It wouldn’t be a proper The Walking Dead finale without a violent death and season 11 didn’t disappoint. Last night’s episode, “Acts of God,” saw Lynn Collins’ Leah kidnap Lauren Cohan’s Maggie and transport her to her isolated cabin. Maggie has been in worse scrapes than this over the years and managed to free herself and fight Leah, but for a brief moment, it seemed like she might not come out on top.
Then Norman Reedus’ Daryl arrived and dispatched Leah with a single shot to the head, followed by him and Maggie proceeding to beat a hasty escape from an advancing squad of CRM soldiers. In a post-episode interview with Deadline, The Walking Dead showrunner Angela Kang has revealed why it was Leah’s time to go.
After the interviewer noted that TWD dispatching cast members in the finale is becoming an extremely predictable trope, Kang explained why they chose to end Leah’s story in the mid-season finale.
“(LAUGHS) Sometimes that’s the case. I think, in this case, we took the path that the Leah death was our big death, because sometimes our death is a villain death. I think, there’s a lot of expectations, and we also like to sometimes subvert those expectations.”
Of course, fans who’ve been keeping up with The Walking Dead news weren’t particularly worried about Maggie’s survival. She and Negan have already been confirmed to star in the spinoff show Isle of the Dead, which will see the pair exploring the ruins of Manhattan. That being announced before Season 11 part three has raised eyebrows as it effectively gives the characters plot armor, with Jeffrey Dean Morgan admitting on the Rich Eisen Show that the early announcement of the spin-off was indeed a spoiler.
“I guess we don’t need to die. Spoiler Alert, folks. Sorry! I’m still not sure why we announced that already. It was sort of a shocker to me.”
Season 11C — the final episodes of the core The Walking Dead show — are expected to air on AMC over the summer, though as yet we don’t have an exact release date. Expect fireworks as the show pulls out all the stops, though, given the many spinoffs and a movie trilogy coming down the line, the series finale won’t spell the end for the franchise as a whole.