‘The Walking Dead’: Five questions that need answering

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After an agonisingly wait, the concluding half of The Walking Dead’s second season is almost upon us. In anticipation of the show’s return next month, CultBox looks at some of the questions which have been hanging over the mid-season hiatus like a lynched zombie dangling from a tree.

Will the survivors remain at the Greene Farm?

Hershel, the kindly, God-fearing veterinarian, has been uneasy about the presence of Rick Grimes and his fellow travellers on the farm for some time now, and given that he considers walkers to be sick people rather than brain-dead fiends, the bloody shootout at the barn will most likely have pushed him over the edge.

It’s impossible to see him allowing the others – Shane in particular – to remain on his property any longer, but will they leave if he tells them to go?

Having assumed charge of the group, the go-off-his-shaved-head first, ask-questions-later deputy isn’t likely to pay much attention to the old man’s demands. Reasonable Rick, on the other hand, would almost certainly go if Hershel demanded it – if it weren’t for the fact his wife his pregnant.

Furthermore, if the group does depart peacefully, will anyone else go with them? Will Maggie remain with her family or head off with Glenn for some more post-apocalyptic shagging?

Who is the father of Lori’s baby?

Lori has insisted to Shane that the child she’s carrying is Rick’s – but she would say that, wouldn’t she? Given that her husband is still a compassionate, generous human being and his former colleague is a selfish, borderline psychotic murderer, few could blame her for being so adamant, even if she isn’t actually a 100% certain.

However, Shane clearly isn’t convinced by her protestations. Will the paternity of the unborn infant prove to be the final breaking point in the fractured relationship between the two ex-lawmen and the woman they both love?

Will we see Merle Dixon or the Joneses again?

Besides a brief cameo in Daryl’s hallucinations, giving his younger brother the kind of taunting ‘encouragement’ that must have made the Dixon household a delightful environment to grow up in, Merle hasn’t been seen since he disappeared from an Atlanta rooftop halfway through the first season.

Given that he apparently sawed his own hand off to avoid being eaten by walkers after the others abandoned him, it’s fair to say that the abusing, abusive, redneck racist won’t be too pleased to see Rick and company if their paths cross again.

It would be a much more pleasant reunion for the sheriff if he ran into Morgan and Duane Jones, the father and son whom he encountered right at the beginning, particularly as he’s been periodically trying to raise them on the walkie-talkie ever since they parted company. But will they still be themselves or will they have suffered the same sad fate as poor Sophia?

Who will be next couple to cop off with each other?

The smart money must be on Daryl and Carol growing even closer, particularly as the latter will be in need of some comfort after seeing her zombified daughter shot in front of her, but the younger Dixon boy is surely too much of a Southern Gentleman to take advantage of someone in distress.

That doesn’t leave much room for further speculation, so let’s hypothesise that T-Dog will suddenly develop a thing for fretful old men in Reni hats and try to crack on with Dale.

What did Dr Jenner say to Rick?

At the end of the first season, the suicidal scientist Dr Jenner whispered something into Rick’s ear shortly before blowing himself and the whole of the CDC facility in Atlanta to bits.

We know it wasn’t the news that Lori was pregnant or that she and Shane had been carrying on together, as Rick was clearly none the wiser about these things until his wife finally spilled the beans at the Greene Farm; and it couldn’t have been a warning about infection within the group as none of them have subsequently become zombified. So, what was it?

Rick said at the beginning of Season 2 that it didn’t matter, which presumably explains why he hasn’t told anyone (not even Lori) about it, but it’s still something unexplained which may yet have a huge bearing on the future development of the survivors’ adventures – unless it was simply: ‘Rick … dude … change your shirt, man, you’re starting to hum.’

The Walking Dead returns at 9/8c on Sunday 12th February on AMC in the US, and at 10pm on Friday 17th February on FX in the UK.

> Buy the Season 1 DVD on Amazon.

Watch the Season 2 trailer…

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