AMC's long-running zombie drama The Walking Dead is no stranger to bringing back dead characters. Sometimes as members of the undead, but much more often they'll appear as hallucinations as wounded characters near death's door.
Now, they'll be bringing back a recently killed off character for the second half of Season 9 this coming spring.
**SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers for The Walking Dead's midseason finale to follow**
Tom Payne's Jesus, a key member of The Hilltop community, met his fate in the most recent episode when a Whisperer drove a sword through his back. Now, Payne hinted to ComicBook that his character may return before Season 9 wraps up.
"There’s a six-year time jump, in which a lot of stuff happened and [there are] those mysterious marks on Michonne and Daryl,” Payne said. "All of these things which could be explained, and Jesus may have a hand in some of that.”
In the episode "What Comes After," after Andrew Lincoln's ringleader Rick Grimes exited via helicopter, the show jumped forward six years. In that interim, Lauren Cohan's Maggie left, but there have been some none-too-subtle hints that something very bad transpired during that time.
Aside from the mysterious marks that Payne mentions, Michonne (Danai Gurira) has taken a hardline stance against newcomers to Alexandria, and there's a significant rift between her community and The Hilltop. If the show is going to double back and fill in some of the gaps left by this six-year window, it would make sense for Jesus to be a part of it.
This is all speculation of course, and Payne has been quite vocal about his frustration with playing Jesus. The character was a badass in Robert Kirkman's comic book, but never really got a chance to shine during his run on the show.
Either way, it'll be interesting to see how new showrunner Angela Kang handles the story she's set up for the show, and how it might fit into the franchise's much larger ambitions. Do you want to see Jesus come back from the dead (via flashback)? Let us know in the comments.