Here’s a brief excerpt from Norman Reedus’s interview with Entertainment Weekly. He promises that the next eight episodes are going to be the best ones yet. Exciting!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So we start the back eight episodes with everyone sort of splintered off into smaller groups, and judging by what we saw at the end of the last episode and the preview where we see you two together a lot, it seems Daryl and Beth are going to be making their way out of the prison together.
NORMAN REEDUS: Well, you definitely saw them leave the prison together. Whether they stay together is yet to be seen. Everything is gone. Everyone is on the run. Daryl had found an identity with these people and was starting to feel good about himself in a lot of ways but everything has just come crashing to a halt. He assumes everyone is dead. He’s got to start over. Everyone is in a really bad place right now.

EW: We’re going to have more individual or smaller group stories as opposed to seeing everyone as one big group. Is that a nice change of pace?
REEDUS: It’s different. I will say that the back eight are in my opinion are our best eight episodes yet. The storylines, the acting, and the directing, and the writing are top of our food chain. I’m so excited for people to see these episodes. You get an understanding of why certain characters are who they are, why they fight for what they fight for, or why they don’t fight. You really get an in-depth look at characters like you’ve never seen before.

EW: What’s the aftermath for everyone in terms of seeing Hershel executed? He was the moral compass for that group so what will that loss do to everyone?
REEDUS: That was such a harsh exit. Not just as the character, but for the actors as well. That was really hard for all of us. I think that you can see it though the actors’ eyes in the back eight. That was a big loss for us. Even Rick sort of gave up hope, gave up the fight a little bit. You always had Hershel who had a positive outlook on things and was telling us that we still had more time and that we’re still people at the core of all this animalistic brutality. With him gone, I feel like this huge beacon of hope just got put out. Everyone is reeling from it — not just his blood relatives, but the rest of us. We were such a tight group there at the prison and to have him executed in that way and have us on the run again, like we started — everyone is starting from square one again.

Read the full interview here at Entertainment Weekly!