\'The Walking Dead\' Season 5: 9 things to know before Sunday\'s premiere
Troy L. Smith, Northeast Ohio Media Group By Troy L. Smith, Northeast Ohio Media Group The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND, Ohio - The midseason premiere of "The Walking Dead" is just a few days away.
Several questions and mysterious rumors have yet to be answered or confirmed heading into the next eight episodes. But we do know several interesting plot twists lie ahead.
Here\'s a quick primer of things you should know before Sunday night\'s big return:
Early trailers for the second half of Season 5 suggested that the next few episodes could feature a lot of mourning over Beth. Apparently, that won\'t be the case. The sneak preview of the midseason premiere shows most of the crying and funeral taking place during a quick montage. Of course, Maggie and Daryl could spend much of the season sobbing, but that\'s to be expected.
Finally we are leaving the Atlanta area. Anyone who has watched the first two minutes of the midseason premiere knows that Rick and the group are headed to Noah\'s home in Richmond, Va. This is a key turning point for "TWD" fans that have been anticipating the group eventually making it to the Washington, D.C. area and the Alexandria Safe-Zone, which is a key destination in the comic book.
The Alexandria Safe-Zone is the most prominent setting in "The Walking Dead" comic book. The group spends more time there than any other place. It is similar to Woodbury in that is a safe area fortified by a fence. This is as much of a safe-haven as Rick\'s group finds during the zombie-apocalypse. But that doesn\'t mean they won\'t have to protect it. The Safe-Zone is the scene of several conflicts and many deaths.
In January, "The Walking Dead" cast Ross Marquand in an unknown role. Rumors immediately swirled that Marquand will paly Aaron, a recruiter from the Alexandria Safe-Zone. What helped fuel speculation were Robert Kirkman\'s comments during "The Talking Dead." Kirkman said the show would introduce its first openly gay character. Fans from of the comic book know that gay character is Aaron.
"The Walking Dead" also announced the casting of "American Horror Story" alum Alexandra Breckenridge in an unspecified role. It\'s likely the second half of Season 5 will find Rick and company encountering other groups during their travels. Breckenridge (and other actors) are sure to join the show in that capacity.
Because the group is stopping in Richmond, the Alexandria Safe-Zone will probably be put off for at least a little while (Unless Richmond is the Alexandria Safe-Zone on the show, which would change everything). Once Rick\'s group does settle at the Safe-Zone, it\'s only a matter of time until the comic book\'s main villain, Negan, shows up. Negan is the longest lasting villain in the comic book and is responsible for the deaths of a few major characters. But don\'t get ahead of yourself (I\'m talking to myself here as well). While, just about every showrunner has suggested Negan is headed our way eventually, it could be a while before he actually shows up.
This isn\'t confirmed, but it appears to be a foregone conclusion. Both Chad Coleman (Tyreese) and Tyler James Williams (Noah) have accepted roles on other television series. It\'s hard to imagine they\'d be splitting time between two shows. That means Tyreese and Noah should be departing "The Walking Dead" before season\'s end, in some fashion.
Morgan isn\'t catching up to the group anytime soon
During a recent interview with Huffington Post, actor Josh McDermitt (Eugene) revealed that it may be a while before Morgan, who was hinted at for brief moments during the first half of Season 5, catches up to Rick: "As Morgan kind of showed up to the church in the last episode, and he saw the map and everything, the greenery had grown up over some of the vines to show that several months have past," McDermitt told Huffington Post. "I don\'t think that Morgan is around the corner."
Whether you love every minute of "The Walking Dead" or think the show has slowed a bit since it\'s early days, one thing is for sure: People aren\'t tired of it. "The Walking Dead" set several ratings records last fall, even beating out Sunday Night Football on a regular basis. "The Walking Dead" is officially the biggest show in cable history and it shows no signs of slowing down.
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