There’s a reason there’s a new AMC show called Fear the Walking Dead. Actually, there are about 15 million reasons: That’s the approximate number of viewers that watch The Walking Dead each week, an unprecedented amount for a cable-TV series that gives AMC a pop-culture phenomenon that eclipses all their previous prestige fare. You almost could understand if AMC wanted to sprinkle some Dead magic on their Emmy-winning shows for spin-offs titled Zombie Mad Men and Breaking Dead.
The Walking Dead crew are Comic-Con vets at this point after five bloody seasons, and their celebrity and credibility in San Diego is only enhanced by the fact that the hit show is based on Robert Kirkman’s comic book series. EW’s Dalton Ross has already published a series of teases and first looks about season 6, which returns in October and will pick up with the protective bubble of Alexandria’s walled city punctured forever by violence. To get you ready for the panel, here’s a refresher on where we left the survivors and what new dangers might be circling.
Where we left off: Rick went from potential pariah to Deanna’s trigger man, murdering Pete in full view of the Alexandria residents after the drunken wife-beater accidentally killed her husband with Michonne’s sword. But Deanna still may not be fully convinced of Rick’s good intentions; sniveling Gabriel poisoned her objectivity toward all the newcomers with his claims that they cannot be trusted. Of course, Gabriel’s credibility might be muted after he wandered into the wilderness and allowed some walkers through the open gates. A wounded Glenn spared Nicholas even after the Alexandria coward shot him. Daryl narrowly escaped with his life on his latest recruitment expedition with Aaron, stumbling into a zombie trap set by the Wolves. They were rescued by Morgan, Rick’s old friend from season 1 who once seemed a hopeless case the last time he crossed paths with the gang. He’s recovered from his malaise, become a zen warrior of sorts, and arrives in Alexandria just in time to see Rick deliver the killing blow to Pete.
What we know about season 6: Based on some of the recent first look images, season 6 picks up almost immediately after the last episode. Showrunner Scott M. Gimple hinted that Rick and Morgan’s joyful reunion might quickly be tested, if not undermined. “[Morgan] said, ‘All life is precious,’ and the first thing he sees Rick do is shoot a man in the face,” said Gimple. “So right there, the facts point towards a bit of conflict there, a bit of an issue.” The creepy Wolves seem like the obvious big bad, but Gimple said there will be multiple threats to the group this season, including different versions of threats they’ve encounted in the past. Fans of the Kirkman’s comic book will recognize some new characters, including Heath (Corey Hawkins).
Comic-Con burning question: How does the power structure of Alexandria realign after the violent events of the finale, and will Morgan and Rick really find themselves at odds? Fans might get some answers when the Walking Dead folks unveil the season’s first trailer in San Diego.
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