The Walking Dead Dropped a Romantic Relationship Because It “Didn’t Work” for the Fans

The Walking Dead actor Jason Douglas, who played Alexandria resident Tobin, admits a short-lived romance with Melissa McBride's Carol "didn't work well" with the fans — or the show's creative team. Introduced in season 5 episode "Forget," it wasn't until season 6 episode "Not Tomorrow Yet" that Tobin emerged as the first romantic interest for Carol since the death of her abusive husband, Ed (Adam Minarovich), in the first season. But Carol, haunted by her growing kill count and not wanting to add to it by going to war with the Saviors commanded by Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), quietly left Alexandria — and Tobin — when she slipped away in the night in "Twice as Far."

"I'm not sure if the writers or the showrunner were interested in taking the case any further. I assume that it didn't work well with some of our fans, because the subject was practically dropped entirely in season 7," Douglas told The Walking Dead Brazil. "But I loved working with Melissa, who is a very nuanced and naturalistic artist, and I think we could have made some interesting choices together, given the opportunity. And I'm grateful that we managed to tie things up in my final scene."

In season 8, when the allied communities are at all-out war with the Saviors, Tobin is defending the Hilltop when a Savior stabs him with a zombie guts-tainted knife in "Do Not Send Us Astray." Reunited in the Hilltop infirmary, Carol and Tobin reflect on their dalliance before he dies from his wounds. Tobin's reanimated corpse is then discovered and put down by Carol.

Douglas is partial to his final episode because Tobin died "exactly as I always expected him to — 'with his boots on' defending the people he liked."

"I was able to work once again with almost the entire main cast like Andy [Lincoln], Melissa, as well as some of the fantastic new additions to the show, including Cooper Andrews and Avi Nash," Douglas said. "And, of course, I spent time as a zombie in a very cool tribute to Frankenstein and the classic horror film."

After leaving Alexandria, Carol struck up a romance with Kingdom leader King Ezekiel (Khary Payton) and later married him. Carol and the king's fairytale romance dissolved after the death of their son, Henry (Matt Lintz), who was murdered by Whisperer leader Alpha (Samantha Morton).

Carol and Ezekiel briefly rekindled their physical relationship during the Whisperer War in season 10.


The Walking Dead returns with six new episodes in early 2021 on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.