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We’re getting ever closer to the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead's Season 5. AMC has just released the first promo art for the second half of this amped-up season, and while there isn’t a great deal of information given to us, it does certainly start raising some questions.
Be warned, there are some spoilers ahead. So if you're not caught up with every episode yet, you might find a few surprises coming up. Also, why haven't you caught up with all the episodes yet?!?
Will They Keep Traveling With Eugene?It isn’t particularly clear in the promo picture if Eugene is with the group. While a few people are clearly visible like Rick, Daryl, Abraham, Tyrese, and Michonne, the rest of the group is a bit murky. Maggie and Rosita didn’t let Abraham hurt Eugene back on the road - beyond putting him in that coma and all - and Tara has seemed to have developed a bit of a soft spot for Eugene. Still, Abraham is pretty enraged over Eugene’s betrayal. Of course, the final call could be up to Rick, not Abraham. While it doesn’t seem like old Rick will just kick someone to the curb for lying to survive, the Rick we see nowadays doesn’t really stand for a lot of tomfoolery. Saying you have a cure to the infection and causing many people to lay down their lives for your safety is quite a lot of red in Eugene’s ledger. I’m not sure if Rick will be willing to welcome him back into the group.
Where Are They Going?After the nuttiness in Dawn’s hospital, the group is kind of directionless and destroyed. We’ve seen them try to build a home and a new life in the prison, but it ultimately didn’t last too long. Carl even told Father Gabriel in the first half of this season that, in this new world, you can’t really find and keep a home for very long. So what is the group’s next move going to be? The beef with Dawn’s hospital has been settled, so we aren’t about to have a Terminus/Woodbury situation on our hands. The prison is still overrun and mostly destroyed, so returning there isn’t an option either. Father Gabriel was able to live fairly comfortably in his church for quite a while (and he managed to largely avoid walkers, too). Will they regroup there until they can think of a better plan?
Is D.C. Still An Option?We saw way back in Season 1 that the CDC was caught just as off-guard by this rise of the dead, and that with the exception of that one scientist, it was completely wiped out. So any chance of “fixing” the world is pretty unlikely. However, I would be curious to find out if there were any remnants of the government trying to work to rebuild society. I don’t agree with Eugene and his Tennessee Top Hat often, but there is definitely a chance that if any solutions to the world's chaos exists, it would probably come from Washington D.C. Do I think there will be a solution? Not really. If the CDC is stumped (and mostly dead or reanimated), I think chances of any viable cures to the walker disease that everyone is infected with will be pretty hard to find. However, it isn’t like the group has got someplace special to be, and it isn’t like they have any sort of a home these days. Why not check out what’s going on in our nation’s capitol? Besides, what fun is a zombie apocalypse if you can’t tour the country?
Will Morgan Catch Up To Them?The Walking Dead writers have been teasing Morgan’s official return for most of the first half of the season. We last saw him stumble upon Father Gabriel’s church and find the map to D.C. that Abraham had left for Rick. Obviously, the group’s plans have been seriously derailed ever since Eugene’s confession about his zombie-curing intel, not to mention the fight with Dawn and her nutty hospital. So who knows how far off track they are from the course Abraham outlined on the map? However, in the promo picture from EW, Rick certainly looks like he’s just recognized someone, and the fact that the map is shown at the bottom of the page makes me feel pretty certain that Morgan is going to catch up with them soon.
If Morgan Does Catch Up, Is That A Good Thing?The last time we saw Morgan, he wasn’t exactly in the best state of mental health. While he was certainly a friend to Rick at the beginning of the series, it is unclear if he will be an ally to Rick if (or when) he meets back up with him. My personal guess is that he might be a bit of a wild card. Though he could be in a better place mentally, spending any prolonged period of time in this post-apocalyptic world -- and losing your entire family like Morgan has -- would do a number on anyone’s brain. Hopefully we won’t have another Rick/Shane dynamic on our hands. I’d like to think that Morgan’s return will ultimately be a good and positive thing, but since Rick’s last encounter with him was so dangerous and incendiary, I’m pretty concerned.
Will We FINALLY Figure Out What The X-Marking On The Trees Are About?It seemed that the mystery of the X marks on the trees was solved when Gareth admitted to Bob that his group of hunters had been carving them. They were doing this in an effort to keep from getting lost as they went on a mission to hunt down Rick’s group. However, when we see Bob out in the woods crying prior to getting snatched by Gareth’s group, and when Sasha is out looking for Bob, we see a very different marking on the trees. It looks like the one Gareth’s group had made was more like a horizontal line, but not the X inside a circle. So that leads to the next question: what is the deal with the X markings? Morgan has been following the markings for the entire first half of the season, and it lead him directly to Father Gabriel’s church. Could the markings be from Rick? If they aren’t from Rick, then who are they from, and what is Morgan hunting?
Hopefully these questions and more will be answered when The Walking Dead returns to AMC on Sunday, February 8.