Showrunner Angela Kang says best friends Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride) have a "long road to travel" towards mending their "complicated" relationship in The Walking Dead Season 11 — if they both survive the zombie horde unleashed by Beta (Ryan Hurst) in the coming tenth season finale. The decade-long friendship was fractured in Season 10, where Carol went rogue and grew progressively reckless when pursuing vengeance against her son's killer, Alpha (Samantha Morton) of the Whisperers. Daryl and Carol's relationship became strained in the mid-season premiere, "Squeeze," when Carol's actions left Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Magna (Nadia Hilker) trapped beneath rubble inside a walker-filled cave.
"The thing about Daryl and Carol is, they have one of the coolest relationships on the show. It's so much fun to write for both Norman and Melissa," Kang said during The Walking Dead's virtual Comic-Con presentation. "I think — as with any long, deep relationship with anybody in people's lives — it can get complicated. Because they can be real with each other in ways that not everybody can, and that means that the hurts run deeper."
For Season 11, Kang added, "All I want to say without spoiling it all is that you kind of start from that point, and they've got a long road to travel. We're writing some stuff now, and we'll see where it all lands."
The new season, previously expected to reach AMC this fall, will now air in late 2021 due to a coronavirus-caused filming delay. Daryl and Carol will first put their problems aside and work together to escape Beta's walker horde when the season finale premieres October 4.
"We went through the whole season with me having her back as I always do. But she's just gone rogue," Reedus told Entertainment Weekly earlier this year. "She's doing her own thing and she's getting people hurt. She's getting people killed and she doesn’t care."
Carol hit rock bottom when Connie and Magna were feared dead, and later suffered the wrath of a furious Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura) when Magna resurfaced without Connie. In the penultimate episode of the season, "The Tower," Carol sought forgiveness and tearfully apologized to Connie's sister, Kelly (Angel Theory).0comments
Towards the start of the half-season, Reedus told EW the Daryl and Carol relationship is "definitely not the same relationship anymore" in the wake of the explosive mid-season premiere.
The Walking Dead Season 10 finale, “A Certain Doom,” premieres Sunday, October 4 on AMC. For all things TWD, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.