Spoiler Warning: If you haven't read The Walking Dead comic book series, this article contains information about what happened in past issues. The AMC TV show does not always follow the comic book series so the information may or may not be spoilers for the show.
The road to Washington, D.C. promises to be a key part of The Walking Dead's fifth season. So...what can we expect to find there?
So far, we know little of it in the TV series. In the episode "Nebraska," a survivor mentions that he and his fellow traveler have been to the city, where zombies had overrun the populace but there was a refugee camp not unlike the one referenced as having been in Atlanta before it fell.
Not much else was said and since the speakers -- Tony and Dave -- weren't very good people, neither the viewers nor the characters knew whether to take anything they said at face value.
More recently, Eugene Porter has been claiming that there are still remnants of the U.S. government functioning quietly in the city, that he's in contact with them via satellite phone, and that if he can get there, he can reverse the course of the plague that has left the country a bloody, violent wasteland.
That story is familiar to readers of the comics -- and while the TV series often changes things around quite a bit, the end of the trip to Washington was a disappointing one for Rick and his group of survivors in the source material.
Eugene, it turns out, is just a high school science teacher, not an actual expert in epidemiology. He was using Abraham and Rosita to protect him since he couldn't make it on his own. When they arrived at D.C., they found it no different than Atlanta.
It was shortly before their arrival that Eugene had finally come clean to the group, following a deadly altercation with The Hunters in which Rick and the group left none alive. The revelation was jarring, but things had been so bad for such a sustained period of time that it didn't rock the survivors' world in the way you might expect.
While looking out over the wreckage of DC, where Eugene speculated that it was beyond any kind of reclamation, Rick and his group were approached by representatives of the Alexandria Safe-Zone, a community set up not far from the Capitol in Northern Virginia.
While Washington, D.C. hasn't served as a major setting in the comics -- after that initial visit, we've only been back there once, and encountered a group of settlers who revealed it to be a much less-than-ideal living situation -- it's never been used much.
That seems likely to be the case in the TV series, as well; they won't want to abandon their comfortable filming situation in Georgia, and rural Georgia can much more easily pass for NoVA than it can for the D.C. Metro area. Of course, they do like to throw us curveballs on this show...!