While Negan’s presence does loom over the teaser, another moment from the comics is hinted at. Rick’s violent hatchet swings tease the possibility that one of the mid-season finale’s walker-camouflaged Alexandria residents may not make it out of the first episode of 2016 alive.
SPOILER WARNING: In Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s Image Comics series, a similar situation unfolds as Rick and a number of survivors cover themselves in tarps and Walker guts in order to pass through a herd unscathed. When one of Rick’s crew is caught by hungry walkers and grabs Carl’s hand in an effort to pull themselves free, Rick takes a hatchet to them in order to extricate Carl from their grasp. Of course, it’s possible the TV show will follow an entirely different route, but given that they’ve shown a propensity for remixing comic events with the show’s expanded cast, we can’t dismiss outright the possibility of a similar scene unfolding on Valentine’s Day.
“The Walking Dead” mid-season premiere arrives Feb. 14, 2016 at 9 p.m. on AMC.