The Walking Dead’s Carol & Daryl Reunion Addressed By Melissa McBride
Warning: SPOILERS ahead for The Walking Dead season 11, episode 20.The Walking Dead star Melissa McBride is glad to see Carol and Daryl have reunited for an important mission in the show’s newest episode. Season 11 of The Walking Dead has kept the dynamic duo apart from one another for a vast majority of its episodes. Season 11, part 1 saw Daryl accompany Maggie to Meridian – a former community overtaken by the Reapers – for a supply run, while Carol helped Alexandria recover from its food shortages and failing defenses. In season 11, part 2, Daryl became a Commonwealth soldier, eventually getting stranded outside the large community’s walls after Lance Hornsby’s conquest of other survivor settlements. For Carol’s part, she grew closer to Lance and other powerful members of the Commonwealth, suspicious of their motives.
Season 11, part 3 has slowly built up to Carol and Daryl’s final mission together to stop the Commonwealth forces that threaten their large family of survivors. Through a series of events that lead to Lance’s imprisonment and the death of Governor Pamela Milton’s son Sebastian, all but a few members of Carol and Daryl’s group still living in the Commonwealth are captured by the community’s Governor. Season 11, episode 20 sees the pair break Lance out of prison and have him guide them toward where Pamela took their friends.
In an interview with AMC, McBride expressed excitement to see Carol and Daryl working together again after spending much of The Walking Dead season 11 apart. She discussed how much she enjoys the pair’s moments together, citing season 2 as their first major turning point together. Check out what McBride said below:
It’s been super special, and I was really excited to see that finally Carol and Daryl were going to be back together in that episode. It felt like she hadn’t seen him for a long time. All the circumstances and the story had shifted so abruptly and strangely. Suddenly we were in this community, and we don’t see each other anymore. It was strange to shoot these scenes, the little ones in passing when Carol and Daryl kind of catch up with each other. He’s busy being a trooper and she’s busy at the bakery and they’re just walking through the community – ‘Hey Daryl!’, ‘Oh, hey, Carol!’ It was weird for me playing the part and I missed it, as an actor, working with Norman. So yeah, Episode 20, when that came back around, it was like, ‘Yay! Finally.’ The whole Daryl/Carol – I love those two. I really do. I really do like them. They call each other out. They have each other’s backs. One of my favorite episodes is the ‘Cherokee Rose’ [Season 2, Episode 4] episode. Daryl is just so endearing. When he brought the Cherokee Rose and told the story, it reminded me of a little kid doing a class report. It was adorable! The little nerd trying to remember the story and it was really sweet. I guess that’s kind of the start of it a little bit, yeah? That scene was so beautiful. I’m glad that these two became the team that they did. What I love about the two of them is that they fell into the relationship. It became what it became so organically. It didn’t feel like the writers went in there and tried to formulate something.
With Carol and Daryl hunting for the survivors that have been captured by Pamela’s soldiers, their journey to rescue them is shaping up to be the final and most important mission the two ever embark upon in The Walking Dead. Season 11, episode 20 ended with Carol shooting Lance Hornsby through the throat with an arrow after the Commonwealth’s deputy governor told them the community has a working train they can use to find their friends. The end of the episode sets up their plan to follow the train, see where it goes, and use it to locate and free captured survivors like Ezekiel and Negan. With 4 episodes left to go, their rescue mission will seal the fates of every major character in the show.
It’s also possible that this may not be the final mission Carol and Daryl embark on together due to the upcoming Walking Dead spinoffs set to air next year. While the upcoming Daryl Dixon series was supposed to see McBride reprise her role as Carol, she exited the show in April 2022, shrouding Carol’s future in mystery. However, Norman Reedus believes Daryl and Carol will be reunited in the future, though her absence from at least the first season of Daryl Dixon means this won’t come to fruition for quite some time. Carol and Daryl’s imminent separation makes McBride’s excitement for their reunion all the more potent as their time together in The Walking Dead comes to a close.