This post contains spoilers.
In space, no one can hear you scream. But in an underground cave packed with zombies on a munchies run, the odds are much better.
The second half of the 10th season of The Walking Dead launches this Sunday, and, as a teaser, AMC has released the first few minutes of the premiere. Not surprisingly, it picks up at the midseason finale cliffhanger: Our constantly besieged heroes, including Carol (Melissa McBride) and Daryl (Norman Reedus), have been tricked into sliding into said cave by Alpha (Samantha Morton), seen brandishing a mighty torch as she gazes down upon her victims.
Glimpsing her arch-enemy in the darkness and realizing what could await her, even after all she and her friends have endured, Carol lets out one of the mightiest screams she’s unleashed in the history of the series. The next thing we see is Alpha above ground, telling her fellow skin-wearers, “Make sure they don’t get out.”
After so many seasons and cast changes, The Walking Dead has shown signs of weariness both in its plot lines and its ratings. But the series still has the ability to shock and awe, as with the surprising death of Saddiq near the end of the first half of this season. The only remotely medical pro in Alexandria, Saddiq was strangled to death by the oddly goofy Dante, who turns out to have been a spy sent to infiltrate Alexandria by Alpha and the Whisperers — who, for those just tuning in, are able to live and walk amongst the dead by wearing the skin of those who’ve been killed.
Another twist could come during the remainder of this season. We’re now two seasons into the era of the Whisperers, the grisliest of Walking Dead foes. The Whisperer War, a major later plot line in the Walking Dead comic, pits Alpha and her skin-clad posse against the Alexandria and Hilltop survivors, and that conflict will most likely play a major part in the second half of season 10.
But will it end the way it does in the comics, with the possibly redeemed Negan (relentless scene-stealer Jeffrey Dean Morgan) playing a particular pivotal role in the resolution? Or will the current series team, including showrunner Angela Kang, deviate from the sacred text and have something else in mind for Negan? That, as they say, could be a killer surprise.