Even though we’re still another four months away from the next season of The Walking Dead, our minds are racing will all of the possibilities that Season 6 could present to this ever-sprawling horror drama. And instead of just sitting back and waiting around in the same mud-caked jeans I’ve been wearing since Terminus, I want to get a conversation started about the six things that I’m hoping are coming to The Walking Dead later this year.
Major spoilers of all kinds to follow in this list, as I’m drawing most of my predictions and thoughts from the Walking Dead comic series. Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott Gimple have been known to switch up the details in transitioning the story from page to screen, but some of this will still be pretty shocking for non-readers. You’ve been warned.
An Assault on AlexandriaGiven how things were left in Season 5 – with the Alexandria community lessened by two and the Wolves ready to stalk some prey – it seems likely that Season 6 will kick things off with one of the biggest action stories that this series has ever given us. Recent reports, beyond the conjecture on character fates, implied that lots of gunplay and explosions are factoring into the Season 6 production, which probably means another body or two may fall by the time all is said and done.
In the comics, it’s Derek and the Scavengers that are the threat, drawn to Alexandria by the gunshot that kills Pete. That battle in turn draws a massive herd of walkers, which becomes a major threat in its own right. It’s possible that these two events, with the Wolves substituting for the Scavengers, will come at different points of the season, as to not blow through too much action all at once, or it might all come in the very first episode. I know which one I’m hoping for.
Carl ‘s InjurySpeaking of the zombie herd, that particular chunk of mayhem leads causes some survivors to feel that they might be safer outside of Alexandria, and during a terribly-planned escape attempt, the zombies milling around town take a few victims. One of them is Douglas – the male counterpart for Alexandria leader Deanna –who wildly shoots his gun around and accidentally puts a bullet through Carl’s face, putting him in a temporary coma. I’m the jerk around these parts who always wants bad things to happen to Carl, but this part of the storyline could definitely help his TV character develop, beyond sating my fiction-based sadism.
This particular tragedy, on top of the other ones, would once again throw Rick into the pits of despair, which we’ve seen several times over the course of the TV series. But it could also put Carl in the middle of a character arc where he actually has a purpose, and his injuries could help inform his independence-fueled personality as the show goes on. And unless some kind of amazing new story sprouts between him and Enid, Carl’s story needs some meat…hanging from his face.
More New CharactersConsidering the show has no problem remixing characters and character types, it’s hard to gauge exactly where they’ll go when introducing new people. We’ve heard about a couple of casting notices for new Season 6 characters, and although they don’t obviously add up to anyone specific, we’ve got a small wish list of characters to pop up in Season 6. (And it goes without saying that we hope Morgan sticks around for a long while.)
For one, Heath definitely needs to show up in this TV universe, preferably with his best friend Scott, as he’s a nice well-rounded character that could help in any situation. (Not to mention a black male that doesn’t die.) As well, we need to see Denise show up in some way; now that Pete is dead, the community is going to need a skilled doctor to handle injuries and sickness. And if we want to see some soap opera business happening, it would be nice to have Holly come into the story to throw a stick into the spokes of Abraham and Rosita’s relationship. It’s unclear how any of these characters would come into the story, as they were already part of Alexandria’s population in the comics when Rick & Co. arrive, but maybe Daryl and Aaron could run into them on one of their recruiting trips.
Glenn vs. NicholasWhile Rick is almost certainly going to meet some antagonism from people who don’t feel like his bullying leadership in Alexandria makes any sense, I want to see an overarching feud develop between Glenn and Nicholas. The last episodes of Season 5 certainly put them head to head, particularly when they’re hunting each other outside the walls of Alexandria. Glenn had an easy opportunity to wipe Nicholas from the face of the Earth and decided not to, and I’d like that to see that decision come back and bite him in the ass.
In the comics, Nicholas is a threat early on and admittedly has a lot more backbone than his TV counterpart, who is basically a lying coward always looking for the easiest way out of a situation. But if he decided to grow a pair by attempting to face off against Glenn (and possibly Rick) with a team of fellow dissenters, that would add a threatening subplot to burn some time until the Alexandria storyline finds itself branching out to other places.
Jesus and the Hilltop ColonyWhile we’ll probably be meeting a few new people within Alexandria for Season 6, things are going to take another wild turn once we’re dealing with another strange visitor whom Rick considers an instant threat and holds captive on a temporary basis. And that person will be Jesus –or Paul Monroe, if you’re not into religious nicknames – a character that probably won’t enter the picture until the latter part of the season, given how big the story gets after he arrives.
Jesus is a survivalist of the highest order, and one who is also an expert with fighting skills. (And if his introduction involves him getting into a pissing match with Daryl, so be it.) He’s a member of the Hilltop Colony, a community both larger and more heavily guarded than Alexandria. This would mean that even more characters would see their TV debuts, particularly their skeezy leader Gregory. The Hilltop group offers a new way for the Alexandria residents to get food and supplies, making the scouting missions a little less important. And then…
An Appearance From NeganIn the comics, the Hilltop Colony gives Rick and the Alexandria crew their first inkling of the oddly understanding psychopath Negan, an unyielding villain that fans have been itching to see make it to TV for years, even knowing that it wouldn’t make sense for him to show up earlier than his comic counterpart. The show has needed an engagingly badass antagonist ever since The Governor bit it, and Negan fills that void and then some.
But I’m not expecting to see him immediately entering the narrative and tearing people’s lives apart. Considering how much story Season 6 has to get through, I’m perfectly happy with the creative team waiting until the very last second to bring Negan out, giving fans something to mull over in the long summer before Season 7 begins. Perhaps all of the survivors are about to have a good night, and everyone things they’re safe at last. And then we slowly zoom in on a bat completely wrapped in barbed wire, nicknamed Lucille. Goddamn, I’m already getting goosebumps thinking about it.
What are you guys hoping to see in Season 6 of The Walking Dead?