Despite its title, the latest episode of The Walking Dead wasn't just about "New Best Friends". In what may have been the most heartwarming reunion since Rick and Daryl's bro hug at the end of Season 7a, Carol jumped on the hug-a-sensitive-redneck bandwagon and welcomed Daryl to her hermit abode with open arms.
Unlike the reunion with Rick at Hilltop, there was a deeper level to the emotions fans were fighting as Daryl held his estranged friend close. The purpose of his visit wasn't just to catch up on old times with a dear friend, but to deliver some devastating news.
But in a strange turn of events, Daryl decided against telling Carol about Glenn and Abraham's deaths. Why did he lie to her, and what does this mean for Carol's future on #TheWalkingDead?
If anyone can answer those questions, it's Norman Reedus himself— and luckily, he did just that in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Here's what he had to say on that touching Carol-Daryl moment:
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"He Does It For Her"
Daryl didn't lie to Carol about Glenn and Abraham's deaths in order to avoid upsetting her, as even Reedus believes she can "totally handle it." Rather, he was trying to help Carol continue to avoid the path of violence by not giving her a reason to retaliate. It might not be completely moral, but Reedus thinks that telling Carol her friends are still alive is what she "needs to hear":
"She’s going through her own thing and there’s a reason why she separated herself and doesn’t want to be a killer anymore. And she’s losing herself, and I think Daryl realizes that. It’s a very selfless act. He tells her what she needs to hear to keep going. He does it for her."
Was It The Right Choice?
Of course, many mistakes have been made with the best intentions. Daryl might think he's helping, but shouldn't he let her make that decision for herself?
It's important to remember that Carol is still transitioning to her new life. She's so afraid of hurting more people that she's made the choice to live in solitude, away from everyone she loves— something Reedus knows all too well:
"Everyone’s path is their individual path, and she needs to be away from it because she’s losing herself and that world, when your whole life is changed and your whole world is changed and the dynamics have changed, and you start to lose yourself — then what’s the point, you know?"
Nevertheless, she still cares deeply for her friends— and this is something that's obvious to Daryl when she asks him what happened with the Saviors. This is really where the reason for the lie becomes apparent. Carol is tough, but Daryl "realizes that she needs to hold on to something". If Carol were to find out about Glenn and Abraham now, she might be all too eager to abandon her pacifist path in order to get revenge:
"She’s been working towards it and it’s been hard for her, and he sees how hard it is for her to even make the choice to do what she’s doing now. And selflessly, he tells her what she needs to hear because he cares about her and doesn’t want to drag her into something that she doesn’t want to be a part of."
Carol may be one hell of a fighter, but Daryl is willing to take the risk of battling the Saviors without her in order to respect her new path.
It Was A "Bittersweet Reunion" In Real Life, Too
Daryl and Carol's prolonged time apart also meant actors Norman Reedus and Melissa McBride hadn't seen each other for quite some time. McBride and Reedus have been working together since Season 1, and Reedus confessed that they'd "missed each other this whole time":
"It’s weird. She and I talk when we’re not filming and we’re like 'How are you?' It’s f—ing bizarre! So it’s hard and it’s a bittersweet reunion. We enjoy it, but we don’t enjoy being apart."
It definitely looks like their friendship is more than just great acting, with the pair just as close off-screen as on:
"There are certain characters where as soon as they start going, we start bawling. It’s kind of silly. But she’s definitely one of those for me."
Daryl and Carol might be closer than ever, but will Carol forgive him for lying about Glenn and Abraham? With Daryl having his doubts that Carol could maintain her violence-free lifestyle if she knew the truth, it's only a matter of time until she starts adding more names to her list of victims.
Do you think Daryl made the right choice in keeping Glenn and Abraham's deaths from Carol?
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)