As the Walking Dead heads into San Diego Comic Con in advance of season 4, change is on the menu. Once again, the show is dealing with a new showrunner as writer and producer Scott Gimple takes the reigns, but beyond that, there is also a host of new characters at the prison following the exodus from Woodbury at the end of season 3.
How will they integrate into Rick Grimes' patchwork group of grizzled survivors? We'll have to wait until the show's season premiere - which was revealed to be October 13th - for any real answers since the ensemble is one of TV's most button-lipped, but the first trailer for season 4 definitely mixes in a few clues among all the questions that are raised.
"We have to have numbers. People are the best defense against walkers." says Rick, a man burdened with the well-being of far more lives than he is accustomed to. In response to that, it seems as though the prison has been made to resemble a fortified camp in the middle of enemy territory and not a way station for a small group in search of any port in the storm. Rick and his group are trying to make a home, trying to adapt and defend, but the growing number of walkers that are baying at their door aim to make that a challenge.
"We're losing the war" says Michonne to Rick. "We might be safer outside those walls [...] We just lost 12 of our own. Two more were killed in cold blood. Everything we've been working so hard to keep out just found it's way in." says Hershel, probably referencing the act of sabotage or guerrilla warfare (the Governor?) that is prominently referenced in the trailer.
Can Rick withstand the opposition from Hershel and possibly others? Will he snap? We know that he punches Tyrese in the eye in the above clip, so we know that there is at least some tension there. Speaking of Tyrese, what's up with him? In two separate moments, he seems horrified and then distraught. Did something happen to Sasha? Is his hammer-handed horde assault a call-out to the gymnasium from the comics? What about the radio? What is that all about?
We've got the rest of the summer to speculate about the answers to those questions, but at least we can feel as if Gimple and concept creator Robert Kirkman are giving us a bit of meat to gnaw on too.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on October 13th.