It does not look like it’s going to be a good time when AMC’s The Walking Dead returns on February 9. Scratch that, it doesn’t look like it’s going to be a good time for the characters on the show. From the appearance of these seven new images just released to hype the second half of season four, fans of the highly-rated zombie drama may in fact be in for a very good time. Or at least in for lots of excitement, tons of tension, and their favorite characters in all manner of precarious positions.
These pictures, unveiled by Entertainment Weekly, pick up the group in the wake of the midseason finale, “Too Far Gone,” after the group of survivors have been forced to flee the relative safety of their prison stronghold. We knew they were in for a rough go of it, scattered as they are, but these new images give you an idea of just how grim things have gotten.
It’s a good thing walkers can’t climb, or Glenn (Steven Yeun) would be in a whole mess of trouble. As it is, being surrounded by moaning zombies all hungry to sink their teeth into your arm doesn’t sound all that relaxing, but when you’re trying to escape a swarm of the flesh-starved undead, you have to take what you can get. Even if it means hovering on a pedestal like a dangling dog treat.
And there are apparently more tough moments for Glenn. He looks exhausted, beaten, bloody, and damn near broken. Good thing he has his handy prison-issued body armor, or he’d likely be toast. We haven’t seen this used much in the series, but in Robert Kirkman’s comics, Glenn especially makes frequent use of this resource. The upcoming episodes are supposed to follow the source material rather closely, and this could be an indicator of that.
There have been photos of Michonne (Danai Gurira) with her new pet zombies—her second pair in the series—but this photo provides a different angle. In the comics her companions—there was only one set if I remember correctly—are people that were close to her. Not only did they provide a sort of camouflage, much like smearing yourself with zombie guts, but they also served as a link to her past. We’ll have to wait and see if these fellas perform any additional functions.
Oh, Daryl (Norman Reedus), how the fans love you. Seriously, if they ever decide to kill off the younger Dixon brother, there will be riots in the streets that Sunday night. That doesn’t mean you can’t put him in harm’s way, though. In this first picture, he looks like he’s caught wind of some threat, potential meal, or other hazard…
…while the next one shows him in action, trusty crossbow in hand, stalking through the woods like true outdoorsman that he is. Here’s the real question: is he hunting something, following someone, or running from some unseen danger?
Out of all of the survivors, I’m most interested in seeing what the road has in store for Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and his son Carl (Chandler Riggs). Since the whole world went down the crapper, they’ve never been on their own together. With the death of wife and mother Lori, and Rick’s subsequent slippery grip on his mind, the two could use some bonding time. In the comics they have a great father-son dynamic, which has largely been pushed to the side in the series—Rick always has somewhere to go, some business to take care of, instead of looking after his son. Rick’s been such an absentee father that I’d like to see them build that relationship in the show. They’ve touched it a bit this season, like with the two farming together, laying down their guns, but now they can take that foundation and put more on top of it.
It also looks like young Carl is going to get to practice his breaking and entering. Burglary skills will be highly useful after the whole world goes to hell.