‘The Walking Dead’ Releases New Look at Mid-Season Premiere

An official still from The Walking Dead’s mid-season premiere takes a peek at the survivors’ harrowing journey home with the corpse of the freshly slain Jesus (Tom Payne) in tow.

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(Photo: AMC)

Aaron (Ross Marquand) guides the horse transporting Jesus’ body as the group returns to Hilltop, now expected to fall under the leadership of interim chief Tara (Alanna Masterson) while Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is away helping Georgie (Jayne Atkinson) with a new community.

Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) lead the pack, consisting of the wounded Eugene (Josh McDermitt) — whose disappearance initiated the search party — and newcomers Magna (Nadia Hilker) and Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura).

Not picture is Dog, Daryl’s canine companion, who can be seen arriving safely to Hilltop in the previously released first season 9B trailer that brought with it looks at new lead villains Alpha (Samantha Morton) and Beta (Ryan Hurst).

The mid-season premiere will pick up immediately where the mid-season finale left off, with our heroes fighting off a surrounding pack of approaching Whisperers in a foggy cemetery.

“We established this little mystery of, are the walkers evolving? And I felt that we really needed the answer by the end of the mid-season,” showrunner Angela Kang previously told EW.

“I didn’t want to carry that mystery over as a cliffhanger into the next half of the season. We should at least get one answer, because there are a lot of twists and turns to the Whisperers storyline in general.”

Despite the finality of Jesus’ death, Payne hinted he’ll be seen again in the back eight of the season by way of flashbacks set during that skipped over six-year period.

“There’s a six-year time jump, in which a lot of stuff happened and there’s those mysterious marks on Michonne and Daryl,” Payne said at Walker Stalker Con New Jersey in December. “All of these things which could be explained, and Jesus may have a hand in some of that.”

The first episode of 2019 will also detail the jailbreak of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), freshly escaped in the mid-season finale after an almost eight-year solitary prison term.

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“He gets his jail-break, and he goes out there in the world,” Kang said. “So I think there’s some really cool stuff coming up with Jeffrey as Negan in the next episode as well as just in that main story having to do with the Whisperers and that unfolding narrative that happens.”

The Walking Dead Season Nine resumes with new episodes Sunday, February 10 on AMC.