Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Rick and Carl Grimes Stand Together on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 8: “Too Far Gone”

Here we are, at the halfway point of The Walking Dead Season 4 and all of our beloved characters have fled the prison in half a dozen different directions.

What will happen to them next? For some of the characters, like Daryl Dixon, it’s largely a mystery. But for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), we have a decent idea of what will happen directly after Episode 8, if not for much longer after the prison battle.

Episode 9, whose title has yet to be revealed at this point, appears to be an hour with lots of action for the Grimes guys. Long before the mid-season finale, Andrew Lincoln said Ep. 9 would be a big one for Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs).

The episode was written by comic book writer Robert Kirkman, and he said this ep would probably be closest to a direct adaptation from the comic books, aside from the premiere. So we looked to the comic books to see what might happen next, and it dovetails with the first official promo and sneak peek, which both showed Carl taking the boss role as Rick tries to recover from his Governor (David Morrissey) beatdown.

*Comic book spoilers ahead*

At this point in the comic books, Rick and Carl take shelter in a nearby house after the big prison battle. On TV, they believe Judith might be dead, just based on her empty car seat. In the comics, both Lori and Judith die in the prison battle so they are even deeper in mourning.

In the books, Rick takes a big dose of antibiotics and Carl finds him unconscious, which would fit with the "wake up" tease in the promo. Also in the comics, some walkers bang on the front door and Carl leads them away, just like in the sneak peek. Carl gains some independence at this point, and he also blames Rick for the loss of his family. Rick feels serious guilt too, and goes a little crazy — but maybe they won’t go down that path again, since he already lost it last season.

In the comics, Rick and Carl eventually run into Michonne, and then they find Glenn and Maggie (who are separated in the TV version). The group heads back to Hershel's farm, they meet three new characters, and they decide to hit the road together to reach Washington, D.C.

They probably won’t do it quite that way on TV, but ideally Rick and Carl would run into Michonne (Danai Gurira) since, in our fantasy version of what happened after Episode 8, Michonne saved baby Judith. It could happen!

We’ve heard Morgan Jones (Lennie James) will return at some point in Season 4, and it would make sense if Rick and Carl decided to go back to his town. Morgan was pretty obsessed with keeping the place “clear” so it might be a good safe haven to visit while they figure out what to do next. Michonne is aware of that place too, so maybe she’d be there? This is all guesswork.

Just expect Rick to be in bad shape in Episode 9, with Carl having to take the lead. As Andy told TVLine about the 2014 mid-season premiere,  “[Carl] does something this season…. Man.” He laughed. “Episode 9 is his episode. It’s so cool.”

We’ll take his word for it! Are you excited to see what happens to Rick next? This poor man can’t catch a break. Tyreese (Chad Coleman) punches him, The Gov. beats him up, he has to kill his own pigs, he tries to broker peace and loses everything … but he did ditch Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), so it’s not like he’s purely a victim. It’s quite a journey he’s on!

The Walking Dead Season 4 returns on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.


Credit: Celebified Photo: The Walking Dead Recruits Southland Actor Michael Cudlitz To Play Sgt. Abraham Ford In Season 4