The back half of The Walking Dead‘s fifth season premieres this Sunday on AMC with a whopper of an episode. Directed by longtime WD helmer Greg Nicotero, the kick-off for the next eight episodes amps up the drama and moves at a rapid clip, hopefully setting the tone for the rest of the season.
Here are five things you need to know before watching the premiere. And if you’re not caught up, stop reading now!
1. Beth is gone, but not forgotten
We spent much of the first half of the season wondering why Maggie seemed to forget that her sister was missing. After Beth’s untimely and unfortunate demise during the hostage trade gone awry, we get to see just how deeply everyone is effected by her death. Maggie mourns and the rest of the gang work together to try to complete Noah’s journey home, because that’s what Beth would have wanted.
2. Never get too comfortable with the status quo
As The Walking Dead showed us during the mid-season finale, it’s not afraid to kill off a beloved character. The season opener continues in a similar vein, proving that in the zombie apocalypse, nobody is ever completely safe.
3. Get ready to see some familiar faces
Without spoiling anything, let’s just say you should be ready to see some characters you thought you’d never see again.
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4. Guts and gore galore
It will come as no surprise that a Nicotero-directed episode is full of amazing special effects, but this particular one contains several moments that will leave your heart in your mouth and your dinner potentially on the floor. Look out for a slow-motion sequence that shows off the intricate choreography of all of those zombie fight scenes.
5. Where do we go from here?
The trailer for these eight episodes implied that our characters will set off for a new destination. The premiere doesn’t get us there, but it does indicate that our heroes know what road they need to travel.