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How The Walking Dead's Daryl Really Feels About Negan Now, According To The Showrunner

the walking dead negan season 10

(Image credit: amc press)

Spoilers below for anyone who hasn't yet watched The Walking Dead's latest episode.

"Look at the Flowers" will now go down as the penultimate episode of Season 10, at least during the proper TV season, thanks to the official season finale getting delayed due to COVID-19-related shutdowns. That won't be such a bad thing, though, considering everything that happened, from Carol's mental battle with Alpha to Beta's big reveal to the introduction of new character Princess. Perhaps the most unpredictable moments, though, involved Jeffrey Dean Morgan's Negan kinda-sorta-halfway getting along with Norman Reedus' Daryl.

Clearly, Negan would be down to make his relationship with Daryl be as non-antagonistic as possible, considering Daryl and Carol are the only two good guys who can vouch for the former Savior's actions after he was let loose from Alexandria. But even though Negan saved Daryl from those Whisperers, is Daryl truly ready to let bygones be bygones? Here's how showrunner Angela Kang explained it to EW.

I think there's a little bit of a thaw, but I don't think he really loves this guy yet. I don't know that he totally trusts him. He was very aware that Negan was having maybe a bit too much fun once he got the gun back from the Whisperers, and Negan is complicated, and Negan killed people that mattered a lot to Daryl. For Daryl, the loss of Glenn and Abraham was huge for him, and all these people that died in that war, and I don't think that that's something that's easily left behind.

Weirdly enough, The Walking Dead somewhat set viewers up to be more accepting of Negan with the previous episode with Kevin Carroll's Virgil, which showed a reenactment of Abraham and Glenn's big death scene, only with Michonne as the Lucille-wielding murderer. (Glenn technically wasn't in that hallucinatory scene, having already been "killed off" earlier in the ep, but still.) Of course, that scene also displayed just how much those violent deaths still weigh on these characters' minds.

Short of literally resurrecting Abraham, Glenn and every other character the Saviors were responsible for killing, Negan will likely have a long road ahead of him to truly win Daryl and others over, assuming that can ever truly happen. Maybe if Daryl took his own jimson weed concoction...

Angela Kang reminded fans that it wasn't all that long ago that Daryl was morally down with taking Negan out of the picture altogether. In her words:

For viewers who'll remember back to Season 9, he was the one that was really all in with Maggie on executing this plan of maybe taking him out. And so, for Daryl, all of it is a complicated relationship, but Daryl’s a pretty pragmatic guy and he sees this guy — he did do some stuff that was good, and so I don't think that that's lost on Daryl. But at the same time, is he ready to call this guy his best friend? I don't think so.

While it would admittedly be enjoyable to see Negan and Daryl wearing BFF rubber-band bracelets in future episodes of The Walking Dead, this isn't that kind of show. Although I can easily imagine that Paola Lázaro's Princess has an abundance of neon-colored rubber bands to craft those bracelets with. You know, just in case.

With one episode left of the season set for the nearest future, The Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sunday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET, with Killing Eve Season 3 set to take its place when Season 10 concludes.

Nick Venable
Nick Venable

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.