The Walking Dead never ceases to deliver some really emotional moments for us. On Sunday’s midseason finale titled “Evolution,” we saw another death of a beloved character, Jesus (Tom Payne). Jesus had taken over Hilltop as the new leader in Maggie’s absence, a role that he was not exactly keen on having, but understood the responsibilities of.
Jesus’ death comes no short of controversy as his sexual orientation had been revealed as gay on the show. Showrunner Angela Kang can understand why there was an uproar about it but she explains that she had the right intentions to take such a big step. She says, “We’re proud we had this wonderful character. He’s one of my favorite characters from the comic books as well,” Kang told THR. “For our writers who are LGBTQ, it’s something that mattered to them as well. We have a lot of wonderful diversity and representation on the show, and that’s something we’re very proud of. For a show that deals with issues of life and death and people who have heroic and surprising ends, it’s hard because almost anyone you kill on our show or write out is going to be part of some underrepresented group on TV. I wish all of TV would step up as well. We just tend to get a lot of attention for it.”
Kang had accepted that some characters will eventually exit the series, leaving some viewers unhappy. Payne had also accepted his character’s demise in an ending that gave Jesus a chance to show us why he should have never been sidelined.
Payne says, “I’m excited for everyone to see it. I just wanted to be part of telling a good story that shocks people. That’s what the show has been about for me. When they came to me with the idea, I said, ‘As long as it’s a really cool moment, let’s do it!’ I know a lot of people are going to be bummed about it, but I’ve been bummed for the last two years, that the character hasn’t gotten as much cool stuff [on the show] as he has in the comic books. They gave me a really cool ending, and I’m happy with that.”
A trailer for the second half of season nine has been released. You can watch it below.
The midseason finale has definitely left us in a shocked state and with a cliffhanger to go along with it. The Walking Dead will return on February 10.