Back in October, Andrew Lincoln (Rick Grimes) was already plugging The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 8: “Too Far Gone.”
"The mid-season finale is the biggest thing we've attempted, I think, so far in our show,” Andy told Yahoo:. “It was thrilling. Just thrilling. It just felt like an incredibly exciting episode. And then in the [final eight of the season], it's like we're spinning out into orbit, and it's a completely new show. It's really, really exciting."
Yahoo recently spoke with producer Gale Anne Hurd and she agreed that Episode 8 is the biggest thing they’ve attempted to this point. “Oh yeah, absolutely. It's a nine‑day [production] episode, as opposed to our typical eight. It's intense. It is incredibly intense.”
Gale was also asked about the decision this season to focus on a few characters at a time for certain episodes.
“We have a very large cast, and one of the things we realized last season was there were certain characters we weren't getting to know very well, like Tyreese and Sasha, and we wanted to give all of our fantastic actors in the cast their due,” Gale said. “We really wanted to be able to explore the characters that they are playing, and sometimes it involved multiple storylines, like during the epidemic when one group is on the road trying to get medicine and the others are back dealing with the flu crisis.”
She said they don’t want to let any of their characters down. “They all have enormous numbers of fans, and when we introduce new characters, they have fans, too.”
Gale wouldn’t say if that format would continue into the second half of the season. However, Tricia Brock, who directed Episode 10 — which should air in February 2014 — told the Columbia Daily Tribune that particular episode will feature four different storylines and "some of the oddest couplings of groups you've seen" on the show. "There was violence, difficulty in dealing with one another, terror,” she added. “It's a very intimate episode. We see how these very odd groups were thrown together and how they deal with that."
We’re expecting newbies Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), and Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) to show up right around that time, to join whatever characters are still alive after the Prison/Governor battle.
It’s possible we could have one group including, say, Tara, Alisha, Mitch, and Michonne, and another with Rick, Carl, Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita, and another with Daryl, Lilly, Meghan, Maggie, Glenn, and Lizzie — just a mix of the random people we’ve met and will soon meet. Maybe Daryl and Beth will be in the same group, since they’re supposed to continue the little dynamic they previewed in the Season 4 premiere.
Maybe we’ll even have Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) back in the group by then, with or without that Sam guy. And we still have to add Morgan Jones (Lennie James) to the mix, since he’s supposed to be returning, although who knows for how long. Perhaps even new guy Gareth will arrive by then.
Are you curious about how they’ll tell the stories of these characters in the back half, or are you just focused on surviving the mid-season finale? Tell us below!
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.