The Walking Dead Showrunner Explains Carol And Ezekiel Shake-Up In Season 9 Finale
Warning! Spoilers below for anyone who has not yet watched The Walking Dead's Season 9 finale.
From the earliest minutes of its frosty finale, The Walking Dead made it clear that weather changes weren't the only concerns on the various characters' minds, and there was still much mourning to be done. And while the Whisperers may not have taken anyone's lives in "The Storm," their malicious efforts in the previous episode still caused a major casualty in the form of Carol and Ezekiel's big break-up.
The Walking Dead's showrunner Angela Kang spoke with CinemaBlend timed to the finale, and before talking about what the future has in store for Carol and Ezekiel (find that below), here's what she told me when I asked if Henry's death was the lone catalyst that led to their split.
Obviously, The Walking Dead has weighed several of its characters down with the loss of offspring in the past. This season started out with Earl and Tammy Faye losing their son Brandon, which had its own deadly butterfly effect, and Rick and Michonne still dealt with grief over losing Carl when Season 9 kicked off its first time jump. However, those situations were generally about the universal sense of mourning and loss, rather than an exploration how the deaths affected each couple as a single unit.
Carol, Ezekiel and Henry were quite the...modern family...with each having overcome their respective sorrows and hardships to get to a stage in life where they could come together as one loving clan. "Tragedies leading to happiness" is a narrative hallmark of fairy tales, so it's quite the apt description of Carol and Ezekiel's years together as Henry's parents. But while fairy tales get to end on the joyful ever after, Carol's journey is destined to keep returning to the melancholy.
Here, Angela Kang continued, adding more context to Carol's decision to travel on to Alexandria without Ezekiel or his ring.
No Walking Dead character has had bigger character shifts than Carol's from introduction (Season 1) to their most current episode (Season 9), except for maybe Carl, due to puberty and all. Losing Sophia back in Season 2 marked one of MANY tragic situations that Carol has faced over the years. I don't imagine that she would think of that as a positive change, but she certainly did embrace her independence and inner strength after that.
Losing Ed, in any sense of the word "losing," absolutely goes into the Pro column for Carol. Fuck that dude.
Though Carol ended Season 9 by walking away from her version of a fantasy romance, that doesn't mean she's going to spend Season 10 wearing black veils and moving up to a creepy house atop a tall hill, scaring kids away on Halloween. Several times in the finale, Carol made it clear that she doesn't answer to Alpha or her rules, so here's hoping some form of brutal revenge is imminent.
In fact, Carol and Ezekiel's break-up won't necessarily be the end of the characters' time together on the screen. Angela Kang offered up an interesting hint about what's to come for the characters in Season 10.
Angela Kang wasn't specifically saying that Carol and Ezekiel will get intimately chummy again, so no one should put all their eggs in that basket. However, they may still be able to join forces in seeking vengeance for Henry's death. Not exactly back to fairy tale standards, but there could still be room for something more than just retaliatory murder. Or maybe Ezekiel will blow his chances by giving her shit for talking to Daryl too often.
Final note: Seriously, though, is Michonne's charter cursed or something? As soon as they signed it, Tara got murdered, rendering her signature somewhat moot. Then, the King and Queen split up and the Kingdom fell, currently making that section of the document a historical curiosity at best.
Of course, it's possible (if not exactly probable) that Carol and Ezekiel will rekindle their love, and that the Kingdom will one day rise up anew. But nothing is bringing Tara back, and there are others who signed that charter that could also be facing similarly fatal circumstances in the future. Is there a more expendable character in this universe than Oceanside's now-grown-up Rachel?
Sadly, it's that time of year again where we once again have to bid farewell to The Walking Dead for the spring and summer seasons, but at least fans got to see the show's first winter wonderland first. Keep up with all the latest news with our handy Season 10 guide, and don't for get that there's still a lot of great TV left to be discovered on the midseason schedule, and there are more than a few summer premieres that will keep viewers busy until Alpha's reign of terror returns in earnest.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.