War! Daryl's (Norman Reedus) ex Leah (Lynn Collins) is out for blood when The Walking Dead returns in 2022 with the second part of Season 11. October's midseason finale, "For Blood," ended with Leah turning on Pope (Ritchie Coster) and blaming his murder on the enemy: Daryl. Taking the reins of the Reapers as Maggie (Lauren Cohan) marches on Meridian, Leah launches a hwacha and fires rocket-powered arrows at Daryl's friends on the battlefield below. As the first part of the expanded Final Season leaves off with a cliffhanger and the fates of Maggie, Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari), and Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) up in the air, see what's ahead when The Walking Dead returns February 20 on AMC.
"I think for Daryl and Leah, that evolved over time as we were working on the season. We knew that we wanted to kind of do almost like this, I suppose, like a villain's origin story with Leah," showrunner Angela Kang previously told Deadline about bringing back Daryl's former flame as an enemy. "I think with Daryl, it's really like there is this romantic aspect once, but we always felt that the story was more about what happens in grief when you cling to somebody, but that moment is gone, and you realize, looking in the rear-view mirror, that there was like always something that was broken or toxic about it."
In the final moments of the midseason finale, Leah wages war against Daryl and Maggie as they attempt to reclaim Meridian and save a starving Alexandria. "We survived everything for what? To keep fighting and killing each other?" Daryl asks Leah in a standoff to start Season 11B. She answers, "If that's what it takes."
See the sneak preview in the video above.
"In some ways, the Maggie, Negan, Daryl, Leah stories bounce off of each other because Negan is our number one example of a villain who all of our people hated, who has come around to sort of be integral to our group in his own way," Kang told Deadline. "Leah is somebody that we started off as like maybe she's not a villain, but can she come back? So, we felt like that was an interesting way to touch on the questions of, is redemption really possible in this world? Are there foregone conclusions?"
"Like if you cut somebody's story off at just the right place, do you just feel good about that and move on, or should you have given them a couple more turns to get somewhere else?" Kang said. "So, that was just something that thematically we were thinking about a lot as we were building this first block."
The Walking Dead Season 11 returns with new episodes February 20 on AMC.