You’ve watched the episode! You’ve (hopefully) talked about it! Now let’s hear what Robert has to say!
TheWalkingDead.com: Bob Stookey is one of the center points of this episode. This is a character who’s greatly expanded from the comic. Was there a reason that that character in particular was one that you chose to have a larger role in the show?
Robert Kirkman: Once we got Lawrence Gilliard Jr. for the role—That’s one of the best things about television versus a comic is that once you see what an actor can do they, just their presence, almost demands more, and watching the character of Bob evolve over the course of the season is a pretty fun aspect of this process.
Scott and I and everybody in the writers’ room have always had big plans for Bob. We definitely wanted to change his character up a little bit. I think a lot of that is due to lines and knowing what [Gilliard Jr.] can handle and really just trying to do something new that hasn’t been done before with a character; showing somebody that can be as weirdly optimistic as Bob is at times—for those strange reasons that he is—adds something new to the mix.
TWD: Speaking about optimism, we have another situation where an optimist is paired with a pessimist in Bob and Sasha. And in the last episode you played Daryl’s pessimism off of Beth’s optimism. I feel like these two dynamics are played off each other a lot on the show. Where do you fall on that spectrum? If you were in the Zombie Apocalypse, would you be the pessimist or the optimist?
RK: I’ve talked about this before in interviews, and I think that I’m definitely a pessimist but Scott Gimple ends up being the optimist in a lot of cases. I think that dynamic that we have in the writers’ room and in our working relationship might possibly be creeping into the show a little bit which is, I guess, somewhat interesting.
I would be that person that’s like, “Yeah, we’re screwed. There’s nothing good coming from this.” Scott is always that guy that’s like, “No, no, there might be a rainbow up there. Let’s keep going.” We pull each other along in our own ways, so it’s good.
TWD: In this episode we see Maggie in a really hardcore mode, where she’s killing walkers with street signs and she’s ripping their guts out to leave messages for Glenn. Is she coming a little unhinged or is she just that motivated to find Glenn?
RK: She’s definitely coming unhinged. This is someone who has lost the guy that she loves. We want to show just how far she’s willing to go. It’s borderline psychotic to be killing walkers and writing signs in their blood for a person that you’re not exactly sure that’s alive or out there. It’s a big reach. She’s coming unhinged, and to a certain extent as we explored in the episode, she could be endangering Sasha and Bob by going on this crusade.
It speaks to the strength of the relationship between Maggie and Glenn. We really wanted to show how much these two mean to each other and how far they’re willing to go to try and find each other, and seeing how Glenn deals with it on his side, and seeing how Maggie deals with it on her side.
There’s hopefully a lot of interesting contrast in that, that we’ll be exploring as the season continues. Maybe they’ll find each other. Maybe they won’t, but hopefully that journey will be entertaining in and of itself.
TWD: Daryl mentions in this episode that it’s only the bad people who survive. We’ve also seen Rick struggle with this concept and come to grips with it. Do you think that’s true? Do you think that bad people will rise up in the apocalypse or can good ultimately prevail?
RK: I do think that there is a chance for good to survive, and I think that Rick, at his core, and Daryl, at his core, are both good people. It’s just that I do strongly feel that there are sacrifices that need to be made, and uncomfortable decisions that need to be made, and to a certain extent “bad things” that would need to be done, from time to time to survive.
No one really gets through this clean. I think that in these moments of desperation Daryl is falling into despair and looking at himself as a bad person, and believes right now that that’s the case, but I don’t think it is.
Anyone can have the determination to survive, but even in real life sometimes you have to do something terrible to survive a bad situation but it’s that will to live and that will to survive that will get you through it.
TWD: We see more of the Beth and Daryl relationship in this episode, where they’re at the grave and Beth takes his hand. What do you make of that dynamic at this point? I’m having a hard time placing it. Is that more romantic or more brotherly? What do you make of that?
RK: I definitely wouldn’t read things to be too romantic. I think that Daryl, for all his sex appeal, is incredibly introverted and I don’t think that he really looks at things in that light. They’re forming a very—I don’t know that it’s necessarily quite brotherly/sisterly—but they are forming a very strong bond that is going to be… they’re forming a very strong bond between the two of them. I don’t know how much you want to read into that, but there might be something there. You never know.
TWD: Likewise, with the Bob and Sasha dynamic. He shares a kiss, but Sasha doesn’t really go for it. Is she holding out for a real doctor?
RK: I could say there’s probably a little bit more of a romantic spark there. I think that these are two people that are probably a little bit more open to this, although I think Sasha is seemingly more focused on other things at the moment, as you would be. But yeah, I definitely see a potential for a relationship there.
There you have it! I threw a little something in for you ‘shippers out there at the end, so make of that what you will! Be sure to come back next week for more with the boss-man!