Gene Page/AMC
Clark Collis
March 17, 2013 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Tonight’s episode of AMC‘s zombie saga the Walking Dead was a great one for fans who love Andrea — and arguably an even better one for those who don’t. Beware of SPOILERS.

Laurie Holden‘s character certainly got a lot of screen time, but most of it was spent being hunted by David Morrissey’s deranged Governor before a climactic reveal that found her awaiting a fate worse than death. Or death. Or, at the very least, some highly unpleasant root canal work.

Below, Walking Dead TV show executive producer — and Walking Dead comic writer — Robert Kirkman ruminates on the Governor’s pursuit of Andrea, why David Morrissey always gets his way, and, of course, Troll 2.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: I found the end of this show to be possibly the most chilling moment in the series so far.

ROBERT KIRKMAN: It’s a little disturbing. I’m sorry about that.

It wasn’t a complaint. But I am genuinely haunted by the thought that, when Andrea saw the Governor laying out those weapons of torture at the start of the show, she had no concept that she might be the one who ends up sitting in the chair.

It’s definitely ramping things up for the end of our season. We are seeing a new darkness emerging in the Governor. He’s moving things to an extra level, which is going to be detrimental to all. So… here we go!

You pulled off a real bait-and-switch, though. Certainly those familiar with the comic book might have assumed, particularly given the way the opening scene segued into the scene of the Governor with the chains, that all roads were leading to Michonne being tortured. Of course, that could still happen — but you really played with fans’ expectations.

Yeah. And I will say those events in the comics, which involve those chains, are among the darkest moments of the comic series. Even as the guy that wrote them, seeing those chains on the show and seeing the Governor in that room is extremely disturbing. So I think there is an extra level of creepiness and darkness to that scene if you are aware of the events in the comic-book series. A fun aspect of working on the show is changing up expectations — being able to tell the story on television, where the television audience can watch it and enjoy it, but also being able to add those different layers and move against comic-book readers’ expectations.

The lengthy sequence in which the Governor stalked Andrea through the building had a different tone to anything we’ve previously seen on the show.

It’s a little bit suspenseful. We do like to add different kinds of horror elements to the show and keep things new and different. We thought it was a good time to do something like that.

I actually jumped in my chair when the Governor finally grabbed Andrea — although I thought there was a good chance it was all going to end with Rick shooting her in the head.

[Laughs] Anything can happen on this show!

But it was heartbreaking moment, even before you knew of her end-of-show fate.

We really wanted it to be, “If she’d only gotten 10 more steps, then everything would have been fine!” It was a heartbreaking, “If only…” moment.

It’s amazing that David Morrissey can still come across as so charming, given what we’ve seen his character do — not just to characters on the show but to the viewer as well. Even this week, when he was talking to Tyreese and his crew, I was thinking, “You know, he does have a good side.”

[Laughs] “He’s gonna do something bad — but, man, I like that guy!” He’s like that on set too. He’s like, “I’d like to change this line.” And you’re like, “No!” And then he’s like, “I’d really like to change this line.” And you’re like, “Alright, what you got in mind?”

Speaking of Tyreese’s group, this show we got our first proper look at its stresses and dynamics.

We’re starting to get to know those people a little bit better; and see what was going on behind the scenes with them when they were out on their own; and seeing a little bit of a rift forming between Allen and Tyreese. And I think there’s probably more where that came from.

Next: “I would expect a lot of Troll 2 references in Walking Dead season 4.”

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