Who are Noah, Officer Dawn Lerner, and Dr. Steven Edwards On The Walking Dead?

A scene from AMC's The Walking Dead has been released ahead of tonight's episode, and it teases some mysteries about the new characters being introduced to Beth's story, and the episode in general.

You can check it out here, if you haven't already seen it:

The video sets up only the most basic questions, of course, but there are some things we can probably glean from it.

First of all, in the world of The Walking Dead, the honest people are generally the ones who are the most blunt, gruff and unpleasant the first time you meet them. Glenn was introduced when he called Rick an idiot, while Daryl was a white supremacist. Michonne was a hooded maniac with pet zombies. Rick himself, especially these days, is inclined to greet people roughly and with rude questions.

So the veneer of normalcy -- the clean clothes, the clinging to the tropes of the pre-apocalypse like uniforms and titles -- those are probably a sign that these people aren't trustworthy, or at least aren't totally upfront about things.

Think Woodbury. The Governor has drawn parallels to Hitler for obvious reasons; the cruelty, brutality and madness he had inside him was obscured by the fact that he "kept the trains running on time," so to speak. Nobody wanted for creature comforts (mostly) in Woodbury, and that built loyalty and prevented most people from asking too many questions.

There's also the element of The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct to consider -- a theory we went into a bit last week, but here's the gist:

In The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct -- a video game set in the world of the TV series that featured Daryl and Merle Dixon -- there is a hospital. Cleburne Memorial Hospital is still in operation, but only in the way that a supervillain might keep a missile silo "still in operation." It's hardly performing its original purpose. Here, survivors are still trying to find a cure, and not ruling out the strategy of human experimentation to do so.

Here's how The Walking Dead Wiki describes it: "When the outbreak began, a government research crew took residence in Cleburne Memorial Hospital. The hospital had military protection that kept it operational. When Daryl arrives the hospital looking for antibiotics for Merle, he finds Noah, who was treated for his gunshot wound. He states that Anna is searching the morgue for supplies. Later he finds a doctor who had gone insane looking for a cure and is using Noah as a test subject. Daryl has the decision to chose to save Noah or not."

The series recently cast Everybody Hates Chris and Dear White People... actor Tyler James Williams as Noah, a recurring character with no description yet. Is he a variation on Noah Cruz, a character from Survival Instinct?

His first appearance will be in tonight's episode. Could he be the one traveling with Daryl at the end of last week's episode? Or might he need "saving" on TV as well?