The Walking Dead has featured a lot of emotional moments for its characters over the course of its four-and-a-half seasons, and one of them turned star Norman Reedus into a blubbering, tear-soaked mess. (Just kidding, Mr. Reedus, as I’m sure you cry like the manliest of men.) We’ll have to wait just a little while longer to find out what that scene entails, however, as it will be part of the upcoming midseason finale that airs Sunday night. Grab your gore-soaked hankies, guys.
Speaking with TV Guide, Reedus shared that the final moments of the episode were “devastating” to him, presumably for putting his fan-favorite character Daryl through some depressing turmoil. Here’s how he described his approach to delivering an ideal performance for the emotionally intense scene.
I sat on an apple box with my head between my legs and just bawled for an hour. I really wanted not to tear up during [the scene] – I wanted to be like I had wasted every tear in my body before we started shooting – so I just sat there and cried and cried and cried.”
Now, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Daryl’s woes will have something to do with Carol and/or Beth. The midseason finale will feature a showdown between Rick’s squad and Dawn’s hospital goons, as they’re currently in control of both women. (There’s a lot of crossover happening between these two “teams,” so I’m not even sure who’s still on Dawn’s side at this point.) Walking Dead fans know that Carol and Daryl’s manhunts aren’t known their positive results, so there’s a damned good chance one of the women in Daryl’s life won’t make it to the second half of Season 5. Unless, of course, Daryl just stubs his toe REALLY hard, and that makes him want to cry.
Is it a fair question to ask which of these women means more to Daryl at this point in his life? He’s known and been close with Carol longer, but his bond with Beth has grown over the past season, to the point where I can see her death being a tough situation for Daryl to put up with. But here’s the thing: Reedus wanted to go through the scene without Daryl bursting into tears, and I’m pretty sure Daryl would cry if Carol died, no matter what. I don’t think the show would let him walk away from such a huge event without being physically and emotionally crippled by it. He’d be stunned and shocked by Beth’s death, but I really think he could move past it, especially since she’s been missing for so long anyway.
Things I admittedly haven’t considered: that it’ll be anything but Carol or Beth’s death that’s at play here. Find out what makes Norman Reedus sad when “Coda” airs on Sunday, November 30.