You've got your DVR all prepped to record The Walking Dead midseason premiere on February 9, right? Butt-dent in your couch is fluffed, popcorn's on standby, children have been informed that they're going to bed early that day because Mommy has some very important zombie-watching to do? Okay then, it sounds like you're ready for the next item on your Walking Dead to-do list: wild speculation over the episode's just-released images.
AMC has shared a few photo stills from the premiere along with an episode synopsis, and while the network is pretty deliberate in its revelations, it's juuuuuuuust enough to whet our appetites for the show's much-anticipated return.
The midseason premiere is appropriately titled "After," and here's the official description:
Following the devastating events of the mid-season finale, Rick and the group are still reeling from the loss of their home, family, and friends. With the destruction of the prison, we see the group of survivors broken apart and sent on divergent paths, unsure of everyone else's fate. What was a challenging life behind fences and walls grows that much more perilous and precious as they are exposed to new dangers, new enemies, and heartbreaking choices. They will have their faith thoroughly tested -- a faith that breaks some of them and redeems others.
We know that in the wake of the Governor's attack, things are reminiscent of the early episodes before the survivors had a home base. As Andrew Lincoln put it,
People have been spun into orbit. Everybody’s been separated and it’s a terrifying world that we inhabit again.
Executive producer Gale Anne Hurd recently teased that not everyone will be looking to band back together:
They are seeking to reunite, some decided to leave others behind.
Interesting. Okay, on to the images -- the first is focused on Michonne, who's apparently once again making good use of the zombies-on-a-leash trick she learned early on.
It sounds like the premiere will give us some insight into Michonne, perhaps explaining how she knew her former zombie pets. E! News previewed episode 9, and while they didn't exactly rave over it ("it's definitely not one of The Walking Dead's most exciting episodes"), they had this to say about Michonne:
(...) we are going to get a deeper peek into Michonne's pre-zombie life. We were shocked to see that before our stern-faced character became a sword-wielding killer, she was just a regular woman who smiled a lot. Living in a postapocalyptic world would definitely drain anyone of their happiness, but after learning more about her past, we're definitely more empathic with Michonne's cold exterior.
Do you remember that moment back in season three in which Michonne said of her original chained-up zombies, "They weren't human to begin with"? When you consider that along with Michonne's reaction to holding baby Judith, I'm guessing she's got quite the horrific backstory.
The final two photos from the midseason premiere give us a look at Carl, who appears to be somewhat on his own while Rick's out of it -- either with illness or grief over Judith or both. It looks like the two of them hole up in an abandoned house, with Carl taking point on walker-dispatching.
Last but not least, here's AMC's latest trailer for the return of season 4:
What do you think of what you've seen so far for The Walking Dead? What's your best guess on what happened to Michonne?
Images via AMC