The first half of the sixth season of “The Walking Dead” ended in November on the plaintive whine of a shellshocked little boy draped in zombie guts. It was a quiet end to a frenetic spate of episodes in which the wheels came off in Alexandria, Rick renewed his romance with the widow of the guy he killed in Season 5, and, most infamously, Glenn died, except not really. And that’s not even counting the epilogue dropped into AMC’s “Into the Badlands,” which finally brought word of Negan, one of the comic book’s top villains. (AMC released the first scene of Sunday’s episode a few days ago, suggesting it will pick up where the epilogue left off.)
In advance of Sunday’s midseason premiere, here are some questions that need answers.
Is fragile Sam going to get everyone killed?
In an interview after the finale, Robert Kirkman, the mastermind of the “Walking Dead” universe, said the events in Alexandria will “pick up moments after Sam is asking for his mother,” so at least we won’t have to wait long to see the consequences.
Are Rick and Jessie a thing?
Rick killed Pete at the end of Season 5, which put a damper on his budding affair with Pete’s wife, Jessie. While they rekindled their romance a few episodes back, speculation about their future should probably wait until after we see if Sam gets everyone killed. One potential snag: Jessie’s other son, Ron, seems eager to murder Rick’s son, Carl, which could make things awkward.
Is Carl doomed?
Ron has had him in his sights for a few episodes and people who have read the comics tend to get very quiet if you ask about Carl’s future. On the other hand, the show routinely diverges from the comics and Carl has show himself to be a survivor, as when he lived through his accidental shooting in Season 2.
When will Negan show up?
Anyone’s guess. “The Walking Dead” cast Jeffrey Dean Morgan to play the fearsome and charismatic leader of a group called the Saviors, but producers haven’t said when he will arrive. Reports suggest it will be toward the end of Season 6, but Daryl, Sasha and Abraham begin Sunday’s episode still captive to his underlings, so perhaps it will be sooner than that. How the show will handle Negan’s enthusiastically profane dialogue is another question.
Will Carol and Morgan sort out their differences?
The two survivors, locked in a philosophical struggle between Carol’s brutal pragmatism and Morgan’s spiritual humanism, finally squared off in the midseason finale. Morgan bested Carol, knocking her unconscious, before he himself was knocked out by the mangy prisoner he’d been fighting to protect. (Advantage Carol?) The prisoner escaped, taking Denise the medic with him and leaving Carol and Morgan to settle their issues when they wake up.
Will Glenn and Maggie be reunited?
The pregnant Maggie was last seen, by Glenn as well as viewers, stranded precariously atop a platform as dozens of zombies swarmed hungrily below. Glenn’s is-he-or-isn’t-he-dead arc was the most polarizing subplot of the first half of the season, with many viewers unhappy with the trickery. Surely the producers wouldn’t deny fans a reunion after jerking them around like that. Right?
How will the survivors rebuild Alexandria?
“I wouldn’t be surprised if they stay in Alexandria for a good long while,” Mr. Kirkman said after the finale, and Deanna, the leader, left extensive expansion blueprints plans before she met her end in the episode. But how? The colony was last seen with caved-in walls and filled with walkers, and events suggest that another bloodthirsty group, the Saviors, will be arriving soon. That doesn’t leave much space or time for massive construction projects. And with Reg and Deanna dead, who will oversee the rebuilding? But maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves — let’s wait and see if Sam gets everyone killed first.