Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Carl Grimes Looks Back in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 9

The Walking Dead Season 4 will return from hibernation on Sunday, February 9, and new information is finally trickling out about Episode 9.

The Powers That Be have already said that hour will closely follow the comics, so the story will mostly deal with how Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) exit the prison after The Governor battle. We last saw Rick and Carl hobbling away from the carnage, with the bloodied Rick telling his son, “Don’t look back.” Head here for details from the comics on what we might be able to expect next.

Entertainment Weekly got to see the midseason premiere in advance and the new January 31/February 7 issue includes a blurb on Episode 9. It seems to be a mixed review for the first episode of 2014, ultimately earning a “B” grade.

As EW wrote in its TV listings for Sunday, February 9:

“No show on television uses silence like The Walking Dead. AMC’s zombie megahit returns tonight after a slam-bang midseason finale bloodbath, and what hits you most of all is the quiet: the wordless opening scene, the eternal cicada soundtrack, the way Andrew Lincoln’s injured Rick makes every breath sound like torture. Long stretches of the episode focus on Carl, left alone to wander through the emptied streets of post-zombie suburbia. It’s a showcase for Chandler Riggs, the post-apocalyptic Huck Finn. Inevitably, people start talking - and midway through its fourth season, Dead still has problems constructing an exciting scene with its pre-dead humans. (A flashback dream sequence is particularly leaden.) Dead’s visual storytelling is top-notch. You just wish the characters had something more interesting to say.”

Maybe that flashback dream sequence is connected to Rick being out of it, when he and Carl take shelter in a house and Papa Grimes takes antibiotics? In the books, sick Rick gets a phone call from his late wife Lori (who had just died during the prison battle in the comics) but we already went through the crazy phone call thing on Season 3 and the TV show may not mine the same territory again.

It’s disappointing to hear EW found the dream sequence “leaden,” but we can make up our own minds. At this point, we’re mostly curious to see who’s in it. Hershel? Lori or Shane again? (Update: Now we're thinking the flashback may be connected to Michonne, not Rick, showing us part of her earlier life. That could be good...)

Do you have any flashback dream theories or are you content to just wait two more weeks till you can see it all yourself?

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

Source: Entertainment Weekly, print edition