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‘The Walking Dead’ Actors Talk Midseason Finale Deaths (SPOILERS)

Variety logo Variety 12/12/2016 Oriana Schwindt

Read no further if you haven’t seen the Dec. 11 midseason finale of “The Walking Dead.”

Season 7 of “The Walking Dead” broke for its usual midseason hiatus Sunday, offering Daryl’s (Norman Reedus) daring escape, Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s shaved face, and the deaths of Spencer Monroe (Austin Nichols) and Olivia (Anne Mahoney) that spurred Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and the rest of the Alexandria crew to finally decide to fight against Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).

Alexandria will be attempting to team up with the Kingdom and Hilltop Colony against Negan’s Saviors when Season 7 returns to AMC Feb. 12, according to executive producer Robert Kirkman and the sneak peek that aired during “Talking Dead.”

Spencer wasn’t exactly a fan favorite — something Nichols knew. “For two years I’ve been drinking my own Kool-Aid and trying to believe in what I’m doing,” Nichols said on “Talking Dead.” “As soon as I wrapped and left Atlanta I started watching and went, ‘That guy’s a douchebag.'”

Negan appears to have done Rick a bit of a favor, in hindsight. “I think Rick probably could’ve handled it himself. I hate to say Negan did anything good for anyone, but this guy was a poison,” Kirkman said.

In order to give Spencer his “all guts, no glory” death, the “Walking Dead” crew created a chest plate for Morgan to stab through with a real blade, with a blood-and-guts bag below. “I was really frightened, because I thought he was going to actually stab me,” Nichols confessed. But they got it in one take. “I’m proud of my death — I’m glad it wasn’t a walker in the woods, that it was Negan.”

The episode finally brought back together all our main players into one place — Hilltop Colony — without the violent eyes of the Saviors on them.

“Anytime Andy [Lincoln] and I are in a scene together even from afar, we tear up like babies,” Reedus said. But all the actors felt the relief of the reunion, and Daryl handing Rick “The Python” was Daryl’s way of showing Rick they’re all in this fight, just as Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) speech to Rick was what he needed to accept the gun.

“Michonne hasn’t really gone through that journey Rick’s gone through. Seeing Abraham and Glenn die really broke Rick down,” Kirkman said. Michonne, though, had never really lost the fight. “Michonne’s a stronger character than Rick Grimes,” Kirkman added.

She’s not the only one with that kind of strength. “He’s ready to kick some ass,” Reedus said of Daryl’s mental state. “He’s in hate mode right now. He’s ready to throw down. I think he’s still reeling from Glenn and Abraham. It’s always been in the back of his mind, ‘I hope Maggie forgives me.’ I think he’s ready to kill someone.”

But who is the figure in the strange patterned boots that viewers saw twice in the finale? “They’re a big part of what we’re dealing with when we come back,” Kirkman said. “We’ll reveal that.”

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