Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Daryl Dixon on Drinking

We’re just days away from the February 9 premiere of the second half of the fourth season of The Walking Dead, and by now we know that the final eight episodes will be drastically different from the first eight we watched in the final months of 2013. The Governor’s (David Morrissey) destruction of the prison, killing of Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) and even his own death have all but assured that we’re in a much different space as we head into Episode 9, “After,” and beyond.

Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon) recently spoke with Entertainment Weekly about what the back eight holds for his beloved character, who was last seen fleeing the prison with Beth Greene (Emily Kinney).Well, you definitely saw them leave the prison together. Whether they stay together is yet to be seen,” he started off. “Everything is gone. Everyone is on the run. Daryl had found an identity with these people and was starting to feel good about himself in a lot of ways but everything has just come crashing to a halt. He assumes everyone is dead. He’s got to start over. Everyone is in a really bad place right now.”

And while we’ve already noted that the second half of the season will be drastically different from the first, Norman insists that this is a good, unique thing. “It’s different. I will say that the back eight are in my opinion are our best eight episodes yet,” he praised. “The storylines, the acting, and the directing, and the writing are top of our food chain. I’m so excited for people to see these episodes. You get an understanding of why certain characters are who they are, why they fight for what they fight for, or why they don’t fight. You really get an in-depth look at characters like you’ve never seen before.”

Scott Gimple and his team experimented with these standalone installments in the first part of the season (with The Gov. getting two eps of his own), and Norman confirms that will be continued in the final eight, with Daryl and others getting episodes to themselves as well.

Speaking of the Daryl-centric ep, Norman revealed, “There’s a big Daryl episode coming up soon. It was such a grueling, hard shoot, but it came out really well. There’s a couple other episodes based around other characters who do some of the best work you’ve seen them do. I can’t wait for people to see these back eight.”

The second half of the season will kick off with an hour primarily about  Rick Grimes, (Andrew Lincoln) Carl Grimes, (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira), but we’re most psyched about Norman/Daryl’s moment in the spotlight — so long as it doesn’t signify that his death is near!

Source: Entertainment Weekly