy with with babies around because you want to keep their temperament kind of chill. Otherwise, it ends up being a really long day of trying to get them to stop crying. There’s certainly a science to when we bring them in like they’re fed, they’re changed. They’ve had a nap, like they’re ready to go. So we certainly cut loose more when the babies weren’t on set.”
Would you like to run down on how you went from yourself loving babies to now being in character to learn how to take care of a baby all over again?
JM: “He approached it with mathematical precision, you know, in science. That’s how he kind of approaches every situation and analyzes it. He has to completely wrap his head around it and understand it and do the math in the air with it. You know, count on his fingers if he has to. There’s not to say that he wouldn’t be a great father, its just seeing how well he handles the kid and he’s trying to burp Coco and he’s counting the times he pats Coco’s back to burp and it is around 21 times. So it was fun to kind of throw everything away that I know about children and babies and to be able to kind of approach it in a new way, like how Eugene would do it in a more mathematical, scientific, religious way. That was just fun. It was fun to kind of play with that. That part of his character.”
Eugene and Nabila (Nadine Marissa) talked about the radio supplies before you turned the radio on and she said that she was happy to be part of The Hiltop A.V club. How did Nadine react to seeing you do your lines the way Eugene does it?
JM: “We had fun doing that scene and Nadine is a great person to work with. I think she’s excited to do something different in Hiltop that doesn’t involve gardening or fixing a fence or like all the things around Hilltop that that kind of need attention. I think she was excited and she was like ‘oh, this is fun. This is exciting’. But, you know, at the same time, once he starts explaining everything that’s going on, she may have realized like ‘oh, I’m in over my head and so I’m going to have to do this test run another time and I got kids’. So that was fun to play with that. You see, it was funny because Eugene says, ‘you don’t parlay any Russian by any chance’. I was also coaching her for a brief time on how to say one line in Russian and it was just hysterical. We are all just trying to figure out how to say this this fairly simple Russian word that even if you don’t speak a lick of Russian, you probably know how to say.”
Eugene finally makes contact with someone on the open channel over the radio. Being that I am also a comic reader of The Walking Dead, I am excited for what is to come. Do you believe that Eugene is also happy with this development?
JM: “Right now, he’s kind of a lonely and depressed place after having a sad realization that things would never work out with Rosita. He was trying to figure out what he’s going to do with his life. And so he’s just buried himself in this work. Working with the radio and doing duties around Hilltop. But I also think that he wasn’t necessarily expecting a voice to come out at that moment. I mean, he was trying and certainly down the road. He was probably wanting to reach out further than the communities that he’s already in contact with and just see what else is out there. But, you know, it was basically just Rosita standing him up. You know, obviously for good reason. She’s sick and had to go to the infirmary, but he doesn’t know that. So he was just kind of like ‘I’m alone, This is not a fun place to be so let’s just see what else was out there’. So I think he’s extremely happy and extremely surprised that this voice came on the radio and he was also able to share some personal details about himself that we’ve never really seen that out of him. We don’t really know too much about his life pre-apocalypse and he was able to kind of talk about that with someone.”
Will we see Eugene interract with other characters he has not interract with yet for the rest of the season?
JM: “I think there’s a great possibility of that. At the start of every season, we have a conversation with the show runner and this year, I did speak with Angela and said ‘you know, maybe there’s some people that I would like to work with if we can make that happen’ because there’s people like Lenny James (Morgan) and I never interracted with him. And both Lenny and I talked about that. And it was kind of disappointing because obviously, our storylines didn’t intersect as much. I mean, we were in scenes together, but we never did a scene. And obviously Rick left and I didn’t really do a scene with Andrew Lincoln until Season 9. And so this year, I said, ‘hey, you know, there’s some people that if the opportunity comes, I would love to work with them and come to find out these people said the same thing about me’. So I will say yes, There are some moments where I get to interact with other people, but we’ll just leave it at that and we’ll let the audience be surprised.”
Everyone has a signature weapon except for Eugene. Why is that?
JM: “I mean, he’s got his trusty knife, the big blade he got in the time jump between the front half of Season 9 and then in Episode 6, when the time jumps like six and a half years into the future. He has become proficient in knives and that’s kind of become his signature weapon. But he’s still not first person to jump out to the front lines unless you absolutely have to. And it’s not out of fear. It’s just, Eugene have other things that he is also doing and he will get out there if he is needed. But in the meantime, Eugene is just being here. I don’t know that he’s gonna have a another weapon.”
Eugene has had any memorable lines throuought the series. How many lines have you improvised for Eugene?
JM: “I do not improvise a lot. Eugene is a lot smarter than I am, and I think it would be really obvious if I improvised a line because it wouldn’t sound like you. You know, in the end, I give credit to the writers. You know, Corey Reed always writes for Eugene really well. Scott Campbell was amazing at writing for Eugene. And, you know, it’s kind of fun to see the writers get to come throw out their knowledge because I’m having to look up half of what they say or what he’s saying because they don’t necessarily understand it on the first read. But in terms of me improvising anything, the percentage is so small. I think I improvised one line where I was fighting alongside Rosita this season with the horde and she says something to the effect of like, ‘you know, you want to give up or do you want to call it a night?’ And he says, ‘I can go all night’. I improvised that line. But, you know, I don’t even remember what the original line was. You don’t ever want to improvise. This isn’t a sitcom or anything. So you don’t want to just be throwing out lines. Most improvised lines are going to be funny though, but you want to make sure you stick with the tone. So there’s really not a lot of room for improvisation. But I remember talking to Jim Barnes and he had said ‘hey, you know, if you have something else you want to say, go for it’. But yeah, I did improvise that line for sure!”
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