UPDATE 3: On January 24, AMC posted a great 4-minute sneak peek video with the cast and producers discussing the second half. The video features lots of new footage. Watch that one toward the bottom of the video stack below.
UPDATE 2: On January 17, AMC shared a new 30-second promo. It has some previously seen footage, but also some new shots of Michonne and Beth crying and what looks like Tara running out of the prison. Watch it below.
The promo probably isn’t just for Episode 9, it’s a teaser for however many episodes, and it doesn’t tell us too much. However, we know — thanks to a sneak peek and some other intel — that Episode 9 will be heavy on the Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) drama, so the Carl scenes are most likely from the February 9 episode.
In the promo, we see:
• The prison is overrun with walkers; it’s not some place they can return to.
• People jumping out of the bus.
• The promo ends with Carl roughly shaking his father and screaming for Rick to "wake up." At another point, a determined-looking Carl is seen walking on a tree-lined lane. (It’s very scenic!) If you watch this sneak peek of Episode 9 itself, you see Carl leading a couple of walkers away from a home. We also see Rick all banged up, which is obviously from the prison battle and his fight with The Governor.
A while back, Andrew Lincoln said Episode 9 would be a big night for Carl. Comic book writer Robert Kirkman wrote Episode 9 and said it would feature a lot of comic book material.
*Comic book spoilers ahead*
At this point in the books, Rick and Carl take shelter in a nearby house. Rick takes a big dose of antibiotics and Carl finds him unconscious, which would fit with this "wake up" tease. Don't worry, Rick lives, but also in the comics, some walkers bang on the front door and Carl leads them away, just like in the sneak peek. He takes down some walkers and feels a bit more independent. He also blames Rick for the loss of Lori and Judith, who died in the comics when The Governor (David Morrissey) attacked the prison.
At this point on TV, Rick and Carl seem to think baby Judith is dead. We don't know what happened to her, but we have to suspect she's out there with someone else from Team Prison. Still, it would make sense if Carl blamed Rick at least a little bit, since we saw Carl was willing to shoot The Governor himself, and Daryl told him to just trust Rick. Rick had to try for peace, even if it didn’t work! Hershel Greene (Scott Wilson) was proud of his attempt, you could see it.
Anyway, in the comics, Rick and Carl eventually run into Michonne, and then they find Glenn and Maggie. The group heads back to Hershel's farm, meets the three newbies and they decide to hit the road together.
Things are more spread out and complicated on TV. Glenn and Maggie aren’t even together this time (stop separating our lovebirds!). Tyreese is dead at this point in the comic books. There was no Sasha. There was no Daryl. No Beth. Bob existed, but he was The Governor’s ally and part of Team Woodbury. So it’s hard to even guess what might happen to those characters on TV.
Whatever comes next, we’ve been warned that the group won’t reunite as quickly as they did at the end of Season 2. Expect the mini teams to stay separate for a while.
The Walking Dead Season 4 returns on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.