Well, it’s nearly that time again. The Walking Dead’s next season is almost upon us, and if it’s anything like the previous seasons, I will spend my time watching it hating Rick Grimes with every fiber of my being while simultaneously being invested in everyone else.
And not only is The Walking Dead starting back up again, its spinoff show Fear the Walking Dead is finally making its way to the small screen. I’m going to be honest here: right now I’m much more interested in the spinoff than the actual show.
The Walking Dead’s sixth season will be picking right back up from where last season left off. Morgan has finally made his way to Alexandria and just saw Rick brutally execute someone. Following that, the trailer leads us to believe that there’s a continued divide between the original inhabitants of Alexandria and our Atlanta survivors. Furthermore, it looks as though Season 6 is going to start playing Morgan and Rick against each other.
However, I’m not sure how much I believe anything that’s happening in the trailer. Just about every trailer for the previous seasons have gone out of their way to build up events that never actually happen. Season 3’s trailer made it seem like there was going to be some big showdown between Rick and the Governor, which certainly didn’t happen that year, and Season 4’s trailer tried to make us all think that the group had split and were going their separate ways. Incidentally, that’s also what the Season 2 trailer tried to do.
I assume that Season 6 is going to finally do something with the Wolves this year—a group of humans who probably murdered Noah’s family and more than likely have their eyes set on Alexandria. From what we’ve seen of them in Season 5, they’ve learned to use the walkers as biological warfare, and it’ll be neat to see how this storyline plays out, considering all the other issues our main characters are still dealing with from last season.
But right now, I’m more interested in Fear the Walking Dead. The spinoff takes place on the other side of the country during the early days of the outbreak, which means that we’re finally going to get some idea about how the world fell. That will be interesting, because well, it would be really hard for zombies to take over the planet. When you stop and think about it, there aren’t too many ways a zombie apocalypse could happen, especially when the zombies are as slow and bumbling as the walkers in The Walking Dead. Of course, complaining that I want a realistic takeover, when the takeover is being done by animated dead people, probably isn’t too fair a standard for me to hold the show to.
Either way, Fear the Walking Dead will give us a new setting and hopefully provide some much needed answers to the backstory behind this world. It also looks as though just about every character are either women and/or people of color, which certainly makes me happy. But The Walking Dead doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to these characters. A good number of characters are women, queer, or characters of color, but The Walking Dead just kind of cycles its way through them, sometimes to the show’s detriment. For instance, every time a Black character is introduced, another Black character dies. Beth shouldn’t have died—the show also didn’t seem too concerned with mourning for her death and instead spent the next episode killing off Tyreese, who also shouldn’t have died. But most importantly, Noah definitely should have lived. Noah’s family was potentially murdered by the big bad of this upcoming season, and so keeping him around could only add to the stakes. Instead, The Walking Dead killed him off in what was probably the most gruesome death on the show to date.
And of course, it looks like a few more great characters aren’t going to come out of this season alive either. In the trailer, we see a clip of walkers eating a woman alive, and that woman looks like Tara. Tara’s character is amazing: originally, she was tricked by the Governor into attacking the prison, felt guilty for her role in all of that, and so she joined up with Glenn in order to make amends for her actions. She gave us our first real queer representation on the show, and at no point was she ever reduced to being nothing more than a walking stereotype because of it. However, since The Walking Dead likes to cycle through the non-white-male characters and Season 5 just introduced us to a few more LGBTQ+ characters, I fear Tara’s remaining time on the show is short.
Hopefully my prediction will be wrong and Tara will make it out alive, but this is The Walking Dead—no one but Rick is safe.