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Zombie survival drama The Walking Dead Is Back

AMC’s increasingly bleak zombie survival drama The Walking Dead returns on Sunday with a midseason premiere that promises to be–somehow–even darker than before. The first half of Season 4 seemed a bit redundant after Season 3, but it ended with a bang that sent the survivors from the prison scattering to the winds and into parts unknown.

It also left us with a multitude of burning questions: How will they find their way back together, and where are they headed next now that the prison has fallen? Will the exiled Carol rejoin the crew, and how will the vengeful Tyreese react if she does? Is baby Judith really and truly dead? Are there any characters who don’t demand an adjective before their name? We’ve taken a look at our Magic 8-Ball–as well as all the recent teasers and interviews with showrunner Scott Gimple and franchise creator Robert Kirkman–to find the answers.

Is Judith Alive?

Although Rick and Carl seem completely certain that baby Judith is dead – despite never checking the body, the cardinal sin of the horror genre — the book may not be closed on the infant Daryl once called “Lil Asskicker.” Gimple and Kirkman have certainly been cagey about the certainty of her demise; asked whether Judith is dead dead, Kirkman told The Hollywood Reporter, “We are keeping that as a mystery that will be revealed in the back half [of Season 4].” Granted, the comic book killed Judith off during the siege, but the television show has flipped the script on major deaths more than once now. Last season, we saw Lori die far earlier than she did in the comic and in a completely different way. Perhaps most notably, the final prison siege in comics ended with Hershel alive and Tyreese decapitated, but the show left Hershel headless instead. Why not keep Judith alive? Canon never stopped them before.

Will We Find Out Who Was Feeding the Zombies?

Remember the episode that opened on a shadowy figure feeding rats to zombies through the fences? Looks like we may finally find out who was behind it this season. Many viewers assumed that it was Lizzie Samuels—the blond girl who developed a weird affection for a zombie she called “Nick”—but it might not be so simple. Kirkman has suggested the same person might have been behind the mutilated rabbit Tyreese found in the tombs, and torturing small animals seems like a whole other level of dysfunction. So who’s doing it and why?


With the exception of Rick, whom we saw working as a sheriff in the series premiere, we don’t know much about the pre-zombie lives of most of the survivors. The laconic Michonne, in particular, is almost a complete mystery, and intentionally so; she refused to share any details of her life with Andrea, even after months on the road together. One possible way to help flesh out these backstories: flashbacks.

Jumping back to a time before the zombies would not only give us a welcome break from the show’s relentlessly bleak cycle of grief and loss, but add another layer of depth to the characters we’ve come to know and love without the need for clumsy exposition. A reporter for TV Guide says Kirkman told her there would be flashbacks to offer “glimpses into the lives of our favorite characters, likely including Michonne” while Gimple told THR that the episode after the mid-season premiere “has a super unusual structure that I’m very excited for people to see” and that the season half of this season will be telling the characters’ stories far more “individually.” Asked if that meant there would flashbacks, Gimple replied, “kind of.”

Will the show cross over with the Walking Dead Video Game?

Kirkman has teased the idea of more crossovers between various Walking Dead media before, and Season 4 offered a direct shoutout to the excellent Telltale video game series when Michonne announced she was heading to the city Macon—the hometown of videogame character Lee Simmons. Although Michonne’s trip ultimately got derailed, that doesn’t mean that the members of prison diaspora couldn’t run into a convict/former professor named Lee—or a little girl in a baseball hat named Clementine—as they wander around rural Georgia. After all, both the show and the game have ended up in Savannah, while familiar faces like Hershel and Glenn have made cameos in the episodic game. Why not the other way around?

Will anyone from the Governor’s “new family” return?

Although numerous members of the Governor’s second camp died in the siege, not everyone did; in particular, the fates of Tara and Lilly Chambler remain unresolved. Neither died on screen, and Lilly not only stayed out of the line of fire but shot the Governor in the head, suggesting that she is a combination of the characters April Chalmers (whose family was nearly identical to Lilly’s) and Lilly Caul (who shot and killed the Governor). The ultimate fates of both characters are currently unknown in the comics and the novels, although the upcoming novel The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor may have more answers. When Vulture asked Gimple whether anyone from the Governor’s surrogate family would reappear, he replied, “Definitely don’t want to answer that. But maybe sorta!”

Is Carol coming back?

There’s no debate on this one: Gimple has said that Carol is “going to appear sooner or later,” though he remained hazy on the exact timeline. The real X factors here are how Tyreese and Daryl will react to her return. Tyreese spent most of Season 4 in a murderous fury over the death of his girlfriend, whom Carol killed in an attempt to contain the deadly influenza; if he learns that she was behind it, he’s more likely to greet her with a bullet than a hug. There’s also been a potential romance simmering between relentless badasses Carol and Daryl for several seasons, and while there wasn’t much time to discuss her exile thanks to the prison siege, Daryl seemed visibly angered by Rick’s decision to kick her out. Now that the group has abandoned the prison and scattered, will he go looking for her—or will Tyreese find her first?

Source: Wired

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