Credit: Twitter Photo: Michael Cudlitz as Abraham on Walking Dead

Since The Walking Dead Season 4 is finally returning with its second half in just a few days (Sunday, February 9!), a ton of information is coming out at once. It can be a little overwhelming, especially when so much feels like repetition, and some new tidbits can get lost in the shuffle.

Episode 9, “After,” is meant to be a fairly quiet (literally) episode focusing on what Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) do after the prison battle. Were most curious about what happens after “After” at this point.

SANCTUARY NEWS & THREE NEWBIES COMING SOON (TOGETHER? EH, MAYBE?)

A lot of loose ends were introduced in the first half of the season, and comic book writer/executive producer Robert Kirkman said we should rewatch those eight episodes to pick up hints on what’s to come. We haven’t forgotten about that “sanctuary” radio tease, heard in the car as Michonne, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and Bob Stookey (Larry Gilliard Jr.) were driving to the veterinary college.

Showrunner Scott Gimple recently told Entertainment Weekly we will learn more about that radio tease: “Absolutely, and sooner rather than later.” Sooner! Since Episode 9 seems to be covered by comic book elements with the Grimes men and Michonne, do you think he means Episode 10, “Inmates”? That’s supposed to follow four different storylines, and introduce us to three new characters: Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), and Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt).

According to the New York Post, that trio will arrive at the end of the Sunday, February 16 episode. Are they connected to the sanctuary? Did they hear the radio message too? Are they on their way to find it, or did they have some connection to creating it? That would be a bit of a change from the comics, when they were on their way to Washington, D.C., to learn about the apocalypse origins, but that’s what the show does pretty often. Robert Kirkman recently told The Hollywood Reporter that Abraham, Eugene and Rosita would “enter into the series with a mission” that would “change the stories that we tell because of that.” A D.C. mission or, for TV, a “sanctuary” mission? Maybe that sanctuary tease has no real connection to the new characters, but it could fit.

Back in October, producer Gale Anne Hurd gave us more info on the sanctuary and how it relates to the voice on the radio. "Those of you who've read the comic book might have an indication of what it could or could not be, but it offered sanctuary. As we know in this world sanctuary could be a very complicated thing. It could be someplace you want to go and really is what it says it is, or maybe it's not quite what's promised."

Maybe it’s connected to the Alexandria Safe-Zone, which could be the “A” of the Season 4 finale title. ( Gale weighed in on the meaning of that “A” title: "I think people might develop theories. We won't be able to say if they've got it dead on, but we've got an incredibly smart, rabid fanbase. Someone out there's bound to figure it out," she told Zap2it. “A” is totally the Safe-Zone, right?)

Or maybe the “sanctuary” is a bad thing — related to The Hunters, a cannibal group also featured in the comics. Hope not, but we’ll find out.

Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: A Walker Leans on the Fence on The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 2: “Infected”

WHAT’S WITH THE RATS & CREEPY DISSECTION?

Sadly, rat news will not be coming as soon as sanctuary updates. EW asked if we’ll learn who fed rats to walkers at the prison fence and dissected that rabbit. “Yes,” Scott said, “That answer doesn’t come as quickly, though.” Rats! (Sorry, had to.)

We’re still wondering if the rat/rabbit stuff is connected to the Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride) killings and the idea that she’ll connect with Tyreese, Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy) in the second half. Are the kids responsible for the rats or rabbit? Tyreese thought the same person who dissected the rabbit was responsible for the killings. Rick said no, thinking of Carol, but what if Ty was right? Maybe it wasn’t Carol anyway? Fans keep debating that idea.

What about former Army medic Bob, who also has a mysterious past? Someone we’re not considering? Can we consider blaming Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) for any of this, since we’re supposed to get in her head in the second half, and maybe she’s “messed up” too? What about Carl? Remember how easy it used to be to blame Carl? Can we not do that anymore?

It’s possible the rat and rabbit storyline is related to this “most controversial episode” Andrew Lincoln keeps plugging. “I couldn’t speak when I read it,” Andy recently added to EW. Maybe that’s connected to the child killer storyline from the comics? If so, wow. If not, what the heck? What will tie together all these loose ends?

Are you excited for what’s ahead or is your head just hurting from trying to keep all the storylines straight? Check out the episode titles and brief synopses for the rest of the second half, including more speculation on what’s ahead.

The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.

SourcesEntertainment Weekly (Feb. 14, 2014 hard copy), New York PostZap2itThe Hollywood Reporter