The Blast talked with “The Walking Dead” stars Lynn Collins and Seth Gilliam about the mid-season premiere of “The Walking Dead”, ominously titled “No Other Way,” and what fans can expect in the next eight episodes of the show as the post-apocalyptic show races toward its series finale later this year.
The upside to dividing the final season of “The Walking Dead” into three parts is that fans are treated to three premieres: the season premiere (1101), the mid-season premiere (1109) and the premiere of the last episode episodes. As the TWD Family well knows, premieres are always action-packed and “The Walking Dead” 1109 is no different.
There was a lot left up in the air following the mid-season finale episode 1108’s “For Blood.” Daryl (Norman Reedus) killed Pope (Ritchie Coster), leader of the Reapers, and that put Leah (Collins) and the Reapers on the defensive while Maggie, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Gabriel (Gilliam) and the others tried to get into the compound to get the food they so desperately needed.
Judith and Gracie were trapped in the basement as it flooded with water – and walkers.
The fate of Alexandria was left hanging in the balance as it was being hit with a severe storm and a breach that allowed countless walkers into the struggling community.
The mid-season premiere revealed who lived and who died, and it also revealed the introduction of the mysterious Commonwealth to the residents of Alexandria.
Seth Gilliam Praises ‘New Color Palettes’ On “The Walking Dead”
The Commonwealth is a thriving community of over 50,000 residents who have been living large since the fall of civilization while the rest of the world seemingly lapsed into chaos. A scouting party went looking for help and found it in the Commonwealth, but all is not what it seems with the community whose soldiers are dressed like colorful “Star Wars” Stormtroopers.
After ten seasons of living on the edge, fighting to survive, introducing a modernized society into the story is a welcome shift for Gilliam, who is wary of saying too much lest he reveal what’s coming in later episodes.
“There are some new and interesting color palettes that come into play once we introduce the Commonwealth that I thought was kind of interesting,” he said. “There’s color again in the world of ‘The Walking Dead.’ Aside from that, anything else I could say would be a spoiler.”
Lynn Collins Talks About The Fine Line Between Good And Evil
Collins’ Leah was introduced in the season 10 “bonus episodes” that were filmed during the pandemic. Leah started out as a love interest for Daryl, but after years of separation she turned up again as one of the highest ranking members of the show’s newest band of villains.
She has lots of thoughts about Leah’s journey and the troubling gray area between heroes and villains, between good and evil:
“This is tricky territory. My personal character’s journey, we’ve seen her two ways now. We’ve seen her domestic with Daryl in [season] 10 and now we see her as the Reaper Queen, but now everybody’s gone and we’re going to see a different layer to her. But she’s also quite isolated from everything that’s happening. But just this whole Commonwealth thing in general has come in to juxtapose the entire show up until now, and I hope the fans and audience find that interesting. We’ve seen these characters in the wilderness, but what are they in this place?
“This leads me to a conversation we had on set about what’s a villain and what’s not a villain. What’s a good guy and what’s a bad guy? And this idea that our heroes…if you look at the villains that have come in, well the heroes have done just as crazy, violent stuff as them. Going back to the idea that a villain never thinks he’s a villain and a bad guy never thinks he’s a bad guy. I do think that as these episodes go on, the line gets blurrier and blurrier instead of more distinct and that’s the beauty of this show. We don’t have to put them in a box, these characters, and the writers are going to keep throwing curveballs at you so even if you try, you can’t. That’s what makes the show different in general. It’s not cookie cutter.”
The Commonwealth Is A Game Changer For “The Walking Dead”
As “The Walking Dead” moves toward the series finale later this year, fans should expect the unexpected. The mid-season premiere ended with a glance at the future — six months, to be exact — and it doesn’t look like the Commonwealth soldiers are welcome at Maggie’s Hilltop community.
For now, all fans know for sure is that the times are changing and things are about to get very, very interesting.