WARNING: Spoilers for The Walking Dead TV and comic series ahead!
It finally happened, a new episode of [The Walking Dead](series:201193) has aired after a long two month break and boy, they didn't hold back at all! Despite the group being fully reunited after the events of the mid-season finale, we really only saw Rick, Glenn, Michonne, Noah and Tyreese in the episode, as they ventured 500 miles outside of Atlanta to Richmond, Virginia.
Of course nothing comes easy in this harsh post-apocalyptic world, and Noah was dealt the first blow of Season 5b when the group reached his walled-community only to find it completely overrun and his family dead, including his twin brothers. Unfortunately it was one of these twins brothers that snuck up on Tyreese and made him the third big loss of Season 5 following Bob and Beth.
But those were the things that were impossible to miss and The Walking Dead, being what it is, it managed to hide a huge number of interesting things that were not so easy to catch on the first viewing. Take a look at these 5 things that you might have missed in The Walking Dead Season 5, episode 9 "What Happened and What's Going On":
1. Time is still a huge factor
I spoke about it nearly every episode of the first half of Season 5, but the theme of 'time' is still being focused on an enormous amount.
There were a couple very obviously placed clocks in this episode. First up we saw the big grandmother or grandfather clock randomly strewn in the middle of the road, which seemed to be ignored by all members of the group except Tyreese who was trailing behind. It almost certainly foreshadowed his death - his time was definitely up, the clock was ticking. The second clock was on the radio that Tyreese heard 'broadcasting' in Noah's brother's bedroom (fun fact, that voice was Andrew Lincoln talking in his real accent!). The clock on the radio pointed to 5:10, another nod to Season 5, though normally it would show the episode number (which was 9) as well, however this clock definitely looks like it shows 5:10, what are your thoughts?
Finally while we're speaking of time, the season has jumped 17 days since we last saw them at Grady Memorial Hospital, which makes sense since the group was almost in Richmond, having traveled for over two weeks to cover the 500 miles. The final indication of time was certainly the skeleton in the woods, showing just how much time had passed since the outbreak that bodies have had time to decay to bones.
EDIT: Commenter Chris W. Cody has just pointed out that the clock is probably pointing to 2 rather than 10, indicating that we're into the second half of Season 5, or Season 5b (b = the second letter of the alphabet).
2. Negan is undoubtedly coming
Comic fans are on the edge of their seats this season just waiting for the group to reach the Alexandria Safe-Zone, and then for the introduction of the Big Bad from the series, Negan. What's worse is that it seems The Walking Dead writers know we're waiting, and are dropping hints like mad! This episode gave a lot of indication that Negan will be a character and a very real threat soon: Firstly the group needed to walk through a wire fence, which cut Noah's forehead, then we saw Glenn pick up (and later use) a baseball bat, and finally Noah's mom looked like her head had been bashed in with a very cylindrical object.
The baseball bat and the razor wire seem to point straight to Lucille, Negan's weapon of choice (a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire), and the fact that Glenn was the one that picked it up, well, readers of the comics will understand the significance of that. Maybe Greg Nicotero (who directed this episode) is just toying with us, or maybe it was some very sneaky foreshadowing. This doesn't necessarily mean Negan will be the next threat the group encounters, and maybe he won't be here until Season 6, but the writers definitely want you to know he's on his way.
3. Who are the Wolves?
It only flashed up on screen for a brief time but "wolves not far" was spray painted on a fence as the group entered the neighborhood. Once the group looked around it became very obviously, very quickly that the community had intentionally been attacked by outside forces. There had been fires lit, it looked like there had been explosions, and people had been killed by things other than just walkers.
So the question is: are there literal wolves in the surrounding area (it would make a lot of sense, surely animal populations are booming), or are the wolves another group like the marauders who are nothing but trouble? Which brings me to the next point...
4. The walker heads and the walker legs
When the group parked the van off the road they stopped near some vehicles, but didn't bother to check them. Once inside Noah's community, Michonne came across a whole bunch of arms and legs that had been cut off by humans, not walkers or animals. The discovery cemented the group's decision to leave the community and press on to Washington D.C., but it wasn't until Rick hit the station wagon back in the forest, that we found the heads and torsos belonging to those limbs. Now what made these armless, legless bodies more interesting was their foreheads:
Do these 'W's' mean 'wolves'? Do these 'wolves' have a weird half-walker army that they use as weapons? Why do they bother carving things into their foreheads, and could these carvings have anything to do with the carvings in the trees that Morgan is following? I have no solid answers, and would love to hear your theories, but this simply can't be good news for Rick and the team.
5. Noah's community was (almost) straight out of the comic series
The last one might be one that many comic fans may have noticed: Noah's community in Richmond, Virginia which was named Shirewilt, was actually based on an important gated community from the comic series named Wiltshire Estate.
Way back in Season 2, Shane and Andrea visited a suburban community, looking for Sophia, that was overrun with walkers. Though it was not identified in the show, the creators later told fans that this was Wiltshire, and it was intended as an easter egg for the comic fans. At the time many fans thought it seemed like a disappointing use of a rather important setting, however now, three seasons later, the writers have tried to use the Wiltshire setting to its full ability, though they cleverly renamed it Shirewilt.