By Dalton Ross
July 02, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT
Gene Page/AMC
  • TV Show

Season 5 of The Walking Dead ended in mayhem, with Rick dropping a walker he killed at the feet of the Alexandrians assembled to vote on whether to kick him out of the walled-off community. He then proceeded to shoot the abusive husband of his schoolboy crush Jessie in the face while his former BFF Morgan watched in shock. Now the question is, what happens next?

We’ll need to wait until the show’s return in October to find out for sure, but showrunner Scott M. Gimple chatted with EW and dropped a few intriguing nuggets — including the fact that we may see things in season 6 that are only referenced as past events in the comic on which the show is based. Read on for scoopage!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: So we ended last season with Rick seeming to take control in Alexandria. Will that extend into season 6?

SCOTT M. GIMPLE: Last season was this very strange quote-unquote “happy ending.” As I was working on the finale, it was just very interesting to me that the stakes weren’t that Rick was going to be kicked out, but oh, is Rick going to have to kill a lot of people? The onus was completely on him, but in the end he found a way, and providence found a way, that he could demonstrate to these people what they need to do and who he really is. And now that he’s done that, he seems to be in a terrific position to bring these people around to his way of thinking, and have it not be based in antagonism. But I will say, the world often gets in the way of Rick’s plans.

So are the Alexandrians more united than they were last year?

Well, it seems that everything is poised for that to happen, but there’s some interesting things. It’s super poised for that to happen, and then Pete walked in with Michonne’s sword. And more importantly, right after he pulled the trigger, Morgan was there and they’re face-to-face. What have we heard from Morgan? What have we seen from him? He said, “All life is precious,” and the first thing he sees Rick do is shoot a man in the face. So right there, the facts point towards a bit of conflict there, a bit of an issue. And will the Alexandrians after that gunshot be completely down with what Rick was saying just a few moments before? Bit of a question mark there.

And as you talk about the Pete situation, what does that mean now for Rick and Jessie? We started to see a love triangle forming there, and now one of the points of the triangle has eliminated one of the other points.

I guess it’s just a line now. I think it actually complicates things between them, but there’s no doubt that in episode 15, the penultimate episode, there was this intimacy there. And she said, “Hey, would you do this for anyone else?” and he was straight with her, he said, “No, I wouldn’t.” Whether that’s because he saw something in her that seemed worth saving, or whether it was more personal, because Rick was more bottom-line with more people at that point. Would he do that for anybody? I don’t think so.

You added so many new people when they got to Alexandria, so what does that mean in terms of this season adding new faces? We know Heath from the comics is going to be joining the show.

We have seen Heath on the internet when we announced it. Corey Hawkins is playing him, and he’s terrific and I’m so excited to see him bring Heath to life. It’s been fun and he dove in with both feet. He’s tough and skeptical when the cameras are rolling, and then when they’re off he’s just like a goofy fan. He’s really, really excited to be there. There are other people that we’re going to see throughout the season from the comics, and I’m excited for people to see it, but I don’t want to tell them now. I think a few minor remixes, but some direct stuff from the comic as well, as far as these characters go.

What else can you say about season 6?

I’ll say this: I think there’s a really cool aspect to the first half of the season that serves almost as a prequel to some direct comic stuff in the second half of the season. I think there’s a way that Robert did some of the story that we’re reaching that had a real past to it, where people are referring to some things in the past in the comic. And we’re able to portray some of that backstory in some ways that you didn’t get to see in the comic.

For more ‘Walking Dead’ intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

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AMC's zombie thriller, based on the classic comic book serial created by Robert Kirkman.
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