Season 5 of AMC’s runaway horror hit The Walking Dead is finally back, and just in time for Halloween no less, and fans have a lot to look forward to. After an action-packed season premiere with “No Sanctuary,” there are a number of storylines to explore and new characters to get to know. And that last category just grew by one more new face as the series has cast American Horror Story actress Alexandra Breckinridge in what is being called an important, though largely mysterious role.
THR reports that Breckinridge, who also appeared in Save Me and Family Guy, among others titles, will have a recurring role in season 5 of the zombie drama. We imagine, at this stage of the game, she won’t pop up until later in the season, most likely after the show returns from its annual mid-season hiatus. She could also be promoted to series regular moving into the already-approved season 6 if the story works out like that.
There’s not a ton known about her character, though her name is apparently Samantha. A casting breakdown calls her “an attractive, strong, smart, charming, and articulate woman with a vulnerable side. She’s a mother with a bohemian spirit, and a talented artist.” As AMC hasn’t officially commented on the matter, both of these may be nothing more than place savers and could very well change in the future.
If I had to hazard a guess, I would say Samantha, or whatever her name winds up being, is probably one of the people who live in the Alexandria Safe Zone. As the series roughly parallels the story from Robert Kirkman’s comics that serve as the source material, that appears to be where the story is heading—not only does it figure prominently in the continuing arc, the survivors are still there in the comics, we’ve also seen photos of the production building a walled-off community that resembles the setting in the books. Once there, Rick and company will encounter a number of people, and it’s very possible that Samantha is one of them.
It’s good that Breckinridge won’t appear until later, because as it stands, The Walking Dead already has some serious work to do. We saw in the previews for the next episode, “Strangers,” that the crew meets Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam, yet another alum of HBO’s The Wire), so they have to introduce him. Beyond that, there are still characters who first showed up last year that we haven’t spent much time with. This includes Gareth (Andrew J. West), the leader of Terminus who we know shows up again, as well as Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Rosita (Christian Serratos), and Eugene (Josh McDermitt). The show needs to deal with these folks, not to mention keep developing the core group, before they start throwing new characters into the mix.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC.