Will the long-missing Heath be found on the Wall of the Lost? Season 11 premiere "Acheron: Part 1" appears to reveal an Easter egg hinting at the possible return of Heath (Corey Hawkins) years after he disappeared in a Season 7 episode of The Walking Dead. A member of the Alexandria community home to Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his group of zombie apocalypse survivors, Heath goes missing on a scavenging mission with Tara (Alanna Masterson) during "Swear" in Season 7. The episode, which aired in 2016, is the last time Heath appears until the Season 10 episode "What We Become," which uses archival footage of Hawkins as part of Michonne's (Danai Gurira) exit episode.
When Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Ezekiel (Khary Payton), Yumiko (Eleanor Matsuura), and Princess (Paola Lazaro) escape from a Commonwealth outpost in "Acheron: Part 1," Princess points out Yumiko's photo on the Wall of the Lost: a board posted with images of missing persons. Among the hundreds of photos and fliers of long-lost loved ones is a drawn poster searching for a Heath from Louisville:
Showrunner Angela Kang revealed in 2018 that Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) of the Scavengers abducted and traded Heath to the Civic Republic Military, or the CRM, the helicopter group that goes on to fly Rick away from The Walking Dead in Season 9. Heath leaves behind nothing but his broken glasses and a mysterious key card with the letters "PPP."
Then showrunner Scott Gimple confirmed in 2017 that "we definitely have not seen the last of Heath, period," telling Entertainment Weekly: "[Heath] will be on the show. He will be within The Walking Dead again."
Gimple later confirmed that the Commonwealth and the Civic Republic are two different communities when asked about theories that the helicopter with the three-circle symbol belongs to the Commonwealth, a new civilization in West Virginia that isn't seen until Season 11 of The Walking Dead. Hawkins left the series to pursue other opportunities but could return alongside Lincoln in the Walking Dead Movie, which reveals what happens after Rick is taken by the CRM, or in the upcoming series Tales of the Walking Dead, an anthology spin-off telling new tales about characters who have appeared in past seasons of The Walking Dead.
"I think it gets a little too spoiler-y if I answer, either way, and that's truly not the point in any direction of an answer, but I think it's just a little too spoiler-y," Kang recently told Deadline when asked if Rick or other missing characters might return for the final season of The Walking Dead.
"I wouldn't want to spoil things, like it's entirely possible that he could be coming back at some point, but we'll see," Walking Dead creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman said during a convention appearance in 2018. "We have not forgotten Heath. And everyone will remember that character when he comes back."
Here's what Walking Dead viewers are saying about the potential Heath sighting in "Acheron: Part 1":
Hold on…see the name Heath in the corner?
Is it just a coincidence that his name is on the Wall of the Lost? Or is he possibly at the Commonwealth?August 23, 2021
From @ajeanlo3 and @TheBigE_228
Heath’s name 👀 #TheWalkingDead— AJL3 (@ajeanlo3) August 23, 2021
The name Heath was on the wall #TheWalkingDead— CNYEric🇺🇸 (@TheBigE_228) August 23, 2021
From @herbanflo and @TWalkingDWorld
If it is revealed that Heath is at the Commonwealth, that would certainly be an interesting return for his character, but it would hurt knowing that Tara isn’t here to reunite with him.#TheWalkingDead pic.twitter.com/HL4kJTLCJm— The Walking Dead World (@TWalkingDWorld) August 25, 2021