Connie's back on The Walking Dead, but star Lauren Ridloff says "time will tell" what happens between the PTSD-stricken survivor and prospective romantic interest Daryl (Norman Reedus). On Sunday's "On the Inside," Connie reunites with her sister Kelly (Angel Theory) after going missing inside a Whisperer cave in Season 10. Connie's comeback follows Daryl's own reunion with ex-lover Leah (Lynn Collins), who just so happens to be part of Pope's (Ritchie Coster) "Chosen Ones" — a.k.a. the masked mercenaries called the Reapers — hunting down Maggie (Lauren Cohan) in the wake of the Whisperer War.
It's Kelly, leading a group of Carol (Melissa McBride), Rosita (Christian Serratos), and Magna (Nadia Hilker), who finds Connie with Virgil (Kevin Carroll) as they flee a house of horrors literally crawling with feral humans. An exhausted and sleep-deprived Connie, on the run since escaping Alpha's (Samantha Morton) walker horde hiding spot after an explosive cave-in, has nightmarish flashbacks that will continue to affect her as the season progresses.
"One thing that is quite clear is that Connie has changed, also," Ridloff told Decider via an American Sign Language interpreter when asked if her return might reignite "sparks" between Connie and Daryl, who has changed since she saw him last. "She's in a different place mentally, as opposed to before the cave. And now when she actually, finally reunites with part of her group, her sister specifically."
"So I do think that Connie now has some PTSD that she's dealing with, and she needs to deal with that first and how that actually affects her and her relationships," added Ridloff, "whether it be with Daryl or her reentering into that community again. So only time will tell."
After Connie went missing in the Season 10 episode "Squeeze," Ridloff pointed out that Connie and Carol (Melissa McBride) are friends despite factions of fans calling for a romantic pairing of either "Donnie" (Daryl and Connie) or "Caryl" (Carol and Daryl).
"Right now of course they have the Donnie shippers and the Caryl shippers, the wars with the fans. But I think it was just a moment to show everybody that Connie and Carol are two very mature women who have a relationship and a rapport outside of this man, that he doesn't even have to be involved," Ridloff said last year on Talking Dead, referring to a tender moment between Connie and a claustrophobic Carol. "And the fact that Connie was able to do something that involved just the simple touch of the hand, and to have that moment of humanness, it's almost like holding her hand. Holding her hand would have been babying Carol, and it wasn't anything like that. I think it was a creative way for Connie to give Carol that support."
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.