After the events of TWD’s Season Eight finale, is mutiny in the horizon for Alexandria and the Hilltop? After the defeat of the Saviors Rick’s gang is enjoying some hard-won peace, but how long will that last?
Showrunner (to this point) Scott Gimple sat down with Vulture to answer a few pressing questions about what we saw. These quotes will contain spoilers if you have yet to watch the episode.
One thing Gimple expresses relief about is that this was the first season finale in a long time where he didn’t have to inform a longtime cast member they were being killed off. It could have easily been Jeffrey Dean Morgan, but Rick showed mercy to Negan at the end, honoring his late son’s wishes — and, in the process, outraging Maggie to the point of rebellion.
This led to the setup for what will be Season Nine’s main conflict, as Maggie met in secret with Jesus about plans to topple Rick as leader — and surprise surprise (well, not that surprising), Daryl is in too. According to Gimple, each of them are in this for their own reasons:
Maggie said Rick was wrong, but I think her issue … I think it’s about Negan. Without going into it too much, her reaction to Rick letting Negan live was gigantic. She didn’t get to make the choice about Negan, and I don’t think Maggie is the type of person to just shrug, but I think she put her leadership at the Hilltop first. She was talking about the health and welfare of her community first, but she said this is also on my to-do list. This is not settled.
And Daryl has a pretty intimate relationship with Negan. He has seen all sides of him. As far as Jesus goes, Jesus would not kill surviving Saviors, and he’s not really about killing people to start with, but he’s not Morgan. This isn’t like an utter code of his; he’ll do what he has to do, with a fairness about it. But does that really apply to Negan? Does Negan deserve that sort of mercy? I think even with Jesus it’s a different story, and I think he really has Maggie’s back. In many ways, in that moment, he’s feeling out Maggie’s feelings about the situation.
The interviewer asked for hints regarding the next season, but Gimple didn’t give many…partly, he admitted, because he’s handing direct control over to someone else (Angela Kang) and he can’t predict precisely what she’ll do. He laid out what the staff is aiming for, though:
Angela Kang is our new showrunner, and I just don’t want her to kill me. I can say just, generally, that the show will evolve. The stories are evolving. The things that they’re facing are evolving. The stakes are even higher because of what they’re all trying to do, and how they come into conflict with big things. Yes, there’s some unfinished business from this season, but that isn’t the big, big drive. I’m just very excited to break some new ground, to see them tackle very, very different issues, problems, and conflicts than we’ve seen in the last eight years. It is just going to be a very, very different show.
One last thing…what was that helicopter about? Gimple would only say there is “definitely something going on there.”