19 brutally honest questions I have after 'The Walking Dead' mid-season finale

19 brutally honest questions I have after 'The Walking Dead' mid-season finale
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  • Warning: There are massive spoilers ahead for "TWD" season 11 part 2 finale, "Acts of God."

  • With eight episodes of "TWD" left, there's still tons to wrap up. Where Virgil? Will we see Rick?

  • Insider's Kirsten Acuna lists some outstanding questions along with some answers from showrunner Angela Kang.

How did Aaron, Father Gabriel, and Daryl all make it out of that Commonwealth stand-off alive?

TWD 1116 Aaron and Gabriel
Is the audience supposed to believe that the Commonwealth soldiers are so inept at shooting that they can't manage to kill three men without any armor on?Jace Downs/AMC

It wasn't very believable that Aaron, Daryl, and Gabe — without any armor — were able to successfully take out a group of trained soldiers wearing protective gear. We've seen how well the Commonwealth army is at eliminating threats.

Maybe we're supposed to believe that our trio is just better at outsmarting the Commonwealth soldiers because they've been through so much together that it's made them an incredibly deadly force.

I'm not mad that Aaron, Daryl, and Gabe are still alive because these are three of our original characters, but that trio has some serious plot armor.

Was that really how Leah was supposed to die?

TWD 1116 Leah's death
Leah (Lynn Collins) is killed ruthlessly by Daryl on Sunday's mid-season finale.Jace Downs/AMC

On Sunday's episode, during a brawl with Maggie, Leah gets shot in the back of the head by Daryl, her former lover, and is killed instantly.

If Leah's death felt a bit anticlimactic, showrunner Angela Kang said they considered an alternative iteration of the scene.

"With Leah, we went through many, many iterations of the story and I think we even had an iteration where Daryl and Leah had more of a conversation," Kang told Insider.

What changed? A suggestion from the show's star, Norman Reedus, who has played Daryl since season one.

"This is one of the cases where in collaboration with our actors, Norman really was feeling like, 'You know, I don't even think I'd have anything left to say to her. If I came in and just saw Maggie in danger, I would take her out at that point.'"

"In this case, we wanted to also respect the actor's feelings about where he felt his character was at that point in the story," Kang added.

To his credit, Daryl said that if he saw Leah again that he was going to kill her. He's a man of his word.

It seems like Reedus has a lot of creative control on the series because this isn't the first time Reedus has weighed in on a big death scene.

In 2020, Ryan Hurst told Insider he was "a little sad" to not get a big fight scene with his real-life pals Reedus and Jeffrey Dean Morgan for his death.

At the time, Kang told Insider it felt like they already had done a similar "dragged out fight" between Daryl and Beta earlier and they didn't want a repeat. But on the October 4, 2020, episode of "Talking Dead," Hurst said he pitched a big fight scene and said it was Reedus who suggested Beta's quick, swift death.

"I was big on like, 'Yo, me and Daryl should have a big fight," Hurst said of pushing for it. "There should be a knife fight. They were like, 'Nah, we're just gonna stab you in the head.'"

He added: "Norm was like, 'Nah, I think I should just stab him in the face.' So, I lost that one."

Where is Luke?

luke jules twd 1001
Luke's most likely with Jules.AMC

Fogler's character was part of Yumiko and Magna's group, but he hasn't been seen on the show since the season 10 finale.

During a panel in March at a convention called Fandemic Tour, Fogler told fans he believes Luke is teaching music classes at Oceanside where he's living with his girlfriend, Jules.

"I suspect that he's over at Oceanside, just living it up on the beach there, having a good time," Fogler said.

If that's the case, Luke theoretically should have appeared in the lineup at the episode's end when Hornsby took siege of Oceanside. I guess I'll just pretend Luke and Jules were conveniently at the beach and snuck away to get help before they could be caught. (Maybe long-lost character Cyndie's with them, too.)

I can forgive this absence since Fogler was busy working on "Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore," in which he has a very large role as a non-magical baker living his best muggle life.

Fogler didn't give details on if he'd return to "TWD" for its final eight episodes, but fans have spotted him on set in photos that I won't share here. So it seems like the writers have just been biding their time and likely got creative as they've had to a few times when actors have been filming other projects.

Why did AMC announce two spinoff shows well in advance of the show ending?

TWD 1105 Negan and Maggie
Negan and Maggie will star on "Isle of the Dead."Josh Stringer/AMC

It's making it really difficult to feel like the stakes are high on the show's final season when Maggie, Negan, Daryl, or Carol are in any sort of danger since all four will appear in two different spinoffs launching next year.

In March, star Jeffrey Dean Morgan recently expressed his surprise over the early announcement of his upcoming series, "Isle of the Dead" on the "Rich Eisen Show," saying he wasn't sure why they announced it, yet.

"I guess we know that Negan doesn't die," Morgan said, adding, "It was sort of a shocker to me."

Of the "Isle of the Dead" announcement, Kang told Insider when they were writing this season they "did not know that it was going to be announced."

"Maybe things would've been handled a little differently, but, you know, that's above my pay grade," Kang said.

Will we get a resolution on Magna and Yumiko's relationship?

TWD 909 Yumiko and Magna
Magna and Yumiko on season nine of "TWD."Gene Page/AMC

Magna and Yumiko's relationship has been rocky recently. Since arriving at the Commonwealth, we haven't seen them interact at all (other than at a party where Magna was a waiter serving Yumiko drinks).

Is their relationship in jeopardy now that they're in different social classes in this community?

"I don't think they cut anything of mine and Magna's personally," Eleanor Matsuura, who plays Yumiko, told Insider in February when asked if there was anything with her and Magna left on the cutting room floor.

"In this season, I hope that we get some kind of resolution [between Magna and Yumiko] and I genuinely don't know if we do or not," Matsuura said at the time. "I hope, just personally, we do, because that would be a beautiful kind of full-circle moment for the two of us starting the show together and finishing it in some kind of special way."

What are we building up to in the series' finale?

TWD 1115 Lance Hornsby
Is the last eight episodes just about taking Lance out? (Josh Hamilton is great, but is this what we're going for?)Jace Downs/AMC

Currently, the gang is planning to expose the Commonwealth's corruption to (I guess) make the community more of a utopian society for its 50,000 members.

Meanwhile, Lance — and the Commonwealth, by extension — have taken control of the three main locations that our survivors have called home starting with season five.

Is the end goal trying to fix the Commonwealth? Are Daryl, Carol, Aaron, and more going to try and get back to their homes? (Alexandria means everything to Aaron.) Is Lance going to die?

I'm not really sure what a conclusive ending to "The Walking Dead" looks like at this point since the survivors have endlessly gone from conflict to conflict with the next bad-guy community of the week.

I guess, ideally, it would reach a point so that they're all safe, together without any threats from the living or the undead. But can they really reach that point in eight episodes if the audience knows there's a larger, more massive threat out there with Jadis at the helm called the Civic Republic Military?

Will we see a version of the comic ending or will that be scrapped since the show has so many spinoffs and a movie to set up?

TWD 1116 Daryl, Aaron, Maggie, Gabe
Daryl, Aaron, Maggie, and Gabriel reunite at the end of Sunday's "The Walking Dead" 11b finale.Jace Downs/AMC

The comics end with a massive 25-year flash-forward into the future. There's a statue commemorating Rick Grimes and Carl and Sophia are married, raising a daughter. We may get some version of that, but Carl and Sophia were killed off the show years ago and Rick is currently missing from the series.

Star Ross Marquand told Insider he thought they may be skipping some stuff from the end of the comics, saying, "They might not be visiting some of the stuff towards the end of the comic series."

"I don't think they're rushing anything and I certainly don't think they're truncating anything except for the stuff towards the end of the comic series," Marquand added.

If there is a flash-forward, maybe it won't be as extensive.

If we're not working towards an ending with Carl, perhaps we'll get one with a grown Judith happy.

At the same time, it feels like "TWD" can't possibly end in a similar way to the comics because it has to simultaneously set up two spinoff shows and, likely, a Rick Grimes' movie. It makes me both anxiously excited and a bit nervous to know that this series could end in a drastically different way from the comics.

Why haven't we received more scenes between Connie and Daryl?

TWD 1109 Connie Daryl reunion
Daryl is shocked to see Connie alive and well on season 11, episode nine of "TWD."AMC, composite by Kirsten Acuna/Insider

I realize the show only has a limited number of episodes after it was announced that it would be ending with its 11th season, but it seems like its unexpected end has forced the creators to cut down some scenes between characters in favor of servicing the overall story.

Fans have been waiting for about two years for Connie and Daryl to reunite after the former was believed to have died in a cave-in.

Despite a short reunion on season 11, episode nine, the two haven't really had a meaningful conversation since. That feels odd since Daryl told Connie he had so many questions for her.

Audiences are left to presume those questions were asked and answered off-screen because the series skipped ahead a month on the next episode with Daryl, Connie, and more members of Alexandria getting acclimated into the Commonwealth community.

The most we've seen between the two since then was a small scene on season 11, episode 10 where they discussed Connie's job and Carol suggested that Daryl should ask Connie to a dance that evening. In true Daryl fashion, he ignored the question.

"His relationship with Connie, I think he would've liked to see a little bit more of that," Reedus told Insider when we asked if there was anything he would've liked to play out differently with his character on "TWD" in February.

Hopefully, we get to see Daryl and Connie interact a little bit more in these final eight episodes.

When are big characters going to start to die?

TWD 1115 Gabriel and Aaron
Many characters, like Gabriel and Aaron, have outlived their comic deaths.Jace Downs/AMC

Yes, Leah's death was a big one, but I think we all expected she may not survive after the way the mid-season premiere ended with her heading off alone.

In February, Lynn Collins told us she was "scared" of what Leah would do next if we saw her again, hinting at the destructive path we saw her venture down.

"She's got nothing to lose, literally, nothing to lose ... It's gonna be interesting to see how she comes back if she does," Collins added.

Where are the big character deaths? I've pondered whether or not some of these have been held off because of the early episode release on AMC+ each week to avoid big spoilers from leaking.

Now, that we're getting into the final eight episodes, there have to be some big casualties coming, right? Several characters — Judith, Father Gabriel, Rosita, and Ezekiel — have all outlived their comic deaths.

Is someone going to get Rick's comic death?

will aaron become rick grimes walking dead
Aaron is certainly looking more and more like Rick in the comics.AMC/Skybound

In the comics, Rick is shot dead in his bed by Sebastian Teo Rapp-Olsson.

I tried asking Rapp-Olsson about this during interviews for the show in February, but he cleverly dodged and avoided the question. (I don't blame him!)

If someone else takes Rick's death, Aaron, who looks a lot like comic-book Rick right now, feels like an obvious choice.

But he hasn't been hanging around the Commonwealth a whole lot for his death to really have some sort of meaning to the community to start an uprising. If someone has to receive Rick's death, I have an idea of who it could be...

Is Ezekiel's secret hospital going to be shut down and will he be punished for starting it? Could he receive a version of Rick's comic death?

TWD 1115 Ezekiel
Is Ezekiel in danger?Jace Downs/AMC

Ezekiel (Khary Payton) takes a massive risk by starting an underground hospital to help the less fortunate of the Commonwealth.

In doing so, the people he's helping become big fans of Ezekiel.

If the Commonwealth leader, Pamela, or others catch on and shut it down, will Ezekiel be made an example of through punishment or something worse? We've seen characters who step out of line, like Tyler Davis, get quietly removed from the Commonwealth never to be seen again. Are they killed? And, if so, could Ezekiel be in danger?

If something happens to Ezekiel, it could be the final straw that causes an uproar within the Commonwealth community to get the Miltons out of power.

As a reminder, Ezekiel has long outlived his comic counterpart's death. Zeke was killed in the comics when the Whisperers joined the series. His head was placed on one of the pikes. In a twist, on the show, Henry, his adopted son, received the big death instead.

If Ezekiel does get a version of Rick's death, I believe the show would change his death drastically. In the comics, Rick is shot defenseless in his bed. It's a pretty terrible death for someone who was considered the ultimate survivor in "TWD" to be gunned down. I also think the writers are wiser than to have a significant Black character on the series gunned down defenseless.

Payton previously told Insider that he told the showrunners years ago that if he's ever killed off the show to "have him die with his head up and looking out for some kind of light."

Are we going to learn about Lance's secret project and what's going on with his underground network?

TWD 1113 Lance
What is Lance up to?AMC

Hornsby revealed on season 11, episode 13 that he took some of the resources to rebuild Alexandria and directed them toward another project, referred to as "that other thing."

When they wound up stolen, that's why he was so insistent on getting those materials back.

What is this "other thing"?

On episode 12, we also learned that Hornsby appears to oversee a shady sector of the Commonwealth that may be connected to the disappearance of Tyler and others in the community.

Kang teased to us that Lance "really has some memorable moments coming up" that she's "excited for people to see." Maybe we'll get the answers we're looking for.

Did this show introduce Annie (Negan's new wife) just to kill her off in a few episodes?

TWD 1114 Annie and Negan
Annie and Negan are married. Negan never remarries in the comics.AMC

In a huge departure from the comics, we recently learned that Negan has a new wife, Annie, and that she's pregnant. I'm still trying to figure out how Negan and Maggie wind up together on their own spinoff series.

Was this subplot introduced in order to make Negan more likable? Is this a ploy to create sympathy for Negan if both his wife and unborn child are killed in the final eight episodes of "TWD"?

If it's the latter, that feels awfully convenient to fridge a female character just to advance Negan's plot and gain some potential sympathy points from Maggie.

Maybe a pregnant Annie will be kidnapped and Maggie will help Negan search for her.

When did Lance Hornsby become Batman villain Harvey Dent?

TWD 1116 Lance Hornsby
Lance Hornsby has a Joker-like scar now and a Harvey Dent-esque coin. Is he a Bat villain, now?Jace Downs/AMC

Josh Hamilton has been doing an incredible job making the TV version of Lance Hornsby his own. Hamilton told Insider he unintentionally wound up doing a full series' binge after getting cast and it seems like his homework paid off.

Hamilton has quickly made his mark as one of the show's top villains alongside the Governor and Alpha.

Though Lance's instability and obsession with power have been made clear, I was personally confused by the character's sudden obsession on Sunday's finale with flipping a coin to make life-altering choices.

Lance's lucky "gold" coin was first seen on season 11, episode 12 during a conversation with Maggie in which Lance revealed the coin was only gold-plated. The conversation hinted at the Commonwealth as something shiny on the outside that may be uglier underneath the surface, but it never seemed like Lance was especially reliant on the coin to decide anyone's fate. It just seemed like a story that was shared to tell us something about the Commonwealth.

We haven't received any sort of backstory on Hornsby, his coin, and why he holds so much value in it.

We may not with eight episodes remaining; however, I'm going to trust Kang, Hamilton, and the writers on this one.

They really couldn't let Carol and Leah have a scene?

Lynn Collins and Melissa McBride Leah and Carol TWD
Lynn Collins wished she and Melissa McBride shared a scene together.Josh Stringer/AMC

This just seemed like an obvious scene for fans to see since both women have been important to Daryl.

Lynn Collins told Insider it was the one thing she wished she was able to do on "TWD" that she didn't get to do.

"The only complaint that I've had is that I wanted to have scenes with Melissa, who plays Carol, and we weren't able to do that. That's my only complaint," Collins said.

Collins said she would've loved to see Leah become a part of the group and see how she and Carol would've interacted.

What happened to Virgil and when is everyone going to learn that he is holding onto the show's biggest secret?

twd kevin caroll virgil
Did Virgil just ... disappear?Gene Page/AMC

In case you don't remember, Kevin Carroll's character was the one who kidnapped Michonne and is one of the only people on the series who knows that she went off on an important mission to save Rick Grimes.

That feels like imperative information that he should be sharing with the rest of the group. Conveniently, Virgil hasn't been seen since the big storm at Alexandria on season 11, episode eight.

Theoretically, he should've appeared in the background of season 11, episode nine as Lance Hornsby was offering to bring the Alexandrians to the Commonwealth, but he's not visible. It's not known if Virgil decided to go to the Commonwealth or not. But I'm willing to bet he didn't go off on his own since he was injured and could've used medical attention.

Maybe Virgil's been holed up in a medical ward.

Here's to hoping that he hears some character ask about Michonne and he speaks up.

Is Georgie ever going to make a final appearance on the show or will she only live on as this mystery woman who's referenced now and again?

the walking dead jayne atkinson georgie
Jayne Atkinson was introduced on season eight of "TWD" as a mysterious woman named Georgie.Gene Page/AMC

I get it. You sometimes can't bring everyone back, but Georgie's short introduction and dismissal from the series is one of the "The Walking Dead's" strangest creative choices.

There was a time when I (and Jayne Atkinson) thought Georgie could potentially wind up becoming the woman who ran the Commonwealth, Pamela Milton, because of her resemblance to the comic character.

Since Maggie has returned to the series, she's mentioned Georgie in passing, but I doubt we'll see her again unless she comes to visit the Hilltop or Alexandria to check in on the communities. At least the show is acknowledging her existence.

Are we ever going to see Morgan again on this show?

FTWD 609 Lennie James as Morgan Jones
Lennie James as Morgan Jones on "Fear TWD" season 6, episode nine.Ryan Green/AMC

Other than Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Morgan is currently the only character from the show's pilot who is left alive in "The Walking Dead" universe. It would be a full-circle moment to see James on both the series' pilot and finale.

James told Insider in October he has discussed whether or not Morgan could appear on the final season of "TWD" saying, "I did have that conversation, yes. But that's about as much as I can say."

Currently, James is one of the leads on "Fear the Walking Dead," which takes place in Texas, where the timeline isn't completely aligned with the flagship series. "TWD" takes place largely between Virginia and Ohio in its final season.

Kang teased that there will definitely be "some stuff that's a nod to some of the history of the show" as we get to the series' end.

And, of course, is Rick going to make an appearance on the final eight episodes of "TWD"?

TWD 905 Rick Grimes Andrew Lincoln
Will Rick make a cameo on the final eight episodes of "TWD"?Gene Page/AMC

Fans became suspicious of a potential Andrew Lincoln appearance on the final season when the actor was spotted in Atlanta, Georgia, where the series films, with friend and "TWD" costar Norman Reedus in February.

We wouldn't be surprised if Lincoln appears given his close-knit relationship with the cast. It also feels like the perfect opportunity to set up the first long-awaited Rick Grimes' movie.

A close zoom-in of a group photo of the cast and crew after wrapping the series shows a few people in the crowd with masks on. Lincoln, are you there?

When Insider recently asked star Paola Lázaro what she'd like to see on the series' finale, she said, "I mean, it'd be awesome if Rick showed up right at the end. That's all I can say."

Fingers crossed.

Read the original article on Insider