Walking Dead Showrunner Angela Kang unpacks ‘Gut Punch’

Warning: The following contains spoilers for the action-packed Sunday episode of the walking Dead. If you haven’t watched yet, you may want to do so before continuing reading.

The term “doozi” was coined to describe Sunday’s episode of the walking Dead. When Pamela’s soldiers led a squadron toward the Commonwealth, all so she could go through lock-ups, Aaron, Jerry, and Lydia separated from Elijah, Luke, and Jules. Lydia tried so hard not to abandon her boyfriend as she was swept away by the crowd that she was bitten. (Goodbye, arm!) Later, Jerry insisted it would be “as easy as a cobbler” to go find the missing members of their party. (Goodbye, Jerry?)

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In other developments, Pamela, other than suspicious of Mercer in the wake of Eugene’s “disappearance” from custody, has Max’s brother arrested. Meanwhile, Daryl, Carol, Judith, Negan, Gabriel, Rosetta, Maggie, Princess… Basically, most of the uniformed staff crept into the Commonwealth train station, where the governor’s ambush awaited them. Pamela even picked up a machine gun herself and aimed at Maggie, only to have Judith push her out of the way and – gulp – take the bullet herself!

As the clock drew to a close, pedestrians – among them some climbers – entered the walls of the Commonwealth. Pamela’s solution? Have the soldiers protect the estates and shift the dead towards the lower wards. (As if we didn’t already know it was scum.) At the same time, Daryl and Co. found themselves surrounded by pedestrians. And Lil As Kicker… In her delirium, she seemed to see “Dad.” But was it really? To get an answer to this question and more, TVL contacted presenter Angela Kang.

The Walking Dead Recap Season 11 Episode 23

The Walking Dead Recap Season 11 Episode 23

TVLINE

| So, you should know that people are going to freak out, right? You just don’t shoot Judith Grimes.
definitely. This is not a story decision we made lightly. There have been many conversations about whether we are doing this, what happens as a result of that, and how we can portray it as respectfully as possible…

TVLINE | What’s the reason to do this – to scare the hell out of us or make us hate Pamela even more?
In the comic book, there is a story about the things the next generation goes through and sees. What world does their parents’ generation want to leave behind? This is the main topic we started thinking about in the final round. So this story developed from that kind. There’s a really important emotional dynamic that emerges from what happens next for Judith and Daryl. Pamela even says, “What did you do?” Because you know, you kind of hope that when horrible things happen to kids, people can take that step back and look at that, and I think that’s one of the things that we explore with her.

The Walking Dead Recap Season 11 Episode 23

The Walking Dead Recap Season 11 Episode 23

TVLINE

| What is the significance of Judith passing to RJ for the hat that used to be Carl that was to Rick? Is this her graduation for the next generation?
In some ways, she’s doing things that are way beyond her age. All the children of this generation have been forced to grow up faster than they should because the world is so dangerous and in some ways they don’t care that they are children worthy of protection. So for Judith, there’s this unspoken line that’s kind of like, “Now you’ve got to get a little older too, RJ, but you’re still a kid, and this hat is going to protect you.” That’s just something we wanted to honor as part of the Grimes legacy, that the hat means something because it’s passed from person to person and it’s kind of protective.

TVLINE | Let’s talk about “Papa”. Do you hope we think that Judith wasn’t hallucinating and she really met Rick
From Judith’s perspective, I kind of lost consciousness. She is probably a little hallucinating, or at least very confused and in a dream-like state. She really felt for us as we wrote her that what she imagines and what has been on her mind all this time is a reunion with her parents. You feel safe in someone’s arms for a moment, and you wonder if my dad is back. But of course it’s Daryl, and that kind of hit is important to him…just the weight he’s carrying. [With Rick and Michonne gone, and Lori long gone], Daryl is the remaining parental number for this child. But we felt like Judith too, it’s an indication of where her head has been throughout all of this. She misses her family, but also trusts Daryl enough to feel like a father to her.

The Walking Dead Recap Season 11 Episode 23

The Walking Dead Recap Season 11 Episode 23

TVLINE

| Is Lydia truly Should it sting? The kid had an alpha for his mom, and she spent years eating worms, beheading her first boyfriend, and she Just I got a new one. I mean come.
She has gone through a difficult phase, but she is trying to find hope in the midst of it. She also communicates with Aaron, who has lost his arm in this apocalypse. For Lydia, she will have to figure out what it means to have this disability. But she still hopes that she can be reunited with Ilya, even though she feels very sad for her now.

TVLINE | This is assuming that the amputation was successful. Lydia seemed to be knocking on death’s door at the end of the episode.
She is not out of the woods. But at the same time, there is hope that people have survived this before. This is the story of someone who was willing to do anything to save the person you love. Because for her, that’s what it means to live life. She would never have done that when she was a whisper, because there was a survival of the fittest mentality. That’s how she really is different from her mother. She does not want to hurt people, she wants to help them, even if it means that there are difficult circumstances for her.

The Walking Dead Recap Season 11 Episode 23

The Walking Dead Recap Season 11 Episode 23

TVLINE

| I’m kind of shocked that Jerry is going out looking for Elijah, Luke, and Jules for Lydia. He has a wife and children.
We felt that Jerry was on his own journey towards being a leader in his own small way. He was someone who was happy to be No. 2, the guy who was supportive of the leader. But the thing I realize is that for all of them, even for him, you can’t have it just by looking for your own interests. I think Jerry is afraid. If you look at Cooper Andrews’ performance, Jerry doesn’t want to go out there, but that’s how it feels when you’re part of a team. Jerry is actually exceptionally brave. If you watch what a kingdom is, then the kingdom cares about its people. The kingdom is brave. The kingdom is fighting. So I think he feels it is his duty to go after them. No man or woman was left behind.

Your thoughts on “family”? Drop them in a comment below.

Exhibition launch: The Walking Dead: Dead City Spring Premiere – Plus sets, see the streets of Maggie and Negan Prowl New York City “class=”link”>The Walking Dead: The Dead City Spring Premiere – Plus sets, watch the streets of Maggie and Negan Prowl NYC

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