A six-year pacifistic streak came to an end on The Walking Dead Sunday when Carol (Melissa McBride) finished off Jed (Rhys Coiro) and the rest of the problematic Saviors.
During a trip to the Hilltop ahead of teenage son Henry’s (Matt Lintz) apprenticeship under blacksmith Earl (John Finn), Carol and Henry are halted by a pack of Saviors led by Jed and Regina (Traci Dinwiddie), one of Negan’s (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) former generals.
The Saviors rob the mother-son pair, stealing Carol’s wedding ring given to her earlier this season by husband Ezekiel (Khary Payton). A confrontation with a disappointed and frustrated Henry strikes a nerve with Carol, who wins her vengeance by tracking down the sleeping Saviors and burning the thieves alive.
Carol struggled with the newfound philosophy adopted by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), who told Carol in previous dealings with Jed and Savior D.J. (Matt Mangum) that “every life counts now.” Carol at first spared Jed despite his antagonism, refraining from killing Jed and D.J. following their ambush attack in 903, “Warning Signs.”
She found herself in a similar predicament in 613, “The Same Boat,” at a time when Carol was struggling with the weighing pressure of her growing kill-count.
After Carol and a then-pregnant Maggie (Lauren Cohan) were captured by Paula (Alicia Witt) and held captive at a Savior outpost, Carol was forced to execute arriving backup when she lured the Saviors into a room doused with gasoline — burning their trapped enemies alive.
Now nearly a decade into the zombie apocalypse, Carol has emerged as an almost entirely new person in Season Nine: she has a new familial unit in Ezekiel and Henry — a much healthier dynamic than she had with her abusive late husband — which gave way to a peaceful way of life that is now once again at risk.
“I think what we see of Carol is a whole new rebirth from the woman that she was when we met her, to the woman that she is now, and I don’t think there’s any going back,” McBride told ComicBook.com of Carol’s Season Nine journey.
“Once you experience that voice for yourself, that way of life, it’s very difficult to just submit to whatever. I don’t see her doing that.”0comments
McBride has since inked a major deal with AMC that would see the actress score an estimated $20 million over a three-year period. The new deal allows for Carol to move freely among projects in the quickly expanding Walking Dead universe, which could include appearances in movies or spinoff series.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.