The latest ‘Walking Dead’ victim originally had a different death

The latest ‘Walking Dead’ victim originally had a different death

Showrunner Angela Kang reveals they originally had a different endgame plan for Jerky McJerkface.

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By Dalton Ross October 10, 2022 at 08: 00 AM EDT

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Warning: This article contains spoilers about Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead, titled “A New Deal.”

He wasn’t the biggest villain in the annals of The Walking Dead. In fact, he barely registered as more than just a pesky annoyance. But boy was he annoying.

Spoiled brat Sebastian Milton (Teo Rapp-Olsson) met his end on Sunday’s “A New Deal” episode of The Walking Dead. And a chaotic end it was. Fed up that Jerky McJerkface was going to get away with all his misdeeds, Max (Margot Bingham) played a secretly taped recording of Sebastian admitting the system was rigged against the poorer inhabitants of the Commonwealth. As the tape played, the reanimated corpses of a maintenance crew gunned down by Lance Hornsby’s (Josh Hamilton) goons entered the town square and began feasting on flesh.

The Walking Dead

Teo Rapp-Olsson as Sebastian Milton on ‘The Walking Dead’

| Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

An irate Sebastian then pushed Max at a walker, hoping she would meet her end, but then Eugene (Josh McDermitt) pushed the walker back at Sebastian, who was consumed, with blood oozing out of both his neck and mouth.

It was a brutal and gruesome end for the Commonwealth leader’s son, but was not the way he was originally set to go. That’s according to showrunner Angela Kang, who talked to EW all about Sebastian’s last stand and the ramifications of what just went down. She also chimed in on that electric opening, which featured Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) driving a knife into the heart — well, hand, technically — of the enemy. (Also read our interview with Sebastian himself, Teo Rapp-Olsson.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This has to be one of my favorite Walking Dead cold opens ever with Daryl turning Lance Hornsby over, but then stabbing him in the hand anyway. Was that always written like that ,or did it evolve?

ANGELA KANG: It was always written like that. This was a Corey Reed script, and one of the things that Corey really nailed in this from the first pitch of it is, he just understood what the tone needed to be. And he knew that this episode needed to open with a splash. He came up with some really, really cool stuff in the episode, and he had a lock on from the beginning on what that teaser was.

What’s the Hornsby plan of having his goons shoot this maintenance crew dead. What is he ultimately hoping to achieve here?

Hornsby is hoping that he can cause some chaos, because he’s lashing out. And I think he thinks “I’ll cause some chaos, maybe I can escape during the chaos, but also… F— you, everyone!” So I think that’s really his thought. I don’t know that he thinks that it’s going to go to where it goes. There are some twists and turns in it because he doesn’t know that Max and Eugene have their own plan. And when those two things crash together, there’s an unexpected ending for all involved.

The Walking Dead

Margot Bingham and Teo Rapp-Olsson as Sebastian Milton on ‘The Walking Dead’

| Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

So let’s talk about that. What pushes Max to play that tape of Sebastian at Founders Day?

Max feels that this guy is going to get away with everything after all the s— that he has actually done, and it is burning her up inside that he’s going to get away with everything. And Max is a person who wants to give people second chances, wants to believe they can be better, but there’s a moment that she had with Pamela earlier in the season where she kind of gives Pamela a chance to help people with the extra money that the Commonwealth has. And Pamela brushes it off. And Max is like: People like to say that they are going to do the right thing, but if they don’t actually do it, then what do you do?

And with Sebastian, he has chances to be remorseful, to step up and do the right thing, and instead he goes on a whole rant about how everybody’s stupid and how poor people suck. And I that really seals the deal for her. And if she saw that he truly had remorse and was going to take this incredible opportunity he’s been given to turn his life around, maybe she would’ve made a different decision. But it is clear that he has learned nothing, and that means he might do the same stuff again if given the chance.

So obviously Sebastian has a different story and different fate in the comic book. Tell me why you decided to kill Jerky McJerkface off at this time and in this way, being devoured by zombies at Founders Day.

So, to be honest, we had a different plan for his death, which I think also would have worked too. We always knew Sebastian had to eat it. He’s just… he’s Jerky McJerkface! And he has to get his due, right? We initially thought it was going to be a different end for him, but as we were going through this, it just started to feel like, wouldn’t it be great for there to really be consequences to everything that’s happening at Founders Day?

And so once we went down that path, it just felt right, and it gives the episode this great punch. And what’s cool about it is, sometimes when there’s a turn like that, it actually unlocks other story possibilities in the next episode. So we’re always kicking the story for, does it work in the context? But then, does it also do something interesting for us as a ripple effect? And when we weighed the options, it gave us so much within the episode as well as going forward.

The Walking Dead

Teo Rapp-Olsson as Sebastian Milton on ‘The Walking Dead’

| Credit: Jace Downs/AMC

So what was his original demise?

If I say it, it spoils other stuff. You can ask me after the end of the season.

Eugene was saving Max, but he did push Sebastian down to his death. Will there be repercussions for that?

Oh yeah, there’re repercussions. I’m not going to talk about the repercussions, you’ll have to watch, but there are.

So what can you say about what’s coming up next?

Things are going to get really intense and weird. There are some scenes in the next episode that I just think are so, so cool that I really hope the fans enjoy as much as we enjoyed making them. But there are a lot of repercussions from what happened in 18.

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AMC’s zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.

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