The new teaser trailer for The Walking Dead has shambled from among the gathered masses at this year’s Comic-Con, and it looks like things are picking up right where they left off: Rick’s leadership is still in question, the women are still being treated like second-class citizens and, oh yeah, zombies.
Season 3 finds our intrepid band of survivors fleeing the carnage at Hershel’s farm and seeking refuge in a penitentiary, which appears to be the perfect sanctuary but, thanks to a particularly inhospitable warden, seems as if it will end up being nothing more than a prison — o fate, thy name is irony.
Thanks to this major development, and the new characters that accompany it, things look a bit different, but I can’t shake the feeling that it all seems rather familiar. The survivors stumble upon what feels like the ideal hideout (see: the farm in season 2) and encounter a host that seems nice enough at first, but soon reveals the group isn’t welcome (see: Hershel in season 2). What happens in season 4? Do they wash ashore upon Gilligan’s Island and find the Skipper in a particularly foul mood? One can hope.
If anything can save this show from falling into a carnage-spattered rut, it’s likely the presence of Michonne, the mysterious katana-wielding woman who showed up at the end of last season with two zombies on a leash. Not only does she kick ass, but she provides a strong African-American character to a show lacking in people of color.
There is one very bright spot here. My favorite part of this trailer occurs in its last few seconds, with the reemergence of a character too long missing. (I’ll give you a hint. Michael Rooker.) The return of Merle — with an Evil Dead-inspired apparatus in place of his missing hand — should provide some entertaining sparks, especially if he gets to share the screen with Michonne.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC on October 14.