The Walking Dead's Melissa McBride Reacts to Negan Calling Carol Daryl's "Girlfriend"

Melissa McBride admits she expected Daryl (Norman Reedus) to fire off a comeback when Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) called Carol Daryl's "girlfriend" during their confrontation in The Walking Dead Season 10 episode 14, "Look at the Flowers." The episode revealed the first meeting between Negan and Carol in the Alexandria jail, taking place just days earlier, where Carol agreed to free Negan with orders to infiltrate the Whisperers and bring her the head of archenemy Alpha (Samantha Morton). Negan accomplished his mission but was intercepted by Daryl, who threatened to kill the fugitive before Negan revealed it was best friend Carol who set him loose.

"I don't know, you know? I was watching that as a viewer, and it's not anything Carol is privy to obviously, but as I was watching Daryl's reaction [laughter] and he was just barely ... He was stoic. I don't know," McBride told Insider when asked how Carol might react if she were present for Negan's quip. "I was expecting there to be some sort of comeback but there wasn't." With a laugh, McBride added, "Wah!"

When Daryl, Carol and other heroes were trapped in a cave with Alpha's walker horde in the midseason premiere, Daryl urged to "not bullsh-t" him. Why didn't Carol come clean about her plot with Negan?

"I think she just believed in this plan. She didn't want any interference, and she was willing to take the risk and be dishonest with him about this," McBride said. "She didn't want there to be an interruption or one more thing to pile on the horrible consequences of the things that she's done. She knew that was going to be a possibility. She just was afraid. She didn't want to say it. This could go either way, and I don't want to blow it if it doesn't, and if it does, I don't know what to say."

After reckoning with her past while alone in the woods, where Carol's thoughts manifested into a ghostly version of the slain Alpha, Carol returned to Alexandria and was let in without a word by Daryl.

The relationship has been strained since the cave, where Carol's unilateral decision to take out half of the horde left Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Magna (Nadia Hilker) trapped. Carol later learned both managed to escape, but Connie remains missing — something hurting the guilty Carol as much as it hurts Daryl and Connie's sister, Kelly (Angel Theory).

"Not knowing what transpired between the time where I last saw Negan and then I first see Daryl again, not knowing. That's the way that is. It's like I don't know what's going on yet. Does anybody know? Does anybody know yet? She can't say anything about Alpha's death because Negan's going to take credit for it," McBride said of her silent encounter with Daryl that ended "Look at the Flowers."

"That was her end of the bargain, to let everybody knows this was Negan's doing. I think she's just kind of mum, but I think she was looking for some indication that Daryl knew the truth," McBride continued. But Daryl, being Daryl, "gave nothing away."


Showrunner Angela Kang also shed light on Daryl and Carol's different and complicated relationship this half-season, saying the Whisperer War has "taken its toll on both of them."

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