The Walking Dead released its first promotional art work for Season Nine, featuring the return of a key element of the show: the helicopter.
Helicopters have been a recurring theme in the AMC show. Since the first episode, Rick Grimes has been followed by helicopters of some sort, with various different choppers popping in and out of the show over its eight seasons. Most recently, Rick Grimes saw a helicopter while on his way to Jadis' Hilltop. Later, Jadis was revealed to be a woman named Anne, who was somehow connected to this helicopter and the community from which it hails. For now, though, the connection is a mystery.
Based on the key art for Season Nine, the helicopter will play a part in The Walking Dead's upcoming episode, with the survivors heading to Washington D.C. according to this tease.
When and how the helicopter comes into play remains to be seen but more details are expected to arise from San Diego Comic Con later this month. Could the helicopter be how Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes makes his exit from the series?
"I think what’s exciting about next season is, just by virtue of the narrative, the story evolves a great deal," executive producer Scott Gimple told TV Line. "From the things said in the finale, there’s a bigger ambition now, a bigger thing that they’re chasing. It isn’t just regular, everyday survival, which they’ve become quite adept at. It’s what to do with that. Now they’re going after civilization."
If the Season Eight finale were to have been a series finale, Lincoln might have walked away content with his and the show as a whole's work as he prepares for a Season Nine exit. After all, Episode 8x16 did feel like a series finale to many, with almost all of the narrative threads and character stories being wrapped up nicely.
"I think that when we got the news that Carl was dying on the show, it certainly for me, it felt like very much a bookend of a much bigger journey that began in the hospital," Lincoln said in a more recent interview with ComicBook.com. "Searching for his wife and his son were the two engines that kept this man alive at the beginning of the show eight years. To lose the second engine that fueled him, at this point, certainly did feel, to me personally, not just the end of a chapter but a book, really."
The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC, returning for the second half of its fourth season on August 12th. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.