'We definitely have not seen the last of Heath,' says showrunner Scott M. Gimple, but don't count on a sighting this season

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There are many questions heading into season 8 of The Walking Dead: How long will the war last? What’s with that mysterious Old Man Rick scene? Why doesn’t Maggie look pregnant? Seeing as how we’ve supplied some semblance of an answer for all of those things, let’s take a look at another burning question: Where the hell is Heath?

Well, we don’t know the exact where. We just know the Alexandrian (played by Corey Hawkins) is out there somewhere after getting separated from Tara during a super-unproductive supply run. Tara and Heath were sent out on said supply run because Alanna Masterson was pregnant and going to miss some time on the show while Hawkins had landed the lead role on Fox’s 24 reboot, 24: Legacy.

Hawkins was able to film a few scenes in one episode last season to help explain his disappearance, but that was it. However, we couldn’t help but wonder: Now that 24: Legacy has been canceled, might we see Heath again?

We asked showrunner Scott M. Gimple what the chances are we might come across the missing Alexandrian in season 8, and there was both good news and bad news. “Not a huge chance,” says Gimple on the odds of seeing Heath. “But we definitely have not seen the last of Heath, period. I will say that. I don’t mean to disappoint the Heathies. He will be on the show. He will be within The Walking Dead again.”

While we have all sorts of questions about where Heath has been and what he’s been up to since he and Tara lost each other on the bridge, keeping Heath sidelined, for now, may make sense. After all, this is already an overstuffed cast filled 20 regulars. Perhaps after the herd is thinned courtesy of the All Out War arc, Heath will make his triumphant return.

Plus, the fact that Gimple says unequivocally that we “definitely have not seen the last of Heath” and that the character will be “within The Walking Dead again” seems to confirm that Heath is at least alive out there. (Unless the gang just happens to stumble randomly across his zombified remains, although that would be pretty brutal, even for this show.)

So it looks like those prayers for Heath will most likely have to continue until at least season 9. Let’s just hope once we find him he is not making like some of our solitary heroes from the past and writing on walls and babbling on about “Clear” and other assorted nonsense.

Make sure to check out our new Walking Dead covers here, and for more Walking Dead intel, follow me on Twitter @DaltonRoss.

The Walking Dead returns Oct. 22

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The Walking Dead

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

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