The Season 9 premiere of The Walking Dead is still a week away, but AMC just released a sneak peek at the first five minutes on their YouTube channel to help tide us over.
By all accounts, the last days of Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) look to start out pretty peacefully. During the time jump between the Season 8 finale and now, Rick seems to be living his best life in Alexandria, despite the loss of his son, Carl (Chandler Riggs), to a zombie bite last season.
His daughter, Judith, paints freely with Michonne (Danai Gurira) on their front porch, and the three even enjoy casual walks through the wilderness together.
Likewise, the neighboring communities, including The Hilltop, The Kingdom, and a Negan-less Sanctuary, are all thriving, as life seems to have reached a point of normalcy -- at least as normal as it can get in the zombie apocalypse. Which, speaking of, are reduced to a couple of loose stragglers and one very bad use of a scarecrow. Effectively, they've become a manageable threat for everyone involved.
Of course, that usually means something worse is on the horizon. This likely includes the looming threat of The Whisperers, not to mention the inevitable death of Rick Grimes. Also, though he's nowhere to be seen in these first five minutes, we know that Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) will still factor into the new season in a big way, as the Season 9 mega-trailer showed.
How exactly all these things will come into play is anyone's guess at this point, but it's a safe bet that this newfound utopia is about to get upended in a big way. We'll find out how when The Walking Dead returns next Sunday on AMC.