"Look at the flowers"… it's what people shout at The Walking Dead star Melissa McBride all the time now — even at the grocery store — the actress told fans at the New York Comic Con TWD panel on Saturday.
But the reference to that tragic scene from Season 4, when McBride's Carol had to make an impossible decision about the emotionally damaged Lizzie, isn't what made one of the show's true breakout talents cry.
"It's been the time of my life," McBride told fans of her experience playing Carol Peletier.
"It's something I'm so proud of for the character. It's been something I never saw coming, and if I keep going, I'll cry," as her voice trailed off, and she did get teary.
"Because I love her," she added, which was greeted with shouts of "So do we!" from the audience.
"It's amazing to work with all these wonderful people, and to be so vulnerable with each other, but also to be vulnerable with the fans… the way you express yourself, we know how much you love [the show]. Thanks, guys," McBride said, as castmates like Chad Coleman, Danai Gurira, and, yes, Norman Reedus, hugged and comforted her.
Without spoiling any specifics of Sunday night's Season 5 premiere, we will say Carol factors heavily in the storyline, as the character continues to evolve into one of the best action heroines in primetime.
But we also have to admit: McBride's emotional reaction at NYCC — along with warnings from TWD universe creator Robert Kirkman that there would be several "heartbreaking" episodes this season — has us a little worried for Carol's future in the post-apocalyptic world.
In other words, #SaveCarol!
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres Sunday, Oct. 12 at 9 p.m. on AMC.