Despite only a six-hour season, the body count for recurring characters on The Walking Dead was remarkably high, with two more biting the dust in the season finale. [Caution—spoilers for The Walking Dead season-one finale ahead!]
For now, and at least until next October, we know that Jacqui (Jeryl Prescott) and Dr. Edmond Jenner (Noah Emmerich) chose to go up in flames at the CDC, while Andrea (Laurie Holden), Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) continue to be some of the last human survivors in a walker's world.
A few weeks before the series finale, those last three actors clued us in to their characters' lack of deadness at the end of the season when they shared their hopes for what they might face in the second season of the show.
Unlike Andrea and Glenn, who are major players in Robert Kirkman's comic-book series, Reedus' redneck Daryl was created by executive producer Frank Darabont for the TV show, which means the actor hasn't been able to cheat and get clues to his character's future arc. Regardless, and maybe surprisingly so, Reedus says he is looking for some redemption for Daryl next season, moving away from the violence and bigotry of his MIA brother, Merle (Michael Rooker).
"I would like to see some resolution for Daryl," says the actor. "He's such a lost person. I'd like to see him join a group and start something other than just fight-or-flight stuff. He could use some hope."
Steven Yeun says Glenn will come into his own as a man in season two, with more of his heroic potential coming out, as well as his skills with the ladies (a plot line explored in the comics).
"I have read all that," he laughs about Glenn's sexual awakening, "but what's great is that the comic books serve a different medium but we are going to stay true and then take some deviations. I think Glenn is the go-to guy who is willing to do anything. Right now he doesn't have much to live for, but he's finding family in this new group of people. In the same vein, my character has a lot of growth. He's this youthful kid that wants to assert himself and establish his presence, but it's hard when there are a lot of egos going around and there's also zombies around. He's slowly getting there, and I'm really excited to see how he grows up as a man."
Laurie Holden's Andrea almost decided to check out for good in the CDC explosion after the devastating loss of her sister, but at the last second returned to the group at Dale's (Jeffrey DeMunn) coaxing. Readers of the comic book know Andrea takes a more proactive role than we've seen in the series.
Holden explains, "Before the apocalypse she was a lawyer. She has a really strong moral compass and is impassioned to help others. So I'm looking forward to embracing the Andrea that was written in the comic, because season one is ... I can't say pretty Andrea, but it's before she emerges as the badass she becomes. I look forward to embracing my rifle."
So what did you think of last night's season finale—and of the cast's hopes for the season ahead?