A new featurette released by AMC ahead of The Walking Dead season 8B sees cast and crew open up about the pending fallout from the loss of Rick Grimes' son, Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs), who revealed an incurable walker bite in the final moments of December's mid-season finale.
“Their biggest strength is their tenacity, and their determination to win,” says executive producer and director Greg Nicotero. “They want to survive, they want to set themselves up, to build their community where life can go on. That’s the plan."
“I think the greatest strength we have is solidarity, the three communities working as one," says Andrew Lincoln, whose Rick Grimes heads the alliance of the Alexandria, Hilltop, and Kingdom communities.
“Even though they’ve managed to keep the Saviors at bay and so many of them are still alive, there is a bit of a sense of defeat," explains co-executive producer Denise Huth, who adds much of the group is driven by rage.
“The biggest problem with our group," Nicotero says, "is they let their emotions interfere with the plan. Their judgement gets clouded."
Emotions run high in the newly released footage, above, which sees a tearful Morgan do things he doesn't want to do — but has to.
“I think the biggest weakness is the people we are both forced to and decide to trust, and that’s gonna be tested," says Morgan actor Lennie James, who previously told ComicBook.com the back half of season 8 will "springboard" Morgan into Fear The Walking Dead season 4.
“Ultimately, the fall out from the loss makes people do different things," Lincoln says.
Rick's discovery of Carl's bite — and the implication of his quick-approaching and unavoidable death — will be "a defining moment that redirects Rick," says Nicotero, who directs the episode. Nicotero recently admitted the episode, titled "Honor," brought him to tears.
Carl will be the first marked for death in the front half of the season, but Huth teases the group's war may cost them even more than was expected.
“They’re in no way willing to back down," Huth says, "but they’re recognizing by the time it’s over, they may lose a lot more than anticipated."
One such loss could be de facto Hilltop leader Maggie, whose actress, Lauren Cohan, may exit the show after season 8.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC Sunday, February 25.