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When Walking Dead Returns & What To Expect From Season 9's Second Half

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for The Walking Dead midseason finale.

The Walking Dead season 9 midseason finale has aired, and audiences are now looking forward to the AMC show returning in February 2019 - but what can fans expect from the second half of The Walking Dead season 9? What's interesting is that The Walking Dead season 9 has arguably seen more twists and turns in its first half than any other previous season did in their first eight episodes. Of course, that's because the creative team had to figure out a way to allow Andrew Lincoln to exit as Rick Grimes.

In the months leading up to The Walking Dead season 9 premiere, any news regarding the TV series centered on how Rick Grimes would exit the show; would he die or would he simply be written out? As it turns out, it was a little bit of both. Lincoln's exit as Rick Grimes is ultimately a catalyst for him returning in three Walking Dead movies, the first of which will go into production sometime in 2019. But Rick's final episode also happened to be Lauren Cohan's final episode as Maggie Rhee. She was written out so badly that audiences didn't even know it happened.

Related: The Walking Dead: What The "X" Scars Could Mean

While losing two of the show's main stars was a devastating blow, The Walking Dead is moving forward thanks to a six-year time jump, which viewers started to acclimate to in the final three episodes of the first half of The Walking Dead season 9. A lot happened in The Walking Dead's time jump that remains unclear, but whatever it is that went down between all the groups, it's something that perhaps may be a topic of interest when The Walking Dead season 9 returns in early 2019.

The Walking Dead Season 9's Second Half is Already Done Filming

Danai Gurira as Michonne and Magna's Group in The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead season 9 entered production in May and had already finished filming most of the season prior to the new season premiering in October. It officially wrapped production on November 11, just a few weeks before the midseason finale aired. Interestingly, in addition to having to write out Rick Grimes and Maggie Rhee's exits in the first half, the behind the scenes action of The Walking Dead season 9 is something that has been certainly worth following.

For the first time in the show's history, a woman, Angela Kang, is leading the charge as showrunner, taking over for Scott M. Gimple who is now overseeing the entire Walking Dead franchise at AMC. And considering reviews have been much better in The Walking Dead season 9, it's fair to say that Kang is doing an exceptional job in her new role. Furthermore, Michael Cudlitz, who played Abraham Ford on The Walking Dead, returned to direct the episode "Stradivarius."

The Walking Dead Season 9 Returns in February 2019

Walking Dead Season 9 Time Jump

The Walking Dead season 9 returns on February 10, 2019. Typically, The Walking Dead airs its midseason finale sometime in early December (though this time it's in late November) and then returns the following February. Given that there are eight episodes left, it seems The Walking Dead season 9 finale will air on March 31, 2019. Plus, since The Walking Dead season 8 finale led directly into the Fear the Walking Dead season 4 premiere, it'll be interesting to see how the producers handle both shows this time around given the new time jump.

What Will The Walking Dead Season 9's Second Half Be About?

Since the Whisperers are now going to be a major part of The Walking Dead season 9, it's expected they will be fully introduced when the series returns in February 2019. After all, with most of the show's main characters now surrounded by the Whisperers in the cemetery, it seems they will have to fight the Whisperers and eventually take them (or one of them) captive, as shown in the above trailer. Plus, there's still much more to be discussed regarding Negan, who has remained out of the spotlight this season so that other storylines may be given additional screen time. However, with him seemingly "escaping" from his prison cell in Alexandria, his story can go in multiple directions from here.

More: Walking Dead Midseason Finale: [Spoiler]'s Death & NEW Villains Explained

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