If the song that’s playing in the new trailer for the mid-season premiere of The Walking Dead is any indication, there’s a “Bad Moon Rising” for the characters as the zombie drama returns for the second half of its fourth season. Remember back in the old days when the characters on The Walking Dead were all out in the open, trying to find shelter and resources without getting eaten by zombies? Well, the preview for Season 4.5 teases a return to that mayhem, which isn’t such a bad thing, considering how dreary the prison backdrop had gotten.
“It’s not gonna be easy,” Rick can be heard saying. “But we’re not too far gone. We’re survivors.” That’s true of every character in this series. Until they die, of course, which seems to happen sooner or later for a lot of people in this show. Pardon my pessimism, but did you watch the above trailer? It really emphasizes some major frustration and exhaustion. Everyone looks tired, dirty and miserable, which is understandable, given that they’ve just been forced out of their relatively safe living quarters and sent on their way into the zombie-infested world where no one is ever safe and a gruesome death could be mere moments away. But on the positive side, Rick sounds determined not to give up, and that's pretty crucial, not only to their survival but probably to the tone of the series. The moment these characters give up, what's left to watch?
What do we expect to see from the second half of Season 4? For Maggie, Beth, and probably Glenn too, grief over the loss of Hershel. Maggie and Beth lost their father during the winter finale, and Glenn lost the closest thing to a father-in-law he’ll probably ever have. Those two seemed to bond pretty early on, so I’m sure he’ll be grieving too. Meanwhile, Rick and Carl were separated from the group, so we may see them trying to catch up with the rest of their people, unless they decide maybe it’s time to go their own way, at least for a little while. For them, grief will likely be focused on the loss of Judith, as the baby is presumed to be dead. At the end of the winter finale, they found Judy’s empty baby carrier covered in blood. Of course, there’s always the chance that someone (living) grabbed her and just happened to drip blood all over the carrier. But it’s just as likely that someone less living took her, which is pretty terrible. Either way, Carl and Rick believe her to be dead, so they’ll either be dealing with that or else, trying not to think about it as they seek out some place safe.
The trailer also glimpses Daryl looking concerned — possibly at Beth, who’s crying — Michonne seeming to have her own breakdown, and a quick shot of Tyrese. No one is happy. No surprise there.
The Walking Dead returns Sunday, February 9 at 9:00 p.m. ET on AMC.