The Walking Dead showrunner on that shocking final scene, and what comes next

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Feb 24, 2016, 6:52 PM EST (Updated)

For a show that’s built its success on huge shocks, Sunday’s The Walking Dead provided one of the biggest — though not in the way you might expect. So, what does showrunner Scott Gimple have to say about that surprising final scene?

Spoilers ahead for “The Next World,” the latest episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead, as well as the comic that inspired it!

Fans have been pushing for Rick and Michonne to get together for years now, and the moment has finally arrived. The episode jumped forward two months after the zombie herd was finally dispatched from Alexandria, as Rick and Michonne have settled into a domestic routine in the house they (platonically, up that point) share. But, as they kick back on the sofa to talk about their respective crazy days, the two share a moment and wind up in bed together. It’s sweet in its mundanity, as they finally find one another in the most normal of moments in the post-apocalypse.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gimple said this jump forward gave their friendship a chance to breathe, as they were both able to discover there were deeper feelings underneath it:

“It was all about finding an everyday context. It was all about having these two characters come to realize that their intimacy and bond extended beyond friendship. Alexandria, in the state it’s currently in, gave them the moment to come to that realization. And that’s a super clinical, mathematical analysis of romance. So I’ll say this: These are two people who have found kindred spirits in each other, strength, respect, support, loyalty. But the world has been screaming in their faces and clawing at them for a good part of their acquaintance. For all they’ve been through, when the world stopped screaming and clawing for them, they realized what they had…

These are two people who have suddenly realized — pretty much at exactly the same time, on that couch — what they already had together and who they already were to each other. This isn’t a one-night stand. And what they have was already there, before they even kissed.”

But what does this mean for the comics? As readers are well aware, this is very much not the direction creator Robert Kirkman took Rick’s love story in the comics, as he eventually ends up with Andrea (who has been dead a few seasons now on the show). According to Gimple, Andrea’s different arcs have been “broken up and given to several characters,” and this apparently represents one of those instances.

It’s an interesting creative move, and in regard to where the characters are in the TV show, it fits in a lot of ways.

What do you think? Have you been patiently waiting for Richonne? Where does the relationship go next?


(Via Entertainment Weekly)

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