The latest episode of The Walking Dead concluded with Negan making an unscheduled visit to Alexandria while various members of Rick’s group embarked on their own mission to take out the sinister leader of the Saviors. With his character Jesus last seen vanishing from the top of a truck being driven away from the Saviors base, fans have been speculating whether Jesus stayed behind at the sanctuary or if he will be making his way to Alexandria with an unwitting Negan. Actor Tom Payne spoke with Comicbook.com about the upcoming Walking Dead winter finale and what role Jesus will play in the extended episode.
When asked what role Jesus will play in the mid-season finale, Payne confirmed that Jesus had indeed stayed behind at the Sanctuary.
“I can’t say too much, but I guess if we get back to the Sanctuary, we might see him again because he’s not going to be anywhere else, or he’ll be around the Sanctuary area. I don’t know. I’m interested to see how Rick takes to coming back and finding Negan holding Judith.”
The first half of The Walking Dead‘s seventh season has featured episodes with varying tones, from the violent and serious season opener to the more light-hearted and even comical Tara-centric episode. Tom Payne discussed the tone of the mid-season finale.
“It’s a mid-season finale so there’s a counterpoint as it always is. I think like you said there’s an interesting spectrum. I’m actually surprised when I watched the episode again last night. You forget little things and what happens, and I had forgotten actually that Negan goes to Alexandria and is there with Carl and Judith. That’s all set up for something to go down, because Rosita walked back and saw that they were here and Spencer’s there, and with Rosita and Eugene, and they’re all discovering Negan is back at Alexandria. We’ll see how that plays out.
While confirming that Jesus did jump off the truck being driven to Alexandria, Payne made comments that suggested Jesus was the one who slipped Daryl the key to help him escape the Sanctuary.
“Well, he’s not on the truck. He can’t be many places because there aren’t that many places to go. I think if you noticed, you saw that Daryl noticed that he was up there. We did actually have a shot, but we didn’t get around to it. We saw each other, so he’s seen that Daryl is there and maybe wants to try and help out. We’ll see.”
When pressed for confirmation that it was in fact Jesus who gave Daryl the key, Payne was coy.
“Well, that’s a maybe. I wish he could’ve done that as well.”
Payne discussed what fans can expect from the second half of the seventh season.
“I think it’s about understanding the best way to combat the Negan problem and the Saviors problem. How are the group going to get past it, and are they? What we’ve seen this first half of the season is all of the different characters taking it in different ways. Right now, you have Michonne in that car asking to take her to the Sanctuary and Jesus is around there and Daryl’s at the Sanctuary. Rosita’s on her own kick, and everyone is in their own place. I don’t think that can go on for too long because you can’t be one person against Negan. I think they’ll probably hopefully come back and try and find a better way to fight him than just on their own.”
With several characters and entire groups separated thus far, Payne dressed whether or not fans could expect any meetings or reunions to occur in second half of the season.
“I think that’s the hope. I think definitely Jesus’s motivation that can keep him scouting for the Hilltop for a long time, and he’s I think always been looking for help with that situation. I think he would totally be on the side of that, of everyone linking up. He had been on the back burner a lot and kind of been in the background and that was why it was nice to have Sasha push him towards ‘What is it that you actually want? What can you do?’ I think he’s probably had some ideas in his head of what could happen, what might be the next step, but he’s not willing to take that step until he knows that it’s a good one.”
Payne discussed the possibility of the memorable fight between Negan and Jesus from the Walking Dead comics being being adapted for the show.
“I think that would be really interesting. In my training, I worked a lot because I read that in the comic books as well and I was like, “Wow, that would be really cool.” Obviously there’s a height difference between me and Jeffrey. We worked a lot on him being very quick and efficient, in much the same way that that scenes plays out in the comic books.”
The 85 minute mid-season finale of The Walking Dead will air on Sunday, December 11 at 9:00 pm ET on AMC.