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The Walking Dead showrunner on what DIDN’T make it into the finale

The Walking Dead season 8 finale was stuffed with big action and even bigger personal moments — as Rick sliced Negan’s neck before changing his mind and saving his arch-enemy to honor his son’s dying wish and building that new future that Carl so desperately wanted.

But we still have questions. Questions like: Has Rick now really changed? When exactly did Eugene turn good again? Are Maggie and Daryl planning a civil war? Was a huge hint just dropped about season 9 and the next big adversary? And what was cut out of the season finale at the last minute?

We asked all of that and more to outgoing showrunner Scott M. Gimple, who will be moving into full franchise overseer mode now while Angela Kang takes over showrunning duties, and he provided the answers — including his biggest regret of season 8. (Also make sure to read from Gimple how four TWD characters ended up crossing over to Fear the Walking Dead, and get intel from star Andrew Lincoln on those finale flashbacks.)

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So when Rick is telling Negan all about Carl’s amazing vision for the future, that’s all just a ruse to slit his throat, right?
SCOTT M. GIMPLE: It is a ploy, as we saw him have a similar ploy with Morgan in the bar. That said, he said that out loud and heard the words that he said. He was making a play and it was in the name of his son, and is there some piece of Carl or Rick within himself that when you put air to those words, that it affects him, and there is a subliminal purpose to that?

So what then causes him to change his mind?

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