The cast and crew had finished Episode 7 by the time they went to Comic-Con last week, and it takes about eight working days to tape each ep (but possibly more for the mid-season finale, since it's special). So we’re just about at the halfway point of the season — and even though we as viewers are given a gigantic two month break between watching Episode 8 (which usually airs in late November/early December) and the Episode 9 mid-season premiere (mid-February), the cast and crew don’t torture themselves with the same wait to know what happens next.
Exec producer Gale Anne Hurd was at Comic-Con with the crew, giving little teasers on the new season. She confirmed to Zap2it that there will be two story arcs again in Season 5. "We always have one sort of overarching arc, but there are distinct natural ends to particular arcs that fall during the midseason finale and pick up again in the midseason premiere."
For reference, think of the Season 2 midseason finale, with the group finding Sophia in the barn; the Season 3 midseason finale, leaving Daryl Dixon and Merle Dixon in the Woodbury fight club pit; and the Season 4 midseason finale, with everyone scattered after the big prison battle. They are huge episodes, often with cliffhangers.
Obviously we’re starting Season 5 with the drama in Terminus, but even the Comic-Con trailer showed that the group eventually leaves the place, reunites with some folks (Carol, Tyreese, Judith) and ends up at a church, for at least a little while. There’s also the question of the Washington, D.C. mission. That has to be resolved at some point. Are they going to D.C. to find the cure? Will they get to D.C.? If so, what happens there? If not, why not? And what about Beth? Will her story be tied up around the mid-season finale too?
Gale teased that they are “going to be changing it up with urban settings, suburban settings” this season. We have some ideas about one suburban setting, and where the show may be headed after the mid-season finale, based on where the comic book story goes.
Since Season 5 is starting Sunday, October 12 on AMC, Episode 8 should air on Sunday, November 30. And since the Super Bowl seems to be airing on Sunday, February 1, 2015, you might want to pencil in Sunday, February 8, 2015 for the big return episode. Pencil, though, not permanent marker!
What story arcs will end in the mid-season finale, do you think?