Warning: This story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead series finale, “Rest in Peace.” The end of The living Dead is not the end for Carol Peletier. It’s not the end for actress Melissa McBride. And it’s not the end for “Caryl,” the long-standing relationship between best friends Carol and Daryl (Norman Reedus). In September 2020, AMC announced that Reedus and McBride would take the lead Daryl & Carol spin-off focused on the two fan favorite characters, then continued their stories The living Dead‘s eleventh and final season. But Daryl and Carol weren’t destined to ride off into the sunset together — at least, not yet.
But weeks after filming the flagship show that wrapped in April, McBride took a bow Walking dead spinoff. “Moving to Europe became logistically unsustainable for Melissa at this point,” AMC said in a statement, adding that “The living Dead Universe continues to grow and expand in interesting ways and we hope to see Carol again in the near future.”
The spin-off, developed by Walking dead showrunner Angela Kang and executive producer Scott M. Gimple, was reworked to focus on Daryl as he rides solo on a new adventure that takes him overseas to Paris, France (where the six-episode first season is currently filming with Reedus and director Greg Nicotero).
on The living Dead series finale Sunday night Carol and Daryl saved Judith Grimes (Cailey Fleming) from a gunshot wound when a herd of walkers invaded the Commonwealth of Ohio. They then helped General Mercer (Michael James Shaw) stage his coup d’état to depose corrupt Governor Pamela Milton (Laila Robins), destroy the zombie herd, and save the thousands of Commonwealth citizens Milton had left to die.
In the end, a one-year time jump revealed that Carol replaced the late Lance Hornsby (Josh Hamilton) as deputy governor of the Commonwealth. Instead of baking cookies, Carol will work alongside Lieutenant Governor Mercer and her ex-husband: Governor Ezekiel Sutton (Khary Payton) to make the Commonwealth a better place to live.
“I wish you would come with me,” says Daryl, who has explored “the frontier.” Daryl and Carol once talked about getting on his motorcycle and heading west to New Mexico, but she has work to do. “This is going to be good,” she tells him. “For you, for me.”
“It’s not like we’ll never see each other again,” Daryl tells Carol. She replies with a tearful smile, “I’m allowed to be a little sad. You’re my best friend.” After asking Judith to “keep an eye” on her Aunt Carol, Daryl leaves Grimes’ children with her in the Commonwealth. With one last hug goodbye, the BFFs exchange “I love yous” before Daryl drives off alone to his new adventure.
Comic executive producer Greg Nicotero, who directed the series closer, asked if Carol’s ending changed after McBride decided to leave the series. Daryl & Carol spinoff:
“No, [the final scenes between Carol and Daryl] were written and more or less ready to go,” Nicotero revealed.” But the truth is that those two have literally palpable chemistry with each other. And so much of it is about their mannerisms. It’s not about the words they say to each other because the words don’t match the chemistry these two people have and the affection they have for each other.”
As suggested by both McBride and Reedus, The living Dead series finale isn’t the end of the road for Carol and Daryl.
“I think it’s safe to say that just because Daryl left and Carol is with the Commonwealth doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to end up there, and that’s where they’re going to stay,” Nicotero teased. So there’s a lot to be said for that moment, where Carol was at peace with where she was. And Daryl was kind of ready to move on, and ready to go out and see what else there is in the world .”
- TWD Director Teases Norman Reedus’ Daryl Dixon Spinoff (Exclusive)
- The penultimate episode of The Walking Dead ends on Major Cliffhanger
- The Walking Dead Finale Cameo is a callback to Daryl’s first episode
- What will happen to Judith in The Walking Dead Comics?
- The Walking Dead fans love Daryl’s iconic moment in series finale