Where were we when we last watched "The Walking Dead" this past November... does anyone remember? Ah, yes -- we were watching Daryl (Norman Reedus) cradle the body of Beth (Emily Kinney), who had just been murdered in an instant after the gang carried out her dangerous rescue. That's where we were.
And that's pretty much where we'll be when we pick up again this Sunday (February 8) at 10PM, with a worn and wearied group of Grimes Gang survivors trying to pick up their shattered pieces. But according to Grimes himself, Andrew Lincoln, don't count on anything you've seen before when it comes to the midseason premiere, "What Happened and What's Going On."
"It’s a beautiful episode," the bearded man told MTV News over the phone. "It reminded me of Terrence Malick, it was so dream-like and visually intoxicating. It was an amazing thing, and it was right in my sweet spot, the script. I just went, ‘This is amazing.’"
At least based on a preview of the first two minutes, the episode definitely seems to be trying something stylistically that "Walking Dead" fans have never seen before, as Rick takes a small team of Grimes Gang members on a trip to reunite Noah (Tyler James Williams) with his family in Virginia.
"The interesting thing about the [Virginia] decision was it was the only physical way they could honor Beth," Lincoln continued. "She’s dead and gone, and we can’t affect anything outside of that. One thing we can do is honor her wishes, and try to see if we can find Noah’s parents. I love that, when you realize the reasoning behind it was actually a softening, a tenderness, the humane side of Rick we haven’t seen for quite some time...[He had] very possibly a quite paternal feeling towards her."
What happens when the Gang reaches Virginia remains a mystery, but Lincoln did tell us that -- without Washington, Terminus, or even the church to house them -- being on the road starts to have a profound mental effect on at least a couple of his friends.
"We’re on the road again," he explained. "This is awful. We’re more exposed than ever... We’re splitting up; we’re fragmenting. Everybody is isolating, which happens when people are exhausted and losing their spark. Their inner light. Glenn and Michonne have a huge part to play in this, in regard to leadership, in their own right. You’ll be thrilled to see how their character journeys evolve as well."
That is... if they make it. When asked what Grimes' primary concern was moving forward these next few episodes, Lincoln had a simple -- yet powerful -- response.
"Staying alive," he said. "As the BeeGees once said."