In episode 10 of The Walking Dead’s 7th season, fans saw the long-awaited reunion of Carol and Daryl after a tearful hug when he knocked at her door. “Why’d you go?” Daryl asked as he choked back tears. “I had to.” was Carol’s response and in that moment, the pair had a mutual understanding. Some of the things that they experienced were too painful to talk about, at least in that moment.
As far as Daryl was concerned, after spending the day with Carol, those experiences remained too painful to discuss. Carol tells Daryl that she couldn’t kill them (The Saviors), and that’s why she had to go. If she found out that they killed any more of her people, that’s what she would have done and there’d be nothing left of her after that. She then proceeds to ask Daryl if they hurt or killed any of the group, and Daryl tells her no. He tells her that they killed the ones they could and came to an agreement with the rest of them.
Whether or not Carol truly believed that, it was enough. Maybe she wanted to believe it more than she had it in her heart to question it. Maybe she wanted to hold on to the few moments of peace that reassurance gave her.
That peace was shattered at the end of Sunday’s episode ‘Bury Me Here’ when Morgan, after suffering a breakdown, seeks to find Carol and tell her goodbye. In that goodbye, he tells her the truth about what Negan and his camp did to their people, he tells her because earlier in the episode he said he couldn’t. He tells her because it’s the last thing he can give her before he goes to carry out his own vendetta.
At the end of the episode, true to her earlier word, Carol also finds herself ready to go to war. It seems that each member of the group is preparing, both mentally and physically, for the biggest fight of their lives.
Melissa McBride spoke to comicbook.com and had this to say about Carol’s reaction to finding out Daryl lied to her.
“When Morgan reveals what happened, she immediately remembers Daryl at the table saying what he said and realizes why he said what he said,” McBride said. “Also, in the moment when Morgan reveals that and she’s pulling it all together, she realizes without a doubt this is what she has to do now. I don’t think there’s any ill feelings toward Daryl for lying. There’s complete and total understanding, and if not a little guilt on her part for putting him in that merciful position to do what he did and tell her that everyone was okay.”
Regardless of who told Carol and in what context, things have officially changed for her, and no matter what she’s got to lose – she’s on the road to risking it all. Through ups and downs, as the seasons have progressed, we’ve seen Carol at extreme highs and heart-wrenching lows but this leg of the fight will be the most trying one of all.
The final episodes of season 7 will test the strength of everyone, including viewers at home, and for as much as we’d just like to get on with it, we’re enjoying our own last few moments of ‘peace’ before more bloodshed occurs.