(Spoiler alert: Don't read this if you don't want a general idea of what's coming up on "The Walking Dead" or want to know what has happened in the comics that inspired it.)
For all we've seen on "The Walking Dead" this season – a pregnant woman's death, an eye gouged with glass, reunited brothers facing almost certain doom – showrunner Glen Mazzara reminds us that there's one thing we haven't seen.
"What's interesting is Rick and The Governor by the end of episode 8 still haven't seen each other," he told TheWrap, referring to the show's biggest hero and villain and a midseason finale that somehow kept them separated.
Sunday's episode featured Rick's band of survivors invading the town of Woodbury, ruled by The Governor (played by David Morrissey, above), to save two of their own. It ended with Rick's right-hand man, Daryl, reunited with The Governor's lieutenant – his brother Merle.
The Governor, convinced that Merle had betrayed him, decreed that both brothers should die before an angry mob of Woodbury's angriest citizens.
Mazzara talked to TheWrap about what to expect in the second half of the show's third season, which arrives in February. It will tell us what becomes of the brothers and finally bring Rick and The Governor face to face.
There's also a major complication: With his wife, Lori, dead, Rick is now the single parent of a newborn. A potentially loud newborn.
TheWrap: One thing that's admirable about Rick, compared to The Governor, is that he's not a manipulator. When he decided last season that the group isn't going to be a democracy anymore, he told them. At least they know where they stand. Isn't that a reflection of his morality? Mazzara: We'll see that morality come into question. It'll be interesting to see the effect that The Governor and Rick have on each other. The Governor may use some of Rick's methods, and Rick may use some of The Governor's methods to lead their groups.
Obviously anyone could die at any time. But how long do you hope to keep The Governor around? I think The Governor has a lot of story. He's a very nuanced character, he's mercurial; David Morrissey does a fantastic job of exploring him. And one of the things that we do with characters' deaths is ask, What story does it lead to? And right now The Governor's alive because that's the story to be told. I think there's a lot of layers to explore with that character.
Merle seems irredeemable at this point, after torturing Glen. Is he? I don't know if he's irredeemable. He's got his own agenda. I don't know if he's looking for redemption at this point. If he survives this arena at the end of the midseason finale, he certainly has no place in Woodbury. He's been exposed as a traitor. So he would either have to go out on the road by himself or try to integrate into the group. I don't know if this is a world where anyone can survive alone so it's interesting to have him, as you say, irredeemable, and yet try to fit into Rick's group. … It'll be very interesting to see the effect that this has on Daryl.
Earlier this season you killed Lori as she was giving birth. In the comics that inspire the series, both she and the baby are killed. Did the writers talk a lot about whether to cross the line of killing a baby? Yeah, we did. And actually it's difficult to have a baby in this show. It makes everyone's life easier if the baby is not there. And so I wanted to keep the baby alive as a complication. The baby is as vulnerable as can be. The baby can cry and give away a location to either opponents or walkers. The baby has needs. The baby can get sick. It adds a great pressure to our characters.
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