While the mid-season finale of "The Walking Dead" wasn't a literal cliffhanger -- weirdly, when you think about it that was the quarry-set season opener -- the fates of everyone in Alexandria, and outside were left heavily in doubt by the end of "Start to Finish."
So with that in mind, what do we need to know by the time the show returns in February? Here's 11 burning questions we need answered by episode 9.
Are all Jessie's children dumb idiots?Gene Page/AMC
Seriously though, it's weird that she has one child named "Walker Fodder" and another named "Dead Meat," right? That would be Sam, who immediately tanked their chances of escaping the zombie herd by shouting "Mom" repeatedly; and Ron, who decided now was the best time to shoot Carl for stealing his girlfriend Enid.
If anything, Ron and Sam are the underlining the idea that Alexandria wasn't ready for the zombie apocalypse. And as many commenters online pointed out, when Baby Judith is more prepared for a zombie invasion than you, you should be ashamed.
Anyway, they're dead almost immediately, right? Right.
What about Jessie?Gene Page/AMC
Assuming a good portion of the next episode is the deaths of Sam and Ron, will new badass Jessie be able to go on? This is the first time Rick has gotten some nookie since waking up in season one (pretty sure he and Lori never hooked up, but could be wrong), so it would be sad to see her go, if for no other reason than it'll destroy Rick even more than usual.
Is Carl gonna lose an eye?Gene Page/AMC
We assumed Ron was going to shoot it out this past episode, but that clearly didn't happen. At the same time, that iconic comic book moment hasn't synced up yet... It's when they get overwhelmed by zombies that everything goes to hell, and a random shot from a gun -- maybe Jessie freaking out after Sam and Ron bite it? -- takes out Carl's right eyeball.
We've mentioned this a bunch, but the show tends to riff on comic scenes versus just repeating them... But we're still worried about Carl's ocular nerves.
Is Rick going to lose his s--t?AMC
Have you been watching this show for six seasons? Yes, Rick is going to lose his s--t. If he isn't making ghost phone calls from an olde timey operator's station by the end of episode 9, I'll be severely disappointed.
What happened to Spencer, Heath and Aaron?Gene Page/AMC
They were featured in the promo images for the episode, and unless I missed it didn't appear for even a second. In fact, other than our main speaking characters we were missing all the residents of Alexandria.
Are they arming up to mount a resistance, proving they did learn something from Rick after all? Or are they already zombie chum?
How is Father Gabriel still alive?AMC
Seriously, dude is useless... But he's also a cockroach. I wouldn't be surprised if Rick tried to push him in front of some walkers to save Judith, only to have it turn out he's secretly Luke Cage and has unbreakable skin or something.
Will Glenn and Maggie reunite?AMC
When we last see Glenn, he can see Maggie on the other side of the walker herd. He's on a tree, she's trapped on a platform. And yes, of course they're going to reunite and we'll cry and cry. The bigger question is whether Glenn's optimism will convince Enid to give up "JSS" and sacrifice herself to get Glenn back with his baby mama.
Is the Wolf going to kill Denise?AMC/EW
Nah. Tara JUST got a new love interest, and Merritt Weaver is too good an addition to the show to eliminate right now. If anything we might see Denise test the doctor's oath to do no harm, and break free of our Alpha Wolf.
Is Carol going to kill Morgan?Gene Page/AMC
That fight though. We haven't seen two Grimes Gang members go at it like that since Rick and Shane... At the very least, their relationship won't be good once they wake up from their head-conking.
Are the Wolves going to fight the Saviors?Gene Page/AMC
More on this in a second, but unless our Alpha Wolf is the last man standing, the threat of the Wolves is still looming just as we introduce Negan and the Saviors. With everything going on, will the two bad guys fight each other? Will the Grimes Gang have to team up with one enemy to fight another? Or is Alpha Wolf really the last of his kind?
How much trouble are Daryl, Sasha and Abraham in?Gene Page/AMC
So much trouble. In the prologue to the next half-season, the trio are stopped and shaken down by Negan's Saviors, and I don't see the villains just casually letting our heroes go on their way. They're not going down without a fight, of course, but they're outgunned and about to meet the most dangerous person in Virginia. Someone ain't making it out of this encounter alive.