When Negan turned the tables on Alpha a couple of episodes ago and killed the Whisperer leader, that didn’t come as a huge shock to The Walking Dead fans as it was a close match to how things went down in the comics. What was a shock, though, was that Negan had been operating on the orders of Carol all along, a twist unique to the TV show. It turned out that she was the one who released him from jail in the first place.
While we can understand why Carol was so desperate for revenge, for the death of her adopted son Henry and many others at Alpha’s hand, it’s still surprising that the character was willing to ally herself with Negan in this way and place her trust in him. Based on his previous behavior, having Negan team up with the Whisperers could’ve been a very bad idea.
While speaking to ComicBook.com, Melissa McBride explained why Carol made this decision and said that her absence from that fateful night when the former Savior killed Glenn and Abraham is a big part of the reason why she can work with him when others can’t. Though she knows what he did, it’s not the same as watching the horrific killings first hand.
“I think she certainly knows and has heard stories, and he’s a legend, but in a way of a bit of a mythical character because she wasn’t there,” McBride said. “It’s the first time we’ve ever seen them together and the first time they’ve seen one another, I believe. So there is that separation factor and knowing what he could quite possibly be capable of, and he also has the most to gain if she’s looking for a cohort, a cohort to help her catch or kill the Alpha.”
In fact, Carol and Negan have never even shared any screentime before, so it was a big deal for McBride when she finally discovered this twist. Just like the rest of us, the actress was kept in the dark about her character’s secret deal with the ex-villain.
“I found out later that it was Carol and my reaction was, ‘What? Really? Wow. Okay. So, I get to work with Jeffrey [Dean Morgan]?'” McBride continued. “It was so much fun, and I was so excited. But it was great fun, and we did the scene several times and did it different ways. He’s a really fun actor to play with, trying different things, and I was just really happy, just excited, excited for that day.”
If you’ll remember, Carol was isolating herself during Negan’s early days on the show, after struggling to come to terms with all the lives she had taken over the seasons. Her guilt reared its head in the most recent episode, too, as she was haunted by Alpha, whose life she had indirectly ended – even if it was for the greater good.
The Walking Dead season 10 reaches its penultimate episode, 10×15 “The Tower,” this Sunday on AMC.