The first half of The Walking Dead‘s sixth season brought its fair share of drama to all of the show’s survivors. But even with Daryl embroiled in trouble that led to the loss of his bike, and Michonne forging a relationship with Alexandria’s leader Deanna, we still longed for more screen time for the Archer and the Samurai. I recently spoke with showrunner Scott Gimple about the back half of this season, which debuted last week, and he told me to expect a good deal more for the two fan-favorite characters in the days to come, as well as more of Rick and Carl’s ever-changing relationship.
Nerdist: So does Daryl still hope to get his bike back one day?
Scott Gimple: Who knows if we’ll see the bike or those people or anything along those lines again? But he’s not too happy about it. I mean, he’s not on the hunt for the bike. Because it seems that ship has sailed. But if he had a chance, if he caught a track of that tire or a drip of that bike’s signature oil, then yeah, I imagine he’d be after them. But there’s a lot more Daryl in this half season. There’s a whole lot of Daryl Dixon coming up.
N: Can one ever have too much Daryl?
SG: We dole it out in specific amounts. [Laughs.]
N: How about Michonne? Will we also see more of her in the episodes to come?
SG: Oh yeah. She’s a constant presence. There’s a couple of bigger episodes with her, but she’s sort of a constant presence this half season. And she has some very big moments.
N: The banner promoting this half-season as “The Larger World” shows her standing with her back to the viewer, as Rick looks off to the side…
SG: I mean, there’s actually some huge things that happen to her this season, that happen pretty early on. And that very much changes her situation… I’m being very, very ambiguous. [Laughs.] But early on in this season, we see a huge change for her.
N: Carl obviously means a lot to both Rick and Michonne. Given the fact that he’s grown up in this post-apocalyptic world, could he, in some ways, ultimately prove better equipped to survive in it than his father? Does that question help you sidestep some of the cliches one often finds in father-son dramas?
SG: The challenges of parenting in the world in which they inhabit… We know the places that Rick has had to go and the places that Carl has had to go. I think they’ve been in the darkest places of their souls at different times. And that has, as you’ve said, sort of advanced Carl ahead of Rick in some ways. Then it’s Rick who has gone through a certain darkness after Carl has recovered. Season 4 was all about Rick bringing his son back — Carl had killed a kid without compunction. Rick changed his life to try and give him some of his innocence back.
Then after they lost the prison, their stocks kind of changed. Rick started going darker and darker and Carl was coming out of it, seeing the things that his father had done for him. That was hugely important. In some ways Rick saved his son, but the world is the world and the challenges get greater. And as dark as Rick went, he went too dark, and he was starting to lose himself towards the end of season 5. Whereas Carl had found a steadier ground. But the challenges, the horrors, the violence, the terror of the world hitting them again and again continued to push them in different directions. Are they gonna wind up in the same place? I think that’s one of the big questions in their relationship as father and son.
What are your predictions for the remainder of season 6? Let me know below, or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).