Here's what we can be absolutely sure of when The Walking Dead returns on February 9: the survivors' situation is FUBAR. They've scattered in all directions after being forced to leave the prison in the wake of the Governor's attack, so everyone's broken up into smaller groups and no one knows who's alive or dead.
While pretty much everything else about the second half of season 4 is guesswork at this point, it sounds like we can expect to see some new faces at the end of the February 16 episode, which is titled, "Inmates." Comics fans will instantly recognize the names from the original story, and now that casting's confirmed, we can get an early look at who will be playing these characters.
Here are the three new survivors who will be joining The Walking Dead story, and brief character descriptions from the comics:
Dr. Eugene Porter. Eugene was a high school science teacher before the zombie uprising, and he claims to be a scientist with knowledge about how the plague spread. His mission is to travel to Washington, DC, to reunite with surviving government and military personnel. Also, he has a sweet-ass mullet.
Eugene will be played by Josh McDermitt, who was a semi-finalist on the fourth season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing and also starred as Brandon in the TV Land sitcom Retired at 35.
Abraham Ford. Abraham was an Army sergeant and sports coach before the outbreak. He has some, ah, let's just call them "rage issues." He's traveling with Eugene and Rosita Espinoza, with whom he has a romantic relationship.
Abraham will be played by Michael Cudlitz, a star of the TNT series Southland.
Rosita Espinosa. Rosita was essentially trading sex for protection before meeting up with Abraham. She doesn't share too much about herself at this point in the story, but plays a bigger role later on. (At least in the comics. Who knows how the show will change all of these characters.)
Rosita will be played by Christian Serratos, who held the role of Angela Weber in the Twilight movies.
All right, those are the new cast members -- let's move on to this intriguing Q&A with Norman Reedus.
Are Daryl and Beth on the run together?
Well, you definitely saw them leave the prison together. Whether they stay together is yet to be seen. Everything is gone. Everyone is on the run. Daryl had found an identity with these people and was starting to feel good about himself in a lot of ways but everything has just come crashing to a halt. He assumes everyone is dead. He’s got to start over. Everyone is in a really bad place right now.
What about the Carol situation -- is Daryl going to freak out about that?
Daryl going into this first episode doesn’t even know if everyone is alive. Right now he thinks everyone is dead. You may or may not see a backlash. The way that we shot that and the way that we directed that, it was left very open-ended. I like the way we didn’t wrap up that storyline with a nice bow yet.
Can we expect a Daryl-centric show in the second half of season 4, because that would be AWESOME?
There’s a big Daryl episode coming up soon. It was such a grueling, hard shoot, but it came out really well. There’s a couple other episodes based around other characters who do some of the best work you’ve seen them do. I can’t wait for people to see these back eight.
Just four more days, people. SO EXCITED.
What do you think about these new characters? If you read the comics, do they look the part?