Scott Gimple, The Walking Dead’s current showrunner, knows that killing off characters is never easy in part because the actor behind the departing role needs to be notified, but when both Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino) and her little sister Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy) were shockingly killed off in Season 4, Episode 14: “The Grove,” Scott had the especially difficult task of telling the young girls that their time on TWD was up.
However, as he explains in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the dreaded task wasn’t as bad as it could have been, because he prepared everyone involved for the end result from the get go.
“The thing is, like I said, we knew where this story was going before when these gals were cast. So I was hinting at things going really badly from the moment we started. And they are both incredibly bright and talented and mature performers. We talked very candidly about everything from before we even started, so it was difficult and I talked to their moms first. But it wasn’t wholly unexpected. I was trying to lay the groundwork for that from the beginning,” he reveals.
And like Scott said, Brighton and Kyla are very smart cookies, so even if they didn’t know exactly what was going to happen, they were certainly able to put two and two together. It also didn’t hurt that the showrunner gave them some info that no one else was privy to. We’ll let Scott explain.
“And they knew. Everybody was like, ‘Who is killing the rats?’ and they knew. I didn’t share that with everybody, but the little girls did have that secret. I told Brighton and Kyla about their character’s histories and what led up to this. And Lizzie had her problems before the apocalypse. And it was just an incredible thing to lay it all out and see that groundwork from the beginning and slowly dole it out and see them grow close to Carol. And in Episode 10, it was really something to see the reaction to people seeing Lizzie almost smother Judith, because that was a bit of a reveal at that point. Not to mention the bunny rabbits. Those poor bunny rabbits.”
Looking back, the signs were definitely there. It also sounds like Scott did all he could to prepare Brighton and Kyla for their character’s deaths, which we certainly admire. Season 4, Episode 14 may go down as one of the most controversial hours in the series’ history, but we appreciate the fact that Lizzie and Mika’s deaths were hardly just sensational acts. Instead, each little girl died to propel the story forward, and though their passings were gut-wrenching and tough to watch, it’s clear that they served a much larger purpose.
Are you pleased with how Scott prepared Brighton and Kyla about their character’s deaths, or do you still believe that TWD went too far? Vote below!
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.
Source: Entertainment Weekly