josh mcdermitt talking dead

Mild spoilers for next week's episode of The Walking Dead, titled "Something They Need."

Few shows on TV have to embrace set secrets and security the way The Walking Dead does, and it's understandable, since few TV shows have ever made audiences as maddeningly curious as the AMC drama has. And while the cast and crew obviously look down on those leaking info retrieved without permission, The Walking Dead is cool with getting Make-A-Wish kids in on the spoiler fun, so long as nobody goes blabbing, of course. While sharing a sneak peek for next week's ep on Talking Dead, actor Josh McDermitt explained a particular set visit taken for the related scene.

When we shot that scene, we actually had a bunch of Make-A-Wish kids on set that day, and it was awesome, because part of us were like, 'Oh, sorry Daryl's not here shooting walkers or whatever,' because that's what everybody wants to see when they come to set. But we were like, 'Oh, there's some crazy stuff about to happen, and you know, Xander's pulling out a knife and everything. And we had to swear those kids to secrecy, for sure.

That story is pretty amazing by any stretch, and I'm admittedly pumped that I wasn't the only person hearing it that thought Josh McDermitt was joking when he started telling it. Not to get all dark, but the actor has made enough off-kilter comments in the past that the mention of The Walking Dead working with the Make-A-Wish foundation seemed like a goof. That thankfully wasn't the case, since "no Walking Dead wishes" would be a pretty stupid stipulation.

Anyway, I'd love to know the mood on set that day, since it takes a very specific mindset to truly enjoy Xander Berkeley's performance as the perma-slimy Gregory. I totally get why Josh McDermitt and others would feel the need to apologize for no walkers or gunfights being involved, since that's what everyone thinks they want to see (often until it's realized just how complicated and touch-and-go those kinds of scenes are). But if anyone making the visit from Make-A-Wish has kept up with the comics, the scene being watched is as close as we've come yet to getting to the meaty Maggie vs. Gregory rivalry that takes over the Hilltop in the source material.

The scene, which was shared as a sneak peek on last night's Talking Dead, was also shared by The Walking Dead elsewhere, but without the big shot in the end that makes the moment completely worth it. Maggie and Gregory are talking about actually trying to make things work, which we all know isn't in the cards given the leader's Savior-sympathy, but while the released clip ends uneventfully, the on-AMC clip ends with Gregory holding a knife behind his back outside of Maggie's eyesight. It's not like he's going to use it right there or anything, but it's not there to make audiences think he's really a hero in disguise. And we hadn't heard squat about it, because you can trust Make-A-Wish recipients to keep a secret.

Maggie is getting into all kinds of important conversations recently, what with Jesus coming out and Daryl taking the blame for Glenn's death. But things will inevitably get more heated and dangerous as time goes on and Gregory becomes more desperate to ward off Team Family's advances against Negan by retaining the broken status quo. Our money is on Maggie in this case, though I know not to try to talk to anybody from the set that day. It's not the Spoil-A-Scene Foundation, after all.

The Walking Dead returns to AMC next week for its penultimate episode, which will feature the scene we've been talking about. Check out that sneak peek on the next page, and then head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer TV guide to see everything hitting the small screen in the coming months.

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