Even with the cast and crew of AMC's The Walking Dead having wrapped work on the tenth season, life in the franchise's universe has become a lot like the NFL: neither have off-seasons anymore. With a strong ensemble cast (and a "Big Bad" fronted by Samantha Morton in an award-earning turn as Whisperers leader Alpha) and richly layered writing, showrunner/executive producer Angela Kang did the near-impossible: made the show fresh and dangerous again – and we're only halfway through the season.
And we haven't even mentioned Fear the Walking Dead season 6, the premiere of The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and the upcoming Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) films.
With the series set to return to AMC on Sunday, February 23, viewers have already gotten a look at what lies ahead – including Michonne's return, a shirtless Negan, a Eugene/Rosita kiss, and a bloody Alpha (check it out here).
Kang and company offered fans an updated Thanksgiving "easter egg" image to stir up speculation ahead of the show's 2020 return as well as some wrap-up thoughts on the tension and paranoia-filled first-half of the tenth season (check those out here).
Following that was an on-set, in-production look back at this season's first eight episodes – including cast members Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Dan Fogler, co-executive producer/writer Jim Barnes, director/TWD alum Michael Cudlitz, and more.
As we headed into the holiday season, Michonne (Danai Gurira) Rick, and Negan (Morgan) offered their respective advice for living a better and more rewarding walker-filled life – but now things are getting serious: a first-look image from the show's return that teases the beginning of the end.
By "end", we mean the end of Gurira's run as Michonne – and from what we can see from the following exclsuive preview image from TVLine, it looks like her final story arc begins where the midseason finale left off: with Michonne and Virgil (Kevin Carroll) apparently having made their way to the naval base Virgil calls home. Plans pretty simple: Virgil got home, so Michonne get a massive arsenal of weapons that will end The Whisperers' threat once and for all.
Except… things don't look quite right in the image below, raising a ton of questions. Did they even make it to the base, or is this somewhere else? Did things at the base go south while Virgil was gone? What is it about this simple deal exchange that leads Michonne off the show?
Let the speculation begin…
When AMC's The Walking Dead returns for its second-half of season 10, our group of survivors are trapped… some in the confines of a cave filled with walkers… others, in a spiral of suspicion and grief — all orchestrated at the hand of Alpha, who continues to prove the Whisperers are always watching and one step ahead of the communities. Through this conflict and all they've lost, a few still hold onto hope, especially Eugene, who believes the mysterious voice he spoke with on the radio may lead to their world getting bigger once again.
But with the Whisperer War upon them, the collective communities must come together and possibly sacrifice all they have to find a way to silence the Whispers once and for all. Otherwise, Alpha will ensure they face a certain doom.
We didn't mince words over how impressed we were with season opener "Lines We Crossed" (check out our review here). Then we had Morton, Ryan Hurst, and Thora Birch raising the bar even higher with "We Are the End of the World" (check out our review here), – offering up some Whisperers backstory.
"Ghosts" elevated the paranoia as Melissa McBride continues delivering an award-winning performance (that review's here) – while "Silence the Whisperers" proved once again why it's "In Michael Cudlitz, We Trust" (review here).
"What It Always Is" had a now-free Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) beginning his redemption arc (???) while Alpha raised the stakes against our survivors (review here).
"Bonds" had Negan being tested, Carol (McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus) possibly making matters worse for the community by "picking up" a Whisperer, and Eugene (Josh McDermitt) reaching out… and getting a response.
"Open Your Eyes" (review here) saw our theory about Siddiq (Avi Nash) completely, totally, and tragically put to rest. That brought us to midseason finale "The World Before" (reviewed here), as the drumbeats of war grew louder.