Warning: major spoilers ahead for the midseason premiere of Season 6 of The Walking Dead.
After what felt like an endless hiatus in the middle of Season 6, The Walking Dead has finally returned to the airwaves, and in grand Dead fashion, the midseason premiere was a bloodbath in the best way. One of the characters that got chomped off to that great suburban sanctuary in the sky was Jessie Anderson. Jessie never felt like a woman who was going to be around for the long run, but actress Alexandra Breckenridge did what she could to try and keep her character alive.
I sent Scott an email and had a pitch for how he didn’t have to kill Jessie. It wasn’t totally serious and said, ‘Her children get killed, Sam is eaten and Ron is killed trying to kill Rick – and Jessie leaves the group and you don’t find her again for another year and a half when you see her in season seven or eight and she’s a crazy feral woman. I thought it was fun. It was a more interesting direction than standing there in shock and getting eaten herself.
It’s hard to blame Alexandra Breckenridge for making a last-ditch pitch to showrunner Scott Gimple for Jessie to remain alive, and her recounting of the email to The Hollywood Reporter is proof enough that she put a decent enough amount of thought into a possible extended arc for her character that didn’t involve being eaten by zombies just moments after young Sam. Unfortunately for Breckenridge, the zombies were hungry for a main course following their veal appetizer.
Alexandra Breckenridge’s pitch did have some interesting potential, but a lot of that potential has already been explored pretty compellingly with Morgan. He’s already lost his family, gone somewhat feral, then popped up after a couple of seasons to interact with Rick and Co. again. We can suspend our disbelief about a lot when it comes to a show about the zombie apocalypse, but that storyline happening twice over just a couple of years would have been a bit too much.
Comic readers couldn’t have been too surprised that Jessie died in the midseason premiere. Assuming that the show kept to the comics as far as her fate was concerned, her days were numbered from the start. Still, it’s a bummer for Alexandra Breckenridge considering she was promoted to series regular for Season 6 after becoming a major player in the second half of Season 5. At least she’ll have plenty to talk about at the next meeting of Walking Dead actors whose characters have died.
Alexandra Breckenridge may not have gotten the reprieve that she was hoping for from Scott Gimple, but at least Jessie did get a mini-montage flashback of the highlights of her relationship with Rick. Sure, it was right before Rick hacked off her arm, but that’s practically a heartfelt eulogy by this point in the show.
The Walking Dead airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET. Considering the fate of Rick’s latest love interest, it’s hard to blame him for getting ready for some bro-time with Daryl.