[WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for the first half of The Walking Dead season 4.]
AMC's colossal hit, The Walking Dead, has been on hiatus since early December. In the weeks leading up to its February 9th return, fans have been left in doubt over the fate of several of the series' key characters
Circumstances have changed dramatically for Rick, Carl, Michonne, and the rest of survivors as the mid-season finale saw the prison breached. In the aftermath of The Governor's final attack, the group was splintered leaving Rick and Carl on their own, the well being of baby Judith and Glenn in question, and more members either dead, presumed to be, or lost in the turmoil.
Having had the survivors secure in the prison for the past season-and-a-half, part two of season 4 will focus on life out in the open, where keeping well-supplied will be key to survival. Showrunner Scott Gimple has already spoken about the struggles ahead. The short teaser for season 4 that was released last week also gave an impression of the hardships those who survived the prison will be facing.
Now, in the season 4 featurette (above) the cast and crew discuss in more detail what horrors await those living among the walking dead.
The message coming across in these interviews is clear: their home and their sense of security is gone, and now they must focus on again finding sanctuary. The wide, open world is dangerous and with everyone separated, some even alone, they're weaker and very vulnerable.
Star Andrew Lincoln calls these back eight episodes "like a whole new season" and explains it's now a "psychological horror" awaiting the survivors. Speaking on what kind of state Rick is in when the series returns, Lincoln said:
"He's not only physically battered, but emotionally bereft. You see a man that is very, very scared and it comes out as a much more aggressive, protective father figure."
As for Carl, how he reacts to the man his father has become and how that changes him will be crucial to their survival.
This featurette also hints that we won't see everyone reconnecting. Michonne is off on her own, and actress Danai Gurira indicates that being next to Herschel when he was killed will have an obvious, damaging affect on her. Steve Yeun, too, questions Glenn's security, considering last we saw him he was on the bus that was being riddled with bullets.
Season 4 has already been The Walking Dead's most intense to date, and judging from what's coming down the line, things are only going to get worse. What misfortunes do you expect to see our survivors have to deal with? Are any of them related to the five directions we speculated the second half of season 4 would go?
The Walking Dead season 4, part two, premieres Sunday, February 9th @9pm on AMC.