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Why Connie And Kelly's Reunion On The Walking Dead Means More Than You Think

"On the Inside," this past Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead" and the sixth episode of the AMC horror drama's 11th — and final — season, marked the long-awaited reunion of sisters Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Kelly (Angel Theory), who had been separated since Connie was caught in a cave collapse in the middle of Season 10.

In the episode, an exhausted Connie and Virgil (Kevin Carroll) take refuge in a house that seems abandoned but is actually occupied by survivors who have gone insane and reverted to a primitive, feral state. They wear loincloths and scuttle around like nightmare crab-people. It's a terrifying ordeal, but Connie and Virgil manage to defeat the feral people after Connie covers herself in walker viscera and lets walkers into the house, which kill all the primitives and spare Connie and Virgil. Connie and Virgil then go outside just as Kelly and some other Alexandrians arrive at the house. They tracked Connie down there after learning she was still alive from a Whisperer they captured. The sisters then have a tearful reunion.

Connie and Kelly's on-screen reunion means more than you think, because it wasn't just an on-screen reunion — it was a real-life reunion for the actresses as well.

'Those were real tears'

Lauren Ridloff told Insider that filming Connie and Kelly's reunion scene was the first time she and Angel Theory had seen each other in person since the start of the pandemic, which helped them make the scene especially emotionally authentic.

Ridloff said that when she learned that the episode would be Connie and Kelly's reunion, she asked "The Walking Dead" executive producer and episode director Greg Nicotero for help making the moment very special.

"I asked Greg before we actually started shooting if we could set up some kind of actual physical separation. I didn't want to see Angel until the day that we actually shot that scene," Ridloff said. "I wanted that scene to be the first time that I actually physically saw her, that we saw each other." So everything from setting up the scene, to wardrobe fittings, to now-standard pandemic precautions like Covid tests were arranged in such a way that Ridloff and Theory weren't there at the same time. It required some behind-the-scenes maneuvering, but it was worth it to get the result.

"When we finally shot that scene, what you actually see on screen is real," Ridloff said. "Those were real tears. It was that sense of relief that we're both back together. We survived the pandemic and now here we are. We're still surviving in this apocalypse. I think it was really a nice parallel."