I had a chance to talk with The Walking Dead star Josh McDermitt about what’s coming up in the next batch of episodes, and he hinted at the underlying tension that would eventually rear its head and challenge the survivors in ways they’ve never experienced.
During the TWD pre-season press junket, I asked McDermitt to preview what’s coming and how it differed from what fans have seen previously on the show. Here’s his response:
“I think there’s a tension in these upcoming episodes that we really haven’t seen. The world is crashing down around everyone and some are responding better than others to that. So it will be interesting to see who is able to pick up the pieces and figure out how to move forward in that. And the fact is that lives are hanging in the balance with each decision that’s being made, and it affects not just people around you immediately but layers and layers and layers and outward. So all of that, mixed into the tension of it, is really exciting. And to do it within the confines of a new community, something we haven’t seen.
“[Commonwealth] is a community that we get to explore more that’s a really well oiled machine. We saw Alexandria at one point, after the time jump, they made a wood fired oven and had baked bread, and Eugene set up solar panels and they were feeling pretty good. But the Commonwealth would look at that and go, “Oh, that’s cute.” It’s just like nothing we’ve seen on the show before and that, amidst the tension of everything hanging in the balance of everything, is exciting.”
McDermitt’s comments are particularly interesting given the first two episodes of 11B and how the tension between the survivors and the Commonwealth has played out already. It looks like the Commonwealth isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, and the fissures are starting to show.
The notion that this purported safe place isn’t as safe as everyone wants to think is more harrowing than facing the unknown dangers in the woods. At least when you’re in the woods you know the dangers that you’re facing; with the Commonwealth, you have no idea what dangers are present until you’re in the middle of them.
While Eugene’s high IQ has always been one of his strengths, there’s no question that he will be challenged by the Commonwealth and he’ll need to keep his eyes wide open if he’s going to make it in this strange new world.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.