The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus admits the ten-year relationship between Daryl and Melissa McBride's Carol is "definitely not the same" anymore. In the months since the gruesome murder of Carol's son Henry (Matt Lintz) at the hands of Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton), which led to a separation from husband Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Carol has struggled to move past the heartbreak she tried to escape when spending months away at sea. But since locking eyes with Alpha in the Season 10 premiere, reigniting her need for vengeance, Carol has been carrying out an increasingly reckless vendetta against Alpha that most recently left Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Magna (Nadia Hilker) in great peril.
"We went through the whole season with me having her back as I always do," Reedus told Entertainment Weekly. "But she's just gone rogue. She's doing her own thing and she's getting people hurt. She's getting people killed and she doesn't care."
Daryl urged Carol to talk to him in the midseason finale — a conversation they repeated in the midseason premiere, where Daryl confessed he can't turn his back on his best friend without worrying she'll run off half-cocked — and despite a promise to fight for their future, not revenge, Carol went behind Daryl's back in an attempt to take out half of Alpha's walker horde threatening the allied communities.
Carol inadvertently caused Connie and Magna to become buried beneath a mound of rubble, a consequence that, at least for now, has significantly fractured the best friends' bond. For Reedus, the strained relationship is similar to a rift that played out between Daryl and Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) over his unilateral decision to allow a defeated Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to live.
"It's very similar to the story that we told with Andy before Andy left that just this blind rage that losing his son had," Reedus said. "He was making decisions for everybody and pretty much everybody was against his decisions. Nobody agreed with him. And he was getting people hurt. The death of Carl (Chandler Riggs) just put him under this thing and he wanted to connect these two groups — this good group and this bad group. He wanted to connect them 'cause that's what Carl wanted in the end. And nobody agreed with him."
"Carol's storyline is very similar to that one. Her son was beheaded by this Alpha and she just sees red. She's making poor decisions," he continued. "I have that line, 'We don't fight for revenge. We fight for our future.' And it's me constantly picking up what she's dropping down and I'm not agreeing with it. And she's not listening. And it's poor decision making. It's when you make decisions that are from an emotional place and they're not thought out and she doesn't care who gets hurt. And after so many of these decisions — again, like what I went through with Rick — it's just this blind rage that's leading her down at the start the path and it's not good for anybody."
Now Carol might be responsible for the death of someone he cares about deeply.
"We think we're cool, and then she f—s it up. Then you think we're cool again, and she f—s it up again," Reedus said. "And I'm like, 'Yeah, I have your back, but this is getting ridiculous.' And it ends up with this dynamite that she just won't let go and she has to sneak away in the dark and plant it on the rock formation that's going to come down and kill this horde. And it ends up that she almost gets herself killed. And it ends up getting two beloved characters trapped."
Carol begged Daryl to scream at her outside the cave where Connie and Magna remain trapped, but Daryl is "so pissed" he "won't even give her that satisfaction."
"But, then again, in true Daryl form, I'm like, I won't give up. I'm going to go find a way back into this death trap," Reedus added. "But the relationship is definitely not the same relationship anymore."
In Sunday's episode 1010, "Stalker," Daryl returns to the cave entrance as part of an improvised rescue attempt that leads to a bloody attack.
New episodes of TWD Season 10 premiere Sundays on AMC. For more TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.