Unlike with past seasons of The Walking Dead, which left off with much of its major conflict either resolved or shelved for the time being, Season 4 left off with a pretty major cliffhanger. One that left the fate of pretty much all of the characters hanging in the balance. (Season 4 spoilers ahead) Comic creator and The Walking Dead executive producer Robert Kirkman has offered some vague but exciting updates about where things pick up in Season 5. Or rather, how Season 5 will pick up.
When the fourth season of The Walking Dead wrapped up, most of Rick’s group had arrived at Terminus, the shelter that turned out to be a trap. No surprise there (to us, anyway). Rick, Carl, Michonne and Daryl were chased into a railroad car, where they found Glenn, Maggie and the rest of their group. So where does Season 5 pick up? The recently released photo of Rick peering out from somewhere offers us very little to go on, and from what Robert Kirkman told EW, it sounds like that’s intentional. Kirkman explained that they’re working hard to keep what they’re filming quiet for now. “There’s been a lot of secrecy on set,” Kirkman told EW. “Just because any images that get out of any kind of things that are seen do in a sense spoil that cliffhanger, so we’re trying to keep things a little more tight this time around.”
Leaving the main characters trapped inside an old railroad car and at the mercy of the residents of Terminus is certainly a bad situation for the characters. Of course, there’s hope that Carol and Tyreese will show up and help out, but they have baby Judith to worry about, and how will they even know that Rick and the rest of their people are even at Terminus, let alone in that car, without getting caught themselves. We can only speculate for now.
Kirkman is being understandably tightlipped about where things pick up in Season 5, but he did confirm what showrunner Scott Gimple hinted about in his interview with Larry King, that Season 5 would jump back into the story right where Season 4 left off. “This is the first time we’ve really finished a season and gone back to the same place for the next season, so that’s kind of cool,” Kirkman said. So it sounds like no (or very little) time will have passed between Seasons 4 and 5, which makes sense, factoring in the cliffhanger. And it’s also no surprise that Kirkman confirms that Season 5 will start “in an up cycle” and that the season will “hit the ground running.” That’s a bit of a contrast from last season, which started off slow and built momentum with each episode.
To say that Rick was pretty fired up when Season 4 ended would be an understatement. The former law enforcer took a bite out of one of his enemies recently, proving he was willing to do whatever it takes to protect himself and his son. So I’m thinking he won’t be content to sit around in a railroad car waiting around to be eaten by walkers (or anyone else).