Update: We’ve also seen a theory that one of the walkers in the premiere is Andrea. It seemed plausible because she’s very similarly dressed to how Andrea was when she died and wearing handcuffs, but Greg Nicotero busted this theory during a podcast interview here.
Now that we’ve all had time to watch and rewatch the season premiere of The Walking Dead, “No Sanctuary,” let’s go over some of what we’ve been thinking about, and what we’ve learned from producer and cast interviews since the premiere.
First off guys, no, that wasn’t Negan. As confirmed by The Walking Dead Creator Robert Kirkman, the man who rapes Mary and smacks Gareth in the end of the episode is the same crazy tattooed guy that was locked in box car and killed when Glenn talks Rick into releasing him.
But the fact that a lot of you thought it was Negan probably wasn’t a coincidence, as the producers intentionally primed that pump. Show special effects guru Greg Nicotero told Entertainment Weekly that Glenn’s close call with a baseball bat was very intentionally designed to tease fans who know what’s coming with what’s Negan.
“When (Showrunner) Scott Gimple pitched the episode we had a long conversation and I said, ‘Listen we have a great opportunity to put a little red herring in here because Glenn’s character is killed with a baseball bat in the graphic novel.’ So we set that up specifically to tease to the audience that Glenn might go,” Nicotero told Entertainment Weekly.
Nicotero also commented on what might be the most talked about tease in the show, the end-of-episode return of Morgan. He points out something that might not have been noticed, that Morgan is some time behind the survivors.
“We had actually tried to get him back for season 4 but he was unavailable, so the fact that we get to see Morgan with just enough of a tease to go, ‘Oh, wait a minute. He’s tracking them.’ You see the little circle carved into the tree. And of course the vines growing up on the sign, so clearly time has passed. He’s not hot on their trail, but it gives us that opportunity to go ‘Wait, a second, what’s going on?’ It’s a great tease. I wish we had a little more time to let that scene play out a little bit more, but we had a great opportunity in this episode to introduce some great characters,” Nicotero said.
Who left the circles is a question Nicotero did not answer. Another question is just where the hell the gang are going, anyway? Presumably they’ll follow Eugene to Washington D.C., but Gimple said that’s not going to be an easy decision.
“Do they go to D.C. or try to find another place like the prison? Not everything is… let’s just say the vote is not unanimous right off the bat,” Gimple told Yahoo.
Another powerful scene, and unanswered question, from the episode is what exactly happened to the Termite Martin in that cabin. It sure looked like Tyreese killed him, but we didn’t see the body and it was suspicious enough to lead to some speculation that he might have been lying to Carol when he said he did.
Actor Chad Coleman, who plays Tyreese, explained why Tyreese said “I won’t!” while he bashed Martin’s face in.
“It’s just kind of eating him up that everybody thinks you’ve got to go a thousand miles an hour and just kill everything. You know, kill or be killed, and so that eats at him. So it all just comes out. Also, he suppresses a lot, but when you push that release valve, it’s pretty raw. But I love it because he, in the midst of this terrible situation, that’s the only way he can still try to touch his humanity, by smashing his face in but saying “I won’t.” You know, “I won’t be that guy.” And I think Tyreese is completely aware, and his hope is that we’re going to return to normal, so who are you going to be when you get there if you keep just going out and just doing these, you know, grossly violent things? What is it going to do to you? And are you going to be able to restore to your normal self? So, I think that he is keenly aware of that,” Coleman said.
Coleman, however, was completely enigmatic when asked if Tyreese has learned that he’ll have to kill to survive.
“I can’t answer that for you. Stay tuned,” Coleman said.
Finally, will Gareth be back, potentially for an appointment with Rick’s machete? Sure. He’s in other scenes in the season five trailer, so they’ve kind of given that one away. But Gimple still tried to play coy when asked by EW about the character, only admitting “it’s potentially possible that we haven’t seen the last of him.”