The Walking Dead Snuck in More Magna and Yumiko Backstory
The Walking Dead 10x04, "Silence the Whisperers," quietly revealed an interesting detail behind the romantic relationship between Magna (Nadia Hilker) and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), leader of the tight-knit group comprised of Luke (Dan Fogler) and sisters Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Kelly (Angel Theory). Because the depressed King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) froze when a collapsed tree exposed the Hilltop colony to walkers, Yumiko stepped up to take control of the situation. Her group stood together to fight off the invading swarm of walkers, but when Yumiko ordered a retreat, Magna refused to stand down and was only convinced to back off from the fight with some urging from Connie.
When the situation calmed, Magna protested Yumiko's decision. "We could have taken those walkers," she said, taking issue with Yumiko's shot-calling. "When sh-t hits the fan," Yumiko told her, "somebody's got to step up." Magna wasn't swayed by Yumiko's leadership style, telling her, "You're not my lawyer anymore."
When we were first introduced to Yumiko's group in Season 9 — where they were rescued and introduced to Alexandria by Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) — Magna told the community council she was a truck stop waitress. What she failed to disclose was her past as an ex-con, only exposed when Michonne (Danai Gurira) identified a prison tattoo.
"We will dole out a little more back story with Magna and Yumiko. We wanted to deal with it as sort of like an organic fashion as possible, since they've been together so long that they wouldn't just kind of come out and say 'Here's the back story of how we know each other,'" showrunner Angela Kang told EW. "We know now that Yumiko was her lawyer. We do know from last season that Magna, at some point, was in jail for something. And so that says something about what the nature of their relationship started as. It was not a relationship of equals, necessarily, so in the complicated ways that people come together in the apocalypse, obviously, a lot of things have changed between them, but there's clearly still some deep, difficult feelings that Magna's certainly dealing with about all of that."
In the comic books, Magna was group leader. While the Magna-Yumiko relationship carried over, their dynamic was changed on the show when Yumiko was established as the leading member.
Though Ezekiel merged his people with the Hilltop when he was forced to shutter the Kingdom, Kang says there's presently no single leader at the colony formerly led by Maggie Rhee (Lauren Cohan).
"There's not really one person in charge. They have got an interim council," she explained. "Yumiko certainly is very involved and has stepped up from that group's side. People like Alden and Earl, who are long-timers there, they weigh in, and then there's also the Kingdom contingent, and so Ezekiel and Jerry are certainly an important part of that group, but really there's not one leader. And that's one of the things that I think is challenging at times. You have a big event like this happen, and you feel like, okay, wow, like there are some people who need to step up and make things happen now."
In 2018, Hilker said Magna has a "dark" backstory she hopes The Walking Dead explores in the future.
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.0comments