'The Walking Dead': Showrunner Glen Mazzara breaks down the shocking midseason finale and tells you what to expect next

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Image Credit: Tina Rowden/AMC

EW: The Governor has been spending the entire episode trying to keep Andrea from realizing it is her group of former friends that has infiltrated Woodbury, but then unmasks Daryl at the end. Why?

MAZZARA: He’s transformed. He’s not going to be duplicitous. He’s now focused on vengeance. On making people pay. And you’re either with him or you’re not. That’s where the Governor is. In a way, he’s rejecting the duplicity and the politics of what he’s been doing for the first half of the season. Now he’s starting down a much darker road. And the Governor we’ll see in the back half of the season is very formidable and is much darker. And we take him to some pretty scary places.

EW: Michonne is something of a loner and used to being on her own, but she basically asks into Rick’s group at the end. Why? Is it to finish off the Governor? Get Andrea back? Or has she finally found a team she can trust?

MAZZARA: That’s a great question. That’s something I spoke a lot to Danai about and also Andy when we were shooting this episode. There’s some altruism when she shows up at the prison and says, “Hey, they got your guys.” And she eventually puts together in that process that this is Andrea’s group. She doesn’t immediately know it, but she has that information. She withholds that information because she’s planning to use Rick and his group as entry back into Woodbury because she wants vengeance on the Governor for sending Merle after her. She’s there to kill the Governor. When she goes through that fight with the Governor, look at her life, and look at the state she’s in. What’s gong to happen to her? She’s clearly going to die and nobody’s gong to know or care. In a sense, she’s hit rock bottom. And the only way for her to heal herself is through connecting with another group.

Now she feels like Rick is a good guy and one of the things we’ll see is a relationship — not a romantic relationship necessarily — but a relationship, a friendship, a human connection with Rick throughout the back half of the season. They sort of need each other. They’ve been like two atoms being drawn to each other. So when she goes back there she feels that if she doesn’t join Rick’s group in some sense, she’ll just perish. She probably won’t survive out there. At some point some zombie or some bad guy will grab her and nobody will give a s—. She’s at rock bottom. She has nothing left. Look at that mess — the fish tanks with heads, and this guy’s crying and holding his eye, and the girl’s got a sword through her mouth. I don’t think you can really hit lower at that point. So she’s kind of scared in terms of, what has my life become? And she’s looking for a road back. And the only way to do that is by reaching out to Rick and that group.

EW: You know I can’t let you go until you give up some good teases for the second half of the season. What do you have in store for us, Glen?

MAZZARA: We’re on the road to war. Now that everything is set up, now people have to make choices. Andrea becomes the focal point. She’s the connective tissue. She has to make choices about how she’s going to deal with this. She’s caught between a rock and a hard place and she has to make choices to pick one side or the other or bring the groups together. We now have Merle, who obviously cannot live with Rick because Rick was the one who handcuffed him to the roof, and there’s Daryl. So in both groups, everything starts splitting apart. Everybody forms different alliances. Even the Glenn and Maggie relationship is put into disarray because of what transpired in Woodbury and what Glen thinks maybe happened and what actually did happen. Everybody’s traumatized at this point. Everybody’s at their weakest point, and now that have to start challenging each other and building each other up. And meanwhile, the two groups are gearing up for war. I’m very proud of the second half of the season. It’s just as intense as the first half. There’s one episode in the middle of the run that feels like a finale and has just as much as action as you’ve seen here in this. We are just charging straight ahead. It doesn’t slow down. It doesn’t get softer.

EW: And Rick and the Governor have not even shared a scene yet!

MAZZARA: That is correct! They have not even seen each other! They have only heard about each other. That is important to realize. And it’s still going to be a little while before they do. And I’m very proud of the episode in which they finally do encounter each other face to face.

For more on the ‘Walking Dead’ midseason finale, check out Dalton’s interview with star Andrew Lincoln, as well as Clark Collis’ interview with creator Robert Kirkman and Darren Franich’s episode recap. And for more ‘Walking Dead’ scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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