Oh, Jesus. There was a lot going on in the midseason finale of “The Walking Dead” this week.
Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) escaped from prison in Sunday’s episode, after the door was accidentally left unlocked ― which, you know, obviously happens all the time in prisons. And new villains, the Whisperers, killed our savior Jesus (Tom Payne).
We knew a big moment was coming in the form of a graveyard scene, thanks to a tease from the creators of the new opening credits. Well, that moment happened this week when a Whisperer, aka a human wearing zombie skin, ducked from one of Jesus’ swipes and stabbed him. The episode ended with Michonne (Danai Gurira), Daryl (Norman Reedus) and a few others surrounded by Whisperers. Things were looking pretty grim.
But besides Jesus dying for all of our sins, there was another victim ― a secret victim ― who is finally speaking out.
Actor Matt Lintz plays Henry on the show, a role he took over from his actor brother Macsen after a time jump caused the character to age in Season 9. He has also now seemingly taken on Carl Grimes’ comic role and has headed to Hilltop to become an apprentice blacksmith for Earl Sutton (John Finn).
In the latest episode, Henry, just trying to fit in, got drunk with some of the Hilltop kids, apparently puked onto a pig, and ended up in a cell serving a two-day minimum sentence for disorderly conduct. (Peer pressure, man. It’s worse than zombies.) Sutton was going to talk to Jesus about reducing Henry’s sentence. But now that Jesus has gone and gotten himself killed, Henry’s probably just stuck there serving out his time. It’s super unfair.
So when people try to tell you Jesus was the victim of the midseason finale, just remember there’s someone else suffering, too. That other victim, Matt Lintz, was kind enough to answer some questions over email about his plight, what to expect next and even those Carol hair memes.
OK, Matt, a lot happened. The Whisperers have finally arrived, Negan is out, Henry is puking on a pig. What are your takeaways from the episode?
Not all new friends are good friends, and definitely do not drink any homemade alcohol they might give you. No, seriously, Henry is maybe second-guessing his decision to leave home. It’s a bit lonelier than he anticipated.
How did Henry end up throwing up on the pig? Will the pig be OK?
I promise that no pigs were harmed in the making of this episode!
Henry is obviously the real victim this week. With Jesus gone, it looks like he’s going to have to spend the full sentence sobering up after his drunken conduct, which is a real bummer. How do you feel about this?
Although Henry might feel the punishment is a bit harsh, he did bring it on himself with some irresponsible behavior, so he’s the type that is good with paying the price.
His name is Jesus, though. Could he be resurrected?
With the Son of God, anything is possible.
With Henry going to Hilltop, it seems like he’s taking on Carl’s role from the comics. What are your thoughts on possibly taking on those storylines, especially with the Whisperers around?
Carl’s storyline is definitely huge in the comics, and if I were to be given the opportunity to portray a facet or two of that, it would be an honor.
What’s it like taking on the role of Henry after your brother? How long did you know this was happening? Did you get any pointers?
Taking over the role from my brother is definitely a unique experience I will probably never duplicate. This is something that my sister [Madison Lintz, who played Sophia], brother and I will always share, and it’s just so special. I think it’s some kind of a world record! We had been in talks about me doing it for over a month before we knew it would happen for sure. Some things needed to fall into place for me to be available. I definitely watched Macsen’s performance leading up to this so I could pay homage to that, rather than creating someone entirely new. He might have taught me a thing or two about the bo staff!
There’s a theory that Carol secretly trapped Daryl’s dog, which led to Daryl and Henry bonding and Daryl coming to Hilltop. What do you think about that theory? It is the first time the dog got trapped, and Carol was there, ready to save them. She seemed pretty pleased after it all went down.
I don’t think that’s likely. Carol would never intentionally put Henry and Daryl, or especially the dog, in that much danger.
Carol/Melissa McBride has been a TV mom to many of your siblings. How does it feel to have her as your TV mom now?
It’s become sort of a rite of passage in this family! Because I’ve known her for a long time, it feels more natural than it otherwise might to work with her on camera. We had a great time.
What are your thoughts on Carol’s new hair? And, more importantly, what are your thoughts on the memes about Carol’s new hair? Is she the new Gandalf?
A lot of people are against the hair, yes! However, she used to keep it short to deter her abusive husband from pulling it, so I think it’s a great metaphor for how she feels safer now than she ever has. Whether she’s the new Gandalf or not... if she starts performing magic, I’ll let you know!
What’s a detail from the episode or a behind-the-scenes moment you that fans might not know about?
I may or may not have had some trouble breaking the window with the dart...
What can we expect in the second half of Season 9?
Beware the Whisperers!