Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Team Prison Watches From Behind the Fence on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 8: “Too Far Gone”

If you liked The Walking Dead Season 1, you may just love the second half of The Walking Dead Season 4. (And if you didn’t like Season 1, you probably stopped watching a while ago.)

Producer/director/special effects guru Greg Nicotero talked about the past and future of TWD in a great Q&A with Channel Guide Magazine. For instance, what went into the decision to stage the prison battle in Season 4, Episode 8, leaving the group on the road for the first time in a long time in the final eight episodes of this season?

“We always knew that at some point the prison was not going to be a viable place to live anymore, and it was of course a conscious decision,” Greg said. “[Showrunner] Mr. [Scott] Gimple’s crafting of the back eight episodes, where everybody scatters and you don’t know where everybody lands and you don’t know who’s with who certainly is going to lend itself to some fantastic storytelling.”

It certainly has us curious, especially with so many characters out there in half a dozen different directions. But post-prison life will basically be like hitting a reset button for our old Atlanta group.

“I feel like Episode 9 and onward really harkens back to the first season of The Walking Dead, because if you think about Season 2, they were on Hershel’s farm,” Greg continued. “In Season 3 and half of Season 4, they had the prison and Woodbury. So this is the first time that they’re out in the world again. So it’s the first time that we really get that sense of how big the world is and how unprotected people are in the wilderness.” Scary!

Greg directed Episode 9, which was written by comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman, and Greg added that it’s “probably the closest adaptation to two issues of the comic book that we’ve ever done. So for me, I’m dying for people to see it because it’s such a logical progression of our story.” Those issues may be No. 49 and No. 50, which show Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) after the prison battle.

If you’re feeling a little wary about all the various characters and storylines that need to be juggled — Carol, Tyreese, Lizzie, Judith, Michonne, Glenn, etc — Greg is here to assure you that it will all make sense in the end.

“The beauty of Season 4, in my opinion, is that every single moment is there for a reason,” he said. “Stuff that we shot in the first episode this year pays off later, and it’s like each character has a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s really satisfying. Scott Gimple has really steered our ship in the right direction. Scott knows what’s going to happen in Season 5 already. He probably already knows what’s going to happen in Season 6.”

So go ahead use your best Jedi mind tricks to get Scott to share his secrets. Or just bribe him. Either way, we are putting our trust in him and The Powers That Be to give us a satisfying end to Season 4!

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

Source: Channel Guide Magazine