The Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman has been very tight-lipped about what is going to transpire when the show returns to air the final eight episodes of season four, starting this coming Sunday with "After" (FINALLY!!!). But even when he is not divulging much, he still manages to get 'TWD' viewers extremely enthusiastic and eager to find out more. He recently granted EW an interview, in which he talks about what we should look forward to when one of the very best - if not the best - shows on television comes back from it's seemingly never-ending hiatus.
I will add a link to the EW site at the bottom of this post so that you can read the interview in its entirety. But, here are some of the main points Kirkman highlights:
(1) Everyone is now scattered and on the run
During the mid-season finale, the survivors scattered and broke up into several smaller factions as they were fleeing the prison, which was being attacked two-fold - by Philip (a.k.a. the Governor) and his henchmen, and the walkers. Now that everyone is out on the road, the possibility of major deaths occurring increases a bit more. It is not easy to predict who will die first, since this show is known for its excellent plot twists and unexpected moments. But, there are some people predicting that Glenn may be the first to be killed off. This is quite possible if Glenn is still being affected by that disease that ravaged the prison. Moreover, Sasha is another character that could be more likely to die than any other character. She has been sort of a wild card, if you will. We do not know much about her, and she appears to be rather expendable.
For one thing, I cannot envision everyone reuniting any time soon. As a result, the makers of this show will have to find a way to incorporate all those small groups in the upcoming episodes. In fact, Kirkman stated that, "... because they're separated there will be episodes that focus on different people." He also stated that some of those episodes will focus on the different groups when "they're in their worst situation yet." This suggests that there will be much more blood, sweat, and tears coming very soon. This Sunday's all-new episode will shed light on Rick and Carl's current situation, and we will get a glimpse of Michonne and her past, according to Kirkman.
(2) New characters will emerge straight out of the comics
Three new characters were mentioned in the interview that originated in the comics, Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene. As I have never read the comics, I do not know who these characters are. If any of you have read the comics, I would like for you to give me a short overview of who they are in the comments section below. For now, though, Kirkman is very pleased with how the characters are being presented in the show. Apparently, they look so much like their comic book counterparts that it's as if "they were torn out of the comic page..." According to Kirkman, these character will be revealed very soon, and they will impact the story in a "very interesting and very compelling" way. Finding a character, or several characters, to replace fallen ones is never a simple task. Hershel, as a clear example, was beloved by everyone at the prison, I mean EVERYONE. His death surely has impacted/is impacting the remaining survivors, but being out on the road means being able to put the past behind them, and trying to formulate new plans to continue surviving. They will undoubtedly have to think on their feet, with little to no time to reflect or cope with what already has happened. We shall see what the new characters will truly bring to the show.
(3) Will old characters re-emerge?
Perhaps. Kirkman did not reveal any specific information about some of the characters that have been on the minds on many 'TWD' viewers. The situation with baby Judith is still unknown, as we never saw her again after the invasion of the prison. The blood-stained baby seat could make you theorize her possible death. But to me, she is still alive and well, although not with her father (Rick) or her brother (Carl). Carol's return to the show is a highly-anticipated one, and now that the characters have been forced out of the prison as she was for apparently killing Karen and David, the possibility of her bumping into somebody is not out of the question. But what about Tara and Lilly? We did not see Tara get killed during the battle at the prison, and Lilly apparently delivered the final blow to Philip. We never saw them again after that. Could it be those two that bump into Carol? We shall see.
(4) Mysteries to be solved
Does anyone still remember that faint, barely audible radio message Daryl heard when he, Michonne, Tyreese, and Bob Stookey were on their way to the veterinary college to pick up medical supplies? Well, Kirkman states that, "[w]e will absolutely, definitely learn a ton more about that." Great! This has probably not been on many viewers' minds because that message was heard for about five seconds, and it was not all that clear. It is one of those mysteries that can be easily overlooked when not paying close attention. However, Kirkman advises us 'TWD' fans that "the first eight episodes of the season probably deserve a rewatch if you’re really invested in what’s coming up." You know what? Now I really, really want to watch those eight episodes all over again before Sunday rolls around. If I get the chance to, I will definitely be paying closer attention for any other subtle mysteries that may have arisen.
Here's another mystery - who was feeding rats to the walkers as a means to lure more of them towards the primary gates at the prison? Because the prison is no longer their home, this particular mystery may not seem too important anymore. But, whoever was feeding the walkers had to know that they would topple the gates at some point, which meant that the survivors living inside would be in grave danger afterwards. As a matter of fact, a herd of walkers did manage to topple the gates and get near the entrance. As you may recall, it took Rick, Carl, and a couple of assault rifles each to annihilate that herd before they could do any harm. Kirkman does not say much about the feeding of the walkers, but he is willing to continue that angle, assuring us that he and his fellow 'TWD' makers "wouldn't leave that hanging." Great! Many people think that poor little Lizzie was the culprit behind that mystery, as she was seen talking to walkers during the season four premiere. Some even think that Lizzie might have actually been the one who murdered Karen and David, and that Carol tried to cover her by falsely confessing to Rick that she did that. So apparently, Lizzie did this, and she did that, and she did this… Let's just see how her character continues to develop, if she even manages to stay alive for long.
One thing is for sure, the final eight episodes are going to be explosive, jaw-dropping, memorable, and they will continue to put the show above and beyond its T.V. competitors. So much hype has been brought about by the many promos and interviews that have been released regarding the return of The Walking Dead. And you know what? I think that these upcoming episodes will exceed expectations, and will be the very best yet. Agree or disagree? Write away in the comments section below, and do not forget to give me intel on all those new comic book characters that are going to appear on the show.