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There are spoilers below if you still haven’t caught the midseason finale of The Walking Dead. Please keep that in mind before reading the next few paragraphs or watching the video.
The Walking Dead is set to return to the schedule in just a few short days, airing on AMC on February 8. To promote the upcoming episodes, the network has just released the first full two minutes of the Season 5 winter premiere, and the whole thing is pretty somber. Check it out, below.
We like to think about The Walking Dead as a series that is action-packed and survival-driven, but sometimes we forget that there are a lot of beloved characters that are also an integral part of the series. When one or more of those characters are killed off, it can have major ramifications, both for fans and for those who are still trying to eke out a life on the show. During the Season 5 midseason finale, The Walking Dead killed off the likeable Beth in a tragic scene that affected both fans and cast members alike. The actress playing the character, Emily Kinney, even cried live on The Talking Dead after the episode aired. It was a highly emotional event for many, and in the first two minutes of the show’s return, we see that all of that emotion hasn’t totally worn off.
The Walking Dead isn’t always a series that is trying to make grander ties between the world of the past and the zombie-filled present the characters are experiencing, but in the new scene, we get to see various household objects juxtaposed against overgrowth and all of the weapons and other components that make up Rick and the gang’s existence. Rick and the crew already seem to be moving forward in the first couple of minutes of the new season, coming up with the next move in the longwinded journey they began five seasons ago. However, not everyone has forgotten Beth. Early in the preview, we see what looks like the young lady's body laid to rest near a willow tree. There’s time to say a few words, shed a few tears, and then everyone else must trudge forward, too. Time passes and lives are often lost on The Walking Dead, but the grittiest of the survivors just keep going. It's either that or give up.
We've know for a while that Beth's death would come up in the new episodes. Last week, we learned that Rick will attempt to "honor Beth" when the show returns. Unfortunately, his plan doesn't just go badly, it will go catastrophically. So, if you think those sad opening minutes of The Walking Dead's winter premiere are tough to get through, just wait until the action kicks in.
With that in mind, it makes Rick’s plan in the clip a little more ominous. After tears have been shed, Rick tells the group where he thinks they should traverse next: where Beth wanted to go, Richmond.
It was secure. It has a wall, homes, twenty people. Beth wanted to go with him; she wanted to get him there. It’s a long trip, but if it works out, it’s the last long trip we have to make.
We won't have too much longer to wait to find out what happens, next. The Walking Dead will return to AMC for the midseason premiere on Sunday, February 8, at 9 p.m. ET.