The Walking Dead: Is Carol Planning to Leave?

Carol (Melissa McBride) could be a flight risk on The Walking Dead, where the survivors are bracing for an unavoidable fight with Alpha (Samantha Morton) and the Whisperers. In Season 6, when suffering the crushing guilt of a growing list of kills, Carol quietly left Alexandria to avoid adding to her body count in a looming war against the Saviors. In Season 10, mourning the loss of murdered son Henry (Matt Lintz) and the dissolution of her fairy tale marriage with King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Carol and best friend Daryl (Norman Reedus) discussed running away together to New Mexico. As the Whisperers further encroach on the survivors' way of life, could Carol take off?

A new photo released ahead of 10x04, "Silence the Whisperers," shows Carol examining a map. Upon closer inspection, we see Carol has circled a location. It's unclear if the markings on the map point to Alpha's newly expanded territory or a trip out west.

The Walking Dead Carol map comicbook.com
(Photo: AMC)

As seen in "Ghosts," Carol suffered from haunting hallucinations caused by sleep deprivation and a dependency on pills needed to keep herself awake during a two-day walker attack. Showrunner Angela Kang says Carol's lust for revenge on Alpha and her dangerous actions in "Ghosts" are the start of some "self-destructive behaviors" in Season 10.

"For Carol, the stakes are so high for her because of what happened to her son, and I think in this episode what we're really seeing — and Melissa McBride just portrays the role so beautifully — it's just the depth of her grief and pain and how much of it she's been hiding away from everybody else in the group," Kang previously told EW. "And that comes bubbling up to the surface in a couple of really key moments, such as when she's at the border with Alpha. When somebody is going through that much pain, and when they have such a burning desire to have revenge, and when she really wants to see Alpha pay for her sins, that's going to have a big impact on all our people in various ways."

She continued, "You're also seeing the start of some pretty self-destructive behaviors in this episode. So the season builds from there with her story. So yeah, it's a continuing story for us. It has a lot of emotional depth from her character side."

In 2018, both McBride and Reedus renewed their contracts and inked three-year commitments to the franchise. The deals reportedly allow McBride and Reedus, if needed, to move freely throughout TWD Universe.

Chief content officer Scott Gimple has since laid out plans for multiple TWD spinoffs, specials and mini-series, but it remains to be seen if Carol and Daryl ultimately journey out west together.

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New episodes of The Walking Dead Season 10 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.